**Interviews By Emillie Marvel unless otherwise noted.
|Posted by punk-nation on April 15, 2014 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Because having a kick ass band wasn't enough, Ryan Gose of This Century started Stop Dead. The one man rock band has been raising the bar on music since 2012, and with his latest release Dirt & Dust he lifts it even higher. Enlisting the help of some long time friends along the way (Alex Silverman, Eric Halvorsen), Gose ended up putting out one of the best releases of the year. If it wasn't proven before, it certainly is now: Stop Dead is a force to be reckoned with. Recently, we chatted with Gose about Stop Dead, This Century and his hometown. Check out our conversation below!
How did Stop Dead start?
I was looking for another creative outlet and had been writing a lot for myself. I showed some friends and one of my managers and he motivated me to put a release together.
How does your experience in This Century play into Stop Dead?
I have learned a lot about being in a band and being part of the music industry while in This Century. I have also grown as a writer in that experience. So I guess I have a slightly elevated understanding of what I'm doing now due to This Century.
Could you ever see a This Century/Stop Dead tour happening, although you’d have to play double sets?
It hasn't been something I've considered but you never know! As of now I think stylistically it wouldn't be the best fit. Although I think it would be a blast!
The music you’re making is very one-of-a-kind, where do you find the inspiration for it?
I'm glad you think so! A lot of my inspiration is drawn from my personal emotions or how I feel on a particular day. Mostly though my inspiration is from artists that influence me. I'm a huge fan of bands like Spoon, Phoenix, The Killers, The Strokes, Arcade Fire etc. I'm not really sure how much it reflects in my song writing but it’s when I'm jamming those records that I am most inspired.
You’re from Phoenix - Does the city/music scene have any affect on your music?
Somewhat. A lot of my friends are musicians and I feel we have many shared influences. As far as the local scene goes I haven't been involved much as of late. I plan to change that.
Say we were to take a peek into your personal music collection - What’s the most unexpected thing we would find there?
I'm not so sure that an unexpected record would be found! I know that's boring but probably the most stand out record would be James Taylor…and let's face it, that's not very "stand out". I don't really have any guilty pleasures that come to mind. I do have classical & jazz records...
You’re on your third EP - So what’s next?
I'm currently on the road but as soon as I get home I plan to start rehearsing and playing shows. Also more writing and recording.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Check out my recently released EP, Dirt & Dust! I had a great time making it and am very thankful to all who decide to listen.
|Posted by punk-nation on April 8, 2014 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
Since 2010, Dorydrive have been crafting a master blend of rock, alternative and pop that infects music listeners everywhere, causing the band to quickly rank high on your list of favorite bands. With their latest release, Here's To You, no exceptions are made. Catchy, interesting and ultimately great all the way through, the album leaves you wondering exactly how long it will be until you take it off constant rotation. We estimate somewhere around two years. But before you get hopelessly addicted to your summer anthem album, check out what vocalist Mathieu Nevitt had to say when we questioned him about the best Dorydrive show, touring and what
Tell us about the best show Dorydrive has played so far.
We have played a lot of killer shows! Personally for me it would have to be playing the Peoria Civic Center for the victims of a massive tornado that leveled communities surrounding my home town! Not only did we perform in the venue I grew up dreaming to perform in, but we were able to help many in need!
You’re currently on a tour spanning from January to March - What keeps you sane when you’re on the road for so long?
Our friendship is key! Every member in the band is like a brother. We have been through some of the worst experiences one could imagine. At the end of the day we are all left with a smile sucking down a couple "ice cold coldies". Family is also key! There is nothing better than hearing from a loved one. Knowing that you are missed and that they support you!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen/done when on tour?
Well the obvious statement would be a landmark or natural wonder while traveling this amazing country! Rather than sounding like a travel guide, I'd like to share a story about a band, a hawk, and a snake! Three things that just don't belong. Driving down highway 4 in Illinois, we encountered this rare phenomenon. It is read in Mexican folklore that seeing a snake in the talons of a hawk will bring good luck. Well how about a hawk soaring, swooping down to capture its prey. As we glance to watch the chain of events the hawk snatches a large snake and begins to ascend into the air! Unfortunately for the hawk and the snake we were driving into their path! What I remember next was the snake being thrown onto the windshield and a loud thud! The hawk had tried to release the snake to miss us and ended up as a hood ornament! Either this will being us a tremendous amount of luck or..... Well.
What was behind the decision to release “Here’s To You” as the first single from your upcoming album?
We had a handful of strong singles to begin this push. After deliberation with our label, management, and our promotions teams it was agreed that "Here's To You" would lead the charge. We were told that the content of the song was strong for active rock radio although our sound is far from today's active rock standard. We believe our single can be a refreshing change to any rock rotation. We have had a lot of enjoyment watching the song start to move on the charts!
What was your biggest goal with the new album when you started to work on it?
To be heard! To build the right team to support the launch of our album. To saturate radio and the rock market providing today's top music!
What’s your favorite artist/band to listen to while on the road?
We listen to everything. While I do 90% of the driving I have control of the song selections a majority of the time. I like listening to the Alter Bridge Pandora station, and dabble in the Pop and Country stations on iTunes Radio!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have found that over the past 8 years one of the most important factors in beginning your day positive is to find the right bathroom! This is something most people take for granted, but being on the road it's a comfortable amenity to start your day right.
