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Billy Carri

August 30, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

bcmainFor starters, can you give us a brief biography on yourself and your career?

Brief..hmmm I was born, Daddy played fiddle momma sang bass…no wait. Basically it’s the same as everyone else. My dad played guitar and I thought he was the coolest guy ever. Then I saw KISS and realized Dad wasn’t the coolest guy ever! I’ve been playing since I was VERY young, got signed to a small indie in 2001 (I don’t recommend it) and just recently released my first solo disk called “The Guy In The Glass”.

For people who haven’t heard any of your music, how would you describe it, and can you compare it to any other bands?

I HATE this question! Basically it’s rock n roll, 3 chord simple rock. If you like power pop/hard pop a mix of 80s/90s and today..then check it out. If you like prog rock or grunge.. you’ll hate it.

What made you decide on a solo project?

Honestly I’m an egomaniac! HA! I just felt that I had a lot to say on my own and it wouldn’t be fair to the guys to be in a “band” situation that I dictated everything. I’ve been there done it, why split it four ways when it shouldn’t be.

You just released a new CD The Guy In The Glass, can you take us through a few of your favorite songs on the disc and tell us how they came together musically/lyrically?

I think my favorites would have to be Sleep, Goodbye Yesterday and Hello To Goodbye. All of my songs pretty much come together the same way, I wake up REALLY early or stay up REALLY late because I can’t sleep and I pick up my acoustic or sit down at the piano and pretty much just pour whatever is on my mind onto a sheet of paper. Then I bring it into rehearsal and go “here learn this” and the guys go “Oh god he’s depressed again”.

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Billy Carri – The Guy In The Glass/Click image to purchase your copy now!

What is your overall feeling about the new cd?

I like it.. I’m very proud of it. If I said anything else people wouldn’t buy it! Of course there are things I’d like to have done differently now that its FINISHED! That’s just the way I ALWAYS am. As an artist I’m NEVER going to be completely happy with what I’ve done.

How would you describe the music scene in Cincinnati?

It sucks. I tour as much as I can to get away from it. If you’re in a touring band and you’re reading this..unless you’re a cover band do NOT book a show here.

What are your goals for the next few years? Ideally where do you want to see Billy Carri?

Personally I’d like to record another disk or two, get on a few more good tours and get my recording studio back up and running full time. I’m a workaholic, I’m the Gene Simmons (without the facelift and bad wig) of Cincy. I NEVER stop working. I’m always writing or answering mail or making calls etc. I’d LOVE to get back into producing bands or writing for other people. If I could get to the level that Butch Walker was at back in 2004 or 2005 I’d be stoked. I don’t want to be as big as he is now because then the demand on your time is just ridiculous. I’d rather make a comfortable living doing what I love to do than be mega rich and never have “me” time.

Favorite bands to share the stage with currently… and bands you’d love to tour with in the future?

I LOVE doing shows with FORMER from Nashville, also Generation Down from Nashville as well. We’ve done some touring with Cinder Road who I LOVE going out with, those guys are my buds and its just always such a great time when we get together. Things are going great for them right now and I’m so happy to see that. We also like touring with Project Jones, my drinkin partners! They’re another great band. Personally I’d like to tour with Bowling For Soup, Butch Walker, Mitch Allan, Fuel… any of those type bands because I’m a FAN of those bands… so umm guys.. call a brotha huh! Oh and if Waltham ever tours..I want that tour!!! Hell I’ll tech if I have to!

What influences you most (bands/people/things)?

Life and Love, plain and simple.

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What made you first decide to become a musician, how were you inspired, where did it all begin?

I don’t think I “decided” to become a musician, I think it just happened. Like I said my father played and I used to go see his band so I grew up thinking that’s how it was. I thought every kid’s dad played and that’s just how the world worked. Little did I know that most of the parents thought my dad was crazy… and he was.

What’s the general songwriting process for you? How does it start and where does it end?

Typically I’ll be awake at some ungodly hour and just start putting my thoughts and feelings down on paper. There’s no real “process”. I don’t go into a special room like Nikki Sixx does and go “ok this is my writing room”. I just write when it hits me and I don’t write when it doesn’t. I don’t like to sit down and go “Ok I gotta write a song now” I don’t do the pressure writing thing, they sound fake. What I write is from the heart whether or not YOU the listener like it or not is really just an after thought. I write how I feel and to get rid of my personal issues. Sometimes it connects with people, sometimes not.

What sets you apart from other musical acts out there?

