Sam McCullough Interview

If you are in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and you haven’t heard about Sam McCullough yet, nows your chance!

Sam is an up and coming rock musician from Milwaukee who is getting his feet wet in the industry and looking to keep rock music alive.

I met up with Sam to chat music and where he plans on taking his music in the future.

Tell me a little bit about how you got started with music?
Linkin Park. My friend got me into the Hybrid Theory album awhile ago. But we always had music playing around in the car like Fleetwood Mac. They wanted me to play piano, but I didn’t have the attention span for it, so I picked up guitar.

Who would you say your musical influences are?
Linkin Park for sure caught my attention. I got into heavy music right away after that. I like a lot of the Ramones and, more current, As I Lay Dying…like heavy stuff. Oasis is also a really big one for me.

Since you’re influenced by heavier stuff, who would you say your favorite artists are?
Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, As I Lay Dying, Rise Against. Those would be my tops.

I’ve listened to the three songs you’ve released so far and “Fool” is my favorite. What is it about?
I was writing a lot of music at the time for the band I was in and I really just wanted that Rock and Roll vibe. I was watching a lot of the news and I was just going through a lot of stuff and I just started writing and out came the song. I didn’t have an intention with what the song is about, its just about everyone goes through a lot of stuff and just to embrace life.

Is that how the writing for the rest of your songs went? Just writing off life experiences?
Pretty much yeah. “Spotlight” is about living in the Middle East and just about being so far way from home and not wanting to be anywhere. But also about embracing the moment and just the feeling of “I’m gonna be alright” type of vibe.

Like the songs get kind of dark, but there’s always a positive message in the end that we can all learn from.

“Chasing Shadows” is about a girl. I released it after a breakup and it was actually about a different girl. But it turned out to work for both. It was just really about excepting that it sucks, but you’re better off for it.

You’re currently writing songs, are you planning on releasing an EP?
I wanted to get those three songs out in a short amount of time but close together. But I took a break because I moved out to Maryland. Since coming home I’ve got all this new stuff and I want to keep it all together and do a longer and bigger EP or like an 8 track type of thing. I want to do that by spring or summer.

Do you do everything yourself? Or do you have friends that help with the whole process?
I have the most DIY set up. I do everything myself and it just goes to show that you can make something out of something little. Money has never been something for me to just spend on a studio session. So I’ve just taught myself with everything, although I did have some people help me with “Chasing Shadows.”

As far as playing shows, are you reaching out to places?
I hit it really hard after I came back from Maryland. I did a few shows and just worked a lot with writing. I needed to get out everything that happened over the last year down. But I also just needed to practice these songs that I have and just work on them because it is just me. I want to have a band involved because the songs are fit for a full band.

Let’s throw in a few fun questions, if you were to have a mixtape that would explain your life, what songs would be on it?
I’d have to start off with a song by the Ramones, “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” because that was my favorite song in School of Rock. Then probably “Don’t Stay” by Linkin Park and probably all of Hybrid Theory. Bring Me the Horizon, “Sleepwalking” that was my jam since it was released. And definitely Oasis, “Live Forever” that song makes me cry.

Thats tough, thats a tough questions but those are ones that stick out to me for sure.

If you had the opportunity to build the perfect festival line up, who would be on the bill?
Liam Gallagher for sure because Oasis is broken up. Bring Me the Horizon on a separate night, Architects, As I Lay Dying if they are back together. The Misfits with Michael Graves, Rise Against and a lot of British bands. The Stone Roses, Courteeners, The Libertines. And then we’d just find people to play the morning.

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Sam is currently working on more material to release with an anticipation date of Spring/Summer 2019.

Meanwhile Sam is set to play his next show on Wendesday, November 21st at the Three Lions Pub in Milwaukee.

Make sure you check out his music and if you’re in the Milwaukee area and need something to do before the Thanksgiving comas take over, hit up his show.

Sam’s Links:
Spotify
Facebook
iTunes

Lucinda Belle

Lucinda Belle is a musician who is putting a jazz twist on modern music. Here is what she has to say about her music.

I think your style of music is fresh and new, what made you take this path with incorporating the harp into your music?
I started out playing the harp as a young child, but classically. In my early 20’s I discovered how to play Jazz on the harp in Nashville, of all places, right! Jazz…. I said.. not country…. well that was a game changer for me. It was at that point I realized I could start to incorporate the harp into my music, but it’s felt like an uphill battle at times, trying not to be categorized as something I’m not simply because my instrument is a harp. I bring rock ’n’ roll timeless and glamorous rebellion to what I do.. perhaps I fit in, perhaps I don’t… don’t care! I just do what comes naturally to me.

Who would you say are your biggest inspirations for the style you play?
This album is heavily influenced by the great American Songbook era, 50’s inspired vibes paying homage to the greats like Louis Prima and Billie Holliday but it also cites my earlier influences in reggae and hip hop, I made subtle changes in post production the beats ensuring we maintained the authentic 8 track recording we made, but adding more weight to the groove. I want people to get into the groove even though it may not be EDM but the groove just makes you wanna nod along in time!  My harp playing is inspired by none other the great Harpo Marx and Dorothy Ashby and the slightly more etherial darker songs on the album are influenced by my earlier EP ‘UrbanLullabies’ which is where I discovered the beauty of combing the harp with dark surf guitar.

