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Biffy Clyro

September 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

bc1Mon the Biffy!!!!!!!!!

Hailing from a small town in Scotland Simon Neil and brothers James and Ben Johnston, collectively known as Biffy Clyro, have been making music together since they were teenagers. However, it is with the release of their latest album, Puzzle, that they have reached a whole new level of commercial success and have broken into the worldwide market.

Puzzle, produced by Garth Richardson (of Rage Against the Machine fame) pleases even the most devoted of Biffy Clyro fans while creating a new allegiance with music fans across the globe.  It’s tough to please both critics AND fans but Biffy Clyro seems to do this with ease.  The new album is being touted as everything from modern to expiremental, but simply put, the album just plain rocks.  Although the band is only a three piece, that didn’t deter them from an amalgam of sounds with everything from strings to keys with each member contributing to the vocals and rich harmonies.

The album is capped off by amazing artwork by Storm Thorgerson who you may recall created the album cover for a little album titled Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.

While on the Warped tour, Simon and James took some time out to chat with TWRY staffer Lexi about the new album, their writring process, touring the US, and all things Biffy!

Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro | September 2007
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Ben Jelen

September 24, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

benbwmainBen Jelen first introduced himself to us with his debut album Give It All Away on Maverick Records in 2004. With the poptastic single Come On he shot an arrow into our hearts and took us through the album track by track with piano laced lovelorn tales of heartache and longing.

Well, it’s now 2007 and Ben’s back ands better than ever. He’s got a new label, a new album, and a whole new fierce energy that pulsates through every song. His latest work of art, Ex-Sensitive, is more of a love letter to the Earth and a cry for help to it’s sometimes thankless inhabitants. The songs, rich in depth and texture, exude high energy, unsurpassed passion, and creative song-writing. The album, produced by legendary Linda Perry, delivers songs that are reminiscent of a 60s/70s sound, one might even describe as Beatlesque. Intricate strings work their way through the songs and his unique voice is showcased throughout the keyboard/piano driven pop, rock, soulful songs.

It’s not too often that we are presented with a conscientious pop star who actually practices what he preaches, so for that, we salute Mr. Jelen. He’s the real deal, a genuine article, a musician who we can be proud to look up to! Inspired by the environment and his travel to other countries, Jelen’s lyrics beg for us to wake up and take care of each other and the world we live in – to shed our emotionless ties to technological devices and find what really drives us within our souls. This album gets better every time we listen to it, something new pops out, a new sound a new instrument, a lyric we may have missed – it’s magical from start to finish.

Recently wrapping up his tour with Pet Yorn, Ben took some time to sit down with me to discuss his latest album, his passionate stand on environmental and political issues, and of course his ultimate frisbee championship title!

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | November 2007
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The Dangerous Summer

September 19, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

tdsmainCody Payne
Etay Pisano
AJ Perdomo
Tyler Minsberg

Where did the band name come from?

The name actually came from a book by Ernest Hemmingway, it was one of his less well known works… but we thought it sounded cool and worked well for the time.
How did the band form?

We had all been friends and had been involved with each other in music before and wanted to do something that we thought would get us somewhere, we knew exactly what we wanted to do and went for it.
How long has the band been together?

We have been together for a little over a year… and have been playing shows since January.
Any influences?

There are so many influences that I look to, recently I have been listening to this girl Stacy Clark, she is so amazing, but Jimmy Eat World definitely influences me more then any other band.
You self produced your first EP, There Is No Such Thing As Science, which eventually got you a record deal with the Indie label Hopeless Records. But once you went in to record, you made a complete turn around and recorded all new material with a new title (If You Could Only Keep Me Alive). Do you feel that it benefited you in the long run to make that decision?

It definitely benefited us in multiple ways, the older stuff is a lot more poppy where the new stuff is more mature, I like that with the two different EP’s we were able to show two different sides to our music and show people what we might be doing on our next release.
Where can people buy this new EP?

