Friday, February 7, 2014

Mystery Skulls & Robert Delong - El Rey Theater - January 31, 2014

Robert Delong
One of the things I love most about a live show is when I haven't seen the band or artist perform in a while, so that I have something to compare the performance to. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of pretty much any type of performance - new or old to me. There's just something great about being able to say to yourself, or if you're fortunate, the artist, "Wow, you've come a long way." In this case, I was able to say that very thing to both artists.

I first saw Robert Delong perform at Echo Park Rising almost 2 years ago, Summer 2012. He wasn't very well-known then, at least not to my knowledge (or by the appearance of how many fans he had at that point). He had much less fancy equipment then. Fast forward to January 2013 and he's selling out a headlining tour and having the Mowglis surprise everyone on-stage.


Mystery Skulls (aka Luis Dubuc)is a new project, but it's obvious as the time passes that Luis has such diversity as an artist. Having just seen his first performance as Mystery Skulls last summer and enjoying it thoroughly, I wasn't sure what to expect when I found out he was touring with Robert Delong. From the moment I stepped into the room and saw his extensive set-up on stage and felt the energy of the crowd, I knew that he had grown even just in the past months since summer.


The way that he owns the stage and has this presence over everyone, that isn't looking down on them, but making an experience everyone can enjoy together, is astounding. He truly has a way of capturing an audience. Although many of the fans may have showed up initially for the headliner, Robert Delong, I can't imagine anyone left forgetting Mystery Skulls' name.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Balance and Composure - "The Things We Think We're Missing" Album Review

One of the saddest moments of album reviewing is having to compare two albums or multiple albums by such a brilliant band. The old and the new are rarely the same; sometimes it will disappoint and sometimes it will be exactly what you're hoping for. Separation was and probably always will be a favorite album in not only my mind, but many fans of the alternative/post-hardcore genre (or whichever genre a person may feel fits the band best). With songs that I'm likely never to forget on Separation, the anticipation for the new release by Balance & Composure was at an all time high. There's a strong likelihood that many had no clue how the band would be able to follow-up such a masterpiece.

But they did. The Things We Think We're Missing has such a captivating, emotional pull to it, you could think it was planned as a continuation of Separation. The recording quality on this album sounds really stellar, and definitely a step up from the past. Heartfelt lyrics sung with such desperation, you can't help but getting sucked in emotionally.

Although each track is different, the album comes across almost like a story, each different song a chapter that all ties together smoothly. Starting off with a bang, the first song "Parachutes" quickly became a favorite, with its first lyrics, "My vacant heart, how is it that you split in two parts? I'm checking in to reminisce, a roller coaster in the dark to places I don't want to go." A great description of how B&C songs can make one feel  - like you're on a roller coaster.

From the very beginning, you will be able to tell you're in for an incredibly bumpy, but beautiful ride. As always, Balance & Composure brings long-time listeners to an emotional place that not many bands can. Although  not quite as devastating as previous songs, the tracks on this album definitely make you feel similar things.

"Back of Your Head" instantly became another favorite, with its hard-hitting, melancholy lyrics and softer vocals. The way that they can deliver such an emotional message in such a strong, but calm manner really throws me for a loop sometimes and leaves me shaken and impressed.

"Notice Me" really hit home, with true B&C style vocals that make you feel like they're crawling up the walls in desperation to be understood and to save you from feeling the same way. "And I can see the evil games you love to play. Don't give a shit, take all of me. Left me in the open, cut me deep, cut  me right."

The worst thing about listening to this album was trying to choose favorites to include in the album review. "Cut Me Open", "When I Come Undone" , "I'm Swimming" , and "Keepsake" should also be mentioned as tracks you've got to listen to if you want to get an idea of the album's well-rounded sound, if for some reason you haven't yet committed to listening to the whole thing.

All in all, being able to make life's hardest moments easier has become the biggest thing that this album has in common with Separation and what the band seems to be best at. They obviously understand what you've gone through, because they've experienced it too, and they want so desperately to ease the hard blows that come with life.

