Monday, October 31, 2011

Seryn Interview with Nathan Allen (Guitar/Banjo/Vocals)

Recently a friend turned me onto a band by the name of Seryn, after hearing them play at the Catalyst Conferenc in Atlanta Georgia. In their debut full-length, This Is Where We Are, Seryn manages to draw from several different genres, including folk, country, rock and indie. Pulling together a plethora of organic sounds and instruments creating a beautiful, unique sound.
 For the latest news on Seryn and for upcoming tour dates, check out their site
Cliché one, where did the name Seryn come from? Is there a story behind how it was chosen?
At one point, someone wrote it on something. 
How/when did this project begin?
The band started forming during the spring of 2009 while Nathan and Trenton were roommates. By that May we had the current five-person line-up together.
With five members, each able to play a variety of instrument I would assume that you would all have different musical tastes. How would you say you arrived on your sound?
Hopefully we haven’t arrived at a sound. We all listen to different music, but we all align on certain aspects of music itself.  The record came about in a time we were entrenched in folky music, so it came through in what were attracted to sonically.  Currently we are gravitating to new sounds, including vibraphone, piano, and sound manipulation, i.e. sampling, covering a glockenspiel in foil©, you name it. We just really like making noise.
What can people expect when they come to see you live?
All of our favorite noise! People have complained that we don’t really talk that much onstage, but when we are up there, the focus is on experiencing the music. That’s our presentation, and none of us are as funny as Ryan Adams or have stories like Jeff Tweedy.
Nathan Allen of Seryn (above)
Who are some bands/artists that you have looked up to in the past, in terms of stage presence?
In terms of stage presence? It’s impossible to emulate someone else’s moves. Just seeing people play music with conviction. It’s a different list for each of us, but we just play.
How did the writing process pan out for you on This Is Where We Are?
We had almost everything finished before heading into the studio, it’s the only way we can afford to do it. The studio is a well oiled machine, we just go in and rip through the songs as fast as we can.
How does a song normally come together for you? Is it completely collaborative?
Writing for us is a slow and arduous process. With lots of backtracking, rethinking, deleting, re-arranging, and all other sorts of time consuming things. Then we come up with something completely different that just works! We strive for a result that we all love, and can fathom playing for years. We still get the same feelings playing the songs as when we first wrote them.
Are you guys currently working on any new material? If so, about when can fans expect your next release?
We are churning out new songs like crazy right now.  Look for new material spring of next year, even earlier if you come out to a show.
What role does your faith play in your music?
We don’t make any distinctions along religious lines inside the band, or with our audience. We don’t have a religious message, nor do we intend too. We just like making noise.
Who are some of your bigger musical influences right now?
Hmm... everything is on such an osmotic level at this point. I feel constantly pulled to hear some new sound on the radio or a blog, and discovering where all the standard sounds came from in old recordings of the past, or things I missed out on when I was younger.
It's fascinating to find out what other people grew up on too. My folks raised me on The Beatles, The Doobie Brothers, stuff like that. Then later Dad went through a year of only Mozart, and we listened to every piece of music he ever wrote, more than once.  I never listened to The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan, so finding their music is like a new band to me.  I know Trenton spent more time with Journey and TOTO, and then started playing hardcore/screamo type stuff in high school.  I love when someone burns me a CD and says "you gotta check this out! "  That's how I found out about Nick Drake and Van Morrison. 
Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to
 Ambivalence Avenue by Bibio (Chris)
Superbass by Nicki Minaj or Party in the U.S.A. by whoever it is that did that song. (Nathan)
Bobby Darrin (Trenton)
Akron/Family S/T (Chelsea)
" I'm listening to Dethklok. The sounds of insane double bass, shredding guitars, and thick growling vocals really calms me down. " (Aaron)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Lot Like Birds Interview with Michal Franzino(guitarist), Ben Wiacek (guitarist) and Joe Arrington(drummer)