Your Urban Lullabies EP is an unique take on the songs featured, what was the creative process like for that EP?
I was on a roll when I made this. I simply love adapting songs and truly casting my own unique impression on them. Simply doing a cover sometimes is great but it’s more challenging to completely re invent a song. My first album ‘ My Voice and 45 Strings’ was a fusion of country bluegrass and jazz and I felt the harp got lost in that record, so I wanted to deliver something totally unique that gave the harp a platform to truly shine. Obviously the harp lends itself to relaxing music and so I came up with the idea of Urban Lullabies. turning rap into lullaby with TI’s Slideshow and turning rock into romance with Nirvana’s ’Smells like Teen Spirit’.

Your next release, Think Big: Like Me, what can we expect from that? Release date set yet?
I’m very amped up for this release and it’s actually coming out in early December (exact date TBD). My second single is due for release October 28th along with the video. It’s called “I’ll be Loving you” and it’s the first song I wrote on the album. I literally had just been dumped by my boyfriend and I wrote it with my collaborator Simon Harris, taking breaks to cry and laugh at the same time.  I’m totally excited about this album, I feel proud of the body of work and in that sense it’s a true album, a body of songs that tell a story and compliment each other, reflecting on a period of my life.

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Here’s where you can find Lucinda

Website
Youtube
Twitter
Instagram
SoundCloud
iTunes

Alessa Ray Interview

Alessa Ray is an up and coming pop singer who is bringing her own Latin flare to the industry. Alessa took some time out to answer some questions about her upcoming singles, EP and shows.

Tell me about your song Mamacita? What is the inspiration behind it?
The song Mamacita was inspired by real life experiences. I decided to add a little bit of latin flavor mixing Spanish and English to show my South American roots.

Can we be expecting an EP or album from you in the future?
I will be releasing a new EP later this year or in early 2019. I’m so excited to show my audience who I am as an artist and songwriter. A few years ago I actually released a 6 song EP but since then my style has changed. This time around I am adding more latin influences and styles of music that will get people dancing. I want my audience to have fun like I do!

I see more latin inspired music moving its way into the mainstream radios, do you think its important for more latin artists to try and get their music in this market?
I believe that Latin artists can go in both directions if they want, and the overall market for Latin music is huge as well in both North and South America. If you have the chance to go in both directions I believe that it’s a great bet.

What is next for you and your music? New singles? New shows
Yes. My new single “Game Over” will release this Friday (9/21) and I will be performing at Bar 20, doing an acoustic show in Los Angeles on September 26th. After that I plan on releasing singles from the new EP every few months on top of new shows being announced shortly.

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Be sure to check out Alessa Ray’s music and follow her on her social media site linked below.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
“Mamacita” Music Video

Lydia Ford Interview

Lydia Ford is a singer/songwriter that is making new waves in the electronic pop scene with a new sound and approach to writing.

I had a chat with Lydia to discuss this change and what is to come next from it.

Tell me a little about your song Bittersweet.
Bittersweet is a pop song that has elements of The Weekend and Disclosure, as I’d like to say, and its a bit of a new direction for me. I used to do singer/songwriter type stuff and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

The song is about a date that I had where I had fun but it was all over a little too soon. The song starts off a little sexy and coy and then ends quickly with rejection and its a little bittersweet.

What made the change from singer/songwriter to this new pop direction?
That was actually to do with the producers that I work with, Steam Phunk. I worked with them on a few feature songs on SoundCloud, and I loved it! I liked how things sounded more perfectly polished and I decided that I wanted to swing that way with my own music. But this is the first track that went under my name.

Do you think you will be continuing to work with Steam Phunk on more songs?
Yea I think that is the plan at the moment. I still write with guitar but then I send the demo track over and they just make it nice and polished.

Any plans for an EP?
I think it will just be singles for now. I put out an EP last summer which was more of the singer/songwriter style. But it seems that singles are more of the way to go right now in the industry, so I think I will stick with that for awhile. And maybe once I work up enough material I can release an EP or maybe even an album one day.

Do you tend to lean towards a concept when writing or is it whatever comes to you?
I think it unintentionally turns out to be around a theme. But its not like I think this is the concept that I’m working on. I like to have an overall sonic identity where when you hear it you’re like “that’s a Lydia Ford song.”

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I first started playing guitar and writing music because of Avril Lavigne. But more modern, I really love Sigrid, Dua Lipa, and in Ireland (which is where I’m from) there are a few up and coming artists that I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do.

Any plans for upcoming shows?
Its a little up in the air right now because I want to work out my electronic set. I actually wanna play it instead of sing to a back up track, so I got to work out how to play it and make it an actual show. I had a few opportunities come up but I’ve turned them down because I want to be an actual performer.

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Make sure to check out Lydia’s song ‘Bittersweet’ and all her social media sites to stay up to date on her music.

Bittersweet
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

 

Nick Arneson Interview

Portland based musician and producer, Nick Arneson, is an indie rock artist who recently released his new album, MidLifeCrisis on August 17, 2018.

Arneson’s raw emotions come out to play a major role in this new album, and I had the pleasure to chat with him about the meanings of the songs.

Tell me a little about the album, is there an overall message being told?
The overall theme is kind of in the title. I joke with my friends that I am going through a midlife crisis. This is almost like my sports car or model girlfriend. The message is about all the shit you have to take care of when you get to be my age (39).

But there is also another layer, if you spend some time with the album the bigger meaning is societal. As a country, we are kind of going through a midlife crisis as well. With social media now its hard to rally around a cause because we can’t focus on one problem at a time to help fight the evils of the world.