If you're unfamiliar with the band,  RIYL: Brand New, Polar Bear Club, and Joyce Manor.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Interview with Norma Jean

Norma Jean is one of those bands that so many people recognize their name, regardless of whether they've listened to them or not. Old fans, new fans, and strangers alike take interest because of their name or their reputation in the industry. I was lucky enough to have some time with Cory Brandan (lead vocalist) who gave me some really in-depth answers to my questions. He also has quite the sense of humor, which hopefully readers will appreciate.

***

"Wrongdoers" seems to almost return to the roots of Norma Jean stylistically, while at the same time, staying true to present day NJ, was there a change in approach when it came to writing this album, as opposed to previous albums?

Not really. If anything we just took a few steps back and looked at what we’ve done and tried to get away from it. I think that decision to make a mental and emotional separation from our past helped us to focus more.

Tell me about your inspiration for this album as opposed to your previous albums. Did your approach to writing it change? If so, in what regard? Since it sounds like you really refound yourselves and brought your A-game, many are curious as to what went into that.

In short (very short) We started writing this record feeling like Meridional was still lingering. We went into writing with that in mind. In a way we were kind of thinking “how can we beat that record?” We had a pretty stressful 5 or so months of writing. We did a Europe/Russia tour and when we came back we lost a couple of members which didn’t help. After a short mourning period, we embraced it! We had to. It was that or be done. We transformed into more a collective rather than a band. We made sure we found the right guys and they brought a great new energy. Got away from Meridional and wrote Wrongdoers. I think all of that struggle without mentioning everything had a huge part on the inspiration of this record. We wanted to make something that proved that we still love this and will continue to put out music that matters.

On the subject of writing, what's your process in general? Who focuses on what parts of the process?

I think the process changes every record. It usually take a little bit to figure out what we’re doing. But eventually it all clicks. We usually all write separately and bring it all together throughout several practice sessions. This time we found we were writing a lot of the music on the spot based on how we felt that day or in that moment. Jeff and I wrote all the lyrics together. Along with a little help from our previous guitarist Scottie Henry.

What are your favorite songs to play? And which are the most meaningful?

Right now my personal favorite is Hive Minds. Of our old stuff, I’ve always had a special place for A Small Spark vs A Great Forest. It’s such a fun song to perform as well.

What has it been like and how has it affected your transitioning over the years with lineup changes?

It’s never easy losing a member. I’m not going to pretend like it is. Especially when you play with someone for 10 plus years, you build a chemistry with them. That’s not easy to replace. On the other hand, bringing in new blood has brought a new energy that I truly feel like Norma Jean needed. We wouldn’t have Wrongdoers without any of them, though.

Seeing as many of your contemporaries (Underoath, for example) are no longer active, does that inspire you to keep working hard to "stay alive" as a band?

In a way yes, but it hasn’t been a factor in why we do what we do. We love music and want to continue to write and play. It’s really that simple. We have a lot of fun doing it and as long as that door is open, I’m going through it every time.

Speaking of that, what is your drive to keep making music? Do you feel there's still lots to be done that you haven't done yet?

I decided a long time ago that I had already achieved everything I wanted as a musician and more. Knowing that, it’s made everything else icing on the cake. On that note, there is so much more we want to do now.

I imagine you may get this question a lot, but...Do you hate being compared to Botch?

Haha no!! I remember the first time I ever heard that I thought. “Dang! Thanks! We love that band!” Heck, we even recorded O’God with Matt Bayles, but in reality we are much more influenced by other artists. What people need to remember is that we are from the same era of music. Go listen to Deadguy, Coalesce, Will Haven, Angelhair, Honeywell etc.... That’s what we came from and I think it still shows in remnants. That’s ok with us.

How did it feel to be nominated for a Grammy for your O'God the Aftermath album artwork?

It was cool. Something I could tell my mom and she could be impressed a little bit.

If you could collaborate with one band or artist, or bring someone on for a track, who would it be?

