Broken Records Magazine
Broken Records Magazine
Broken Records Magazine
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Broken Records Magazine
Magazine Volume II/ Issue 3
33 38 Just Kait 12
Breaking Benjamin 38 Love & Theft 43
page 52 cover photo by Scott Vollweiler
Broken Records Magazine
VOLUME II/ISSUE 3 Owner/Editor-in-Chief Photos, Layout Design: Scott Vollweiler
Assistant Editor: Nicole Seblano
Associate Graphic Designer: Paul Seach
Kristin Tully: Ray White Gerard Ucelli Marie Scarsella Kayla Oâ€™Neill Joshua Kail Kyra Kverno Luis Vazquez Paul Seach Janine Scamardella Lindsay Shapiro Rene Mata Alaura Christine Chtistina Seblano Mikel Schardt Jill Bednar Ray Decker Diana Sonis
Departments Warm Is
Broken Records Magazine is published by Broken Records Publishing. Broken Records Magazine and all its subsidiary companies are governed under state law. If youâ€™d like to intern for any of the Broken Records companies, please email us @ BrokenRecordsMagazine@yahoo.com All Logos are used with permission and are owned by the respective artists. Broken Records Magazine prints every 2 months, 6 times a year. To see more photos or to purchase other copies please visit us at: BrokenRecordsOnline.com
Unsigned Spotlight 60 5
Broken Records Magazine
Meet New Buzz Artists
WARM UPS NEON TREES Feeling Like an Animal
Neon Trees has developed several habits, no pun intended. Forget it, it was intended. This just happens to be the name of the debut album of a killer Indy group, Neon Trees. They are based out of Utah, but they are traversing the country and making a name for themselves. A return to innocence is the silent mission of this foursome which includes Guitarist Chris Allen, Branden Campbell on Bass and Elaine Bradley on drums, and lead singer, Tyler Glenn. Tyler mentioned that his participation in theater and singing in church began the process for him. Writing was a weapon of sorts and his friendship with Chris Allen took these two childhood neighbors from California to Utah. “We lived around the corner from each other. Brandon was from Las Vegas and Elaine from Chicago. Chris and I went to school in Utah. I sort of followed Chris because I wanted to play music with him. I kind of distracted him from school. We kept on playing and here we are.” The origin of a group name is usually a great story in itself. Tyler did not disappoint. “We were at a rest stop that had Neon Palm Trees. We wanted a cool band name. Neon Palm Trees sounded cool. At the time it did not fit the vibe of the group. It never happened because it was one of our High School shenanigans.” The creation of the album was a labor love to say the least. The job of paring down sixty songs to a manageable level is hard on a professional front but more
By Luis Vasquez
on a personal level. “We had to select a few songs from a large amount that we had written. It’s hard because you get attached to a song, what you put into it. Its gets you excited that there are other aces in the hole.” Music is like a religion to Neon Trees, especially Tyler who is a spiritual cat at heart. It’s is the source of his pain and his ability to express himself with the band through their music. In that sense their music is their religion and they have many followers. “I am a believer and my talent is to show the world through music equates to a higher power. I take religion very seriously. It is a spiritual thing no matter. It’s in your soul at least that’s what I feel. You make a statement.” Neon Trees is releasing the album, “Habits” on March 16th, 2010. They will be touring and looking to see their fans face-to-face, the way they prefer. Tyler Glenn has a simple reason for playing music. “I want to see Neon Trees write songs that the world sings. Hopefully we are able to do that.”
Broken Records Magazine
Taking Back Sunday Reunites For Fifth Studio Album Taking Back Sunday’s fifth studio album promises to be a change from the normal, and by that I mean it will be back to how things used to be. It has been announced that Adam Lazzara, Eddie Reyes, and Mark O’Connell have reunited with John Nolan and Shaun Cooper and are currently in L.A. Recording. This would be the first time since 2002 that all five original members of the band have worked together. Nolan and Cooper had left the band in 2003 and for all intents and purposes never expected to return. Nolan summed it up the following way: “I never would have imagined that this group of people reuniting would be possible. Since we parted ways we all went down very different paths and somehow everything we’ve experienced individually over the past seven years has brought us back to a point of genuine appreciation and love for each other as people and musicians. There’s a shared excitement and enthusiasm within this group that I haven’t experienced since the early days of the band.” As for bassist Matt Rubano and guitaris/vocalist Matt Fazzi, they have left the band with kind words and best wishes for all sides with a generic statement from the
Taking Back Sunday website that talks about remembering where they were headed and open futures and best of luck. Much like you would tell a small child that their dead dog is now at a special farm upstate. Whatever the truth of that departure is, for the time being only those involved really know. As for this new future of Taking Back Sunday, Lazzara brings up an interesting point. “Given the history and the years that had passed, I don’t think any of us really knew if hanging out again let alone writing and playing together would actually work. For it to feel so comfortable and effortless so quickly made us realize that we had to give it a chance.” It has been a long time since Cute Without the E dominated play lists, and time has moved on for everyone involved, the band, and the listeners. Will Taking Back Sunday really be able to recapture the sound that established them in the first place? Well, we will not have to wait until that fifth album comes out as there are plans for “a handful of preview shows in the near future.” And while these almost certaintly will take place within a short travel distance from the studio, word of the quality of those shows should spread rather quickly.
Broken Records Magazine
By Janine Scamardella
Just a year ago, 2AM Club was performing in a sleepy Massachusetts town to a crowd of three drunken fishermen, now they are just off the festival circuit performing at Virgin Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW. Their new single, “Worry About You,” will be available for purchase and download on May 10th. Broken Records Magazine sat down with the pop band before their single release party for “Worry About You” at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City. Their first album What Did You Think Was Going To Happen? (RCA Records) drops on July 27th. They have a loyal following on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter and their devoted fans leave comments daily and these comments are answered by the band. “We use Facebook to establish a relationship with the fans.” It kind of evens the playing field where normally before in the past with acts, there’s a wallbarrier built up. It gives fans an all access pass to what we’re up to. Back in the day, there were just band DVDs, interviews, and the hope they popped up on MTV. We constantly interact with our fans.” 2AM Club describes their music as “Smart Pop.” What is Smart Pop music? According to the band, it is a new take on pop music; one in which guitarist Matt says avoids clichés such as “I love her-she loves me” type of lyrics and focuses on more original lyrics. “Our music is just intelligent pop music,” band member,
Dave describes. “It’s fun to dance to and also fun to sing-along with, but it also music you can think about, enjoy and let it hit you on a deeper level.” Tyler, the band’s singer, further elaborates, “We’re writing dance music, fun music; music you can have a good time to but we always tried to keep in our music- the craft of lyric writing that we really care about. While performing in Providence, RI, the band experienced one memorable event on stage that bassist, Sauce, will never forget. “I got food poisoning right before the show,” Sauce said to begin his grizzly tale, “We made it through three songs and all of a sudden I just started to lose plot and thought I was going to faint. I looked down at the set list and saw that we had like six more songs. I remember looking up at Ian and thinking we have to cut a few songs; I can’t make it through all of these. Then I put my bass down and ran off stage. I didn’t even make it to the bathroom. I puked on the dance floor in a trashcan. They only played one song without me.” Drummer, Ian describes that missed song as “the loneliest song we ever played.” 2AM Club wants it to be known that they are not a manufactured group. “We’re literally a group of six guys that came together to make music and this record, we wrote it almost 100% percent ourselves.” Matt clarifies “It’s a 2AM Club thing. It’s a 2AM Club organic record written by six guys that are buddies.”
Broken Records Magazine
By Gerard Ucelli
Rains’ Front Man discusses tour with Evans Blue, “Liar” and more There are several bands that are able to take the radio by a few singles and then fall under the radar. For the band, Rains, they had some major success on the indie scene and now releasing their new album coming out in April and touring with Evans Blue. Jeff Rains will always feel like Stories will be a prime connection. “The album is basically a collection of events that happened in my life over the past few years. I felt the need to do something different than what’s happening in mainstream rock today by putting out something people can truly relate to, and the response so far has been phenomenal. We are extremely excited to bring Stories to people live during our spring tour that starts April 8th, and the album hits select Best Buy’s in April,” said Rains. “We love going on tour with Evans Blue! It's like we're all one big family, and it's great to share all of these experiences together. They've really been great to us and have taken us under their wings,” said Rains. Off of Stories comes one of their biggest hits, “Liar.” When Rains stated earlier that he “felt the need to do something different…by putting out something people can truly relate to,” he does his job well. All of us lie to find the truth. The truth is a potential element that not many people can handle. In response of listening to the song came a serious and humorous thought at the same time. That thought was the last time someone lied to Rains which was the influence to write the song? “Not sure on that one. Ha-ha. If it was a good enough lie, I probably don't know about it yet…Liar is a song about a very tough situation I was going through in life a few years back,” said Rains. For this relatively new band, a big curiosity is how they got their name. It’s obvious that Rains being Jeff’s last name has something to do with it, but surprisingly there is more to it than just part of a person’s name. “I feel like Rains fits the band as a whole. In the beginning everything written was based around my life, so that's where it started. Since then I think it has grown to represent the whole band and everything it stands for,” said Rains.
Is It True?
On Their Tour Bus in New Jersey, We Asked Love & Theft:
Is it true that Taylor Swift wrote a song about you?
TRUE! She did actually. We did a tour with her with her back in 2008 and she
wrote a song called Hey Stephen. No other girl has written a song since because it would be really hard to match the song. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. She put my name in it and spelled it the right way.
Broken Records Magazine
Interview with Chris Schlichting surviving and getting through some of the bad dark times. How things change and there’s always something after that. How easy or difficult was recording together as a group for the first time? It went really smooth. We got it done in just a few sessions, really quick and easy. I’m the worst one; they went through their stuff really quickly. I had to go back a couple extra times. But it wasn’t a nightmare by any means. We definitely are the right group of guys in this band. You guys come from Wichita, Kansas. How the hell do We know each other really well now too. The chemistry you make it out of Wichita? Well, there really isn’t much of a scene there. There are is great. some talented bands, but there really isn’t anywhere to play. So we were forced to get out of town and move How’s it feel getting such great reviews for Seasons around doing different things because of that. We had to After all over, and being mentioned in the same breath as in order to get anything done. Otherwise nothing would Slipknot and Machinehead? I’ll take it, you know? (laughing) I’d rather hear them have happened. say that than other things. We’ve been fortunate enough How did Seasons After get together? Are you all from to play with those bands, and they’ve been influences on us. So, to be mentioned even in that ballpark is just Wichita? Actually none of us are from Wichita. I’m from Missouri; awesome. Dawson (guitar) is from Twin Falls, Idaho. Jimmy’s from southern Illinois, Tim is from Kansas. Dawson Through Tomorrow has a pretty cool cover design; was had moved to Wichita, and he and his friend Steve, the that part of the vision already too? original guitarist for the band, went around Wichita to No, that’s actually Tim’s vision there. He’s a graphic see bands and picked who they wanted to come and do designer and cam up with that idea by his self. He kinda this project with them. And we immediately got a bunch worked like a director while the photographer was there of enemies because we broke up about 4 bands in 10 shooting the model. He’s very good with the visuals; he does all of our t-shirts and all the album artwork. hours! It was great! But that’s how it happened. He just went around and talked to us and one by one came in, then everything What do you think sets Seasons After apart from other developed really quickly after that. We wrote the Through metal bands out there now? Tomorrow Sampler EP real fast. And by the time we had We’re not over the top metal. I don’t just sing either; I’ve that printed we had already written the full length album. still got some growls and screams in there. Michael’s So we started making plans to record that too. The last 3 got some brutal screams too. It’s heavy enough to be considered metal, but it’s melodic. I like to sing and I ½ years we’ve been doing this have flown by. like melody. I listen to everything. Another thing is: our live show is intense! I don’t normally brag but there So where did you get the name Seasons After? Dawson has had this whole concept in his head for awhile aren’t a whole lot of bands out there that can touch what now. Well before he even started looking for players. He we’re doing onstage. If you haven’t seen us live, come wrote a poem, kind of a manifesto in a way, just about and check it out.
Broken Records Magazine
BY KAYLA O’NEILL
At just eighteen years old, Kaitlyn DiBenedetto or more commonly known as “Just Kait” is making her way into the music world. With her new EP “Being on TV” out and going on tour with Honor Society, Kait is certainly getting into the spotlight. Not only does she have an incredible and unique voice, but her ability to play guitar, bass and the drums is what makes her really stand out among the rest. With her edgy pop-rock songs that relate to any teenager, she is sure to top the Billboard charts in the future. Kait’s rocker edge comes from her father. When BRM had an opportunity to talk to Kait she said that she started playing the drums at a young age because she saw her dad playing. At age 12, Kait picked up the guitar. She also started singing and writing music. When asked if she knew that music was what she wanted to pursue she replied, “Once I started singing and playing the guitar it was like a light bulb went off. It was like; I can really do something with this.” And she did. Not only was she chosen by MTV for the Discover and Download artist in the Summer of 2009, she also finished the whole Being on TV album in only 2 short months by writing songs and being in the studio constantly. All of her hard work paid off, Kait is now opening for Honor Society on their headlining tour. When asked, “What was the best part of being on tour with Honor Society,” Kait talked about the fans. “Honor Society has amazing and really supportive fans! Going into a tour and being the opening act is kind of hard. You have to put on a really good show to make them like you but Honor Society fans are really open to anything.” Kait has a long and promising future ahead of her. She is hoping to co-write some music with Honor Society, get the full length album out and continue touring, maybe even headlining her own tour.
