**Interviews By Emillie Marvel unless otherwise noted.
|Posted by punk-nation on September 16, 2014 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
With roots in Virginia, and a career based in Los Angeles, A Bad Think is offering up music with an eclectic, spacey theme to those who are ready for songs that have more substance. Their latest release, Sleep, is a twelve song collection that gives the sound of a song the spotlight it deserves. Which means you should be ready to dive in and fully immerse yourself in each and every track. Before you enter the world created on Sleep, get to know Michael Marquart, the man behind A Bad Think, a little better with our interview. Check it out above!
|Posted by punk-nation on September 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM||comments (2)|
Wanna bring out your inner grunge? The Kut, an all-girl trio based out of London, provide a catchy sound that's impossible not to bob your head to. These basement rockers have just released their new EP, Make Up, which is comprised of five incredibly laid-back tunes. We had the pleasure of asking them a few questions about life in their band and what they see themselves doing in the future. Check it out below!
How did the three of you meet and decide to form a band?
To be honest, the band had been going for a while in a less serious form for 5 years before we got together in this line up. Things weren't going where I wanted them to, my friends were in the band back then, but they didn't have the dream to be long term musicians. I decided to go solo, but it lasted for about a week! The band was already going and we had songs and releases.. It was a waste to not take it up a notch. I knew Ali from playing gigs and she was already in a band called The Courtesy Kill, who were female fronted. We'd been in touch for a while meaning to go hang out and going to each others shows, so we decided to jam and see what happened. We'd know Fidan, our then drummer for ages, and Ali and Fidan knew each other already too. It's a pretty incestuous scene in London sometimes. The first thing we ever did was a music video! Not the most usual thing to do, especially when the track wasn't even recorded! We did it to a demo version and then recorded the track. After a few rehearsals and messy nights out we knew we were onto something. That was about 5 years ago and a big turning point in terms of our focus on music.
Have you guys ever played covers or stayed strictly an original band?
We've always played originals but you can sometimes catch us playing a bit of Nirvana or the Distillers on the odd occasion.
What has been your most memorable performance so far? Anything crazy happen fan or stage wise?
One of the funnest gigs we've done this year was in Bristol. In terms of the crowd we had a mental time. It wasn't until after though, that we saw how much fun was going on in the crowd. It was all caught on a phone and we uploaded the video to YouTube. If you watch the crowd and ignore the band part, it's a bit fun.
What was the first gig you played together and would you say it was a success?
Wow, I guess that would have to be our home coming gig at Barfly after our UK Love Hate Vampire Shotgun System Circus tour back in 2011. It was that moment we realised how much support we had and it was amazing to see all our fans, friends and family out there to meet us when we got back home. It was like putting it all into perspective and realising we had a home to go back to as well.
You say that you're inspired by bands such as Deftones, L7, Hole, Incubus, Placebo, and Nirvana. How did you come across these bands? Did you listen to them as you were growing up or found these artists later in life?
Yeah we've always loved these bands, I guess they have always been on the scene and maybe we are late comers to some of them. I remember hearing White Pony for the first time by Deftones and not really thinking much of them, but they are my favourite band now. Probably one of the best albums of all time!
Would you ever consider adding another member to the band or are you content with a trio?
That's a tough one, I wouldn't mind maybe gigging with another guitarist one time, but mainly because it's a bit restrictive sometimes having to be stuck in front of a microphone when really you want to be hanging of some scaffolding. I've got a wireless guitar pack now though so it's not so bad.
How did you react when you heard that Criminal Records wanted to work with you guys?
Ooh, very direct - well in that case, we are involved with the label. I always have been and have helped sign up and promote other bands, so it was more a case of being, oh right, let's get some stuff going with Criminal, and focus on our band for a bit instead of putting it all on back-burner and promoting other bands without an iota of focus on The Kut.
What was the farthest you've ever traveled to play a gig?
We haven't been too far really - it's a shame! Right now it stands at Isle of Wight or Scotland. Hoping we can set that right next year.
Do you think you'll try to expand to U.S. audiences or stick to building a following in the UK?
We'd love too. We've been chatting to a couple of booking agents and seeing what we can arrange. I've just been out to the US doing a music video and I know the girls would love it. Me and Ali love road trips, so that kind of thing is just fun for us, and to get some shows in and tour at the same time would be epic!
Do you have any advice for underground bands looking to make it in the big time?
I'd say don't try to fit a mould. There's already plenty of bands out there that sound like X or Y. Be true to yourself and believe in what you are doing. Don't be blinkered though, and listen to everyone around you and their advice, because it's important. The industry is incredibly tough for new bands right now. It might not be what you want to hear but someone needs to say it. It's difficult, but you can do it if you try! The walk of 10,000 miles started with one footstep!
What's next for The Kut?
We were back in the studio yesterday, so that's going to be exciting to finish up the new tracks. We are planning a new EP and a release in October, so it's all go. We've got a few gigs coming up as well and hoping to get a London show in ASAP, because it's something we haven't done this year! In October we are playing in Leicester on Friday 10th at The Shed, then we play a Halloween Special at Lincoln Imp in Scunthorpe on 31st October. We can't wait for that one.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for the interview. I'd just like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who is and has been supporting us, this year and the years previous! We love our TEAM RAZORS. It means a lot to us and sometimes that like or comment on social media is the only thing that keeps us focused through some of the more difficult times. Big love to you all.