Sacramento, California based progressive/alternative band, A Lot like Birds, is back with a brand new LP and a solid line-up. What started as the brainchild of current guitarist (and former lead vocalist), Michael Franzino, is now a six piece powerhouse featuring dual vocalists Kurt Travis (formerly of Dance Gavin Dance, O! the Joy, Five Minute Ride etc.) and Cory Lockwood. In addition to the founding guitarist, and vocalists, Michael Littlefield (bass), Ben Wiacek(guitar), and Joe Arrington(drums) round out the energetic group. A Lot Like Birds aims to push the normal boundaries of the music scene they are part of, and provide listeners with a unique musical experience spanning several different genres. Thus far, the new album Conversation Piece has received fantastic reviews from both fans and critics. For more information on the band, check out the band’s facebook page!/ALotLikeBirds?sk=info.
I recently spoke with Michal Franzino(guitarist), Ben Wiacek (guitarist) and Joe Arrington(drummer) about the release, Conversation Piece, and how it came together…
Cliche one, how did this project begin? How did you guys develop your experimental sound?
Franzino: this project started in early 2009 when butter and I realized that all the musicians we were playing with at the time had moved away (or weren't working out for what we wanted to go for) and decided to do it all ourselves. The initial idea was simply to make the record I had always wanted to make, one where I could do any/all ideas I had without regard for how many tracks were being laid down, how impossible it was to play, how many people were involved, or if it were too weird. That record came to be Plan B and led us to the rest of our members. The band today is the manifestation of our efforts to create a solid record with a solid line-up that we can also take on the road.
How did Kurt get involved with the project?
Franzino: We played a show with La Dispute almost exactly a year ago that Kurt had showed up to. Butter and I had really dug what Kurt did with prog band O! the Joy, and thought he might have something cool to offer as a guest on a track in the future, so I approached him and asked. He told us he was interested, and eventually, a mutual friend of ours ended up just asking him "Why don't you just join their band?" We all jammed one night, had a bunch in common/liked what we heard, and just continued playing music.
Your latest release, Conversation Piece(released October 11th), has gotten some solid reviews thus far. Are you guys surprised by the reactions thus far?
Wiacek:  Yeah, it's been absolutely mind blowing. The response so far has been extremely positive. It's super flattering, I don't think we ever imagined people liking the CD this much. We definitely had high hopes, and considering how much faith we had to put in to the project we knew we had to make it good. Our lives pretty much depend on the success of this band. So I'm pretty stoked it's receiving such high praise. Plus, our fans are pretty crazy, so I'd expect them to be going extra crazy when the CD finally came out.
How did the writing pan out for this album, in comparison to Plan B?
Franzino : There are several huge differences. I think the biggest one, besides what has already been mentioned, is that Plan B was written over the course of years and recorded at our leisure for 9 months, while this record was laid down in 3 weeks (typically bands working with kris do full lengths in closer to a month and a half) and written with a deadline. This means we didn't have time for a lot of the little subtleties and character of the first record, but it pushed us to make the music strong enough to stand without it. Also, as Plan B was primarily an instrumental album, the music was a lot more busy and in your face to keep it interesting, where-as this record it was intended to be a tasteful avenue for Cory and Kurt. Finally, Conversation Piece was written with a real drummer, and actual solid members who all had a say and their own flavor to add this time around, instead of me basically hiring session musicians.
How does a song normally come together for you guys?
Arrington: Believe it or not, we will play our instruments for hours on end in a dark studio with a silent film projecting on the wall. We extract melodies from what we see... An audible extension of what we feel when we watch the imagery in these movies (David Lynch films among others). Provided that we adequately document these melodies, we use them in songs. Songs can start from a drum groove and build with layers, or they can begin as a rough conceptual structure and grow into a larger picture. We'd like to think that each of our songs, as crazy as they may seem to some, do have a "cerebral cortex" so to speak, and the song as a whole included extensions and melodic networks of these initial ideas. Also, Mega Man.
Specifically, how did "Sesame Street Is No Place for Me," come together?
Franzino: This song changed Many times in the course of its creation. The main riff came out in one the jam sessions Joe and I did while watching/trying write our own score to several different movies/images on a projector. I believe it's what came out when we watched Tom and Jerry (laughs). The demo version of it I did when it originally written has a very video game-y verse to it, it’s pretty funny, that will be released when we send out all the Kickstarter rewards. This song is actually my least favorite musically on the record, the band had to really convince me to keep it.
