"Every generation breeds courageous idealists who aren’t afraid to question the current status quo, and challenge the mounting social and political frustrations that many working-class citizens are experiencing in their lives. Such bold visionaries make up Voice of Addiction and inspire its latest record." - Shockya.com
"The album is half old-school Good Riddance (ACGTMR era) and half Fugazi, with not-quite-anthem-like melodies. You hear some sprinkles of Graffin-style vocal harmonies and melodies, and it really suits the music." - Bucketlist Music Reviews
"Fast, abrasive yet melodic Punk that is as punchy lyrically as it is through its composition. This is a very well written album, it’s also very bleak and quite sad at times but its determination, its rational belief and thought process are its main selling point so to speak, with its musical prowess a solid bonus." - Musically Fresh
"Their new album, The Lost Art of Empathy, points out a lot of issues in the country and the world with clever lyrics and killer music." - Skope Magazine
"Voice of Addiction sends meaningful messages through a professional, killer sound that is sure to leave you changed...and wanting more" - Indie Spoonful
"The band goes all in to create a cohesive sound, all while a more brooding and emotionally intense sound is enough to ensnare listeners for the long haul. we’ll be playing the crap out of this album through the end of the year." - Neufutur Magazine
"As the band has been around for over a decade, the newest release from Voice of Addiction proves that the band still has plenty to say and the talent to continue making music that lets their voice be heard." - The Rock and Roll Report
"Chicago’s grainy, anthemic punk rock act VOICE OF ADDICTION releases an outstanding new record. Great, energizing listen." - idioteq.com
"Every generation breeds courageous idealists who aren’t afraid to question the current status quo, and challenge the mounting social and political frustrations that many working-class citizens are experiencing in their lives. Such bold visionaries make up Voice of Addiction and inspire its latest record." Thanx @shockyafans for the review!! www.shockya.com/news/2017/09/30/voice-of-addictions
Bucketlist Music Reviews
new review of the new full length "The album is half old-school Good Riddance (ACGTMR era) and half Fugazi, with not-quite-anthem-like melodies. You hear some sprinkles of Graffin-style vocal harmonies and melodies, and it really suits the music." bucketlist music reviews http://www.
Mid Tennessee Music
"The band goes all in to create a cohesive sound, all while a more brooding and emotionally intense sound is enough to ensnare listeners for the long haul. we’ll be playing the crap out of this album through the end of the year." http://neufutur.com/20
"Fast, abrasive yet melodic Punk that is as punchy lyrically as it is through its composition. This is a very well written album, it’s also very bleak and quite sad at times but its determination, its rational belief and thought process are its main selling point so to speak, with its musical prowess a solid bonus." Thanx Musically Fresh!!! http://musi
The Rock and Roll Report
"As the band has been around for over a decade, the newest release from Voice of Addiction proves that the band still has plenty to say and the talent to continue making music that lets their voice be heard." - The Rock and Roll Report http://rockandrollrepor
Ring Master Reviews
JP's Music Blog
The Metal Experience
Change the Rotation
BVI Records Comp
Voice Of Addiction's song "Mother" is on a rad comp #DirtyPower from BVI Records w/ MDC / Animal Train / Mr. Clit and the Pink Cigarettes / The Agrestix / Screech of Death / Brewtality, Inc. / Eastside Suicides / Sabbath Crow / The Avoiders / Idiot City / Apples For Eyes / Welter / The Nervebreakers / Tony Jones & The Cretin 3 / Rebel Flesh / ALL OPPOSED / Mugrero / The Code 88s / Sonic Ammunition / Dead Zebbra / The Dispicables & many more!! #Punk #PunkRock #PunkComp https://bvirecords.bandcamp.co
Indie Spoonful review
Welcome to Chicagoland Vol 1
'Welcome to Chicagoland' is meant to bring back the way most people discovered punk rock music...affordable comp/samplers with as many songs as can fit. Think of this release as a Chicago area version of 'Punk-O-Rama', 'Punk Rock Is Your Friend' or 'Give 'Em The Boot'. Pre-orders are now up so order you Friskie Morris Shirt and CD before they are gone!! https://friskiemorrisfriends.