Broken Records Magazine
by Luis Vasquez
Antonella Barba was standing before the judges on American Idol’s sixth edition as they announced who woud be eliminated from the competition that evening. After a period of media scrutiny that has not been experienced by any contestant before or since, Antonella Barba, the young 23 year old from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, grew up quick and came out with her head held high and dignity intact. “It might have been a crazy experience, something that would turn a lot of people off. At the same time, it was a tough lesson learned. It put me to the test. In my eyes I passed. I think it definitely prepared me for the harsh reality of what I will inevitably face in the future.” Many people wanted to take advantage of the situation and make the type of offers that a down-on-her-luck singer might have considered for its immediate financial benefit. “I chose to go back to school. I knew the right time would come. Even though I had a great opportunity (right then the iron was hot) I could have cashed in; not all opportunities where for the right reasons. Now that I’ve waited, I earned my degree, weeded out the people who weren’t working with me for the right reasons. I didn’t want the next thing to be another 15 minutes. I want longevity in the mainstream. I wanted it to last.” Antonella took some time off and went to college to pursue an architectural degree. It’s what she does for a living currently. A profession as tedious as that would seem- a polar opposite of singing. Antonella pointed out why it isn’t so. “It’s very particular and precise. Music is also a very particular thing as well. When you listen to a track that is three minutes long, it didn’t take three minutes to record. There are layers upon layers; line by line. It’s actually similar to architecture in that way. The finished product is always a nice, beautiful home. What goes into it is very meticulous.” Now three years later, Antonella is ready to re-enter the big stage with the release of her single ‘Jersey Girl” on Memorial Day; the forerunner of a project that Antonella hopes will attract the kind of attention that will secure a remarkable return to the spotlight. But that is far from the only thing going on in her life. Antonella explains, “I have multiple projects going on now. I am working on a song called ‘Jersey Girl’. I’m from New Jersey obviously, and there’s a Jersey craze/phenomenon going on right now. I just co-wrote the song actually. In addition, I am working on an album but my plan is to take the first five songs I complete and start shopping them to labels while at the same time releasing the single.” Antonella will be coming full circle. She plans to do a video in her home area. As a true Jersey Girl, she is looking to show off the places that made her toughest moments manageable. “It’s a little beach town. Everyone’s very laid back. We ride our bikes everywhere. It’s a very small town feel. The summertime is when New Jersey is at its best.” Antonella has survived and thrived. She is looking to reclaim some of what she lost on that evening three distant seasons ago. “I look at my face book wall and I get comments from people to this day waiting to see what I am going to do next. It’s what keeps me going. I can’t wait for the payoff. I want to give everyone what they have asking for. It will be my way of thanking everyone who has supported me.”
FEFE DOBSON Feels Joy
Fefe Dobson has always had her finger on the pulse of the music industry. Whether they paid attention or not, she was not someone who could be ignored for long. Fefe has always been good for a surprise or two. When she wanted to sing rock songs, she did. When her label dropped her for failure to land a top single, she moved on. When she wanted to release Joy, she pushed for a number of years until her original label, Island Def Jam, supported its release. “I leave everything in my performance until there’s nothing to give. I have to open to things that happened to me. I have to go back there. It’s still the key. I just try to be me. I’ve always been that way. I don’t really like to blend with other
Broken Records Magazine
by Luis Vasquez
people or be like anyone else. I just try to be myself.” Fefe in April of this year released Joy, her first album in three years. Fefe shared some of her thoughts on her new project, being label-less, why it’s ok to download, and where she wants to be at year’s end. “It’s called Joy. I’m super excited. I’ve been working quite a bit, for a while. I think starting the album was the biggest obstacle. To start creating it was difficult at first. It’s a rock and roll record with pop elements- a lot of energy and what it means to me now that I’m a little older, it means the world. I can’t wait to get it to everybody.” It’s been quite a journey for an artist who exploded on the scene with her debut album in 2004 debuting at number one. However, a difference of opinion saw her second album held back. Fefe tells us about this period. “I’m blessed and fortunate. I started the record on my manager’s label. I’m still with my manager’s label but back with Island Def Jam. You can lay blame but it doesn’t help the situation. It’s seems a little easier with certain things.” Fefe has always seemed to wear her heart on her sleeves when it comes to her music. Her fans relate to what she’s feeling and it resonates in her music. For example, the single, “I Want You,” tells a story. “The single is about wanting someone but not being bold enough to say it out loud. It may be in many cases where I anted to say something. Lyrics are important. You read something; you relate to something. Words are very important. They are very universal but melody is important too. It’s a piece of music that I narrate- feeling the connection to my emotions.” Fefe will be performing on tour in Canada and overseas. But she has one wish for the year 2010 and it is a bookend that would make for a nice piece of closure. “I want to perform at the New Year’s Eve show when the ball drops in New York. I have never had the opportunity and it’s something I would like to experience.”
Broken Records Magazine
Star of By Janine Scamardella
Rock N Roll was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Chad Kimball, star of Broadway’s hit musical, Memphis, talked to us about the city, the music, and Dewey Phillips. In the 1950s, the city of Memphis is named America’s “quietest, cleanest, and safest city” on more than one occasion, yet it becomes the birthplace of Rock N Roll. “Quiet, clean and safe is just one big bowl of trouble isn't?” Kimball jokes. “It was probably the exact place that Rock n Roll would be - and could be - welcome so intensely: those clean, safe and quiet people waiting and wanting for something to come along and poke a huge hole in their sense of decorum. Rock n Roll let people let go!” This sense of letting go may have affected Memphis in more ways than one. Memphis is one of the first cities to integrate. Many people say that it was music that brought people together. “Music is one of the great common denominators we have as human beings. Not one person is immune to it,” Kimball explains. “Even the hearing impaired can feel it - the beat; the vibration - music goes as deep as the bones and hits us in the heart. I don't think there is a more perfect tool to bring people together than the simple commonality of music and its reach.” Music is what brings together the two lead characters of the Broadway show Memphis: Huey Calhoun and Felicia Farrell. One is a white disc jockey and the other a black torch singer. The two characters fall in love when Huey hears her sing and the music rises above the race lines of 1950s. The character of Huey Calhoun is based on the real life disc jockey Daddy-O Dewey Phillips, a pioneer in disc jockey industry. Both Dewey and Huey start their working careers working in a department store, both play Rhythm & Blues on the radio, when no one else
would, both have a bit of a drinking problem, and both had a musical variety show on television. “However,” Kimball clarifies. “We depart from the life of Dewey in so many significant ways. In fact, some of the story is helped by the lives of other DJ's at the time. I believe it is safer to say the story is based upon the ideas and endeavors of these few radio pioneers. And look what they accomplished!” It is estimated that Dewey Phillips’ show was listened to by 75% of Memphis’ population. Kimball explains Phillips’ appeal. “Before we started rehearsals in August, a group of us traveled to Memphis (my first time there!). I met a number of people who talked at length about Dewey and those days. I think his draw was first and foremost the music. But the music was absolutely helped by his outlandish personality. This was so new and tantalizing to the people of Memphis.” Dewey Phillips was a pioneer of radio, television, and Rock N Roll, yet he is hardly ever mentioned with the kings of variety TV. “Although hugely popular in Memphis, Dewey never found a national audience like Dick Clark. Sam Phillips had the gravitas of Elvis fame to boost his name to national attention. It does astonish me that more people don’t know his story. It’s perhaps because it didn't have a rosy ending. He lost his popularity. He was addicted to pills and alcohol. He died way too early, and in virtual obscurity.” Not many know of the man lead the way of broadening the audience of Rock N Roll. Dewey Phillips today is simply known as the first person to play an Elvis record. He once interviewed Elvis Presley live on his show. We ask Chad Kimball if he could interview anyone dead or alive who would it be. “Ethel Merman. I'd ask her how she did the show eight times a week without a microphone.”
Broken Records Magazine
by Scott Vollweiler
Not to be confused with the abundance of musically talent-less actors that become musicians: i.e.: Billy Bob, Jennifer Love, etc. Thomas Ian Nicholas has truly got the chops to be a successful musician and actor. Many may recognize Thomas Ian Nicholas as the laser armed pitcher in “Rookie of the Year” or as one of the main characters in the first three “American Pie” films, but Nicholas also fronts a band called TIN Band. In the band, he sings and plays guitars-a Gibson 339- he told me. I had heard of the 335 body but Nicholas instructed me that “looks like the same guitar but with a smaller body-like the size of a Les Paul. They basically took a 335 and shrunk it.” In between his acting gigs, which would only be for a few months out of the year, Thomas Nicolas learned to play the guitar. His friend has taught him a few chords but from there he was learning more on his own and “started writing songs right away.” He also remembers that after a few lessons he realized he wasn’t going to be a shredder. He laughed and said, “It would take too much work. Like monotonous scales. I didn’t understand what I was doing.” As for singing, he took some lessons during the recording sessions for his band’s latest record…more on that in a moment. While researching the band, I was able to hear his old tunes and the newer songs, and the guy did not need lessons. He is one of the rare actors-turned musicians that can actually sing-shocking, I know! TIN Band’s newest release, Heroes Are Humans, is set for a summer release. His previous record was released in 2008 and both albums are self releases. “Heroes” was recorded in a matter of five months. “I was at my bass players house-where we recorded the album- almost everyday for five months. It was always a collaborative effort when writing songs. We don’t really pay attention to
who writes what on a song. Lyrics are really important to me but everyone can contribute.” The record is diverse; it has the mainstream pop-rock on one track and a heavier, deeper song that follows. “I was inspired by 70’s rock. Led Zeppelin was really common ground for all of us… we come from different musical backgrounds.” Of course I had to ask the most common question a crossover actor/musician gets asked: what do you prefer? “I spend a vast majority of time pursuing my music. I am the label. I am the manager. I am the band member. Whereas in acting, there are people around directing and telling me where to go. Music is my movie to direct.”
Interview with John Cusimano and James “Roto” Rotondi Give me a little background on The Cringe, how did you guys came together on this project? JC- Well, the name “The Cringe” has been following me around since high school. Initially me and a buddy from school started this garage band, and we were pretty crappy. And we sort of made you cringe when you heard us, it was kind of a half joke band, but it had a punk aesthetic to it. So I kept the name throughout the years with different iterations of the band. Then about 5 years ago I hooked up with these 3 other guys and it’s been the ultimate version of the band I’ve always wanted. Hopefully we don’t make people cringe anymore. How long has the current lineup been together? JC- Roto (James Rotondi, guitar) and Jonny Blaze (bass) have been with us for 2 years and Shawn Pelton has been around for 5 years. You just played SXSW, how did that go? JC- First of all, Austin is one of the greatest cities in the world. I love it there, I love the food, the music, the shopping, everything about it. It’s awesome to be able to play 8 gigs in 2 days, all on 6th Street. And we did this big feedback event with my wife Rachel Ray, that we do every year. That was at Stubb’s, and over the course of the day we had about 4,000 people in and out of there. We had to build an extra stage, there were 19 bands. At the end of our set John Popper came up and jammed with us, and Bob Schneider, who’s a really talented singer/ songwriter based in Austin. It was just a blast!
Broken Records Magazine The new album Play Thing comes out June 8th, what sets this album apart from your previous 2 efforts? JC- We spent a lot more time really picking every single note and lyric apart on this album. It sounds pretty spontaneous, but it’s not. We fought a lot; we went back to stuff; we really wanted it to be as good as possible. We had a lot of help from a buddy of ours, producer Steve Lillywhite. He’s worked with U2, Dave Matthews; pretty much half the records you own are Steve Lillywhite records. We caught him in between a few things- he’s working on the U2 record, the new Phish record. We recorded this album over the course of about a year and a half. Unofficially, he really helped produce the record. That took us to a whole new level. What’s really cool is every note on the record is us; we didn’t bring in any session musicians. It’s 100% Cringe. I think it’s more mature than our last 2 records, but it definitely rocks harder than the last 2 records too.
a very expensive mic of course, but it’s more about the performance than being isolated and having this perfect recording environment. So I figured if Bono can do it, why not me? I gave it a shot in the control room with the other guys in the band and it helped work a lot faster and way more comfortable. It’s a much more live situation type atmosphere. It just worked for us.
Is it more fun for you playing here at home in New York? JC- Playing hometown shows is nice because we know on a good night we’re going to pack a place. There will be a lot of our friends and family there. There’s a certain level of comfort. JR- It’s really exciting playing all over though. The cool thing about hitting the road is you’re going out with the band. So you’ve got your band guys with you, a couple guys in the crew. It’s a pretty self protective unit. But you never know what to expect either. You kind of get How did you get hooked up with Steve Lillywhite? the best of both worlds. You get to travel with a pack, JC- I met him at some sort of event or afterparty and we which is always fun, but not knowing what to expect is had a mutual friend. We were sitting at a table together sometimes fantastic, and other times underwhelming. and he was a fan of my wife Rachel’s TV show. And we It’s an adventure and fun to be out with the boys. just kind of hit it off. He came over for dinner one night, JC- And it’s always better with Absinthe! we kept in touch. He only lives about 10 blocks away from me. He’s just a really cool guy and I’m hoping he’s What’s on your agenda for the rest of the year? gonna be the next judge on American Idol. I think he’s JC- We’re pulling together tour dates as we speak. We’re making a public campaign for that job. He’s certainly doing a similar event to the feedback event we did in more qualified than anyone to do that. Austin, only in Brooklyn this time on June 19th. Not quite as many bands as Austin, but a lot of good food. We’re So was the studio atmosphere trying to take over a city block, different for Play Thing than the turning it into a block party. other 2 albums? And we’re already writing new JC- It was interesting, we recorded songs and thinking about what at this place called Avatar, which the next record is gonna be. is a studio in the west 50’s in New Then a west coast tour for midYork. And we go in there as a band summer, about 12-15 cities. and put down the basic tracks and JR- I’m doing a series of gigs record as much as we can to tape. right now around New York Tape really has a sort of vintage that are tribute shows to my warm quality to it. Typically favorite lost rock artists. I’m though, when I’m singing vocals doing a Syd Barrett tribute for the last 2 records, I’ll go into show, playing early Pink Floyd the vocal booth and be isolated. and Syd Barrett solo stuff. I’m Then the engineer and guys in doing that at Pete’s Candy the band would hit the talk back Store on May 13th. And that’s button after a song and tell me a pretty cool show for fans of to try it “this” way or “that”. But British Psychedelic. Steve Lillywhite told me that Bono sings in the control room through Interview and Photo by
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ew Intervi How did the process of bringing you and Nikki Corvette go? Was it a smooth transition? It was the most natural thing, it was perfect. I played in a band called Gore Gore Girls for a long time and we had a show at Spaceland in Los Angeles. And after we played, Robert Matthew came up to me and introduced himself and said, “I brought someone here to meet you.” I originally thought it was just some dude you know, like “hey, this guy plays guitar and wants to talk to you.” But when he said “this is Nikki Corvette”, it was like dropping a bomb. I was thinking, “Cool, I get to take a picture with Nikki Corvette, this is so awesome!!” So we talked, and stayed in contact after that. And eventually she moved back to Detroit in ’05 and we met at a holiday mixer that happens every year that benefits a children’s charity. It’s a showcase; everyone plays and hangs out. From then on, we started hanging out together on a regular basis. She came to a couple of Gore Gore Girls shows and she would write lyrics and leave them for me backstage. Then her and I were talking and started fantasizing about having a band where we could get together, it was local and just play covers. So the original concept was a late 70’s, early 80’s punk cover band. We’ll play some Damned, some X, some Buzzcocks. And that all changed when Nikki brought one specific set of lyrics to one of my shows for a song that eventually became “Lustfully Yours,” which is what our EP is named. And once she brought that, it all just came out of me. So I wrote the song really quick, in about 20 minutes. That changed the whole equation; we went from this cover band idea to writing songs. It just kinda happened. How was it for you and Nikki in the studio together for the first time? The vibe I got was neither one of us could believe what we were doing. We just both kinda looked at each other like, “dude, we’re in a band together!” It’s beyond an honor for me to be in a band with Nikki Corvette, writing songs, creating and playing with her; I’m just floored by it. And I feel there’s some mutual
Gore y m A with
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respect going on. I know she liked my stuff from before, and it’s just really cool. How much influence does being from Detroit have on your music and the sound of the band? Well, let me backtrack and say that my only influence is being from Detroit. I was born here, I never got to escape. Some people are ex-patriots and they relocate somewhere else. I just never got that opportunity; I live here and just travel. It’s been a great home base for me. There’s lots of freedom, because there’s no standards. It’s not like LA or New York standards. I feel so relaxed here, especially after coming off of a tour. It’s the only influence I know. It’s funny, when we first put up a page online, Nikki looked at it after it was designed and she said, “You know, there’s no mistaking that we’re a Detroit band.” It’s not really anything we try to do. The only things I try to do are pay my bills and get up on time, everything else is just who I am. There’s definitely a rich musical history here, and I don’t know if that influences me specifically just because I’m from here. But there’s also something about Detroit that’s very grassroots, DIY and I’d have to say, no bullshit. It’s a very honest town, always been blue collar and you wear your heart on your sleeve and do things the way you do them. And that’s what I have to say about that! How would you compare Gorvette to your previous band Gore Gore Girls? It’s like Gore Gore Girls in the way that it’s female fronted. There’s a girl group influence. The difference would be it’s a very specific music. To me, it’s like I wrote these songs as a B-side to Nikki and the Corvettes. Kind of like, if they had another album, what would it sound like? That’s where I was coming from as far as inspiration. So it’s like the Shangri-Las meets The Ramones for sure. And I think because of the production, and my personal style, where I come from it adds a more modern dirty sound to it.
