Friday, April 27, 2012

Ambassadors Interview with Frontman Sam Harris

This band first grabbed my attention when the title track off of their latest record, Litost, was featured on an episode of One Tree Hill. The track is fantastic, but shows only one of the many sides of the band. On Litost, Ambassadors seamlessly fuse together a number of genres and sounds, creating beautifully soulful songs with catchy percussion. 
I kid you not, this is my favorite record of 2012. I doubt that will change.

Front man, Sam Harris spent some time answering some questions for me and followed it up with an acoustic performance of the song that lead to me discovering them,"Litost." Please see the acoustic video posted below the interview.
As you guys gear up for touring, what can people expect when they come out to one of your shows?
They can expect all the songs off our new record, plus a few new ones we've been toying around with that will be on our next one.  We're constantly writing stuff and we wanted to test some of it out on the road: our goal as a band is to put out as much material as possible... as long as we think it's good.
Who are some bands/ artists that you guys have looked up to in terms of stage presence and live performance?
I've always been a fan of Prince.  The way that dude can move and play his instrument and sing his ass off all at once is like something from a different planet (which, to be honest, would come as no surprise to me if it literally was).  Other than him... I think we all just wish we had moves like Jagger.
How is the music scene in New York?
New Yorkers LOVE to dance.  But not in front of anybody else.  And especially not in front of a band.  Other than that, it's a hoot and a holler.
Litost just dropped recently, what would you like for listeners to take away from this album after listening to it?
Someone told me after we recorded this album that it sounded pretty "mainstream".  It was easy to get a little offended at first, but then I realized that it kind of made sense that this is what we came up with; almost all the music we grew up listening to in the late 90s and early 00s sounded as big and bombastic as we wanted our record to sound.  So in the end, I guess we wanted to make something kids our age could listen to and get a little nostalgic for their middle-school and high school years.  Even if it's a tough kind of nostalgia.  That's what we want people to walk away with.
Did you guys have a direction in mind for the record, before you began recording it?
Again, we knew we wanted to make something big; something that could transport us and the listeners somewhere else.  It was a pretty brutal winter in New York and we had all been going through some difficult personal stuff at the time, so our mentality was a bit of an escapist one.  But honestly I feel like most records are written like that anyways.
Were all of the songs written during the same period of time?
Yea, most were written right after my brother had his kidney transplant and right before myself, Noah and Adam were about to graduate from college.
Listening back to the record, can you hear any specific influences?
We were listening to a LOT of Kanye on our drives to and from the studio.  And a lot of Hot 97.1 FM (an awesome Hip-hop/R&B radio station here in New York).  You may not be able to hear it offhand, but if you listen closely... it's there.  Maybe a little Fred Astaire on the opening track, "Weight/Lightness", too.
I am completely blown away by how diverse this record is, was that done intentionally? Or is that just how it panned out?
It was never intended to be so diverse, but that's just how most of our records seem to come together.  We have so many different musical influences and we like to pay homage to them all in our songs.
I am specifically curious about how your songs "Litost" and "Bodybag" came together...
“Bodybag” is probably the oldest song on the record.  A different version of it had been released on our first EP but it didn't sound right, so we decided to do it again.  This time around we made it way more gospel-y and more organic sounding.  "Litost" was a song I wrote towards the end of a really taxing relationship.  The song kind of speaks for itself.  That one was mostly arranged by me, alone in my bedroom with the help of our friend Max Drummey (from the band Chester French) who did all the string arrangements for it.
Who did you work on the record with, outside of the group and what attracted you to working with them?
We worked with our friend Dan Stringer, who we've known since college and have worked with a few times in the past.  Dan is the coolest dude and the best engineer we've encountered so far.  He really knows our sound and is great at taking direction from all four of us, which is a difficult task in and of itself.  Plus, we all have a very similar sense of humor and have spent many nights drinking each other to sleep. 
Are you guys blown away by all of the positive reactions to the album thus far?
Yes.  We worked extremely hard on this album so it's also a big affirmation, but it's always a treat to hear how much people love the music you're making.
How important is social media/networking to you guys?
As important as it is to Kanye West.  Very important.
What kind of advice do you have for emerging independent artists? Any specific words of wisdom?
When in doubt, go with your gut.  And always surround yourself with people you trust; who are not only just as excited about what you're doing as you are, but who are also going to push you to do better.  Also, don't be afraid to make something your parents won't like.
I saw that one of your songs was featured in a recent episode of One Tree Hill. Did you get a chance to see the specific scene it was featured in?
We had a whole little screening session at Noah and Adam's apartment.  It came on within the first 6 minutes and lasted for 3 scenes: a therapy session, a guy putting his kids into their car-seats, and a scene with this girl and some dude talking in their kitchen.  Pretty unexciting stuff (laughs).
Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to?
Drake.  Or Ray Charles.
Any plans after the tour? Working on any new material yet?
World domination.  And putting out a new record every year.