What’s next for Dorydrive?
We will continue touring relentless! We plan on following not only "Here's To You" as a single, but many to come!
|Posted by punk-nation on April 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Johnny Wore Black, AKA Jay Cohen, isn't only a talented musician - he's also highly regarded producer and songwriter. While he's certainly seen a lot of success throughout his career in the music industry, he shows no signs of slowing down. The release of Walking Underwater: Part 1 is just the beginning of what's to be a busy year with another album release, performances and plenty of promotion on the schedule. Check out our conversation with the living legend below, then grab a copy of his new album. It's a buy you won't regret!
You’re both an artist and a producer. How do the two roles play into each other?
The creative process is circular from my perspective. Maybe there is a Buddhist adage about never arriving but what I mean is when I write, a song may start on restaurant napkin written in lipstick (not mine) but my mind is hearing sounds, vocal effects, guitar chords and even directing the music video. I admire those that have the amazing ability to focus on one aspect of a creative project but for me, but I'm a Jay-of-all-trades when it comes to song writing.
Why did you choose to go under the moniker Johnny Wore Black?
My name is Johnny, though I shorten to Jay, thats what my dad called me. I like Johnny Cash, a story teller with integrity in his writing and delivery. He wore black to identify with those less fortunate and I remember the black suit I wore at my fathers funeral when I was seventeen.
What’s your earliest memory involving music?
Well I sang a song in a school show and played an old Spanish guitar. I think song was 'Act Naturally' by The Beatles 'there gonna put me in the movies...'. When I was fifteen, for my birthday my pop paid for me to have a day in a recording studio to 'professionally' record two of my songs. One was called 'See You Again and the other was 'Tell you', not the most imaginative titles haha. A few months later I got the same again for Christmas and recorded 'Electric Love' and 'Pirates of Love'...what was I thinking!
What were you aiming to create when you started work on ‘Walking Underwater?
Walking Underwater, which will now have a Part 1 and Part 2 is a collection of songs that needed a vehicle to complete them. Exorcising some old demons, s exactly what Walking Underwater is about. But like all music, for each their own.
What’s your personal favorite song from the collection?
Wow, tough to make that comment about my own songs, but I would probably say "All The Rage".
What’s next for Johnny Wore Black?
The immediate plan is full steam ahead on the album promotion. Next will be making a video to accompany the first single, planning the second album for end of this year and getting some select performances too...phew!
|Posted by punk-nation on April 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
London, UK’s Subset are one of the most hard-working bands you will ever meet. With their own brand of loud fuzz rock, they’re ready to set off on their first European tour and take over. Their eighth release, Loverdose, is the new soundtrack to the underground, brutally honest and fast-paced. And they’re not stopping for breath, already writing for their next album. Recently, we caught up with lead singer Romaine Daste to talk about their latest album, life on the road, and doing it all on their own. Check it out below!
What was your favourite part of recording Loverdose?
The drums; we did several takes at different speeds and picked our favourites. Also the vocals; there were some very emotional moments on some of the scream takes. For instance, the last long scream on the song 'Carnage' was done in only one take.
Give us a brief history of the band.
We have toured four times across the UK. Done it from the bottom: pubs, squats, on the street, shopping centres, you name it. Started from nothing, used public transport for touring, starting to use a van only recently. We have put out 8 releases with almost no media coverage and now we’re finally getting noticed after playing abroad and in better venues. 2014 brings our first European tour. We are very excited.
Where do you get your inspiration for writing songs?
From our friends' and fans' stories, experiences, dreams, frustrations and the real world in which we live. We talk about being heartbroken, euphoria, drugs, Sunday morning hangovers, exuberance, despair, swinging self-esteem, strengths and hopes, the environment, social unrest, and passion.
What’s the story behind the Loverdose album cover?
There is no story. We simply liked it for the shapes, colors and the mood. A friend of ours is a painter and photographer - we talked about the cover for a while, and he made what we wanted to talk about in the album.
Do you think being a multinational band helps when touring Europe?
The only thing that helps is working hard for it - being patient, helping other bands so they can help us go as far as we want to, being considerate, determined, focused, and realistic.
Your next European tour was mostly funded by fans. Do you think it’s important to keep the DIY ethos of your band?
Yes. We hope we can show we can be trusted by how hard we are working. We are honest and genuine, straightforward, and down to earth. We know it takes time for people to believe in this, especially with everything they see online and on TV everyday. We are patient and simply doing this every day as best as we can.
Describe your typical touring routine.
First the hangover, dryness in the mouth, often waking up in yesterday's clothes. It takes some time to understand where you are when you open your eyes. Then you wake everybody up (or you get woken up - the guys always love making fun of me on that hehe), find some kind of coffee or tea asap, then we gather all the equipment and move things to the van, or from the van, depending on the plan. That part always takes ages. Then we hit the road, turn the radio on, listen to the news, answer text messages, keep an eye on the GPS, find a place to park (that takes ages too). Unload the van, fix what’s broken or replace what's lost. Often you have to do all of this in the rain. It's always easier when it's good weather. When it rains you can feel miserable but the team's mood always lights up once we're on the motorway. When there is snow, everybody freaks out about delays and queues and you have to call promoters, touring bands and photographers in a panic, just to reschedule everything. Then you set up for the sound check. I spend more time on vocals and warming up but we don't always have time. Then we prep the venue, open the door, manage the door, sell tickets, shake hands. We try to take pictures when people ask us, but often we have to run in all directions at once, so it's always tough to regroup and get everybody in one shot. Sometimes I also have to do the cloakroom if we can’t afford to pay someone to do it. Then we get on stage, play, jump, mosh, rage, scream, and dance. It's a full life in your head for about 30 minutes. Then off stage, watch and support the band after us, shake more hands, sell merch hoping it will cover petrol costs, clean the venue and move all the equipment. Once all this is done we usually start drinking. Someone stays sober to drive us off, and we usually end up at a friends house where we all sleep in the living room. Five minutes before we all fall asleep, we talk to each other about the show. Then we pass out. Day done.