You should be able to buy the CD anywhere, on iTunes, in Best Buy, at our shows, FYE, Sam Goody, all that good stuff… any major place that sells music should have our EP!

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The Dangerous Summer – If You Could Only Keep Me Alive

Who writes the lyrics for the band, and can you walk me through the process?

Well AJ writes the lyrics for the band where I write the music, I usually get the music down and we all practice it together and work on it a little more, once that is done AJ sits down and figures out vocal melodies and writes lyrics and fits them till we are all satisfied, but that is definitely the most time consuming part of our writing process.
I really love your song “The Permanent Rain”. Could you walk me through it, musically and lyrically?

“The Permanent Rain” lyrically is a song about two people very close to AJ that passed away a few years ago, the two people have nothing to do with each other but the song sort of ties them together and what influence they had on his life. The music was written when I lived in Florida and was just writing new music for my next musical project, which became The Dangerous Summer.
What sets The Dangerous Summer apart from other bands?

Well, I think the main thing is that we don’t aim to be anything that’s really different from the rest of music, we just try to expand on mainstream and catchy music.
You’ve been on tour with some great bands, such as Cartel, All Time Low, and The Ataris. Who would be your dream band to play with?

We really are dying to play with a ton of bands, like Jimmy Eat World, Jacks Mannequin, Millencolin. Those bands are so big in our lives and it would be our dreams coming true if we were able to tour with them.

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What is your ultimate goal as a band?

We just want to be able to do this for as long as possible and to keep people listening, the more people listening the better, we love what we do and it would be awesome for this to be a life long career.
Describe your latest EP in one word?

Different.

What would you tell people who dream to play music in a band just like yourselves?

Be professional, be out going, meet anyone and everyone, keep in contact and don’t ever slow down.
Any last words?

Spread the word! There is so much more to come, so keep listening!

Foreverinmotion

September 12, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

brenInterviewed by: Debie Patton

Welcome back to Indianapolis!

Thanks!  Glad to be back.

We have to start with the obligatory first question, about the name. I know you get it all the time, but as a solo artist you chose to instead go by “Foreverinmotion.” Why did you do that versus “Brendon Thomas?”

Because the name “Brendon Thomas” isn’t interesting, and it’s too… earthly, you know what I mean?  Everyone has a name.  Why should music be represented simply by someone’s name?

Why “Foreverinmotion,” then?

Why not?  (laughs)

Touche!

Okay.  I’ll explain. Its kinda deep. So… The past and the future are nothing more than ideas, you with me?

Yep.

What’s happening now will soon be a memory. And the future is something that hasn’t happened but is also nothing more than thought…an illusion of the mind.  The only thing that truly exists in space time is the present–moment by moment–a window that is constantly changing its view.  The present is forever, and what creates the ideas of the past and future is change: The movement, the motion, moment by moment. And we are that moment. We are forever in motion. So that’s the gist. I hate answering that question.
I’m sorry, I had to ask it.

No, it’s cool!
If there was a way around it, I would have done it, but… Okay moving on.  Your writing process is very interesting.  You play pretty much every instrument except drums on…both of your CDs, actually…

I actually did play some drums on the new record.
Oh, okay. I love the video you have on your myspace, so share that writing process with us.  We’ll probably link that, but…

Yeah, totally! I basically write bare-bones acoustic or piano songs, and I can kinda hear the other parts in my head, but I don’t work them out until I record. I’ll record the basics, then I’ll track some bass guitar, drums, and from there I’ll just pick an instrument and jam.  Just jam with the song and build it up, part by part, until the sound scape feels right to me. It’s like painting a picture, you know?  Its fun.
Layer upon layer.

Just listen for it.

Now can you actually read sheet music?  Do you ever use it with any of your songs in the studio?

I can read it.  I was in band all the way through high school…I played saxophone and drums.
No shit?  That’s what I did!  Both of those, actually!