Lovedrug Exclusive Acoustic Performance of "Wild Blood"

Shortly before a memorable and intimate performance at the Masquerade in Atlanta, Lovedrug members Michael Shepard and Jeremy Gifford join us outside to perform the title track off of their latest album Wild Blood. Even though a storm began to roll through, bringing heavy winds and rain, these guys powered through and delivered pitch-perfect harmonies in this acoustic rendition.

For the latest info, and to see Lovedrug's latest tour dates check out their official site:

Friday, April 20, 2012

WAZU In Atlanta 4-22 Magic Rub Cassettes Event



“Listening to WAZU’s "Murder 1" provokes the urge to paint an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt across your face and visit a seedy, underground hot spot full of androgynous artists and wandering neon lights. The track sparkles with all the glitter and glitz of 70s glam rock and pops in your head like candy.”
“Fans of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Talking Heads, and David Bowie will want to have a listen and grab "Murder 1" from Australian-born, now NYC-based duo Wazu. The track combines elements of glam, grunge, electronic, pop and goth to create a dark, danceable atmosphere.”

If you’ve been paying attention to the NYC music scene (and you should be!), you know that Brooklyn-based Australian transplants WAZU have been generating heaps of buzz as of late. “Murder 1,” the synth-heavy, post apocalyptic first single from their three song WAZU EP (Anti-Language Recordings) is getting rave reviews. The accompanying video premiered exclusively on Contact Music and was recently featured as Video of the Day on SPINNER. Watch it here:
The track is a glorious, vicious little tease of what’s to come from this male-female duo that appear to have swallowed some of the same sexy electronic pills as The xx, but have regurgitated them in a much more elaborate and foreboding fashion. “Happy Endings,” the second track off the EP produced by the legendary Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, Swans, The Walkmen), is a cynical sing-along that resonates with the lyrics, “take a look at me / I’m living proof / Happy endings don’t have room for two.” Never has heartbreak sounded so enticing and danceable. It is now available for free download.

In their first week of playing together as WAZU, the duo performed seven shows in six nights at the Top 10 “Best of the Fest” Festival at Toronto Indie Week 2010. “We showed up planning to play three shows, but [we] kept winning!” Shortly after, the band performed as part of the CMJ Festival at Lower East Side staple The Living Room, the Neon Reverb Music Festival in Las Vegas, and the Dropout Party at Don Hill’s in NYC. In the past few months WAZU made the Top 3 of the Deli Magazine’s Year End Best of NYC poll for emerging artists in 2011 and the EP has earned the band glowing reviews and promising mentions in In-d Scene UK, Some Kind of Awesome, and Alfitude, to name a few.

Catch WAZU at one scheduled shows listed below, and be on the look out for WAZU’s debut LP, also produced by Kevin McMahon, Summer 2012.

4/22: Magic Rub Cassettes Event in Atlanta, GA
4/29: Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn, NY
5/3: Bugjar in Rochester, NY @ 9pm
5/8: Boardner’s “Kitty Kitty Bang Bang” in Hollywood, CA
5/24: Deli Magazine Best of 2011 Festival in Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sirah Interview

Sirah originally caught my attention with her standout performance on the title track of Skrillex's last record, Bangarang. After digging a little bit, I discovered that the indie "hip pop" artist had recently dropped a mix tape, C.U.L.T., filled with catchy hip-hop infused, dancing-ready pop. I just had to know more...
For the latest info on Sirah and to download her mixtape, check out

You have such a unique tone and flow,  do you remember the moment or period when you really felt like you had found your voice?

I feel like I really came into my own and found what it was I wanted to do musically about three years ago. I'd been an "underground" rapper for four or five years, I knew I wanted to branch out and work with a different medium. I didn't know what that meant at the time but I found my producer Mighty Mike and we started making pop based, melodic, singy rap, it was the same me, just a different side, happier music.

