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

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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.