I’m honest. Its not pro tools or an Ipod playing through the song because we can’t do the harmonies or over dubbed 30 different guitar parts. It’s REAL. I’m not going to mention names but some bands we’ve played with.. ugh.. half their set is bullshit. They plug in the ipod and fake the backing vocals, piss off phony boy. With us if you hear us playing and the vocal harmonies are dead on, it’s us. If you hear us and it sounds like shit, guess what, it’s US. We were just locked in a hotel room bathroom with a “visitor” a lil too long the night before .. nevermind long story. But yeah, I think the fact that we’re honest and VERY approachable sets us apart. Some of my friends say “Billy you should be available not accessible” and you know what they’re probably right. I probably do spend too much time talking to fans and playing Dr. Ruth to their problems lol but that’s just how I am.

Thoughts on the current music scene?

Can’t STAND the music scene right now. I see all these bands who sell millions of cds and their cds are slick and sound HUGE with great harmony etc. Then I see them live and they completely suck and the singer can’t sing to save his life, but wow they look cool with their hot topic clothing and toilet bowl swirly hair dos. It’s like I’m back in the 80’s only with less talent and make up. Did that sound bitter?

Best gig?

Every Gig!

Worst gig?

Every Gig! There’s always bad and good in every show. I’m not one to complain too much about it affter its over, then you have to start looking forward to tomorrow’s show. Don’t dwell on the mistakes of the last one… SHANE! HA! Just kiddin fro ya know we love ya!

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Upcoming shows?

All the shows stay up to date on the myspace. I’d say check my website but the webmaster is a massive slack ass and hasn’t updated it in forever. He sucks and is about to be fired from handling the site, anyone out there wanna take over? HA!

Message to the fans:

Just want to honestly say thank you. I know everyone always says that and if you’re reading this then you’re probably thinking.. “oh yeah whatever, you sound like everyone else” but those of you that know me can attest to this, I truly do appreciate every email, every person that attends a show, everyone that buys merch, all the street team (you guys RULE without ya life would be WAY harder). I really do love that people take time out of their busy lives and spend their hard earned money to come and see me act like a goofball onstage for an hour. I could never pay you back enough so I hope the songs are worth it….

Billy Carri Website
Billy Carri on MySpace

Sean Mackin of Yellowcard

August 23, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

ycmainSean Mackin considers himself the luckiest person in the world, and not without good reason. He’s got one hell of a unique job ― violinist in a rock band. That’s not something you see on a lot of resumes.

Mackin’s musical contributions have helped his band, Yellowcard, create their signature mixture of violin-tinged rock/pop. The distinctive sound of the Jacksonville, Florida quintet (Mackin on violin, Ryan Key on vocals/guitar, Pete Mosely on bass, drummer Longineu Parsons III, and guitarist Ryan Mendez) has proven a hit with music fans. After several independent releases, Yellowcard scored a deal with Capitol Records and went on to sell 3 million+ albums, including the 2003 smash “Ocean Avenue,” and the critically-acclaimed follow-up, “Lights and Sounds.”

Now, with the release of Yellowcard’s latest album, “Paper Walls,” and the new single “Light Up The Sky,” Mackin took the time to chat with me about the making of the record, fun with 3-year-olds on airplanes, and why kids who get bullied in school may end up having the last laugh.

Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin | August 2007
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Derrick Frost & Pat McManaman of Chiodos

August 23, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

chiodos1Chiodos, who’s name is derived from an obscure term used in 80s horror movies, isn’t scaring anyone – in fact fans can’t seem to get enough of them.  Call them post-hardcore, call them metal-core, but when you get right down to it Chiodos pulls sounds and inspiration from all varieties of music and rocks them out like only Chiodos can.  The six piece (Craig Owens on vocals, Bradley Bell on keyboards, Pat McManaman on guitar, Matt Goddard on bass, Jason Hale on guitar and Derrick Frost drums) first came together as a band when they were friends in high school in Flint, MI.  They’ve come a long way from yearbooks and pop-warner though.

They essentially made a name for themselves by hitting the road and letting word of mouth take it’s course.  This lead them to Equal Vision Records and their first album All’s Well That Ends Well.  Spending the summer out on the WARPED tour the band is bringing their infectious live act to the masses and the kids are turning out in absurd numbers to check them out.

On September 4th Chiodos releases Bone Palace Ballet, the follow up to their debut disc.  According to drummer Derrick Frost, Bone Palace Ballet, a name borrowed from a book of poems by Charles Bukowski, is Chiodos at a whole new level.

