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http://www.xpigx.com | Vasely Sapunov

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Live Photography by: Crawford Photography.

This week has been pretty amazing. Two monumental events took place that I will never forget. As you may have read, last year was one of the most incredible years of my life in a lot of areas, especially with my band and my fitness journey so it has been great to enter into 2014 and see the fruits of last year’s labour over the past weeks.

Our brand new album ‘The Urgency’ was released on January 21 to an overwhelming response. We hoped that it would make the Official New Zealand Music Charts after our single ‘Ablaze’ debuted in the Top 20 in December, but we never imagined that it would hit Number #3 in the first week right alongside multi-platinum selling giants Lorde and Sole Mio. It was truly mind blowing to see that result after the album only being out for 3 days and to be able to make history as the first New Zealand hardcore band to have a top selling record in the mainstream charts. 

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So it’s been six weeks since the start of the year and this is my first post for 2014…

Life has just been so incredibly busy, and despite my intentions of writing on a weekly basis, the release of my band’s new record and the marketing and touring to support it have absolutely consumed me. More on that later.

Last night I was asked by Blacklistt vocalist Damian Alexander to come and shoot stills as well as some footage for a brand new music video as they headlined the Jim Beam Rock Stage at one of New Zealand’s biggest summer festivals Homegrown.

I had a great time catching up with the dudes and I was stoked to be able to make it out at short notice to capture some footage and get some shots.

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2013 has been a year of immense blessing. More so than any other year. I would go as far as to say that it has been one of the most successful years of my life to date.

I stopped making resolutions years ago, when I realised that they are mostly a waste of time and are a great way to make yourself feel like shite a few short weeks after the start of January.

As the year draws to a close I am so thankful for everything that the Lord has blessed me with. Fresh starts, new opportunities, new adventures and new victories.

If I was to make a list of goals and resolutions for the year gone by at the end of 2012, I don’t believe that I would have ever imagined that I would accomplishing even half, let alone all of the incredible things that I have managed to do this year.

Instead of resolutions and daydreams I made plans and goals and I worked hard to achieve them.

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As the year’s end quickly approaches, countless magazines, radio stations, critics and blogs are publishing their Top 5s and Top 10s lists of this year’s best releases. An exercise that I find far too difficult to undertake with 100% honesty and integrity.

Instead, I thought I would write about my top 5 musical discoveries of the year. Bands I have fallen in love with, and records that have shaped the soundtrack to the year gone by.

In no particular order they are:

1. OUTSIDERS CODE

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To say that I hardly ever get excited about modern hardcore these days is a gross understatement. It takes something really special to grab my attention and to force me to listen to a modern band over the classics, however the minute I heard ‘Exiled From Birth’ by Outsiders Code, I knew that this would be the hardest record of the year. It was only after a couple of months of thrashing this record on my iPhone during my runs through Wellington that I actually realised that these dudes were from Australia and featured Baina from Her Nightmare, Samsara and 50 Lions. Check this band out of you like your hardcore hard as nails. This record reminds me of a mixture of old Death Before Dishonor mixed with the self-titled 100 Demons album… heavy as balls.

For Fans Of: Death Before Dishonor, Her Nightmare & 100 Demons.
Hear ‘Exiled From Birth’ here on Spotify.

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Today my love Hells and I got matching tattoos to celebrate our recent six year anniversary.

We wanted to get two cute fat birds cuddling with the lyrics from our favourite song.

You know how every couple has their song ? Well, this is definitely our song… we both absolutely love Talking Heads and ‘This Must Be The Place’ or Naive Melody is the soundtrack to our life together.

Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place


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The tattoos were done by our good friend Caleb at The Writers Case in Stokes Valley, which in my humble opinion is easily the most unique and beautiful little tattoo parlour in New Zealand. 

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Name: Vasely Sapunov

Age: 28

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Status: Married

Industry: Telecommunications, Entertainment & Digital Creative

My Life: Lover of Jesus, Husband of xhelensarahx, Guitarist of Saving Grace on Facedown Records, Metal, Hardcore, Hip Hop, Tattoos, Schecter Guitars, 5150s, 59Fiftys, The Straight Edge, Black Coffee & Apple Mac

My Work:

Vodafone New Zealand (BRM)
ODR Productions (Agent)
Swine Design (Owner)
Deadboy Records (Co-Owner)

Hangs out at: www.xpigx.com