Interview & Bio; Lynzi Hayes
|Posted by punk-nation on September 12, 2014 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
Some bands have integrity right from the beginning, and so is the case with Pennsylvania's The Sixties. Debuting in 2012 with an impressive three song EP, the band set the tone for what's to be a great career. The recent release of the truly remarkable There It Isn't is only more proof of the band's extreme potential. What's to happen from here, we're not sure - but with a band showing this much promise, it's gotta be good. Check out our interview with The Sixties on the new album, their happiest memories from their career and more!
Tell us about There It Isn’t. How would you describe the overall feel of the album?
I'd say the overall feel of the album is one that addresses feelings of discomfort and unsettlement. As if you've been in an ambiguous funk or stressed out stage in your life for the past however many years, and you're just tired of feeling that way and want to do something about it. So, it has elements of “coming of age,” “paradigm shifts in self-justification,” and “taking a proactive approach in addressing your own life struggles.”
The lyrical content dives a bit more precisely into the psychological intricacies of falling into that funk, as well as becoming aware of the fact that you are the only who is able, and responsible, for pulling yourself out of it. Some are fictional, some are from our own experiences, but we feel that the collection is relatable to everyone in one way or another.
The instrumentation on the album identifies most with a release of pent up aggression in a positive (or at the least, not negative) manner, without trying to over-think what you’re doing. Over-thinking is part of the reason that causes the overall feeling of angst and unhappiness. So, the songs are straight-forward, high energy, and in your face.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned since the formation of the band?
COMMUNICATION AND PLANNING! Things get exponentially more difficult to do, the more schedules you try to coordinate.
What underground bands are you listening to that you think everyone should know about?
Each one of us could probably give you a completely different list of who we are currently into right now. But there are two bands that come to my mind that are really getting goin' in Philadelphia. They are Commonwealth Choir and Mo Lowda and The Humble.
When you think back on all the shows you’ve played in your career, which memory makes you happiest?
We opened for The Wonder Years Greatest Generation album release tour for the show in Philadelphia. They were playing 4 shows in 4 days, spanning the entire country. Being able to witness the amount of production that goes into something like that was quite amazing. Also, those guys are longtime friends of ours, so to be able to see someone you know achieving that level of, not only success, but proficiency and professionalism... it helps reinforce your confidence and your ability to believe that anything is achievable.
Are there any other music styles you’d like to incorporate into your band in the future?
There most certainly are, but I can't say which ones... We kind of have a "why not?" attitude towards incorporating anything new. We love to just hang out and jam, so if we get an idea that sounds more like "this" or "that", we try to always explore it a little bit. I feel that is how any great bands gets to be so great, always trying to cultivate and improve their sound. Whether it be adding a Sitar to a track, or playing a solo with a violin bow, as long as you're trying something new, that's what makes this whole parade go 'round.
What’s next for The Sixties?
We are now just focused on spreading our music outside of our local area of Philadelphia. We're trying to build up a circuit to start running around in and keep expanding on it... and continuing writing new music, of course.
Catch The Sixties live show this fall!
|Posted by punk-nation on August 30, 2014 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
A Mouth Full Of Matches are a band who are dying to get their name out there. And with their latest EP, Smoke Signals, the Manchester, UK quintet are all set to broadcast their fusion of dark alternative rock. Produced by Grammy nominated Matt Hyde, Smoke Signals is a testament to the UK rock scene, so don’t miss out on one hell of a party. With a sound bigger than their ambition, the band have already toured extensively across the UK, and are using their passion and drive to shoot for the stars. We caught up with them to talk promotion strategies, the new EP and more. Check it out below!
The title of your forthcoming EP, Smoke Signals, is in acknowledgment of the difficulty of being heard in the music scene. What are some strategies you’ve used to make your band more noticeable?
Getting noticed is quite difficult, but there are still plenty of tools around that we've used as much as we can. As facebook is currently the main player in social media and promotion, we've focused our self promotion on there, doing what we can to connect with as many users as possible to promote the EP, upcoming shows, etc. We've also made our impression on other sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Reverbnation, streaming on soundcloud, having our tracks on iTunes, Spotify. Whatever corner of the internet we can put ourselves in, we will!
Explain the overall vibe of the EP. What moods and ideas are expressed?
We experimented quite a bit with this EP. We didn't want one specific mood from start to finish, as we believe every record should have the feeling of a 'journey' to it so the user has felt the ups and down from beginning to end, which a lot more reflective of life. The main theme is of youth, passion, living and enjoying life and the various experiences that get thrown at you throughout life.
Your band is named after a poem about chasing dreams and living life as an adventure. That being said, what’s the greatest escapade you’ve ever been a part of?
So far it would probably have to be doing this band. Together we're travelling to shows, writing and recording music, having the time of our lives doing it all and hoping to push it so much further and make it much much bigger of an adventure. It's the getting up on stage playing our music to a crowd that really has the feeling of adventure and excitement.
Tell us about the most surreal moment you’ve had in your career so far.
Probably recording this EP with Grammy Nominated Matt Hyde who has worked with big names such as Bullet for my Valentine, Slipknot, Funeral for a Friend, Machine Head. Working with someone who has worked with such big bands makes the dream feel like its coming all that more alive.
What’s a typical show day like for A Mouth Full Of Matches?