Derrick and Pat sat down with TWRY Lexi at Warped to talk about the new albums, trouble with the law, and all things Chiodos!

Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro | August 2007
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Steve Aiello of Monty Are I

August 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

montyWhat do you do when there really isn’t an appropriate term to describe your band’s sound?  Why make up a new one term course.  Self-described “action” rockers Monty Are I are putting it mildly.  At first glance you may mistake them for a musical army with their cavalcade of musical artillery.  Sure they’ve got guitars, bass, drums, and keyboard but they don’t stop there…throw in some some brass – a trombone and a trumpet or two, and a few samples and then you’d be getting warm.  Speaking of warm, they guarantee to melt your faces off!  And melt faces they do.

With their latest release Wall Of People on Stolen Transmissions Records, Monty Are I (Steve Aiello on lead vocals and lead guitar, Ryan Muir on vocals, guitar and trumpet, Andrew Borstein on synth Keys, trombone, and vocals. Mike Matarese on bass, and Justin Muir on drums and sampling) have turned into touring pros, taking their traveling band all over the country and winning melted faces off everywhere they go.  It’s hard not to like this band, their passion sort of jumps off of the stage and punches you in the face – in a good way of course.  Their live set is mesmerizing, it’s sort of marching band meets guitar hero.  While their album rocks I think the real magic is their live performance.

Notable tracks on Wall of People include the fan favorite, Zelda tribute Castle Bound as well as the Dublin Waltz which is an ode to love, lust, and a whole lot of alcohol.  The album is an epic journey from start to finish.

Monty Are I are about to start a new tour with Yellowcard and Sum 41.  Check them out!!
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Ronnie Winter of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

August 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

rja2Hailing from Florida with a name that often leaves people scratching their heads, you might be disappointed to find out their name means absolutely nothing, it was chosen arbitrarily when the band first came together – they put their passion into their music and the name was more of an afterthought.  It’s funny that something that started out so simple, could evolve into something so big.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (Ronnie Winter on vocals . Duke Kitchens on guitar, piano, and vocals, Elias Reidy on guitar and backing vocals, Joey Westwood on bass and vocals and Jon Wilkes on drums and vocals) introduced themselves to the world with their debut release Don’t You Fake It.  The album yielded their gut wrenching, addictive single Face Down and started what could only be described as a Red Jumpsuit army. While the band is young in years (they are all in their early twenties) their lyrics are evocative, honest and daring to take on the world and their music stretches the boundaries.  They’ve been called everything from emo to screamo to metal infused pop-punk, so you decide.

And you just never know who you might run into at Warped tour!  TWRY Staffer Lexi was lucky enough to meet up with Ronnie who was cool enough to answer a few fun questions.  Here’s what he had to say!

Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro | August 2007
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Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls

August 10, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

goo1What better way to ensure a summer blockbuster hit in the theaters?  Well, throwing a Goo Goo Dolls song on the soundtrack never hurts! Currently touring in support of their latest release Let Love In, the band took a break to film the video for the new song they penned for The Transformers movie. The ballad, Before It’s Too Late, delivers the goods in true Goo Goo Dolls fashion. Chalk it up as just another song to add to their repertoire, a repertoire spanning twenty years that is.

It has really been over twenty years since the members of the band first met in Buffalo and started writing music together and maturing into the musicians they’ve become today. In an industry that is so self-implosive, the Goo Goo Dolls have figured out the secret of longevity and the ongoing magic of writing relevant music album after album. Modest bassist Robby Takac attributes their longevity to luck but there’s definitely a bit more to it than that.

From their early days of a punk inspired garage band to their latest radio ready hits, the band has alway had the ability to transform their raw, natural talent into beautifully arranged songs that translate to a vast array of people.  Let Love In offers up inspiration and hope for the future through insightful lyrics and continues to show the evolution of the band. There seems to be no place like home for these guys to get their creative juices flowing. Their eighth studio album was written in their hometown of Buffalo in a Masonic Temple. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Johnny Rzeznik attributes this “back to their roots” approach for the outcome of the album.

Recently bassist Robby took time out of their hectic touring schedule to catch up with us on the band, their careers, his side projects, politics, and of course – his love for PEZ!

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | August 2007
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Family Force 5

August 9, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

ff5mainUpon first listen, you may mistake Family Force 5’s “Business Up Front, Party In The Back” for a mixtape someone threw in at a party – the fun keeps rolling but the sounds that come out are vastly different from track to track. Each one different from the one before infused with every style of music you could possibly imagine, soul, funk, rock, rap, electronica, pop, dancetastic goodness….and that’s just the first song! How did Family Force 5 arrive at such an eclectic arsenal of sounds you may wonder, well when you have five guys who all have loves in different genres, it’s a recipe for Family Force 5.

