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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.

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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.

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LINKS:

www.foreverinmotion.net

www.myspace.com/foreverinmotion

www.myspace.com/teamforeverinmotion

www.myspace.com/serenatamusic

www.invisiblechildren.com

www.one.org

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

Arcadia Landing

July 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

almainNathan – Vocals/Strings
Seth – Vocals/Strings
Jay – Bass
Chris – Drums

An interview with Nathan Powers
By:  Gregory Morris

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

Our music is more rock than anything else. It does cover other elements such as alternative, pop, metal, and punk. We have been compared in write ups to such bands as The Police, Pink Floyd, and Sparta.

When and how did you decide to come together as a band? In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

It all started in 1999, freshman year of high school. We were all in the same grade, and I (Nate) played in a band on drums while Chris and Seth were in a band together. Jay had just moved into town the year before. I quit my band and picked up the guitar and started writing songs immediately. I really don’t recall how it fully happened but I remember jamming a lot with Seth and our friend Andy. For some reason we ended with the line up we still have today:  Jay on bass, Seth singing and playing guitar, Chris on the drums and I sing and play the guitar. I wouldn’t have changed a thing except I would have made jay sing.

Was there a special influence that made any of you want to play a certain instrument?

For me I was inspired to play the guitar because of green day and Jimi Hendrix. This was in 1998. After that good riddance song came out, I wanted to play guitar. Took me about a month and then I was strumming chords on an acoustic and singing. Before then I had been playing drums for a few years and of course I was a band kid and played trumpet too.

Have you found an easy and straightforward way of reaching new listeners?

Be outgoing at shows and in the city. Wherever there is music being played we try to relate to the listeners and connect with them. Now, the internet is a helpful tool however everyone is on the internet trying to exploit themselves so that makes that difficult to stand out from the heard. All I can say is become creative!

You released a CD a few months ago. What are your favorite tracks and can you describe the meaning of them?

Ninety-Seven, Slowly Turnaround, Pangaea and Bottom of the Ocean are my favorite songs. I like the CD as a whole. Ninety seven is about being at college remembering all the past good times with my buddies and how as we get older things change in our lives. Slowly Turnaround Seth came up with the idea and it was about a girl who was severely beaten by an adult which happened in his neighborhood. It’s all in the perspective of the culprit. Pangaea is about how our society needs to come together in order to get by these times in which our country is at ends with other countries rather than resorting to war. It is a song of hope. Bottom of the Ocean is about a soldier going over to fight for ones country and trying to make it out alive. We had a lot of friends who went off and fought in the war at Iraq and this was inspired by them.

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Are all of you happy with the outcome of your new CD?

Yes and no. Yes because I enjoy it, especially the secret song. No because musicians are never fully satisfied with their work.

Was the making of this CD fun and exciting, or was it a process that you just wanted to get over and done with?

The album was a blast to record. I absolutely loved dubbing the solos and singing. It’s really amazing making an album because a lot of the stuff that happens on tape is off the cuff and if it was a good take, hopefully the record button was on. On the other hand when it came time to mix the album that was a whole different story compared to recording it. We had to listen to 20 seconds of a part of a song for about a few hours and decide what things we like better than others, a very lengthy process, but rewarding in the end.

“Slik Willy” was the name of your band before “Arcadia Landing”. Why the name change, and does this new name have a particular significance to you?

The name changed because the name Slik Willy wasn’t helping us expand our name nationally. It’s actually the name of a jelly dildo, Google Slik Willy. The new name Jay thought of.  Arcadia because it’s close to us, (I like it because it means a place of peace) and landing because of Roswell alien landing in the 40s. Word has it extra terrestrials landed in Arcadia in Rhode Island!

What is the most memorable moment that you have of being on stage together? What makes this memory stand out in your mind more so than others?

One of the most memorable moments was being on stage at a show, I believe it was a high school because we used to play a lot of shows at schools, and seeing about ten to fifteen people singing the lyrics right back at me as if we were all a gang. That was a memorable moment. I was younger at the time and I had never seen any response from fans before and it was quite the moment. When I see people singing along it really gets me excited for the show.
Can you describe a time when everything seemed to be going wrong on-stage, and you just wanted to be done for the night?

For me, maybe some chords breaking during a set, but I always found a way to keep playing. Things do go wrong a lot on stage, but that’s when you have to be witty and ‘roll with the punches’. Only other musicians can really tell when things go wrong. Actually there was this one time when jay was rocking out at a gig and had a short chord plugged from his amp into his bass. He went out a little too far and his whole bass head, mind you it weighs at least 70 pounds, crashed on the floor. We all didn’t know what happened, I look over and Jay had this horrible look on his face. We then tossed the amp back on his cab and it worked, so we finished the set!

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If you could travel back in time to meet any band, who would it be and why?

The Beatles, or The Who and ask them how their lives had been affected by being in a band.

What is one major goal you want to accomplish, as a group, within the next 3-5 years?

Get a record deal that is feasible that funds us for what we love to do; rock out, play and write music!

Where are some of the venues that you are playing this summer?

Lupos, Providence Piers, The Living Room, and Basements.

What is the website that anyone can reach you at?

www.arcadialanding.com or www.myspace.com/arcadialanding

Are there any last words you can leave us with?

Check out Arcadialanding.com and check out our new CD, “Bottom of the Ocean” available on iTunes and at Newbury comics!