We do what we can to make every show a big event. We'll rehearse upto the last minute, and have everything ready to launch during soundcheck. On stage we put all our passion and energy into our performance, as we want it to be a full on show, not just getting up and playing. Sometimes we'll leave ourselves quite exhausted afterwards though!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We want to thank everyone thats given us amazing support so far! We are truly grateful. And to everyone that hasnt seen us live yet... we will see you on the road!
Aside from Smoke Signals, what’s next for the band?
We've got a number of shows booked throughout September in support of the EP, then a few more throughout the year. We'll be looking at getting another tour booked and we're looking forward to seeing all the other bands we'll be playing with and all the people who turn up to the shows!
Bio; Alex Bear
Interview; Emillie Marvel
|Posted by punk-nation on August 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
They say that Dave Grohl is the nicest guy in rock. But there’s a new contender in town, in the form of Nick Santino. You’ve probably heard his name before—as the singer of A Rocket To The Moon—but he’s writing a new name for himself through his country-infused rock and roll. You’re guaranteed a damn good time when listening to his latest album, Big Skies, with its sunny disposition and down-to-earth honesty. The most poignant part is you can hear in every note that Nick Santino has found his home, and he’s here to stay. Check out what he had to say when we caught up with him at Michigan’s Vans Warped Tour date, and don’t even try to tell us you don’t want to be his best friend after this.
So how’s Warped Tour been going so far for you?
It’s good. I’m having a lot of fun on it.
You’re on [the] Acoustic Basement stage. Pretty awesome.
It’s really cool, it’s interesting in a good way. It’s very intimate and one on one, and I think I like that the most.
How has it been different playing just yourself, rather than with A Rocket To The Moon?
It’s a lot different. When Rocket was on Warped, we were on a stage. We were on like what the Warheads stage is, but it was Smartpunk or something back in the day. It’s different for that obviously, ‘cause you know I was on a stage with a band playing in front of a bunch of people and now I’m in a tent. But I’m more of an intimate one on one storyteller kind of guy, so I think I like it a lot better now. Where I can get on stage and kind of be myself, and be weird and people think it’s funny that I’m being, you know, me being myself is being really weird and awkward but I think you can see that, and you don’t really get that on the rest of Warped. You walk around every stage, it’s all a band playing and you feel the connection, but you don’t feel it. You kind of feel like you’re in a different room and you’re watching this band play and they won’t ever notice you, where you come into the tent and it’s like, I’ll see someone standing there and I’ll be like “Hey, what’s your [name]”, you know, and talk to them that way.
And that’s so important.
Yeah, it kind of makes you feel like, “I went to Warped Tour, and I saw a bunch of bands, but I saw this one person that actually talked to me while he was on stage.” That’s the kind of thing I like to have people leave with.
That’s so cool when you go to a show that’s so intimate, and like you’re a part of something.
Totally. If I went to a show and like Tom Petty was on stage, and he was like “Hey! What’s your name?” and I’m like “Nick.” [Laughs] You know what I mean? That’s something that I would remember for the rest of my life.
It’s cool that you get to create that memory for someone else.
Totally, totally. And I remember it too, so when they come to a show in two years, they’re like “Hey, you remember when you said hi to me on stage?” I’ll be like, “Yeah, I do.”
There’s so much, in things like this, like Warped Tour and even in regular concerts that you go to, there’s so much distance.
There’s plenty of bands where I’ll stand there and I’m like, “I wonder if they even see me.” Like I’m watching The Summer Set, who I’m really good friends with. Brian always, everytime he sees me in the crowd, he’ll call me out and say hi, but I’ll stand there for like twenty minutes. I’m like, I’m standing with nobody around me, you know, he can definitely see me, and then finally he’s like “Hey, Nick!” You know, there’s so many people to see where when you’re in a tent and there’s a hundred people in there, you see everybody. I could probably remember everybody’s name, if I asked it. So it’s cool.
That is really awesome. That’s probably the best way to experience a show.
Last time I interviewed you, you were Nick Santino & The Northern Wind. Will you be going back to that at all?
Probably when I get an actual band, when I have a northern wind. You know, I’ll refer to them as the northern wind. I’m kind of working on that now. So for now it’s just me. I thought it was a cool way to come out of the Rocket thing, with a new tag on the end of my name, so people didn’t think it was like some singer in a band that’s gone solo again, you know? I wanted people to be like, “Wait, does he have a band? What’s going on, what’s this northern wind thing?” And I think it worked. It was a little bit of a talk. It had a little bit of buzz to it, which is cool.
Tell me about Big Skies. What’s your favorite song from the album?
Well, there’s a bunch for different reasons why I like certain ones. There’s a song called “It Is What It Is” on there, and I honestly wrote that song — I woke up at like two in the morning and I had weird lyrics and for some reason a melody in my head. In my phone notes, and I still have ‘em in there, I just wrote down all these words, and I wouldn’t go back to sleep until I wrote down all these words that were in my head. And then I went back to sleep, and I woke up and I was reading them and I’m like “These are the weirdest lyrics I’ve ever written.” It’s talking about being an outlaw in the old West and ride in box cars, and running away with the circus, and it’s like a song I’ve never written before, but you know, I guess when you’re asleep and you’re writing songs in your head it makes sense at some point. It was perfectly fitting for me at this time in my life, like not really knowing what you wanna be doing or where you wanna be, but knowing that you’ll be happy once you figure that out. And then the bridge, the lyrics in there are like, “Truth is I’m a boy just trying to become a man, not sure what I got ahead of this but I’m happy with the hand this life has dealt in front of me, and what happens next it is what it is.” So it’s like kind of not really trying to get your hopes up too early and just being along for the ride and enjoying the journey, really. So it’s a cool little positive song, and it kind of just came to me when I was sleeping, which is the craziest part, you know?