Did you have a direction in mind, before you began writing/recording?
Franzino: As stated previously, the mission for this record was to write something that could truly stand on its own musically with just two guitars, a bass, and drums. Truth be told, it is actually easier for me to write when I have a large array of instruments before me to perform the parts, dynamics and cool tones can be achieved by just switching focus to different musicians. I have never been a huge fan of the guitar as an instrument so it was a real challenge to find ways to keep writing with it interesting.
You guys seem to successfully combine a number of diverse sounds/genres in this record. Is that intentional? Is it ever a challenge?
Arrington: Intentional, yes. A challenge, yes. All for the greater good of getting our creative juices flowing. Our band is not only diverse musically, but the members themselves include everything from extremely inspired natural players to well-studied, diverse, reading musicians and many in between. This creates bonds that transcend normal band ties. This, I'm sure, has a lot to do with how broad our musical tastes are in this band. The cohesion that exists in my laying down a Songo-Baiao on the drum set and having everyone play creative, chaotic, and tension-building melodies layering above it is quite an experience. We've always liked toying with every sound and genre and will continue to do so in the future. What the listener does not witness, is how many of these crazy ideas DO NOT work at some point and have to be scrapped or re-written... But that's for the birds. And the process is worth it regardless. Our next record is sure to be packed with Opera and Polka songs.
Listening back to the record, could you hear any specific influences? Any specific bands/artists come to mind?
Wiacek: Oh yeah, there are a few parts here and there where I noticed certain sounds that remind me of a few bands. Kurt has some vocal parts in Think Dirty Out Loud that remind me of Robert Plant. Cory harnesses some Dr. Dre or something during a part in Truly Random Code. In other songs I'll hear musical influences anywhere from Rage Against The Machine to Radiohead, Refused, The Bled, Foo Fighters, Blood Brothers, Pink Floyd, and a plethora of other influences that wouldn't really be necessary for me to list... It'd be impossible to ignore the sounds that remind me of my favorite artists because they're the ones who inspired me (us) to do what I (we) do.
Were there any songs on the record that surprised you with how they turned out specifically?
Franzino: I think the thing we were all most surprised about was more the reaction to a specific song than how it turned out. Vanity's Fair was written fairly early on it the process, and all of us enjoyed it well enough, but definitely did not expect it to be the crowd favorite. We were all pretty convinced Orange Time Machines Care and The Blowtorch is Applied to the Sugar would take the cake. I guess that's just how the musician vs. the audience works, we value different things.
How did you guys land on working with Kris Crummet? What did he specifically bring to the table?
Franzino: Well Kurt had worked with him twice already/felt very comfortable with him, and all of us enjoyed the production on several albums in his catalog, so he was a natural candidate. At the time he was being managed by The Artery Foundation, which is also our MGMT, so that really helped in making it happen. Kris has the best ear I have ever come across, he just understands exactly what you are going for, and it’s uncanny. Most of us had never worked with someone who could really produce, so it was very interesting/beneficial how his opinion swayed tones, and what we got out of a take, and which effects were appropriate/how much. He and Kurt worked especially well together, as Kurt writes a lot of his melodies in the studio, he was very good at encouraging him and keeping him on track. Lastly, I think it was really good having a non-biased, knowledgeable opinion in the room when little disputes over how something was to be performed would happen.
What can people expect when they come to see one of your live shows?
Franzino: We really just want to give people our most honest performance possible. We try to make sure the only thing we have rehearsed is our music, and for whatever happens every night to be inspired by the moment. You can expect for schizophrenic, chaotic moments of in your face walls of sound, and minutes later find us gently painting an ambient soundscape. You can always count on us showing up sore and leaving sorer.
What do you guys have coming up next? Touring? After touring?
Franzino :There are two tours currently being worked out that we can't announce yet/aren't set in stone, but we are trying to get one as soon as possible to promote the record and then something in spring. We aim to stay out on tour/playing festivals as much as humanly possible for the next 8-12 months, all the while writing new material. We are all already anxious to write a new record.
Perfect day, driving with the windows down, what are you listening to?
Franzino: My taste by no means represents the whole bands, but personally I've been jamming the new Russian Circles, Giraffes? Giraffes!, and an artist called Kimbra lately. Classic go to bands also include: Paul Baribeau, Damien Rice, The Frames, and Pedro the Lion. If its a perfect day driving to the next date on tour, we are listening to the likes of Blakfish, Mew, Refused, or Rolo Tomassi