Who are some artists that you are currently finding yourself drawing inspiration from?
What I go to for inspiration always changes, I've been listening to J Cole, Drake and Macklemore a lot. I love Neutral Milk Hotel, Joni Mitchell, Juicy J, the Weeknd, I pretty much love everything.

Your current mixtape C.U.L.T. is generating a good deal of buzz. How long had that mix tape been in the works? What was the idea behind giving it away for free?

I got back from NY in December and the whole team figured dropping a mix tape would be the best way to go, it didn't take long to pull in together, we made most of it within two weeks. Giving it away for free only made sense, I released my first super rap project when I was about 19, then I had random pop stuff online and weird gully show videos, then the Skrillex features, everyone who stumbled upon me was confused so I wanted to give everyone something that better connected the dots.

Is there a specific track on C.U.L.T. that you are really proud of? A track that really surprised you with its outcome?

I think C.U.L.T. is more of an over all project, better as a whole. I don't listen to one song without listening to the whole thing. My favorites on it vary, but right now I would probably go with 'Motel Bible' and 'Blew Your Mind.'

I see that you are currently in the studio, are you working on a new LP or EP? If so, when can fans expect to hear it?

I'm generally always in the studio. I think I'm making an EP, I have no idea what kind of time frame we're looking at but I just want to have a solid body of work and keep creating new material.

How does the writing process normally pan out for you?

It really depends. Sometimes it looks like me in bed with copious amounts of coffee, sometimes it looks like I have a death wish as I attempt to record voice notes while driving cause a melody pops into my head. When I work with my producer it's seemingly flawless. We'll finish two to four songs in a session, write and record them.

Are you a continual writer, or do you find yourself writing in spurts?

I write every day, that could even be an understatement. It's obscene.

You are featured on the self-titled track from Skrillex's acclaimed album, Bangarang. How did the collaboration come about, and what type of impact has the success of that album had on you?

Skrill has been one of my best friends for about 6 years. For Bangarang he called me and asked me to record 16 bars and record them into my computer, so I did so in bed. Kyoto was the same idea, he was in town, he hit me up and had me go to his hotel the  Kyoto Grand to write and record, he recorded me into a snowball mic into his laptop. It's always way easy to work with Skrillex and always organic. If we planned for something I doubt it would ever happen.

What kind of advice would you give to an independent artist, just starting up?

To any indie artists out there I would suggest asking yourself if you really have the heart to work for years without getting paid, tour 362 days out of the year, and if you could have people break down what you've made and who you are publicly, get up and do it again? I made this happen by showing up to every show, forcing my way onto the bill, booking my own tours, living in my car or at train stations when car-less, eating top ramen, and never giving up no matter what.

Tell me a little about how Trill Talk Tuesdays came together?

There's less than three degree's of separation between all artists and scenes in Los Angeles. So many people I came up with have branched out and forged into different genre's and scenes so I wanted to highlight some of the local talent and shed light on who I'm watching live, when I'm not in the studio.

How important is social media to an artist like yourself?

Social media is SO important to independent artists, its the platform that makes all things possible.

What are you up to next?

Trying to step up my social media game. I'll forever keep making the music I hear in my head.

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

Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusef Islam

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gungor Interview with Michael Gungor

With each release, Gungor breaks barriers by creating honest, heartfelt music that explores many topics including faith, struggle and love, while still providing listener's with a unique sound. Their on-of-a-kind sound is a direct result of Michael Gungor's hodge-podge musical background. Drawing from genres as vast as the differences between jazz and contemporary worship music, Michael and Lisa Gungor intrigue listener's with their lush orchestral arrangements, while inspiring them with deeply honest lyrics. Ghosts Upon the Earth, the couple's first conceptual album, takes listeners on a wildly emotional ride from creation to the fall, making many stops along the way. The album is breathtaking from start to finish, earning the duo's third consecutive Grammy nomination. For more news on the band, including tour dates, check out their website: 