Punk Against Trump comp
Friskie Morris 3rd year comp
Pissed Off Radio comp
Unknown Records Comp
E.D. Show Fanzine
"Chicago’s Voice of Addiction straddles the old-world punk vibe of bands like Fugazi and Circle Jerks and noise-rock hybrid artists like Dinosaur Jr. The results are plenty edgy with progressive, math-y touches. Add in their socially conscious songwriting approach (they’re definitely not emo whiners) and you’ve got something fairly unusual. " http://www.dailypublic.com/e
Autonomy Music Reviews
the single off the upcoming album "Reduce Reuse Resist"
released on CD on 6/3 and vinyl 7/8, to read the review click HERE
IAE Magazine review
Interview at Aj&dbs
Windy City Rock
While many punk bands base their music on creating complete pandemonium,
the band takes it to another level, inducing the energy of an old school CBGB show."
click below to read the whole write-up
Full Page in Chicago Redeye
Skope Magazine Review
have no intention of putting their addiction themed lyrical subject matter up against a wall and
taking a look at it. Instead, they’d rather just crash through the wall"
Rock & Roll Guru Review
Vents magazine interview
Check it out online it is on pages 46-47 click below
Skope Magazine Artist 2 Watch
Voice Of Addiction: We are excited about the continued support Skope has shown us, we previously had been
added to their music player. We really dig what they are doing for the music scene.
Skope: What are you currently working on in your musical endeavours?
Voice Of Addiction: Voice Of Addiction is primarily a live band, playing over 100 shows in 2009 alone, and we
are on pace to beat last year so far in 2010. We also just finished a couple more songs, and are now playing
them live. These will be on the upcoming album.
Skope: If you have any videos on Myspace or Youtube that we can show readers please include the URL?
Voice Of Addiction: www.youtube.com/voiceofaddiction – We are currently working on a DVD including our
costume set on Halloween of
Operation Ivy’s “Energy” album. I will be throwing clips up as the editing is being finished.
Skope: What is your favorite time of day to create music?
Voice Of Addiction: When the inspiration hits, you just gotta grab the guitar or whatever and write everything down.
I have even woken up in
my sleep before with an idea, and hammered it out on the guitar before heading back to bed.
Skope: What is coming up for you and where can readers learn more about you?
Voice Of Addiction: When we aren’t on the road we have been working with boutique Chicago studio
“Stranded on a Planet” with our
producer Scott Fritz on our 4th release “Reduce Reuse Resist” We plan to release this late summer early fall.
Check out our websites
at www.VoiceOfAddiction.com, myspace.com/voiceofaddiction,
Amped to change the world this Chicago band is politically and socially conscious. Addiction
offer up truly original material with thought provoking writing.
Vents Magazine Top Bands
V.O.A. is included in the new issue of Vents Magazine in their Top Bands section.
To see closer the pages and stuff, just click the pages with your mouse and
to zoom out, do the same.
We are on page 8, just click the link,
Cheers!-Ian JohnnyX VoiceOfAddiction.com
Nov 28 2009 live show review!
Hey, blogspot readers, time to work off those extra holiday pounds with Voice Of Addiction! Forget health guru
Richard Simmons ...this local band will definitely get you in shape sweatin' to their punk rock sound. Recently they
had The Mutiny crowd jumpin' and jivin' to the music as well as screaming for more. SouthSide does not
remember the last time when she danced so hard after seeing one set.
VOA was loud and fast. They had the type of punk music which got the blood going from beginning to end. Lots of
wild guitar riffs and angst to blast your ears away. There were times when this reviewer thought the riffs and
percussion rhythms were off beat. Yet, she quickly learned that the mesh of confusion was what this band
wanted ...sometimes. It drove them to perform wildly all over the stage and in the audience ...strumming faster and
furiously. Thus it did start pockets of moshing and fan dancing near the front of the stage. Whew - it's exhausting
while trying to keep up with VOA.
One interesting note Southside noticed about this band was their sound wasn't purely straight punk rock. She heard
a wide variety of combinations such as reggae/ska to metal and classic guitar rock. There was also a bit of
garage/grunge in their songs which kept the music energizingly fresh. Heads everywhere were banging to the fast
rhythms. SouthSide suggests listening to their Empty Bottle - an excellent song to forget about your problems. She
enjoyed the downtempo taken during the chorus while the lyrics were sung hurriedly as if someone was anxious or
frustrated. Fans during the performance were encouraged to drink since most songs were labeled as VOA's drinking
songs. Yet, this reviewer got the feeling that all the songs were drinking songs.
