Thursday, May 20, 2010

Matt "Mojo" Morginsky from the O.C. Supertones and Mojo and the Info.

The O.C. Supertones, along with a few other bands, really fueled me to become the huge music fan that I am today. I remember the first time I heard the Supertones, I was hanging out after Church in the youth center when I first heard "Loud and Clear". I remember looking at my buddy Trey and saying "Who in the world is this?" That week I spent $18(worth it) on that amazing album. For four years if you asked me what the best song in the world was, I would tell you "Wilderness" without hesitating. The Supertones bring back some amazing memories like Alive Fest 2003, where I saw Ethan Luck chowing down on a funnel cake but I couldn't get up the nerves to talk to him. Or when I tried to go see them play their last show in ATL with Tatum, but the girl I was dating at the time dropped the ball and drove us to the wrong venue. What made matters worse, my buddy Rob's PARENT's even went to that show. Lastly, that one time I walked in on Dave Thomas playing a"Little Man" trombone solo shirtless, with long flowing hair. He honored them well. The Supertones' album catalog is truly one of my favorite, so check out all of their albums... Alright....It brings me great pleasure to present to you my interview with the front man of the Supertones, Matt "Mojo" Morginsky...

A while ago I heard that you were studying to become a pastor?Yes I am in seminary to become a pastor, the Lord is calling my family and I to be missionaries overseas.
How did you come upon your newest project Mojo and the info? I heard that you and Ethan made it together?Ethan and I did make that CD together at his house. I wrote it and played it and Ethan produced. I just decided to write and record some songs, just 'cause. Is it true that the Supertones are getting back together? If so, who will be involved and how did this come together?It is true that the Supertones are getting temporarily back together to play some shows this summer. It will be the founding four Jason, Tony, Darren and myself. Dan couldn't do it but his brother is, and we have Jesse Craig from Pax 217 on guitar. The watt it came together is that the guys nagged me until I gave in. It should be fun though.
Any plans for a new album?Yes we are about to print and post to I tunes a new record that I mad with my friends in a band called October Light, its called "everything will be made right" by Mojo & October Light. Its a pretty rockin' record and I'm proud of it. I'm also working on a solo project called "slings and arrows" its a departure from my usual style, its an album of songs based on the plays of Shakespeare, who is probably the greatest Christian writer of all time.
What normally inspires you to write a new song?Well I think that what normally inspires me is struggle and bringing truth to the struggle. That's partly why I am enjoying writing "slings and arrows" is that the characters in Shakespeare are in the most extraordinary circumstances, so their struggle is especially compelling to write about.
How do you approach a song from a musical standpoint?Well I typically need something interesting going on with either the groove, melody, or chord progression. Those are typically the things that I go for when arranging a song. There are some songs that I've done that are just really standard sounding rock songs and those are the songs I'm least satisfied with typically. I will usually rework a song with different chords, tempo, rhythmic feels until I feel good about it. Sometimes I just don't have the time to mess with it until I'm totally happy though.
You have always been known for your amazing live performances, who in the past have you looked up to/modeled yourself after in that right?I'm having trouble thinking of who we modeled our live shows after....... I think that in the So Cal scene when we were coming up if you weren't scintillating live then no one would notice you, so we just did whatever we had to to get the crowd to respond...... Now that I think about it maybe the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they were one of my favorite groups for most of my childhood, and a lot of the hardcore bands that we played shows with like Focused, and Unashamed, their music wasn't my taste but they sure did rock out.
You have always been a snazzy dresser, how many suits have you worn out?I'm not sure how many suits I've gone through, but yeah they get pretty disgusting after a tour. I'm a sweater, I sweat right through those suckers, it can't be good for the fabric.
In all of your years on the road, what was the funniest prank or story you were apart of?
I don't think it would be appropriate for me to talk about the very funniest prank, so here's a less funny prank. Kutless was with us for their first tour, we loved those guys but resented them because their first tour was riding on our tour bus and a first tour should be miserable and uncomfortable in some smelly van. We decided we had to balance things out. We tortured those boys whenever possible, we would sabotage their gear so that their guitars wouldn't tune, we would play Creed songs through the monitors (because they were basically a Creed cover band at that point). So that was fun. I'm not really much of a prankster myself, I prefer to read a good book.
What are your top five albums that have influenced you as a musician? When writing the Supertones records: Public Enemy It takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Operation Ivy collected works, The Decendents All, Run DMC Tougher Than Leather, the Clash London Caling, All time: PE is still up there, Elvis Costello Armed forces, Eliot Smith XO, Everything that Marvin Gaye ever did, I'm not sure who else but I know I'm forgetting some.
Any good spiritual advice or verse that the Lord has put on your heart recently that you would be willing to share?Spiritual Advice? The answer is yes I do but I'm not sure I could do it justice in this format. Well I guess I'll phrase it like this,
Pray for people who you don't like and who have hurt you. We can really poison ourselves when we gossip about people who have wronged us, when we rehearse in our minds hurtful things that were said to us or done to us by others, and it doesn't have to be something big usually we dwell on minor slights. We can make ourselves bitter and angry by doing that. The best way I've found is Jesus' command to "pray for your enemies" few of us would think of a friend or family member whom we have a grudge against as an "enemy" but I still think it applies. When you find yourself hating someone in your heart and storing up bitterness toward them, don't just pray that they would repent, but pray that they could experience God's blessing today, pray that they would have a glimpse of His glory. Remember that any of us who have the privilege of knowing God have it as a gift we did not merit, in fact it was given to us even though we had wronged God, therefore we need to bless people who don't deserve it too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Silverstein Interview...Shane Told