Naked Beggars

July 3, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

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Interviewed by: Amanda Sixx

What is it you love about music?

Lisa:Letting my emotions out
Kris:I think rock and roll can save the world and the chicks are great.
Eric: You can turn it off whenever the fuck you want to.

Describe your music…

Eric: I dunno, Depends on if it’s a good night or bad night?

A good night..

Eric: oh it’s cool.
Kris: bluesy rock n roll, you know old school.
Lisa: Catchy rock n roll that has a lot of meaning to everybody in the band, because we all write, basically from the heart.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

Lisa: After i sat down behind my dad’s drum set, after his band rehearsal one day I sat down there and started screwing around and thought that’s what I want to do.
Kris:It’s probably when I saw The Song Remains The Same for the first time.
Lisa: oh really!
Eric:That was too long ago. I can’t remember when I didn’t want to be a musician.

Who were your influences starting out?

Lisa: Tommy Lee, Tommy Aldrich, Keith Smith, that’s all I remember.
Kris: I would say: Jimmy Page, Ace Frehley.
Lisa: Oh fuck I forgot Bonham.
Kris: Jimmy Page, Ace Frehley , a lot of Beatles.
Eric :Dung beetles, June beetles, Japanese beetles.

Is there anybody you are inspired by or listen to now?

Eric: Neil Diamond.
Kris: Clay Aiken, Ruben Studard, who’s the American Idol?
Eric: American Karaoke.
Kris: We all like the new bands, Breaking Benjamin, and bands like that. Nickelback, Hinder, Evanescence, all that kind of stuff, it’s cool, you know the modern stuff – Buckcherry, Saliva …
Eric: Buckcherrysaliva.
Lis: I even listen to Maroon 5 believe it or not!

What’s the best moment you have had together as a band?

Lisa: The night that we farted together.
(Listen to the audio to hear the full story)
Kris: We were a six piece a one time, to know we could pull of a four piece.
Eric: We got rid of Jeff and we didn’t really need him and we were like wow!

What happened?

Eric: Difference of opinion, he has his, we have ours.
Kris: And now a month later we are getting better gas mileage.
Eric: And the club owners have a smaller alcohol tab, it’s a win win situation, except for tonight, for some reason, I thinks it’s you guys, but anyhow.

What was the worst moment as a band?

Kris: Rock bottom I think was before Lisa was in the band, when we played in Albany, on the anniversary of 9/11 and we played to like three people and a couple of cockroaches.
Eric: The three people were three people from the opening band that were still there, so that was pretty bad.
Kris: When we were playing we weren’t sure if the bar was open.
Eric: we don’t play in that area now.
Kris: Especially on the anniversary of 9/11, that’s kind of a bad idea.
Eric: Yeah that kinda sucked.
Kris: Kind of like the Village People playing a biker bar.

If you could pick any musician living or dead to resurrect who would it be and why?

Lisa:Bonham, or Jesus.
Kris: first one that pops in mind would be John Lennon, I’d like to collaborate with him.
Eric: He died so long ago he’d look really bad, But he would still look better than Yoko Ono.

What is the biggest challenge working with your spouse?

Eric: Diplomacy.

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What is it like to be a woman in rock? Have you been you been treated differently? If so how did you handle it?

Lisa: I hate this question. Everyone obviously thinks when they first see you, Oh, it’s a chick. This one time I was setting up my drums and this guy that actually was the promoter of the club didn’t realize and he was watching me set up. And thought I was a girlfriend, or a wife of the drummer and was like oh that’s so nice, oh look his girlfriend is setting up for him, and he heard me play said do you mind if I write that in my article and I was like I don’t give a shit whatever you say whatever you think write. Basically he said at first he just thought it’s a hot chick setting up and she’s going out with the drummer and then I heard her play and It just floored me. Of course you’re going to get that, because you’re a chick and they don’t think you are going to do as well as a guy, which is stupid because tits and a cock don’t make you play different, that’s the way I look at it, unless you have tits and a cock, they don’t make your playing any different.
Kris: Both if you have tits and a cock.
Lisa: You can have a third hand to hit your snare with your dick, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t bother me,I don’t really give a shit, I just do what I want to do anyway and play the way I want to play, it’s not to impress or do anything for anybody but myself.

Eric what’s the biggest difference coming from Cinderella to playing with the Naked Beggars?

Eric: I think it’s just we’re structured differently. Cinderella from it’s inception kind of evolved into a certain thing and it was not, god, it’s hard to say this, I’ll probably burn in hell for this, but it didn’t evolve into very much of a democracy. It kind of evolved into this is how it’s going to be. With this band we’ve been weeding that kind of crap out, were actually involved in something where everyone is equal and contributing and we are just having fun doing it. So Cinderella I think our goal was to get to a certain level and we did and once we got there, everybody had their fingers in the pie and guiding the way things go and with this band it kind of sucks that we haven’t gotten their yet but I think our journey to getting there is a much better path.

What’s next for you guys?

Eric: More driving many miles for no money.
Kris: Well were working on our third record.
Eric: It should have been done months ago, we started it last week, playing a lot of gigs and not making money.

Any parting words for your fans?

Lisa: Buy our next cd XXX!

Kris: Check out nakedbeggars.net, Myspace.com/nakedbeggars.