That’s awesome!  Well, there’s a connection! I don’t ever write out sheet music. I feel that when I read sheet music, the focus is on reading the music as opposed to feeling it. I know some people can feel music when they’re reading it, and they’re amazing musicians, but I just don’t like it.  It doesn’t work for me.

I think it takes more talent to feel it without reading it, really.  Anyone can be taught to read music.

Yeah.  The emotion is ten-fold stronger when it’s just coming from inside of you as opposed to coming from an external source.
Your first CD was recorded when you were 19, is that correct?

You are correct.
Okay, um…in your bedroom, layer upon layer on your computer…

Yep.
Do you consider yourself a pioneer in any way because of that “homemade” process?

No.
Why not?

I know a lot of people who record music this way, I guess I have a knack for it, you know?  I do it in a unique way, maybe?
I remember last time you were here you said something onstage about Myspace and how Myspace was evil and asking people if they had one and all that…but it’s a great outlet for music and musicians…

Yeah, I won’t deny that…
So with those opposing views, do you think it’s more of a help or a hindrance, and also, what are your thoughts on file sharing as an up-and-coming musician?

Honestly, I think Myspace is a very helpful tool for bands because it’s becoming less of a necessity to sign with a label in order to be heard, you know, to get your music out there.  And it’s easy to keep in touch with your fans and keep them in the loop, especially when you’re touring…so when you come back around the next time after playing their city, they’ll know about it, you know?  Um…no, I think it’s great for bands, it’s just…it’s saddens me to see how much time young people waste on myspace for vain and superficial reasons. It replaces “real” life after a while.
Everyone’s just out to “collect the friends” and…

Yeah, well…yeah, and to just sort of live behind the illusion of…the image we are on myspace, you know?  The identity we create that we feel comfortable with..  Because everyone can kinda perfect themselves–or what they think is perfect–when in truth they’re hiding who they really are.  I feel everyone is perfect in their own way.  You don’t need myspace to correct that.

image

What about file sharing?
File sharing?  Eh, whatever.  For an up-and-coming artist I think it’s a good thing to just get your music out there.  You’re not gonna make money for a while.  Even huge recording artists aren’t doing as well as they used to because everyone can download albums for free and burn CDs and…buy a record on iTunes for $7.00 as opposed to buying a record in the stores for $13.00 or $14.00.  I dunno…I mean, I’ll ask so many kids, “when was the last time you went to a store and bought a CD?” and they can’t even remember!
March 27th…

What?
That’s the last time I went to a store and bought a CD.  March 27th.

See?  That’s what I’m saying.  Things are changing and you can’t really fight it, you know?  Technology has taken off.  It’s helping bands and hurting bands at the same time, so…whatever.
Do you think that’s going to be the future of music then?  It’s all going to go digital?

I dunno.  I don’t really care.  (laughs) Music is music.  As long as it’s reaching people, that’s all that matters.  As long as it’s bringing people joy.
If you had 30 seconds to convince somebody to buy your album, what would you say?

I would say, “There’s a gun in my jacket.  If you don’t buy this album, you’re gonna get it!” (laughing)
Nice!  That’s one of the more interesting responses I’ve gotten to that question!  So…what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Sing for the balcony, not the orchestra pit.” The ones in the balcony are there because they love you. Those in the orchestra pit are so close, they only look for reasons to spit on you.

(laughs)

You know what I mean, though?  In terms of the music business, it’s like, the industry–magazines, the press, and the media–they’re all kinda the orchestra pit.  They’re so close to you, they have access to you… but they don’t care about what’s in your heart. They’d rather tear you apart than see you for what you’re worth, because it boosts their own ego.  But the people in the balcony…all they can do is listen, and just appreciate who you are from a distance, you know?  They’re there to understand you, so…
I’m feeling pretty hated here! (laughs)

No no no no no!  I’m not saying everyone in the media, I’m just saying… The ones who write you off without giving you a chance…you’re not singing for them, you know?  You’re not writing your songs or pouring your heart out for those people.  You’re doing it for the ones in the balcony, the ones who are…there because they love the music.
Alright.  In turn, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians?