Set Sail Interview with Joshua May(drummer)

With their unique pop/rock sound, the Australian band Set Sail is slowly traveling across the world, picking up many fans along the way....
Check out my interview with drummer, Joshua May and visit their facebook page for the latest news on the band, as well as tour videos:!/setsailmusic?sk=info
Cliché one, where did the name Set Sail come from? Is there a story behind how it was chosen?
May: At the starting out of Set Sail we all had a similar liking to boats and the sea, resulting in creating our first Single 'The Boat Song' and forming under the name Set Sail.
How/when did this project begin?
May: Initially we formed while we were all at school, going out to play in afternoons and nights to make some money about 2 years ago. It wasn't till November of 2010 that we thought we'd go full time music and run with the new model of getting our name out there and make it as a band.

How would you say you arrived on your sound?
May: At the moment the closest I've heard said about our band was 'Summery Pop’, or 'Beach Pop'

What can people expect when they come to see you live?
May: Make it the best bloody show they've seen. Playing on the street the honesty of your music and stage presence is emphasized, as you only have a few seconds to interact with 'busy' people, making them stop and then appreciate what you're doing. There aren’t any lights or stages to make us appear bigger and better.  So taking what we do on the street to stage is for us to accentuate our stage performance and get the people involved in our show. Pretty much a big party where everyone can have an energetic time.

How did the World Stage tour come together and how has it been?
May: It began when I started talking about potentially moving to London, target the Brit scenes. Then from there we thought, "why not add this city", another city got added until our imagination turned to conquering all 7 continents. It’s been a lot of work, but it's been amazing so far and a lot of opportunities have come through getting up and getting out there.

Who are some bands/artists that you have looked up to in the past, in terms of stage presence?
May: I love being asked this question because it's so fun to answer. Individually, we're all so different and listen to different music, so the contrast between all of us is incredible to look at. Josiah grew up listening to Classical and Punk then turned to folk/pop which turned him into to an ' Eccentric Mad Scientist'. Then there's Brandon who grew up in Sunny California listening to Iron and Wine, Middle East, Beirut etc, in effect he's this guy laid back joyful guy who doesn't have to do much for people to latch on to his personality. Then I grew listening to the Miles', Coltrane's, and big chorus melody pop artists like James Taylor's. So I just keep it real in the back as try and use creativity on the drums as a part of that.

How did the writing process pan out for you on The Riley Moore EP?
May: We pretty much do everything equal thirds. Whether its lyrics or musical. It ends up being equal third input, somehow.

How does a song normally come together for you? Is it a completely collaborative process?
May: We all have different strengths in writing. Brandon is good at making up these melodic hooks, where Josiah is a literature major, so words are his thing. Then I'm a hopeless romantic who loves big choruses. so blend it all together and we hopefully get something.

Are you guys currently working on any new material? If so, about when can fans expect your next release?
May: Sure are. There's going to be a limited release ep running with our National Tour in December, which will feature 4-5 songs that we wrote and recorded from travelling around the world. Then the big one of Album in September, which we're already working on now.

What role does your faith play in your music?
May: We're all about loving people. So while we're not a 'religious band' we do have a faith and believe in helping the need of people and with our lives and display love. That's why we're working with Compassion where we will be setting up a ' Set Sail village' in South America and hopefully in Africa. Where we want our fans to buy a goat for a person in the village, where they can use their milk and re-produce etc and support them that way - you get your name on the goat which is great!

Who are some of your bigger musical influences right now?
May: The Joyful Formidable, Bon Iver, Lykke Li, Jon Foreman and Coldplay's killing it at the moment.

Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to?
May: At the moment “Paradise” by Coldplay.