What’s next for Subset?
European tour for 2014 - mainly, five countries. It's a huge project. Then it’s back home, a few more local shows and the release of our next album.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. I'd like to say thanks to Alex and Punk Nation for interviewing us and also thanks to the Welcome Home motorway petrol station for installing wifi and selling chicken pasties even in the middle of the night; that’s saved our lives several times. Also a big thank you to whoever is reading this and think we are decent people. It's hard work.
|Posted by punk-nation on March 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
New York City's The Silverwings have seen a few line-up changes since their formation in 2009, but it hasn't slowed them down. The band are currently putting out an epic combination of alternative and rock, with blues ethos and hints of punk rock scattered throughout each song. As if that doesn't make the band interesting enough, the love they have for making music screams through in every word of the below interview. This is the kind of band that sticks around for a long time. But don't take our word for it - Check out their answers to our questions, and pick up their EP here. You won't be disappointed.
Tell us about the first show The Silverwings ever played.
The first show The Silverwings played happened in November of 2009 before I joined the band in May of 2010. After practicing and writing some new songs, the first show we played was at a elementary school in Bayside, NY. It was pretty small show, more like a coffeehouse, but we played at a pretty loud volume and we weren't allowed to play with the full band there many times after that. It was nerve-wracking for me as it was my first time playing live in around 3 or 4 years, but it was fun.
You draw inspiration from music all across the board, but which album has had the most influence on you personally?
It's tough to say. As a kid, Marcy Playground, Green Day, Nirvana, and blink-182 were all things I was listening to regularly from my older siblings. I "rediscovered" a lot of thise 90's alt-bands when I started playing music. The records of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake were also albums I completely loved. Neutral Milk Hotel, too. Later on, classic rock, indie rock, blues, and country were great to listen to--it all contributes. Even things like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or Alexander Bashlachev--they sing in different languages, but they're still communicating a heart and soul via music. It transcends borders, languages, cultures, time periods. If I had to pick one record, it'd probably be Nirvana's Nevermind. That record influenced who knows how many people to pick up instruments and start to play. It was a game-changer in a lot of ways. Nirvana proved that you didn't need to be a Segovia or a Yngwie to write and play music and connect with an audience.
You’ve mentioned you’re always writing new material with new influences, and that you’ve begun to incorporate a Middle Eastern feel into your songs. What should fans expect from your music from this point forward?
Originally, we kind of categorized ourselves as a blues-rock alternative band. Labels are rarely ever completely accurate, and they tend to pigeon-hole bands. If you say blues-rock, people might think Hendrix or Zeppelin. It would be incredibly difficult to live up to that label, and I think we're living in a time where the death of the album might be nigh, especially when singles sell so well on iTunes, have millions of views and are monetized on YouTube, and things like that. The best thing a band could do is play the music they want to hear. I think we each bring a variety of influences to the table. We all have pretty eclectic tastes in music, so what we each ultimately add to the songs can move them in a variety of directions. I think just a kind of manic, ever-changing energy would be a good expectation. We just really enjoy playing the music that we write in whatever form it comes.
What’s the best memory you have from being in The Silverwings so far?
Our second show after I joined the band was a pretty large bill at The Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre, NY. The headliner was Allister. They were on tour with STAY at the time, and just having the opportunity to play with a band that has had success and were cool guys was just a really nice experience. A lot of bands go out of their way to support each other, and that's what music really needs. It's a community. Aside from that, playing a show is always an enjoyable experience.
If you could choose any band in the world to play a show with this weekend, who would it be?
Hm...tough call. I might come out of left-field on this one and say Eyedea and Abilities. A really interesting rapper (Eyedea) and turntablist (DJ Abilities). Eyedea incorporated some elements of philosophy into his music--just really interesting stuff. I've been listening to them a lot lately.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Nothing in particular. I always double-check my tuning, get everything together, and maybe do a scale run or two. That's about it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just a thanks to you guys for promoting music and to everyone that listens. Whether you go to your local shows or check out bands on SoundCloud, Facebook or YouTube, it's all immensely appreciated by bands.
What’s next for The Silverwings?
We're currently working on a new 7-song EP. We just released three tracks from it on our SoundCloud, and we're hoping to finish it up over the coming months. Besides that, we're just continuing to play shows and refining our sound and material.
|Posted by punk-nation on March 11, 2014 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Today, we're getting to know a man who needs no introduction... But we'll give him one anyway. If you've ever caught a date of the Vans Warped Tour, Rockstar Mayhem Festival, or a number of other legendary tours, you have him to thank. We present to you one of the leading players in the music industry, tour producer extraordinaire and genuine music fan, Kevin Lyman! Somewhere between putting together the upcoming Rockstar Mayhem Festival and gearing up to kick off the 20th Vans Warped Tour, Lyman took some time to chat with us about his many projects, which bands to watch for on this year's Warped Tour and much more! You can check out the conversation below.
