The Riff Rag - October 2021

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COVERING LOCAL MUSIC IN COLORADO

l ta tion r! i g Di crip /yea bs $12 u S y l on

Vol. 7, No. 12 October 2021

SemiFiction Plus: • Riff Anatomy • Tales From the Board

False Report

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Publisher

Anthony Welch Contributors

David Zahara

Vol. 7, No. 12 OCT. 2021 theriffrag@gmail.com Facebook.com/theriffrag SemiFiction

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False Report

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Riff Anatomy

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Tales From the Board

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In loving memory of Chris “Sizzle” Forsythe

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DavidZahara@yahoo.com or call 719-337-3594. PAGE 2

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COLORADO SPRINGS

SemiFiction The Riff Rag

The Riff Rag: Where is the band based out of, and who are the members? SemiFiction: Hello! We’re SemiFiction from Colorado Springs! We are comprised of Danny Solis-Earnest (guitar/vocals), Braedon O’Shea (drums) and our friend Steven Dorr Jr. is currently playing bass for our live shows. On our recordings, bass was performed by Joshua Bandy. RR: How would you describe your music? SF: We have a hard time nailing down what our sound is as we try to just play what comes naturally and what sounds good to us. Our audiences have describes us as post hardcore with math rock and indie/alt rock influence. RR: How did the band come together? Danny Solis-Earnest: SemiFiction started as Braedon and I playing together for fun. I worked at Guitar Center at the time and Braedon, and I would always talk about shared musical interests when he came in. Originally, we both jammed on guitar but eventually Braedon wanted to get a drum set since he hadn’t had one in a few years. I kept playing guitar and we just kind of played for fun for the first year since we couldn’t find a bass player. Our friend Bandy eventually offered to jam with us around September of

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2019, and that’s when SemiFiction really started. Unfortunately, Bandy had to step away for personal reasons in the summer of 2020, but not before finishing writing parts to the new EP we’re currently recording. Our friend Steve (who plays in Emerson Bailey) was willing to learn our stuff and fill in for live shows. RR: What are your musical influences? DS: Our musical influences are fairly broad but me and Braedon’s favorite band is probably At The Drive In. Braedon is also heavily influenced by bands like Sparta, and From Indian Lakes, as well as more indie stuff like Tycho. He also drums in local doom band Worry, so he is used to playing loud. My musical influences are kind of all over the place but I love bands that showcase good guitar work as well as good songwriting/lyricism. While writing our newest EP I was listening to bands like Delta Sleep, DIKEMBE, Pool Kids, Foxing, TTNG and a ton of other stuff. Our heavier parts were more inspired by bands like The Fall Of Troy, William Bonney, La Dispute and a bunch of other early-2000s stuff. RR: What’s the subject matter of your lyrics? DS: Our first EP, “For Your Health,” felt more like a collection of individual songs that lyrically touched on a lot of different topics. We had a couple songs talk about

winter, a couple were about space, or the ocean or just personal conflicts. There wasn’t one general theme on that one. It was more so a collection of everything we’d written thus far. I went pretty literal when naming it. “For Your Health” signified this feeling, or need, to put something out and see it through from start to finish. We gave ourselves a deadline and worked to meet that instead of focusing on perfection since the purpose of these recordings was just to have something to show venues so we could start booking shows (but COVID put a stop to that in March of 2020).Now we are working on recording a new EP and this time around I’m allowing myself to take a bit more time so that it feels more like a cohesive vision. On this new EP each song uses imagery from the seasons and shows the continuation of a feeling told through different perspectives (if that makes sense). It has a general theme of goodbyes, and while it’s not a perfect concept album, it’s as close as I’ve gotten and it definitely feels more cohesive as a whole. RR: Where is your music available? SF: Currently only “For Your Health” is streaming but you can hear some of the new materials on the different live streams we’ve done including the ones we did on my personal Facebook and our Twitch, as well as our feature on CO Local. We’re working

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SemiFiction / from page 4 hard on getting that finished and hope to have a release date soon. We also have a single that we’ve written and started recording that our friend Bea, who filled in on bass for a few months before moving to Ireland, helped us write and that will be releasing soon as well. Once those are finished they will be available to stream or purchase, same as “For Your Health” on all major streaming platforms including, Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, etc. I think it’s even on YouTube.

Down

RR: Do you have any upcoming shows? SF: Currently, we just have one show booked for January with our friends in MNMLST, Long Last, Castele, and Atlas Below, on Jan. 21, 2022 at The Black Sheep, but definitely keep an eye on our social media pages because we’ll almost certainly have others between now and then. As of late we’ve been playing about two shows a month, mainly here in the Springs, but we just played out first Denver show on Oct. 14 and are trying to branch out to more cities.

