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Video: Patrick Stump / Spotlight

December 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News

Patrick Stump has posted a new live video for his song “Spotlight”.  Check it out below.

For all the latest on Patrick, visit his website.

Artist Spotlight: Billy Schafer

December 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Spotlight Bands

TWRY Artist Spotlight
Billy Schafer

With his alt-pop melodies drawing comparison to the music of Jason Mraz and Joshua Radin, San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Billy Schafer has made quite a name for himself in the Bay Area music scene. He’s already been honored by his peers with a West Coast Songwriters Association award and an invitation to perform at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco.

In the wake of his debut release, First to Believe, Schafer took some time to answer questions for TWRY about his life, his music, and that flying pig floating across the cover of his album.

Interviewed by Heather Kobrin
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Spotlight Cover Band: Red Square

October 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Spotlight Bands

Red Square Is:
Renato Capobianco: Drums & Samples
Brian “Bam Bam” Burr: Bass & Vocals
Haril Pandya:  Guitar & Vocals
Jason Brandenburg:  Lead Vocals, Alto Sax & Trumpet

Interviewed by:  Dorise Gruber
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Spotlight Band: Key To The Midway

September 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Spotlight Bands

Key To The Midway Is:

Jesse Barnes – Vocals
Drew English – Guitar/Vocals
Corey Yoder – Guitar
Shane Barnes – Bass/Vocals
Ryan English – Drums

Interviewed by:  Mary Ouellette
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Spotlight Band: Your Best Friend

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Spotlight Bands

Now YOU have a friend in the music business!  This progressive rock quartet hails from Saginaw, MI.  Their music will make your ears happy, their hijinks will make you laugh, and should you ever have the misfortune of being stuck in a tree, they’ll be there to rescue you!  Meet YOUR BEST FRIEND.

 
Your Best Friend is:
John Bonham
Dale Brown
Nick Edler
Steve Colyer

Interviewed by:  Debie “Jinx” Patton
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Spotlight Band: MASS

It’s almost hard to fathom that MASS has been a New England music scene staple for over three decades now.  On April 23rd the band  will release their latest album “Sea of Black”.

I recently had a chat with frontman Louis St. August about the current state of MASS.

Interviewed by:  Roger Scales
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The Second Advance

September 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

thesecondadvance1The Second Advance


Meet The Band:
Brett – Guitar/Vocals

Dan – Bass
Chad – Drums

Location:  Danbury, CT


Let’s start with the basics, you’re based out of CT, how and when did you guys find each other and come together as a band?
In 2007 we found Brett naked and curled up in a balling the middle of a field after a meteor shower. Chad and I rescued him and showed him the ways of the guitar.

What are your backgrounds in music? Formally trained, self-taught, etc? What made you want to be involved with music?
Formally trained except for Dan who had only a hand full of lessons by Craig Fairbaugh of the band (+44)

You’re currently a three piece, is that by design?
No we just couldn’t find any reliable musicians so we did it ourselves and knighted Brett as the singer. By our design – no; by the universe’s design…perhaps.

What section of the record store would we find your album Hollywood filed under?
Bargin bin!

Describe your sound in three words?
Awesome awesome awesome!

In listening to your music the first comparison that comes to mind is Blink-182, were you influenced by them?
Who isn’t influenced by Blink-182?  They are incredible, not for the fact that they are unbelievable at their instruments, but the fact that they are normal guys that make up the catchiest music.

The album is called Hollywood which is also a track on the album, do you feel that that song is the best representation of the band as a whole on the album?
Yeah it’s a fun summary album and Hollywood does sum up our album into that one song, loud fast and fun.

The Second Advance in the studio

The Second Advance in the studio

What’s the most difficult part about being an indie band in today’s music industry?
Getting on the effing radio! If you’re not independently wealthy it’s tough, and if you’re not bringing in a ton of money already then no one wants to take a chance on you.

What do you think defines a great song?
It’s all about the hook.
My favorite song on the album is After-Thought, can you tell us a little bit about the song and what inspired it?
It was written after Brett’s close encounter of the 4th kind. The meaning can be taken however the listener seems fit.

What is the writing process like for the band, is everyone involved?
Yes one of us has an idea or a riff and we all just run with it.

I’m sure you get asked this all the time but what’s the significance behind the name of the band?
It’s when you make a move on a girl and get shot down then think, “let me try that again”.  Plus we just didn’t want anything long and gay like a fall out boy song title.

thesecondadvance2

For fans who want to know more about you where can they check out your music, find out about upcoming shows?
Not many people know about this site but we are trying to make it a big thing, it’s called myspace.

When considering the future, what are your goals as a band?
Keep moving forward.

In honor of the king of pop, we’ve been asking everyone what their favorite Michael Jackson song of all time is?
Thriller/ Billie Jean

##

Catch The Second Advance Live:

Sep 17 2009 Hot Topic In-Store Acoustic Set/CD Sale Danbury, Connecticut
Sep 19 2009 he Cutting Edge Theatre@City Ale House Danbury, Connecticut
Sep 19 2009 Brooklyn Fundraiser Brooklyn, New York
Oct 10 2009Big Giant Extravaganza! (w/ BAYSIDE SOCRATIC) Jermyn, Pennsylvania
Oct 13 2009 Hollywood Remixes Available on iTunes Worldwide
Nov 7 2009 Studio Recording Union, New Jersey
Nov 8 2009 Studio Recording Union, New Jersey

Oh No Not Stereo

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

onnsmain


So, I enjoyed reading the tour rider you presented your manager with and subsequently shared with your fans online. Any issues getting your requests fulfilled? I’m thinking the 1994 Ford Festiva may have been a challenge.