Which song on the album sticks out as having a personal meaning to you?
The whole thing is personal, there’s not an ounce of bullshit. But there are a couple relationship songs on there that are super personal. Try and Stay are really close to home, but the latter half of the record is more existential in nature.

Tell me about the inspiration behind the song ‘Once’?
I quit drinking recently, it was something that I had dealt with for a long time. The song Once is basically me talking to myself about that. Whatever vices people face, its about that inner voice that everyone has telling them its not worth it, but their body just isn’t listening.

If you had to pick one song to tell people to listen to that would sum up the whole album, what song would it be?
I would say, Inertia. Its the most outlaying song and my favorite on the album. Its the most rock and roll, and I played all the instruments except for bass. It starts out very inward talking about the process and then it goes into social commentary talking about whats going on around us. It has a lot of my over all message of the album. But I would also pick Outsiders, it talks about not quite fitting in with the crowd and being a little different.

What can fans except to see from you in the upcoming months?
I feed the internet. I do live performances, I have a place I call ‘The Barn’ and I do a live stream on there. So in the next few weeks I’ll be doing a performance on there and I typically announce them weeks out. Sometimes we do full album performances, and we did one for the album release.

But musically, I’ve been working on the next album. I got so much material that I just don’t know what to do with it. So I’ve been trying to stay on this album for a little bit long and then move on to the next.

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You can keep up to date with Nick and his music on his website www.nickarnesonmusic.com

Photos provided Bradley PR and Marketing.

Boy Hero Releases New Single “Window Pains”

Boy Hero releases new single, “Window Pains” which has us hoping for a new EP from the group soon.

Boy Hero has previously been releasing throwback covers to keep our earbuds entertained; already covering A Day to Remember, All Time Low and My Chemical Romance. When I spoke with singer, Dan Rudd, last December he told me that he was working on a spooky-Halloween themed EP in which he was hoping to release this fall.

I always look forward for new material from Boy Hero and “Window Pains” is no disappointment.

You can listen to “Window Pains” as well as all of Boy Hero’s previous material on all platforms.

Window Pains Youtube (Audio)
Window Pains iTunes
Boy Hero Spotify
Boy Hero iTunes
Boy Hero Twitter
Boy Hero Instagram
Boy Hero Facebook

No More by Silk Cinema | Song Review

My friends in Silk Cinema released a new song yesterday (5/25/18) called “No More” and its a song for summer.

I’ve previously done a review for Silk Cinema and their sound is similar to most electronic pop artists. “No More” is a song that I can see being played on radio or even being covered by acts like Dua Lipa.

Silk Cinema explains the song meaning as being “about having enough of a bad situation and resolving to not accept it anymore. It also acknowledges the nagging doubts and insecurities that can come from this.”

The soulful vocals come in during the beginning to draw you in and give you a sense of what to expect in the song. I feel that the listener can really feel the “fed up” attitude that the song gives through the vocal line.

Once again, Silk Cinema does a great job of working on the ups and downs of a song to give it a sense of motion. That is something that I love about a song, is when there is movement in the melodies and the supporting instrumental.

Silk Cinema released another great track for the electronic pop / chill music genre that I feel can be enjoyed across all music lovers.

You can check out the song on SoundCloud, Apple, and Spotify.

Make sure to check out their other work while you’re there as well.

NEW LANGUAGE | Interview

NEW LANGUAGE is an Los Angeles based group that was started by Tyler Demorest and Matt Cohen. The two have been writing and playing in bands for almost a decade and in 2016 formed NEW LANGUAGE.

Recently the band has released an EP entitled, “Everybody Screams” and two music videos for their songs “Everybody Screams” and “Show Me.” I had the opportunity to chat with Demorest and Cohen about their new releases.

Tell me about your song “Show Me,” what is it about?

TD: We started jamming with a friend of ours and it just grew instrumentally that way. Lyrically, it is about things that I [Tyler] is struggling with. I left it open for people to interpret what they are struggling with. For me [Tyler] its about what goes on around me and like if you’re not raised a Christian, you can still be a good person for example.

Did you come up with the concept for the music video?

MC: The concept itself is just a fun tone with our mascot. It was filmed all in one shot and Tyler did the animations.

TD: We just thought it would be cool to have Richard [our mascot] dance in the streets of LA and have like dancers and confetti canons but not be too over the top or silly.

Explain the meaning behind the title track off the EP, Everybody Screams.

TD: Theres just a lot of yelling from both sides and not a lot of listening. People are just not willing to listen to each other and have an intelligent conversation anymore.

The music video is a little different, what was the concept about?

TD: With the video we wanted to show that concept of the song. So we photoshopped pictures of ourselves with big mouths just covering the whole face. That just represents the concept of people screaming. And behind us are just images that symbolizes what the song was saying and creating a feeling of how big the world is and how many problems people have. Just gives you a sense of humanity, I guess.

Is there a theme or message throughout the EP?

TD: I wouldn’t say that there is a theme or message with our EP, I just write about what I’m feeling or wrestling with at the time. We don’t sit down and say “okay this EP is going to be about this theme.”

Which song off Everybody Screams  would you recommend to a new listener?

TD & MC: Show Me because it just represents what anyone can be going through. Its up to interpretation by the listener.

How would you describe your stage performance?

MC: I would say that whenever we get up on stage we just kind of give it our all. I would call it energetic and inducing. We always like to get the audience involved and we hope that audiences feels the same energy we feel.

Anything set for the future of NEW LANGUAGE?

TD: Yea we have a few songs coming out in the next couple of months and some shows set for us to play in the beginning of May. But generally just more shows, more music and hopefully a new EP in the summer.