Brooks Wood Band

June 15, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

bwb3Brooks Wood – Rhythm guitar, lead vox, & Teacher of all things BAMF
Miah Wander – Bass guitar, vox, & PhD in Groove Engineering
Greg Holzer Keys, vox, & Pupil of Paul Ottinger
Danny Shampine – Drums, cowbell, & “Show me what ya workin’ wit”
Paul Sheeran – Lead guitar, Dr. Z, & Miles Davis T-shirt

Interviewed by:  Stacie Caddick-Dowty

For our readers who don’t know you, describe how Brooks Wood Band formed.

We were all babies once .. then we grew into childhood .. and eventually with the help of vitamins and minerals, we became the people we are today.  None of us are deformed either .. at least not physically.  Mentally .. maybe.
Your sound has been described as ‘acoustic-soulful-funkadelic-country-rock’, a great fusion of sounds, elaborate on this for a moment.

Greg:  Yeah, more often than not, when people hear our sound, the first thing that comes to mind is “a good different” which we love to hear because it separates us from the everyday stuff you hear.  We know our roots and we don’t try to fit ourselves in a certain genre, but we ARE heavily influenced by some of favorite artists of old and new.  Some that personally come to mind as a keyboardist are Bruce Hornsby, Billy Joel, Elton, Blessid Union of Souls, and as of late, Jon McLaughlin and such.
Brooks:  Our influences are all over the board. My roots are deep with the southeast americana/acoustic-rock movement of the early to mid 90’s – bands and artists such as DMB, Edwin McCain, Pat McGee, Mike Corrado, The Drive, Angie Aparo. Since moving away from home for college, my music world was turned upside down when I was introduced to jazz, folk, bluegrass, etc. Pretty much anything I could get my hands on, I was listening to it. I know where my roots are, and even if I wanted to, I couldn’t shake them, but all the sounds and music I’ve been exposed to in my life are some kind of influence on me.
Miah: We’re really fortunate in that each of the guys in the band comes from a varied musical background – everything from bluegrass to hardcore runs through the veins of our band.  It gives us the opportunity to draw from so many directions when creating a sound of our own.  What’s come out of it all at the end is something I think we’re extremely happy with and proud to show to our fans.
Danny: Yeah basically what we do is get all hopped up on drugs and alcohol and just hit stuff, and this description really captures that sound.  Just kidding… we all come from different backgrounds and likes/dislikes and you can really hear the influences in our music.
Paul: Part of the lifeblood of the band musically is being able to pull sounds from such a rich history of musicians in many different fields.  For the most part the acoustic and soul influences come from Brooks (who we also credit for the country influence) and Danny, while the funk and rock come out from Miah and me. Greg’s great – he’s a chameleon of sorts and seems to be able to come up with creative parts for just about any style, so ultimately we end up with a mixing pot of musical goodness to serve out night after night.

What are you favorite tunes to perform and why?

Greg:  Is it boring to say all of them?  The slower songs play on the heart strings which evoke good vibes from the crowd while the upbeat groove tunes are always there to wake everyone up and remind them that we’re here to have a damn lot of fun!
Brooks:  I love our new tunes. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all our babies and we love them all. But I really love how the songwriting is going now. We actually have more material that we know what to do with and we’re having to slow down with the music so we can catch up on the arranging and lyrical work. But to answer your question more concisely – “Good Timing,” “Let’s Go,” “Carolina Air,” and “Home To You,” – all unreleased songs.
Danny: I like the fast ones! And the slow ones, and a majority of the medium ones… I’m with Brooks also on favoring the newer songs.  The newer songs have a more mature sound and capture every member in the band’s input.
Paul: I think the songs of ours with the most emotional weight are the ones that speak to me the most while we’re playing.  When we play other people’s songs, we usually have the most fun pulling from a lot of the soul singers from the 70s and 80s like Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers.  We can usually rock them up a good bit so they end up being fun to play and a blast to listen to.

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Brooks, you are the self proclaimed BAMF of the group. Are you a BAMF?

There’s no other word in the English Dictionary that describes me better. Actually, don’t look “BAMF” up in the dictionary – it’s not in there… yet. I’ve been lobbying for them to do so for a while now… with minimal success.

Are you looking to be signed or just out having a good time with where you are right now?

Greg:  We’re looking to do what’s best for the 5 of us and what makes the most sense.  We’re keeping our options wide open but the underlying motive here is to have as much fun as we can while busting our asses and putting in as much leg work as possible on our own.
Brooks:  The music industry is ALWAYS changing and there are pros and cons to anything – as with life. If getting signed is the best thing for us, then we’re definitely out for that. I can tell you this: we ARE in fact having a good time, but we know this is a business – now more than ever. This is how we make a living. So are we out JUST to have a good time? Sadly, NO. That would be fun. But yeah, we gotta keep the lights on somehow.
Danny: I think it really depends on what opportunities are presented to us if a label would like to sign us.  I know we’re having fun now and would want to keep that going no matter what.
Paul: Getting signed could definitely be in our best interests in the future given the right deal, but I think as a whole we tend to distrust most of the goings-on in the industry.  Because of that, I think we’d end up being pretty selective about what comes our way.  There are lots of independent artists out there who make great money doing what they love and don’t have some of the downfalls that can come with being signed – they have complete control over what they do.  That’s a pretty attractive option if you can swallow the fact that you’ll probably never reach the level of exposure that a band like Maroon 5 gets.