Our fake tour rider was a pretty funny joke, although I don’t think the All-American Rejects’ manager liked it too much though.  One of these days we’re really gonna get a Festiva and probably end up blowing it up after the show.

How is the tour going right now?

Tour is going very well!  We’re in the van right now about 30 miles from Vegas (where we’re playing tonight) and I’m suddenly having flashbacks of all the craziness that we’re experienced in that city.  It probably takes three to five years off of my life every time we go there.  It’s guaranteed to be a great show though because we’re playing with our good friends The Royal Heist.

Tell us about the new album, 003. Exactly how awesome is it?  Can you walk us through a few of your favorite tracks?

We put blood sweat and tears into this record, and every song means a lot to us.  Myk [Lee, drums] and I wrote 50 songs in Arizona last summer so we had a whole lot of candidates for the record… we put 15 songs on the record (with a secret song too- shhh…..) and are super proud of the dynamic combination of tracks that range from high-energy rock to 60’s ballad-esque songs- with no two songs sharing lyrical similarity.

The first track on the record is a radio-friendly pop rock anthem appropriately titled “Let’s Get It Started”, while “12 Years Later” is an acoustic and piano ballad telling the story about an ATV accident I was involved in when I was 11.  A couple of my favorites on the record are “Miss Hard Time”, combining influences from Foo Fighters, Muse and Refused… and “Brothers”, a corky rock shuffle spilling secrets of addiction and helplessness.

What inspired the naming convention for your records (001, 002, 003)? Were you just trying to keep things nice and simple?

When we released our first record in 2005, we named it “001” in symbolism of hundreds of things to come.  We self-titled our EP in 2007, yet still gave it the nickname “002”.  When it came time to name the new record, we stuck to the concept- which helped draw attention to our past catalog.  Even if our records in the future are properly titled, we’re sure that they’ll still carry a numeric nickname.

You wrote, recorded, and produced the record by yourselves, but I understand you worked with some pretty heavy hitters on the final tweaks – industry vets who had collaborated with bands like Fall Out Boy and Incubus. I’m wondering, was it challenging to accept outside ideas at this point in the process, or did you welcome having another perspective as you wrapped things up?

We went into the studio knowing exactly what we wanted and we were super prepared.  When Jim Wirt and Neal Avron came in to the picture and gave us sonic and structural input, we were open to try just about anything.  This helped a lot of last minute ‘out of the box’ ideas come together quickly; We were open minded all the little things we tracked ended up giving the record the extra spice that it needed.

You employed a string quartet in certain places on the album. Was that something you had in mind all along, during the early stages of working on these songs? What do you feel it adds to your sound?

We had several songs demoed that had synthesized strings, so when it was time to professionally record the songs we knew that we had to get the real deal in the studio.  Once the quartet were in the studio with us though, we definitely utilized our time with them and put strings on almost every song.  At the end of the sessions, 16 of the 20 songs that we recorded ended up having strings at some point in the song.  It added a lot of timelessness and sonic beauty to our sound, which was exactly what we were going for.

How does the fact that you’re both multi-instrumentalists affect your songwriting process? Do you each have a go-to instrument that you generally work with when you’re writing, or does it vary?

Myk writes all of his songs on the guitar, I write a lot on the guitar but mostly on piano.  We’re both very versatile and savvy when it comes to playing different instruments and different styles, which makes songwriting very fluent for both of us.  All we have to do is get the creative ball rolling and batches of songs just come together, no matter who is playing what.  We can’t keep up to how many ideas we have, especially collectively.

Since the two of you play all of the music on the album, you tour with a guitarist and bassist. Do you enjoy the experience of going from being a duo to a four-piece band when you’re on the road?

We absolutely enjoy being a four piece right now and wouldn’t have it any other way.  Myk and I started the band as a duo in 2003, conceptually aimed at recording and touring with just the two of us.  We did that for 18 months and then recorded our EP in 2007.  By this point we realized that it would be selling our sound (and live show) short if we didn’t have that low-end from the bass guitar that was on the record, at which point we added a bassist and adapted to a trio in order to acheive the sound that we desired in our set.

The same thing happened after we finished this new record (003); By stepping up the instrumentation on this album we knew we had to add another member to our stage show.

image

You’ve been described as “a pair of self-contained dynamos.” Where do you get your energy from?

We have a ton of fun when we play live, and being well-rehearsed allows us to focus on interacting with the crowd and channeling every bit of energy we have into rocking out and entertaining whoever is watching.  We feed off each other a lot, constantly silent-communicating with bandmates on the stage during the show is crucial so we know we are all on the same page with the vibe!  (And to be honest, whiskey helps a lot too.)

Your songs have been featured on numerous MTV shows. Are there any that you’ll admit to watching?

We heard our music on Bam Margera’s show (and his new DVD too) and we saw a couple episodes of Meet The Barkers, where they played our music.  It’s a great feeling hearing the response worldwide too, a lot of people recognize that they’re playing our music and send us messages on the internet.

What message would you like to leave with your fans?

We appreciate your time reading about our band! Say hi to us online, we’re very responsive to all the messages that we receive!!!! We’re all about getting our music out there too, so if you have any of our CDs- BURN THEM FOR YOUR FRIENDS!  We’ll be touring relentlessly for the rest of the year, keep an eye and an ear open for Oh No Not Stereo!!!  (Gobama!)

#

Catching up with Matt White

October 24, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

mwmain

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.

image

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!

##

Matt White’s Official Website

Matt White on MySpace

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.

image

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.

##

More Machine Go Boom:

MySpace

Official Website

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

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