Silverstein brings me back to summer nights, driving back from my girlfriend's house, because I'm not allowed to listen to hardcore music around her( she feels the vocalists are screaming at her specifically). Shane Told is by far my favorite singer/screamer and it is truly an honor to have him be apart of mousertime...
Do you have any side projects or other endeavours when you are not playing shows and recording with Silverstein?
I have a record label called Verona Records. I have put out some amazing records by some awesome bands. Check it out
Who do you look up to/model yourself after as far as your stage performance goes?
I've always respected performers and musicians who were honest and real. Guys who dress up, wear makeup and say things for shock value have never interested me. I think that's lame. I can't really think of anyone I've tried to model myself after.
How do you normally get influenced to write a song?
Usually most of it stems from a bit of pressure. If you gave me a year to write an album, I'd probably write the best stuff in the last 2 weeks when it was crunch time. I'm a bit ADD. And I need to have that motivation or I'll write a riff or a line I like and then play hockey on playstation for 2 hours.
Who are the main groups that influenced your sound?
Get Up Kids, Grade, Snapcase, Mineral, 400 years, Poison The Well, and the Beatles.
What is the craziest or funniest story that you can think of that occurred while on tour?
Honestly just yesterday we finished the A day to remember tour and there were so many end of tour pranks. It ruled. Every band got pranked at least twice. I don't have specifics bur it was the most fun show I've ever been a part of.
Can you briefly talk about the inspiration behind a couple of my favorite songs, "If you Could See My Soul" and "American Dream"?
Musically, "Soul" was a nightmare to put together. We just couldn't agree on a structure. Lyrically, it was a song I took a different approach. I decided to use the first person as the one who is the deceptive one, making the protagonist more of an antagonist. It's also riddled with cliches and idioms which was intentional as it fit that antagonistic "villian" vibe.
American Dream I wrote all of the music and it was surprisingly easy. Vocals were hard. I actually sat with my friend Chris and he helped me with some of the ideas for it. He basically wrote that chorus melody. After the main parts were in place I made the words fit in with the story of A Shipwreck in the Sand.
What are the top three Silverstein songs that you are most proud of?
1. Call It Karma2. My Heroine3. Your Sword vs my Dagger
How did the tenth year anniversary shows go?
Amazing! So exhausting but so rewarding.
Are y'all currently recording? Soon?
not yet. But we've written a bunch of songs so we're stoked.
How has the tour been going with A Day to Remember and August Burns Red?
Most fun ever. August Burns Red are the best dudes ever and possibly the best band we've ever toured with. All the shows have been huge, we couldn't ask for anything more!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tyler Hilton Interview...

This one is for all the ladies...especially Amanda.
I have to admit although I am not exactly the target demographic for Tyler Hilton, I still really like the guy. I saw him do a showcase in St. Louis and he really impressed me with his tight performance. He is a great musician, great actor (Walk the Line, Charlie Bartlett and One Tree Hill) and a super nice guy...