What is your take on the current music industry?

Greg:  It’s the same as it’s always been in regards to radio in my opinion.  You listen to what they want you to listen to.  Which is why we’re so lucky to be living in an era of myspace, youtube, and the endless number of other social networking sites out there that allow artists to connect with fans all over the world in ways never before possible.  If there was ever a time to try and make it big on your own with the highest probability of success and without the help of huge recording company conglomerates, that time is now.
Brooks:  It’s a cut-throat business. I’ll leave it at that.
Danny:  It’s 90% who you know and how well you run your business.  With the remaining 10% allocated to talent/musicianship.
Paul: I think the industry is in a pretty unique place right now – the role that modern large-labels are playing is changing drastically in the face of all the promotional power artists have at their fingertips.  It’s amazing that we now have ways to sell almost directly to the people who listen to us all over the world.  It’ll be very interesting to see how the music business changes as smaller labels begin to gain power and artists are better able to sustain and promote themselves.  I think ultimately it could lead back to a market that fosters talent and new ideas more than the current one does.

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

Greg:  We’ve shared the stage with some pretty incredible bands and all of them have been worthy of noting.  Some of the more memorable ones would have to be Virginia Coalition, Honor By August, & Gin Blossoms.
Brooks:  The Rock Boat is a concert cruise that hosts many bands in our genre – Sister Hazel, Bain Mattox (who we’ve also shared the stage with), Marc Broussard, and so on.  That would be a pretty great honor, to get on that boat.  We’ve also talked with one of our favorite bands, Virginia Coalition, about possibly touring with them.  For the time being I think it’s best if we take whatever we can get, spread our name to the masses, and see what happens.  Cream rises to the top.  I think we got some good cream.
Danny:  I love playing with Virginia Coalition.  They’re some of the nicest guys we’ve had the pleasure of playing with.
Paul:  Along with the ones the other guys mentioned already (Vaco), I always love playing with bands that have very dense soundscapes like SeePeoples.  The guys from Colourslide and No Second Troy were great too.  I think we’d do well on tour with artists like John Mayer, Edwin McCain, etc…, but if it came down to who I’d want to be hanging out with backstage it’d probably end up being people like Mike Doughty, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and Clutch for me (although admittedly there’d be little crossover audience).

What is coming up for you guys this year?

Greg:  Lots and lots of shows.  And tunafish sandwiches.  With mayo.
Brooks:  Lots of long nights driving in our crappy van.  And yeah, sandwiches…sandwiches…sandwiches…
Miah: I’d have to add about 25,476 hours of driving, a bunch of shows, and more inside jokes than you can shake a stick at.  The best part of playing with these guys is that before we were business-mates or band-mates, we were really great friends.  The laughter is contagious and never ending.
Danny:  The beginning of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do what we absolutely love for a living.  And of course tuna fish sandwiches…
Paul:  Struggling to pay rent, discovering new instruments, new people, new places, new experiences, breakdowns, equipment failures, emotional highs and lows, hanging out with 4 of the best cats I know, and loving every minute of it.

Memories from your best gig/worst gig?

Greg:  So does that mean you have to actually make it to the gig?  Cause if not, i think the winner just happened this week!
Brooks:  Yeah we got double booked this week and drove all the way there, and all the way home without playing a note… We learned a valuable lesson that day… CALL BEFORE YOU HAUL!
Miah: We learned another lesson as well.  Take the gasoline hose out of the car before you try to drive away.  I think some of our best musical memories were when we had a short touring stint up to NYC and back a couple years ago.  By the end of that time, the band was so tight musically, that shows we’re just a blast.  No worries, just antics and a damn great time.
Danny:  Yeah driving a couple hours, in the wrong direction, and then ending up not being able to play the show due to being double booked isn’t exactly an ideal gig.  Although it was still fun and the best 2 hour excursion to Taco Bell I’ve ever had.
Paul:  I still think the worst one we had was at a biker bar somewhere in Virginia that we left without being paid.  My personal favorite was when we released our latest EP and sold out the Pour House in Raleigh to release it.  Definitely a landmark for our progress in the last 2 years..


Describe each other in one word:

PAUL on others in one word:  Brooks – Driven, Miah – Genuine, Greg – Wise, Danny – Honest
BROOKS on others in one word:  Greg – funny, Miah – sexy, Paul – engaged, Danny – splashmaster
MIAH on others in one word:  Brooks – workin-it, Greg – hi-freakin-larious, Paul – good, Danny – spastic
DANNY on others in one word:  Brooks – BAMF, Miah – smart, Paul – calm, Greg – monkey
GREG on others in one word:  Brooks – Vogue, Miah – Admired, Paul – Intuitive, Danny – Superman

Last words to our readers & your fans:

Greg:  Three things.
1.  You are the reason bands exist.  Embrace your local bands.  They are the “real” in that overused “Keep it Real” cliche.
2.  Don’t eat the yellow snow.  You’ll get sick.
3.  I forget the third one.