Just be real to yourself.  Dig…dig deep inside yourself and don’t let what others think influence you.
Speaking of influences, who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Um…just…a female performer…really big in the late nineties–her name was Britney Spears–really changed my life and my outlook on everything.
Really? How so?  Because a lot of people look at her negatively now…

They don’t see the genius within.  Um…N*SYNC.  Uh…Ashlee Simpson is a big influence… Uh…

(laughing) Are you being serious with any of these?  I can’t even tell!

You can’t tell?
No…

Well, no…no I’m not…there’s some…wicked influences… Okay, reword that in a way where I can narrow it down a little bit.  “What are my…”
Um..?

“What top three bands have changed my life the most, musically?”
There you go!

Or “in terms of my career?”
You don’t need me here.  (laughing) You can interview yourself.

Jimmy Eat World, Bob Dylan, and Nickel Creek – they’re amazing!  I completely admire and loathe Chris Thile…’cause he’s just so fucking good!  He’s so good.  They all are amazing. Sarah and Sean too.  Okay… honorable mentions: Damien Rice, The Beatles.  The answer could change at any minute.
Understood….you mentioned connecting with your fans before, through myspace and email and such. A lot of your music stems from personal experiences.  When someone comes up to you after a show and says, you know, “I really connected with you because…” how does that make you feel as an artist and a person?

It completely validates everything I do.  I mean…I said “don’t let what other people think influence you” or…you know, have an effect on you, but… I think it’s a little different when it’s just… a connection with someone who understands what you’re expressing. What am I trying to say?  It…just makes it worthwhile.  Simple as that.
Talk to me about social causes for a minute.  Your new song “Invisible Child,” written for/about the Invisible Children and that cause. A lot of artists these days tend to shy away from taking any kind of stand on any social issues. They don’t want to be viewed as like, a “preachy” band or something.  And I’m not saying you are, on the contrary, I think it’s important that if you have the kind of…vocal…”power,” if you will…that musicians have, by all means, speak out.  I found out about Invisible Children through another band just a few months before your song was released on myspace but without them, that’s a few more months I’d have been in the dark.  So share with me some other social causes you feel strongly about.

Absolutely.  Well, I mean, all over Africa that stuff is going on right now. Children are being abducted by rebel groups, forced to carry guns and kill or be killed. They’re having stolen from them everything that could allow them to have normal lives, you know?  Fighting the wars and stuff… That was the one that affected me the hardest recently anyway.  I’m an environmental advocate, too, to an extent.  I mean, when I was five years old, I found out that dolphins and whales were being endangered…so I took out a box of Crayola crayons and something like fifty sheets of paper and made up my own petitions to save the whales and dolphins. I put them in my grandmother’s store and sat there all day to get her customers to sign them. A lot of people would come in, so I would just sit there for hours.  I ended up getting probably over 150 signatures, and I asked my parents to send it to Greenpeace.  (laughs) I don’t know what ever came of it, but it doesn’t matter. I was a driven little kid.  Half of helping any cause isn’t necessarily what you do, but just doing something, you know?  Just…putting energy into it.  I wish I had more time.  All I have is the songs that I write and the audiences who might listen to what I say and awaken them. But hopefully in a few years’ time, I’ll be able to actually take some time to travel and help first hand. I want to go to Africa.
That’s awesome.

It will be.

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You’re signed to One Eleven Records.  How did this come to be and…were you with them for your first album or was that all self-produced and everything?