You have such a great, interesting sound. Who are some of your main influences?
I grew up on Elvis and the Beatles. Really everything I needed to know was there. From them I got into old folk, country, and blues pretty heavily.
Can you tell me a little about how you approach writing a song?
Unless I'm co-writing I have a hard time approaching a song at all. Its almost as if it chooses me. All the songs I've written on my own have just come to me. I'm too scared to question it!
Who are some songwriters that you really look up to?
Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Jack White, Paul McCartney to name a few.
What was the inspiration behind your new ep "Ladies and Gentlemen"?
Everything going on in my life in the last four years: learning more about myself, lessons in relationships, over coming innumerable obstacles to get my new songs recorded and released, and travel.
How did you decide what songs would go on this album, versus the future LP?
I thought these tunes were the ones best suited to come out of the gate singing after being without new music for so long. It took awhile to decide because I really dig all the new stuff. I have a great team around me that helps me make these difficult decisions!
Can you tell me what we can expect from the future LP "The Storms We Share"?
You can expect an album of songs that all stayed with me as I was writing and struck me as worthwhile to share. I think they're all really catchy and fun to some degree, too. I bet you'll be able to relate with a lot of it as well.
What will set this album apart from previous releases?
I wasn't afraid of much this record. I didn't shy from things that might draw criticism. I stopped thinking of myself in terms of what people think I am or what I was and instead focused on what I could do best now.
Was it difficult piecing the album together? Or did it flow together perfectly?
It was very difficult but like most things, once I had it figured out it seemed so simple!
Are you excited about the upcoming tour with label mates, the Spill Canvas? What are you most looking forward to?
I am really excited to be out here with these guys. We're out with AM Taxi and New Politics too. All great bands I'm happy to find out! My favorite part of this tour so far has been the way all the bands have influenced my live show in that they are such lively acts I'm continuing to raise my show to meet the new standard out here!
I have also always been a fan of your acting game... Are there any new projects that you are working on or have planned out?
No, though I continue to love acting and am always looking for new projects, playing this record live for the fans is all I can think about!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fireflight Interview (Dawn Michele)

I have been a Fireflight fan since the first time I heard their crunching guitars mixed with uplifting lyrics at a listening station in a Christian bookstore... I had a chance to speak briefly with their lead singer Dawn Michele about the new album that was released in February, which helped them earn Dove Awards Nominations this year ...
Check them out at or follow them on Twitter at

The new album, "For Those Who Wait", is fantastic. Can you briefly describe the inspiration behind this album?
We all have been in a time where we just had to wait, most of us are probably waiting for something right now. A lot of times when we have to wait we can feel so alone, For those who wait is about coming to find that its during those times of waiting that we draw closer to God and we learn that truly, we are never alone.
How do you guys normally approach the song writing process?
Its different with every song, but usually the guitarists come up with basic song structure, then I work to fit the melodies and lyrics I've been working on, and then we refine that until we feel like we've expressed it the best we can.
Who are some of you major influences, both musically and performance wise?
Steven Tyler from Aerosmith has always been an idol of mine, he has such a dynamic stage performance. The band has always been big fans of The Juliana Theory, Foo Fighters, and Skillet.
Any current bands you would advise others to listen to?
Red has some incredible stuff out right now.
I have always wondered where the name Fireflight derived from...
We made the name up about five minutes before our very first show for our youth group. Our youth pastor walked in and asked how we wanted to be introduced, and we realized we hadn't picked a name yet. I threw fireflight out there and it was the best anyone had at the time so we just went with it!
You all have been nominated for another Dove award. How does it feel to be recognised among your peers in this industry?
It feels incredible to be nominated for categories like Artist of the Year along side christian music giants whom we have looked up to from our youth! Pretty much like stepping into a dream.
Any specific specific spiritual advice or scripture that you would be willing to share?
God has really been teaching me a lot about faith lately, about how truly, your strength is not what's most important, all that really matters is God's strength and His abundant love for you.
So what is next on the list for Fireflight, after the long list concerts you all have planned?
Hopefully another long list of concerts!(laughs) We are moving into Summer Festival season and we greatly look forward to seeing all of fans again and meeting new ones!