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You can check out NEW LANGUAGE’s songs on their Youtube and be sure to stay up to date on NEW Language news you can follow them at their social media links below.

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Website

Photos provided by Bradley PR + Marketing

J-Hope “Hope World” | Album Review

Is it possible for an album to give you the stank face but also be full of puppies and rainbows? I never thought it was possible until I listened to the long awaited mixtape by BTS’ J-Hope.

For over a year now, fans have been waiting for J-Hope to release a mixtape to complete the rap line’s collection of solo albums. The day finally came in mid February when he announced that his mixtape was set to release March 2, 2018.

On the day of the release, the 7 track album went out along with the music video for the lead single, “Daydream.” I’ll be honest, I listened to that song for a solid 30 minutes on repeat after it was released. For anyone that knows J-Hope, or at least anyone who is familiar with his bright, off the wall personality, will understand when I say this is a “J-Hope” song.

The music video along with the lyrics and the beat of the song match perfectly with J-Hope’s personality and vibe. He always brings a sense of “hope” and sunshine to the group and it shines bright with this song. Another song on the album that compliments this match to personality would be the title track, “Hope World.”

But when you get past the puppies and rainbows vibe songs you get songs like “Base Line” and “항상 (Hangsang) ft. Supreme Boi.” These songs are where his true roots show with hard base lines and intense lyrics that give you that “stank face” reaction.

This even blend of hard and soft makes for a mixtape that throws all sorts of emotions in your face and perfectly depicts his style and personality. Overall, I’ve been playing this album on repeat since its release and I’m incredibly pleased and proud of J-Hope for taking his time to release a solid album that he’s proud of.

The album is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Nokay ‘The One I Feed’ | Album Review

Nokay is an East Coast based Indie/Pop/Electronic songwriter who has been featured on Huffington Post, AXS, Tattoo.com and many more. His previous single “Fear” (which has received 50k plays on Soundcloud) made my playlist for the year and was one of my favorite releases of 2017. You can read a short review of his song “Fear” here. Nokay just released his follow up single “Passenger” which is featured on his upcoming debut EP “The One I Feed.”

Being a fan of Nokay’s smooth, rich, voice I was excited to be asked to review his debut EP. As previously stated, “Fear” was a music highlight for me for 2017 and his new single “Passenger” is climbing the list for 2018. There are movements to this song that remind me of being on a boat. The verses are slow and steady like a calm ocean, just floating on the water enjoying the scenery.

But when the chorus kicks in, the waves start to hit. The boat is rocking and you’re holding on, trying not to fall off. The moments of calm and chaos add to the story behind the song and a journey in his life. You can read the full story behind the song on Genius. The length of time it took to make this song paid off, because it’s beautifully composed and executed.

The next two songs on the EP are “Mercury” and “Antares” and the EP closes with “Fear.” One thing that I love about Nokay’s writing is the journey that he takes you on through his words and his supporting insturmentals. His songs have mountains and valleys that emphasize his vocal abilities, emotions and meanings or inspirations for each song.

When listening to music I want to be taken on a journey, feel the emotions of the songs, be wrapped up in the world of the artist, basically get lost in it. Nokay is an artist that allows you to do just that and really experience his music. I am excited to see where this EP will take him and I’ll anticipate more work from him in the future.

You can listen to Nokay’s music on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify.

Be sure to check Nokay out on his social media sites for the release of “The One I Feed” and other upcoming events from him.
Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Website

*Photos curtesy of Bradley PR + Marketing*

Boy Hero Interview

Boy Hero is an LA based post hardcore band thats on the rise in their music scene. I’ve done some reviews for them in the past and was pleased to have a chat with singer Dan Rudd to learn more about the group and their music.

How did you meet the other members in the group?
Through different music ventures. It comes down to just friends, meeting people through other shows and bands.

It seems like there was a name change from Kings to Boy Hero? Why is that?
We originally were Kings and we had a logo and everything planned out for that. And what ended up happening was that there was another band that put out a logo that we were going to use right when we were going to launch everything. So we had to come up with something different.

The story behind Boy Hero is that Ben came up with it through a different project name that he never used. And being on the spot we had to use something so we went with it. But as time went on past that point, for me, it took the meaning of going it alone and doing it yourself. Don’t sit there and wait for the phone ring just go out there and make as much happen as you can on your own.

Let’s talk about the self titled EP, what was the writing and recording process like?
The writing process was where I had written a bunch of songs before the band was even a thing. I was kind of getting back into music from stepping away for a year or so. Then Jason, the original drummer, had produced the entire album. It was a thing where we were both new to LA and it just started off just demoing some stuff in my bedroom. It just came together.

You collaborated with Tyler Carter of Issues on the song “Desperate”, how did that fall into place?
That song was from my old band that was never released. So I rewrote it to fit the style of Boy Hero. I’ve been friends with Tyler for like 6 years or so I just asked him if he was interested in doing it and he was all for it.

What are the meanings behind the titles “10912” and “Vivian Grey”?
“10912” is actually a date. If you separate the numbers it ends up being in October and is actually the day my best friend growing up died. That song is my story of what I felt like happened. There are more songs that are about that, but this is kind of the start. I didn’t know how to title that track, because it was a really tough one to write. Its my feelings and I didn’t want anyone to feel like I was being disrespectful in any way.

“Vivian Grey” is definitely a metaphor. It started out as an inside joke. We used it as a way of saying “don’t be a baby” or “don’t be stupid” and the song just took shape around someone who was like that. So it was like a joke that became sort of like a real thing.