I’ll start with the first album, which was basically an experiment not connected to any record label. FIM was just a side-project then and the album an opportunity to get in touch with a much more personal side of my creative self than I’d ever known before. I released that record on my own in May of 2004 and toured a few times on it. By then, Foreverinmotion was my main focus. After a year and a half, still unsigned, I recorded the original version of “The Beautiful Unknown” and independently released the album in June of ‘06. However, I’d sent One Eleven amongst many other labels a demo with an unmastered version of “The Rain” before the record was even finished. Seven months later, I get an email from Brad Fischetti–the owner of One Eleven–saying he loved what he heard and he wanted to hear more, so I sent him the record.  About a week later he called me up, in love with the album, and offered me a deal. From there, I don’t know if it was coincidence or what—and I don’t think it was–I started seeing the number 111 everywhere.  Everywhere!  It was ridiculous.  On signs, clocks, telephone poles, hotel room doors… everywhere… It was like my spirit guides we just reassuring my gut feeling to go for it and pursue this record deal. So I hired a lawyer, we negotiated the contract, and I signed with One Eleven at the end of 2006. We re-released “The Beautiful Unknown” with a new song, new artwork, new parts, re-mixed and remastered. I call it album version 2.0. The record dropped in May, and now here we are!
So has being signed contributed to your growth as an artist?

No. (laughing) No…
Well alright!  (laughing)

No, not to discredit One Eleven. They’ve been great. My point is, their job as a record label is to help me in the business. They’ve contributed to getting me out there, and have given me a much needed boost with their resources and financial backing. My growth as an artist is gonna come from within me.  I’m so independent that I have a hard time working with other people when it comes to my art. It has to just come from me.  It has to be organic and…not influenced by a label or a manager or a producer…it’s gotta be me.
Alright, aside from a copy of your CD, maybe a t-shirt…what do you hope people take away from your live show?

Whatever it is they need….emotionally.  Whatever it is that they’re searching for, you know?  Even just a tiny little glimpse of hope or joy or…something to relate to.
You’ve got a full band with you for this part of tour…that’s something new…

A little bird told me you were apprehensive about that…to an extent.
(laughs) Yes!  I am!  Are you going to be playing anything solo or..?

Of course!  It’s like half-and-half. Just a couple of songs to give the audience a taste of what the record sounds like, too, because there’s a lot of full-band stuff on the album.
How’s it been with them so far?

Good.  It’s fun. I love how intense the songs feel onstage with drums and electric guitars behind me.  Um…it’s definitely a different feeling, because I haven’t played with a band in two years, but I’m enjoying it. It sounds good.  My band is actually a band I borrowed for the tour called Serenata.
Are they from Vermont as well?

Yeah, they’re from Vermont.  I’ve known them since they were just little guys.  I actually taught their guitar players. I taught them a few years ago when I did lessons and they’ve made leaps and bounds since then. They’re amazing So good that I was more than happy to take them out.
And what’s been the favorite city or venue that you’ve played at so far this tour?

On this tour… Erie, PA was awesome.  Philadelphia was really cool.  Where else did we play?  Watertown, NY?  I was actually really surprised at that town.  Those are my favorites so far. Tonight should be great. I love Indianapolis.
Starting to get into the “strange” questions now…

Good.  (laughs) It’s about time.
(laughs) Gosh, sorry!  What one item can you not tour without?  And you can’t say, “the van,” “gear,” or anything obvious like that.  Do you have anything, like, sentimental that you take with you on tour?

I’m not very materialistic, but… So I can’t say like van, gear, or like, toiletries?  It has to be something…
Nothing obvious!

Okay, here’s a good one……I take this tea with me–it’s called Chaga–its more anti-oxidant than blueberries and green tea combined. Its extremely good for the immune system.  So whenever I feel like I’m getting sick I’ll just have a shot of this Chaga tea.  It’s made from a fungus that grows on birch trees. And it knocks out any virus or bad thing in your body.
I’m a tea person and I’ve never heard of that one before!

Yeah.  It’s nearly unheard of in the States. It’s big in Russia.  C-H-A-G-A…look up Chaga.  Read about it, it’s magical stuff.
Have you ever been to Russia?

Nope.
Just checking… Craziest experience on the road to date, or the strangest thing that you’ve ever seen on tour?