Brooks:  We are allowed to do what we do because of you, so first off – “THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! WE LOVE YOU!” Secondly, whatever you can do to help spread the word, it is mucho mucho mucho appreciated. Join up on the street team, put our banner on your myspace, just tell a friend about us, whatever you can do!
Miah: Support live music.  Go to shows, buy merch, write emails, ask for autographs, do it all.  It means so much.  If it’s not us, do it for somebody else, because just like our wonderful crew in Raleigh and throughout the south has done so much for us to be able to do what we’re doing today, you could be doing that for somebody else.
Paul & Danny:  Thank you, thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU!

Brooks Wood Band on MySpace
Official Brooks Wood Band Website

Down the Line

June 8, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

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Let’s start off with why you chose the name “Down the Line”. Who thought of it and what’s the meaning behind it?

Derek proposed the band name after listening to an old blues compilation (Alligator Records, I believe), where a crooner sang something like, “Meet you down the li-i-i-i-ine!” We all agreed that it implied good things to come in the future, or at least we hoped.

You just got back from doing a tour with the band “America”.  What was that like? And what did the crowd think of you young guys tearing it up?

Touring with America was really thrilling. America was generous with their time and their music, and invited us on stage to perform “Horse With No Name” alongside them every night. So not only did we get to see their fantastic show nightly, but they made us part of it too. We met all sorts of great people–their fans–and they were all very receptive to our music. Just thrilling. We hope to play with them again.

You’ve just released your third full-length album, “For All You Break”. How does it compare with the first two?

I’d actually be curious to hear how you think it compares to the first two! We spent many many many months recording the first two albums. This time around, we decided to try to hit the studio and be done in two weeks–just to keep things exciting, energetic and new.  We were pleased with the results, though the process was tremendously intense. Songwriting-wise, I think the collection is more cohesive than our previous two. Dan and I were demoing songs together and realized we had a collection that could be an album, but we worked hard to limit our choices to songs that sounded part of a greater whole. Levi contributed one other beautiful song that really completed and rounded out the collection. As a band, I think we worked with a singular vision to make it all happen in the two week goal. But again, what do you think?

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You guys really pride yourselves on playing pure, acoustic music. Does this stem from a love of classic rock? (and if so) Who are some of your favorite groups/bands? Do you think being an “acoustic band” has hindered “Down the Line” at all?

We definitely have a love of acoustic instrumentation, and classic rock too, though if you asked for our personal favorites you’d hear a lot of non-acoustic stuff…I’d mention Van Halen and The Police, personally for starters. But, we all would agree that the band is sort of stylistically in the mode of an Eagles or Fleetwood Mac, with the shared vocals and acoustic blends, combined with the power pop of The Cars or perhaps Fountains of Wayne…at least that’s the goal.  Those groups are all favorites. I think we sort of landed on our acoustic blend more through our combined personalities than say a purposeful intent right away, but we soon recognized it was a nice thing. I wouldn’t say it’s hindered us, but we certainly struggle from time to time with genre labeling. We’re acoustic but we’re pop too.

How and when did all of you meet to form the band?

Dan and Derek went to college together in Michigan, where they studied music and got the chance to sing together. They met Levi doing a music show together in Traverse City. Eventually they all migrated to Chicago, where I was already performing. One weekend I was hired to play bass in a funk band that Dan was already singing for. We immediately had a spark, and he eventually introduced me to the other guys. Derek, Dan and Levi had a show booked as an acoustic trio (“The Britton, Fawcett, Myers Project!”) and they invited me to sit in on bass. I still get excited when I think about our first time performing together because I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing.

I read that you had a couple of your new songs played on XM radio’s XMU station. What was the response from that?

All good, thankfully!

Do you prefer playing at home in Chicago or touring? Favorite location to play (if not Chicago)?

I love both, honestly. Touring is always exciting because of the new people we meet and the new musical opportunities. Plus, we tend to try every regional food under the sun, so we eat well too. But our hometown crowd consists of so many friends and family that we don’t get to see often enough. Chicago will always be special. I love performing in New York (where I’m from) and Nashville is a city I really enjoy as well. But there are so many others.

What are each of your dream bands to play with, either on tour or in the studio? And who’s the favorite band you’ve played with so far?

Again, we’d probably all answer this differently. I’d love to tour with Fountains of Wayne, a personal favorite. The Eagles or any of the members of Fleetwood Mac would be a thrill. Sting and Randy Newman are personal faves too–guys, I’m available. And I’m still buzzing from America, so that’s the favorite so far…though we play with Pat Benatar tonight, so my answer may change!

And a “They Will Rock You” question we’re asking everyone on the site: What were the first CDs you ever purchased for yourselves?  Any stories behind them?

Men At Work, “Business As Usual.” I still have the cassette somewhere.

Some random questions for our readers to get to know you on a deeper level…

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Down the Line at SXSW

If you were a superhero, which one would you be?

The Hulk. He was so misunderstood.

Along those lines, what superpower would you most like to obtain?

Stevie Ray’s guitar ability?

What was your first paying job growing up?

Carvel Ice Cream. I worked until I could buy my first electric guitar, then I quit…I was 30lbs heavier.

##

Down The Line on MySpace

You can purchase the album on their website: http://www.downthelineband.com

*All photos used courtesy of Down The Line’s official webpage and MySpace profile

Carawae

June 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

carawaemainBeginning on a concerned note, you had throat surgery on May 15th. How are you doing now?

The throat surgery went very well. The recovery process has been pretty rough, however it’s just part of the process. We are fortunate enough to not be missing any shows!

