Beyond The Stage Magazine - December 2017

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08 Lost Lake Festival 17 The Amazons 20 Editorial 27 Voodoo Music and Arts Festival 30 Chappell Roan 24 Album Reviews 41 Flint Eastwood 45 Colony House 49 Playlist 04 Dinosaur JR 05 Motionless In White 10 Andrew WK 11 NEEDTOBREATHE 15 Billie Eilish 16 Smallpools 27 LANY 33 Misterwives 40 The Front Bottoms 44 Jon Bellion









Singer-songwriter Lewis Watson’s past year has been more than a little busy. After recording his sophomore album, midnight, released in March, he dropped an acoustic version of the album in September. He also happens to be on the road touring throughout Europe, North America and Australia. Yet, he still somehow found time to sit down with BTS and talk about his music, his experience touring and songwriting, beginning as an artist online and more. For anyone looking for an album to listen to on a rainy day, or even just to sit back and feel things for a while, Lewis Watson is the guy for you. He describes his style as “acoustic, folky, singer-songwriter music.” It’s no easy task to fit in to a certain genre these days, but Watson tried to explain his sound as best he could. “Hopefully it’s like a dash of pop in there, but I certainly wouldn’t call it pop. I’d go with alternative. People have said indie – I don’t think I’m cool enough for that, so I’ll just go with alternative.” After touring on his own for the past few months, Watson discussed the differences between going solo and touring with a band. His full band consists of 4 other people: “You’ve got me on guitar and vocals, Ross Chapman on the better-sounding guitar, Julie

on the keys and vocals, Rob on the drums and vocals, and Adam on the bass and vocals,” said Watson. He loves the energy of a full band and just “being able to dance and step off the mic and allow someone else to take the line,” plus, touring together with a group is a fun experience for him as well. After releasing the acoustic version of midnight, Watson and his band toured around the UK and “kept it a bit more close and intimate, rather than a big anthemic band sound.” Now, though, with the price of visas in the US being so high, Watson has been on a solo acoustic tour. Thinking about how he feels playing more intimate shows, he said, “I love the acoustic stuff, honestly, because that’s how I wrote the songs, so it feels at home...they’re my earliest memories of the songs. It’s just me playing the guitar and singing. It’s great to play the skeletons of them.” He goes on to say, “If my favorite band or artist did an acoustic tour, I’d jump to go and see that because it just shows a different side to the record and it gives you a whole new memory of the song.” This is definitely true for Watson’s acoustic shows – his songs are stripped down from the initial full band sound with electric guitars, synths and drums to just his voice and a guitar.





At the same time, playing more intimate, acoustic shows makes him feel much more vulnerable than having the comfort of other musicians backing him up onstage. He notices that some audiences are more quiet and respectful than others, “which is good, but…the wrong note will drift through the air a lot longer.” Lewis also told us about some of his favorite places to go while touring. “Australia is usually really good. I feel like they have a different kind of appreciation because not many bands or international bands or artists make it over to Australia, or at least make it over very often, so they’re really appreciative and that certainly comes across in the shows,” said Watson. “There are also a few places in the UK where people go nuts – there’s a place called Nottingham, I have no ties in Nottingham at all, but every time we play there, everybody’s always really up for it and it feels like a homecoming show, so that’s always great,” he continued. He loves the energy of audiences in America as well, although he hasn’t yet toured to those cities with the full band. Still, this acoustic tour is “the largest footprint of a tour I’m doing, so this is really wonderful. I usually just do the coasts, Chicago and I’ve done few of the southern states as well, but I’m kind of broadening my horizons,” said Watson. He has tour dates through November in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, St. Louis and a couple of cities in Texas. Since he first started making music, Watson has always written songs for himself as a form of therapy. He explained, “I’m rubbish at talking about how I feel and I know that’s a bad thing, but writing songs is my way of talking about those feelings.” He started out by putting covers and original songs on his personal YouTube channel. “When I first started writing songs, I never thought anybody would want to listen to them. I hid them on the internet in this secret little hole under a different name and just kept them there as an archive for me, and when people started to watch them, it was terrifying and I almost stopped to delete everything. Obviously, I’m very glad that I didn’t,” he said. After developing a significant online following, Lewis signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records. However, he worked with a UK-based independent label, Cooking Vinyl Records, for his two most recent albums.