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Interview with Doc Thompson & Samwell By Ray White BRM- You guys just got back from SXSW in Austin, TX. How did that go? SW- It was pretty awesome and exhausting, I think I did about 60 hours of driving, versus 30 hours of sleeping. But we’re metal warriors so we can take it. DT- I think my favorite part was the visual of Samwell out on the middle of 6th Street, which was completely blocked off, wearing a full Satan pajama suit complete with horns and a pitchfork with a sign that read “Hell Is Here”. Then GWAR showed up seconds later. There was an unholy convergence upon Austin that was very fortuitous. SW- Yeah, it was amazing. I was getting a picture taken about every .2 seconds. And then all of a sudden everybody ran away. And I’m like, “what the hell?” I got upstaged by GWAR. But we did do 2 shows. One was at the Speakeasy on the rooftop, that was great. And we did another at The Parrish, they had an amazing system! Doc? Your take on the show? DT- Honestly I’m trying to rack my brains to remember what the hell happened. It’s all a whirlwind of sweat, near passing out, alcohol and Austin sunshine for me. From what I can remember it’s one of the best shows we’ve ever played so far, and one of the best audiences we’ve played for. It was a blast!
SW- I stand on an anvil on stage at every show, and we usually guage how good a show is by how close I come to falling off the anvil. And I think I almost fell off it about 8 times, so things were pretty out of control. BRM- So how did you find 5 guys to come together on such an eclectic project? SW- Well, Doc Thompson, Mofo (guitar) and myself all met in high school. And why we like the same music makes no sense. At the time I was listening exclusively to Iron Maiden, so I was like the whitest dude on earth. And Doc had me check out this Funkadelic record, and for whatever reason that worked for me perfectly. Somehow, I don’t know, call it divine intervention, we all had the same musical taste. And then eventually we got to New York and added Zigabot (bass) and ShilleLee (drums). Which was also equally bizarre because I think Zigabot had only ever played in deathmetal bands, and we introduced him to groove. It’s like we all have these seeds of metal and funk in our lines. We added beer to water in the garden and strange plants sprung up. How’s that for a screwy metaphor? The Garden of Not Eden. BRM- Rhythm & Bruise is your first full-length album. Give me a King Hell description of the album.
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SW- It’s a really broad record.But it all holds together, it’s King Hell music. On the one extreme we have songs that are heavily funk like Mr. Fancy Pants, which is about Zigabot and his escaped clone of Dr. Funkenstein. And then on the other end we have a song like Oblivion, which is kinda based on Swedish speedmetal, that melodic deathmetal sound. I think it’s all defined by the fact we work really hard on riffs and melodies, and whether or not rhythms are funky. I’d say the defining aspects of our music is power and rhythm. BRM- So what’s it like in the studio with King Hell? SW- The making of the record was really intense. We had a weekend to record, then 2 days of overdubs. Rather than doing each instrument individually, we really wanted to capture what our live sound is like. So everybody played at once, and we didn’t add a second rhythm track. So it’s very much like our live show. I drank A LOT of Red Bull! For the vocal overdubs I was literally locked in the sound booth for about 10 hours straight, and merged half retarded. And I only had a half that wasn’t retarded already, so now I think I’m completely retarded. BRM- Well, if you were already half retarded, then you emerged half retarded, would that leave a quarter not retarded? Is my math right there? SW- Ooooh, son of a …… DT- Yeah, don’t leave math up to the retard. BRM- I saw a mention about a money back guarantee of satisfaction for your shows. What makes you so confident in yourselves and your live show? SW- Well, not to toot our own horn, but people are either sufficiently blown away, or they’re too scared to ask for their money back after the shows. I think it’s a guarantee we’re pretty confident in making. Whether or not you’re into King Hell music or not, it’s got something for everyone. There’s a lot of humor in there, and a lot of drinking. BRM- So where did the King Hell Report on YouTube spawn from? DT- I’m afraid that was me. Again, drinking had a lot to do with that. At least one part of every answer to any question involves drinking. With each of us having our own distinct character, I figured it was best to give a voice to Doc Thompson in the video realm. And 300,000 views later it looks it was at least partially a good idea. Even though there are only a few of my old friends that will still talk to me now. At least I have my internet friends now, right? SW- You had friends before? DT- Ah, well no, but he doesn’t know that. SW- We actually had more than 300,000 views, But YouTube suspended our first channel that racked up a couple hundred thousand views. So now we have another channel until they delete that one. DT- Yeah, we’re definitely on YouTube’s sh*tlist. We just keep moving our homebase as they burn the last one down. I don’t think anyone was surprised that the song I wrote on there about being sexually attracted to cartoon characters got banned. Some of the other stuff in comparison seems pretty timid. But YouTube just seems to have it out for us at this point.
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LARA JOHNSTON TAKING IT BACK TO THE STREETS By
Lara Johnston is standing before three judges. She has just shaken the rafters with her vocal range. The memory of those who listened to her father could not help but shake their heads in amazement. Lara is a sweetheart, well-mannered and refreshing. She is quite young, but with an old-soul twist. And why not, as the daughter of Tom Johnston, member of the Doobie Brothers, Lara has a pedigree that cannot be denied. On this evening though, she came in second best, but the experience would be worth the result. “I was 17 at the time and I wasn’t experienced as far as performance. Performing on live television under such a pressurized setting was great training for me. Get out there and do your thing and swallow your nerves. It was a huge leap for me. It was terrifying at first. It forced me to get over that. It was awesome. I am really glad I did it.” Lara opened a lot of eyes with that performance. It’s something that she is quite familiar with. Growing up in the business and being surrounded by music at home, it was probably inevitable that she would try her hand at it professionally one day. “I grew up in the Bay area. In Lauren County it was an incredible growing time. It’s beautiful here. I just got to be a kid, a great childhood. My dad is a musician for the Doobie Brothers. From
the time I was very little I would go on tour with him frequently. We would stay on the tour bus. For as long as I could remember we were traveling around concerts with him and the rest of my family, my brother and mom. I always really enjoyed it. It’s all I sort have ever known. This world of music I loved from an early age. In our house there is music always on or driving me to school.” However this was not something that was forced. On the contrary, Lara’s parents seemed intent to broaden her perspective by putting her through many activities, including ballet. Though for the most part it was Lara had to endure, she could see now how they benefited her. “He wanted me to have a sense of that I was capable of anything. So they kind of threw me into different activities when I was younger. I tried T-ball and soccer. I didn’t like them, I was terrible. I like running. Ballet was another; I hated it at a young age. I did it for thirteen years. My heart was never into it. Yet it helped me have a real sense of discipline and focus. I was always in school plays and talent shows. That was where my real passion was. It’s kind of being a ham.” “I was a junior in high school. I stopped doing Ballet which gave me more time to focus on music. It
Broken Records Magazine established a sense of fitness for me in my personal life. It’s important as a singer to have endurance. It’s good to have some kind of dance to make you able to work it on stage.” Lara has seemed to be the apprentice to a legacy that has receded into the background yet as a regular performer at the J.H. Cohn Festival; she has shared the stage with her father and music legends, “They have been really phenomenal. It’s such an honor to share the stage with them. It’s every year and the first one I did was my first real concert as a solo act at 16. “To share the stage with Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, my father, was really neat. I did that festival because I got the opportunity to audition. I told them I was serious about music and that I’ve love to be given the chance. Every year I come back more people are aware of me, it’s something I look forward to.” Lara is one who doesn’t tolerate people who have big heads and are disrespectful to others in the industry. She is a believer in staying grounded. She also understands that music has changed and not always for the better. “I completely agree. It’s very true. A lot of modernized pop music that’s turned out today is put out for instant gratification. There’s not a lot of thought behind it. There are some people who are now coming out with well-crafted songs. Growing up with my dad, who is an incredible songwriter made you pay attention to song craft and lyrics. Since I was little I love writing poetry. I don’t feel good about singing something if it’s really not saying something. It’s important for me to follow in his footsteps in that way.” The goal for Lara is to put out her debut project and make a reputation in her own right. She is studious, takes notes from every source. She will not sell herself short. She will not rush and expose herself to the mistakes that lead to women singers to regret their choices. “When I was 16 I thought OK, we need a demo, original music, well-produced, the kind that say’s, hey, this is me. I recorded my first song with producers in Burbank. That was a great start. A year and a half ago I felt it was time to hone in on my personal style. That’s when I focused on song writing and working with other songwriters carefully to create things that are unique to me and getting material together that I feel strongly about and is truly representative. It should be ready this year.”
Front man of Stealing Heather, Joshua Aaron, discusses the meaning behind their name and “Breathe Out”
Stealing Heather is a pop-rock band from Los Angeles, California. Having their debut album, Your Mistake (2010) coming out very soon, their already on to a good start for being relatively new. Getting a lot of mysterious hype in the West Coast scene, Joshua Aaron has a lot to say in terms of how they started to where they are now. The concept of the name is one of the most interesting topics in current music. It’s kind of like a domino effect because everyone who just follows music in general will go down in depth to relate to another’s thought of creativity. “The real meaning behind it is me looking at what’s going on with kids. Look at the Columbine shooting. Look at how kids dressed. Look at movies then and now like Snow White with the wicked witch and the apples, but it was about the dwarfs taking care of her. Today’s movies 99% are someone getting kicked in the balls and marketing to children. The short story is Stealing is the loss of innocence from a 5 year old girl, Heather,” said Aaron. Has one ever noticed how there are some bands that formed, but under a different name? Some examples for this are Big Blue Monkey (Story of The Year) or Hybrid Theory (Linkin Park). This also was no different for Stealing Heather when they were starting out. “The band formed years ago, but we were a different group. This is more of the lines of my solo project. It was more of a self funded thing I wanted to do coming from the East Coast moving out West,” said Aaron. For every album, there is always that one song that stands out: the single goes hand and hand with the album. Their new single/video is “Breathe Out” which has a very interesting concept behind that as well. “We sort of went along with the concept of a video when a girl truly loves this guy. It has this push and pull of the loving and fighting scene. Her driving had her remember the situation. The love making to driving in the car is like a way of living off own terms that’s behind me and moving forward,” said Aaron.
by Gerard Ucelli
Broken Records Magazine recording. We recorded my vocals at Cambridge Sound Studios in Newtown, PA. It was about a year, on and off, as we were able to buy and/or borrow more gear. It was probably a total of about 3 weeks of actual recording time for 15 songs.
Interview with Singer, Chris The first single “Generation Nothing” has a real AC/ Casso DC groove. What was your influence writing the song
How did the band form? I heard that you were hanging with porn stars when you met? HAHA! Yeah! That's kind of true, but might not be as cool as it sounds. What happened was... A friend of mine did some freelance production for Vivid Video. Literally, the kind of stuff you would do at any video production company, behind the scenes stuff. So, she was invited to a party, and we joked about it over coffee. Then, she was like, "We should go just to see what it's like." A porn star party... How could I turn her down! So, we went and everyone there was really nice and nothing like what we expected. Pretty chill peeps, very down to earth and shockingly normal. Mike's part in it is way cooler. He just happen to walk in to a cool looking bar, dressed to party and the doorman thought he was 'in the films!' He didn't even ask him if he was on the list! All while Mike didn't even know there was a private party going, he thought he was just at a bar to hang. After he figured it out, I think he was staying for the obvious reason.... which of course ended up being talking to another dude about music and no porn star interaction!! We joked that night that meeting this way meant we had to start a band, because it would be too ironic! STD’s sound is really rockin! It’s about time a band really played unabashed rock music. What led you down this road to playing real rock and not this lame “rock”? Wow, thanks! Where do I send your check? lol. We just play what feels right to us; produce & record it ourselves, so it stays how we want it to be. We like a lot of the rock today, I think it gets a bad wrap! Where did you guys record your upcoming album? How long did it take to record? We recorded all the music at my house. We converted the living room in to a performance room and outfitted a bedroom with a tape machine and some gear for
and what was your inspiration behind the lyrics? Thanks! We are huge AC/DC fans! We jokingly call that Dave's trip to Australia riff. I am a freak when I get into something. I want to know all the history. Talk about when Jimi played Monterey, I want to know everything... what the air smelled like that day in California. The lyrics were influenced by the void I see in art, film, and music. There are no Steve McQueen's, John Lennon's, or Andy Warhool's popping up. Many years ago, scientists were stars! Einstein was a living icon. In my opinion, everything in society is watered down and music has become a little too 'by-the-book.' You don't have 12 minute long songs on the radio like Stairway to Heaven. They would never play a 12 minute song today! There is less artist development; less people go to bars to check out original localbands, and that makes it harder to start something and become something. Also, back in the day, it was vinyl- a big magical black disc with huge gatefold artwork, a little info and maybe some pictures. That was what you got. Then you put it on the spinning unit and drop the needle and the songs come out. You have to wait for the next one. You really had to search to learn more about the artist, but there was only so much info out there. A lot of mystery left to the listener's imagination. Fast forward to Audio Cassette; It was like a mini reel of tape. It folded out with lyrics, and still there was some mystery there. Banned album covers, stories of arrests, etc. CD was similar, like a mini vinyl meets cassette vibe. Still cool. Fast forward to today. Now, you pay a dollar and download a small file. No artwork, no pictures or lyrics, nothing. You can't even hold it in your hands! It seems so disposable! You have constant access to websites telling you what "blank" singer was wearing and where they ate that night. No mystery, no need to seek out more. I think that is symbolic of the way people view music these days. Now, everything is instantaneous and then 'on to the next one.' The new way can be cool, you just have to approach it differently. But, it is much harder to be an artist and have your art come across as it should and get respect. Most people assume bands are made by the music machine. It is true for some, but definitely not all.