Family Force 5 is the brainchild of the brothers Olds (Solomon, Jacob, and Joshua) better known as Soul Glow Activatur (on guitar and vocals), Crouton (on drums and vocals) and Phatty (on bass and background vocals). The rest of the band is rounded out by Nadaddy (on keytar, percussion and DJ duties),
Chap Stique (on guitar) and Xanadu (dancer extraordinaire). Daring not to take themselves too seriously their latest album “Business Up Front/Party In The Back: Diamond Edition” pays homage to the widely criticized yet widely adored hair cut; the mullet. Often referred to as hockey hair the mullet is a force to be reckoned with and those who sport them, sport them proudly. It was with that enthusiasm that the band wanted to tip their hats to mulletheads everywhere. With deep roots in the South the lyrics tell tales of life there, love there, and parties there. While the band is all fun, all of the time, they do take some things seriously….and those things are their faith, their friends, fans, and family, and of course 80s cartoons, I mean really, who doesn’t.

Their whole live show is reminiscent of 80s cartoons as well. With their “gangsta” stage names and their eye-dazzling outfits, it’s hard not to picture them in technicolor but then the music kicks you in the ass and you remember to concentrate on the music as well. A kaleidoscope of sounds and colors engulfs you and before you know it you’ve been officially Family Force 5’ed and are breakdancing on a piece of old cardboard. And while you may think it’s a bit over the top, they wouldn’t want it any other way.

The band just finished up Warped tour and is getting ready to embark on their own headlining tour including some dates on the northern East Coast, a region that is somewhat unchartered territory for Family Force 5. While the rock and crunk soldiers admit to a minor smell of fear in the air, they will approach the East Coast shows as they approach any, with promises of dragons, ninjas, and unicorns to anyone who comes to see them play. While this may seem like false advertising, anyone who’s never seen them before usually walks away a fan and forgets all about the promise of a unicorn. Not a bad tactic. And really, when your live show has that kind of energy, you can make those kinds of promises because everyone walks away happy anyway.

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette & Lexi Shapiro | August 2007
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Kevin Martin of Candlebox

August 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

cbox1When frontman Kevin Martin received the call letting him know that Rhino Records was releasing a Candlebox Greatest Hits album, it set the wheels in motion.  After speaking to the rest of the original line-up they decided to make the most of the opportunity and hit the road in support of it.  With six million records sold worldwide over their career, it had been many years since Candlebox had even existed in any way, shape, or form.  What would the reaction be?

From the moment they hit the stage Kevin described it as riding a bike.  When music is your livelihood, it’s not hard to pick right up where you left off.  While each member had pursued other musical endeavors over the years, playing as Candlebox had to feel like coming home to each of them.  Could they really do it all again?  With a successful tour under their belt and currently in the middle of another one, the answer is a big, loud YES!  Fans are showing up en masse to relive the songs that defined Candlebox as one of the stand out artists of 90s and the Candlebox of today doesn’t disappoint – serving up all the hits on a delicious musical platter.  With their new songs intertwined with old songs, there’s not a a soft spot in the set.  The songs are as relevant today as they were they day they were written and there’s no place better to see living proof of that than on stage night after night.

Lead singer Kevin Martin, who never stopped making music, sat down with TWRY to discuss the Candlebox of old and new as well as what the future holds for this project.

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | August 2007
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Kerry King of Slayer

August 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

slayer2With a massive career spanning over twenty six years, speed metal warriors Slayer recently re-released their album Christ Illusion with a bonus track and live DVD footage.  Christ Illusion was their fastest billboard charting album and the first album in over ten years with the original lineup of Kerry King (guitar), Tom Araya (lead vocals, bass), Jeff Hanneman (guitar) and Dave Lombardo (drums).  And oh yeah, they won a Grammy as well.  That’s right…Grammy award winning artists – SLAYER.

Never one to shy down from a little controversey, Slayer has teamed up with shock rocker Marilyn Manson for the most anticipated tour of the summer.  Each not without their share of critics, good and bad, they are taking their show on the road and will undoubtedly leave their mark at each stop.

Slayer guitar slinger Kerry King took some time to talk to TWRY about the Slayer legacy and 26 years of kicking ass as well as a look at the tour and the future for Slayer.

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | August 2007
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