We should should start at the beginning. I was reading an interview you did, and you said you started out booking shows, but what planted the seed to get you there?
I was working on shows in college and learning about live music. I was always doing things in school. I started booking shows through my skii club because we were doing parties, so I learned how to book bands. Kind of like... mostly doing other things, but it was a great way to learn how to book bands. Then I went into the production direction. After college I didn’t really start booking bands again until Warped Tour.
What was the first band you booked for Warped tour?
First band I booked for Warped Tour? Sublime.
Really? That’s awesome.
Sublime and Quicksand, probably.
So you just kind of fell into it.
Did you ever consider being in a band yourself?
No. I’m a horrible musician. So I realized, that if I was such a horrible musician I needed to either learn how to work in the business or learn how to talk on the phone, and I learned how to run shows. That allows me to be around something I love.
Now here you are, twenty years of Warped Tour.
I’ve almost been doing it 34 years or so now.
You’ve created something so huge, and something that helps so many people. Where do you think the Warped tour will be twenty years from now?
I don’t know. I won’t be around, probably. But maybe the Warped tour will be, it’d be cool if it is. You guys will take it over, you guys will run it for me.
I’m sure it will be, it’s like a whole season now.
Yeah, we work year round on it. I think that’s kind of cool. We may be only coming through your city for one day, but being involved in it in the community you find stuff in common, maybe through the Warped Tour, that you carry with you year round.
So, what band do you think people should watch for on the Warped tour this year?
Well, I think that this is the year that the Bad Rabbits are gonna break out. They weren’t well known, but now they’re much more organized as a band. I think people are gonna be blown away by them. People are very excited about Neck Deep. We had them over in Europe and they played on the Warped Tour over there and they did great. This Wild Life’s gonna do great. Front Porch Step’s gonna be cool. It’s a good line-up.
You work on a lot of other tours too.
Yeah, we have the Mayhem festival. Which the whole line-up got leaked today, somebody got ahold of the poster and put it online.
That’s cool, that you keep your schedule well rounded.
Yeah. I’m getting ready to go down to SXSW next weekend and listen to good music, I hope.
And you worked on the ‘O’Brother Where Art Thou?’ tour, to bring that soundtrack to life.
That was amazing, that was really a great time in my life.
Are there any other soundtracks you’d like to see come to life on tour?
I don’t know. I think that one was so good because it was that movie that made you think about history. It was kind of a feel good movie, with good undertones and amazing talent. Special, special tour. We haven’t had a great soundtrack lately, I don’t think. [We’ve] had great songs, like U2 did an amazing song for a movie this year, but not really a soundtrack.
Usually it’s just like picking and choosing a few good songs.
Yeah, Pharrell’s “Happy” was awesome. That was a great song.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve overcome in your career in the music industry?
I think it’s that biggest thing in life, thinking that everyone’s gonna like you, you know? And I think a lot of times I was doing things to make people like me. As I young kid I was probably unsure of myself. I was comfortable in my own way, but I didn’t really fit it. I wasn’t hanging out with the jocks, I wasn’t hanging out with "this" crew. I was kind of floating around, trying to find my way. It’s hard because we want to be liked, but then you realize in business sometimes people aren’t going to like you. But you know what? Overall, I think people respect me. Some people may not like Kevin Lyman, but I think they’re going to give me the respect I’m worth. Like, “Shit, he’s done it his own way for this long.”
And respect is much more important, in the end.
And integrity. Like, ending whatever you do in life with integrity. I won’t end up with as much money as a lot of people around me, but I’ve done alright. I make a nice living, I put my kids through school.
And able to keep your own values through it all too.
Yeah, hang out and barbeque with friends. Things like that.
You’ve done a really great job with the Warped tour, with incorporating a lot of different sounds. You notice when people listen to The Neighbourhood, they don’t so much like bands like Neck Deep.
If you go back to the first line up, it was eclectic. Then it kind of got known as this punk rock tour, but there was always the undertone. When you look back, you know, Jurassic 5 was out there, Black Eyed Peas.
Even now, you’ve got such a great variety, which is something I always love.
When someone goes “I only like one band on the Warped tour line-up,” you know, come on, really? Or “There’s not enough hardcore bands.” Well, there’s eight or nine of ‘em, you can run yourself into a big sweaty mess if you want. You know I don’t appeal to the hardest hardcore kids. I appeal to general music lovers. And I think, if you look at the festivals you’ll probably go to when you get that opportunity, you’ll go to Lollapalooza and you’ll go to Coachella and you’ll go to Bonnaroo, and those line-ups are pretty eclectic when you look at them. And that’s what Warped tour is. It’s always been eclectic, and that’s why I’m really proud when I see things where it says Warped tour’s the most eclectic line-up out there.
People try to separate things like this into genres so much, it’s really great to see [what you’re doing].