Broken Records Magazine that fit us.So, one night when we were just relaxing at our favorite bar in Stillwater and I went to one of the many import fridges... I scrolled down the list and saw a beer that was 8.50 a bottle. Baffled that someone would pay that much for a single beer, I checked out the name, Taddy Porter. I then bought two PBR's for less than half the price of the porter and went back to my table. I sat down and said "what do you think about Taddy Porter?" Doug then said "it's perfect."
How did Taddy Porter form? And where did the name come from? Taddy porter formed in late 2007. I (Andy Brewer) was a senior at OSU on my way to becoming a field geologist. I had been writing songs for a few years and knew when I graduated I was probably going to have to put down any aspirations of ever becoming a musician.As you know, just jumping into that profession is nearly impossible. I was just facing the facts. I had no band and didn’t know anyone in the industry. Naturally, I made friends with some people that liked to throw parties on the weekends and when the usual house was unavailable for another mess, we were detoured to another. I walked into one of the housesand immediately heard live drums being played. I shuffled around the party for awhile and after a few cocktails gathered enough gumption to walk into the music room. I then met Doug Jones on the drums and he asked me "You play?" So I picked up one of the many guitars that were scattered across his room and started playing one of the songs I had written. I was in there for maybe 45 minutes and we had already gotten every drum part figured out and then some. We knew right then we had something... And right then our band was formed... Now the search for our other boys was on... We got our name, as some people may not know, from a beer. After coming up with many ridiculous names (i.e. Red Giant, Honey Drip, and many other uncool ones) we decided that we needed something
Listening to the tunes on your myspace…I can really hear a Zeppelin influence. How far off am I? You could say you are sitting right on top of it. Zeppelin is one of our favorite bands. At any point on the road you could step in and hear Leddy 2 playing on our iPod. And if there is any band that we would "try" to sound like, it would be them. They had it figured out. Add a little southern rock to it and you got us. If anything we are just big fans of the classic rock sound... Now you released an EP. Any plans for a full length album? That's the plan... We have been doing some new recordings along with re-recording a lot of the songs from the EP. We plan on putting out our first self-titled album tentatively in May or early June. Being that this is our debut album, we’re very excited to see how everything works out. How people like Taddy Porter. The response so far has been great and we can't wait until we have a finished project to give everyone! You were invited to play the Class of 09 tour. How was the experience touring with a group of bands that had been gaining lots of airplay and record sales. It was great! Seeing all the people that they could bring was amazing. Very encouraging for a band like us that is trying to make a name for ourselves and hopefully get on the radio as well. The fact that the “Class of 09” tour was our first tour to EVER be on was a big thing too. We had never been out longer than a few weeks at a time, so when we got a chance to be out for months it was like a test on us. The good thing is that we did it with ease and learned how to live life out of our van and a suitcase.
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by Patrick Slyman Whomever said the grunge era died with Kurt Cobain, never gave Violent Soho a chance. But don't classify these guys as grunge either. Sure they may give off the stereotypical grunge impression with their long hair, stickered guitars, and dark, bleak music; given the opportunity to meet with the frontman of the band, Luke Boerdam, he made sure to tell me their own coined term to define them. When I asked him about his influences and how it relates to his own work he replied, "Well what we do we like to call “stoner-pop.” We take a few chords and add some crunch to it, and throw in some hard lyrics." With song titles such as "Jesus Stole My Girlfriend", and "Eat Your Parents," and mixing that with heavy distorted chords and throwing in some rocking, gloomy solos, it's easy to see that the grunge, punk scene had an impact on them musically. When I met with
Boerdam at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, he was happy to give me quite an earful on what his band is all about. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, these four musicians met each other in high school, and were drawn together by their similar taste in music. From that day forward, this four-piece began chasing their dreams, and making awesome music along the way. They all were inspired and brought together by the heavy punk-scene in Brisband. Immediately after forming, just before playing their first live show, the band was asked what name they go by, having never spoken about this before one of them suggested Violent Soho, and so it has been since. After forming over five years ago, Violent Soho had recently released their self-titled, first studio album. Following up its release, they are currently on a tour spanning across the United States, Canada, and England, where the album will release in July. Talking with Boerdam about his time touring the U.S, he didn't fail to mention how great it is to play in the big apple. He went on to say "Yeah, sometimes we get a little homesick, but come on, it's New York City; the crowd here is always so welcoming and full of energy and we always love coming back." On Tuesday, April 6th, Violent Soho put on a show in the upper east side of New York City, at the Bowery Ballroom. Seeing the show was completely great. These guys know how to rock hard to say the least. Mixing up anything from hard rock to grunge and calling it stonerpop, they make original music their way, and are earning well-deserved recognition for it. Currently on their third U.S tour, there is no doubt they will be back. Until then, however, their self titled album can be purchased anywhere from Best Buy to iTunes.
With the release of their debut album these “Dirty in Texas” rockers are making sure you hear what they have to say. How did you come up with the band name Anchored? Brandan: I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and my grandpa had a company called Little Red Services, his favorite color was red, so that’s why we added that ED, so it’s like RED. It’s an ode to him and an ode to my 24 home state.
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I heard you auditioned for Drowning Pool after the lead singer passed. How did you end up in that situation? Brandan: It started off I auditioned for Damage PlanKenny and Dime- they were going a heavier route and Vinnie called Drowning Pool and said ‘I think I have your guy!’ And I went and did “Bodies” and “Tear Away” and then they said I looked too much like Dave. But I understand, Dave was a legend- and by the way I won the Dave Stage Award too- we’re all still friends. So it is true.
way from there to New York. I have the jitters because I’m finally getting to sing here. The first time I came to New York I did karaoke at the Tonic because I said I’m not coming to New York without singing! But it’s crazy being here on this tour.
What about the writing process. You said its very autobiographical. Was there anything too personal for you to share on this album? Brandan: Not really. I’m an open book. I don’t mindI’m actually mad the lyrics aren’t on the inside of the cd because we had to do a rush copy because of this tour The new album, Listen to This, when can we find that thanks to Live Nation- but I want everyone to read the in stores? And why did you choose to call it something lyrics, like it, know it! Even if you don’t like it, just come so obvious? up and shake our hands and say Hi. Get to know us. Brandan: Two weeks! Almost there! Well besides the obvious, that’s all you can really do- hope that people Now tell me a little about the first single “Dirty In listen to your shit. Seriously! It’s like please! I actually Texas”. Any particular inspiration for that? wanted to call it “Please Listen to This” but that was too Brandan: Texas. [Laughs] It’s just trying to right about cliché. But I just want people to hear what we have to something I take a lot of pride in. And my grandfather is say. Get it out there. from there. Just let the world see that we’re having fun down in Texas and include the fact that football’s big there, Give me to reasons why if I haven’t listened to THIS, bar fights, drinking, partying, it’s all encompassing. why I should? Brandan: Because you will never hear anything more real, like actually from the heart. Every single lyrics is Now I’ve heard your sounds describe a lot of different true, it’s happened. It’s cleverly done so that it can have ways, but how would you classify it? two meanings. You’ll see when you hang out with us that Brandan: I was actually talking to our bus driver about I wrote a lot of it about being a dad- because I have two this today. I’ve been saying that it’s Southern Pop Rock daughters- and so, its hard to describe but we purposely but he goes ‘Man! It ain’t fuckin southern rock. Southern made it have double meanings. You write it for what you Rock was back in the seventies. You’re brand new and experience and see happening but also so that someone you got something new…call it Texas Rock. listening can relate. We’re real. We’re truly real southern boys. And if you ever go to the south, I’m sure you know, Copyright that! everyone down there is nice and it’s like we came all the Brandan: Yeah! You heard it here first!
Broken Records Magazine
New York City's, The Fillmore, was jam packed solid for the sold out show headlined by Long Island's own, Envy On The Coast. Having played music together 8 to 10 years, EOTC has been touring 5 of those years. In this 5th year of touring, they released their latest LP, Low Country, on March 30, 2010. We were fortunate to sit and talk with lead vocalist and guitarist Ryan Hunter. When asked of Low Country, Ryan said the record is "Very unique compared to our older records. We recorded it differently...everyone played together to catch the chemistry, sound and feel of our live performances.
T W I N AT L A N T I C
by Mikel Schardt Photo by Alaura Christine
We are really proud to stamp our name on it." Ryan also shared that while being the lead singer and guitar player, drums are still his favorite instrument to play. Ryan was the studio drummer in recording Low Country. When asked about touring, Ryan let us know how much he enjoys it; "You have to love touring. If you don't like touring, you shouldn't be in a band these days. It's not what it used to be in regards to the process. You've got to tour. You live off off touring." EOTC has had the opportunity to tour around the world; in Australia, The U.K., Paris and Japan to name a few. Ryan's favorite place to play live is in Japan where, because of the technology, the experience of playing live is at it's prime. We asked Ryan to sum up the sound of the new record for our readers. Ryan quoted Elvis Costello saying, "Talking about music, is like dancing about architecture." He suggests to "Go on-line, listen to the record and come out to a show....Our live performance is something to be seen! We are proud of it." ....As they should be!! We agree, it's something to be seen.
by Mikel Schardt Photo by Alaura Christine
anything was wrong by his performance that evening. There is a definite collective mindset of Twin Atlantic New York City. The Fillmore at Irving Plaza. U.K. and that is complete focus on their work with a desire born band, Twin Atlantic, takes the stage on the 8th week to further their education in music. Guitarist, Barry of their American tour. We had the pleasure of speaking McKenna, is a classically trained cellist and has integrated with bassist, Ross McNae, and drummer, Craig Kneale, this instrument in their music. Ross, at a young age, was who said being in NYC gives them a "special elevated classically trained in piano, and taught himself guitar and feeling" …we saw them give that feeling back to the kids bass from the same learned theory. The band's current that evening, with a performance to remember. Ross McNae and frontman, Sam McTrusty, began record, Vivarium, is set Twin Atlantic in the Summer of 2006. Craig Kneale to release it's next video joined the band in 2007. Craig said he would go to for the single "Human Twin Atlantic shows all the time and when he found out After All" at the end of they were in need of a drummer he told us "I just kept June 2010 worldwide. The annoying them- really. I would tell them how much I band has started writing a really liked their band and they needed to let me in! And new record with hopes to release early next year. eventually they did" Our take on Twin Atlantic: Vocalist, Sam McTrusty, is responsible for many of the band's song structures since he is the sole writer of all Humble, friendly, talented knowledgeable Twin Atlantic's lyrics. Due to doctor's orders, he could and not be in on the interview. He came in to wave a hello musicians with one hell of a stage presence. because he was on total voice rest. You would not know 26
Broken Records Magazine
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Broken Records Magazine It’s something you’ve probably never seen before…a whole band of drummers! If you haven’t heard the buzz Street Drum Corp is drumming up for themselves (pun intended) you’ll be sure to be hearing there name soon as this band has got something unique your not going to want to miss.
By Kristin Tully Give me the lowdown on Street Drum Corps because it’s a pretty unique idea, having all members be able to play the drums. Bobby: We started doing this and we’re actually celebrating our six year anniversary! Long story short we were all drummers in other bands and we from the love of drumming and groups like Blue Man Group and other groups that are out there we started tinkering around with sound objects- garbage cans, fire extinguishers, anything we could really get our hands on that would inspire us outside of just the drum set like we’re all used to. And we put together a show called “Bang” at the time and we were playing a lot of theme parks, charity events, and we were doing this sort of experimental drum show and that turned into what is now a way bigger show with more musicians and guitars. Four albums later- lots and lots of drums.
complete yet. We wrote a few more over the last month that we really want to put on there, so it’s still ongoing and he is an incredible producer. He’s the kind of guy who could win producer of the year! We first heard of his name from our friends in My Chemical Romance- he did a record with them- and of course working with all the American Idol people- he came highly recommended! We took a bunch of meetings with him and he just gets it and he puts his heart and everything into it and he wants to see this whole project from beginning to end. Aside from Howard, it sounds like you have some other pretty exciting collaborations on this album. Bobby: Adrian Young [No Doubt], Brooks [Bad Religion], Tommy Lee, Brandon from “Atreyu”, Shannon from “30 Seconds To Mars”…we had members of our franchise group “Bang” come in and write and play on the songs. We did that all in one day! We actually had Matt Sorum from Guns n Roses and the Cult come aboard and what we did was we wrote a song called ‘Thrashing and Trashing’ and we had every single drummer come in and play on that song and then we went back and chopped it all up and added each drummer at certain points. So that’s kind of the bonus track for the “Big Noise” album. It’s awesome…all the energy, and not only are these guys amazing drummers but they’re entertainers and they’re front-men and they bring the drums to the front just like in the old days like Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa- which are some of my favorites. They’re really great personalities on top of just being amazing drummers.
You have an album coming out this summer correct? Bobby: We signed about two years ago with Interscope Records and we’ve been working on a double album since we signed. One of the albums is basically our old school roots, which is basically all drums, it’s called Big Noise. It all sounds like it could be a movie soundtrack to Godzilla or King Kong! We’re all fans of movie scores and epic styles of music and that’s what we tried to put into the Street Drum Corp concept. Whether we are doing a theme park show or a tour with 30 Seconds To Mars, or The Used, or a bigger show we’re working on at Performing Art Centers, colleges, whatever it may be we make sure that it’s theatrical. So that record will come How did you end up with so much talent on one out this summer- hopefully. Fingers are crossed. record? Tell me a little about working with producer Howard Bobby: Just being in L.A. and having mutual friendsthat’s the one thing about being in a band and playing Benson. Bobby: Oh yeah! The master! Lord Benson! We still are music, it’s like a gang. It goes beyond the music and all actually working with him. We’re recording three more the creativity, it’s about having your friends around and songs in the end of May, because the records not actually creating something special.