Besides the rockin' music, this band also provided some comedic relief and funnies between songs. While
performing, VOA had their wild moments on stage that kept everyone busy at dancing or joining in the antics with
them. Watch out for that final song, blogspot readers! Everyone, including the band, went out of control during System
Control ..but it's all good to have a mini riot to blow off some of that mall shopping steam. This was what they're all
about - letting loose and having a good time. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Voice Of Addiction at their
Wildy's World Review
Wassup Magazine show review
Here Comes The Flood
Chicago trio Voice Of Addiction is a band that gives a fuck. Their EP Re-evolution is about unhip
subjects like Broken Homes and Broken Bones and the CIA The Walls.
If you want people to listen to politically charged lyrics, you better use a rhythm that makes
they wantna dance pumping their fists in the air. Enter The Clash inspired punk ska and
you are half way there. Too bad that singer is Ian Tomele no match for the lamented
Joe Strummer. Kudos for trying so hard, though.
Juniors Cave interview
Voice Of Addiction is a politically charged Chicago based band that has a powerful message to spread.
The band does not shine away from speaking about the state of affairs around our world. What makes
them even more fantastic is their highly energetic and raw presence. The band's rock, punk and ska
style are a perfect combination for what the band is all about. I recently spent some time online
speaking with Vocal and Bassist Ian Tomele who was more than willing to share some insights
on the band. Enjoy!
Isaac: Ian, please take a moment to elaborate on who you are and your upbringing.
Ian JohnnyX: I was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. I had a big family in a lower middle class situation.
In fact, to this day, all my brothers and sisters remain the closest people to me. I only attended high school
for 2 months. I had to drop out and help out once my Dad got sick. When I was twenty-one, I moved to
Chicago to broaden my horizons and attend college. 2 years ago; I graduated with Bachelor in the Arts
from Columbia double majoring in Music (instrumental performance) and Audio (live sound engineering).
Isaac: Please take a moment to introduce the members of Voice of Addition and how the band originally
Ian JohnnyX: We have been a band for over four years, almost five years. Jeff (guitar) and me have been
in several bands together for about 14 years now (Both 27). He moved to Chicago two years before me;
we are both originally from Cleveland Ohio. We recently just got a new drummer, Andy Petty. Our old
drummer had to go the family route and couldn't keep up with the band. Andy works at a recording
studio here in Chicago and used to play in a ska band "Once Again" back in Michigan before he moved here.
Isaac: Was there any one musician that spoke to your heart so profoundly, you were inspired to do your
Ian JohnnyX: There was lots of influences and people that inspired me in my formative years, and not
just musicians. If I had to pick one though, it would be Ian Mackaye. With Minor Threat, he showed me
the energy of hardcore punk that dominated me in my teens. And then with Fugazi, [he] pushed the punk
limitations to a growingly stagnant scene at the time. The biggest influence he had on me though was
instilling the D!i!Y! Ethic into me. From building his own 7 inch sleeves to running a record label out of his
parents basement (still has that address), he showed that we don't have to pay somebody to do these
things for us that we can do ourselves.
Isaac: I read your bio that you are the politically charged Chicago based band. How did you come up
with the idea that you wanted to tackle some of the hot current topics through your music?
Ian JohnnyX: To be honest, I didn't really come up with the idea; it is just the writing that naturally comes
out of me. I have done several writings on politics, community, art and so forth. It is something that I
believe effects us all at the most ground level in everyday life. And also something that not enough people
are talking about. Yea, I can talk about my love life, my car and my troubles. But, I think talking about what
causes these troubles and keep us in a rut is more important.
Isaac: What do you think makes your band stand out against the rest of the bands out there in the music
industry? What is the main reason why should people listen to your music?
Ian JohnnyX: When it comes down to it, we are not really trying to be a band but rather the catalyst. We
stand for what we believe in and encourage others to do the same. Start your own band! Zine! Create
something that can't be taken away! We are all about community. And by that I mean people helping
people. We start at the barest grass-roots level; on the stage and in the studio with my two best friends
and me. There is nothing that can't be accomplished when people work together. And this is well
known. Much has been done to separate people and point out the differences.