When you were recording that album, what was the whole feel in the studio?
It was awesome. I recorded it with my buddy Pat, [who] plays drums in The Maine, and so we did it in Phoenix. There’s no label, so it was just our own clock. We didn’t have to rush in for time, which we’ve done before. In the past, when I was in a band, there was always the label calling in, being like “Where are we at with the record? How’s it going?” you know? You’re trying to be creative, and you’re trying to have this just being one on one with the music, but you have all this business to deal with at the same time. This time it wasn’t like that. Me and Pat would lock ourselves in the studio, and come out for air every couple hours and get food and whatever. There was no time restraint, so we kind of had the freedom to do what we want. I think it was the best environment to do a record in.
And you got to work with someone you liked on it, too.
Totally, he’s one of my best friends. Everybody in The Maine kind of contributed a little bit. Played guitar, played bass, drums, whatever. It’s like, “Garrett, we need some bass! Come play bass.” And he’d come in and play some stuff. It was definitely the way to record a record in my opinion.
Anyone I’ve ever met or interviewed from EightyOneTwentyThree has been insanely nice.
Well, I think that’s the reason why we started doing the EightyOneTwentyThree thing. It’s a family. It’s our management company at the end of the day, it’s kind of like our label, it’s all in house, but we want people to look at it like they can be a part of that family, as well. You know what I mean? We try to give back to our fans because we realize that EightyOneTwentyThree wouldn’t be here without the people that support it. Where a lot of bands out there get escorted around Warped Tour by their tour manager and they’re too good to talk to. Where like, I’m walking around all day just hanging out, watching bands. Kids come up and ask for a picture, I’m not like “No, you have to go to the meet and greet later.” I’ll take one then. I’m like “No, come chill.” And The Maine do it, they do a meet and greet every day and they do it until the line’s done. That’s the thing we want people to see, is like “These guys make cool music, but they’re also real human beings.”
That shows that you have the right motives in it, too. That you’re not here to act like you’re better than everyone.
Exactly, exactly. Makes us feel better about ourselves, too. I think for me, and for them too, we both kind of went through some major label issues and it kind of makes you take a step back and realize like, “I could lose this all tomorrow.” So, do I want to lose it tomorrow and be a dickhead and trash all my fans, pretend I’m like the coolest guy in the world, or if I were to lose it tomorrow do I want to go out on a note where at least everybody still likes me.
And that’s the thing; you’ll never lose it because you have this relationship with your fans.
And that’s cool when you have that kind of a relationship, is they’d never want to let you down. Where if you’re an asshole to your fans, they could be like, “He’s a dickhead, anyways. I don’t care what happens to him,” but if you have that interaction with your fans, where they genuinely care about your well being, where if they see you’re having a hard time or whatever, they’ll back you up. They will never let you fall hard. It’s really cool, you gotta have that. I think a lot of people overlook that. It’s the most obvious and important thing. You play shows like this, it’s like there’s two thousand people watching you playing on stage, and you just run back to your bus with your tour manager with like a towel over your head so no one can see you. It might make you feel like you’re this cool rockstar, but in my opinion the rockstar doesn’t exist anymore. You know, it did when it was Jim Morrison and John Lennon, like those guys, ‘cause you didn’t know anything about them. They were like this person that I’ll never get to be. Now it’s like, thanks to like Twitter and Instagram, you know someone’s favorite cereal, and you know their dog’s name. You never knew that about any of those guys. So now, trying to keep that mysterious rockstar thing doesn’t really work that well, so just be a normal person. You know, be one on one. That was what was cool about Elvis Presley, you were like “He’s just a picture in a magazine.” You never thought you would ever see him in person. Now it’s you see these people in person all the time, at Chipotle and Panera Bread. It’s like, why be the rockstar there? You just kind of look like a jerk.
Plus you’ve gotta have way more fun, being out there in the crowd than sitting on a bus.
Exactly. Like I have to go back to the bus after this, and I don’t want to. I think I’m just gonna go to the tent. It’s a lot more fun. I don’t listen to a lot of the music on Warped Tour, I’m more of a Tom Petty kind of guy, but there’s music out here that I can appreciate and respect, and I go and I watch the bands because for what it is, these guys do it right. So that’s what I do a lot of the time, I just walk around and take in what’s cool. Going into Warped Tour, I didn’t know really like the bigger bands on this this year, because I’ve been so out of it the last year with my band splitting up, and trying to take as big [of a] break as I could from the scene. So now coming in here, I’m like “That band’s big?” Like, holy crap. It’s nuts, and it’s cool to see friends actually succeeding, like Mayday Parade being one of the biggest bands on this when they were struggling in a van like six years ago on Warped Tour and they were selling CDs out of their backpack. Now they’re one of the headliner bands of mainstage.
It’s cool seeing bands who are here selling CDs out of their backpack too, because you know one day one of these bands you run into are gonna be on the Warped Tour.
The coolest thing too is seeing a band like The Maine. They walk the line every morning and sell their CDs still. They don’t have to do that, but they do and people think like “Wait, that’s The Maine. Why are they out in the line?”
I have a friend here, she was in the line and The Maine sign went by and she texted me what time they were gonna be on. I was like “The Maine’s walking the line?”