Definitely Sean and Jes from Coalesce.

What do you think the future holds for you? 

We have so many ideas and things we want to do. We hope Wrongdoers will get us some good support tours. If not, we’ll be out there by ourselves playing anyway.

And finally, what do you think of the current metalcore music scene and the bands around you?

I feel like that question is starting to sound like “what do you think of the little kids who run on your lawn?” haha. I’m an old school dude. I don’t like a lot of it, but I have nothing bad to say about it. There’s definitely some cool stuff out there and we’ve been able to tour with some of those bands. It grows on you on tour. I like that I can like something new still without blowing it off. I don’t want to be that bitter old man yelling “get off my lawn!!”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Interview with Sydney Sierota of Echosmith

I first heard of Echosmith because of their YouTube covers of many different popular songs. I was immediately drawn in by young Sydney's powerful vocals and the band's ability to put a great twist on songs, as opposed to trying to sound exactly like the original. Fast-forward a couple of years later, I bump into them earlier this March at Warped Tour Kickoff Party. Not only were they there, but they performed! Finding out that they were going to be playing on the tour was great news. Even better news was when they stepped on stage and even I was surprised at their sound. The band of siblings may look like they're too young to know who they are and what they're playing, but appearances can be deceiving. When I ran into Sydney and her brothers again at Warped Tour in Pomona, she promised we'd have some interview time soon, and she kept that promise. Hopefully you'll enjoy what she had to say.

***

You probably get this question a lot, but do you think that it's a benefit that you guys are starting out at such a young age?

Yeah! I mean, I think there are advantages and disadvantages to being so young, and in this industry. I feel like there are definitely more advantages. I think it's been working really well. One, we have the rest of our lives to try this. (laughs) And two, I think people appreciate that we're young. Especially if they hear the music first. People really think it's cool. Even on Warped Tour, I really realized how awesome it is that we're pretty much the age of the people attending, which is really cool because when we talk to them it's like we're friends already. We're on the same level. It's kind of cool to see that, being used to talking to older people obviously, and we have older fans, but it's cool having fans that are your age and so young that you can really connect with automatically. And I think that they can really appreciate that too. Some people have said, "Oh that's so cool that you're actually doing something with your life this young." and I'm happy that I'm doing that, too, because I don't know what else I would do. I think it definitely has been working really well and I wouldn't want to do it any other way. And I think this is the way to do it, at least for us. It's been working way better than we could have expected.

Does it make things better or worse for you that you're all in the band together as siblings?

Actually, believe it or not, I think it's better. we've grown up and been with each other for 14 years - all four of us. Growing up together and we've been learning how to deal with each other for 14 years. Not every band can say that. We've been together 24/7 so we definitely know how to be together, but also how to have fun. It definitely takes a while to get to this point, but we're finally there. And obviously we know what pushes each other's buttons and all that stuff that everybody would know, but we've definitely gotten to the point where it's like, "Yeah, that's not really cool to do when you're on tour." So it works good because we really know what to do and what not to do with each other. We know each other so well and we're all really on the same page. We grew up listening to all the same stuff, so with music we're on the same page. We're pretty in sync with each other. And we like each other. That doesn't always happen with siblings or with bandmates. It's really cool, I like it.

What influenced your band's name change?

We're going through a transition stage anyway, and our music was evolving and we as people were evolving, and we were going through a transition in every way. Since we had a new sound and felt different, we all were thinking the same thing, that we should change the name so it could be a new chapter for us. And the other name felt a little young and "blah." The new name was cool because we all finally liked the same thing. It's cool because it's one word, easy to find, and the domain name was open! So that's always helpful when you're looking for names. It worked really well and it has a nice ring to it. When you're making a band name, you're thinking about it so much. Once it's already your band name, nobody really cares. They like your music, they're going to like your name usually. So that's how we decided to change it.

I first heard about you from YouTube long before the Warped Tour this year. How do you feel that your YouTube covers affected your early career?