With all four of you being 18-19 years old, I think you’re the youngest band I’ve ever interviewed. At what age did you first pick up your current instruments?

We all started playing in our middle school years, except for Zane. Zane started playing drums when he was 3 yrs old…….he is obviously the best of any of us at his instrument.

You say on your Myspace page, “About two years ago I decided that all I wanted to do with my life was play music.” Were you ahead of your time or catching up? (This would be the creative journalist’s way of asking, “how long have you been together as a band?” haha)

haha No I was not ahead of my time. I joined the band in August 2004….it was about a year later that we collectively decided that this was something we wanted to pursue as a career.

Carawae was formerly known as The Useful Sound. What prompted the name change, and how did you come up with the new name/what does it mean?

Up and coming bands such as “The Hush Sound”, “The Jealous Sound” and “The Sounds” were the main reason for the change. Although we had our name before these bands made it big, people would get us confused and we didn’t want to be labeled as stealing another bands name. The name came from a friend of ours, Scott Cline. He had recently found out his wife was pregnant and he shot some names at us he had thought about naming his kid, but decided against. One of those names included “Caraway.” We really liked the sound of that, but because the website url’s were taken, we decided to add our own spin on it and change it to “Carawae.” Otherwise the name has no specific meaning.

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Share your writing process with us..?

Usually Kyle or I will come up with a chord progression/idea for a song. We’ll bring it up at practice and we write the song together. Most of the time the songs are accidents. We rarely sit down with the intention of writing…..I’ll like what Kyle’s warming up with and I’ll say, “lets do something with that.” Sometimes the best songs are complete accidents.

Who or what are some of your biggest musical inspirations or influences?

I think this is the most unique part about our band. We all have such a different and wide range of musical influences. Bands like Copeland, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and The Early November had major influences on me. We listen to everything though, from Damien Rice to Norma Jean, we love it all. I think that adds a lot to a band’s creativity.

How would you describe your live show to someone who’s never seen you perform before?

Very energetic, fun, and personal. We like to get the crowd involved.

The band’s Myspace tells us you’ve got over 300 shows under your belts already. Who’s been your favorite artist to tour with so far? Who would you love to hit the road with that you haven’t yet?

Our best buds in The Confidence were amazing to tour with last year. We’re excited to go out with our buds Asteria and Foreverinmotion this July! I would love to tour with Anberlin, that would be really neat.

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July 5th kicks off the tour you just mentioned with Asteria and Foreverinmotion–through the 31st. Any pre-tour thoughts you’d like to share with everyone?

Honestly, we can’t wait. The road is where we love to be. Our time at home is just the time we spend waiting to get back out there.

You’ll be selling a limited edition EP on this tour; give us the details on that?

We are pressing 500 limited edition copies of our new EP called “The Struggle” just for tour. This is a good chance to get it before the official release in late summer……so make sure to come out! The EP will be selling for 5 dollars.

You’re in a music video…not your own. Tell us a little bit about that.

The guys in Rookie of The Year are really amazing. They deserve every bit of success they get and we are so happy to have developed such a good relationship with them. The “Liars And Battlelines” video shoot process was a lot of fun. ROTY does it right, it was basically a party the entire time. Unless you were in the shot they were working on, you were partying….great fun.

Are there any misconceptions about your band that you’d like to clear up? Any little-known facts you’d like to make public?

Just because our bass player has dreads, doesn’t mean he smokes pot. Also, you wouldn’t think it, but Mike is extremely smart and should probably be going to a really good school, instead he decided to spend a good chunk of his life with us. We are very grateful.

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If Carawae didn’t exist, what would you all be doing right now?

I would be going into my second year of college. Mike would probably be going to some amazing school to become a marine biologist. Kyle and Zane would probably be in other bands.

Myspace and file sharing: more of a help or a hindrance to an indie band trying to get their music heard, yet still make enough money to tour on?

I think Myspace is a great thing for bands. For us, it helps us interact with our fans a lot more personally. If you have good fans, they will buy your CD. Ultimately, if you’re in the music business to make money, you’re in it for the wrong reasons and you’re going to be surprisingly disappointed.

What’s the worst or craziest thing that’s ever happened to you guys as a band?

On tour last summer we blew two tires and the alternator on our van in two weeks. That really sucked.

What do you love most about being on the road? What do you dislike most?

Seeing new things and meeting new people is definitely a highlight for me. I absolutely love road trips and adventures which is really what touring is. You never know what is going to happen, where you are going to be staying, how the show is going to go, or who you’re going to meet. One of the worst parts would definitely be missing people back home or not being able to eat/sleep when and where you’d really want to.

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How do you pass the time in the van between venues?

Music and sleep. We also like to make signs and interact with the other people on the highway….thats always hilarious. I think my favorite one was, “You + Me = Picnic?” or stuff like, “Nice Boobs.” Just whatever we can think of that will get a funny reaction.

You hail from Michigan, so I have to get your opinion on this: what do you think is the greatest strength and weakness of the Detroit music scene?

Michigan in general is just a bad place to be as a band, unless your band name is Chiodos. haha. I think if you’re going to be a band in Michigan, Grand Rapids is the place to be. I don’t have many kind things to say about the Detroit scene. Unless you’re a much bigger band, the crowds are mediocre.

TWRY wants to know: what was the first CD you ever purchased, and what special memories are attached to it?