Broken Records Magazine
The Reach of
by Joshua Kail The default assumption to make about Balsam Range is that they are simply a bluegrass band. Anyone who finds themself in a conversation, as I did, with lead singer and guitarist, Caleb Smith, would quickly be corrected from such an understanding. Balsam Range is Americana. They are Country. They are Jazz. And yes, they are also Bluegrass. It is these classifications and divisions that place Balsam Range in such an interesting and challenging position as they enter the studio for their third album. Many of the concerts and festivals that Balsam Range have played, and the primary component of their core audience are those of traditional bluegrass. This is an audience who likes their music relatively pure from outside influences. While Caleb and the others have a place in their hearts for traditional bluegrass, they also want to explore where they can take the sound by incorporating all those other genres. This goes hand in hand with the goal of reaching a younger audience. As Caleb put it “there is a fine line between pulling in other genres into bluegrass and creating a really corny version of a beloved song.” It is a slippery slope of claw hammering a Beatles song and finding yourself mid hoe-down. Caleb goes on to say “if a song is produced right, and made right, the results could be beautiful.” This is the mentality when Balsam Range plays their take on Coltrane or Gershwin’s “Summertime.” They are not simply making it feel country, they blending these two complimentary yet vastly different sounds into something that feel new and familiar concurrently.
Balsam Range could never play Summertime at one of the traditional bluegrass festivals, so they are expanding their reach. One way they have done this is by playing more college shows. According to Caleb the college audiences really “have an appreciation for Americana” and are much more open to how they play around with traditional sounds. They have also started playing festivals geared for younger audiences. “There are so many great festivals out there today that allow for the mixing of genres and styles, such as Merlefest, which we just played, and Bonnaroo.” Another way in which Balsam Range has really exploded in reaching out to a younger audience is through their coverage by satellite radio. This has got them heard not only throughout the United States but also throughout Europe. In fact they will be heading out on their first European tour sometime in September of 2011. This interest was sparked by their satellite presence. While certainly a lot of their current focus is brining in that younger fan-base, Balsam Range is not planning to turn their back on their traditional audience. “You know, the venue really tells us how a show is going to sound. Playing to these two separate audiences is not impossible; we have the material, the vocals, and the musical ability to do it. “ As Balsam Range grows in popularity it may become increasingly more difficult to divide what venues they play by style and audience alone, but Caleb also has faith in their core fan-base’s ability to grow and adapt with them, even if it is at a slower pace then the band itself.
Broken Records Magazine
Featuring Music’s Biggest Stars
Evans Blue new lead singer, Dan Chandler, will never be “sick” of the fans Tell us about your new album, Evans Blue and explain the direction of it from your previous albums? How are your influences felt compared to the “previous” line up? It was an incredibly smooth process, simply because everyone was on the same page. We all had a hand in writing it, whether it was melody ideas to song structure... everyone in the band put a piece of themselves in to it. The direction was more of just the band evolving. A new singer and a new writing style, melodically and lyrically. I think the goal was to just keep writing music we love and let the record speak for itself. Everyone has incredible respect for each other, as musicians and as friends. I think those are the roots for writing a great album that everyone in the band can feel a part of.
Interview by Gerard Ucelli
It’s a weird thing stepping into the shoes of a band that’s already established. How did you get picked to be new singer and how has the fans reacted? Any negative reactions? I heard through a friend they were looking for a singer. I went to their MySpace and simply asked what I had to do... they sent over a couple of tracks for me to sing to and send back, and shortly after that, they sent me an original demo track to write to; that song is now ‘Who We Are’ on the album. I flew to Toronto to meet the guys and jam, and needless to say, it was just one of those things that felt right to everyone. There are a lot of things that run through your mind when you are replacing the singer in an existing band. I’ve been playing music for many years and really wanted
Broken Records Magazine to stay true to the musician I have become, and this was never in question. I donâ€™t think the guys were looking for someone who sounded exactly like the old singer. They wanted to continue to grow too. I am flattered and thankful that everything worked out the way it has for all of us. The fans are pretty much amazing, and thatâ€™s an understatement. From my first show with the guys to the last show we played last month, they never stopped showing up â€“ they continue to come every time, learning the words to the new album and accepting the change. I really like becoming friends with the fans. I find myself looking forward to not only playing somewhere, but hanging out with everyone afterwards. I have definitely met some really cool people over the past year and a half. The only negative reactions Iâ€™ve seen were the occasional posts on the internet, and I think that is pretty universal for any band. The negativity hasnâ€™t been that Iâ€™m a douchebag but more or less because its not the â€œsameâ€?â€Śand no,itâ€™s not. I never take offense to a negative comment. Listeners really put their souls into their music, and so do I. They have a right to like or not like anything they want. Itâ€™s pretty easy to tell if itâ€™s honesty or someone with too much time on their hands.
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How does it feel to be going on tour with Rains? I love those guys. They are like sisters to usâ€Śhaha But really, a super-talented band and musicians. We have done a lot of shows with them. Itâ€™s like going on tour with all your best friends and laughing your ass off everyday. It truly just doesnâ€™t seem fair, but I wonâ€™t question it..
You guys have a song called â€œSay Itâ€? what would you say youâ€™re completely honest about and not give a fuck what other people think? I think I can easily answer for everyone hereâ€Śwe are all honest about our music.. At the end of the day, we have to have pride in what we are doing. We would rather create music we love and have lived and feel right about it than to do something less valuable to us for the sake of whatâ€™s â€œin.â€? â€˜A manâ€™s success should be measured not so much by the position he has reached as by the obstacles which he has overcome.â€™ - Booker T. Washington
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â€œSick of Itâ€? has gotten tons of play on Sirius Radio (my radio of choice). What is it about that song that just rings true? That song is really just easy to relate to. I think people can find many ways to see their own situation in it, whether itâ€™s your girlfriend, boyfriend, boss, family. Itâ€™s a fun song to sing along with too, so that doesnâ€™t hurt either.
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Broken Records Magazine
Mixing many genres of music is an art form that has long been repeated. In the last 20 years, we’ve seen RapRock come and go, Pop-Rock rise and fall and now PopCountry arrive at the pinnacle again. Unlike the artists in the cross-genre fads, NeedToBreathe is completely original. By no means do they mix genres of music just to make cool music- they combine their southern influences (they come from a small town in South Carolina). NeedToBreathe’s foursome: brothers, Bo and Bear Rinehart (guitars and vocals); drummer, Joe Stillwell; bassist, Seth Bolt, released their third album, The Outsiders, last year on Atlantic Records. The release is the band’s most diverse combination of styles to date. While it’s impossible to pigeonhole the band, they could easily fit into Rock, Pop, Country or Folk genres. The title track infuses Bear’s “Kings Of Leon” style gospel vocals with Bo’s fluent banjo lines and air tight rock rhythm section. On first listen, I was hooked on NTB. I was excited to speak with Joe Stillwell a few days before their NYC concert-which was a sellout. Stillwell was more than happy to talk about the bands past music and their roots, their present album and tour and set the record straight on a “label.”
As a new fan of the band, I was interested in knowing about the band’s origins and how their “sound” formed. Joe Stillwell’s happy, southern voice answered, “It came together pretty organically. There wasn’t really a music scene where we come from, which I was guess was pretty beneficial for us. Being from the South, all the Southern Rock and Gospel influences got into what we do. But besides the Country and Gospel, there was also stuff like Nirvana and the Black Crows.” With a group of influences like that, it’s hard to fit it…almost like an outsider. Stillwell added, “For us, we like to think we don’t really fit into a genre. That’s one thing we are proud of…we are hard to classify musically.” The band’s earlier music wasn’t as diverse as The Outsiders is. “On Daylight (NTB’s first album), it started as a little more atmospheric- a bit more British Rock,” Stillwell recalls. The band’s finally hit their stride on The Heat. “It comes with being more comfortable,” Stillwell said then added, “It’s come to the point where we can trust ourselves a little bit more. We’re making what feels right. At the end of the day, it’s our opinion that matters most.” Charting higher than their other albums, The Outsiders
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isn’t just an album title or a song- it’s who they are, which is evident since Bear has the words “The Outsiders” tattooed on his arm. “Coming from Possum Kingdom, we never felt we fit in the NY or LA style of doing things. The Outsiders was more about coming to terms that we don’t really fit into one style- and we are okay with that. Walk into the record store or check out their website and you will see an image of a white horse with a red “O” around his eye all set on a black background. A strikingly simple cover but goes deeper than it seems. “We were originally going to have us four riding four white horses, like an old time scene and eventually it just became the white horse on the background,” Stillwell explains, “and the red “O” is kind of like a ‘Scarlett Letter’ kind of thing.” When I start liking a band, I really like to know about their history and what they’ve accomplished. After doing a simple Google search, I was somewhat shocked to see they are considered a Christian band- yet many sites tend to disagree with the label. I decided to take the risk and ask Stillwell if it’s a valid label. He gave a strikingly strong response, “No. We don’t write music for that genre. We
don’t write saying ‘is this a Christian song?’ We write honest music. We write from our lives and emotions and we are Christian in our faith so it has to get into the lyrics and the music a little. After a great conversation with Joe Stillwell, I had their music on repeat up until the show. I was eager to see if their live show was as good as he said it was. He told me they “built their careers on their live show” and that he belives that the live show is “shared between the band and the audience. Our live show is what we are most proud of- so your in for an experience.” That’s a lot of hype he’s built. But he was more than right. NTB put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen in years. It wasn’t just the great music, it was the energy; it was the musicianship; it was the emotion, the sweat and everything else that went into the songs. Last of all it was their encore they play completely unplugged (no PA system, amps or microphones at all). Their performance of “Washed By the Water” was hands down the most incredible and deepest performance of the night. So good that I had to stop Bo and tell him. He stopped, shook my hand and with the most sincerity in his voice he reply, “Wow. Thank you so much. Really means a lot.”
Broken Records Magazine
Photo by Ray White
By Gerard Uccelli An experience is something that we all go through whether they would be good or bad and for being a guitarist for a band known as Flyleaf who released their newest album Memento Mori (2009); Sameer Bhattacharya goes through constant experiences with being in a band that has never had problems with replacements. Today, having the same lineup in a band is definitely something one doesn’t see very often. “It’s important that every member of the band is different. We all have the same taste, but it’s generally different music. There are times where we all have to compromise and find middle ground with everyone and putting up with one’s suggestions,” said Bhattacharya, lead guitarist for Flyleaf. That unity as a band is doing well even though creatively, they haven’t put anything out since Flyleaf (2005). When one automatically assumes that something was missing; little does he/she realize that the particular “something” could be closer than one would think? Thus being what Flyleaf was doing for four years
without releasing albums. “There wasn’t really a hiatus. We were touring the whole time. However, we did have a month break just getting our work done, but we have been touring for five years straight then we just finished it up,” said Bhattacharya. Around releasing Memento Mori, they made a new music video, “Again” which is considered their first single off their new album. As far as the video it was one great way to come back. ““Again” is basically about starting over. You can always begin all over again because every morning is new to become a better person and overcome selfish decisions,” said Bhattacharya. They are currently on tour with Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin and with that success of playing old and new songs venue after venue there will eventually be a favorite. “My personal favorite is “Arise” because it makes you have those feelings that you dream. Those dreams that we had as children by making many compromises we are able to make as decisions and realize for what we dream,” said Bhattacharya.
Broken Records Magazine
by Ray White What really made you guys feel like you needed to get the original lineup back together in 2008? It sort of started with Morgan and me. We were talking about a bunch of different stuff on a personal level at the time. I was telling him about some stuff I had been going through personally. Just being brothers, you know? Regardless of being in a band together, he and I remained pretty close. I talked to him a little bit here and there. But this one particular conversation we had was just about music and ideas. And he was just like, “you know what? You’re not doing the Dark New Day thing anymore; you should reconnect with the guys in the band.” So we all started talking, and that lead to musical ideas, and we hadn’t done that in awhile. It just started sparking some of those thoughts. So we decided, let’s just jump into it. We decided to make that choice then. It wasn’t easy because of Sonny (Mayo,guitarist who replaced Lowery from 2005-2008) obviously. He’s a great guy. It was not easy to put him off to the side. We had to what was best though. Do you all still talk with Sonny or has the relationship been severed because of his dismissal? I wouldn’t say severed. Obviously it’s not designed to make someone feel good. He understands why. Morgan talks to Sonny a lot. Morgan’s like the peacekeeper among
all these kind of things in the band. I don’t know how much he talks to the other guys. It’s not that anyone was wrong or right. It was just one of those things we thought was best for our band. What was the key factor that got you to come back to Sevendust? I guess it was being away from the band with the Dark New Day thing, which is my brother’s band. We had our little run with that, and I played with Korn for about 10 months, or whatever it was. Being in that environment really made me miss the guys. In Sevendust I have a voice; I have a bond with these guys that goes way back. The Korn gig was a really good job, but it made me really appreciate what I had. It just made me think. You know, I’d sit on the road with Korn on a lot of nights just thinking, “Man I wish I could be with my boys in Sevendust.” That kind of spearheaded me to thinking, “If I got back into that situation, I would definitely appreciate it more. And be more grateful for the things I have with that band”. And I was right. What did you guys do differently on Cold Day Memory than your previous albums? Well, the last 3 records I haven’t been on. With this one we just went back to what we do. We got Johnny K to
Broken Records Magazine When you left Sevendust in 2004 suddenly, it was during the tour. What caused you to just up and leave so suddenly like that? Well, there was about a week left on the tour. It was really bad man. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; I was in a bad place. Dimebag had just gotten killed; I was really bad with my drinking. At that time my thinking was messed up, because obviously I was under the influence of a lot of different things, going through a lot of shit. At that time I felt like I might be in a little danger if I stayed out there any longer. It was terrible, I hated leaving. I never wanted to do it like that. But it was the best thing I could do at that time. I needed to come home and get my head straight. I definitely regret leaving with a week left of touring, especially during the holidays. That was a mistake, but I feel like now it’s something I’ve had the blessing to be able to make up for. Being able to come back and work hard for these guys. Try to make things right.
produce, who’s had a really successful career producing. We really wanted to have an outside entity to herd in our ideas. I think that was a really big factor in this one. We’ve gone with a few different producers in the past; it’s always a different experience with producers, as far as what the working dynamic is going to be and such. But he was awesome. For me, I Just took on a lot this time. I don’t have any kids, I’m not married. At the time I just had nothing to do besides Sevendust. So I really got to dig in. And the guys did three records without me, so they were really amped to just let me run wild with it. Of course everyone always has a lot of input into all of our songs in this band. I spent a lot of my off-time working it and grinding songs out. For me it was a lot of work, but I think we all just kind of wanted to do what we do best. The mix that we feel defines us. This is your first album with Johnny K producing. How’d you get hooked up with for Cold Day Memory? He was one of the guys we’ve always had on the list. We’ve got mutual Mother’s Day friends through Disturbed, who have is MAY 9TH done some stuff with him before. Management also threw his name in as a contender for the job. My brother Corey helped co-produce a lot of it too. He flew up and helped record a lot of the vocals. It was a group effort for sure. The first single Unraveling was released on iTunes already. There have also been a couple of songs streamed onto the radio. Is that you guys trying to get a good sampling out there of what to expect on Cold Day Memory? Well, Unraveling is easier for the radio people to swallow. I just wanted to release a song that was more edgy than that. To let the hardcore fans out there that want to listen to heavier stuff know that we still cater to them. You know, radio is there sometimes, and sometimes it’s not for you. But our fan base is always there. So we just want to make sure they’re covered. We love them more than anything.
