YOUNG BLOOD | CANDY HEARTS | DALE AND THE ZDUBS | YELLOWCARD
DEREK SANDERS OF
A SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS MUSIC ISSUE: #6 JANUARY 2013
Rachel Bergen Editor/Layout/Co-founder Kaetlin Fehl Co-editor/Layout/Co-founder Facebook.com/DownloadMag
Contributing Writers Juliette Vella, Rachel Sandler, Drea Rose, Crisanne Glasser Contributing Photographers Vivian Teng, Shane Lopes, Crisanne Glasser, Veronica Siegel, Audrey Lew
CONTENTS DOWNLOAD MAG | JAN 2013
24 Derek Sanders
14 Young Blood
6 Candy Hearts
12 City Arts Festival
34 Dale and the ZDubs
SET IT OFF Photos: Crissy Glasser
AARON GILLESPIE of
The Almost Jammin Java - Vienna, VA PHOTO: Rachel Bergen
Mariel Loveland of
CANDY HEARTS PHOTOS & INTERVIEW BY RACHEL BERGEN
OST PEOPLE WOULD ARGUE
that being in a pop-punk band is a lifestyle made for guys; the lifestyle, the language and a large majority of the music has for such a long time been run by males – until now. Front-women Mariel Loveland of Candy Hearts proves boys wrong and we sat down to talk with her about it. Loveland sings vocals and plays guitar in a fairly new band called Candy Hearts. “I think our music is a little bit pop-punk a little alternative and little bit pop. We draw a lot of influences from 90’s bands like the Gin Blossoms and Jawbreaker but we also draw a lot from bands that are out now like New Found Glory and stuff like that.” Ironically, one of the bands that Loveland mentioned as one of their bands biggest influencences, recently invited her band to come out on tour late last year. New Found Glory – the epitome of pop-punk, took the band out to open on their 2012 Sticks and Stones headlining tour alongside The Story So Far from Walnut Creek, California. When asked about the tour, Loveland said “Its been awesome so far, I cant really ask for much more,” 8 with a smile beaming from ear to ear. The tour dates
were among the largest shows her band had gotten the opportunity to play for in their entire carreers. We caught up with the band at their PA stop in Philadelphia at The Theatre of Living Arts. The crowd reacted really well to Loveland’s band and she agreed, saying she had “good vibes” about the crowd. Loveland’s favorite song to play live is called “Miles and Interstates,” it’s one of a few songs where she gets to take a lot of breaks from singing to just jam out with her band on stage and move; the crowd really enjoyed that aspect as well. Aside from playing hometown shows, she argued that Philadelphia was her favorite date on the tour. Loveland’s dad grew up right outside of The City of Brotherly Love and being in town reminds her of him. “We’ve played in Philly a few times, and I’m always nervous to play here because I feel like it has bad luck. Nothing bad has ever happened to our band or regarding anyone because all our shows have been awesome, the people here are awesome and we have so many friends that live here – its always awesome and a lot of fun, but something weird always happens regarding me. I have no idea why, I cant explain it. It just is what it is.”
Prior to the show, Loveland and a bunch of the guys on tour went around the corner from the venue to pick up classic cheesesteaks from Jim’s, one of the cities favorite cheesesteak locations. “I’ve never had a real cheesesteak before, the guys always get one when we come here but I’d never had it before,” she said. She gave me a thumbs up and said she enjoyed the cheesesteak – I’ve yet to come across somebody who doesn’t. Being on tour with a band as popular as New Found Glory, we couldn’t help but ask if they’d stepped aside to give her and her band any tips or words of wisdom regarding the music scene. “I’m constantly learning about things from them. I can’t think of anything specific but they always give me bits of wisdom here and there whether its like about saving your voice or things that are cool to eat in different cities, stuff like that,” she said. But being on the road with New Found Glory is not Loveland’s first experience with the band. In fact, lead singer Chad Gilbert found Candy Hearts, and helped them get to where they are today. “He definitely found us. I never feel comfortable asking other musicians like ‘Oh check out our music, you’re in a band!’ So he definitely hunted us down pretty hardcore – not like in a weird way though. I sent him the demos when he asked for them and he liked them a lot so we decided to work together and it was great,” she said, “I feel like he understands how I work because I work in a not very laid back environment when I record. I feel like he was a good mediator between me and my band which is very laid back, “ Loveland explained. Soon after, the band recorded and EP with Chad, and it’s out now. “The EP we recorded with Chad. We flew to LA and we had initially the shells of some songs – which I had arranged with the band before I left. From there we went into the studio with Chad to put the finishing touches on it and decided how we were going to do each of the songs. So, we did that and then we recorded it and it was really fun. I really feel like everything came out even better than we thought it would.” As for new material, Loveland says she’s got a couple things up her sleeve, but nothing really solid yet. They haven’t come up with any full songs yet but they’re working on it. Now that the Sticks and Stones tour has wrapped up, we can look for new songs/singles in the near future. Candy Hearts’ song “Bad Idea” was featured in Kerrang Magazine’s top 250 songs of the year 2012 alongside bands such as fun. As first Loveland wasn’t sure how legit the list was, but after her mom told her to check it
out, and a fan tweeted her a picture, she thought it was really cool. What an honor! The last thing we talked about was the fact that most females in the music industry who front a band of men, usually get thrown into the same cookie-cutter category of “Female fronted band” yet their sounds are completely different. “I don’t really mind,” Loveland says, “I like when us girls stick together and stuff because I think we need to. But I guess it’s kind of annoying to automatically assume like ‘Oh they sound like Evanescence or something like that, this is absolutely nothing like us. But usually the bands that we’re compared to are all similar.” Look out for Candy Hearts in the future, we can only predict positive things in their future and hopefully a whole lot more touring.