2915 E. Platte

RR: Where can people find you online? SF: Anyone interested can find us on Instagram @semifictionmusic or Facebook SemiFiction (one word). We also have a Twitter (@semifictionband) and a Reddit (SemiFictionMusic) but we don’t use them as often. Instagram is definitely our current main platform. Better yet, for a link to all of our social media, streaming, ticket sales and relevant press articles people can check out our link tree, https:// linktr.ee/semifictionmusic.

719-636-1149

andysmeat market.com Nov. 4 - 7 p.m. Lesser Care, Destiny Bond, Moodlighting, Back Of A Car party Nov. 5 - 7 p.m. I Don't Know How But They Found Me Nov. 6 - 8 p.m. The Backseat Lovers, Branson Anderson

Oct. 21 - 7 p.m. KBong, Johnny Cosmic, Flowmads

The Guise of a Demon, Arctic Origins, Goat Hill Massacre

Oct. 22 - 7 p.m. Strung Short, Ozonic, Series Break

Oct. 30 - 7 p.m. Jarrod Gipson

Nov. 12 - 7 p.m. Every Time I Die, '68, Candy

Oct. 31 - 6 p.m. AFighting the Phoenix, Long/Last, MNMLST, Flesh Digest, Falter Never Fail

Nov. 13 - 7 p.m. Tantric, Lamb Bed, Sending Skyward

Nov. 3 - 7 p.m. Devin the Dude, D-Stylz & High Key, VR$E, Stoney Bertz, D-Talkz, Neph'tune

Nov. 16 - 7 p.m. Volumes, Varials, UnityTX, Kingsmen

Oct. 23 - 7 p.m. Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, Wendy Byrd Oct. 24 - 6 p.m. Doll Skin, Gymshorts, Killed in Cali Oct. 26 - 7 p.m. Golden Dawn Arkestra Oct. 29 - 7 p.m.

Nov. 10 - 7 p.m. The Wrecks

Nov. 14 - 8 p.m. The Emo Night Tour

Nov. 18 - 7 p.m. Red Not Chili Peppers

Visit our merch store!

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COLORADO SPRINGS/DENVER

False Report The Riff Rag

The Riff Rag: Who all is in False Report False Report: Chris Martinez - guitar/vocals John Bueno - bass/vocals Alan Andrews Jr. - guitar/vocals Joe Bruno - drums er?

RR: How did False Report come togeth-

Alan Andrews Jr.: We formed False Report in 2016 after my old band The Photo Atlas disbanded. RR: How would you describe the music you play? AA: I describe our sound as emo punk rock. Our songs are all different but within those parameters. Joe Bruno: It’s a tough question, but I’d say it’s emo for adults. A lot of our crowd tends to be people in their 30s and 40s who like Weezer and Radiohead. RR: What are some of the band’s musical influences? AA: I draw influence from my favorite musicians (including my friends), literature,

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the times and my experiences. I like a lot of the songwriting from 90s alternative rock all the way to modern emo or pop punk bands - anything with real passion and energy that doesn’t sound like they’re just trying to sell a hook. JB: My influences range from older styles and structures in bands like The Beach Boys and the Police to more modern stuff like Weezer and Motion City Soundtrack. For me it’s always been a focus on the drummers that make songs good rather than complicated but bonus points for both. RR: How many recordings do you have out? AA: We’ve got our fifth EP coming out in November - “Don’t Lose Track,” and I feel like it’s the most diverse songwriting I’ve ever done. RR: How have you kept busy as a band during the pandemic? AA: During the pandemic, we wrote our new EP by sending tracks back and forth. JB: We figured out how to send demos on our phones together and build the songs like a weird group art project. We’d normally write together in a room but this time

everyone sat with parts alone for a couple weeks but that’s how we built the material for our new EP. RR: When you write lyrics, are they fiction-based or reality-based? AA: My lyrics have always been stories that are similar to situations I’ve experienced but aren’t the actual experience. I tend to write a serious lyric, and then I’ve gotta make fun of myself for how serious it is with the next lyric. They also correlate with books I’ve been reading. That’s just the way I like art. RR: Where can people find your music online? AA: All of our music is available on all streaming platforms! JB: Any streaming service you can use I imagine! Our distributor puts us on all the big ones worldwide.

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RIFF Anatomy Find Dave Zahara on YouTube to see accompanying videos to his Riff Anatomy columns! Warmup Shapes

By David Zahara

T

his month we take a look at sequencing licks. This is part warm up and also can be applied to anything you want line wise. The warm up section is going to use the same phrase shape with three different patterns. These patterns should be really familiar to you by now. I will take each shape and move from the first fret up to the 12th fret, then start the next shape at the first and rinse and repeat. Once you are through the three shapes you have covered a lot of ground for your fret hand and should be warmed up. The next section takes those sequences and arranges them using the minor scale so we get a bit more musical mileage out of the idea. You can adapt this sequence to any mode or tonality you like though so don’t stop there. <sequenced minor> Enjoy! Till next month! David Zahara has been playing and studying music for more than 25 years. Some notable bands he’s been in include Last Supper and AnaDies. Currently, you can catch him playing live with Goya (facebook.com/ goyaband) and Triggered.