I recently had the opportunity to see you perform in Atlanta, and I am curious what you aim for people to take away from a Gungor show?
Gungor: one of the things I love about art, is that it can say number of things to people. I broad hope is that it would just open people's hearts and that they would experience love, and that that would experience God. That is kind of the broad picture that we stay on, but what I love about those moments is that those broad things can speak individually to everybody circumstances and everybody's day-to-day lives. So as far as what they come away with, I just hope they come away with something that something to them. But during that process, I hope that they feel little bit more human, little bit more alive, little bit less stressed. Just connected to God, to each other and to life.
Ghosts Upon the Earth is a beautiful conceptual album, was that the initial intent. Did you write with the overall picture mind?
Gungor: For Ghosts Upon the Earth, yeah. Not all of the songs were just written for the album, but they were the songs that were chosen for the album and fit the structure and the narrative. We came to the table with like 50 songs (laughs), and we had some songs that we really liked a lot, but didn't really fit the Direction of the narrative that we were trying to tell.
Do you think those songs will ever surface?
Gungor: Oh yeah! I hope so.
With Ghosts Upon the Earth, what would you like for listeners to take away from the album?
Gungor: The same kind of thing, as the live show. To me, there were a lot of things that we intended to communicate like the story of creation, the fall, redemption and recognize the beauty of life. I hope that people see those things and pay enough attention. I hope that as art, it speaks beyond those things. I hope that those become symbols for more specific stories in their own lives. When they see hear “Let There Be,” they are not just thinking of literally the creation moment, but places of darkness in their own lives and need order where there’s chaos. I hope that it acts as it should and speak specifically, even when it's broad.
You recently wrote a pretty lengthy blog about “Christian” music and how it compares to the “secular” label. What do you feel is the main difference between the two? Do you feel like there's a main difference?
Gungor: To me music is music. A person of faith, a person that calls themselves a Christian, they are the Christian and they make music. Some music has more to do about God than other music, but in reality what makes the difference between “secular” and “Christian” music is simply a marketing channel. That's all it is, people that have labeled something a certain way to reach a certain demographic. To me genres were always an imaginary things, they're just marketing channels. I do think that Christians will make music that oh should have some of the grandest visions of why we should create music and why we should seek to create beauty world. The whole idea of worship being associated with music, it gives you an impotence to make art that is true, that is honest and that opens the human heart to God and to reality. I feel like sometimes we do a good job with that, and a lot of times we don’t. It's hard to make a living in music, so a lot of times in the arts it's safer to kind of fit into a box. It has a better chance of giving you a living (laughs). If anyone should have a reason to not be afraid, to move beyond the expectations of culture, that is kind of the whole message of Christianity. You don't have to be afraid, even death itself does not have power. In Christ, everything is becoming new, everything is different. So I think that if we really believed what we talk about, our music wouldn’t be affected by that.
You mentioned marketability just now, do you see this changing future? Also, what are some things that you guys are doing that are unlike your “peers?”
Gungor: I think everybody is different. We are trying to be ourselves, and other people are trying to be themselves. We all share commonalities with each other, but all of us have different thumbprints. We all have our own unique things. I think I’m just trying to be myself and write songs that are honest. That's what I hear in artist’s that I like. I don't want everybody to try to sound like something; I think that God has given us each unique talents and passions. The things that come out of me will be different than my neighbor, because I have a totally different set of relationships, totally different set influences and personality traits. Specifically what are we doing different? You know, I kind of grew up a guitar nerd and I tried to figure out how to shred on an acoustic guitar as a kid (laughs), while listening to jazz or whatever. So that is kind of a different thing and my church background, growing up with worship kind of the ground that I learned how to play music from. Those are all odd ways of growing up, compared to most people, so I think the music has plenty of uniqueness in that.
Who are some people that you look up to, what music industry as a whole?
Gungor: This one guy that I really like is Sufjan Stevens, who is a person of faith and to me his art truly speaks out of that. Nobody really puts him in the Christian music category, and to me a lot of the songs are “worship,” and explore faith and the hard issues a lot more than some “Christian” music does. There is a songwriter named David Bazan, and he writes lament unlike anybody I've ever heard. If you read the Psalms in the Bible, it is full of dark, lament, “where are you God?” and “why have you forsaken us?” I don't see it that much modern Christian music. I think that lament is a worthwhile endeavor, both biblically and theologically. There is something to the honesty of it, the desperation of it. There are other songwriting people that are inspirational to me. Musically, it's all across the board. I listen to my iPod on shuffle for the most part (laughs), and listen randomly.
Also in the blog post you discussed the importance of meaning what you say as singer-songwriter, do you think that in some “Christian” music this is not the case?
Gungor: It feels like to me. With this blog a lot of people misunderstood what I'm trying to say. I'm not one to call out an individual and say “I don't think that is honest.” Who am I to know what is in their heart while they are singing it? But, do get this general sense of BS, not just in Christian music but also in a lot of Christian culture. There is a lot of pretending that everyone is perfect, nobody is really going through much. Looking out at a Church congregation, 25% of those women have been sexually abused to the point where it really makes a significant impact on their lives. 80% of men are addicted to pornography. People are just a pain, people are broken, the like were not. Over the last tour me but did a bunch of shows in clubs. Most like a borrowed totally empty at a sold-out show, and I'm thinking “how many of these people really don't drink versus they're just pretending they don't drink because there a Christian event?” This kind of overall sheen that I've sensed in Christian music, in Christian culture, or whatever. Are we really as positive thinking as our music sounds like we are? Do we not really struggle with anything deeper than a couple of lines of angst before the rescue happens? That plastic layer makes what we say we will believe pretty irrelevant to actual life. If we can’t be honest, then what are we even doing? I hope that it's more than the music. I hope that the expression of our faith in our culture, that we have people that step out more and more and honesty and acknowledging the truth about it all. Again, I don't want you to think that I’m calling on individual artists, saying “this person this fake and this person is not.” I do get this feeling that people can be more honest.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Branches Interview with Front Man Tyler Madsen