CHAD GILBERT of
New Found Glory The TLA - Philadelphia, PA PHOTO: Rachel Bergen
PARKER CANNON of
The Story So Far The TLA - Philadelphia, PA PHOTO: Rachel Bergen
City Arts Fest Photos & Review by Vivian Teng
Once again, City Arts Fest returned for four nights of music and art events around downtown Seattle. The lineup featured local acts such as Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Ravenna Woods and Motopony. Reignwolf, Blind Pilot, and Two Door Cinema Club were among many of the other bands on the lineup. The shows took place in several notable venues, the laser dome and secret locations revealed moments before each performance. St. Lucia opened the show at the Showbox where fans formed a crowd, dancing along with the songs. Motopony, who took the stage after, clearly drew a crowd of their own. They shared the stage with a special guest. They were joined by another local familiar face, Noah Gundersen who helped play guitar, melting the hearts of fans. Following this act, Brooklyn's very own, Friends played their set. They greeted the crowd with fun and colorful outfits paired with sunglasses. They danced around all night, both on stage and with their fans. Lead singer, Samantha Urbani spent much of her times against the barricade, energizing the crowd. The house really started filling up as the stage was being set up for the indie-rock trio, Two Door Cinema Club. Moments before they took the stage, smoke filled the front of the room, lasers beamed across the heads in the crowd. Finally, the boys of Two Door Cinema Club appeared, bringing loads of energy along with them. Opening with their most recent single, â€œSleep Aloneâ€?, the crowd sang their hearts out along with them all the way through their set and into their three song encore. City Arts Fest, once again, drew a large crowd of all ages and fans of numerous different genres. The city is definitely looking forward to the return of this festival in the years to come.
INTERVIEW: KAETLIN FEHL PHOTOS: KAETLIN FEHL & RACHEL BERGEN
DOWNLOAD MAG: INTRODUCE YOURSELVES AND YOUR POSITION IN THE BAND YOUNG BLOOD. CHRIS: Hello, I'm Chris and I play guitar. BEN: My name is Ben and I sing. JOEY: I'm Joey and I play the guitar. COREY: Hi I’m Corey and I play bass. BRYAN: I’m Bryan and I play drums. DOWNLOAD MAG: YOU ALL CAME TOGETHER AS A BAND JUST LAST YEAR. HOW DID YOU ALL MEET UP AND HOW LONG HAD YOU ALL KNOWN EACH OTHER PERSONALLY, PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE BAND YOUNG BLOOD? CHRIS: Me and Joey have known each other for a very long time. We’ve known each other for maybe four or five years now. We just sort of got together and started playing guitar. BEN: And then they found me from the grace of God. JOEY: No. Ben was a friend of a friend and that was pretty much it. We had a coffee meeting or coffee date and asked him if he wanted to [be in the band] and he heard the tracks and basically just fell in love it. It was love at first sight. BRYAN: And they say if you like something put a ring on it, so I did. DOWNLOAD MAG: WHAT'S THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE IN YOUR HOMETOWN OF ROCHESTER, NY? CHRIS: It's a very small world. JOEY: There is no other band like us in Rochester, NY. DOWNLOAD MAG: HAS THAT BEEN TO
YOUR ADVANTAGE? BRYAN: A little bit of both I would say. BEN: I think it's made us try a lot harder to break out of thisCHRIS: Form that's been there BEN: Yeah, exactly. Like what works in the Rochester music scene, we've kind of just broken out of that. It's made us try a lot harder to be a successful band. CHRIS: People that would come to our shows wouldn't necessarily come to everyone else's shows in the area. It's a different fan base, what we've got going on than some of the others. JOEY: Rochester has an over-flooded metal scene. DOWNLOAD MAG: HOW'D YOU GUYS COME ABOUT GETTING BOOKED AS A HEADLINING BANDS ON THESE SHOWS WITH YELLOWCARD? JOEY: Our manager. He worked his little tuckus off. CHRIS: Thankfully. Thank godfully. JOEY: He knows people, who know their people. He just knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy. And here we are. CHRIS: Got in touch with a booking agent and kind of went from there and they set everything up. It's been amazing. We are beyond grateful to be here and this tour is really incredible. DOWNLOAD MAG: GOING INTO THE NEXT QUESTION, YOU'VE BEEN ON THIS TOUR FOR ABOUT TWO DAYS NOW. HOW HAVE THESE TWO DAYS BEEN FOR YOU ALL SO FAR? I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THAT YOU JUST DONT WANT IT TO END. JOEY: It's been awesome. CHRIS: It really is incredible. BEN: I think the first day was like a real learning experience and you know now we're kind of figuring out where we belong and what we're going to do as a band. CHRIS: Yellowcard is a group of amazing guys.