Isaac: Out of your entire song collection that you've written thus far, which song(s) would you say is/are
the most personal/meaningful to you?
Ian JohnnyX: There was a song off our first album I wrote about my Dad called "End of Days." This song
means a lot to me although we don't play it anymore. On more recent stuff, I would say "Grease the
Wheel." We put this song on our first EP and I remember when I wrote it I thought I had written the best
song in the world! In fact, on the last album "Re-evolution" when tracking we had extra time and decided
to redo this song. It's all about not perpetuating the things that you disagree with.
Isaac: How far into the creation of a song do you share any of it with anyone? Who would you play it for?
Would it be a chorus, a verse and chorus, or a complete song?
Ian Johnnyx: My songs and my writing is self-less. I have been known to pick up a guitar and just make
a song on the spot, whether a couple people are around or a crowd. Also I believe this is important to see
how people react to what you are doing. This is why open mics have become so popular at a testing field.
Sometimes the inspiration just oozes out of me and a whole song is written in a sitting. Other times,
different parts will come to me over time and the other guys may hear a part months before the song is
Isaac: How much do you let others "mess around with" one of your new songs?
Ian JohnnyX: I am a lucky S.O.B., I get to play music with two of my best friends, and we try to keep the
writing process very open. So I will come up with a song, but the structure isn't set by any means. We
always try out every idea, "just to see how it feels." Sometimes complete verses I write are ditched because
that's what the song has become and demands. We try to keep ego and things aside and do what makes
the most sense for the song. After all, the song isn't for us, it is for us all.
Isaac: Do you have to be a tortured soul to be a singer-songwriter?
Ian JohnnyX: It sure seems to be that way doesn't it. I don't think you do have to be a tortured soul, but I am
not saying it doesn't help. Traumatic experiences can really ground somebody. Perhaps give them a new
perspective on life. And a lot of people are inspired by different things. The healthiest way is definitely not
to be a tortured soul. But I must say that I do get a release from playing music that I don't think could be
substituted any other way. It keeps me coming back for more if you know what I mean. I wouldn't say that
I am a tortured soul though, I may have been through much in my life but in all I am quite happy
Isaac: The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Ian JohnnyX: "closed moths don't get fed" If you don't like something, say something; do something about it!
Isaac: When you are performing live in front of an audience, describe the emotions that are pouring through
Ian JohnnyX: Adrenaline! This is first and foremost. I get really pumped up before, during and after a show.
There was a show last October where I tripped on a snake in the middle of the stage not expecting it there.
So in order not to fall off the stage I jumped over the divider to save both my bass and my face. I play barefoot
in order to feel the stage while jumping and the floor was cement. So when I landed I totally broke my one foot.
This was in the middle of our second song. I climbed (barely) back onto the stage and finished the set all
because of my adrenaline. In fact it was almost two hours later when the pain finally really set in. Why buy
drugs when our body produces drugs that can do this naturally.
Isaac: Give Shutouts to your family and friends.
Ian JohnnyX: Mom and Dad Walschon and Mom and Dad Tomele thanks for mad support our whole lives
and encouraging our music careers since a young age and putting up with our rehearsals in your garage/
basement/etc when young. Brothers Walschon and all my Tomele siblings. Scott, our producer. And all
our fans and friends all over. They are the reason we exist.
Isaac: Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Ian JohnnyX: Currently we are getting our new drummer up to speed for the New year. We will have our first
gig with him the end of January and we are planning an extensive tour throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
V.O.A.: It wasn't a conscious decision; it just came out of us naturally. If we are going to be playing and
performing music we think we should talk and sing about everyday issues that effect all of us, not just
how my girlfriend dumped me throw a pity party for me type of music that has become so popular as of
late. As a band our main goal is to provoke thought and shed light on subjects that are often ignored.
There has been a major trend toward suppression of free thought as of late. We are hoping to
counterbalance this to a point where free thought expression is no longer just an idea, but has
manifested itself into something tangible that we can all relate to.
AR: Would you ever consider changing your music to more mainstream to gain more popularity?