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Broken Records Magazine
Breaking Benjaminâ€™s Guitarist,Aaron Fink, discusses his journey with the band, touring and more. by
Scott Vollweiler 37
Broken Records Magazine A ten year anniversary in anything that is remotely positive should be commended for. Just think of marriages and the hell one puts up with his/her partner. Just imagine when it’s four people. No reference towards polygamy, but when a band sticks together for that long, like Breaking Benjamin, that is an accomplishment. “There have been lots of hiccups over the years so it’s not smooth sailing. The music business is not smooth sailing at all times. You have to navigate through. Being in band is like any part of life. It’s not perfect; having family issues come up, but I don’t talk in specifics. There’s a lot of obstacles man,” said Fink, guitarist for the multi-platinum rock band, Breaking Benjamin. Breaking Benjamin has four albums under their belt with Saturate (2002), We Are Not Alone (2004), Phobia (2006) and their most recent release, Dear Agony (2009). They have hit singles such as “Diary of Jane,” So Cold” and “I Will Not Bow.” They are recently wrapped up a national tour with Three Days Grace and Flyleaf. With Dear Agony out on shelves, any listener has curiosity to see the direction between each album if they are a big fan. “We don’t stray too far from the original formula. We just try to come up with a batch of good songs so it doesn’t go too far in any direction. This is the heaviest record, but we have had the same producer for a while. I think our records aren’t carbon copies of each other, but most of it is in the same vein. Hopefully the fans would like them all,” Fink adds. When there’s a new album, there is usually a new tour and when there’s a new tour they’re usually pranks involved, well you would think there are “Not too many pranks. We usually save them for the last day of the tour and have some fun with each other. That’s coming up in a week or so (as of February). Maybe you can interview me then but as far as ideas now, nothing’s coming to mind
right now, but we definitely have some fun,” said Fink. Hopefully April Fools Day can be moved up for when this day happens. As a fan of any type of band, there is going to be that one song that has you hooked and it will never leave out of that full catalog from that band. A band member’s favoritism over which song is his preference to play live is a different story. “I still like to play “So Cold” even though that is an old one, but that was the first big song so I guess it has a little bit of special meaning and that was a song written by everybody in the band so it’s still good when it’s considered our quintessential song that everyone knows and it’s still fun,” Fink excitedly quips. Speaking of the tour, I was fortunate enough to see them at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey last Friday, Feb 19th (editors note: see the review in Volume II/Issue 2 with Lady Antebellum on the cover). During Breaking Benjamin’s set, they covered “Dream On” by Aerosmith. In regards to dreams when one is young, everyone has those ambitions where the money, power and respect come into place. At the same time one’s knowledge of the real world can tell that dreams like that are not feasible. “I think at one point I wanted to be a professional skateboarder, but I had beer which you can’t have. I don’t know, but I guess when I play guitar I never
“We don’t stray too far from the original formula...this is the heaviest record, but we have had the same producer for a while. Hopefully the fans would like them all.”
-Aaron Fink Guitarist, Breaking Benjamin
Broken Records Magazine really thought I could make it or I never planned to make it. I just played out of passion. I never actively pursuit this as a career, but I was fortunate enough to have some good breaks and things to fall in place in the past couple of years. I guess in the back of mind I was like ‘S**t! I want to be that for a living’ but the logical side of me said it was almost impossible; but it worked out well,” Fink recollects. In a point of anyone’s life, it is certain that there was one element that is a major impact for motivation. Being around music, just imagine having one’s influences in a dream tour. “Well I’m a huge classic rock guy. I’m mainly into bands that don’t exist anymore. I’ve seen most of the bands I’m into. I’ve seen Tool a couple of times. I actually have to see Metallica, which is bugging me. It’s something that I’ve got to do. We did a tour with Korn which is one of the greatest hard rock bands ever, which was fun. We got to see them every night,” said Fink. From this prominent band, what can we expect further on in the year? “Well, we just released an album so there won’t be any albums this year and were touring so we’re doing the headlining run since December with Three Days Grace. In the spring, were playing with Nickelback and Shinedown so that will be a fun tour. That’s the only thing in the books as of now,” adds Fink. Ten years and four albums in, Breaking Benjamin aren’t stopping. Look for them in a city near you.
A Conversation With Nathan Drake By Ginamarie Pimpsner On May 6, 2010, I had the chance to speak with Nathan “Drake” Hunt, lead singer of Shaman’s Harvest the hottest unsigned band around. Their first hit single “Dragonfly” made it to Sirius Octane’s top 40 count down and hit # 34 on Billboard’s rock singles chart in 2009. Like all great things, the band had a serendipitous start. “We met at a party in 1996; I was a senior in high school. I picked up a guitar and started singing. Our original drummer picked up two coat hangers and started playing on a bucket. The bassist found an old bass lying around and joined in.” Being in a band offers the chance to go to towns you normally wouldn’t have the chance to visit. No matter what, there is that one place that stands out above the rest. When I asked where that was, I got an unexpected response, “I love the East Coast, but my favorite town to play in is Omaha, Nebraska, as strange as that may sound. Even if they don’t know the band, people come out and listen anyway. It’s like Seattle in the ‘90s.” Not only are there favorite towns, but venues as well. “I like the club scenes. I like the intimate settings. It is hard to connect with the audience in large venues.” A statement any fan can agree with, when 90% of the audience nowadays can only enjoy the concert through Jumbo Trons and excess speakers there is something that gets lost. To be the most played unsigned band on the radio is quite an accomplishment. When asked how it felt, Nathan commented, “I don’t know. It is all still crazy. It hasn’t hit yet. But we are going to take the time to enjoy it while we can.” As for being unsigned, “It is what it is. We’ve had offers but they didn’t feel right at the time.” As our conversation came to a close, Nathan answered one last question for me, where the inspirations for their songs come from, “Everything, and anything, whatever is happening in life at the time.”
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Piebald’s Front Man Discusses Reunion, Catalog Release and More In regards to breaking up, bands always fall into temptations where the bond they once had when they first started can be potentially gone. When a band decides to go on a reunion, the factor of getting back together can result as an opportunity to go back to their roots. For indie band, Piebald, that opportunity playing shows ever since 2008 can never be passed up for them. Piebald is already on a good start with their reunion by releasing their “Ten Years” collection as a catalog of their EP’s, B-Sides and live performances. This catalog will be released in three separate volumes. Those releases will be around a two month interval for each release. So just think- playing music since 1994, the amounts of music on the catalogs can result in something “infinite.” When a fan of any band gets back together, one would take it as a festival of playing more older and recent material in the hopes of making new material. Travis Shettel had a weird feeling when working on the catalog to help get their reunion out there. “It was definitely bittersweet. I had to go through lots of old tracks and live performances and hear all great moments and not-so-great moments that we lived and played. I also wrote a lot about the history of the band and it was interesting to go back and dig up lots of memories and history to tell a complete Piebald story. It was enjoyably strange,” said Shettel. Another element that stands out with this catalog is that each volume again is being released close to two months apart from each other. Usually, catalogs of music are released at once or spanned over a matter of years.
“Well, we just didn’t want them all to be on the same date. We wanted each release to have its own specific release and get its own attention,” Shettel explains. Piebald is also playing some big shows this year. The most notable has to be playing Bamboozle in New Jersey on May 2nd with the likes of Weezer, Kesha, Motion City Soundtrack, Kevin Devine, Say Anything, Wale, Good Old War and many more because the lineup can go on forever. For any band to get back into the groove of playing shows brings back a lot of old feelings, but at the same time there’s a lot to get used to. “I think it will be like putting on my favorite old pair of shoes. Also, we are doing the Anaheim Bamboozle as well on the 28th of this month…I also want to see Matt & Kim and Weezer,” said Shettel. . With so much going on for Piebald, Shettel always has the alternates in his music career just in case. Even though there’s so much going on for Piebald, here’s what a fan can expect from Shettel for the rest of 2010 and in general. “I am making lots of music these days. my main project is called “Ts and The Past Haunts.” I recorded some of my own songs, with my very good friends in The Duke Spirit. I have an EP that is now available on iTunes and Amazon. “Check it!! Also, Aaron and I are in a band called The Hunting Accident and my lady and I are in a band called Tricky Sizzler. It’s all good and have a listen,” said Shettel.
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Gerard Ucelli 43
Broken Records Magazine Going to any kind of show brings some kind of enjoyment. Whether one would see a friend’s band or a roster of great bands, it can bring one some kind of nirvana from “the real world.” Going to see Love and Theft in early March at Prospector’s in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey completely epitomizes a good time with the crowd and dancing. Performing the majority of their songs off their recent release, World Wide Open (2009), the crowd proved that they were true fans and singing along to every original song that they performed. “Runaway” being one of their biggest songs, people reacted to the point where the singing was actually coordinated. That’s also not mentioning the tribute to Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” where all the country fans that night really had a blast with going back to the roots of country. Even though Love and Theft is a relatively new band, the hype that they’re receiving with having singles on CMT is a substantial factor why Prospector’s was so packed out. After the long road of people meeting, taking pictures and autographs from Love and Theft after the show, it was about time to get down to business with Stephen Barker Liles (vocals, guitar and piano), Brian Bandas (vocals, guitar and piano), and Eric Gunderson (vocals, guitar, bass and piano) at around 1:00AM inside of their tour bus. The first deal of business is to always get down to the music which was pertaining to World Wide Open. “World Wide Open came out this past August 2009 and one of the things were proudest of is the fact that we wrote all the songs on the album which is sort of a rarity these days. As a new artist it is also a privilege to do that. We are very excited we wrote everything on there and there are a couple of bonus tracks on I-Tunes as well,” said Bandas. “We are very passionate songwriters so this is really fun to play songs every night that your passionate about that you wrote that come from a personal place,” said Liles. For one to make music she/she has to have some reflection of what their background life was like. A great example is where one was raised. Hearing that they were from Texas, North Carolina gives an urge to ask if that comes in as an influence. “That’s a big part of our
sound is the fact that each of us have a part of our music that we all share, but there’s a lot of influences where we come from individually that doesn’t necessarily overlap. We kind of have a lot of flavors that meet in the middle of all of those different preferences,” said Bandas. Soon after that question flavor was used into a different terms such as ice cream. The second ice cream was the brief topic of discussion, Liles admitted to be a vanilla guy. At the same time when the word “Oreo” was stated by yours truly, all came into agreement. Music is able to give bands an advantage to have endorsements and for Kraft, one couldn’t get much bigger. “Were doing the “Kraft Single’s Best Town in America.” It’s a contest and you basically write into the website. Not to sound like it’s school related or anything, but you kind of write an essay about why your town is the single best town in America. It has to be 1700 words 1 ½ margins so it’s kind of strict,” said Gunderson. Every musician has a bunch of songs, but there is always that urgency to play that one song live that just completes who one is. Going into this question with Love and Theft and for all three members has a different answer. “My favorite now is “Run Baby Run.” I think that’s really fun even though it’s not on our record,” said Liles. “My favorite song is probably “It’s up To you.” It’s definitely my favorite song right now,” said Gunderson. “I think my favorite song to play live is “Can’t Go Back,” said Bandas. There is always that fantasy for musicians to have a dream tour to play. Just think of the “love and lust” of playing with people that one basically grew up with. Love and Theft’s answers were again all over the place. “Well for me it would be The Beatles, Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones,” said Gunderson. “Well for me, U2 is definitely one of them,” said Bandas. “If Johnny Cash was hanging out I would love to go on tour with him,” said Liles. Speaking of going on tour, they are heating it up in the summer with Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum which for any country fans definitely keep a look out on. To watch the video of this interview go to http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=l12_MtIsZpY.
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by Ray White In a Phoenix, AZ middle school in 2003, a few friends thought it would be fun to form a rock band. Little did they know, 7 years later this fun idea would have grown and developed and they would be getting ready for their 1st full-length album release for The Words You Don’t Swallow, and an upcoming spot for the full Vans Warped Tour this summer. But alas, that’s exactly what has happened to Anarbor. On the reason they waited so long to records their first album, guitarist Mike Kitlas told BRM, “We had no desire to release an LP before we had a solid fan base. After a few EP’s and touring for the last 3 years we felt we had paid our dues and it was time.” “A big goal on this album was diversity. And with all 4 of us being writers, that’s the biggest thing that sets us apart from other bands. Our songs don’t all sound the same. Musically for us, everything is an option. There are so many bands out there playing the same stuff. It
seems like everyday there’s a new song o u t about some chick by a different name, or some poppy new club hit that sounds like the last one. All of this is infecting our airwaves. We’re talking about growing up, and all the different temptations and learning experiences everyone goes through. Real life.” Anarbor has gotten plenty of attention, with their music making its way onto The Hills, Sportscenter, and they even got a play during last year’s NFL Season Kickoff during a montage video. And with their first full Vans Warped Tour coming up, as well as their first trips to play in the UK and Japan, they’ll be getting plenty more attention. With a lot of catchy lines and riffs, driving drums and a little something for everyone, Anarbor has a lot to look forward to. With the release of The Words You Don’t Swallow on April 20th, the boys from Phoenix will have plenty to keep their schedules busy. And I doubt it’s the last we’ll hear from them for a long time.