JOEY: It’s been good. BRYAN: The response has been awesome. JOEY: Very good. That was probably such a vague answer. BRYAN: I think that goes along with the other question you asked before about the Rochester scene. DOWNLOAD MAG: HAD YOU GUYS PLAYED Like our single is something different, it's something ANY REAL 'MAJOR' SHOWS BEFORE GOING ON that people weren't really expecting to hear so that THIS TOUR HEADLINING FOR YELLOWCARD? response has been very positive for people to kind of JOEY: I mean, we've played with bands like The Ataris hear something a little bit more refreshing and new. and a lot of other great acts. CHRIS: It's a lot different than all of the other bands CHRIS: New Found Glory we also played in that we've been apart of before Young Blood and in Rochester, NY with and that was really cool. our hometown. People didn't really know what to JOEY: Four Year Strong as well. Yeah, we've played expect before we released it because we're all kind of with a lot of great bands of all sizes and all genres, but from different genres and completely different areas in Yellowcard has been one of our favorites so far, for the music scene. We came together and we made this sure. song. CHRIS: They’re definitely one of our favorites. I think BEN: Yeah, I think it was we all sort of like we everyone here grew up listening to Yellowcard so came from such different musical backgrounds. For that’s unreal to us. example, I was more into Indie music, Bryan was more into hardcore, and the other two came from DOWNLOAD MAG: YOU RECENTLY RELEASED more of the pop thing so people honestly weren't YOUR DEBUT SINGLE 'LITTLE VICES.' HOW really sure exactly what to expect from us. HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN TO THAT SONG SO CHRIS: We were definitely ROCK bro. What are you FAR? talking about? They've showed us nothing but respect so far and it's been really awesome to be a part of this tour. Words can't even begin to describe how amazing playing shows like this is. BEN: Yeah, it's definitely been a learning experience.
JOEY: Maybe more like 80's glam rock. I was into Nirvana as well, and Michael Jackson too. BEN: But yeah – people really weren't expecting what we put out, but I think it went over really well. CHRIS: People were pleasantly surprised I would say, which is awesome. DOWNLOAD MAG: SO ARE YOUR FANS GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET THAT SONG? CAN THEY DOWNLOAD IT ONLINE OR WILL THEY BE ABLE TO PICK UP A PHYSICAL COPY AR ONE OF YOUR SHOWS SOON? JOEY: Yeah, after we get back we immediately go right back into the studio, but we will be putting this song and another song called “Chemicals” up on our Bandcamp; so that will be for free download. We are just giving to the people and giving the people what they want, for free. BRYAN: It's YoungBloodCult.bandcamp.com JOEY: That's good, I didn't even know that. CHRIS: So it'll be up there. BEN: Not only does [Joey] do drums, but I guess he remembers things.
SOMETHING ABOUT 'CHEMICALS' ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE RECENTLY. IS THAT GOING TO BE SIMILAR TO THE SONG YOU JUST RELEASED OR NOT? BEN: Actually not at all, I think what's really great about this demo is that we kind of went in two completely different directions with it. They are kind of polar opposites actually. But as far as playing it live, it's gone over really well. People who’ve heard it have really liked it. CHRIS: It kind of gives a full spectrum of what we're about, musically. I suppose it'll help people get an understanding of what kind of band that Young Blood is. JOEY: It also leaves the door open to any other possibilities that we might come across. So if we want to go off one way on an album or on a couple songs, people won't be completely confused and thrown off and asking things like 'Where did they pull that out of '?' or 'Why are they doing that?' We can be openminded musicians if we want to be.