a different reason than why I wrote it, but it’s resonated with somebody beyond myself and that’s something I never really thought would happen,” he said. He also talks about the vulnerability that goes along with writing personal songs, and said, “I do feel like I put a lot out there that maybe should remain inside, but I feel like I’m vague enough that I can get across a sentiment, rather than a situation….I wouldn’t want these songs to be completely transparent and have a complete window into how I felt, but I like just drip-feeding my emotions to people.” As an avid music fan himself, Watson has a lot of artist recommendations. “There’s a guy called Bruno Major from London who is a wonderful songwriter and musician, and he has these really colorful, jazzy chords,” he said. Watson is a big fan of Bruno Major’s album, A Song for Every Moon, and commends his musicianship. Another recommendation is his friend’s band, Amber Run, who will hopefully be playing some shows in the US soon. Another Lewis Watson-approved artist is Jordan Mackampa, who is described as “a super soulful, acoustic singer-songwriter with an amazing voice… and a super humble, kind guy.” Lewis’ last shout-out is to Australian artist, D.D Dumbo. Watson said, “He’s got a great album out now called Utopia Defeated, which sounds like Sting without The Police, if Sting grew up listening to Jeff Buckley and indie music. It’s an amazing album.” We don’t often get music recommendations from our cover artists, so these are some names that we definitely plan on checking out. What’s next for Lewis Watson? After his tour wraps up in early November, he plans to enjoy some relaxation. “I’m going to go home and rest and finally sleep and write album three and think about dogs.”

Unlike many commercial artists nowadays, Lewis Watson’s songwriting style is unique in that he really focuses on his own life before thinking about the reaction to the song. “I would never release a song that didn’t resonate with myself, but fortunately, it extends beyond that, and people come up to me after shows and say ‘this song means a lot to me for this reason,’ and it’s BTS




























Pale Waves is a growing pop band out of the U.K. who are the definition of an overnight success in the U.S. While on tour with The 1975, the band gained a loyal fan base throughout the U.S. The band, who has been produced by Matty Healy of The 1975, has a promising future ahead of them with the release of their upcoming EP. Playing sold out shows throughout their first tour in the U.S., Pale Waves is taking the country by storm. We had the chance to sit down with their singer, Heather Baron-Gracie, to talk about their recent rise in the music scene. BTS: You started your tour a few days ago back in the U.S. How does headlining differ from opening for another band? Pale Waves: Obviously, The 1975 tour was amazing. That was such a great opportunity for us as a band, but I don’t think that there’s anything like playing your own shows and knowing everyone is there for you. We like doing our own shows, especially coming to America, we’re from the U.K. so being able to play shows here is pretty incredible. It is different but I kind of like it. BTS: In terms of your band, what is Pale Waves? Pale Waves: We’re just four best friends from the north in the U.K. who write pop music. Quite depressing pop music. Well, the music surrounding the lyrics make it seem a lot happier than it is. BTS: We’re sure you get “The Cure” reference a lot? Pale Waves: Yeah. Which I don’t mind that reference. BTS: There’s been a fair amount of comparison from you to the 1975, especially with stage presentation and dancing. Can you talk a little about that?

friends doesn’t make us the same person. I think, these days people like to compare a bit too much, and it can get a bit tiring. I understand why they do it, but I want people to give everyone their own sort of individuality. It’s just weird because The 1975 are our friends. Robert Smith’s not our friend. I wish he was, but he’s not. He’s been around for so long and he’s such an icon. It’s like if I got compared to Madonna or something. But The 1975 are our friends, so it’s a bit weird. BTS: How would you describe your music? Pale Waves: It’s difficult. We have a lot of songs that people haven’t heard that aren’t really similar to the singles that we have out. We have ballads, we have some really dark songs that I think people wouldn’t expect. We have some more personal songs too so going off of the three singles, they’re just sort of honest pop music. All of this stuff is an expansion, we are growing all of the time. We write stuff and we are sort of shocked by that but at the same time, I feel like if you wrote it, then it is Pale Waves. It is you, it is your band. It’s just figuring out other things.

