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The Moog

January 29, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

themoog-2007We’re The Moog and we play garage pop!  We’re five, guitars by Adi & Miguel, bass by Csabi , drums by Gergo and Tonyo the singer.


Tell us about Moog:

Right now we are the biggest indie act in Hungary, and now we’re planning to set foot on the other side of the Atlantic. We are a band of five young boys from the one big town in the country, Budapest, with great expectations of the world. We’ll have to live up to the task, ‘cause a year ago we wouldn’t even have dreamt about the things happening to us: an indie label, record, touring, radio, interviews; but we’re enjoying it: we play pop music and it’s fun.

Where did the band name come from?

We got our name thanks the best party we attended in 2003, when we were on holiday in Barcelona, Spain. Three of us were already in a band together then. One day lying on the beach we got invitations to a party that night, the flyer said ‘80s synth pop and disco. Even though this isn’t exactly our taste (well it might be closer to our singer, Tonyo, actually than to me). But anyway we had nothing better to do that night so we went to this party. The bar didn’t look so inviting with the progressive house music booming downstairs, but we discovered a small staircase leading up to a very small room with a dancefloor, all lit in red and Dead Or Alive blasting at full volume. There were some dancers; but what really made the evening for us was the DJ. He wore tight leather boots, tight pants, a hint of a shirt; his blonde hair was short in the front but very long in the back (a mullet!), typical Eurotrash look. And he was holding a small mirror in his right hand, in which he was looking at himself, adjusting his hairdo to the rhythm of the music. And then he started spinning around, with the mirror in hand, then he took a comb, combed his hair, and when he finally was pleased by his looks, he started stroking himself. It was just gorgeous, thrash beauty. So this bar was called Moog.

The Moog

How long have you been together?

The band has been performing since the beginning of 2004.
Tonyo, Adi and I were highschool classmates from ‘96 to ‘02, but we played in different bands back then. While they were doing Placebo and HIM covers in Adi’s garage and recording it to tapes (unfortunately lost), later moving on to playing Blur and Starsailor, I played in yet another cover band starting off with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin covers, but towards the end of high school the set mostly consisted of Nirvana songs. So eventually after finishing high school, all three of us found our way back to pop music, and by that time the garage rock revival reached Hungary: the songs of The Hives, The White Stripes, BRMC, The Raveonettes and of course The Strokes we had downloaded from the net and burned to crappy sounding cds. We were waiting for exactly that type of music then: in the beginning of our first year at college, 2002, I joined their acoustic duo on drums, so then formed the core of The Moog.
We never got to be a serious band though, until we met Csabi in the summer of 2003; he joined the band later that year, and then things sped up: demo recording at the end of the year, first show in March 2004, and so on.
Band Website and Myspace Profile:

http://www.moog.hu is our official website, designed by our greatest fan and good friend, Xenka.
Our myspace url is http://www.myspace.com/moogband
MySpace – Blessing or Curse?

It is a blessing certainly, since our label, MuSick Records from California found us on MySpace. Also we have an ever growing amount of fans there, keeping in touch with us. I certainly see MySpace as the means by which our music can reach every garage/indie fan; this wouldn’t be possible through the older establishments of the music industry.

Sound best described as:

An engine knock! It is fast, loud, dynamic. At the same time, the pop tunes and sensitivity makes it kind of sweet and fascinating. I would say what we play is mainly pop music, it is pure fun to listen to, and to play as well. Though it’s got punk overtones as well, especially live, and some theatrical glam in our slower songs (Anyone, Xanax Youth) Of course that’s not so serious: it is always entertaining playing with different genres in our songs. We have a disco song (Never Hide), we got Sixties-beat songs (Your Sweet Neck, I Don’t Want You Now), straightforward indie pop (If I Died, Like You), and also bit more NY-style pop (Goodbye).
Influences:

We all would mention The Kinks, The Sonics, Ramones and maybe The Beatles as well as Nirvana, Blur, and newer bands like The Strokes, Mando Diao and perhaps The Hives. As far as individual band members’ taste goes, well, that’s quite a wide variety. If we added that up, it would range from Sebadoh to the Smiths, from Jesus and Mary Chain to Danzig, from Mando Diao to Velvet Undergound, from Blondie to Sonic Youth. So quite a mess. Or an exciting mixture, depending on the way you look at it.

Ultimate Goal as a Band?

To be rock dinosaurs one day.

The Moog

Best Gig?

In a Hungarian village near Budapest, in a very small basement club, still with a hundred-or-so strong audience. The drinks were cheap, the people friendly and even thankful we came to play. We played all of our songs twice as fast as the original tempo; in the end we had to play some of our songs twice. But skinheads, punks and grungeboys of the village pogoed together to our songs. It was such a kind scene to watch.