DOWNLOAD MAG: WHAT DOES THE WRITING PROCESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU DOWNLOAD MAG: SO YOU GUYS MENTIONED GUYS? RUN THROUGH IT FOR US. IS IT A
COLLABORATIVE EFFORT OR IT IS MORE ONE-ON-ONE? CHRIS: I think it's a little bit of both again. If anyone in the band here has an idea we'll kind of work on it and bring it together so we can all kind of collaborate on it and add our two cents in. Then we work from there and decide what's best for the song and the band as far as keeping it or just tossing it out. It’s a lot of late nights. BEN: We're very open about everything. When we were in the studio doing the demos, everything I recorded I asked, you know, 'Is this what everybody wants?’ Or ‘Is this something that we're going for?' We're not opposed to anything. We really kind of just do whatever we think and agree is best for the songs. CHRIS: A band is a group. It is a band of brothers. We don't like to make it seem like it's a dictatorship or anything like that. DOWNLOAD MAG: DO YOU GUYS HAVE A PLAN FOR AN EP OR AN ALBUM SOMETHING IN THE NEAR FUTURE? ARE
YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU'D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT? JOEY: Yes. BRYAN: Absolutely. JOEY: Yes, we can't say more though. DOWNLOAD MAG: NOTHING? CHRIS: Nope, it's a secret. JOEY: All in the works, we will see. You will see. DOWNLOAD MAG: ANY OTHER BIG PLANS? WHAT DOES THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR 2013 HOLD FOR YOUNG BLOOD? JOEY: Yes, we’ll be doing lots of touring. BRYAN: We’re going to take over the world. JOEY: Rock & Roll will take over the world. DOWNLOAD MAG: What's your take on illegal music downloads? JOEY: They're robbing from us, but whatever. I'm just playing. BEN: I think it can work in both ways. We either make money off of the music that we make or we get more people to like and listen and hear about
our band and our music. Again, it goes both ways. I'm not opposed to either way though. CHRIS: If you like a song, get it wherever you can get it or buy it wherever you can pay for it. If the fans like it, that's all that really matters to us. JOEY: They can make it up to us by coming out and buying a t-shirt at a show. BRYAN: YEAH! JOEY: They can rip our whole album off the internet, I don't really care. Just let our music spread. BRYAN: Exactly, the more people that know about our band and our music, the better it is for us. JOEY: Rip it off-line and then just come to a show of ours and buy a t-shirt in exchange, shake my hand and I will forgive you. DOWNLOAD MAG: Any last words? JOEY: We love you. CHRIS: Thank you guys.
"A band is a group. It is a BAND OF BROTHERS. We don't like to make it seem like it's a dictatorship or anything like that." 21
Derek Sanders of
Mayday Parade Photos & Interview by Kaetlin Fehl Story by Rachel Sandler
We caught up with Derek Sanders,
the lead singer of Mayday Parade earlier this year. The band had just finished up their co-headinling fall tour alongside Arizona based band, The Maine and are settling down for the holidays/the new year. Since the band is done touring, for this year at least, they have the chance to be with their families, away from all of the chaos that comes with being on the road. No matter how much they love touring and recording, it is always difficult to be away from families during the holiday season. “We've always been home for Christmas. I mean we've gotten home right before and left right after Christmas. But we've always been home for the holidays itself. We miss Thanksgiving a lot, we missed Thanksgiving this year. You know, it sucks, but it happens. You've just gotta not worry about it too much. We're pretty used to being gone a lot,” said Sanders. After the holidays, however, Mayday Parade intends on getting right back to writing and recording another album. “That's kind of the plan, it's just to finish out the touring for this cycle for the year and then start working on the next album,” said Sanders. Part of the process for making their new album obviously includes writing. Mayday Parade prefers to write on the road and positively benefits from being together, no matter the location. They wrote their last album in a beach house in Florida, their home state. This allowed for the band to be secluded in a sense, and it worked. “I kind of feel like we come up with ideas while we're on the road. And then as far as writing together, as the whole band, it's nice to just be together somewhere kind of secluded. Whenever we were writing the last album, we went to a beach house in Florida that was about an hour away from where we live. We spent about a month there, kind of away from everything, no distractions, and pretty much wrote the whole album there. I really enjoyed doing that and I think we'll try doing something similar to that in the future... I don't think it matters so much the location, just as long as it's the five of us together, alone somewhere where we can just spend time working on it. For us, it didn't really matter that we were at a beach house. We only went down to the water like twice the whole month that we were there. We were there in January so it wasn't like nice or anything. It was just to get kind of away somewhere and be isolated. So I don't think the location really matters so much,” added Sanders. As far as content is concerned, the band prefers to make albums organically, seeing where the music takes them.
While this doesn't include much planning, the result is undeniably fantastic, as shown by their previous records. Although you shouldn't count on Mayday making any huge changes with this next album, you should count on the band growing and maturing. When compared to their first album, Tales Told by Dead Friends, which was written when Sanders was only 19, the band has clearly grown, both as musicians and as people. “I wouldn't say any major changes, we'll see how it goes, but we don't really plan for too much of anything. We just kind of write and see what comes out, you know... we wrote and released that album [Tales Told by Dead Friends] when I was 19 and I'm 26 now so obviously we've grown up a lot. We've all grown as musicians and as a band and even as friends. So I think we've gotten better, I hope. Playing together and writing together, the whole deal. But the goals is still the same, we just like getting together and writing music and then going and playing it. We're so grateful that we have that opportunity,” stated Sanders. While this new album is going to be recorded under their current label, ILG, the band has had some controversy in the past with different labels. Most notably, Mayday Parade had some creative differences with Atlantic Records. As we know, the major label approach is not for everyone. “We did just one album with Atlantic, which was our second album Anywhere But Here. We didn't really like the major label experience as much, just because they required a heavier hand with the creative side of things. Like they wanted to make these decisions that we thought the band should make. Really in the long run, in that situation, we had to kind of compromise a whole lot to make that album.We weren't as stoked about it and we weren't as happy with it, so for the next one, the self titled album that we put out a year ago, we were on ILG, which is kind of a long story on how that happened, but anyway it's more of an independent label and they let us do whatever we wanted which was really awesome. So we did that album that way and we'll continue to do it that way in the future. We want to be in charge of things like what songs make it on the album and how they sound and everything. It's just kind of weird, most bands end up going through it at one point,” said Sanders. Mayday Parade has unquestionably been through a lot since they were 19 and wrote their first album. Whether it be dealing with record labels or being away from their loved ones during the holidays. The band is determined to do what they love, making music, and they're determined to do it in a way that puts the music first.