Recently you’ve released, “Last One” and “Stay Away”. What are those songs about?
Basically I had an idea to do a Halloween themed EP and I’ve been working on that for the past year and a half or so. We are still in the process of editing and mixing it right now, but I just wanted to put out some new music. So these songs are going to be a little darker, heavier or intense but its still going to fit the music and be fun.

It’ll have moments where, what me and my friends like to call, stank face moments, where you’re just like “oh yeah.” And those songs will be going on the EP, but we are still in the process of editing and getting things mixed and possibly adding more songs. But theres no release date set for it yet but hopefully around October at the latest.

If you could put together a dream tour or collaboration, who would be included?
My dream collaboration would be to write lyrics and vocals with Gerard Way or Bert McCracken. I would love to do work with Matt Good, the guitarist of From First to Last, or something with Ryan Key of Yellowcard. There are so many people that I look up to and would love to just sit in a session with them or work with them. I would take away so much from an opportunity like that.

I would love for there to be a tour of My Chemical Romance and The Used. I would kill to open for something like that. But a dream tour would be to tour with friends of mine. I would love to open for Issues or One Ok Rock, or with my friend Dakota who is in Blindwish. Just to hang out with my friends and play music everyday.

What would you say are the highlights of 2017 for you? What can we look forward to for 2018?
Highlights of this past year is just getting going on the EP. It was a huge step for me, personally, to get back in the saddle because I was kind of in a writers block for a while. I just wasn’t feeling anything, but I found new forms of inspiration from things that I like and started bringing life experiences into those stories.

Next year, I wanna tour and release the EP. I don’t want to set the bar too high, I just want to work as much as I can and try to get out there and get on a tour hopefully. I’m going to try and do some more videos and make that a regular thing, and just try to do as much writing as possible and work on our craft and get better.

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Boy Hero’s current self-titled EP is available on iTunes for purchase as well as Spotify.

You can find Boy Hero at all the link below.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Scott St. Louis Interview

Scott St. Louis is an artist with a message to tell and with his new single “I Think You’re Beautiful” his story-telling comes to life. I had the opportunity to talk with Scott St. Louis about his music and what inspires him.

Tell me what you’re new single, I Think You’re Beautiful, is about.

I was in a past relationship with someone who had an eating disorder. And it was tragic because you could tell them that they are beautiful but they wouldn’t believe you because they don’t see that. And it was through that process that I realized that a lot of people feel that way. Society tells you that you have to dress a certain way or have certain things for people to accept you. So the message of the song is that you are beautiful the way you are. Its much more beautiful when people like who they are and are confident and comfortable with themselves.

What was the concept for the video?

When I sat down with the director I told him that I didn’t want to video to be about me. I wanted it to have a purpose and the purpose had to represent the message of the song. So he came up with the concepts and I came up with the little messages you see in the video. When you look at the book and the title says two separate things based off who was looking at it. I wanted it to be like when someone tells you that you’re beautiful, you don’t hear it that way, you hear something negative. And it happens to everyone, guys and girls, and I wanted the message to be portrayed in the video.

I hear a lot of different styles in your voice, what are you inspired by?

I don’t know, I listen to a lot of different stuff. I am inspired by whatever moves me at the time. I’ve been compared to a lot of different people but no one can really put their finger on it. But, I don’t know my favorite artists goes in and out. More recently its been Tom Petty, the drummer for the Heartbreakers plays on my album so I’ve been around them a lot. But I like Snow Patrol, The Struts, the Foo Fighters, but really whatever moves me at the time. I need to feel it in order for me to like it.

What kind of messages do you like to send out through your music?

Its really all across the board. I do try to stay away from politics and typically it would come out of anger for me from both sides of the spectrum. But every song that I write its the way that I process how I’m feeling and say what I want to say. So songwriting is like therapy for me. I look at the song as a painting from a moment in time; starting with a sketch and then adding color to it until it touches me. Because if I can feel it, then I feel like others can feel it as well.

After being in the business for quite a few years, what is something that you’ve learned?

The main thing that I learned is that you have to really love what you do. If you are going into it for money or for fame then you are going to be in for a huge disappointment. I have to learn how to be a fan again. At several points I had to learn how to be a fan again and go and support and be part of a music community. As opposed to trying to be a rock star or anything for me. I really didn’t want this record to be about me but that hopefully someone out there will listen to it and it will help them through something that they are going through. But overall, one thing I would say to people going into this is to be a fan, learn to be a fan and love what you do.

What can we expect to see from you in 2018?

We have another record coming out, but sooner than that we are going to be releasing another video for the song “Does Anyone Know the Way.” Its going to be a concept where we follow around a homeless veteran family and we try to get them back on their feet. Its going to be more documentary style because I don’t want it to be about me. I want it to be about focusing on trying to help people. But probably at the end of the year we will release the album, but in the spring of 2018 we will be going on a tour but nothing set in stone yet; or at least nothing that I can confirm yet.

 

You can watch the video for “I Think You’re Beautiful” here.
And be sure to follow Scott St. Louis on all his social medias linked below.

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Photo provided by WendyFordPR

Sages Interview

Sages is a Rock band from Sacramento, California who pulls inspiration from legends like Metallica, Deftones, and more. Their current single, “Matter of Time” is out right now, and I had the opportunity to chat with member Dino about the song and what’s in store for Sages’ future.

What is the song, “Matter of Time” all about?