The Hawk In Paris Interview with Dan Haseltine

Poking around, I came across a band that I hadn't heard of before. After a quick listen, I was immediatley a fan of the electronica project. Following a little bit of digging I quickly discovered that the project is made up of Dan Haseltine, Jeremy Bose and Matt Bronleewe, which practicly makes this project a super-group. For the latest on The Hawk In Paris or to hear  their debut EP His + Hers, check out their facebook page...
How did this project form?
It was not a pre-meditated or planned idea really.  Matt Bronlewee and I had been attempting to get in a room together and write a song or two.  We had not worked on a project together in quite a while.  When we finally wrote together, it worked.  We wrote a song called, “Curse the Love Song.”   Matt thought Jeremy would hear it and have a greater ear for developing the idea.  And that was the beginning.  We were not really planning on being a band, but every time we got together to write the magic just seemed to show up and something good would come of it.  We wrote five or six songs and decided we should be more intentional about the project. 
Leading up to the writing/recording of “His + Hers” was there a discussion about the musical direction that you wanted to take the album?
 We are all children of the 80’s.  And we have all been inspired by the resurgence of so many synth textures and effects that were common in 80’s recordings.  There are a lot of bands that are mimicking or drawing from the nostalgia in a way that under serves the era by simply re-creating or making a parody.  We knew we wanted to use the sounds and textures in our music, but we wanted something that was futuristic.   There was a developing schematic for what we wanted to create musically.  We were sure that the melancholy side of love was going to be the epicenter for the tone of the lyrics.  The first song had set a good precedent and we wanted to follow it up. 
 Did the writing process pan out differently than what you are accustomed to?
 The think I love about being a songwriter is that inspiration comes in so many different forms.  I don’t write songs any particular way.  The Hawk writing process was inspiring because it was a surprise every time I would walk in to the studio and listen to the groove or sonic landscape that Jeremy and Matt were creating. 
It felt a bit like James Bond walking around the lab with Q.   I always knew they were going to present me with something cool to start writing melodies and lyrics based upon.
Would you consider this project to be completely collaborative, or are there defined roles within the group?
It was definitely collaborative.  But we have all been making music long enough, and we are all aware of the musical and creative strengths that we each have.  We have such high levels of respect for each other, and it allows us to give each other space to do what we do best.  At the same time, we can speak into any part of the creative process and have an influence at any point.
Listening back to “His + Hers” do you hear specific influences that may have had an effect on the sound of the project?
We definitely drew from a wide range of influences on the project.  What was interesting is that we never listened to a song and tried to match the drum sound, or re-create the synth pad from a particular record.  Most of the things we referenced were sounds the way remembered hearing them on the radio.  So there was more of a desire to create an esthetic or feeling that reminded us of something we loved.  That said, the bands that we talked about in the studio included, Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, Yaz, New Order,  The Eurythmics, and Genesis. 
What do you want listeners to take away from the project?
I don’t think we have much of an agenda with the project.  We hope people will love the music, and unashamedly play it excessively loud in their cars.   I did get a note from a friend who described his reaction to the music of “The Hawk In Paris,” by saying, “This brought back feelings and memories I forgot I even had.”  It is music that elicits a response.  We hope it’s a passionate response. 
How did you hook up with NoiseTrade? Decide to release the EP for free/donations?
Derek Webb is a good friend of mine, and I have been looking for a way to be a part of the NoiseTrade idea for some time.  I believe in the model he helped create, and feel like the NoiseTrade team is finding a way to offer music without cheapening its value.  Unfortunately people are still fairly uneducated when it comes to connecting the dots about what it costs to make music.  So we have a lot of people who interpret the ‘FREE MUSIC” idea as just a right of theirs to have access to whatever they want.  Giving music away can cheapen the value of what you create, especially if it comes from the artist.  The language can communicate that an artist may not even value their own artistic expressions.  NoiseTrade asks people to pay what music is “worth.”  I like this because it doesn’t really cheapen the value of what we create.  I rarely spend much time with music I have not invested something to get.  There is no ownership in it, so there is no commitment to listen and fully immerse myself in it.  I like paying what a record is worth.  Unfortunately some records are worth far more than the $100 tip cap that they establish. J
Do you plan on releasing a full-length in the near future?
Yes, we are working on a full-length project that we hope to release in mid-Spring 2012.   We are also planning on releasing some remixes and doing a few cover songs to be released very soon. 
 Any plans for live performance in the future, or will this project simply be studio based?
We had not intended to tour this project.  It was just a creative outlet.  But the response to the music has been so overwhelming that we have begun to discuss how to present this music in the live setting.  Our standards are exceptionally high, and our ideas represent a desire to be at the cutting edge of visual technologies and immersive experiences… not unlike the live performances of Jonsi or Amon Tobin. 
 Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to?
 Currently, I have been in love with Gotye’s new project…. And definitely the

Saturday, October 22, 2011

O'Brother Interview with Anton Dang (bassist), pt 2

After countless shows, and a number of highly regarded EP’s the Atlanta based band O’Brother , is set to release their first full-length album, Garden Window. Set to drop November 15th, Garden Window, promises to deliver high energy, alt-rock worthy of some serious head banging ( in true “Dang-brothers’ fashion”). To listen to their brand new single, "Machines Part-1" click here