DEREK SANDERS of
Mayday Parade Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA PHOTO: Rachel Bergen
JOHN Oâ€™CALLAGHAN of
The Maine Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA PHOTO: Rachel Bergen
All Time Low The Hustler CLub 5 Year Anniversary Show The Recher Theatre - Towson, MD Photos by Kaetlin Fehl
Anarbor Ace of Spades - Sacramento, CA Photos by Veronica Siegel
REVIEWS BY CRISANNE GLASSER
ALBUM: INFAMOUS ARTIST: MOTIONLESS IN WHITE WE RECOMMEND: "DEVIL'S NIGHT" "SYNTHETIC LOVE" "PUPPETS 2" RATE: 4/5
Day after day I’m constantly asked what band inspires me the most. And every time my answer is the same – Motionless in White. After Motionless’s release of Creatures back in 2010, I instantly fell in love with the lyrics and message that the band gives off. So naturally, I was beyond stoked to hear that they were finally releasing another record called Infamous at the end of October. The first time I listened through the record, I was definitely a little disappointed. It’s definitely a record that you need to give a chance and go into with an open mind. In really no way did the record sound anything like Creatures. But the band took a new approach and went with a more industrial feel. After a few listens, I grew to truly love the album almost as much as I loved Creatures. A few of the songs that really stuck out to me on Infamous were “Devil’s Night,” “Synthetic Love,” and “Puppets 2.” “Devil’s Night,” is the current single off the album. It starts off with a single guitar riff that intertwines with an almost creepy sounding keyboard, giving off a dark Halloweeny vibe. The band definitely picked the right song to be the first single of the album. The keyboard continues throughout the entire song, peeking through right after the chorus. You can also tell that Chris’s screams have gotten a little bit deeper with this album just by listening to this one song. “Puppets 2 (The Rain),” was a song that stuck out to me because it sounded a lot like it came off of Creatures. It’s got the heavy guitar riffs, the enticing drum beat, and the perfect balance between rough and clean vocals – Everything that Motionless is really known for. Since “Puppets,” is my all time favorite Motionless song, I had a very high standard for part 2, and I really wasn’t disappointed. “Synthetic Love,” shows off the more industrial influences that Motionless took with this album. It starts off with loud instruments and low vocals, almost as if Chris is whispering or talking to himself, which was definitely a cool change to the music that Motionless usually puts out. As the chorus kicks in, the vocals get more intense and almost overcome the instruments that are being played and during rest of the verses, the vocals go back to being very soft, giving off the feeling that Chris is talking to himself. While this album is definitely no Creatures, it’s still a really well written album. Although you may have to give it a few listens before really forming an opinion on whether you like the album or not, I definitely recommend any previous fans of Motionless or even fans of bands such as Slipknot to give it a listen.
BY JULIETTE VELLA Singled Out is a melodic pop-core band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 5-piece act is currently unsigned, with Alex Muhich on vocals, Austin Pilarski and Justin Persgard on guitar, Mitch Sheppard on bass and Drew Bart on drums. From the get-go of Unfamiliar Faces, I think that the majority of people who haven’t listened to Singled Out (ie. myself) will hear that the band use the overrated punk-hardcore method for making an album. You can take a few breakdowns, heavy guitars and as much screaming as possible and you’ve got a generic hardcore album; easily praised in this generation of music. Despite the mediocrity in Unfamiliar Faces, some tracks on the album do rise above in terms of lyrics, instrumentation and overall creativity. Seven, the fourth track, is one of these that became less of a boring, hardcore song for me. In the song, Muhich talks about. The song also includes a highenergy breakdown that one might hear in a mosh pit at Warped Tour.
ALBUM: UNFAMILIAR FACES ARTIST: SINGLED OUT WE RECOMMEND: "SEVEN" "THROUGH THESE EYES" RATE: 3.5/5
The last track, Through These Eyes, is the only acoustic track on the album. It gives a very distinct, solemn ending to the LP, and is the best track overall on Unfamiliar Faces. This is because it makes the album less generic and branches it out to a wider audience. For me, this album is very hard to come to terms with. On one hand, Unfamiliar Faces isn’t anything special. It’s the same thing that A Day To Remember and other punk-hardcore bands are doing, and if you're a fan of either one, you'll likely be a fan of this. On the other hand, it’s not like this album is trash. Tracks like Seven and Through These Eyes give the album more meaning, creativity and also makes the album stand out from the punk-hardcore crowd. I would definitely recommend at least recommend giving this album a listen.