Yeah, and that’s a 10% niche. There’s gonna be 10% the of kids that want to go to only dirty punk bands, or that whole La Dispute crap. “I only like La Dispute and Basement, dah dah dah.” Well that’s you, okay, that’s cool. But you know what? 90% of the other people might like La Dispute, but they might also like The Summer Set and they might also like Of Mice and Men. And that’s what Warped tour [is]. So ten percent of the hardest hardcore? Eh, Warped tour’s not for ‘em.
Gotta be able to listen to a lot of diverse bands.
If you look at this year’s line up, you could go see a different thing every half hour and never really see the same genre of music all day long, if you want to.
It keeps it interesting too.
Yeah! Everything stands out a little better.
And Warped Roadies is gaining a lot of recognition and success.
Yeah, well you know, Warped Roadies is interesting. We’re gonna have a call either today or tomorrow whether we’re gonna do season three. I think it’s interesting, it took me a long time to be willing to do something like that. But overall I think it’s been fun. I think it’s fun for you guys in Michigan, that on a snowy Wednesday night you can sit down, kick back and have some fond memories of the summer. You can personally relive Warped Tour almost. Like, “Ah man, I remember that day! I was there, I was up there getting sweaty.” It’s a real connection with a lot of you guys that are watching it. And that’s what it’s for. There’s no deep story there, you know? Yeah, Danny loves girls, big deal. Cool. Kenny’s like the crotchety old stage manager, but that’s okay, he’s kinda sweet too. But what it really is, it’s reminding you guys of what Warped Tour is and Warped Tour stands for.
You have, what seems on Warped Roadies, a really good crew setting this up. What goes into picking those people?
Well now these kind of lifetime people we’ve picked are people that have worked with bands or something we’ve seen out on the road, so we’re able to recognize. I look for people with good attitudes, usually little quirky characters. Putting a crew together, you just don’t want all the same type of people. That’s how we kind of do it. You get a gut feeling. And sometimes you make the wrong mistake, you know.
Yeah, you can tell who a person is, usually.
We’re out there working and doin’ what we do. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work. But we’re okay with it. You’ve gotta be willing to fail. That’s a big thing in life. People are so afraid to fail. But you know what? I’m okay with it. You only have a chance to fail if you try.
If we were to take a peek in your personal music collection, what would be the strangest thing we’d find?
The strangest thing you would find? I’m trying to think.. I’ll just open my iTunes account right here. I love Paolo Nutini. I mean, I’ve got all kinds of stuff. Just my “B”’s are… I’ve got Bad Rabbits, I’ve got Bad Religion, I’ve got Ballyhoo!... The Beautiful Girls… Beware Of Darkness, The BibleCode Sundays, Big D and The Kids Table, Billy Currington, Black [Eyed] Peas… Bobby Bare Jr.... Branches, Breathe Carolina… Brothers of Brazil.
And this is just the “B”’s.
Those are the “B”’s. So, you know, there’s everything, almost just in the “B”’s.
What was the first band you ever saw live?
Oh god, you know, I saw bands, but I don’t remember. I think it was Diana Ross and The Supremes, but I was like 6 years old. My first real concert was Van Morrison.
That’s awesome, a lot of bands with a lot of history.
Yeah. It was nice, you know? I love the live music experience.
|Posted by punk-nation on March 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
We love The Dollyrots. Like, a lot. The decade old band craft three minute masterpieces that could feel at home under pop, punk or rock classification. Fun, upbeat and lighthearted, only a few seconds into their latest effort, Barefoot and Pregnant, you'll find yourself dancing around your house - or at least bobbing your head furiously in your car. And if all this transpires just from listening to the album, we all know their live show is sure to be what legends are made of. You can get out there and be a part of that legend at one of their shows across Texas this spring, including a set at this year's SXSW festival. Grab your tickets, but first check out our interview with vocalist Kelly Ogden. We talk everything from Joan Jett to album production to DollyTot!
Tell us about the best show you ever played.
Ahhhh, that’s a tough one. I have lots of favorites. We played on Pier 54 with Joan Jett years ago… it was our first BIG show and I remember being terrified. My parent’s flew up from FL to see it and a bunch of my relatives came to see us too. There was lightning and rain and a random dog wandered onto the stage, but I remember kicking ass and thinking if I got struck by lightning right then I would be okay with it. Well aside [from] the fact that my family and the crowd would be horrified. Ha. It was one of the first times I felt like I could do this, that I was on the right path. Then I took a [picture] with my mom and Joan Jett. It was pretty sweet.
What's the best memory you have from the recording of Barefoot and Pregnant?
We decided to record as we were writing not knowing if what we were recording would be the final take and for that reason I think the album has a really carefree and confident air to it, especially the vocals. One of the songs was even recorded while I was laying in bed. I was dealing with some pretty terrible morning sickness and I figured it was just a demo so why not. Then we went to record it “for real” and I couldn’t re-create the feeling so the bed take stuck.
What song are you most excited for fans to hear from the album?
That’s tough. I could give the “Every song is so special in it’s own way. They’re like our children.” answer, but I’ll pick one… it’s not necessarily a single but it’s the one on the album that means the most to me. “Under the Same Sky.” It was one of the first songs we wrote after finding out I was pregnant and it’s a little love song to our baby River. We even recorded his heartbeat at an ultrasound and put it in the track. I honestly think fans are going to love the whole thing. It’s perfect.
You both helped produce the album and released it on your own label. What are the pros and cons of being so involved in that part of the production?