Everyday, our whole bus gets up at 8:30 in the morning, and everybody has their jobs. Jared goes out and hangs up all the posters with the times on it. Kennedy, Pat, Garrett and Eric go out and they walk the line with CDs and the sign with the times. I have to do eight things at once, ‘cause I’m one person. We all help Peter set up the merch tent every morning. Nobody thinks they’re better than another person.
You’re a part of it.
Yeah, a lot of people take their crew for granted on Warped Tour. They’re like, “Oh, we have a guitar tech and he takes care of everything.” Where like The Maine, they’re just as much as their own guitar tech as their actual guitar tech is. Same with the merch guy, it’s like why should he be out there at 7:30 in the morning while we’re all sleeping? That’s not fair. So we just go out, we set up the tent with him. It’s like, all here for the same reason, just some of us play guitar.
The music industry can be a really cool place when you use it right.
Yeah, when you meet the right people.
What keeps you so positively driven?
Honestly, it’s like the creative freedom now. I was in a very dark spot toward the end of my last band with everything going on with our label and stuff. Everything was negative coming out of my mouth. I’m like, this is never gonna work, you know, everything sucks. Now that I don’t have to deal with that, and I can call up my manager and be like, “Hey, I wanna record this acoustic EP. Let’s release it next week.” He’ll be like, “Okay cool, let’s do it.” That makes me happy. Actually being able to release music, and not having to ask ten people and get approval from an entire record label, that’s the best part about it. I’m the happiest I have been in the last five years now*. I think The Maine’s the same way. They went through a bunch of stuff with Warner Bros., their last label, and now they’re free to do whatever they want and I think they’re just stoked to be able to do that.
So is there anything you want to push to our readers?
I’ve got the new record out, Big Skies. It’s like seven dollars on iTunes, or something, so it’s not too bad. I’m gonna be doing the UK in the fall, and then I’m working on a big November tour in the states, a full US thing.
Catch Nick on The Long & Winding Roadshow tour this fall!
|Posted by punk-nation on August 13, 2014 at 9:30 PM||comments (0)|
Seeing as this is our third interview with alternative rock band The Maine, it's probably not surprising to learn that they're some of our favorite people to chat with. The charismatic guys who make up the incomparable band never fail to impress us with their humble attitudes and unrelenting dedication to their career. This time around, we caught up with guitarist Jared Monaco at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour to talk about the band's past, present and future, the new studio they built in Phoenix and the stories behind their latest projects. Check it out below, and the next time you're looking for a new favorite album, grab a copy of Forever Halloween (Deluxe Version). You won't be disappointed.
So, we interviewed you last [in] October. What’ve you guys been up to since then? I know you’ve got a documentary, and a deluxe edition of Forever Halloween.
We’ve been very busy, yeah. The deluxe edition actually, we’ve been selling that on Warped Tour. It’s a five dollar bundle, and you get the actual record and you get the five extra songs. We had a bunch of leftover music, we had stuff from Forever Halloween sessions in Nashville, we had stuff from Pioneer, which was like two or three years old, but we brought those into the studio and kind of polished ‘em up and released them as a deluxe edition. So that’s kind of the vibe of the summer right now, is the deluxe edition.
And you also have the Rdio session?
That was a blast. It’s kind of cool to go into a different setting than you’re used to, to just be in a different studio and try to make it sound as good as you can. It’s cool, I think it put us in a little bit of a different element. [We’re] so used to being on stage as a live band, the Rdio sessions were definitely a unique experience.
Then you did the documentary too, what was the inspiration behind that?
I think we just wanted to kind of showcase what... I guess kind of what goes on with our band, you know? We’re always trying to give people as much content as we possibly can, and that was kind of accompanying the acoustic EP that we put out. We had these songs, it was kind of like the deluxe edition, we had… there was a demand for an acoustic EP, we’ve never done one before. So we built a studio in Phoenix and it was the first thing that we did in the new studio, was an acoustic record. We didn’t want to do like a rock record, we didn’t know what the studio was capable of, so the acoustic thing made sense. And then we wanted to go on tour with it, so we just figured we’d document kind of what that meant to our band. You know, it’s kind of weird to be a rock band putting out strictly acoustic music, for a brief moment at least. I think it’s kind of cool, I think I discovered a different side of myself, and I think our band kind of discovered a different side of how we write and how we record. So yeah, that was kind of the inspiration behind the tour and the documentary.
Is there any kind of special decoration or capability that [the studio] has that’s your favorite?
Yeah, I mean we’re still kind of throwing it together. It’s kind of a DIY project for us. Our management company, or our label I guess, is Eighty One Twenty Three, and we have an office downtown. There’s two small rooms in the back, we converted those into a studio. One of them is where the control board is at, the other one is like this tiny — it’s like the size of my bedroom, like my childhood bedroom — like a ten by ten room. We keep our drums, everything in there, all the amps and guitars and stuff. It kind of cool because it’s like our spot at home. Everytime we record, we go to LA, or we go to Nashville, or leave the state. It doesn’t feel like home. We can go downtown now.
Now you have your own.
Yeah, it feels like home. I guess we’re more comfortable there.
And it’s easier to get stuff done that way, when it’s right there.
It is! And it’s also harder too. We have friends coming in, and like you know family and stuff. But it’s cool, I think we’re gonna scope out a bigger place, actually build a proper studio, but for the time being that’s where we’re at.
How many times is this on Warped Tour for you guys?