V.O.A.: As a band we are constantly progressing, if you listen to our full-length it sounds completely
different than our EP. If you listen to the EP to our newer material we have again progressed toward
something. Also Steve joined the Band in January, since we are a three-piece this is a big change in our
song writing and structuring of songs. I think progression of a band is natural and needs to keep
happening in order to keep the band healthy and alive. However, I would never change our sound
because a record company or so forth wanted me to. We do this because we have fun on stage, if we
didn't play music that we wanted to that made us happy to play what would be the point.
AR: Where would you like to see the band at 5 years from now?
V.O.A.: We are primarily a live band; this is where we shine. I would love to take VOA beyond North America
by this time and not only hit Europe but be able to play across the globe.
Since the band started in 2003, they’ve released four albums and toured up and down the East Coast
and throughout the Midwest. They tour often as possible because they “live to gig.” Currently the band
is searching for a new drummer to join them, so all you talented drummers in the Chicago area check
the band out on MYSPACE or their official website for additional information
Absolute Punk review
to sway my opinion one way or the other. But in all honesty, most of the time there’s really not much of a
point in doing so; most of the time it is easy to form a somewhat accurate opinion on a band the moment
the first track ends. There is, however, the rare band that takes some time getting used to but will nonetheless
grow to be a personal favorite. Voice of Addiction are not one of those bands. If I had decided to write this
review after listening to just one minute of the first track, the resulting review really would not differ all that
much. This is important to note, as it plays into my overall enjoyment of the album.
When Ian Tomele’s vocals hit, the instant comparison my mind drew was to Tom Gabel of Against Me! fame.
However, Tomele’s voice is just distinctive enough the two would never be confused with one another. And
really, the exact same thing could be said about the folk-punk vibe of their music. I’m not just being lazy, I
promise. The key differences between the two appear to be that Voice of Addiction seem to enjoy playing
around on their instruments quite a bit, as well as adding a bit of a reggae influence to the mix. Personally,
I’m all for blending genres as much as possible as long as it is done in such a way that the transition is
seamless - and for the most part, Voice of Addiction pull it off.
Ian on Gearwire
Rob on Gearwire
Warwick Thumb NT Bass And Ampeg SVT-4 PRO: Sometimes You Need 1600 Watts Bridged
May 15, 2008
Voice of Addictions' vocalist and bassist, Ian Tomele, talks about his Warwick Thumb NT Bass and his Ampeg SVT-4 PRO. His SVT-4 PRO has been running strong as an ox for over a decade.
To obtain the sound he wants, Ian Tomele of Voice of Addiction has the gear he needs. He plays a Warwick Thumb NT Bass through an Ampeg SVT-4 PRO, and both pieces of gear have done him right.
Ian talks about what makes his bass and amp so great and breaks the disheartening news to most bassists that size does matter when it comes to transistors.
Visit Voice of Addiction's official MySpace for more information
Presenter: Patrick Ogle and Gretchen Hasse, Gearwire
Recording to Tape
Pork Pie Pig Light Drums: Rob Mann Is Addicted To Acrylic
May 14, 2008
Rob Mann of Chicago's Voice of Addiction shows us a set we don't see too often: Pork Pie Pig Light acrylic drums. Rob talks about the benefits of this set and shows us an old hi-hat that has withstood 14 years of punishment.
We talk to Rob Mann, the heavy-hitting drummer for Chicago's Voice of Addiction about thedrums he punishes. They're made by a manufacturer called Pork Pie and Rob plays the Pig Light series of acrylic drums.
Rob believes that the character of not only his gear, but all of Voice of Addiction's gear helps act as the glue to their sound -- keeping one aspect uniform even when the feel of the music itself changes.
Visit Pork Pie Drums' official website or Voice of Addiction's official website for more information
Presenter: Patrick Ogle and Gretchen Hasse, Gearwire
Ian Talks Recording
Voice Of Addiction On Recording To Tape
May 30, 2008
We tape the members of Voice of Addiction talking about recording on tape at Engine Studios. With the intent to create an album that sounded as big and as warm as three musicians could make it, recording to tape, analog emulation, and Engine's extremely large live room were all very helpful factors in achieving this goal.