It’s inspired by what is going on today. There has been a lot of truths coming out lately and a lot of people are waking up to these truths. I’ve just noticed that people, myself included, are picking up on all of it as well. And it’s only a matter of time until sh*t goes down, basically.

Do you do most of the writing or is it more of a collaboration with all the members?

I did most of the writing in the first couple of years. But “Matter of Time” and a few songs before that have all been collaborative efforts.

Will we be seeing these songs on an EP or full length soon?

We are actually going out to Vegas on the first of next month to work on a few songs. And hopefully putting out an EP in the first quarter of next year.

The song “Matter of Time” is being played in fitness gyms throughout November and December, how did that transpire?

I’m not sure. Our publicist, he just hit us up one day and said “Good News!” and it’s being featured in like 4,000 gyms across the country. I have no clue how he landed that but we are all pretty stoked about it.

Tell me about the music video, who directed it and where was it shot?

We shot the music video in our rehearsal studio. My buddy, Kelly Smith, who is a jack of all trades and does everything, just came out and did it himself. His production company, Eye45 Productions, produced it and we had some lights and fog machines and it was super gnarly. It was in the middle of summer and there was no AC in there, it was a crazy experience. We did it in a day and it was pretty cool.

I see you’re doing a lot of one off shows here and there, are there any plans for a tour?

Oh yea! I can’t say right now exactly what is in store. But it is pretty massive and the tentative plans we have right now looks like end of April/May we will be out on tour. We are kind of prepping right now to get all this wrapped up and done by spring time and hopefully be out on tour.

If you could craft the perfect tour line up, who would be on the list?

Oh gosh! For me personally, and I say it all the time, definitely Metallica and definitely the Deftones. Right now, a band that I’ve been listening to forever would be Story of the Year. They are about to drop a new record and I’ve been listening to some of their stuff and all their singles they’ve been dropping are awesome! But 30 Seconds to Mars would be cool too, and Periphery.

Do you believe that it’s important to listen to different genres of music to absorb different technics or should someone just stick to one lane?

I think its absolutely, for me, a better situation to take inspiration from all angles. There are certain progressions in our music that are pulled from inspirations from all over. I can take stuff from meditation music and jazz fusion music and make it something that is Sages. But definitely, being diverse in that helps you grow as a musician.

You signed to We Keep Rocking Productions, how did you land that deal?

The owner of the company is out of Sacramento area and he was at a Sages show. He really like the band and we were talking for a year and a half. We kind of lost touch a little bit from being busy on both ends. But some time later we got back in touch and we signed with him and we are all really excited to see what will happen. There are a lot of really cool things in store and I wish I could just spill the beans but I can’t! A typical story, but really cool and we are excited to be working with Rob Snyder.

What is the plan right now other than going to Vegas to record?

Basically we are just working on new songs. We do have one show before the end of the year. But we are just preparing to hit the ground running after the start of the year.

What is something you’ve learned since starting your journey in music?

After being about knee deep in the industry for about 12 years, I’ve learned a lot of things. But one thing is that I’ve learned is that yes there is a lot of bullsh*t, but there is the flip side that is true. There are genuinely good people who care about you and your band and who are here to help you. Not only to help make money, but they are there to help inspire people too. There is a lot of music that is manufactured to sell and not inspire, and its just soul crushing. But a lot of artists don’t care, they’re like just put us on tour. There’s a lot of bad people and there’s a lot of good people out there too.

MatterOfTimeSages

You can listen to Sages’ song “Matter of Time” here.

Be sure to follow Sages on their social media platforms below.
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Chris Hornbrook Interview

Chris Hornbrook is a professional drummer whose works include Poison the Well, Senses Fail and recently Dhani Harrison. I had the opportunity to chat with Chris about his career.

How did you get started with drumming?

I grew up around it. My dad was a bass player so there was tons of music around the house. At about 7 I started playing guitar, it was cool but I just didn’t like it that much. I then messed around with other instruments like alto saxphone. Then when I was in 12 I had a friend that was selling a drumset and I just kind of messed around with it a bit and just fell in love. So I convinced my parents to cough up $200 to buy it for me. Then from there I just started learning as much as I could.

Since you were a fan of the 90s music scene in Seattle, and Dave Grohl being one of your inspirations, would you say you are a Nirvana fan?

Yea, Nirvana was kind of the band that did it for me. I think that’s common for people my age and hearing Nevermind was pretty cool for me. But I really fell in love with In Utero that was the record that I heard and was like “whoa what is this?” It was so dark and everything was live. Like Kurt Cobain’s guitar was a scratch track. I just really liked how it was all put together.

When did playing in bands start for you? Was there anything before Poison the Well?

There was. There was a punk band that I was in, and that was my first real band. Before that it was just jamming with kids from high school and friends. Then I joined Poison the Well in the end of 1997/1998 and I was in it until hiatus in 2009. But, yea I was with Poison the Well during most of their entire incarnation.

So then what was the timeline of bands since Poison the Well?

As Poison the Well, our old guitarist started a band so I did some session with him and recorded some stuff. Then after that I moved to California and started jamming with friends here but never got anything going. Then I met a guy that was doing the final pressing for a band called Big Black Delta. Just really great, well done electronic pop music and I did some touring with them. But when that cycle ended that’s when I started doing Senses Fail. But between then I did some odds and ends stuff here and there, but now from Senses Fail I went into playing for Dhani Harrison. But I’m still jumping back and forth from Sense Fail and Dhani Harrison, its just that Senses Fail isn’t doing stuff right now.