This is technically the third time. We did it in ‘08, when we were in a van, we did two weeks. [We’ll] never do that again. It was fun, ‘cause we were young and... resilient, I guess. We were going on like no sleep and stuff. The next year, in ‘09, we got a bus, and things were going a little bit better for the band. So, yeah, we did ‘09, then we had a five year break.
How’s this one been going?
This one? This has been awesome.
What’s the best memory you have so far?
We played a show in Northern California and I wasn’t expecting it to be a good turnout. The crowd was just nuts. I don’t know what happened. It’s weird, being a band on Warped Tour, especially like us, usually there’s a few bands who are like, they’re on different stages, that we could clash with. Kind of like the Mayday Parades and Summer Sets, stuff like that, so when that happens you’re sharing all the fans, so kids are torn. I think we had a set one of those days, where we were really nervous that it was just going to be a small show and it ended up being crazy. And I love that about Warped Tour, you can’t have any expectations, ‘cause it’s always gonna change. Things are always different. You never know what to expect. Same thing with Las Vegas, we never tour Las Vegas. We just don’t go through there ever. We played the show and it was insane.
They were deprived!
Yeah. We took a portion of our merch money, and bet it on black. [Laughs]
How’d that turn out for you?
We lost it. We always hear of bands doing that, we’re like “Hey, we should do it.” I felt confident.
So is that why you don’t go to Vegas?
That is exactly why, yeah, we have a gambling problem. [Laughs]
Well what’s next for The Maine?
We’re gonna go home. We’re gonna take showers. Sit on our butts for about a month. Gonna start rehearsing, we’re doing a little over two weeks in Europe. We’re doing Amsterdam, we’re doing the UK, it’ll be cool. So we fly home from that, and we’re scheduling some shows in the fall in major markets, like California, some stuff on the East Coast, to kind of close out the Forever Halloween album cycle. It’ll be about almost two years at that point. Then we’re gonna go in the studio, we’re gonna actually start writing and we’re getting a place - We’re gonna do like a house record, rent a house, like a nice house, for a couple months and just take time. Spend a lot of time making this one. It’s album number five, we have to do something important.
[Do] you find your perseverance, the way you guys have worked so hard, is what’s obviously led you to the level that you’re at right? Just the not giving up.
Oh yeah. We came up with a lot of bands that just aren’t here anymore, they’re just gone.
And lot of those bands were good too! That’s still what I listen to.
They were! It was great, and a lot of ‘em are gone. It’s depressing to me sometimes, but at the same time that kind of fuels the push and the drive. That’s why we keep doing things. Stop swimming, you’ll sink, especially in this world. We’re not a huge band, we’re one of those mid-level bands who thrives off of content and relationship with our fans, that’s kind of what’s brought us this far.
Well don’t ever lose that. So many bands, once they do get past that point they become not there.
I’d like to consider us pretty well grounded. Especially on Warped Tour, we hustle. I’m out putting posters up every morning. Pretty humbling, to go out and do that stuff yourself. The guys are walking the line with the set time, John’s at merch every morning, he stands there and shakes hands for you know, two hours or whatever. I just think it’s a matter of being immersed in it. Not being lazy and sitting on the bus just waiting for things to happen. I feel like nobody can do something as well as you can do it for yourself. We’ve relied on other people, like record labels and stuff...
No, nobody does it the way that you could do it. Especially if you’re motivated and you’re seeing results.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Pick up the deluxe edition, it’s out now. It’s cheap, it’s very cheap. 17 songs. If you live in Europe, we’ll see you in the fall. Specific few shows in the fall in the states.
|Posted by punk-nation on August 5, 2014 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
NGHBRS may be a band missing a few vowels, but what they’re lacking in grammatical correctness, they make up for in style. Their 2013 debut full-length, Twenty One Rooms, marked the explosive start of a career that will only continue to skyrocket. With the release of a brand new EP on the horizon, their no-nonsense approach to good old-fashioned rock and roll is going to see the Long Island trio into the big leagues this year. And from what we’ve heard so far, this is an EP you’re going to want to get your hands on. We caught up with the band to chat their new single, “Small Talk”, the Long Island music scene, and more!
“Small Talk” is the first song you have released from your upcoming EP. Is there a reason you chose this song? Does it summarize the collection?
“Small Talk” was the first song we wrote from this collection of new songs. I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s a good representation of the bunch. We chose this one because we felt it was a fun, upbeat tune, with a repeating phrase that says “it’s been a long time,” which it indeed has been a long time (since we’ve put out a new single!).
Long Island’s music scene has not been quiet over the years. How does coming from such an internationally respected scene played into your music?
Long Island has been a great place to grow up as a musician, there are so many talented bands and artists rooted here, it’s almost a network that we were born into, which is awesome to have. It has made certain goals of ours seem tangible.
Your last album, 2013’s Twenty One Rooms, is held in high regard by all those who have listened to it. What’s the best comment you’ve seen/heard on the album?
I can’t really say I have a favorite comment, I’d say that I do love to hear that it is certain fan’s favorite record of the year/ to date etc. I also love to hear peoples interpretations or connections to certain songs. I obviously have written certain lyrics because of specific experiences in my life, but to hear how that relates to fans is a really comforting and humbling thing.
If you had to go back in time and recreate Twenty One Rooms with the knowledge you have now, would you change anything?
Not a damn thing.
Tell us about your first “big break”.