I think YouTube covers are really cool and interesting and a good way to find bands. I've found bands myself that way. I think that we've had a decent amount of response from that and a lot of cool fans, but it's also important to post original stuff too and not just post covers and get stuck in that world. Which I think we're doing, so it's okay. In general I think it works really well, we got a lot of new people and it was fun to do some of my favorite fans songs and make it our own. It's a cool way to be creative.

The album cover artwork got some amazing response this past week. How are you feeling about the completion of the album and the upcoming release?

I'm so excited. It's so cool that we got to post the cover and it feels extra real now that we did that. Like I said, we're all so proud of it. We were writing for two years. We wrote 80 songs probably, and now it's down to 14 for the deluxe. It's finally done, we've done our first record. We have always dreamed of this. There are three songs out from the Summer Sampler, but it's really exciting to be like, "Wait! There's more. There's more for you to hear. There's more depth." I really like this record, because I've listened to records myself and gotten confused, thinking that one sounds like that one, or which one was that? I wanted to make sure that didn't happen with our stuff. That was one of my things. That happened, every song is different. Not one song could be compared to another. They're all definitely related, in the same family, and you can tell they're all from the same band, which I thought was really important. But I'm excited for it to be out for real and for people to hear it and grasp it. It's so exciting! It's our first record it should be. I think people are usually this excited for it. I feel really good and confident about it. People have already have great responses to the three songs. I think it's going to do really well. And the record has even more depth to it and other sides to us. So I'm really excited. We've had listening parties before shows where we have pizza and listen to the record or a few songs off of it, and people are loving it. It's so encouraging to see fans really appreciate all of our music.

And you seemed to have really great response on Warped Tour as well!

Yeah, it went so well. It's crazy, I didn't know or expect it to go like that because we're different. But I'm really happy that it wasn't what I expected.

What's been the most difficult thing that you've had to overcome? And how has that helped you grow?

Wow, that's a good question! I think just being young and accepting that. We haven't had that many crazy things to go through as a band, especially since we didn't really put anything out before our Summer Sampler and this record. Because there are so many bands that have to deal with their first, FIRST record that they aren't proud of. And they hate it, the sound isn't what they like. We're really happy that in the six years we were a band, we didn't really post anything. Or release anything. So that makes it easier not to have a rough patch to get past that record, which I think is usually a band's problem. Just being young is an interesting thing. I think now we're at good age and it's really working well being this age, but definitely at first some people hear we're young and kind of say, "Eh, I dunno..." and I mean, I even do that sometimes and I'm in a young band. It's dumb but it's a natural response sometime from people, to be like, "Oh, they're only..." or "The drummer is 14. Ahh, they must suck." That's what a lot of people think. But we turned it around and made it a good thing. I'd rather pleasantly surprise someone and end up being great, than the other way around. and they expect us to be great because we're young and then we suck. That's the biggest thing we've had to overcome. And the way you take pictures and do photo shoots, that makes a difference. The kind of poses you do. You have to be careful when you're so young. But I think we're definitely working with it now and knowing what to do and what not to do. So it's better now.

As for the writing aspect of the album, what were some of your inspirations?

For the album, we were writing for two years. A lot of that was developing and I think this album shows our perspective on life in general. Life inspired us. That's what should inspire songs. What you go through, what you're doing, how you feel about life in general. I think that's really important. You can tell how someone feels about life by their songs. Like with how it sounds, and what they say... But, I think we're all really positive and excited about life. I think you can tell that in the songs we have and the lyrics. We're not super  excited, energetic, upbeat in every song. There are some songs that break it down and get real. It's so simple, but it's really true - life just really inspired this album and we were just being honest about life and there wasn't anything super crazy, so it's not like "this situation inspired this album." Just growing up and living life is what this album is about.

What has been the most amazing moment of your career so far?

