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Catching up with Matt White

October 24, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

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You just played in New Orleans, how was it?

It was good!  It was a small show.  We’d never played there before, so there were like 30 people there.  The other shows have been REALLY good!

…and where are you playing tonight, you are in Texas correct?

Yeah, we’re in Austin.

Wow, that was quite a trek for you!

Yeah, we drove like 500 miles strait through and got here this morning.  I did some TV this morning and now I’m resting.

Oh no kidding, like a local TX show?

Yeah it’s a music station.  Then the radio show was KISS FM on the Bobby Bones show, which is a big station here.

Ok, so “Best Days” came out September 18th, and you are currently on a headlining tour.  Tell me your thoughts on the past month; has it been a total whirlwind?

Yeah it has, it’s been very very exciting, to have it hit stores and to SEE it.  The video just went to VH1 last week, so the video is being spun and the radio play is starting to really build.  You know its fourth quarter, so kind of just go through… and fourth quarter is mainly for huge established artists.  It’s been really good.  The album is selling nicely, and the reviews are great.  People are starting to show up to the shows.  It’s all kind of coming together.

Am I going to have to start elbowing my way in?

Noooo, not you!  None of the Bleeker Street Kids… Ever!

A couple of my favorite tracks on Best Days are “Love”, which is my new favorite if you would and “Play” is my favorite live performance song.

I love “Play”!

Do you have any specific favorites?

Play is definitely one that I just love.  I also love “Just What I’m Looking For”, and I love “Moment of Weakness”.  I don’t know they’re all different, but “Play” is really my favorite.

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It’s a wonderful song live, it’s perfect for your closing tune.
I saw an article yesterday on Gibson.com, they have a little feature on you, saying that “The six-string is encoded in your DNA” that’s quite a complement.

Yeah, well my grandmother was the first female conductor, and she and all her brothers and sisters used to travel around the country and play.  They were like 6 or 7 years old to 15 years old playing around the country, and they were like little geniuses.

They focused on your guitar a bit; explain to our readers why it’s so special.

Well your guitar is something that you sort of bond with, you become comfortable with it.  It keeps in tune when I need it to keep in tune, it’s a good guitar.  A bad guitar gets out of tune when you really need it to stay IN tune.  But, there is definitely a bond.  I’ve tried to play other guitars, but I really love my Gibson J-200.

You’ll be playing some neat little venues.  Is there any place you are looking forward to playing most?

Tonight we are really excited to play Studs, because we get to eat!  Some people might be able to tell I’ve been eating a lot! Nah, we get to eat, it’s Texas and it’s just a great city!

This is kind of silly but the other day I spoke to Johnny Rzeznik, he is going to be a judge on the new American Idol spin off The Next Great American Band, any chance you are going to be watching cause it sound like it’s going to be pretty sweet.

Really?  No.  I’ve heard of it, and I know its going through Interscope.  But, I think when you have a thing like American Idol, it’s such a huge thing.  I don’t think it’s going to hit like American Idol.  I can’t believe Johnny Rzeznik is going to be a judge!!

Ok, Back to you.  We talked about your video “Best Days” hitting VH1, and we have you on the VSPOT Top 20 vote-able countdown, and on McDonald’s Live…

Yeah, I’m winning that one.

Um yeah, hello, why do you think you are winning?

Beause you guys are kicking ass!!

Yes, you are winning that competition so far, and the winner get their music featured in a future McDonald add campaign?

Yes, there is a big 2008 campaign, so that would be a big score!

…and then I watched the video on mcdlive.com of you guys playing a show, and Lee kind of gave you a hard time for adding “Love” to the set list.

Yeah, Lee didn’t want to play “love” right…

What’s up with that?

I don’t know man, but now he knows!  Now it’s built into the set so we’re all good.

So you’ve got this headlining club tour, an upcoming appearance on Carson Daly…

Yup, Carson Daly on November 1st, a November northeast club tour when I’m coming to you.  Then in December a doing a bunch of radio shows.

Will you be doing any more of the late night TV tour circuit?

We have some tentative dates for December.  But I don’t want to say too much.  Then come January that’s when things will hopefully start going bananas.

Bananas is good!

Alright Mattie, good luck, and we’ll see you in New York!

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Matt White’s Official Website

Matt White on MySpace

matt pond PA

October 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

mpmatt pond PA has gone through an inception or two, and have never shied away from trying new sounds and reinventing themselves both in the physical and metaphorical sense.  After several line up changes, a location change from PA to Brooklyn and and a side project here and there, one thing remains the same – visceral songwriting that reaches out and grabs you from the inside out, grabbing your heart and giving it a little shake, not unlike full on heartbreak and falling in love at the same time.