Strangest thing I ever witnessed was in Miami.  This car pulled up behind my van while I was loading out, and the driver runs around to the passenger’s side and opens the door and this kid falls out of the car…he’s unconscious and barely breathing.
Oh my god.

Yeah…and he’s looking really, really bad.  So everyone started freaking out.  The girl who was driving the car was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on, but I ran inside the bar and told them to call 911 and they just said, “get the fuck outta here!” It was a sketchy british pub in Miami and they just wanted us out, they didn’t care. So, luckily a cop was driving by and we waved him down…he called the paramedics and…this kid is just getting worse by the minute, obviously, because…you know…every minute you’re not breathing it’s one minute closer to permanent damage and possible death.  Luckily they managed to revive him, but I was convinced that I was gonna see this kid die right next to my van that night.  Apparently he had overdosed on cocaine…they found a big bag in his pocket.
Okay, moving on to something happier!  Favorite road food…I hear you have a thing for peanut butter and banana sandwiches?

You know, that’s my favorite quick-fix. My favorite road food is Moe’s burritos. Southwest Grill.  The “Art Vandalay…” That’s been a favorite on this tour.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m good at impressions.
Hook me up with some.

I know, I know.  Um…how about “Smeagol” from “ Lord of the Rings,” have you seen “Lord of the Rings?”
Mmhm.

Okay… Alright…I don’t… I feel uncomfortable!
I won’t look..?

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Okay…tell me about your favorite piece of art outside your medium.

Outside my medium, it’s a drawing that my cousin did when he was 5.
Aww!  Of..?

I don’t even know.  It’s just…abstract.  I think it’s beautiful though, you know?  This…just…pure piece of expression from a child.  It’s just bunch of colors in free form.  You can almost see things in it.
Like a “Magic Eye” thing…

I wasn’t gonna say “Van Gogh” or “Monet” or anything.
Most people I ask that of are like, “Uhh…what?” At least you had an answer!  Next question though… If you were given access to a time machine and could return to any point in musical history and change something, what point would you go to and what would you change…and why?

I don’t think I’d wanna change anything, I’d just wanna witness it.
What would you wanna witness?

The sixties.  Of any time, I’d like to go to the sixties.  I’d like to go to Greenwich Village in 1962 and…hang out with Bob Dylan and like…all the folk artists.  Dave van Ronk and…Peter, Paul and Mary and…just vibe it.  Vibe it out.
With your mushroom tea?

Nah. I would just drink whatever they were drinking at the time…
Uh oh… Let’s move away from this.  What’s in your pockets right now?

(stands up and empties pockets into hands) Uh, cell phone…eye drops, because I wear contacts… Fifty cents, three guitar picks…and my wallet.

Okay.  If you could be a superhero for a day, what’s your power, and what’s your name?

The power of flight… Why not, right?
It would make touring a lot easier!

It would, it would.  If I could carry everything I needed in like, a…if I could just haul like, a flying trailer behind me, you know… Um, my name…would be…I don’t know!
(laughs)

Okay, power of flight…uh…I don’t know.  I mean, do you think “Superman” came up with that name just like that?  Or “ Batman?” Or “Spiderman?”
“Spiderman?” Definitely!

Yeah, I know… “Spiderman…” Like those are real original, you know?  I…I can’t answer that question, sorry.

You could be “Flightman!”

“Flightman…” (laughs) Yeah… “Flying Man…”
(laughs) Okay, famous last words? Anything goes here.

Half the people can be all right part the time, some of the people can be all right part of the time, but all the people can’t be all right all the time.  I think Abraham Lincoln said that?

Paraphrased…

Roughly…?
Yeah.

You can be in my dream if I can be in yours… Bob Dylan said that.