There are definitely pro’s and cons to the DIY way. When recording it leaves you open to a lot of second guesses, but it also gives you plenty of opportunities to be spontaneous and try things you would feel strange trying in a studio environment. At this point we’re both pretty good at making quick decisions and helping keep each other on track. The really tough part about doing it ourselves comes when it’s time to fulfill all the orders. That’s when our little packing elves have come in and help.
What's the best advice you've ever received on your career?
When we first met Joan Jett we were talking and she told me to practice my craft and not worry about what anyone else thought or said. It’s something we all know, but when one of your idols tells you you’re good enough it helps you believe it.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
What's next for The Dollyrots?
I just finished filming my parts for lyric videos… we’re releasing one for EVERY song on this album! They’ll be posted on our social networks and Youtube. And we have a lot of acoustic covers to record for our fans who pledged for them. AND we’re headed to SXSW for the 9th year! More tour announcements coming soon. We can’t wait.
|Posted by punk-nation on February 25, 2014 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
Last fall, we caught up with Lydia frontman Leighton Antelman at a stop of the band's tour with The Maine and Anberlin. We liked him so much, we knew we had to have him on again, and what better time than right before the band hits the road again on the Illuminate Tour? One of the most anticipated treks of the year, Lydia are about to make history in thirty cities across North America with special guests Golden Sun, Saint Motel and HRVRD. Before you head out to one of the shows (and you will), get to know Antelman a little better with our Q&A about Illuminate, his music collection and what's next for the band.
It's just always been such a fan favorite and an album that means so much to people we talk to at the shows. We knew it would make a whole lot of people really happy. Which is why we love going on the road in the first place. So it was kind of a no brainer, you know? We were just waiting for the right time to actually do it.
What’s your best memory from the creation of Illuminate?
Oh man, there's so many from that time period. It was our second record and we really hadn't made a name for ourselves yet. I guess there was a lot of uncertainty around the whole record. It was our first time working with Matt Malpass and our first time with big interests in the band. There were quite a few different label A&R guys coming in and out and we didn't really even know what the hell we were doing. Just trying to make our second record. Near the end of tracking though I think we all knew it could be a record to put the band on the map. To this day it blows my mind how many tattoo's are shown to us every single show.
What was your reaction when you heard the finished version of Illuminate for the first time?
Ha, I'm sure I probably called up Matt and told him about all the tiny little details that he needed fix. I tend to micro manage when it gets to the final mixes of an album.
Describe your typical touring routine.
I'd say...Wake up in a hotel room that looks pretty much exactly like the room you stayed in last night. Look at the clock on the dresser to see how long I have until I need to do things. Shower, drive some hours to the next venue. Then I try and walk around the city randomly for a bit while the stage is being wired/set up. This is when you can find some cool shit. Usually will try and get back to the venue whenever I wander that way again. Have a few drinks and head on stage. After the show I love talking to however many fans I can before the venue kicks them out. Then drive back to the hotel, whatever is going on there, and try and close my eyes for as many hours as time allows. Repeat.
If we were to look at your music collection, what would be the most unexpected thing we would find?
Hmm I'm not sure what people would "expect" me to listen to but maybe Zach Brown Band? Love that dude.
Illuminate also featured Mindy White as a vocalist. Do you have any plans to bring in a second vocalist for the tour?
We won't be bringing a female on the road for the tour. We've got a great group of guys with us now and I just don't see a reason to mess with that.
Aside from the tour, what’s next for Lydia?
At the moment I'm not sure. We're always writing and putting ideas down on paper. So we might take some time to put a lot more of our ideas down after this tour. But we'll still be on the road more this year as well. Hope to see your faces out on the road this spring for Illuminate!
|Posted by punk-nation on February 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Well, it was always on when I was little. Here in the south, country music was just like a staple. Of course I went through my teenage years where I couldn’t stand country and now I love it again. I don’t know if that’s a sign of getting older or what. Music was just always on when I was a little kid, and through my own rebellious attitude I kind of got into rock and roll music. I remember going to see Poison and Aerosmith and bands like that when I was younger, so that’s how I got into it. My mom told me when I was little when music came on I would always bobble my head back and forth. She attributes that as how I started playing drums.
When you started Lynam what was your goal with it originally?
Lynam actually started out as a joke, we were just supposed to do a few gigs. Mars Electric had just broken up, it was kind of an in between project while me and him (Jacob Bunton, vocalist) did other things. It ended up sticking and here we are 13 years later.
What’s your best studio memory of all time?
I don’t know if it’s the best, but the most memorable time I’ve ever had in the studio was (from) our first record. I was a horrible drummer. I mean horrible. I had no business being in there. There were some of the tracks off the first CD that I couldn’t even play on because I couldn’t cut it. I remember (the) first time I got into a real studio in a real recording environment and saw how brutal that click track was to me because I just wasn’t prepared for it. Man, our producer that we still use to this day, Jason Elgin, started laughing during tracks and it got the best of me. I remember leaving the studio and crying, being like “I can’t believe this is happening to me.” I remember calling my mother, I felt like such a little kid. I was like “I can’t do this. I can’t record, I’m not good enough”. But I’ll tell you what, that happening in the studio motivated me so much that I was like “I will never go through that again. Next time we record I will be ready.” It’s so embarrassing to have to call someone over to track a song because your drummer can’t do it. It’s one thing to have somebody famous come do it just for the honor of them doing it, but when you can’t cut it and somebody’s having to come in after you it is so embarrassing.