Visit Voice of Addiction's official website for more information
Presenter: Patrick Ogle and Gretchen Hasse, Gearwire
Location: Chicago, IL
J. Irving-Giles is a writer / editor for Gearwire
Voice Of Addiction's Ian Tomele Talks Recording
May 30, 2008
Voice of Addiction's bassist / singer Ian Tomele talks to us about the process of recording in studio. Ian stresses the importance of being able to see his bandmates while playing together as well as the importance of ensuring that the source audio sounds good enough to warrant minimal tweaking in post.
It was the latter that gave Voice of Addiction more time to record more songs at Chicago's reputable Engine Studios.
Visit Voice Of Addiction's official MySpace for more information
Presenter: Gretchen Hasse and Patrick Ogle, Gearwire
Location: Chicago, IL
J. Irving-Giles is a writer / editor for Gearwire
Loosey Lucy's interview
What motivated you to become a band and how did you get started?
We have all three been in many bands previous to Voice Of Addiction. Jeff and I had been playing together in
bands since we were 13. He moved to Chicago 2 years prior to me and ended up randomly having Rob as
one of his roommates in the Columbia dorms. When I decided to move to Chicago they were over the dorms
and six of us got a house in one of the neighborhoods. This was the first time I had met Rob, and it was as a
roommate. We lived together for 3 1/2 years but V.O.A. wasn't officially formed till a couple years after I moved
to Chicago. Rob was our first and also is our present drummer, with 3 others attempting to replace him in our
intermission. We have reached our pinnacle and have come full circle with the new album "Re-evolution." With
Rob's return on drums and our reunion also with producer Scott Fritz, this proves to be the best release to date.
We all lived, breathed, drank, and evolved together before we even were a band. It's that connection which
enables us to keep
pushing, and striving for the next horizon.
Tell us a little bit about your music.
There is definitely three different personalities at work here. We all grew up in different music genre schools.
I was always into the punk rock and hardcore scene, Rob grew up on metal, while Jeff was a little crunchier.
When we started playing together as a band we were all over the place. If you were lucky enough to grab our
first full-length(which is no longer offered except by special request) it doesn't even sound like the same band
from song to song. But hey, we were all in college, just having fun and playing what we wanted. It was over the
next two EP's (while on hiatus with Rob) that we developed our current sound. It wasn't until we needed a
drummer to fill in that we asked Rob to help us out, and heard what we were missing. He plays his kit harder
then most anyone, and this drove our style a notch further on the new record. We decided to center this record
on him, start at the basement and work up much like a house. I have a big ska and old school punk influence
in my bass lines. Jeff has the wailing, distorted rock tone on his guitar. I have always been a big believer that if
someone is listening to you you should have something worth-while to say. I try to bring up political and social
issues, while still remaining broad enough for it to be felt by the greatest number of people.
There are mixed feelings within the music industry about new Internet technologies. How do you see the
future of the music industry? How do you see these technologies affecting your music?
I am assuming that your mainly talking about being to download music from online, instead of heading to your
local record shop. I have to admit, I used to love rummaging through piles of albums, looking for that piece of
gold that someone hasn't seen yet. A lot of smaller record stores are struggling these days if not already out of
business because of this. I think they will always exist, but as larger corporate record stores move in, it gets
even harder for the little guy. Now the question comes up of people sharing music and such online. A lot of
bands are against this but I differ. We personally put everything onlline ourselves for free download. This hasn't
hurt us at all. People tend to appreciate the gesture. As long as you include some great artwork and cool
packaging people still buy the cds. (look at radiohead recently as a great example) Also if you are like me, you
would prefer the cd quality over the lossy mp3's that are thrown around everywhere. I use the mp3 as a preview
for if I want to purchase their album. I have also noticed when you offer the songs for free, people are more apt
to purchase other merchandise, and all that does is help you promote your band with people putting stickers
on their car, wearing your shirts, patches, buttons etc. The internet is revolutionizing the music industry, but the
grassroots will always remain, especially at live shows. The only people this really effects is bands that don't
play out a lot, and the ones at the top of the food chain in the music industry.
What is one positive thing and one negative thing you have learned about the music business through your
As with most musicians I think, the negative just seems to keep piling up while little light is seen. The music
business is an unfortunate neccessity though and must be understood and used in order to be successful. I will
be the first to admit how daunting this can be. I new nothing about music business a few years ago, but with
perseverance have managed to learn enough and stay afloat. So one negative thing is it is a business, which has
nothing to do with creativity. One positive is you actually can achieve some of your goals by working with the right
people, and relationships can actually be made, kept and evolve through the right avenues.