Jeez. That's a great question! It's so hard. I'm going back and forth between two situations. I would probably pick Detroit Warped Tour, which was in the middle. And that was a show that almost got totally shut down. Or one of the few, because there were a couple. But there were thunderstorms, windstorms, they even thought there might be a tornado. All of this stuff... and then everybody had to go inside. Every band, every fan, everybody had to stay inside this building for like an hour for protection. We were supposed to go on when they called everyone in. And then an hour later, we got a call saying, "Hey! You guys are first up on your stage. Go set up right now and play in 5 minutes!" So we freaked out and ran over there. It was the best show we played on Warped Tour and maybe even ever. We were on the Ernie Ball stage with 600 people there. They were so into it. Not just there, bu so into it and singing along and passionate about it. It was so cool to see that. I mean I have videos of people singing "Cool Kids" Every single person was singing it. It was so insane to see that. A little bit of a shocker but in a good way getting to see... people really like this band. We really were appreciating that. It was sort of a "wow" moment that I had on stage. I was so inspired.

What would be your dream collaboration?

I definitely would pick Chris Martin from Coldplay. He's just so good. Everything he does is so good. He's always inspired me. The way he writes songs and doesn't really follow any rules. It's so great. I would die to collaborate with him. I wouldn't die, but I think it would be pretty great.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Norma Jean - "Wrongdoers" Album Review

Normally I'm known for adding somewhat of a prologue to my album reviews. This time I'm gonna jump right in and say that Norma Jean has brought it. I knew this right away without question. If you've ever listened to them before, you probably have a certain opinion, whether bad or good. Most of the people I've met or in my age bracket listened to them back in the O God, the Aftermath days and petered out, maybe listening to their next album, not really following along with their releases.

It's hard to keep up with so many different bands who are constantly putting out new work, so you don't always have the up-to-the-minute memories of recent work to compare to. Going back and listening to some of the older NJ tracks that used to get quite a lot of listening time, I realized even more than after the first listen to Wrongdoers how good it is. This is a band who has worked their ass off over the years, and this album proves it.

Although it's not the first track on the album, I started with the title track, "Wrongdoers." It immediately struck me as being exactly what I was hoping for. Soon came the realization that this album might be bringing back old NJ, which would make a lot of their long-time followers very happy. Edgy, and loud, but still with quite the melodic aspect to it that is missing in so many of the bands that overpopulate the metal scene these days. Stylistically, the album is incredibly pleasing on the ears.

It's true that many fans will stick by a band and enjoy their tunes even if they grow and change their style from what drew the listeners in originally. Something that many, including myself, have always noticed and enjoyed about Norma Jean is that they seem to do what they want - and hope that people will enjoy it. And that's the best kind of music you can find.

"If You Got it at Five, You Got it at Fifty" is a second favorite, made even better by the video they just released, which pokes fun at many of the party style music videos that seem to be popping up all over the web these days. There's something almost playfully malicious about it that really sucks you in.

"Sword in Mouth, Fire Eyes" was a close third, being that it's still got the energy and emotion that the rest of the album holds, but takes on a much more melodic, softer vibe to it than any of the other songs on the album. It served as a good breather (aka a palette cleanser) between the rest of the louder songs, filled with such hard-hitting vocals.

I didn't really have specific expectations built up for this album, but the most accurate thing to say is that I was surprised and pleased by the way that it turned out. In a genre full of artists and albums that seems to be getting overpopulated and dwindling, Norma Jean has put out an enjoyable and solid record.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Feather Oars "Reckless" Album Review

It seems like we're always looking for something new and unique in our hunt for music, and if you're someone who's "really into music," you're always in a different mood—and it's always something different that you desire that will make you feel satisfied. With the risk of seeming cheesy, you could almost relate it to an Easter-egg hunt. What will you find in some secret hiding spot that will totally blow your mind? I think it's similar to a small child finding their goodies at the hunt and the way it truly excites them. 

If you're fortunate, sometimes new music surrounds you in such a familiar, comforting way that it's like feeling at home. That's what I call a great find. Music that envelopes you, comforts you, and reminds you of everything you've loved: that's powerful. That's what Feather Oars have produced in their debut EP, Reckless. I couldn't compare it to any other albums by the band since this it's their first release, but it is certainly a strong statement to say that it's a great stand-alone album.