HAVING A GOOD TIME IS NOTHING NEW TO DALE AND THE ZDUBS; RE DRAGON COSTUMES TO HANGING UPSIDE DOWN ON A PLAYGROUND WHICH IS CERTAINLY A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN THIS SCENE. WE CAUG 34
ECENT WINNERS OF JAMMIN JAVA'S MID ATLANTIC BAND BATTLE. FROM D, THESE GUYS DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO TAKE THEMSELVES SERIOUSLY, GHT UP WITH THEM SHORTLY AFTER THEIR TRIUMPHANT VICTORY. PHOTOS & INTERVIEW BY KAETLIN FEHL
DM: Introduce yourself and your position in your band. JUSTIN: I'm Justin. I play the guitar a lot. The rest of the time I carry all the equipment and I set it up and I play the mandolin or the bass when Sean's not here. ALEX: I'm Alex and I'm the drummer and I leave immediately after our concerts are over. DALE: I'm Dale and I sing songs and I play acoustic guitar. SEAN: I'm Sean. I play bass. ERIC: I'm Eric. I sing songs. I play some harmonica. I do what Justin tells me and that's about it. DM: When did the band originate? ALEX: 2011. ERIC: Yeah, it was the fall of last year. DM: How'd you guys come together as a group? Did you already know each other? DALE: We didn't like each other in high school and now we're using each other to try and not have to get real jobs and play music. ALEX: Mostly. DM: How'd you come up with the name for the band? DALE: Really it was going to be anybody and the ZDubs and we all put our names in a hat and we drew names and I got lucky. ERIC: It's Dale's dream and we're just living it. DM: Who/what was your biggest inspiration when you were first coming together as a band? DALE: I always wanted to be able to play guitar like Justin Masters, that's our guitarist, that's pretty much it for me. JUSTIN: Can you have an inspiration for the band that's in the band? DALE: Sure, why not. JUSTIN: That works. We all like different music so this is sort of like our common ground. I really like Rascal Flatts for instance. ALEX: I like Allen Stone. SEAN: I like Sublime. DALE: I love Lady Gaga. ERIC: I was gonna say the same thing. JUSTIN: Lady Gaga is very appropriate for us. ERIC: I like Britney Spears. I like a little Backstreet Boys.
DM: When did you guys decide that you were going to participate in the Band Battle at Jammin' Java? JUSTIN: That was Alex. Alex found it. ALEX: One of my friends played it a couple of years ago. We figured that if we won it would really help us with our album and stuff like this, so we went for it and we brought more people than anyone else so that was awesome. DM: Did you all instantly agree that playing in the battle would be a good idea or was there some talking first? JUSTIN: I think we had a little bit of a discussion because we're trying to record an album and we didn't really want to play shows while we were recording. ERIC: But then we saw how much the prize money was. JUSTIN: Then we were like yeah, we need to do this. ALEX: We thought if we win it will be awesome and if we don't win, it's going to be terrible. DM: Favorite memory/experience from the Band Battle? DALE: I liked when the dragons came out. JUSTIN: I liked it when I stepped on my chord and unplugged my guitar in the middle of my guitar solo in the first song. I plugged it back in though, with my foot. I was pretty impressed with myself. ERIC: I think everybody singing along to our song was pretty awesome. DALE: That was cool. That was the first time that that's happened to us. ERIC: People were chanting our name and singing along to our song, it made us feel really cool. DM: In your eyes, who was your biggest threat/competition in the Band Battle? JUSTIN: I thought Flux 180 was really good. DALE: I thought Western Affairs was awesome, the 3-piece electronic group. ERIC: I thought in the first round, that band that was the last band was awesome. The metal band. DALE: Yeah, there were some really awesome bands. It was definitely an honor to come in first because we thought that the other bands were kick ass.
JUSTIN: Flux 180's Purple Rain. Oh my god. ALEX: That was that band? God they were so awesome. I was cheering for them. JUSTIN: They also had way bigger muscles than us. ALEX: But they were so good. JUSTIN: And that dude had way better dreads than you too, Dale. DALE: Who doesn't? JUSTIN: I don't discriminate if you're local or not. I feel like I might actual be more harsh on local bands before I buy their CD. DM: Where did the whole dragon theme come from? Is there any story behind that? ERIC: Dale's a freak. DALE: Alright, so half of the band, we kind of found this like fury club and it's kind of shameful, but we're proud because it's who we are. Sunday afternoons, downtown Columbia there's just this great group. We meet up and we get in costumes. ALEX: I have no idea what the fury club is. DALE: I don't know. But yeah, we take it from there. BUT also, we have a song called â€œBearded Dragonâ€? and that's a euphemism for something, but we figured we'd give it like some literal transparency, if you will, and get some real dragons. JUSTIN: I don't think any of them had a beard though. DALE: Also we just thought it'd be really cool to get some dragon costumes you know and like hang out in them.