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What led you to record in Greece for this album? When Kevin Shirley and I started recording together way back when, we decided we were going to push the boundaries and to take the blues to different places. So over the years, we've gone swampy, we've gone eclectic; we talk about the different blues genres whether itâ€™s Delta blues, or blues from New Orleans, Memphis versus Chicago, etc. It's all related and Greece is no different. Plus the food is awesome.
interview by Ray Decker 46
Broken Records Magazine There is a more "world music" vibe peaking through on this album with songs like "Quarryman's Lament" and the "Bird on a Wire" cover. How much has recording in Greece affected the way you had written & played on this album? Of course it had an effect. The geography of it all was very much the impetus in the sound of the album. When we got there, the first thing we did was sit down with these two Greek guys – Manolis Karadinis on bouzouki and Thanasis Vasilopoulos on clarino – and they didn’t speak any English at all. So we just played. We actually recorded a song like that- just playing outside at night. It was very quiet and peaceful but we were also able to inject some fun and experimentation into it so I think that kind of playing came out through the whole album. Especially on songs like “Quarryman’s Lament” and “Bird on a Wire.”Tthose folk instruments were able to give it a really unique feel. Where did you find the additional musicians to play on this album? Kevin Shirley’s friend, Kostas Kalimeris, who built the Black Rock Studio in Santorini, helped us with that. He was the one who convinced us to record there, not that we needed much convincing. But before we arrived, Kalimeri would send Kevin YouTube videos of local Greek players and he chose a handful of them to play on the record with us. It seems that your career is exploding recently, with your latest DVD (Live from Royal Albert Hall) featuring a guest spot with Eric Clapton & B.B. King appearing on the new album. How has owning your own label & controlling your own career played into this success? I think it’s played a huge part. In the last four years, we’ve put out four studio albums, a live album and a DVD. If we were still on a major label, we’d be lucky to put out maybe two of those projects. Taking control of my work and the products we put out has given me the freedom to keep trying different things and recording when we’re ready rather than waiting for someone else to tell me it’s time. With the internet & iTunes in particular, how hard is it to get the songs on an album to flow & yet have each song stand out for those looking to download individual songs? To me, a cohesive album is important. Unfortunately, today, people download a song here or a song there and they are missing the feel that albums are designed with. If you took Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull and listened to those songs out of order it just wouldn’t work. I always
try to make the album interesting from start to finish. You never want to make an album that sounds the same all the way through or just get a couple of good tracks and fill it in with filler. Now a question about guitars for us guitar nuts. How did it come about that you have a signature Les Paul & what are the specs on this model? Well, to preface this, I don’t plan on ever breeding in my life so this guitar is the closest thing to a child I will ever have. When Gibson called me and asked, ‘Will you do a signature guitar’ I absolutely thought I was dreaming. The guitar it is inspired by is one my dad bought at a guitar shop when I was about 12 – a 1955 Gibson Goldtop which was dropped a hundred times so they painted the back black. It was my favorite guitar. When I got the call from Gibson, I sat down and tried to remember everything I could about that guitar. The end result is a body of handmade maple with a two-piece light mahogany back and an Antique Goldtop finish, mahogany neck and 22 fret rosewood fingerboard, ABR 1 bridge without the retainer wire and an aluminum stop tailpiece, 1950s-style headstock, Burstbucker 2 pickup in the neck and a Burstbucker 3 in the bridge, Grover kidney tuners, Amber Top Hat knobs for the neck, Gold Top Hat knobs for the bridge, Dunlop strap locks, black pickup rings, switchwasher and pickguard. I hope the worn finish will make people want to take it out and play it instead of just leaving it in the case. How did the formation of the "supergroup" with Bonham, Sherinian and Hughes happen? Is there a name you are using for the group yet? And what is the status of the band (how many songs written, recorded, etc). What kind of music are we looking at for this group? I did form a group with those guys and it’s great. They are all amazing. Kevin Shirley is producing and we already finished cutting tracks at his studio in LA. The album is gonna be a rock album and should be released late this year or early next year. And we are still working on a name since our original one – Black Country – was already taken by another band.
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Broken Records Magazine After 10 years of relentless touring, and 4 albums, Lifehouse is back again with their 5th studio effort, Smoke & Mirrors. Lifehouse first broke onto the music scene in 2001 with the single “Hanging by a Moment”, beating out both Janet Jackson and Alicia Keys for #1 single of 2001. And they haven’t slowed down since. After 3 years of touring in support of their 4th album Who We Are, the guys from Lifehouse decided to get back in the studio and fuse their split personalities of pop radio sound and their hard driving, live rock show all into one album. And now with the release of Smoke & Mirrors, the guys from Lifehouse are more than ready to get back out on the road and give their fans nothing less than the best live show they are capable of. “We really love being on the road,” says Rick Woolstenhulme, drummer and one of Lifehouse’s founding members. “We enjoy playing live, feeling that energy.” With over 5 million album sales and 70 million video streams online, it’s safe to say Lifehouse isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Their fan base is fiercely loyal, keeping Lifehouse singles on the iTunes charts years after their release. Lifehouse also took a path they have not traveled down very much with Smoke & Mirrors: collaboration. They worked with rapper/songwriter Kevin Rudolph, who wrote the hit, “Let It Rock”, on their first single “Halfway Gone”. Which has become the bands fastest growing single ever, making the top twenty within three weeks of its release. “Kevin brings another side – a hint of the hip hop world but in context with what we’re doing,” says singer Jason Wade. “We were fans of his and he was a fan of ours and it just clicked. What resulted was a nice blend of older Lifehouse with a new fresh sound -– we can’t make the same record over and over.” They also worked with American Idol alumni Chris Daughtry. Jason and Chris met on the road and became friends thereafter. “I haven’t done much co-writing in the past and I’m a bit leery of it,” Jason admits. “You can end up with a song that is not good and just wish you had that day of your life back (laughs) however, I went over to Chris’s place in LA and within an hour we had ‘Had Enough;’ “ a song which Richard Marx also co-wrote. After over a year in the studio, and after recording nearly thirty-five tracks, of which only twelve made the cut, we now have Smoke & Mirrors. It’s an evolution that their fans have embraced with open arms. With a tour alongside Daughtry, fans have plenty to look forward to this year. According to Lifehouse, it feels like they’re doing this all again for the first time – they are inspired and excited about getting out there and playing these songs live. “It’s our fifth album but I feel like we’re just starting as a band,” Bryce Soderberg says. “As far as our chemistry goes, we just really know each other now. We know what pisses each other off and how to avoid it. We keep each other level headed, we vent to each other. We leave our egos at the bus door. We’re good to go.”
The following is an interview with Lifehouse drummer Ricky Woolstenhulme Jr, the day before Smoke and Mirrors got released. The new album Smoke and Mirrors is due for release March 2. What should fans expect on the new album? With this album we really strove not to stick in our box. We went in the studio after touring for 3 years on the previous album Who We Are, the chemistry of the live show was so good we just wanted to go straight from the touring cycle into the studio. And that’s pretty much what we did. Other than that, I think it’s filled with a ton of growth. We initially started cutting tracks and we’d go over the tracks for a few weeks. But at the end of the day if we weren’t truly excited about it, or it didn’t have the fresh appeal to it, we would just scrap ‘em. So it took us about a year and 3 Jason Wade and Rick Woolstenhulme at Toms River Fest 2008, Toms River, NJ
Broken Records Magazine months to finish the record. The bar was set super high, and I think we tapped into what we do best. Meaning our live, organic rock show and our pop sensibilities both merged together. And now you’ve got Smoke and Mirrors. There are quite a few collaborative efforts on Smoke and Mirrors. Do you find that makes the process easier, or more difficult for you? I guess I’d be somewhat speaking for Jason on this aspect. He’s really used to writing everything on his own. I think he really wanted to explore the possibility of being with other writers. And this time, especially on the first single “Halfway Gone,” there was collaboration with Kevin Rudolph, who wrote “Let It Rock.” The genius to “Halfway Gone” is we had our rock songs, our pop songs, but we really wanted one that was a perfect blend of the two. And that’s where Kevin came in super-handy. He came in, and the track happened really fast, and we all got in the room and cut it. Some tracks just happen that way. When you finish and listen to it and go, “Hey, this could be the first single!” And as it turns out, “Halfway Gone” is the first single.
Lifehouse at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC. CD Release Party.
“We’re really super proud of all 12 tracks on the record.”
You’ve got a big tour coming up with Daughtry soon. You guys excited to get back out on the road again? We are more than excited! It said a lot when we got into rehearsal the first day for the show. After recording the album and taking a little home time off, we were away from touring for quite awhile. The day of rehearsal we started playing some of the new songs; kinda just the first round. And it was just like “Whoa!” The energy level was How did you get hooked up with Kevin Rudolph? just through the roof! Well, we’re all such big fans of that song “Let It Rock”. I And this is gonna be a great tour. He’s a great friend of think we were all shocked that song could be a bon-a-fide, ours. He’s super down to earth. We’re all on the same heavy rock song, but at the same time you could play it page; we want to go out there and have a big package and in a dance club. So there was a lot of appeal from us as to make it an exciting tour for people to come and see. And how he pulled that off. Also we wanted to see what road we’re gonna be pretty much playing the entire new album, that would take us down. It worked out really well. plus a few older tracks. Definitely featuring Smoke and Mirrors. You recorded nearly 35 total tracks before settling on the final 12 for Smoke and Mirrors. How tough is it After the tour with Daughtry, do you plan on touring making that many cuts? till you drop as usual? It’s really difficult. Normally we make records in 3 or It’s definitely a tour till you drop mentality. After the 4 months. Mixed, mastered and done. This time in 15 Daughtry tour, we’ll probably have a pre-production deal. months you can get attached to a track, and each guy in That’s where we put together our big show. So we’ll put the band has his opinion of which tracks are the best. And together a nice 90 minute set and just pound away on the at the end of the day we all have to collaboratively chop road. What we love doing is playing every night. It’s all some of the children away. systems go right now; it’s gonna get busy. We’ve been But I think it’s all for the best. I think in order to get 12 away from the road for awhile now and I think everyone’s tracks where you’re not having to skip around the CD, like itching to get back out there, plug in and make some most of them these days, it takes a lot longer to make. noise!
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BRINGS HOPE TO FUTURE MUSICIANS 52
Broken Records Magazine
Article, Interview and Photos by Scott Vollweiler
It’s unfair that the youth of America keeps getting the short end of the stick when it comes to their education. In New York alone, there are a handful of schools closed each year. If these children don’t lose their school, they are using textbooks from the Clinton administration. Worst of all, they have lost many of their music programs. As a musician who has been playing and learning music for almost twenty years, I know just how important it is to have a music education. Studies have shown for years that listening to Classical artists like Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Bach (to name a few) improve your IQ and concentration. Also, playing most instruments involved using both handsand sometimes your feet, in turn using both sides of your brain; many of us haven’t used both sides of the brain at one time since crawling on the floor as a baby.
This is where VH1’s Save The Music steps in. Since forming, VH1’s Save The Music has made over $45 million dollars towards restoring music programs and instruments in schools. In stylish fashion, VH1 partnered with one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever seen, the W Hoboken, in Hoboken, New Jersey, and created a music inspired suite overlooking the water. The room will feature a ready to play Epiphone guitar, a welcome call from Save The Music Foundation Ambassador, Chrisette Michele and guests who book the suite will be entered to win tickets to a VH1 Save The Music Gala in November. Besides the perks, the room will be decked out with Gold and Platinum records from artists such as Beyonce, The
Fray, Bon Jovi, Nelly Furtado and others. A portion of the rate will go to Save The Music. On May 23, 2010, W Hoboken hosted the Summer Kick-Off party/introduction party for the suite. The swanky event was filled with great hors d’oeuvres, mini cupcakes from CRUMBS bakery, and an open bar provided by Ultimat Vodka and Francis Ford Coppola Wines (yes, director Francis Ford Coppola). But what would a music event be without music? Providing the tunes for the day was a great Junior High School rock band from Jersey City and the Grammy Award winning-Colbie Caillat. Miss Caillat is one of this year’s Ambassadors. While walking around and talking to the people in attendance, I had the opportunity to chat with three of the young musicians from the rock band. They were telling me how much they “loved music”" and they wanted to be “big rock stars.” Their band performed two original songs-not band for a group of students who just learned how to play. My biggest highlights of the day were getting to see Colbie Caillat perform an exclusive acoustic set of some of her biggest songs and getting to sit down and ask her a few questions (the Q&A to follow). The intimate performance was full of stories about the songs and how or whom they were written about. Caillat told the story of when she was 19, she picked up the guitar. Her father told her if she wanted to make music, she couldn’t do it while she was out playing with her friends. So she figured out some
chords she liked on her then out-of-tune guitar and out came “Bubbly.” To the cap the day off, CRUMBS bake shop provided Colbie with an oversized cupcake for her birthday, which was a few days away. It was an amazing event by an amazing organization for an amazing reason.
Broken Records Magazine How did you get involved with VH1’s Save The Music? I wanted to get involved because it is a great organization that raises money, puts musical instruments in schools and informs them on how important it is and gives them the opportunity for children to play music. I know it was a huge importance for me growing up because my first talent show was when I was in 6th grade and I’ve been singing since then and playing piano and guitar so it’s had a huge impact. Now were you student of music in schools or did you learn it outside on your own? I did not, no. I wish I would have. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 19 years old and if I would have been playing in Junior High or High School, I would have been a much better guitar player today. So I wish I had the opportunity. Now what is it about having music programs in schools that is so important? I think all the subjects that you learn are so important and mold you. It doesn’t matter if music is the your career path but it’s something else for you to learn and it helps you have that creative outlet and to me, I lucked out because I wanted to do music, but my best friend is a banker but she knows how to play guitar and it’s cool because when she gets home, she can play guitar for herself. It’s a way to release whatever she is going through. For you, what is music and how important is it to you? Music is so important to me. Whether it’s listening to someone else’s songs and being about to laugh to it, cry to it, dance to it or sing to it, think about my life and playing piano or guitar and singing and writing to release the
emotions; it’s like therapy to me. It’s a way to learn about yourself and about other people and learn that you’re not the only person going through that it life. Why should we keep music programs in schools? Why should the money fund music? It’s a way for kids to have fun. They find out who they are and what interests they may have. Music is a really amazing thing to learn-it’s challenging. You can learn that and learn how to play an instrument and be good at that too or try your hardest to memorize chords and songs. So it’s another way to learn. With multiple hits under your belt, did you feel pressure making your new record? At the beginning, yes, but once I started writing and getting into production with my new songs, I lost all worries and the pressure just went away. I love these songs and I got to produce them and bring them to life exactly how I wanted to!
Music is so important to me. It’s like therapy to me. It’s a way to learn about yourself.