##

LINKS:

www.foreverinmotion.net

www.myspace.com/foreverinmotion

www.myspace.com/teamforeverinmotion

www.myspace.com/serenatamusic

www.invisiblechildren.com

www.one.org

Amber Pacific

September 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

apmainWith the release of their latest album, Truth In Sincerity, Amber Pacific (Matt Young on vocals, Will Nutter on guitar/backup vocals/keyboard, Greg Strong on bass, Dango on drums, and Rick Hanson on guitar) have proven that you can grow as musicians without deserting the sound that brought fans to you in the first place.  Staying true to their pop/punk roots, Truth In Sincerity delivers with catchy riffs, addictive melodies, and creatively structured choruses. Even though the songs flow in typical Amber Pacific fashion you can clearly pick up where the band has dialed it up a few notches.  Matt’s vocals show vast improvement, Will’s guitar playing hits a new level, and the band as a whole seems to be working as a much more cohesive unit. Oh, the band decided to introduce a few new sounds into the mix as well.  Keep your ears open for the strings.

While Amber Pacific emits a funloving attitude there’s one thing they take very seriously – their music and the relationship it affords them with their fans.  They always bring it 100 percent onstage and 110 percent offstage – bonding with fans and taking time to actually get to know them on a personal level, even some of their songs have been inspired by people they’ve met along the way.  I guess you could say that they’re making the most of it.

Currently out on the road with Yellowcard and SUM 41, the band was cool enough to take time out of their busy touring schedule on the opening Sundy of NFL season and watching their hometown team the Seattle Seahawks beat up on Tampa Bay to sit down with TWRY Staffer Stacie to talk about the new album, the constant touring, and what it means to be a member of Amber Pacific.

Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | September  2007
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Dusty Redmon of The Almost

September 9, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

thealmostmainThe Almost started as a solo project for all around workhorse Aaron Gillespie.  Sure, the name probably sounds familiar.  That’s because he’s the drummer for a little band called Underoath as well.  Let’s just say he’s a bit of an overachiever.

With Southern Weather, the debut disc from The Almost, Aaron wrote it from top to bottom and fronts the band that now delivers the goods live.  Gillespie played almost all of the instruments on the recording of the album and worked with producer Aaron Sprinkle to make this album everything it could possibly be.

The first single Say This Sooner grabbed the attention of music fans very quickly and started a buzz that has yet to stop. Southern Weather lets Gillespie display more of his melodic chops and allows him to get out from behind the drum kit and connect directly with the fans, something that is very important to him. The rest of the band, rounded out by Alex Aponte on bass, Kenny Bozich on drums and Dusty Redmon and Jay Vilardi on guitar are as connected to the songs as Aaron is.  By playing them night after night they have made a personal and spiritual connection with them as well – they aren’t just hired hands.

Currently blazing across the country with The Starting Line and Paramore, guitarist Dusty took some time to talk to TWRY staffer Stacie about the band, life on the road and some of his favorite things!

Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | September 2007
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Jarrod Gorbel of The Honorary Title

September 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

thtmainWhen Jarrod Gorbel started playing under the name The Honorary Title he was just one man and a guitar singing songs that reached deep.  Soon after, Aaron Kamstra joined forces with Gorbel and before they knew it the duo was touring the country.  Their debut disc “Anything Else But The Truth” was a favorite among critics and music lovers alike.

Fast forward to 2007, The Honorary Title has transformed into a full band (Jarrod Gorbel on vocals and guitar, Aaron Kamstra on bass, Jon Wiley on guitar and keys, Adam Boyd on drums) and have just released their follow up cd Scream And Light Up The Sky.  The disc is sure to please fans of the band and will undoubtedly win over a few new ones.  This album is truly Gorbel’s coming out as a premiere songwriter, his biting sarcastic lyrics that explore relationships of all levels mixed with beautiful harmonies throughout.  Having a full band has added a lot more texture and depth to the overall impact of the songs.  According to Gorbel “Our intention with Scream and Light Up the Sky was to communicate pessimism and the darkest of emotions but at the same time not take ourselves too seriously. It’s heartfelt, but expressed with a sarcastic tone.” Well Mr. Gorbel – Mission Accomplished.
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