Pale Waves: I don’t know. You can move or rest and they’re like “Oh my god, that’s like somebody else.” You can’t move your wrist, headband, mosh to a set like people do, or like anyone would do if they got up on stage and were playing that sort of part in the song. Pale Waves: I don’t know. You can move or rest and they’re like “Oh my god, that’s like somebody else.” You can’t move your wrist, headband, mosh to a set like people do, or like anyone would do if they got up on stage and were playing that sort of part in the song. BTS: Do you worry about that comparison? Pale Waves: No, I think these days, because The 1975 is the most relevant band, people like to find comfort in what they’re familiar with. That’s them. So seeing me on stage with black curly hair, a guitar and singing anything. But like, come on. We are different people. We are different bands. Just cause we’re really good BTS


BTS: You guys have only released three singles. Do you guys have an album that you’re holding? Pale Waves: We’ve got an EP coming out soon that is four tracks. We recorded five tracks but we’re not sure if we’re gonna put it on an EP. But we’ve got that coming out really soon. We’re writing our album as we speak and we’re planning on doing the first part of recording in January for that. The songs that we have in line for the album, I think, are gonna be a really exciting first album. BTS: You guys are fairly new, so with the exception of your singles and visual image, you have the freedom to really experiment in this time and figure yourselves out. Pales Waves: I feel like we have a pretty solid vision of what we want to get out there, visually and musically. We’ve been a band for about 4 years now but we’ve only started to let everyone discover us about a year ago. So we’ve had time to really hone down on the sound that we want to give to people. It’s still changing but we do have a clear vision for where we are at in the moment. BTS: You’ve been a band for four years? Is that playing shows or just you all getting together and making music? Pale Waves: Well me and Ciara have been together about four years making music, Charlie and Hugo are probably about 2 years in the band. We did like shows here and there but only started when “There’s a Honey” got released. We spent a lot of time practicing, rehearsing and writing.



BTS: What was your first show like? Pale Waves: Our first show was pretty decent, actually. Me and Ciara did a gig together in Manchester, at the weirdest most run down bar ever, like underground. It was just the weirdest venue ever, I’d never go back. We got all our family and friends there, and it was packed, but just our family and friends. That was an experience. I guess you have to go through really tough times as a band. We’ve done tours where we drove ourselves, loaded all the gear in, set everything up, got to the hotel, loaded it back in in the morning. Really sort of worked for it. Now we really appreciate small things, like getting a van and crew members. That’s insane. We really appreciate it even more now. BTS: There seems like there’s a lot of bands who don’t have to work for that anymore. Pale Waves: Yeah, there’s a lot of bands that I’ve been shocked by who just kind of, just started and have everything already. I really feel like you have to work for it and do those really hard times. BTS: Do you have anybody opening for you on this tour? Pale Waves: Yeah, The Candescents. They’re with Dirty Hit as well. They’re a great band with so many catchy tunes. They’re great guys and lovely people. They’re from Columbus, which I think we’re doing tomorrow actually. It’s always nice when you have a familiar band, rather than meeting a different band every night. It’s pretty overwhelming, for me at least.












Before their show at The Mercury, in New York City, The Amazons sat down with Beyond The Stage and told us a little bit about the legend of how the band came to be, their recording process and the role of rock ‘n’ roll.

Back in 2014, in a London suburb called Reading, the band, The Amazons was born. It was made up of four friends: Matthew Thompson (lead vocals), Joe Emmett (drums), Chris Alderton (guitar) and Elliot Briggs (bass) all looking to take their love of music to the next level. Thompson, Alderton and Briggs were all at a bar called, “The Queen’s Arms” when they found their final member in Emmett. “After eight or nine months of looking for a drummer, Joe was kind of the missing piece of the puzzle,” Thompson said. The name The Amazons comes from a 1920’s English book titled, Swallows and Amazons written by Arthur Ransome. “We were so sure there was already a band named ‘The Amazons’ out there, but there wasn’t so we knicked it,” Thompson recalls. To create their alternative rock sound, they look to their rock ‘n’ roll inspirations, which include English bands like Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age but also included a lot American rock bands like Nirvana. Every artist has a process when it comes to recording and The Amazons are no different. While recording The Amazons, their debut album, they worked with producer Catherine Marks who taught them that sometimes it’s better to be raw than perfect. “She kept telling us, ‘Don’t worry about getting it right every time, get the feel and the vibe right and just make it fucking exciting!’” When they toured in years past, one thing they would hear is that, “When people would come see us live, they’d say, ‘It sounds so much louder and heavier than it does on your demos.’ So, with Catherine we worked really hard and we did it all live in the studio together to change that,” Alderton said. They managed to record the entire album in a month after having written songs for the past few years. They aimed to create a loose sound that came from all of them playing together that would get people excited. “You don’t want your debut album to be boring; you want it to be exciting and a little bit raw even if you have to make concessions on the quality just so you can get some excitement, that’s what it really was BTS


about with these live takes,” Emmett mentioned. After the music was recorded, it was time to start thinking about the album artwork. The cover of the record features a burning van. Turns out, there is quite the story behind this van (also known as Big Suze, named after a British sitcom character), all the way back to the beginning of the band, in fact. They took the van back to their hometown of Reading for the shoot. Just like every pop punk song ever made, these guys have quite the love-hate relationship with their hometown.