” -Colbie Caillat 54
How did you approach the songwriting for “BreakThrough?” Was it any different than “CoCo?” I worked with a few different song writers that are friends of mine on this record. We went to Kauai for 3 weeks in January, soaked up life, talked about real situations that I was going through and wrote about them (falling in love with someone, falling out of love with someone, or writing about people that I was close to and what they are going through at that moment). Collaborating with people is so much fun; we help each other grow as writers. Does songwriting come easy to you? It seems that you have a very subtle way of expressing yourself in songs. Yes and no. Sometimes I won’t write a song for months and then all
Broken Records Magazine insecurities as a young woman and allow myself to become the person I have always wanted to be and have the career I know I can have. It took me such a long time to get to this point. For years I struggled with stage fright and because of it I contemplated giving up my love for singing. I finally had a wake up call that I was too young to give up and take the easy way out, plus I wanted to set a good example for all of my young fans, well actually, all of my fans no matter what age they are. It’s never too late to breakthrough your fears! So that’s exactly what I did. Now I enjoy performing and I look forward to every show I play! You’re also on the track “Lucky” with Jason Mraz. How did that come together? How was it working with Jason? It’s a funny story actually. Jason and I had never met before. He emailed me telling me he loved my music and he wanted us to write a song together. He had a song started that he wanted me to help him finish. So, he emailed “Lucky” to me. I worked on it with my guitar player, Tim Fagan, for a couple weeks, sent it back to Jason, and then flew to London to record the song with him. That was the first time we met. He is one of my favorite musicians in the world! At such a young age…how does it feel to be so successful and have your songs reach near of a sudden, all of the emotions that had the top of been building up inside of me that whole the charts time, start flowing out of me so fast and throughout I’ll write 3 songs in a weekend. It’s kind the world? of crazy when it happens. Songwriting is I am still a release; it’s like therapy. in disbelief about it all... So you’re a cartoon now! How did that and I am so come about? What was your initial honored at reaction to seeing yourself in ink? Were the same you an Archie fan prior? time! I was recognized as BMI’s songwriter of the year I was stoked the first time I saw myself as a cartoon! It and that is an accomplishment that I never expected! looks exactly like me! Seriously, we took a picture of Getting to travel the world and play my songs has to me next to the drawing and it’s to the T! Soooo cool! be one of the best jobs in the world! I have to thank my fans for listening to my music and continuing to come Break Through is a strong title. How does this title to my shows! It means the world to me! fit you? I named my album Breakthrough because I had a When did you “realize” you made it? break through. I had to break through my fears and my I’m still “realizing” it. Life changes for me everyday...
Broken Records Magazine
Live Music At Its Best
Madison Square Garden
Before Alicia Keys emerged onstage, fans were treated to the soulful sounds of opening acts Jermaine Paul, Melanie Fiona and Robin Thicke. J e r m a i n e Paul, who has previously served as a background singer for Keys, was enthusiastic in his efforts to hype up the audience. Melanie Fiona kept the momentum moving with her powerful vocal range and charismatic smile while she performed songs like “It Kills Me” and new single “Ay Yo.” Next Robin Thicke made his way to the stage and it was clear he was aware of his legions of female fans. Decked out in a dark suit and sunglasses, the singer crooned his way through his setv which included the thumping “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy” and “Lost Without U.” Thicke remained playful as well by ending his set with a sing-along to Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.” After 9:30, the lights went out. Alicia Keys appeared amid the smoke that slowly flooded the stage in a chainwrapped cage. She began the show with a medley of her track “Caged Bird” and “Love Is Blind.” She whipped her hair from side to side until she made her way out of the spinning entrapment and happily towards the
front of the stage. Alicia released herself Mid-way through “Love is Blind. Dressed in black pants and a black top, complimented by a red jacket, Keys ran through “Troubles,” “You Don’t Know My Name”(with Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” beat playing in the background) “Fallin,” “Another Day To Die,” “Karma” and “Once In a Lifetime.” After performing “Diary” with Jermaine Paul, Alicia then told the audience it was time to have some fun. On cue, the Beyonce-featured “Put It In a Love Song” began blaring from the speakers. Beyonce descended a flight of stairs to join Keys center stage in midway through the song. The concert marked the first time the two superstars performed the song together in front of a live audience. As part of the grand finale, Keys began the by playing “Empire State of Mind Part 2.” DJ Swizz Beatz quickly performed his hook to Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One,” the perfect segue to another New York native’s “Empire State of Mind,” which features K e y s . Jay-Z himself appeared rapping center stage to Key’s singing. The crowd stood up and started shouting Hova! Alicia! and throwing up the Roc sign. It was a once in a lifetime performance that no one should have missed.
by Diana Sonis
Jill Bednar/Pr Photos/American Images
Broken Records Magazine
The CMA’s Best Invades NYC for One Night
by Paul Seach
songs were released around the same time a song written by DiPiero would be on the airwaves). DiPiero shed light onto the meaning of George Strait’s hit “Blue Clear Sky” and how he was inspired after he heard the line in Forrest Gump and had to convince Strait the title would catch on with his fans. Jim Beavers was the final performer in the rotation and performed the smash hit “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” Beavers seemed nervous at first saying, he “wasn’t sure if anyone would know the song.” Once he started singing-as well as the crowd- a he stopped playing and grinned ear to ear. He closed the set with “Airplanes,” which was an audience favorite. Beavers also co-wrote “Sideways” with Bentley. The March 25th edition of the CMA Songwriters series had it all – country songwriters, patented country sound, guitars with a Southern voicing and the rumblings of the 6 train underground. But that’s what you get when you mix Nashville with New York City and country music comes to the Big Apple. The night’s show, held at Joe’s Pub, featured Bob DiPiero, Jim Beavers, David Lee Murphy and Dierks Bentley – a collection of artists who have contributed countless number one hits to country music. While Bentley played a few of his hits, it was a chance for the audience to hear the other songwriters’ interpretations of the songs they wrote. Rotating turns playing, DiPiero started the night with “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl,” the Brooks & Dunn’s 2003 hit he penned. His other songs included “Southern Voice,” “Blue Clear Sky” and “If You Ever Stop Loving Me.” DiPiero is the show’s host each time around. Murphy was the second act to perform, playing “Living in Fast Forward,” “Big Green Tractor,” and “Dust on the Bottle.” Bentley, fighting some “Tennessee allergies” played third and featured his hits “Sideways” and “What Was I Thinkin’.” The banter between the group was light and jovial with Bentley remarking many times that if it weren’t for DiPiero’s songwriting and his own bad timing he would have more number one hits (many of Bentley’s
Photos by Scott Vollweiler 57
Broken Records Magazine
SOB’s 4/15/10 Hip-hop legends B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill came to New York on April 15, promoting the upcoming release of their first studio album in 6 years, Rise Up on April 20. And by the looks of the sold-out crowd that packed famed SOB’s, they have lost no love during that 6 year span. The lights went low, the crowd got loud, with B-Real, Sen and Muggs opening their set with “Get Em Up”. Setting the pace right away for what was to be an energized, in your face, take no prisoners show that disappointed no one in attendance. With the system thumping, smoke in the air (that may or may not have been from the smoke machines), and everyone singing along with their hands in the air, the boys from South Gate, CA jammed out such fan favorites as “Hand On
by Ray White
The Pump”, “ Kill A Man” and “Insane In the Brain”. With a mix-in of tracks from the new album like “Armada Latina”, “It Ain’t Nothing”, and the title track “Rise Up”. Showing everybody that after over 20 years, they haven’t lost a step, they still have it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, having not seen Cypress Hill Perform live in about a decade, and I was pleasantly surprised by the performance. They put on a great show, getting the crowd hyped up from the beginning and dragging everyone all the way to the end on that energy. The crowd mixture was even more surprising than the intensity of the show, with a mixture of young and old, hip hop to hipster, stoner and non-stoner. But a great time was had by all, and no one I spoke with after the show had anything bad to say, everyone enjoyed getting their asses kicked by Cypress Hill this night. Photos and Review by
Jimi Hendrix’s music still lives on 40 years after his death. Music greats: Ernie Isley, Billy Cox, Eric Johnson, Johnny Lang, Brad Whitford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hubert Sumlin, Living Coulor and others, played homage to the music and the legacy of Hendrix. The three hour (sold out) non stop event at The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ started exactly at 8 pm. The house lights went out and the stage was dark. You heard the opening notes of “Stone Free” performed by Ernie Isley and Billy Cox. Isley and Cox went on to play “Message To Love.” Ernie Isley, Chris Layton and others played “Manic Depression.” New York natives, Living Colour came on stage to perform “Power of Soul” and “Crosstown Traffic.” There was no one seating in their seats for this performance of Hendrix’s two classics.
Jill M. Bednar Virtuosos, Eric Johnson and Chris Layton came on stage to perform “House Burning Down” and “Bold as Love.” Cox then joined Johnson and Layton to perform “Are you Experienced.” Johnny Lang, Brad Whitford (of Aerosmith) was joined by Layton and Living Colour to perform one of Hendrix’s greatest and hottest tunes, “Fire.” Lang, Whitford and Layton went on to perform “Wind Cries Mary” and “Spanish Castle Magic.” “I Don’t Live Today” was performed by blues king, Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Shepherd was joined on Stage by Hubert Sumlin for “Killing Floor.” Sumlin mentored Hendrix and he talked about Hendrix like he was his child saying “Jimmy moved into his in house in ‘63 and did not leave on till ‘69.” Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Layton performed “Come On” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” Chris Layton and others performed “Purple Haze.” They were soon joined by Billy Cox for “Them Changes.” Once again the crowd was on their feet for Living Colour as they performed “Foxey Lady” and the Bob Dylan penned “All Along The Watchtower.” The house lights then came on, but not for very long. The opening notes of “Red House” wailed from the speakers. Courtesy of Ernie Isley, Billy Cox, Eric Johnson, Johnny Lang, Brad Whitford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hubert Sumlin, Living Coulor .
Broken Records Magazine
It started in the early hours of the morning on May 5th, 2010. Before the sun rose, hundreds of Limp Bizkit fanatics were already lined up for an opportunity to once again see the Bizkit rock the stage in N.Y.C. After hours and hours of waiting in line for an intimate free Limp Bizkit concert, 500 lucky fans were packed into the Gramercy Theatre. After not seeing the band perform for 5 long years, the lights went out and the Willy Wonka Theme Song started. The original Limp Bizkit lineup took the stage. Wes Borland was decked out in all black clothes and black body paint with a disco ball as an arm guard. Fred Durst took the stage wearing his patented red backwards hat and repping New York with a Yankees #3 Durst jersey. Limp Bizkit opened the set with “Hot Dog” and the Gramercy Theatre turned into a war zone. With fans screaming every word and bodies flying all over the place, it was clear that Limp Bizkit was back in town and this time they meant business. Bizkit went into “My Generation” and I thought the Gramercy Theatre was coming down the way the place shook. The set covered every fan
favorite from “Livin’ It UP”, “Show Me What You Got”, “My Way”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, “Rollin”, and “Nookie”. Fred Durst connected with his fans the way only he knows how to, by joining them on the floor. Fred screamed the words to “Eat You Alive” from inside the crowd while waves of crowd surfers joined in as they got the chance to sing into Fred’s microphone. The night took a surprising turn when Limp Bizkit started playing “N2gether Now” and New York’s own Method Man took the stage to perform his verses. It took us back to the old days of Significant Other. Bizkit ended their set with the song that started it all, their cover of “Faith”. With the Gramercy Theatre floor turning into an earthquake, tons of confetti poured from the ceiling as every fan sang every word. Even though it’s been 5 years since Limp Bizkit has toured, their stage presence seems to have never left. They still move like it’s Woodstock ’99 and Durst’s scream has only gotten stronger since we’ve last heard him. Limp Bizkit is getting ready to hit the stage with a full U.S. tour followed by a European tour. When Gold Cobra, Bizkit’s first album in seven years hits the stores this summer, nobody is safe. This is what every Bizkit fan has been waiting for and the time has finally come. LIMP BIZKIT IS BACK!!!!!
Broken Records Magazine
Unsigned Spotlight by Gerard Ucelli
The music scene of Staten Island, N.Y. is getting m o r e diversified. There are plenty of sub genres of young bands to classify and choose from. If there is one band that pulls it off with consistency and delivery, City Side Up are your guys. The band members are Steven Olsen (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Andrew Orlandi (Bass), and Andrew Messina (Drums). With catchy melodies, diligence and out of the ordinary teamwork, this poppunk band can definitely turn some heads. City Side Up released their debut EP, Don’t Say A Word (2009). In terms of creativity, there is this urge of curiosity for any fan to wonder what the songs for any band are about. The topics of songs and the history about
it have so much variety that examples for backing it up wouldn’t be necessary. “The four-track EP titled Don’t Say a Word was mainly a “short-and-sweet EP” written about our emotions and events that were going on in our lives at the time. It was our first venture writing as a band lyrically and musically. We believe we accomplished what we set out to do with that EP and that was to create a little bit of a buzz and spark an interest in those who listen to us,” said City Side Up Something that goes hand and hand for the music industry is a plan. Even though planning out the future too much can lead to disappointment, it’s never good to go in the music industry unprepared at any point. According to City Side Up, they are in between both. “As a band we don’t like to get too ahead of ourselves, although we do plan for the long-term. As with any kind of plans for the future, those plans are subject to change. Ultimately, one of our main goals is to have played at Madison Square Garden within a span of five years,” said City Side Up.
Riot Control, an alternative- metal band from Staten Island, N.Y, formed around the summer of 2009. None of them would realize how serious they were going to be in the mere 6-7 months of playing together. All of the band members are currently in high school. “It’s a passion just going on stage and having fun. How many people can say that they could get on stage in front of people that aren’t their close friends? We finally have people coming out to the shows that aren’t just our friends instead of the same 30 people. When we played at Hot Topic, there were just other people walking by. Its music we wrote and put our hearts into and it’s just a lot of fun with great experience,” said Gene, drummer. For Riot Control the ideas of youth and relativity will eventually be featured on their upcoming EP. The direction that they are heading in promises nothing, but being “authentic” and that the “sky is only the limit.” “The actual title of our EP which is due to come out this summer will hopefully be in the beginning of July. It is entitled The World Around Us. It deals with us growing up as LJ, singer, has said and it’s like our emotions to how we feel without faking people out with fake lyrics to the song that don’t mean anything,” said Gene. When idea for a song is structured, there seems to be
this definitive strategy that Riot Control has the ability of achieving. “For creative control, most ideas of the actual music come from Gene and Matt. They write the music and then I just write the lyrics over it or Gene will help me write the lyrics,” said LJ. There are countless bands that have done acoustic sets in various sub genres of rock. This list can range from Korn, Nirvana, All Time Low, Emery, and the list goes on. It would always be interesting if a metal band ever did an acoustic set because of how creative they bring their capacity by rewriting their style to make sure it fits with the concept of an acoustic performance. “I honestly don’t think we would for a couple of reasons. One is that we really don’t want to sell out. We want to stay true to the kind of music were writing. We don’t want to change our sound. Doing an acoustic set would be a very mainstream kind of thing,” said LJ.
Broken Records Magazine
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Broken Records Magazine
Broken Records Magazine