The first several times that I listened to the album, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was beautiful and full of life, and even one of my favorites that I'd heard in a long time coming from an indie rock band. I had no complaints or any ideas of what I would have changed if I could have. The real excitement for the album though came later, after I had let it stew for a little while. After getting the correct track list and putting the songs in order, I felt like everything had been turned upside down—in a good way. I knew that the album reminded me of something, but I couldn't exactly put my finger on. I liked that.

Listening to it a couple more times, I started to recognize certain elements and also came to a realization. And what it was that I recognized were elements that reminded me of some of my most loved and cherished music –but I'll get back to that in a moment. What I realized was that this album was the birth of musicians who truly loved music. Now, that might sound like something you would scoff and say, "Duh!" to, but in this day and age it isn't a given. There is a difference in the sound of a track where you can hear the love and the passion, and that is present on every track of this album. I use the word passionate specifically because it's a word that speaks to me, just like this album did.

Starting off strong with "Knowing Yourself, Art", I knew I was in for a real treat. The word desperation comes to mind, but not in the pathetic sense of the usual definition. More so in the frenzied, reckless sense, where you can just see how badly the band or the singer wants you to feel the message of the track. 

"Tear You Apart" reminded me, funny enough, of a track from 2005 under the same name, by She Wants Revenge. Funny enough, singer Michael Pfohl told me that he hadn't heard the song or the band whatsoever, so while it was not directly inspired by She Wants Revenge, it definitely might remind some of the sound. Regardless, the following track, "Collide" also had a rough, shaky sound that fell into the same vein of alternative, post-hardcore, almost gothic sounding rock music.

It's difficult to compare one band to another when you're invested in the sound, but with the hopes to find this wonderful band some new listeners, I would say RIYL: La Dispute, Brand New, Balance & Composure. Although some of the tracks are in a darker vein, there is an obvious attempt to make light of the darkness portrayed in the music.

All in all, there is real depth to this album, in the lyrics and in the music. The songs flow together so perfectly and it's always over too soon. Nashville has obviously been hiding some real gems, if this is any sign of what comes out of there!

This amazing album can be found online for free at http://featheroars.bandcamp.com/ on August 2nd, and will be on iTunes and Spotify, out on August 20th.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Floridan Band "Tides of Man" Interview

I've known the Tides of Man guys for many years and have been incredibly proud of their progress and how far they've come. I always feel a sense of pride or admiration for bands who I see come "from the ground up," but when it's friends of mine or people I know, that feeling is always stronger. And I definitely talk about the band more if I know the people and can vouch for their characters, because personally that makes music so much better in my eyes.

I had the chance to do an interview with Alan Jaye [bassist] and he gave me some really great, in-depth answers to my inquisitive questions. I hope you enjoy it, and that you'll support this wonderful band on continuing their journey. If you know them, please support their campaign for their new album, and if you don't, I'll leave links below so you can get to know their music and give in anyway!

***

What prompted you guys to give it another go with the instrumental album, after seemingly giving up on finding a new singer and making new music?

We wouldn't say we gave up. We never stopped writing. It may have seemed as if we were gone, but we've been working this whole time on crafting this new sound. I can't tell you how many times we wrote a song or idea and just threw it out because we weren't 100% satisfied with it. 

We really found ourselves  writing the music that we grew up on and after months of trying out various vocalists, we were completely happy as a group with the sound as it was. It's not like we didn't come across some real talent in the try out process, but the songs just never felt right with vocals. When we finally embraced being an instrumental band, and stopped "fighting" it, we had more drive than ever to put this new record out. 

How has the writing process been for you guys? Did you start all over once you decided to do this process, or did you use some of the material you already had?