Currently on tour with Thrice, La Dispute and Moving Mountains, bassist Anton Dang was kind enough to answer some quick questions regarding the new album…

How has the tour been thus far?
This tour has been amazing. Easily one of the best tours we've been a part of. I get to watch Moving Mountains, La Dispute, and Thrice just completely annihilate every night for 6 weeks straight.
Your debut full length album, Garden Window, has been generating a great deal of buzz. How long has this album been in the making?
We started writing for it in November 2010 then started tracking in December. We didn't finish tracking til the end of April and that's when we started the mixing process with Mike Sapone and finished that and the mastering in August. And now we play the waiting game...
Did you guys discuss the direction that you wanted to take the album, before you began writing/recording?
Not at all... We didn't even start the band that way. We just started writing...
How did the writing pan out for the album? Was it a collaborative process?
It really was. We all started writing more on our own for this record. We were all very involved during the writing process.
Do you guys write continually, or is it more of a periodic thing?
I wish I could say continually but it's hard to write while on the road.
Specifically, how did "Machines Part-1" come together (fantastic by the way!).
I think we all wanted at least one faster aggressive song for the record and I'm pretty sure we were all listening to Converge heavily at the time. But I came home from work one day and Tanner and Johnny had been writing and that's when the intro that song came about.
How did you guys originally get hooked up with Triple Crown Records? What attracted you to signing with them?
One of our band dads, Andrew Ellis, introduced us to Fred from Triple Crown at Bamboozle. Had a good feeling about him since that day. Now we have one more band dad.
Did you have the album ready before signing? 
Nope... He heard the unmixed version of our record though. Yikes!
How did you guys land on working with Andy Hull and Robert McDowell of Manchester Orchestra? What did they bring to the table?
It was just natural. We're all friends here and it was a good way to make a record. They were basically the 6th and 7th member of our band for like 5 months.
Listening back to the album, can you hear any specific influences on the album?
I could list so many bands here, but I don’t want to put a band in your head while you listen to our record. I like to make people guess what we were listening to when we wrote a specific song.
What would you like for listeners to take away from Garden Window?
I just hope people like it enough to listen to it a second time.
What do you guys have coming up next, after the tour/album release?
More touring in the new year, hopefully  some internationally, and hopefully some split 7"s with some other bands.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rosi Golan Interview

I originally discovered Rosi Golan's music, when I happened upon her duet with William Fitzsimmons,"Hazy (go check it out if you haven't)." Shortly after that, I went to a William Fitzsimmons concert and quickly found out Golan was opening. Immediately after Golan began her set, I was immediately sucked in. Her ability to write a perfectly crafted indie/pop song is nothing shot of amazing. Her latest album, Lead Balloon, has gathered a great deal of buzz and has been growing continuously. I recently had the chance to send Rosi a couple of  questions regarding her new album, "Lead Balloon."

More information on Rosi                        

How did the writing process pan out for this record, "Lead Balloon"?

Golan: The writing process for this record kind of happened in bursts. I wrote it between tours over the last couple of years after releasing my first record.

Do you write continually? Or are you a periodic writer?

Golan: I think I probably write all the time, even if I don't mean to. I find that a lot of what I write about comes out of every day conversations and situations and sometimes I’ll make notes or sometimes I'll just hear a melody walking down the street. 

What did you look for in writing partners for this record?

Golan: I can't say I was looking for anything in a writer, it's just chemistry and a comfort that you either have with someone or you don't. I wrote with a lot of the same people I wrote with on the first record and a few new people that thankfully came along at perfect times.

How long has this record been in the making?

Golan: I guess you could say since I wrote the first song for it. Which was about 2 1/2 years ago. My process is pretty slow, but I'm ok with that. I need to feel like its right.

How was the recording process? How did it differ from your previous experiences?

Golan: Well the first time I made a record there were a lot of firsts involved, and I think I was just at the beginnings of learning what I want out of a studio experience. It was also a weird time in my life, so I am not sure I got as involved as I like to. This time around, I feel like I went in a little more confident in making choices or voicing opinions. It felt like a really creative process.