For me it was Boys II Men. At that age I just wanted something that had a cool cover. My first choice was Poison, but my parents overruled and got me Boys II Men. I’m very grateful of that decision.

Famous last words..?

COME SEE US ON TOUR!!

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Links:
http://carawae.com (coming soon!)
http://www.myspace.com/carawae


http://www.purevolume.com/carawae – add them as a friend and get a free download of “The Struggle” (single)

Rookie of the Year

May 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

rotymain

You just played at Bamboozle 2007 in NJ…how’d that go for you guys? The pictures I’ve seen were amazing–you had a great crowd!

The only word I can use to describe this festival is “grateful.” It was a pure blessing what happened both days.

Rookie of the Year was originally a solo project… When you decided to transition to the current group lineup, what growth between albums did that contribute to?

Better writing…even though there are six old songs on “The Goodnight Moon” that I wrote by myself.

Describe your writing process. Do you do the majority of the writing now or is it pretty balanced between the group?

Well for the first record I wrote half of the record on my own, and then Mike and I wrote the rest. With the new songs we’re writing it seems like it’s me and Mike and the rest of the guys put in their two cents.

How did you come to be signed to One Eleven Records? Did they find you or vice-versa, and how much has being signed to a label affected things

Well Jeff from This Day And Age told me one day Brad liked my demos, so I kinda just went with it. I was a poor kid that wanted a label and Brad and One Eleven just happen to be the ones to give me hope.

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Speaking of One Eleven, you recently toured with your labelmate Brendon Thomas (Foreverinmotion) and the indie band Making April; how was that experience? You all seemed to hit it off pretty well.

Brendon was a solid, perfect human. The kid is gold… Thats all I have to say. Pure gold.

Who has been your favorite act to share a stage with so far? Who would you love to tour with that you haven’t yet?

My fave act would probably be Mute Math. We toured with them last year and they’re pretty much perfect, and they’re solid people.

Rookie Of The Year was part of the SmartPunk.com contest to play at this year’s Warped Tour. You were doing pretty well towards the end of voting; do you know if you won yet/when will you find out?

They annouce it on Saturday and I’m super nervous!

(Ryan can relax, Rookie Of The Year killed at the ballot box only being beat out by three other bands:  – Warped Tour, here they come!)

Who are you most excited to see on Warped if you go?

Anberlin are old friends of mine, so I’m pumped for that, and also our good friends Cute Is What We Aim For! So happy for those guys!

Share with us some of your biggest musical influences…

Wheat is the best band ever! “Don’t I Hold You” – Wheat. Change your life.

Do other people’s expectations of your music affect the way you create it?

Well, when you’re writing you want it to be friendly to every soul out there so its very hard to keep up on that. With the new songs we’re writing we’re thinking about the live show while writing it. We’ll see how it comes out… I’m really nervous!!!

“The Goodnight Moon” has been out for just over a year now. Is there a new album in the works already, and how much pressure do you feel to create something as good or better than TGM?

We’re demoing like crazy… Just get ready for the new stuff–it’s catchier than crackerjacks!

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A lot of your lyrics deal with personal heartbreak…how does it make you feel when someone comes up to you after a show and shares their own story and how your music has affected them?

It makes me feel good that I’m not alone… I had an ex-girlfriend for four years tell me I wouldn’t make it in anything… Then I had a love tell me I would make it and fly with it… Just shows the differnece in love.

How important is it to you to make that personal connection with people?

Personal effect is amazing. I would love to do that with everybody, but it’s hard to do that…having a shy problem like me…

The band runs/updates it’s own website and MySpace page…a lot of artists are beginning to shy away from that again these days. What are your thoughts on that?

I think it keeps our friends and fans at a personal level. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A deep-thought question before we move onto the fun stuff: What do you feel the future of music is? Will it be an enforcement of cultural and ethnic traditions or a continual mixing and rearranging of styles, blurring all lines?

All I can say is wait for the new Just Surrender record…it’s insanely amazing!

You recently shot a video for the song “Liars and Battlelines.” What can you tell us about that whole experience? (And how did the guys from Carawae wind up in it?)

Carawae is a solid band and we’re super-good friends with the cuties… We did some shows with them in Michigan and asked them to be a part of it with us. Check out the new video! It’s about a relationship going bad during a party, and getting jealous.

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Any plans or concepts for other videos yet, or is it still too soon to be looking into the future?

“The Blue Roses” and “Pop Destroyed The Scene” will come soon…maybe.

If you had 30 seconds to convince someone to buy your album or come to a show, what would you say?

If you want to hear about my life…buy this record!

Time to praise or pick on people! Describe each of your bandmates in three words or less…

Mike – honest and a good solid kid
Pat – my long lost brother
David – Whitney
Brandon – The kid has a heart and a mouth for talking
TJ- (old drummer) miss you brother

Fill in the blanks:
“I’ll never forget the first time I _____.”

Fell in love. 2002 in FL.

“I’ll never forget the first time (choose one of your bandmates) _____.”

Mike tried to hook up with a girl.

What is one item you absolutely could not go on tour without?

My Mac computer!!!

Opposite side of the same coin: What one item inevitably gets left behind in the hotel/venue/wherever you happen to be?

Sidekick charger!!! So much!! It’s insane.

Famous last words. (Anything goes!)

Summer Ata I love you and thank you for having faith in my music.