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Sequenced Minor

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Tales From the Board

Publisher's note: I wouldn't be the musician I am today if it weren't for my dearly departed best friend Chris Forsythe. He was the big brother I never had. We shared the same passion for everything that it means to be in a band. His enthusiasm and encouragement led to me coming out from behind the drum kit to be a front man and a guitarist. When I started The Riff Rag in April 2013, he was quick to jump on board as a columnist. After his passing, I re-printed his columns in the new, magazine print format. Since The Riff Rag has gone digital, and we're expanding to all of Colorado, I figured his columns deserved an encore performance. And I want to continue to keep his memory alive. As I say at my shows, let us have a moment of loudness for my friend in the heavens.

G

reetings Riff Rag readers. It has been a crazy month here Colorado to say the least. Seems like Mother Nature won’t give us a break. Times like these are when the music community comes together. Prepare for plen-

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ty of benefit shows to aid the flood victims in our fine state. It will be a long, difficult process, but we will rebuild. As promised, this month I have some stories from other musicians in the scene. These tales come from three well-respected and beloved musicians I have ever met. Let’s get to it.

Luke Blanton- guitar/vocals Murder Hat (Editor’s note: currently in The Sleights) I was 22 years old still living in Wisconsin in 2002. My band at the time was called Johnny Two Pump. Somehow we booked a gig opening for Vanilla Ice in Duluth, Minn. in January. It was very exciting at first. Did a few interviews, took a few pics etc. The venue was a huge sports bar on the harbor in Duluth and it held 1,600 people. The show sold out. It got even more exciting when we arrived on the day of the show and received our backstage laminates. Cool! Unfortunately all the glorious food back stage was not for us. No Dr. Peppers for you guys! Still having fun, we got ready to get on stage and were pretty nervous.

By Chris Forsythe

I remember telling some really stupid joke to calm the drummer down. We went on and played our first song great. It was then that I realized a pop punk band may not have been the best opener for a white, 90s rapper. The 1,600 confused faces stared back at us. At the end of our set we had won over a number of them. Not the best gig. Not the worst. But pretty damn weird. And I still have a bitchin’ signed Vanilla Ice shirt somewhere. Steven “Huck” Huckaby - vocals Inelements (Editor’s note: currently in Letters from the Sun)

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Tales From the Board / from page 12 First time out on tour as direct support for national act we were setting our gear up to play in Tempe, Ariz. The crowd, made up of about 700, was so excited to see the headlining band, that they thought we, the unknown Colorado Springs band, were the set-up crew for the popular headliner. I learned this when I let myself off of the stage. I was between the stage and the barricade and in speaking distance of the front row of rock show attendees. I was asked “are you the new guitar player?” Right then I realized these people don’t have any clue we are going to play right now. Filled with joy, we played our asses off to a stunned crowd who had no idea what they were in for. Needless to say we sold a lot of CDs and T-shirts, reminding us that rocking out and having fun playing YOUR music can be better than any hype of being well known. Mike Stephens - vocals Bullet Head, The Men of Deep Throat (Editor’s note: currently in Firework Insurance) Every year Red Rocks has a night where they show movies. The cool thing is they ask

two local bands to play before the movies are shown. In 2003 (I think), my band at the time Against Tomorrow’s Sky was making a little noise in Colorado. So, along with Denver’s Hemi Cuda, we got invited to open the Red Rocks Film Festival. Stoked. Hemi Cuda was the headliner so they played on the main stage. We played on stage located on the upper part of the amphitheater. Granted, it would have been cooler to play the main stage, but who cares. We got to say that, technically, we played at Red Rocks. We started our set guns blazing. Three songs in a veritable monsoon blew in. I’m not kidding. The wind and rain almost blew me over a couple times. I can honestly say I have never see a storm hit so quickly and ferociously in Colorado. We kept rocking. I felt so tough. Playing at Red Rocks, rain water pouring down on us and on our instruments ¬– nothing was going to stop us from finishing our set. Nothing except the sound guy. In the middle of our set he pulled the plug because thousands of dollars of equipment

was being destroyed, ours included. No biggie. We got backstage passes and got to experience the full Red Rocks backstage green Room experience. I remember feeling so humbled sitting on the green room couch, looking at the walls that were carved into the rocks, and thinking about how many of my heroes had been in that room – U2, Tom Petty, The Beatles. It was a pretty cool night. I hope you enjoyed these stories as much as I did. It’s funny, I spend many hours of my life sitting around venues sharing experiences with other musicians, and yet I had never heard these three until they were sent in for this column. That’s the joy of being a musician. The memories you make will last a lifetime. They are every bit as important as the music you make. Get out there and make some of your own! Until next time, be on time, in tune and tip the sound guy. Originally published in September 2013.

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