Honestly, having Cedarmere, the house that we recorded Twenty One Rooms in, fall into our lap was a pretty gigantic break for us. I can not even tell you how we swung living in an abandoned mansion legally for 2 months, building a studio/live room, and tracking a full record, but it happened and it was amazing.
What’s the most important thing you do to prepare for a show?
We jam a bunch, and make sure we are being as interesting and engaging as possible. We’re not just a band, we’re entertainers.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Bio; Alex Bear
Interview; Emillie Marvel
|Posted by punk-nation on August 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
If one thing's sure, it's that Alive Like Me is a band that's destined to be known. It's only been a little over a year since their formation, but their schedule would never reveal it. With a trek on the Vans Warped Tour to their name, an upcoming August tour with Slaves, and a Japenese fall tour with Issues on the books, there's no doubt that the band are diving into the industry with full force. Join in or get left behind, because with a work ethic like this, and an incomporable sound to aid them, the band will soon surround every aspect of the music scene you know and love. When the Vans Warped Tour came through Auburn Hills, MI, we caught up with three-fifths of Alive Like Me to chat about their upcoming plans, first albums and how they approached the music scene in their hometown. Click the photo below to hear what they had to say!
|Posted by punk-nation on July 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
So how’s Warped Tour been going for you guys?
Lee Weiss: It’s been incredible. It is the most fun a band can have.
Josh Hall: This is the happiest I’ve ever been to be this tired and sweaty.
Weiss: If you would have told us like three months ago, you’re gonna be half dirty, half wet all the time and just be disgusting, but you’re gonna love every minute of it. You know we’ve always heard the stories from our favorite bands, but to actually experience it, it’s a hundred percent right. It is the most fun you can have in the summer.
Brandon Koflowitch: It’s really surreal to be out here.
I’m glad to hear your enthusiasm about it! You don’t hear that enough from bands.
Weiss: Because of Kevin Lyman, this institution still exists and allows bands like us to be discovered and found, and kids to have an outlet. For me, for the Warped scene, like I believe in Kevin and this tour so much because my favorite bands blew up from this tour. I came to this tour to discover bands. If it wasn’t for this tour, you wouldn’t have the success of Taking Back Sunday or Fall Out Boy or Blink because-
Hall: Mayday Parade!
Weiss: Or Mayday. It’s like all of our favorite bands just started here, and it’s always been kind of this like legendary thing you hear about from all of your favorite bands. Since I was fourteen, I’m like “I wanna be on the Warped Tour one day.” It’s my dream, and to be here at twenty five doing it, it’s incredible. I never would have believed it.
With the first days of the band, besides the Warped tour, what were your biggest goals?
Koflowitch: Meet as many people as possible, get the music out there, get it into kids hands.
Weiss: The way that our band is is that we write from personal experience and things that have happened to us, and whether we say names or not, it’s all about our lives and our experiences and to share that with kids that are going through similar situations is kind of the biggest thing for us. Because like I said, the bands that we all grew up were like on this tour, did the same things for us. So like Brandon said, 100% right, just get the music out there.
It’s like coming full circle.
Weiss: Exactly! Exactly.
What’s been the coolest thing you’ve done on Warped so far?
Koflowitch: Honestly just playing. It’s so unreal to be on stage, playing the Warped Tour. Like, if you asked me ten years ago if I would ever play the Warped Tour, I’d say probably not. But being here today is just such an honor and it’s so surreal.
Hall: My favorite thing that I did today - and I haven’t tried this yet, but I did today and I’ve always just wanted to pour a can of water on people and them be really stoked about it. [Laughs] Normally I’d get punched, but today everybody loved it.
Weiss: I’m on stage watching and I’m like “Wow, this is great”.
This is like the one place where you can throw water on people and they don’t get mad.
Hall: I can’t do that at home!
Weiss: I think for me, the coolest thing today has been being between Teenage Bottlerocket and Neck Deep. It was really cool because for the first time, you see bands like Real Friends over here, Every Time I Die over there, and then our stage, it’s two really great punk rock bands, you know, and we’re sandwiched between. It’s like, we couldn’t be in better company.
You have your Sleepless Nights EP out, right?
Weiss: We do.
Koflowitch: It came out two days ago.
Weiss: Five songs. Took us the last year to record, and we’re super proud of it. And anyone [reading], you guys should pick it up.
What song are you most excited for fans to hear?
Weiss: That’s like asking me who my favorite child is, like, that’s asking a mother that.
Koflowitch: I don’t think I could pinpoint it to one. I have three that I really enjoy playing, which are “Overreaction”, “Day → Ftl”, and “Bad Names”. They’re just fun songs to play.
Weiss: [To Hall] What about you man?
Hall: The one I’ve always been showing people in the lines or when they come up and check out our band, I always show ‘em “‘Reaction”. It’s because it’s really fast paced. I mean all our songs are fast paced, but it’s like really driving and it’s kind of one where people start foot tapping, their head starts nodding, they smile, then they’re like “I’ll take it.”
Weiss: “Bad Names” for me. It’s one of the harder songs that we play, and I mean like technically for us because it’s so fast and it’s just back and forth vocals between Josh and I the whole time, so we really have to be on our A game, but it’s so much fun to play and it just gets me so pumped up.
Koflowitch: Yeah, I remember the first time we practiced it together. I wanted to cry because it was so fast and I was just like… [Laughs]
Weiss: By the time we were done with practice that day, it was like a four hour session, Brandon’s like “I can’t move my arms, please take me home.”