What advice can you give to other musicians who are trying to make a career of music?
The best advice is just to believe in yourself and not to give up. Noone is going to take you seriously or your music
until you do. Voice Of Addiction is a D!i!Y! band and in fact, every group I have been a part of has been. There is
literally millions of bands out there, and hard work and good music combined is what will make you carve out your
niche in the masses. Know your audience and cater to them. If you want to make t shirts and can't afford to make
them, do it yourself! want to make an album but don't have a label backing you, do it yourself. Figure out what it is
you want to do, and then quit talking about doing it. Devise a step by step plan of attack and get to it!
Taking a closer look at Chicago’s local bands
By Tiffany Breyne
Assistant A&E Editor
Punk and ska have always been the defiant genres of the music scene, from the energy of the music to the dance
moves to the misfit attitude. The members of Voice of Addiction—Ian Tomele on bass and vocals, Jeff Walschon
on guitar and back-up vocals, and Steve Gregg on drums—have always had that bold incompliance in their music,
but have only had their name and ska-rock style since 2003. While all three members hail from Ohio, Gregg didn’t
join Tomele and Walschon until after they had moved to the Chicago. Voice of Addiction use their bitter and
sometwhat heavy-rock energy to convey their distaste of the media’s talking heads and today’s politicians into the
local music scene. Through e-mail, Tomele gave The Chronicle his views on the city’s shows and the issues he
The Chronicle: How has Voice of Addiction transformed over the years?
Tomele: It was so all over the place in different genres that it left audiences confused. We [would be] growing
toward something else and decide to write all new material. We went through three different drummers
[in a year]. With each [drummer] we played a couple shows after they learned the songs, but it never worked out.
In December of last year we recorded an EP simply titled EP 2005. We wanted to do this very raw in just a few takes
with a lot of emotion. It wasn’t until mid-January of this year that we were complete with Gregg on drums. It’s funny
it took another Ohio kid—he is from Youngstown [and] we are from Cleveland—to really fit with us.
The Chronicle: How did you guys get into making political music?
Tomele: Even though at the outset we played all different styles of music, we were always primarily a political band.
I have always been interested in educating myself with the world we live in and encourage everyone to try and do the
same. It became apparent to me early on that not everybody had the same advantages and/or disadvantages
growing up and throughout their daily lives. I have been a self-proclaimed Anarchist and active in the DIY community
for years and plan on continuing to do so. I am a firm believer that the only way true change can come about is through
cooperation and working together. I guess singing about these things just kind of happened to me; nearly every band
I have been in has been political in nature. In retrospect I guess I thought that if people were listening to what you
were saying you should say something more meaningful than the lyrics I usually hear.
Chronicle: What are some issues you’re concerned with now?
Tomele: Foreign relations; I sing a lot about the ever-widening gap between the classes, the digital divide, the
exploitation of the poor and third world countries, the farce of democracy, the hypocrisy of our leaders and the
problems with our media.
Chronicle: Do you think enough bands nowadays use their music to promote important issues?
Tomele: I think that there are quite a lot of bands that do this—not enough though. And it gets very tricky for these
bands to get their message out to the masses. When you look at all the money and resources that the government
has to promote propaganda compared to what these bands, writers, speakers, etc. have at their exposure, the
difference is absurd.
Chronicle: How does performing in Chicago compare to other cities, if at all?
Tomele: Chicago is different in a lot of aspects. First of all, shows start so early here. I was not prepared for that.
Also in the city there [are] virtually no all-ages shows. I would have to say that my favorite place to play and/or see a
show is at Subterranean, [but] I also like the Note, Double Door, Empty Bottle, Beat Kitchen [and the] Logan Square
Boheme Verite Mag
Pats in the Flats show
Backup Vocals) and Steve Gregg (Drums), they are a politically-motivated group with an excellent stage presence
and unmatched ability to sound excellent, regardless of the restrictions placed on them by the equipment at the
venue they are playing at. They have a habit of giving out free CDs at their shows, but you had best grab one early,
they tend to disapear once the band hits the stage.
Check out a few of the pics I grabbed at tonight's show!
Click on the pic below to see the photos taken at this show