“We wanted to shoot it Reading. We spent the last two years touring around with her basically and burned her to the ground and she was going to be scrapped up anyway so we thought we would set her on fire a way to immortalize her on an album cover,” Briggs said. “We thought what was the most ridiculous thing that the label isn’t going to let us do and that was the best we could come up with and we just did it anyway,” Emmett laughs. The current single from that album, “Ultraviolet” is the ideal The Amazons track, with an upbeat popinfluenced rock sound that encapsulates the sound of the entire record. They chose this as a single because, “It was one of the first singles we ever put out, way before the album in an earlier version. It’s a song that even though we didn’t put any kind of promotion into it, it grew and became a real fan-favorite,” Thompson said. They even made a video for it back in the day. For around a heaping 500 pounds (approximately $665) the guys turned one of their living rooms into a music video set. Unfortunately, the world will never be able view this masterpiece because they have taken it down, but thankfully they have put a new one out to take its place. They’ve been playing this track for years and it’s one of the many things that has helped them come into their own when performing live. “We’re very passionate about live performance and the thing about rock ‘n’ roll is that it’s equally about the records as it is about the live performances. With rock ‘n’ roll, it’s very much like you buy the album, you love the album and first thing you think about is, ‘I want to see how they do it live and if there’s an energy.’ The thing with us, is that we have all that in the back of our minds because we’re music fans,” Thompson said. This excitement is also what they want people to take away from their music. “Excitement and a kind of reckless abandon, to be inspired to come to a show and buy the record or the fucking t-shirt or just pick up a guitar and do it yourself.”

U.S., they see it as an exciting opportunity to show off the fact they have just came from playing their biggest shows yet in Europe and that they have a “proper” show. One thing the band has prided itself on in it’s live show is the fact that there are no pre-recorded tracks in use. Thompson points out, “It’s about the chemistry you see a live band have when you don’t have pre-recorded tracks to fill in the gaps and you see the relationship that’s been made over three years of touring, basically even if it crashes and burns. If you give yourself room to have the worst gig ever, you’re also giving yourself room to have to absolute best gig ever. It’s a gamble and you kind of just giving yourself some space for a little magic.” Now that they have been getting more exposure, they’ve also been getting to see some pretty amazing places while touring. “Last tour we were on a bus, and it was really fucking cool to just step out of the bus and be in a new town and you had all day to walk around and just enjoy yourself,” Alderton said. They even mentioned that they started this band not just for the music, but also to get to go on adventures and learn about new cultures. “Honestly, the best part of touring is not being in Reading,” Briggs laughs. When asked about their expectations for the upcoming New York show, Thompson said, “A lot of our favorite bands are from New York, so it will be interesting to see how we slot into an already rich tapestry of live music history in the Big Apple.” What’s next on The Amazons’ grand adventure? A great opportunity to continue making their live show even better and better with a lot more touring, pretty much all over the globe. Thompson also assures, “New music out next year, and hopefully every year!”

From the beginning, they all knew that they wanted to focus on the live shows. They put all their effort into their performances and it has proved to be successful. The shows have been getting larger and larger each year and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Now that they are starting to play more shows in the BTS


A Conversation With: Brent Battles - VP Promotion + Artist Development Sony RED Music, Co-Founder Herø Records Background on who I am and where I had the inspiration for Herø Records... First, a little background on me. I started my music career in Flint, Michigan. Born and raised in the Flint/ Metro Detroit area, I started my career as a Midwest Regional Rep with Reprise Records. After working my up by way of Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Detroit and Los Angeles, I worked as the National Director of Rock and Alternative for Warner Bros./Reprise. Working with acts such as Green Day, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Josh Groban and Michael Bublé, I knew that music was a part of the fabric of my life. Like many people, music has helped me get through some of the most difficult parts of my life, as well as helping me celebrate the best times. I have also been blessed to be an integral part of many band’s and artist’s careers. Currently, I am the Vice President of Promotion and Artist Development for Sony RED MUSIC. I am also the co-owner and co-founder of Herø Records. As an executive at SONY RED, I have built a career for 20 plus years on plugging, positioning and executing on some of the world’s biggest music and current hits: Noah Cyrus, MAX, AJR, Fergie, Flume, The Chainsmokers/ Daya and more. When I first had the chance meeting with Herø Records co-founders Matt Medney and Pete Russo, I saw their intense passion and determination, and joined forces with them to create a super “Herø “ team of music professionals. With our collective passion, knowledge, and experience we have coalesced into a formidable team. The excitement we all share for our future goals is palpable. It is inspiring to work with them on a daily basis -- there is no limit to the creativity and upward momentum that we possess as a group. It is very clear on our current projects with Logan Henderson, Josh Jacobson, Skela, Humxn and