Worst Gig?

In another country village, actually a town, when we were appearing with quite a famous act in the country, but no audience appeared. At all. And Adi broke guitar strings one after the other so Csabi and I had to entertain ourselves by playing a ten-minute long drum and bass jingle.

Upcoming Gigs:

We are touring the USA this spring for six weeks. The dates are going to be posted soon on our MySpace profile. There is a European tour coming up too, that’s gonna take place in May. We’ll keep you informed through MySpace, and also our official homepage, http://www.moog.hu

Funniest thing that’s ever happened to you on the road?

Well we haven’t been ‘on the road’ yet, just playing some shows abroad. Actually we are looking forward for things to happen on our first tour in the USA. Anyway… funniest thing? Perhaps our driver’s endless stream of talk and old jokes. That’s why I sleep long drives in the van and don’t notice funny things.

If you could tour with any band, who would you pick?

I would pick my favourite band at the moment, Sonic Youth, just to see them live as many times as I can. Anyway. I think it would be great to tour with The Raveonettes for example. Or The International Noise Conspiracy. Naah. I think our pick would be Motorhead, the nightliners and all.

What sets you apart from other bands of today?

I think it’s the fact that the band members are able to put their personalities and personal tastes through. We aren’t writing songs to be indie-rock or garage-pop songs; of course the basic mentality is given. But still, punk is there coming from Csabi and me, britpop is there in it from Adi, straight rock’n’roll from Miguel, and a more relaxed singing style of Tonyo altogether makes it very The Moog like. Yeah, I think, it’s the many layers the songs have that make us what we are.

Parting words/message to the fans?

We hope to see you all soon, on one of our forthcoming tours! We’d love to meet everyone, play to everyone and have fun!  cheers!

The Comfies

January 22, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

thecomfiesHow long has the band been together?

The Comfies have been a band for years upon years but have only become a “serious” band in past year and a half.

Tell us about the band:

The Comfies formed out of a cosmic explosion and spent billions of years floating around the universe evolving and mutating until it landed on Earth and took the form of Benjamin Adam Harper. The Comfies continued to evolve and change until one day it realized it was missing vital organs. Ben searched the world for The Comfies’ missing parts and found Nathan Hansen ice fishing in the Artic, Gabe Pigg living a fast and furious life a Tibetan monastery and Raf Cevallos on a floating big wheel on the rings of saturn. Thus The Comfies became complete and rocked the world.

In short Ben moved to Nashville and started The Comfies. After numerous line-up changes over the years he cemented the band with Nathan, Raf and Sam Smith (who recently left to join Ben Folds on tour) and recently found Gabe Pigg to carry on the drumming torch.

The name? Does it mean what it would imply and where did it come from?

The Comfies is just a name that came from the word “comfy” which is short for comfortable. Aside from that the name has no real significance or meaning. At one point we tried to tie in the meaning of the word “comfy” to our music and what not, but it just ended up cheapening the music. It’s just an unusual name that seems to be pretty familiar.

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To anyone who’s never heard your music before, how would you describe it?

Diverse rock and roll influenced by the Abbey Road Beatles, early Elvis Costello, the Kinks, the Zombies, early Bowie, some 70s rock, a tinge of 80s danceability, some 90s familiarity and the new millennium’s freshness. Or rock and roll that isn’t too serious or too frivolous.

Your EP CLOSE TO ME is available now. Can you take us through the tracks?

The EP opens up with the title track and is one of our newer songs. It’s a short and catchy rock number and is the closest thing we have that you could call a “single.” I like this song a lot because it’s the first the song that the band truly collaborated on. It’s also
really fun to play live.
The 2nd track is called “That’s What She Gets”. This seems to be everyone’s favorite song on disc and live. The EP version is very subdued compared to the live version, but both are good in their own ways. The song is full of harmonies and is carried by a solid bass groove and pulsating drums. THe drums are my favorite part of the song.
Track 3 is Medicine. This song started out as “Edison.” It didn’t make any sense and I think Sam suggested Ben sing medicine. From there I don’t think he had any trouble writing the lyrics. It’s about anti-depressants. I consider this to be our Franz Ferdinand song with the dueling guitars.
Track 4 is In My Room. A sweet song between Ben and our friend Andrea. This sounds very influenced by Motown to me. It’s about a couple breaking up and then realizing they need to get back together.
Track 5 is Your Sunshine. This is my personal favorite song musically and lyrically. I think it sounds very British and hope we can do more songs like this. Some people have mixed feelings about the beat-boxing in the beginning and throughout the song, but it works w/o being too distracting.
Track 6 is Understanding 23. This is apparently our best live song because it’s much more heavier than the record. We definitely want to show people that we’re not just a guitar band. It’s definitely influenced by The Zombies.
Dear Miss Anderson was basically written in the studio and recorded immediately. It’s not something we’d usually do but it’s so simple and haunting. We couldn’t put it on a record so figured it’d be best to throw it on the EP to show a bit of our range.