Cliche one to start it off. How did the band originally assemble?

We all met a few years back while attending Azusa Pacific University, a small private school in the suburbs of L.A. Our first two years were marked by late night sing-alongs and bonfires...after a few years of singing other people's songs in our living rooms and around campfires, we realized that we really enjoyed making music together and so, with a handful of songs we'd each written under our own names, we got together and played a house-show of sorts at a friends' apartment. After that, we were hooked on playing with each other.

Your brand new album, Thou Art The Dream, has been generating a great deal of buzz? Have you guys been blown away by the reaction from listeners?

Putting out an album is a crazy thing. We had been playing some of these songs since our very fist show, and had been working on them in the studio for nearly a year before they were released. By the time we released the album, we had become so comfortable and familiar with the songs that we had forgotten how new and exciting these songs would be for our friends who had never heard them. Our fans have never been shy about voicing their affection for our music, and the last few months have been no exception. It's really made the whole process so much more rewarding.

What would you like for listeners to take away from this album?

Musically speaking, we hope that these songs give an indication of what else is to come from us and that our first two EPs were just the beginning for us, but more than anything, we want the people listening to this album to hear in it a message of hope. From the first song we wrote as a band ("Dust and Light") to songs we have written in the last few weeks, the consistent message we are working in to our songs is one of hope. Hope for what could be, hope for what is to come, hope in ourselves, hope in each other, and hope that one day, everything everything will be as it should. As Aaron Weiss of mewithoutYou puts it, that "He'll make right what man made wrong, bringing low the hills, that the valleys might be filled."

How did the writing process pan out for this album? How did it differ from your previous works(Cabin and O'Light)?

Thus far, our three recordings (four, if you include the Merry Christmas EP) have all been entirely different processes. With O, Light!, we were just getting started, and so we picked those 5 songs from a limited pool of material that we had pretty much shaped and arranged as a result of our live experience. With Cabin, we arranged and recorded all three of those songs in one weekend. With TATD, we had dedicated a little over a year to its process, so, one instrument at a time, we pieced it together until everything fit. There were so many sounds and parts and ideas that didn't make it into the final product due to how much time we had to sit with the songs and figure out exactly how they needed to sound. If we had been forced to put this album out in a month or two, we would have had an almost entirely different sounding end product. In the end, time changes everything, I guess.

Thou Art The Dream features the perfect balance of upbeat and slower tempo songs. Was this an intentional action? Specifically, I am curious how "Helicopter," "In Your Eyes" and "Going Home" came together(so incredibly catchy!)...

Thanks! Ya, it was definitely intentional. Not that we sat down and said, "OK, we need one more upbeat song to round out this album...let's write one real quick", but we definitely took that idea into consideration when it came to track listing and song selection, and in some cases, made minor adjustments to arrangements and transitions to give the album a natural movement from fast to slow and loud to quiet. With thirteen songs, we were excited about the possibility of branching out into different sounds and styles and expanding the sonic parameters that people may associate Branches with. Especially considering songs like "Letters", "Lullaby", "To The Desert", and "Going Home", side by side, this album felt like a stretch for us. We knew this full-length was an important opportunity to define our sound, and so we enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with new instrumentation and styles while staying true to the sound our listeners have come to expect from us.