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Check out the band here:
http://www.rookieoftheyear.net
http://www.myspace.com/rookieoftheyear

Lights Resolve

May 18, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands

lrmain

Where did the band name come from?

We spent a long time thinking of band names that would not only suit the type of music that we had been writing, but also vibed with the three of us as members of a group. As soon as “Lights Resolve” came up we knew we had something special that had a ring to it and also, in some strange way, described us as individuals and our collective mentality as a band.

How did the band form?

Playing together for eight years in our prior band and also having an additional side project on top of that band, it is safe to say that Neal and I know eachother inside and out. We met freshman year of high school and have been playing music ever since. Sherman joined our old group about four years ago when our old bass player had left the band. I knew him through his old band who we often shared a stage with locally. Ironically I suggested him to a bunch of my other friends’ bands…he eventually ended up in mine!

How long has the band been together?

Lights Resolve formed in March of 2006.

Any influences?

Absolute influences for this band and for every band for that matter. No one has an original idea! Here are some of the direct ones: the recognition of innocence in U2’s “Boy,” the arrogance and wit of The Who’s “Who’s Next,” the calculated yet organic gem that is Radiohead’s “OK Computer,” Joy Division’s brooding soundscape, Rachmaninoff’s extreme emotions, Jimmy Gnecco’s insane vocals and moody sonic landscapes, Phantom Planet’s feel-good musical jams, Bob Marley & The Wailers soul and groove, the catchiness of The Police’s “Synchronicity,” the heavy moving quality of Muse, etc.

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You recently released an EP titled “Prelude”. How does it feel to finally have your music out there?

It took us a while to start the recording process because we wanted to try out all of the songs live before we hit a “record” button. The name we chose, “Prelude,” is very fitting because we already have new material that we are dying to record. We saw this first recording as the birth of something special that would be a precursor to the storm yet to come.

Where can people buy this EP?

It is now available on iTunes (US and International), Merchdirect.com, Napster, eMusic, Rhapsody, Sony Connect, and Musicnet. The best place to buy it is at a show when we come through your town.

Who writes the lyrics for the band, and what is the writing process like?

The creative process is very collaborative. Nobody is interested in taking a back seat in this band. I would say our best material comes out of improvizations where we all vibe with each other in our rehearsal space. Sometimes we each bring in different song ideas that everybody toys with till we get it right. Lyrically, on this record, I wrote about finding your own place in the world we live in, being analytical about yourself and the universe around you, and flirting with God on the other side of the universe.

What sets Lights Resolve apart from other bands out there?

Our ability to be comfortable in our own skin and our need to put on a show for people. Nobody will leave a Lights Resolve show and not have a reaction. When Kurt Cobain said “Here we are now, entertain us” we were listening with open ears. Most bands these days turn their back on the audience and try to be super cool and deep. We avoid “hipness” at all costs because there is a paradox of hip. I have no interest in being in a novelty band. We’re in this for the long haul, for better or worse.

Who would be your dream band to play with?

I don’t know what the rest of the guys would say but my obvious answer would be U2. Honestly the most exciting show I’ve ever seen in my life. They just have the intangible “thing” that lifts you off the ground and takes you to new heights. I would die happy if I shared a stage with them. Boy, I wish I could pick their brains.

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Anything funny that’s happened to you while playing a show?

At our last NYC show the opening band, Jay Breaker House, started covering “The Angel Sings” before we went on…and of course we all turned red.  Our fans completely dug it though.

What is your ultimate goal as a band?

Besides world domination? Just kidding…I think we need to create goals in logical steps. Our first goal is to have a killer live show that goes beyond just playing music that will kick the audience’s ass. We’ve recently experimented with some mixed media elements and they came off particularly well. We’re always learning and looking to do the best that we can. In addition to our show, or should I say in conjunction with our show, will be new music that completely suits a live performance. Not many people realize, but back before Edison invented the phonograph, we did not have recorded sound. Every time people heard music it was being played live…so the visual aspect was just as, if not more, important than the aural aspect. Actually, better said, there was no difference…the music and the visual were one entity. We’re looking to bring that fundamental idea back to the world of music and entertainment.

Describe your music in one word.

If I answered this seriously, I would have to put “egotistical” because you can’t describe your own music without coming across as a dick.

Thoughts on the current music industry?

“The best and the worst of times.” Some of the new music coming out is actually half decent while other stuff is just recycled garbage from yesterday. If you’re going to steal, do it with class from artists that put out records twenty years ago. That’s my lame philosophy anyway. I see potential in the “trench” online marketing of artists triumphing while I see little potential in the current major record conglomerate staying alive. This industry is unpredictable though, so it’s a crap shoot. Neal is the gambling man in this band so ask him.

What’s next for Lights Resolve?

Staying alive and promoting our latest effort, Prelude, on the road for the next year. With any luck we will be back in the studio as soon as we can afford to do that. We can’t wait for everybody to hear the new music and to see the live show. So haul yourself out there!

Any last words?

I’ve already chatted your ear off, but please take the time to check out our band. We are very good with writing e-mails back so hit us up on MySpace or e-mail: contact@lightsresolve.com . We would love to meet you at a show and would love to get your feedback on what we are doing. Much love to all of you!

Check them out!

http://www.myspace.com/lightsresolve

http://www.lightsresolve.com

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