I know that picking you favorite song is like picking your favorite child, but what song were you most surprised with how it turned out?(ha)

Golan: Ok, when you put it that way, it's much easier to answer :) "Paper Tiger" came out completely different than I expected and in the best way. I was so delighted when it finally came together and sounded the way it did.

Lately, when talking to singer-songwriters I have noticed a big trend. They seem to stray away from listening to other singer-songwriter in their free time. What about you? Who are some people that you are listening to right now?

Golan: I go through phases. But right now I am actually back in a singer songwriter phase. I just bought the new Ryan Adams record, and I'm still listening to the new Bon Iver record a lot. I definitely listen to a lot of other music, but right now those are the ones I am digging into.

In retrospect, when listening back to "Lead Balloon," do you hear any specific influences on the record?

Golan: I don't know. I suppose I spent the last few years discovering Patty Griffin and Emmylou Harris more than I had before, and I love what they are all about, and how they sound. That may have touched on me a bit, but I'm not sure you can hear it.

Who are some people you have looked up to in the past in regards to stage presence and live performance?

Golan: About five years ago I went to see Jenny Louis play live and her show was absolutely perfect. Since, I have seen her about 5 times and she never disappoints. What I love about her live show is how confident and comfortable she is, how every note and song comes with its own move or sway. I don't know, she is captivating, and that is definitely something to aspire to.

Are you currently working on any other projects? Any co-writing? Any plans with Ari Hest and the Open Sea project?

Golan: At the moment I am just promoting the new record and of course, always writing when I can. Ari and I don't have any current plants on another EP or record. He also released a new record this year, so we are both pretty busy.

Perfect day, driving with the windows down, what are you listening to?

Golan: Robyn – “Body Talk”

What do you have coming up next? Touring Europe?

Golan: I just came off of a great little run with Joshua Radin in Europe and am about to start another European tour with Wakey!Wakey! After that, I hope to do another US tour.

Matthew Mayfield - "Best of You" (Foo Figthers Cover)

 On a whim, Matthew Mayfield performs "Best of You" (originally made popular by Foo Fighters) following a concert in Midtown Atlanta.  For the latest news on Matthew, check out

Check out for interviews with Matthew, along with many other artists. Interviews: and

Gameday Regulars Interview with Will Romeo

Bronx, New York based melodic-punk
rock band, Gameday Regulars, have recently put out a new EP on Mighter Than Sword Records. I recently had the chance to speak with Will Romeo of the band, and dicussed the new record. Check out their site for more information.!/gamedayregulars?sk=info
How did this specific project begin?
 In the beginning of 2011, our buddy Danny suggested I get some new members and get my old project back together.  So I asked my brother Gino and buddy Kenny if they wanted to start writing for a new project.
How did you guys get hooked up with Mightier Than Sword Records? What attracted you to them?
 I knew RJ from a few years back, and he has been super supportive of the band.   It's a great label, with awesome releases, great dudes, and is constantly growing.
Your new EP just came out on September 27th, how has the response been thus far?
 The response has been great, the reviews are all positive all across the board.
How did the writing for this EP pan out?
I had a few songs from years back, and we just collaborated on some of the newer songs like hearts and bones and heavy bikes.  The whole process was natural, and we were glad the EP had a little variety in it.
Did you guys have a specific direction in mind before writing/and recording? 
We really just wanted a loud and raw punk rock record. 
How did you guys get hooked up with Gregory Dunn? What did he bring to the table?
 We had been friends with Greg for years, and Kenny actually used to sell merch for Moving Mountains.   Greg really helped us capture the sound we wanted, and it was a great experience.  He definitely helped shaped a lot of the tones for the record, and added things here and there in post production.
On this record, where did some of the lyrical inspiration come from?
Most of the songs are about some misfortunes and experiences of People I have crossed paths with and can relate to.
Do you guys have any plans for a full-length in the future? If so, when are you shooting for a release? 
We have no plans as of yet for a full length, but in November we’re going back in the studios with Greg Dunn to record some new tracks.
With you guys being veterans of the DIY scene, what kind of advice would you give to a DIY band just starting up?
Play shows and stay busy. All the hard work pays off.
What do you guys have coming up next? Touring? 
We’re actually out now with Nightmares for a Week for one more week, and in December doing some regional stuff.
Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to? 
Horrible Crowes Elsie.  My favorite record of 2011.