Never one to mask emotions matt pond PA (Matt pond on vocals and guitar, Dan Crowell on drums, Steve Jewett on guitar, Chris Hansen on guitar and keyboards and Matthew Daniel Sisken on bass) lay it all out on the line with their latest release Last Light.  With help from the likes of Neko Case who makes a cameo appearance, Last Light invites you onto the matt pond PA rollercoaster of longing, loving, and everything in between.  While this album is a bit richer and edgier than albums past, it doesn’t lose any of it’s emotional intensity.

The band tours incessantly and can currently be found making their way from the west coast to the east coast of the US before heading off to Japan, catch them if you can!

Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro| November 2007
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Dennis Casey of Flogging Molly

October 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

fmmainGuitar, bass and drums..sure, sounds like the recipe for a great band.  Add mandolin, accordian, tin whistle and fiddle and you’ve got yourself a party, a party that calls themselves Flogging Molly.  With their uniquely delicious blend of pop-punk and traditional Irish sounds, for Flogging Molly it’s just second nature.  The seven piece band (Dave King on vocals and acoustic guitar, Bridget Regan on fiddle and tin whistle, Dennis Casey on electric guitar, Matt Hensley on accordion, Nathen Maxwell on bass, Bob Schmidt on mandolin, banjo, and George Schwindt on drums) is the brainchild of Dave King, who came to the US with a previous band, and searched to find his niche in the music industry.

“The first time we came together to play, there was an energy in the room that I’d never experienced in any other band I’d been in and it wasn’t due to any single ingredient, instrument, or musician” states King.  It was about the symbiotic nature that the instruments and musicians bring together as a whole, a sound best played live.  Indicative of this strength is the fact that the inspiration for their name was the club called Molly Malone’s in L.A. where King and fiddle player Regan first came together.

Flogging Molly spent the summer on Warped tour playing to tens of thousands of fans new and old, and are currently working on their new album due to be released in early 2008.  During their Warped stint, guitarist Dennis Casey sat down with TWRY staffer Lexi to discuss touring, tats, beer and of course all things Flogging Molly.

Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro| November 2007
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John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls

October 10, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

jrmainFrom Goo Goo Dolls’ front man to The Next Great American Band judge?  John Rzeznik knows what he is talking about and will speak his mind and bring honesty to the show.  Real bands, who work together, play gigs in bars and who have been together for years, out to compete for their shot at a record deal.  The Next Great American Band will make bands jump through TV hoops and play unfamiliar genres of music.  They’ll be judged by Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Sheila E, and Rzeznik on all levels, including chemistry within and audience connection.

Rzeznik wishes he had someone treating him fairly when he was trying to make it, so that is what he plans to do, as long as you are not full of your own shit.  Egomaniacs beware, because John isn’t buying it!

We recently talked to him regarding his new stint as a judge on this first season of The Next Great American Band, which premiers on October 19th on FOX.  He’s faithful that we’ll be seeing a great selection of bands who are all worthy of a shot at the big time.  These bands will be given just that, minus Simon’s vitriol.

Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | October 2007
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Magni

October 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

magniliveWhile last summer’s “Rock Star: Supernova” didn’t quite follow through on its promise to bring music fans a new “supergroup,” viewers of the CBS reality show got something even better — an introduction to a group of immensely talented performers from around the world. Without the show, it’s quite possible that Iceland would have been able to keep one of its most valuable natural resources to itself: Magni.

“Rock Star” viewers would be hard-pressed to forget the electrifying performances put on by the bald man from Iceland. From his passionate vocals to his blistering guitar work, Magni (Asgeirsson, in case you’re wondering) made songs like “The Dolphin’s Cry,” “I Alone,” and “Hush” his own. As he worked his way towards a fourth place finish, Magni’s ability to seamlessly integrate himself into the show’s House Band further demonstrated his high level of musicianship.

Of course, he had an early start — putting together his first band at the ripe old age of eleven. As his career developed, he played with the band SHAPE, before being enlisted by the Reykjavik outfit A Moti Sol to serve as their lead vocalist. Magni remains with A Moti Sol today. The band is extremely popular in Iceland, releasing numerous hit albums and touring regularly throughout the country and other European nations.