"We all like different music so this is sort of like our common ground"
ALEX: They were only like $1,000 each, shipped from mainland China. It was a bargain. JUSTIN: Our accountant in the band, Justin whose also my inspiration, he's not completely happy with how all of the money's being spent, but we went ahead, and by we I mean I, went ahead and bought the dragons anyway because I thought that they would be a really good thing for the fury clI mean our vibe. ERIC: And now you'll see them in every photograph that we ever take, and every concert we ever go to. DALE: We're not gonna retire them. They're going to be here as long as we're here. JUSTIN: They'll be here until they break. DALE: We're losing pieces anyway. JUSTIN: We lose pieces. We just wanted to support the Chinese economy. ALEX: Yeah, it's really struggling. DALE: That's exactly why we bought them. DM: How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? JUSTIN: Wacky. Regular. Normal. ERIC: Awesome. JUSTIN: Alternative. ERIC: Weird. DALE: I'd say funk, pop, reggae, rock. SEAN: Weird.
ALEX: Normal. JUSTIN: Jazz. DALE: There is no fucking jazz. JUSTIN: Calypso. DALE: There is zero jazz. JUSTIN: A little blue grass. Keltic maybe. Appalachian mountain music. ALEX: We have one funk song, one Dave Matthews song. DALE: Basically our lack of narrow genre is just transcendent of our lack of self identity. We don't know who we are and what we're doing and you can hear that in our music. JUSTIN: Is that a real sentence? ALEX: I think we're reggae-rock, if you really had to pin it down. ERIC: There's definitely some funk in there though. DM: What do you believe sets you apart from some of the other local artists in the area? DALE: What sets us apart? Our 19 year old, Filipino bass player. JUSTIN: We're just trying to have a good time. DALE: I think what sets us apart, honestly, is everyone's really physically gyrating their bodies during the set. SEAN: We're passionate. JUSTIN: That's what he was trying to say. DALE: We gyrate, that's the difference between us and
ALEX: We do gyrate. DALE: Do we really? I do. ALEX: I gyrate. DALE: I see you gyrating over there. JUSTIN: I don't know if gyrate's the word. SEAN: It's a good word. DALE: Did I say gyrate? I meant quiver. ALEX: I think you meant gyrate. DALE: We quiver with fervent. JUSTIN:Yes, that's exactly what separates us. DM: You said you were working on a record. When do you hope to have that out? JUSTIN: Before we die. Seriously though, probably a few months from now. ERIC: We're hoping Spring. DALE: Spring of 2014 maybe. DM: Are you working on a full length or an EP? JUSTIN: Yeah full length. We've got 12 songs that we're recording, hopefully we use all of them. We didn't finish them all
yet so we don't quite know what's going to happen. Then we're also going to record a single that we also won a prize with the Band Battle. DALE: We're recording a single with renowned produced, Jim Ebert. We're really excited to work with him, that was one of the prizes with Jammin' Java. We're gonna record a new song we just wrote and we're really excited about that. We're gonna do that in November/ December. We're putting a lot into our album. I think this next album will either be like alright here we go, this band's really doing it or I'm gonna move into my mom's basement. JUSTIN: There's a light at the end of the tunnel. DM: What's your take on illegal music downloads? ALEX: NO. JUSTIN: We're all about it until we don't continue as a band because we can't afford it. ALEX: I'm not for it at any point. JUSTIN: I buy CDs still, people don't
believe me when I tell them that. ALEX: I buy CDs. JUSTIN: I have to like it though. If I'm not sure, I don't buy it. DALE: Local bands that we go and see and that we really like, I buy their album because I want to support them. JUSTIN: I don't discriminate if you're local or not. I feel like I might actual be more harsh on local bands before I buy their CD. DM: Any last words? JUSTIN: Just do you, guys.
"Basically our lack of genre is transcendent of our lack of self identity."