There were a lot of riffs written that were formed out of loops, ideas, concepts, or even just messing around. We made a lot of demos with vocal structure in mind, but when we fully embraced being instrumental we just expanded on the riffs and made them into what they are becoming now. It's important to know that we had so much time to mess around with our new sound over the past 2 years, that the songs have been fully put together, and then completely taken apart, or approached from a different dimension all together over time.

What specific moments or experiences during this "hard time" and the hurdles you've had to overcome have strengthened you as people and as a band?


We have all experienced a big change in our personal lives. We're all getting older and we run into the grind of the everyday work world just like anyone else. After a while, we were really struggling to even make it to practice with all of our conflicting schedules.

And that's really what this record is all about. It's about losing sight of the fact that we were just kids once. All of a sudden, we woke up and found our lives full of bills, rent, car payments, etc. Collectively, we've all experienced that over these past 2 years. 

We had to come back into the "real world" after our touring life, and it hit us hard. We were dropped from our label, silently let go by our management, publishing, booking. It was a double edged sword to us, because we lost all those connections in the industry, but we also gained the freedom of not having to write songs to "fit" into that label genre. 

We could've given up on the band all together, and just gotten sucked into that daily grind, but we refused to stop. It really made us stronger as a band having to push through all of that and still come out on the other end with a full length album of songs.

This record is about overcoming that urge to give up on our music, but also living with in the confinements of reality while doing that. It's about always striving to keep that kid-like view of life, yet always fighting the urge to become jaded and sour. 

We wrote this album as a medium to push us through these times, to keep us from going insane with the mediocrity of the day in and out.

There's no question that fans are happy you're "back." Given what you've seen so far and what you predict, how do you think old fans feel about the idea of the new album?

Surprisingly, the fans are actually really receptive and excited for the new sound and the new album. We do have the fans that want the old "Tides" back, but for the most part everyone loves it and because of the support we are getting, the fans are actually backing up our IndieGoGo campaign and helping us get to record and release this next record. We are honestly in awe of the support and love that we are getting it! On a personal note I (Alan) want to thank everyone who has had our back since the beginning. It means more to us than we will ever be able to show you!


The new song you released, "Young and Couragous" was quite beautiful and didn't seem lacking without the vocals. Should listeners expect the same vibe from the rest of the tracks?

The same vibe... We wouldn't say the same vibe. There really is a different message and emotion that each song has and represents, but the feeling you get from "Young and Courageous" definitely spreads throughout the album. We have faster songs, harder songs, softer songs, but the underlying tone of the entire record gives the listener a sense of a story. You're definitely going to want to listen to this record from start to finish.

You're doing pretty much all the work yourselves and releasing the album without a record label, correct? What has this been like?

Yes, we are doing this record ourselves, without a label. Its definitely interesting. There's a ton to learn and we have a lot of "unexpected" kinks to tackle, but it is a learning experience and its quite fun to know that our music is dependent solely on us getting it out there. We don't have anyone to fall back on if things go bad, so overall it makes us stronger as a group because of the barriers we have to overcome.

How has using IndieGoGo worked for you so far? I know a lot of both lesser known and well-established bands are fans of Kickstarter, but you took a different route.

IndieGoGo has been great! Anytime we've needed any help, they are right there on board and getting our questions answered. Have nothing against KickStarter, it was just based on what we felt would be more beneficial for us, and IndieGoGo seemed to be what we were looking for.  

What are the plans for album release show(s) and touring?

We haven't fully planned our year out, but we're already getting tour offers on this album. We are currently concentrating on the final writing stages of the album, and we will definitely be paying more attention to the shows and touring of the album after that.


If you guys could collaborate (on an instrumental track or otherwise) with one band or artist, dead or alive, who would it be?


Personally if I (Alan) could collaborate with anyone... I would have to say, probably Jaco Pastorious. To me he's one of the most influential bassist/musicians for all of my favorite bands. It kind of says something for me as a player.

As far as the others guys go, you'd have to ask them. But I'm sure we could all agree on collaborating with bands like Sigur Ros, or Radiohead.

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