While working with Dhani Harrison, who has a different style than your previous work, how did you work with that change?

It was taking a lot of queues off of what he wanted. So he had programmed some stuff and then other people programmed some stuff and so it was a lot of layering. When he played me the tracks it was just learning what he wanted from me. There were 4 or 5 tracks going at the same time and as a human, I couldn’t do that…I only have 2 arms and 2 legs. So it was taking what he gave me and turning it into something I could play and still being what he wanted. It was more so, “What are you looking for?” Every band is different, some want it exactly how its written and some don’t mind if you add a bit of yourself into it.

Luckily for me he just lets me do what I want. Because he knows I’ll stay within the perimeters of the song. We would just kind of sit down and work on some stuff because it was just a matter of taking an electronic record and putting into a live setting, which I had a lot of experience doing.

How long did you have to prepare for this tour with Dhani Harrison?

We did a bunch of stuff leading up to this tour. So we had a few weeks of rehearsal to play around and get the songs to where we wanted them for those shows and then when we came back I had like a week off. Then we went back into rehearsals do so a radio show and we went back in and started preparing again. Then it was just some shows here and some time off. Until we came back and started preparing for this tour. So we have been in and out for the past 2 to 3 months. And each time we came back and tweaked some things and everyone in the rehearsal room would add something. And Dhani would be there and add some things and just kind of guide it a bit, but he trusts all of us.

What is in the future after this tour ends?

When this ends, there’s talk about some more stuff with Dhani and then there’s also talk about some stuff with Senses Fail. But, nothing is certain yet, its just all up in the air. So I will have some time off to just kind of recollect and handle some personal affairs. But its also one of those things where I’m always on my toes because I could get a call either Dhani or Senses Fail and so its like I’m starting to relax but not too much.

Do you think in the future you would continue jumping between projects or do you think you’ll stick with one group?

Ideally I would like to balance back and forth. But realistically it makes it difficult because sometimes conflicts come up where I have to choose one on priority. So in an ideal world I would stick with one band that could support be financially and keep me in a position where I’m happy and musically challenging. I don’t know how realistic that is because of the way the world works. So the realistic response is that I will be bouncing back and forth between a few things.

You’ve been staying in the same lane musically with your drumming. Is there a genre of music or artist that you would like to drum for?

Well that’s a tricky question. I don’t want to say that I’m closed off to the ideal of doing something else, but I’ve come to the realization that I’m a fan of songs. I like being a song crafter, I like being with people who have a story to tell. That is the most appealing thing to me. I don’t like jazz, it doesn’t appeal to me. Same with Latin, there are elements of those genres that I like and maybe one day will implement those but I like really great songs. Whether it be in a pop format or another, I just really like songs. Maybe that’s why I stayed in the lane I did because I like crafting songs. Like with Dhani its more of his scoring. Then you have elements of The Beatles, because of the obvious, but then it has the electronic element because he really likes a lot of electronics. So at the end of the day he writes really cool songs, and that’s what I like.

If you could pick any moment(s) throughout your career, what would be the ones that stick out to you?

Favorite moments would be first with Poison the Well, doing our first major label release. It was extremely exciting, we drove from Florida to California and tracked the record with people we respected and then went to Sweden to finish the record. And after that we jumped right into our first European tour. I just remember that entire time just being really exciting and just being on the edge of everything you imaged just manifesting.

Playing with Dhani is super cool. I was a big Beatles fan and a fan of his father’s. And just getting to know him as a dude and getting to know his music has been a really rad experience. You just see past what other people see, like I know him better and I know what makes him tick musically from spending hours with him in rehearsals.

Another one is playing with Big Black Delta. Even though they might not have much name recognition, but John is one of the most talented songwriters and musicians that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. So with being around him I feel like I absorbed new ways of approaching music and crafting music.

A lot of my highlights are with Poison the Well because it was a lot of firsts with me. Not saying that everything else diminishes, but the overall experience with Poison the Well is a highlight. They were most of my firsts that represented the accomplishments of what I wanted to do and dreamed of doing. That band led to everything else that I’ve done, it was the root of it all.

Looking back, what is something that you learned?

The biggest thing, and the general misconception, is that just because you get signed to a label, you automatically become rich. Some of them stick and some of them don’t, and you hear about the ones that stick and go on to have successful careers but you don’t hear about the ones that don’t. And with tours, yea you’re making money by playing to a bunch of people, but just like any other business there are operational costs. People just don’t realize the cost involved with doing it, and I was the same way. Some of it I learned from my dad and some of it I had to learn the hard way. But that was the biggest thing that I learned.

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Chris Hornbrook is currently on tour with Dhani Harrison until the end of November.

You can find Chris on his social media sites linked below.

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Photo by Josh Giroux

Stay Away | Boy Hero

I always get excited when an unsigned band releases new music, especially a band as good as Boy Hero. They are a group to definitely keep on eye on.

In the past I’ve reviewed their EP “Boy Hero” which you can check out as well. Recently Boy Hero has been releasing songs over the past month and its getting me excited for the release of their upcoming EP.

Their single “Last One” was released for Halloween and now they are back with an acoustic song “Stay Away” and a beautiful video to match. Dan’s voice has always been a unique one that I’ve enjoyed listening to and this acoustic song really emphasizes the vulnerability in his voice.

If you are a fan of alternative or even pop punk bands, please check out Boy Hero. But for now, check out their new song because it is definitely one that will be on repeat for me.

Stay Away Video

 

*Disclaimer. All Reviews are my opinion and interpretation of the songs/album. You might think differently. Please be respectful.