Magni also continues to perform with his fellow “Rock Star” finalists. After his run on the show, he celebrated his 28th birthday by organizing two sold-out concerts in Iceland with several “Rock Star” contestants and the House Band. And in early 2007, Magni returned to the U.S. to play with second-place finisher Dilana Robichaux during her opening set on the Supernova stadium tour.

Now, with the release of his self-titled debut album “Magni” —available on iTunes, Napster, SNOCAP, and other digital music sites on October 9th — he’s poised for the next stage of his career as a solo artist. (Iceland has already sent the album and the first single, “If I Promised You the World,” to number one.)

A few days before the digital release, Magni took the time to speak with me via phone from Houston, where he had a show scheduled with Dilana. I’m happy to report that he made this interviewer’s job extremely easy, by proving to be completely charming and refreshingly honest, with a wicked sense of humor to boot.

Check out what Magni has to say about his new album and the pressures of being a solo artist — not to mention his views on stalking Eddie Vedder and on baldness in general.

Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin | October 2007
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Machine Go Boom

October 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

mgb1Marc Russo: drums
Carrie Bukala: keyboards/backing vocals
Mikey Machine: guitar/lead vocals
Brian O’Connor: bass
Kevin Jaworski: lead guitar/vocals

Interview with Mikey Machine
By:  Heather Kobrin

I need to start off by asking if Cleveland, does in fact, rock.

Well, yeah, I guess so. I mean, we came up with the Michael Stanley Band, didn’t we?

Tell us a little bit about the history of the band.

I started playing solo acoustic in Cleveland back in 2000. A year or so later, I wanted to play those songs with a band, so some friends and I started playing together.

Describe your sound in three words.

Machine. Go. Boom.

A reviewer once asked “Is it merely a matter of promotion and luck that keeps Machine Go Boom from being the biggest indie-rock heroes in the country?” What do you think?

Well, I think that’s very flattering. I don’t know about being “indie-rock heroes” or whatever, but we’ve certainly been unlucky in the promotion department. If anyone wants to plaster flyers when we come to their town, I’ll buy them a beer… or three.
Your new album “Music for Parents” is available now – can you take us through a few of your favorite tracks?

I like them all, but certain ones stick out for me. “Uh-Oh” is definitely one of them, probably because that was so last minute — recorded in a couple hours with blatant disregard for studio professionalism. “M.I.A.” is another, but it bums me out that we can’t really play that one live. There’s like 9 tracks of dual percussion on that one — a bit too many drummers to fit in a tour van.

How would you compare the new album to the band’s previous release, 2004’s “Thank You Captain Obvious?”

I played all the instruments on the “Captain” album, and at the time, I wasn’t sure anyone else would like it at all. But a lot of folks did, so that was cool. On the new cd, some songs are the whole band, some songs are demos with just me playing that sounded good, and some songs have different friends from the Cleveland area playing stuff. In short, I think the new cd is like the first step in my rehabilitation of being a control-freak. Well, sort of… I’m still writing the stuff.

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Tell us about your songwriting process. Do you generally bring completed songs to the rest of the band, or is it more of a collaborative effort?

I write the songs by recording demo versions, and I’m usually still writing parts/lyrics while tracking. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, because sometimes I get carried away with adding way too many instruments/overdubs, and then we can’t really do them live. When we play live, we’re very much a rock band. I want the next recording to be much more live and immediate like our shows.
Which artists are your primary influences?

Movies are more of an influence on me, I think — and lots of comedy. On our last two weeks out on tour, we basically just listened to tons of stand-up comedy, like Bill Hicks, Patton Oswald, David Cross, Louis C.K., etc., and I have a lot of new songs written now. I think the stand-up helped. Also, I’m a huge Residents and Devo fan.

What inspired you to create your list of “20 Tips for the Touring Band,” suggestions that you note should also be applied to daily life?

I just wanted to say that “life on the road” isn’t always some crazy frat-house-dudes-gone-wild party. It’s just like any other thing in life. Just try to be relaxed and share, and don’t be a jerk.
What’s your opinion on the current state of the music industry?

It’s an industry. Like the auto industry. And Clear Channel is the new General Motors. And they’ve shipped the music jobs overseas. Now they force small children from third-world countries to write happy little ditties about teenage love while whipping them with VHS copies of “The Breakfast Club.” It’s so brutal.

What’s the overall plan for the band for the immediate future?

To sell our souls. I’m not kidding. We’re in debt.

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More Machine Go Boom:

MySpace

Official Website

“Music for Parents” available at www.collectibleescalators.com