Probably the best studio memory I’ve ever had was Tom Keifer (vocalist, Cinderella) coming in and doing slide guitar on our last studio album, Tragic City Symphony. He did some slide guitar on a song called “Enemy”. It was surreal because a week before we had no idea that he even knew who we were. He approached us at a concert and said “Man, I just want you guys to know that you’re one of my favorite bands. Me and my family listen to you all the time riding around in the car.” We were blown away, and Jacob - I don’t know how he had the balls to do it - but he goes “Look, we’re recording a new album right now, and we’d be honored if you’d cut a solo or do something on it.” And he was like “Absolutely, I’ll come down tomorrow.” He drove down in his car from Nashville down to Birmingham, recorded a solo, took a picture with Jacob and then drove back up to Nashville.
What about your best show?
That changes all the time. In 13 years, there’s not one show that really stands out but there are several that stand out. Anytime we play House of Blues, I feel like we put on one of our best shows. Rocklahoma shows are always fun, we’ve done three or four of those over the years. Any kind of festival environment where there (are) thirty (to) forty thousand people in front of us, that’s what we thrive on. We were (a) three piece back when we did these. In 2014 we’re a four piece, we’ve got more people to run around on stage. We’ve always been able to play on stages as small as a telephone booth and as big as an amphitheater. Now we’ve got Lonny in the band, so it’s gonna be a fun year of touring with this new album we’ve got coming out.
Yeah, you’ve got a lot coming up.
We’ve got some festivals we’re doing this summer. We (have) a tour going, we’re going to visit some cities we haven’t visited in probably four years. We’re excited to get back out and see different sections of the country.
Do you have a preshow ritual?
We don’t even warm up. During our intro, if you’re ever front row at our shows you can kind of hear Jacob warm up his vocal chords. Nothing before we walk on stage though. We literally sit there and play with our phones, make phone calls to our families. I know Metallica gets a pot of dirt and they all rub their feet in it, I don’t know why they do that. I guess when you’re Metallica you can have silly rituals like that. We’ve done so many shows over the years…
You know what you’re doing by now.
Yeah, we don’t even need a ritual. We just jump on stage and do it.
Experience pays off.
I hope. That’s debatable by some people. (Laughs)
What was your initial reaction to the “Cold” video.
My first reaction was, “Wow, they did a good job of her looking dead and cold.” We shot it up in Nashville back in December and it was very cold and very rainy, and I was like “This is perfect, the vibe of this video is really gonna be caught.” I don’t enjoy watching myself playing drums, but it was cool seeing how they put the storyline in there. We haven’t done a video in so long it just felt weird to watch one. (I) probably watched it twenty times.
What’s up next for the band?
We’re booking a tour. We’ve got Texas we need to hit, California, up in the Northeast for sure. Maine, Boston, New York, New Jersey, we gotta hit that area. There (are) just so many areas we’ve got to go to. Michigan, we love playing Michigan. We’ve got to get back up there.
Definitely, we want to come see you.
Last time we played Michigan we got kicked out of the club for playing with no clothes on. It was a weird way to leave Michigan. We always have so much fun, but everyone was kind of unresponsive that night. We said, “You know what, we’re gonna make it interesting.” So we took the stage in our underwear. The club owner wasn’t having that... She said “You’ll never play this club again.” Shows like that, you’ve got to make it memorable, otherwise there’s nothing to remember.
We just (have) a steady year of touring. We want to book as many shows as possible. We’re a band that will play seven, eight times a week. We’ve been known to book double dippers on Saturday and play once during the day and once at night.
That’s awesome. You don’t really hear of bands that work that hard.
You have to nowadays. Nobody buys music, so touring’s where you make your money. Not only just playing shows but after shows, hanging with people and going to the merch table and taking pictures. All that kind of stuff that we’ve already done naturally, now it’s just become vital. Bands that don’t do it can’t survive out there. If you’re not going to be willing to go interact with the people that come see you, you’ll be left out in the cold.
Plus it makes a really good memory for the fan.
Absolutely. I wish my favorite bands growing up would have done that. That would have been cool as hell.
Is there anything else you’d like our viewers to know?
|Posted by punk-nation on February 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
When you interview one of the most legendary metal bands to ever exist, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. Luckily for us, this turned out to be one of our favorite interviews in our history. Having been around since 1984, Iced Earth have not only perfected their craft but also became the best metal band to ever come out of the states. Stu Block has been Iced Earth's vocalist for the past three years, but he's no novice to the industry. He's been fronting metal bands for over a decade, including progressive death metal band Into Eternity. Not too long ago, we chatted with him about being on the road, lessons learned and much more. You don't want to miss this one, check it out below!
What’s your best memory from creating the new album?
My best memory? Being swarmed by flies the whole time. No, I’m joking. That’s sort of an inside joke, we did it during the summer near a pig farm so there (were) a lot of flies near us when we were doing the album. I had a lot of great memories from making the album. We sort of lived with each other, actually. It wasn’t just (that we) flew in and did our parts and just left it. Throughout the writing process and the recording process we lived together, so most of my fond memories are of us just hanging out together and creating the album.