Thou Art The Dream features a wide array of instrumentation, was that a goal for you guys? Or did it just come together that way?

In the broadest sense, yes, the use of unique instrumentation has also been a characteristic of our band. Since the first time we stepped into the studio together, we’ve gone out of our way to have fun in the sound-making process. That said, it's a little bit of both. We usually have an idea of what sound we’re looking for, but some of our favorite sounds in the recording process have happened as total accidents. That’s definitely made the studio a fun place for us to be. 

With multiple strong vocalists, how do you guys normally decide who leads in a song? Trial and error?

Yes and no. There's some songs that definitely have come together that way. For instance, we first recorded "Humming" on the O, Light! EP as a banjo-guitar duet where I sang lead vocals. When we decided to re-arrange it in full-band instrumentation, we thought it may fit better with Nat at the helm. We tried it once, and were sold. Other songs, like "To The Desert" or "The Inventor's Daughter", for example, were written from the perspective of multiple characters and were arranged with both Natalie's and my own voice in mind for different parts.

How do feel your faith impacts your music?

We all grew up in Christian homes, we've grown up in and around the church, we even went to a private Christian University together. So even though we made the conscious decision to not label ourselves a "Christian band" (which is another interview in itself) the music we are making comes from those convictions and beliefs. We don't sing what we don't believe and we don't write about anything we haven't been through. It's easier that way. But like I said before, whether we mean to or not, the songs that are coming out of us are songs that come from the truth we've experienced. And what we've experienced in our Faith is that there is always hope. 

You guys have been putting out a number of "cover" videos lately. What kind of positive feedback have you received thus far?

That's been a really fun outlet for us. It gives us a chance to be consistently putting out material, and gives our fans a way to stay connected with us on a month to month basis and to be able to chime in their suggestions for cover videos. It's been a great way for people to discover us who are looking for covers of their favorite songs and stumble on ours. It's also given us a chance to start some good conversations with total strangers about our music, instruments, locations, or whatever. All in all, it's been a great little experiment. We've taken a break from this "Cover of the Month" campaign for the last few months as we've released TATD, and this month we've asked our fans to submit covers of our songs instead, which has been super fun...but we'll be back to it after this round of submissions is up.

How important is social media for you guys?

It's everything, really. People are always talking about how the music industry just keeps changing, and it's true. The kind of access we can now offer to our listeners and they can offer to us is totally new, and I think everyone is still trying to figure out all the potential that lies in the different uses of social media. But to put it simply, it gives us a way to communicate with our listeners frequently and conveniently and to stay tuned in to find out what they want from us. In this DIY age, it's our number one tool for marketing ourselves, and we've been blessed with a group of listeners that shares our online presence generously with their friends and followers.

I am continually fascinated by the idea of Noisetrade, and I see that you guys chose to give away your first single("Helicopter") through the site.Where did you get the idea, and have you seen a direct impact thus far?

We were looking for an efficient and credible way for us to give away our single as a means to promote TATD, and experimented a few months back by giving away our Merry Christmas EP. Noisetrade requires that fans trade an email address for a download, so it gives us a way to track how many people have heard our stuff, and how to keep them in the loop on future news. It's a great way to balance out the growing trend of people expecting a free product by giving the band something of value (namely, an email address) in return. We've loved Noisetrade and will use their platform for any free DLs we decide to do in the future.

What can people expect when they come out to one of your shows? What would you like for them to take away?

More than anything, when people come to sing with us, we want them to have fun. We want them to be reminded that a concert is not a place for people to come and stare at a group of untouchable, unreachable rock stars, but a place to come and experience something beautiful and fun and magical together. We want them to be entertained, to hear great music, to fall in love with a song or two, to meet us, and for us to meet them, to hear some bad jokes while Tyler tunes his guitar, and to leave feeling more full of life and hope than when they walked in. If we can find a way to achieve that, then we will have done our job.

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

Well I can't speak for the whole band, but recently I've been listening to The Year of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon. I know it came out like six months ago and I'm totally late to the game, but whatever. It's an amazing record. Other than that, anything by mewithoutYou or Death Cab is generally a pretty safe bet.