What is your favorite song on the EP?

My personal favorite is Your Sunshine

Where can people buy it?

It’s available most anywhere, but for bigger chains I think you’d have to get it ordered. Otherwise it’s available at indie record shops and on i-tunes. I recommend everyone support their local indie shops and buy all their music there.

You are getting ready to make a video for your song “Close to Me” and you’ve sent out the message that you want the fans to be involved. Can you explain the concept and how fans can get involved?

With the recent YouTube phenomenon i figured it’d be pretty cool and possibly for people to take a camera and record themselves singing to our song. THey don’t even have to be singing they could be doing something crazy or funny or weird. It can involve pet tricks, paper airplanes, etc. Just anything. We dont’ want anything distasteful though. The idea is to get people to do these things and send us their tapes. If we get enough material we’ll most likely edit it to make some kind of collage that will hopefully work. It’s definitely not revolutionary but i think it’d be fun for fans to be the stars.
If you want to get involved just get a camera and get some friends and be creative and send us the tapes. For more information you can write to us at the@gmail.com.

What is the normal writing process for the band? Is everyone involved?

For the longest time The Comfies was mainly just Ben. So he amassed this huge catalogue of songs. He’s a demo-holic that will record drums, bass, guitars, and harmonies. Over the past year its started to be more about the band dynamic so he just demos his voice and guitar and gives us mp3s so we can figure out parts. It’s a lot more fun and creative this way because it helps keep the music fresh.

Who/what would you cite as band influences?

The Beatles obviously, but more so from Rubber Soul and onward. Elvis Costello. Early Bowie. The Zombies. The Kinks. Ben Kweller. Ben Folds. Superdrag. New Pornographers. The Posies. Billy Joel. Personally the things I do in the band are influenced by Radiohead, and most other British bands. I just think their guitar players know how to be guitarists without being Hendrix/SteveRay clones.

In a market that is saturated with new bands and new music, what sets The Comfies apart from the rest?

We’re not about having some kind of gimmick whether it be emo fashion, or wearing make-up. We’re first and foremost about the music. We’re out to make records we like and play songs we like that general music lovers will like. As tempting as it is to start writing really trendy fleeting music we’re aiming for longevity. We’re nice guys who want people to have fun and relate to songs about love, loss, understanding, peace, etc. That sounds very hippy-ish, but it seems the best music is all about that. Hating the world and life and being angry all the time is the sad sad trend in music right now and it’s not how it should be.

Best gig?

I’m not sure what our best gig has been, but a favorite would be our EP Release show in Nashville. All of our friends came to see us and a bunch of random people we didn’t know. We played in pajamas and just had a great time.

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Worst Gig?

We played some metal bar in NYC. The first band was a Tool Cover band. After they were done they heckled us and left. We played to 1 person. Heavy drinking ensued.

Dream tour?

Touring Europe with or without a big act.

Ultimate goal as a band?

Make records that we like and to just make a living off of playing music. We’d like to be able to tour and have crowded smaller clubs. And if anything bigger happens we’ll have to see how we feel about it then.

What do you think of the current state of the music industry?

Major label mainstream music is at an all-time low. Rock and Roll is now represented by Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco in America and it’s utterly depressing. Even a lot of the popular underground music is just hardcore/screamo/noise nonsense. Kids need to re-introduced to melody and what “real” music is all about. We refuse to believe these kids listen to this music in bed with headphones on. I am hopeful though because there are a handful of greats bands that manage to make their way to the top and the indie movement is still healthy.

Myspace Blessing or Curse?

Myspace is a great promotional tool if you can actually use your account. Unfortunately for us we were flagged as spammers and can no longer send out friend requests, messages, or comments and sometimes our picture shows us a a delete account. All attempts to fix this have been met with automated responses. Myspace has the worst technical support. It has definitely hurt our promotional ability. If you have a working myspace account then its awesome because you can expose millions of people to your music and get messages out to them in mass quickly. Of course there are a lot of really really bad bands out there so it’s hard to find the great bands.

Upcoming shows?

We’re taking February off too rehearse intensely with our new drummer and to possibly demo new songs and book spring dates.

Message to your fans?

Thank you for buying our EP and for seeing us play. We do what we do for ourselves and for you. Also we are looking to build our comfies team. So if you can or want to help us book shows for the spring please contact us at thecomfies@gmail.com . We want to be in direct contact. Or you can send a hello. Play us to your friends, strangers, put us on mix cds, support your indie record shops, and be safe.

Grilling Wilson

January 4, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

gwmainWhere did the name come from?