Ghost of Me | Andrew Carter Song Review

If you want a song to take you back to a 50’s sock hop, then “Ghost of Me” by Andrew Carter is the song you need to listen to.

Andrew Carter is a county rock artist that has a unique blend of the two genres of music that is reminiscent to Lynyrd Synyrd. If you want to learn more about Andrew, you can read my interview with him here.

“Ghost of Me” will be Carter’s new single off his self-titled album. Going into this review I thought I was going to hear a timeless country song that tells a story of a man looking back on who he used to be and the journey he took to be where he is now. Just a classic song reflecting on the changes we go through as humans. But I was wrong.

Yes, the song does talk about how he used to do “this” or “that” but that is now the ghost of him. But it is not the typical country sound that I would have expected to hear. It starts off with this be-bopping bass line that just moves effortlessly up and down the scale.

Then the bluesy guitar kicks in and takes you on this journey back in time where bands dressed in suits and during the guitar breakdown the guitarist slides to the front of the stage on his knees and just shreds.  The overall feel of this song is one that you would typically hear at a 50’s sock hop with greasers and ladies in poodle skirts; but still keeping his country roots strong.

If you are anything like me, someone who is not usually a country listener, you should really give Carter’s music a chance. He is country, but true country. His music is not like your radio pop country today, he is a breath of nostalgia both in the country genre and the rock genre.

“Ghost of Me” is a fun, energetic song that takes you back in time and Andrew Carter is an artist on the rise that everyone should keep an eye on. I am looking forward to seeing where he will go next with his music.

You can follow Andrew on the sites below and hear his song “Ghost of Me” on his website.

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Photo provided by Wendy Ford PR
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Andrew Carter Interview

Andrew Carter is a true son of the south that is bringing back good ol’ fashioned Southern Rock to the forefront of country music. His self-titled album “Andrew Carter” tells a story and brings the feeling of home and nostalgia wherever you go. A few days ago I got the chance to sit down and chat with Andrew about his music and more.

What was the music scene like for you growing up?
In Stockbridge, where I grew up, it was okay; we really grew up on Atlanta’s music scene. But in Jacksonville, the music scene has always been here, although its hard to get people to come out to shows and support you. Once the world knows who you are, Jacksonville just starts to listen to you.

What music did you listen to growing up?
My mom would trick us into cleaning the house by turning on the radio and cleaning to classic rock. So a lot of Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd. But as I got older, I really got into punk rock, really anything Discord Records was putting out. But I kept listening to Classic Rock and I had a step dad that had every country vinyl ever so that was fun listening to that.

I read that you started out as a drummer. How did you get interested in drums?
I had three brothers and one was a natural born musician. He taught me how to play the drums. He would set it up and it was just a snare, high hat and kick drum. And for the longest time I could only hit the snare and high hat. I couldn’t quite get my foot to kick that pedal. But one day it happened and I made a beat and I was hooked every since. However, I don’t have a kit right now, but I do go to the Guitar Center and play the kits they have set up.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
What I’m pulling from right now with this last album and the next two to come, I’m pulling from those classic southern rock bands. I went on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and worked as an assistant to their piano player. I learned a lot of from them because they are great performers. You have to be a true professional to be in that band, because they are true professionals. They are an amazing rock and roll blues band and I pull from them a lot.

I am all about the show. Anyone that you talk to that have seen me perform, they will tell you that I am all about the show and Lynyrd Skynyrd puts on a show. So who wouldn’t want to emulate that?

How would you describe the vibe of your self-titled album, “Andrew Carter”?
They have a sense of nostalgia. They sound like sounds that your parents might have listened to, and I like that. I think that some people will be refreshed if it was on the radio and I think people will appreciate the air that it is familiar to. People will recognize the familiarity.

Talking from one musician to another in Nashville, people are ready for this. They are angry with what is on the radio right now because its almost more pop than country. Nothing wrong with pop or rap, I listen to that and love it, but make a pop song and don’t call it country.

What would you say is your favorite song on the album? What is it about?
Long Road Home. Its the slowest song on the album. The story about is that my friend was going through a hard time in Nashville. Her brother offered her this RV, but she had to pick it up in California and drive it back. It was the best time for her to go out there and get the RV and drive it back and think. I was talking to her back and forth while she was doing that and I wrote down what she was telling me. I just put it together and I really like the instrumentation of it and the story of it. Its the only story song, it doesn’t have a chorus, just three verses. But all the songs are my favorite.

What is the highlight of your musical career so far?
Performing with my band The Bumbs. Being able to play and tour together has been the highlight so far. They are the band that is on the album and they put all that music together because I couldn’t have done that all by myself. That band is just amazing and being able to work with them is the highlight.

If you had to choose a concert line up, open for or headliner, who would be on the bill?
I would like to open for would be two of them. Lynyrd Skynyrd or Tom Petty. I think it would be amazing to open for either of those bands. If I did a headlining tour, I would like to form a band behind me so The Bumbs could be my opener.

Plans or goals for the future?
I got two new albums in the works. One I will release pretty early in 2018 and the other one will be out in late spring of 2018. But 2018 is full of touring, my label is working on getting me out on the road a lot for hopefully all of 2018. Festivals are in the workings for being booked, but nothing confirmed yet.

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andrewcarter

You can listen to Andrew Carter’s self-titled on his website. You can stay up to date on all events and current news for Andrew Carter by following him on his social media sites, linked below.

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Photos provided by Wendy Ford PR