PHOTOS & FEATURE BY: RACHEL BERGEN
Yellowcard is a band and a name that has grown to be extremely well known in today’s music scene. This pop-punk/rock band hailing from Florida (currently residing in CA) has been in the game since the late ‘90’s. They took a small break and came back together a little over two years ago when they decided to play music and tour again. Their dedicated fans have stuck around and given them a reason to be back together. I could count the number of Yellowcard concerts I’ve attended on at least two hands and every time I’ve been fortunate enough to attend one of their shows I’ve noticed that the fans have no problem letting themselves go. In fact, very few times do the members in the band on stage actually have to remind and encourage their fans to get excited and participate in the songs. These excited fans take the initiative and come to each and every show ready to have the best time of their lives. Very rarely do you run into a fan at one of their shows that doesn’t know every lyric to every song. The band took the stage for their second show of the 2013 year at The 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Their set list consisted of a good mix of old and new songs. Prior to playing their song “Surface of the Sun” off their newest album Southern Air,” front man and guitarist Ryan Key screams, “I want to see everybody dancing – here we go.” The fans danced and the music played. The record Southern Air is one of the main reasons why the band is touring right now, and had previously toured – for the promotion of this album. Before starting the song “Rivertown Blues,” also off their most recent album Southern Air Key asked the crowd if this was anyone’s first show of the year. A majority of the hands in the room shot to the ceiling and the crowd roared. The band thanked the crowd for allowing them to be their first show of the year and asked if the crowd could help hem out by performing the first circle pit of the night. A small circle directly in the middle of the venue opened up, and the crowd ran counter-clockwise. “This circle pit is your cardio for the night,” said violinist Sean Mackin, “We don’t want to discriminate because we want all of the ladies to get involved [in the circle pit]. If somebody falls down you pick them up. Okay? Lets do this.” The circle gradually started to get bigger and Mackin said, “We need more people. I see what’s happening here, but we just need more people.” With that, the next song began. “It’s a great night for a rock show, isn’t it?” asked
Key, “We put out a record in 2011 called When You’re Through Thinking Say Yes, and we’re going to play a couple songs from that record,” he paused as the crowd roared. “One of those songs, this next one, serves a very specific purpose in our show. So, ladies and gentleman if you have not already started to – It is time now to begin losing your voices. If you wake up tomorrow morning and you can say “Hello” or “Good Morning” to anyone – then you did something wrong.” Without fail, the crowd sung along to every word. Partway through the song, Key said, “I would like to hear you sing it, with me, as loud as you can.” The fans followed through. Nearing the middle of the bands set, it became apparent that Sean Mackin’s stage left fans had become louder and more aggressive than the other half of the crowd, for whatever reason. “I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but as a musician, I like to have everything in balance – so if you guys on this right side could step it up a little bit,” Mackin joked, “I don’t know if you wake up in the morning and you say ‘Hey I’m going to be P. Diddy’ or whatever your going to do, but now you want to be like them,” Mackin points to stage left, just in front of him, “Just be like them, that would be awesome – you look good – just be more awesome.” Before playing Southern Air, the last song on the bands setlist, Key asked, “Is Washington DC part of the south or part of the north?” The fans reacted with both answers, yelling their responses. Key laughed. “I just heard no,” said Mackin. “North? South?” Key asked, “Wow, you guys are quite divided,” he said with a chuckle. “This guys like ‘No fuck that,’ no,” says Mackin as he points to a fan in the upper balcony who seemed to be sarcastically offended by the question. He believed DC to be in the Northern part of the US map. Key let the crowd simmer down and said, “I mean, its kind of in the middle, isn’t it?” The crowd seemed to have come to a majority consensus that the district was in fact part of the north. “Well my question wasn’t really designed to rouse you, I just wanted to let you know that our band is from the south,” The crowd cheered in approval. “I don’t know why I just thought of this because this is a total tangent from what I was planning on talking about but have you guys ever heard of the Cartel song “Deep South?” Its’ one of my favorite songs,” the
crowd laughed at the random topic of Cartel, and Key continued on, “They have a new record coming out by the way – I heard it’s really great – so save your money. I’m stoked for those guys. But my point was not to talk about Cartel, even though I’m excited about their new record. My point was to tell you that we have a record called Southern Air and it’s a really important record for Yellowcard,” Key went on to talk about the album. “We took a couple of years off – we had kind of a tough time at the end of ’07 going into ’08 and we were pretty unsure of the future of our band. We wanted to just step away from it for a little while and see what happened. We’ve come back together and we’ve made a couple records and it’s been an amazing fucking ride,” Previously in the show, Key told the crowd that he was sure the show was close to selling out, but still hadn’t received the final word. Most fans would have argued that it was sold out, judging by how packed the venue was. “You know, again, I haven’t gotten the final word on whether or not this show sold out tonight but I know it was really fucking close. Last time we were here we didn’t sell out the show and that means more people are coming back to hang out with Yellowcard and that’s amazing. Every bit of this record we wrote about where we’re from, why we began this journey in the first place, letting go of all the negative things in our lives while staying positive and moving forward – that’s what our band is all about. That’s what we try to give to all of you with our music.” As the band began to play Southern Air, the title track off their most recent album, Key said, “You know this isn’t a get wild and crazy song, this is just a hang out, sing along, bang your heads together song. We’re really proud of this record and we really appreciate all the love you guys have given us with supporting us these last two years while we’ve been back to touring and making records again. Thanks so much for being here, we’re Yellowcard and you guys have been absolutely the most fun to hang out with in a long long time. Thank you so much – it’s been a great night.” Although the setlist ended with “Southern Air” the band came back on stage after many chants and claps from the crowd and played three final songs. Before leaving the stage for the final time, Key left the crowd with the following words. “We have quite a year planned for ourselves and for you. It looks like we’re going to be touring through the end of the year – through December. We have 42 a lot of shows left to play. After tonight, there will
be a high recommendation that we return to Washington D.C. because we have something special planned for you this year. I can’t give you any clues, because you’re going to have to figure it out on your own. Sooner or later this news will be revealed and we hope your minds are blown. And I hope we get to come back and present this wonderful gift to you. But until then my friends – thank you so much for everything you have given our band these last two years since we’ve returned to making music together. Thank you for having us here tonight and thank you for everybody’s smiles and to you for having as much fun as we’ve had tonight. This was a fucking amazing show. Thank you guys so so much. We’re going to play one more song so give it everything you’ve got left.” If you get a chance, check out the boys on the current tour and look out for their big news in the remainder of 2013!