Ryan: We have a friend named Wilson, and he would always be like “I’m gonna grill you white boys!” At lunch, we decided we wanted to grill him back. So we would be Grilling Wilson.
Brendan: It can be used as an adjective and a verb.

How did the band form?

Brendan: Ryan and I had just come out of a band called Down and Out. We were writing songs, and the fourth member of the band only played saxophone, which we only had in one song. He found himself not really doing much, so he left the band. That was when James came in. We switched drummers once because Eric left the band, but ultimately he’s back.

How long has the band been together?

Brendan: Since our freshman year of high school, so about four years.

Any influences?

Brendan: The Beatles are definitely my number one, especially when it comes to song writing. I also like Phantom Planet, Ben Folds Five, and Nine Days. And yeah, beyond their one hit wonder “Story of A Girl”, there was a lot of talent.
Ryan: Mine are kind of the same, maybe a little less piano. I do love pop, I’m not gonna lie. There’s nothing like a good Ryan Cabrera song to me. I went through an ACDC phase. My favorite bands are Nine Days and The Format, probably.
James: I like techno, like the Chemical Brothers and Cake.
Eric: The Receiving End of Sirens, Copeland.

You are currently in the studio working on an EP. When do you expect to be done recording?

Ryan: We hope to have it out by the second week of January.
Brendan: We’ve been recording with John Perry from Ericson, and he does a great job.
James: It’s going to be a three song EP, and we’re going to be putting it out for free. We’re going to produce as many as we can and give it out at shows. If people can’t get it at the shows, we’ll be able to either put them on Myspace or send them through e-mails.
Who writes the lyrics for the band, and what is the writing process like?

Brendan: It’s basically between Ryan and myself. We’ve never actually collaborated, though. I’ll go and write lyrics, he goes and writes lyrics, coming up with basic melodies, but then we all come together and add to it.
Ryan: Once we all get together, we present the main melody we come up with to the rest of the guys and we build off of that.

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Are your song’s based on personal experiences?

Brendan: Most of them are, but it’s more like experiences that I’ve noticed, not exactly my own.

What sets Grilling Wilson apart from the other bands out there?

Eric: We’re just different then a lot of the local bands. It’s just like this melting pot, where we take our own spin on things.
Brendan: It kind of goes back to our range of influences. We seem to find a way to mix it all together.
Ryan: Our new release is like a cross-section of what we sound like. The first song is in your face, pop-punk style. The second song is heavier, then the last one is like a big ballad. We want to be able to add a little bit of everyone’s interests.

Describe your music in one word.

Ryan: Melodic.

Who would be your dream band to play with?

The Format.

Anything funny that’s happened to you so far when you play shows?

Brendan: We were in a battle of the bands at our high school, Braintree High, and I had to make my confirmation that night. We tried to set it up so that we would play last so I would make it. I ran in there with all of my equipment and I tried to get through the door, and someone yelled “they’re playing, they’re playing! They’re on their last song!” I ran right into the auditorium, and sure enough, they were on stage. It made for a good ending. I even tripped on the stairs getting on stage.
Ryan: Without Brendan being there, it probably didn’t sound that good because we were missing our instruments.

What is your ultimate goal as a band?

Brendan: To have a good time, and get our sound out there.
Ryan: My thing will be when you can look out, and everyone knows the words.
Brendan: It would be cool to get to that point where you can just hold the mic out, and everyone knows what to sing.

Tell people why they should listen to Grilling Wilson?

Brendan: I think out band has a quality that you don’t hear much anymore, in the pop-punk today, there are things that should be there. We want to be able to start listening to that again, that would be great.
James: I don’t think you’ll hear harmonies like we produce in any kind of music like you do in ours.

What are your thoughts on the current music industry?

James: It’s tough, because you hear a lot of stories about bands having their labels making them be something they’re not, and they are trapped. Staying away from that would be good.
Ryan: I agree with that. You can tell that the labels sometimes push things on people. I do like the music industry, it’s pretty good, but I don’t like how you have to know someone. It’s not about how you sound most of the time, it’s about who you know in the industry.
Brendan: A lot of the bands I see now, they sound great on record, but then when they go to play live, you’re losing a lot of it. You gotta have something to share with the audience, by rushing to make their look the most important thing, they lose what it’s really about: playing the music.

What’s next for Grilling Wilson?

Brendan: The EP is definitely coming out, and we’re still working on new songs. We’re making t-shirts and getting them out there. We’ve been playing a lot of shows lately, also.
Any last words?

Ryan: Definitely give us a listen. There’s a chance one of our songs might be your style.
Brendan: Come see us live, pick up a t-shirt! Check out the EP, it’ll be coming out hopefully by late January.

Official Grilling Wilson Myspace Page:

http://www.myspace.com/grillingwilson