How does your experience in the other bands you’ve been in slip into Iced Earth?
There’s always a lot that plays into past experience of doing stuff. Like anything, you get better at something. Of course I look back at an old video, when I was younger doing this stuff, and I was like, “My god, what was I thinking”.
I think everyone does that.
Yeah, I think in anything you do, right? A lot of the stuff I had to learn trial and error was through my past bands, and even now I’m learning. I’m always learning. Since I’ve been in Iced Earth it’s been even more of a learning experience because the fact that it’s in a different playing field, different ball game. I learn every time I go on tour and everything time I write an album with John... I’m learning all the time. Your history alway is something that molds you, I learned a lot from my previous bands also.
How’d you end up in Iced Earth?
I was in a progressive death metal band called Into Eternity. We were on Century Media Records. Back in 2008 we were on tour with Iced Earth, (but) never really got to talk to John too much. He was going through difficult times at that point, getting in a different head space. I was warming up backstage, and I remember John later on telling me that he did hear me warming up backstage and he was like “Holy crap, that guy’s got a good high end and powerful voice” and all that kind of stuff. I was so honored that he’d say all that. Fast forward to... I think I got in there in 2010. I get a call because I guess Matt had made the decision that he wanted to pursue being a police officer full time - which is totally awesome. We need good, awesome people like Matt helping out. He’s a really great guy and it fits his personality too. But then it opens up the opportunity for someone to come in and sing in the band. I got a call from a guy at the record label that had mutual ties between me and Into Eternity and he had mutual ties with Iced Earth, so he sort of played the middle man to get in contact with me. He phones me up at work, because at that time Into Eternity was on hiatus. We hadn’t toured in like 2 years, I hadn’t done anything in almost... it was creeping up on two and a half years. And I was getting real antsy.
Gotta get out there
Yeah, (I) wanted to get out there because it’s in my blood! I need to be out there creating music and just doing what I love doing. So he explained to me there’s a band, he wouldn’t tell me who it was. He said there’s a band that wants to explore the opportunity of maybe you trying out for them. For the first like ten minutes he didn’t tell me who it was. And I was like, “Well listen man, who is this?” Then he said it was Iced Earth, and I was like “Holy, shit”. You know, that’s a good opportunity. He gave me John’s number and I’m not too sure if I called him that night and or called him the following night. Either way I called him and we had a great conversation on the phone. We hit it off. He said, “Listen, let me fly you out”, to where he was at which was Indiana. He had some music that he had given to me, so I went out there, we wrote a song together and I think another song. I think it was day two he turned to me and goes, “Listen man, if you want the gig, you got it.” I said yes, of course, but let me make one phone call. Made a phone call, but I had made my decision. That was the band I wanted to be in. It’s been really cool, I can call John one of my very best friends, and the band is really great. I’ve learned a lot being in the band and there’s a lot of good stuff to come.
How do you prepare for being on the road for a long time?
We all have our little tasks that we have to do to prepare for it. We’ve been spending a lot of time in Europe. I’m lucky this time, I flew back to Canada (but) I left my clothes bag in Europe so I don’t have to lug it back. We have work to do preparing certain songs for the next tour, but we want to try and relax as much as possible too. We want to be with our families, so it’s trying to have a good healthy balance of both. It’s going to be a long road, but we’re road dogs. We’re prepared for this.
It makes things different when you like it.
That’s the thing, right? This is what we do for a living. And we love creating music and we love playing in front of different crowds and being in different places around the world. Not many people can say they’ve been to India and places like that. I can look back later on when I’m old and senile and be like, ”Wow, where was I?” and look back at the pictures. It’s cool man, you know?
It’s cool to hear you being so enthusiastic about it. A lot of bands complain about tour.
Yeah, then they shouldn’t be doing it. I don’t agree with that either. I love what I do, and the day that I’m not feeling it anymore and don’t want to do it is the day that I obviously will quit. But I don’t see that in my future for a very very very long time, unless I cripple myself or something like that. Get too drunk and fall down some stairs, hit my head and become a vegetable. Then I guess I’m finished, but other than that rock and roll for me.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your time in the music industry?
Be patient. Be patient and always make sure you’ve got your back covered. That’s all I can say. The music business, they don’t call it the music business for nothing. When you’re at a certain level you’ve got to make sure that yourselves (are) taken care of and (make) sure your art is taken care of. Being in this level of the band, I see how hard John works. He’s a legend in heavy metal, first of all. Second of all, I see how he runs the band and I see how tight he runs the ship. Every ship needs a leader. I see the decisions he has to make, and some are decisions he doesn’t want to make but he has to make for them the better of band. Same comes down to us as individuals. As musicians in a band we all have to make decisions that are for the best. We have to think of our families, we have to think of ourselves and we have to think of our brothers in the band also. You just gotta be patient and make sure that you have yourself covered and make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with good people. And that’s a perfect world. This is the music industry and there’s always scumbags in the music industry looking to leech off of a band, to make money or screw them. Nature of the beast. There’s leeches in any industry. You just gotta learn how to spot them.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yeah, we all write a piece of poetry each day and then we read it to each other before each show.
No, I’m joking. Yeah, we get really creative and build cards for each other. (Laughs) But, no. We have this thing where we all just kind of put our hands in, we have a backstage chant. We go 1-2-3 and we do this backstage chant that we have. So that’s really cool.