What’s next for the band, after Warped Tour?
Weiss: We’re gonna get back, we’re gonna finish recording. We have six or seven songs that we’ve recorded that aren’t on the EP, and our goal is to get a full length done before the end of the year. Either get it out by the end of the year, if not the first of the year. And definitely tour in the fall. East coast, Midwest, down to the South.
|Posted by punk-nation on July 27, 2014 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
The Northern Light have something special, a fact evident in every facet of their two year career. Formulating interesting beats composed of stellar instrumentation and backed by indie folk fueled vocals, there's no question that TNL put out something you'll want to hear again and again. With the right momentum and a few more wonder filled jams, the band will soon find themselves in venues across the world, and in the headphones of all those who appreciate a uniquely flavored music experience. Recently, we checked in with Rory Maclean and chatted about the local music scene, show day routines and his preferred music format.
How does your local music scene play into the sound you create?
You're only as strong as your support system, and Saskatoon has a pretty tightly woven music community. Those bands that you play with and organize with just rub off. Muskwa Lerat, who engineered most of our upcoming EP, happens to be an MC in a rap group called Unsatisfied Poets. When one day we had this funky kinda hip hop jam come up in a rehearsal, where otherwise that kind of musical digression might just be forgotten, we thought, “why not ask Musk if he’ll rap on it?”
We’ve had a lot of support from local record label Sound and Silence Collective, and members of the bands they work with. People are always willing to lend a hand in the studio or on stage. We've been recording this one track for our upcoming EP where I had a vision for this big finale -- cello, violin, tuba, trombone -- I wanted a big, skronky, orchestral sound. We got some help from a few of our pals and label-mates in Minor Matter, Wizards, and Wolfen Rabbits. It sounds epic. I’m really grateful to be able to call on such talented people for help.
What’s your best memory from being in the band so far?
Sometimes we just have shows that make me remember exactly why I play music.
I’ve always loved performing a lot more than recording. A performance is fleeting, the music comes out of you then it’s gone. So the people there listening and dancing are sharing something with you that will never be repeated.
There was a new club that opened in Saskatoon this year called the Capitol. We played there in its first month of business and the venue was untested. I was nervous that people wouldn’t come, or the vibe would be off. Later, looking upon a capacity crowd brimming with friends, family and strangers alike, and the crowd of people dancing, joyful, I just thought, “this moment. This is what I’m looking for.” When I can see so many people responding positively to the racket we’re making, there’s no better feeling.
Tell us what a typical show day is like for The Northern Light.
It’s pretty routine. If the show’s at night (and it usually is) I’ll start get into show mode sometime after dinner. We’ll load into the venue and kind of get our bearings, see who’s doing sound and who we talk to about payment, rough the gear into place on stage, set up drums and whatever. After that most of us will typically share a joint. It’s never a good idea for me to do that right before we perform, but it’s kind of a way of getting everyone on the same level before sound check. If for some reason I’m nervous about the show I’ll ask Alex (who plays keys, guitar and also sings) to do some vocal warm ups with me. Our trumpet player Paul skitters off into a quiet corner or alley to warm up his lips, which he’ll often do right up until the point when we take the stage. After that we just kind of let it rip. I’m pretty much always nervous before taking the stage but once we start that just melts away.
When, and why, did you get started in music?
I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years now but I don’t think I really got into music until a few years after that, when I got involved with my first band. We had three guitar players and a drummer and wanted to start a band, so I decided to take up bass. During summer holidays we would smoke pot and go to my drummer Ian’s house to jam almost every day, for hours and hours. He had this wood panelled basement with red shag carpet and a reel-to-reel system. We would record our jams to cassette tapes through this rinky-dink boombox. Just going over blues forms in different keys, cycling them around until they melted into weird psychedelic jams. That’s where I actually learned my instrument. It made practice way more interesting than sitting at home alone practicing scales.
What album do you have on repeat right now?
I have been listening to a lot of Doug Hoyer’s record Be A River. He’s this guy out of Edmonton that I think is Canada’s answer to David Byrne. He’s got a really nice funky style that’s injected with a healthy dose of weird. Check out the tracks One Foot and Bulgogi Pizza on his Bandcamp.
CD, vinyl or digital?
Digital is obviously the most practical medium when you’re on the go, hands down, but I do love records -- the sound of the needle touching down, actively changing the sides of the record, not to mention just the sheer size of the album art. It makes an album feel like a collector’s item. CDs just feel disposable and a little antiquated now, but cost wise it’s hard to beat, unless you’re joining in on the whole cassette resurgence thing that’s happening. I have some strong reservations about this move to cassettes, but it is the cheapest option for physical copies. For the average consumer, if you have a CD for $10 and a tape for $7 -- and you get the download card for the album anyway -- why not just buy the tape?
What does the future hold for The Northern Light? What do you have planned?
We’re releasing our debut self-titled EP in September, which is really exciting. We’ve put tremendous effort into it and I can’t wait to share it with the world. I’m also in the middle of shooting a music video for one of the tracks called Gravity. I’m shooting it all on actual film with a Super 8 camera. I want it to feel really summery, upbeat and psychedelic: sun fun through a 60s lens. All that footage has to be sent away for processing before I can edit it so the timeline is not really firm yet but expect that to come out sometime in the fall. From there we’ll just keep working our way out west for shows and start working on the next record over the winter. We’re brimming with new songs that are ready to be immortalized.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?