Radioactive X GF that this formula is very important and has made for continuing success with these artists. Along with Matt and Pete’s leadership, we have become the triple threat of Herø Records. What it’s like to start a subsidiary or record label, and what that process is and was like and what your goals are: One of the most rewarding aspects of working with a music label and owning my own imprint is the artist development process. I absolutely love finding and developing new and raw talent. There are times when the budding artists don’t even realize the gift that they have or how to tap into it. One of my daily goals is being a mentor of sorts for artists who need guidance and support along their musical journey. With the future of music evolving faster by the day and the hour, it’s important to keep up not only for my own benefit, but also so I can be the mentor that developing artists need. The more knowledgeable I am in the methodology of DSP’s, social media and terrestrial radio, the better it is for any artists we sign. The ways that music is distributed to the consumer has changed so quickly over the years it is vital to be knowledgeable about the best ways to get your music heard by the masses. My goals are to continue to discover and develop new and exciting talent and to forge ahead as music continues to create a new path. There is no limit to the creativity in artistry that can exist. With my teams close by, I want to produce and support the most dynamic artists and musicians, and help set a new standard for music history in the making. The possibilities are endless for creating an exciting and dynamic new “sound,” as every musical era has done in the past.

Advice for our readers who want to work in music in the future... As far as advice for future artists and musicians, there is one constant that has stood the test of time: hard work! There is no substitute for working hard in building relationships throughout your professional and personal life...some of the most amazing people could be just around the corner. Brilliant ideas are born when like minded people come together with a common goal. When push comes to shove, an artist has to put in the time and energy to build their own career in conjunction with their team. While it is true that there is a team of people working behind the scenes for artists, the artists themselves have to have an idea of where they want to go in their career and how they can best get there. A very wise person in my life once told me: “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you there.” An artist should always be looking how to improve on their career, and be ready to adapt if life throws you a curveball. Most

successful artists would say that their past career has been littered with detours, roadblocks, and plans being changed without warning. Don’t let it stop you or even slow you down...find another path to your goals. You just might meet someone who changes your career and changes your life. This is where the hard work comes in again. Every day should be a different goal in building on your career, and educating yourself on how to be better artist and better person as a whole. And last, but certainly not grateful! It is a proven fact that fear cannot exist at the same emotional space as gratitude. Humbleness and gratitude go a long way when it comes to working with others...both professionally and personally. Never forget to say those timeless words, “THANK YOU” to anyone and everyone you come in contact with during your career. It goes a very long way. When there are 100 people up for the same position, the person might just get the decision is the one who remembered to say “thank you!”






No stranger to the music industry, Logan Henderson has already completed some of the biggest bucket list items a musician can dream of in their career. From the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour to performing at arenas nationwide, Henderson’s talents have already taken him far. One of four members of Columbia Records-signed hit boy band, Big Time Rush, Henderson spent years in the spotlight before ultimately taking a break after the band went on an indefinite hiatus.

than what I was doing before, and we just decided to sit down and get going.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to break away if you’re in a serious relationship, no matter what that is. You need to really see things in a different way. You have to separate yourself from something that you see so close. So I felt very deep into what I was doing before and I thought that if I really want to get out of this spot and I want to continue to grow and change and evolve, I have to really separate myself and pull myself away from everything that I was doing before,” Henderson told Beyond The Stage.

“‘Sleepwalker’ was the first time that I got back into the studio after my hiatus and my time away from music. That was the first initial idea I had. I had written before about relationships and past relationships, but never in the way that I wanted to speak so candidly and so openly. ‘Sleepwalker’ was the first time I had the idea to really put some type of idea and some type of concept together.”

“[Taking some time for myself] is something that I thought was necessary for my growth as an artist and for my vision for what I wanted to do. And right when that happens, you don’t know if you’re making the right choice or not. Things happen the way they happen and I truly believe that. And that’s just kind of what happened for me. And I think that it’s really shaped me as a person and shaped my songwriting. And what I want to see out of myself and what I continue to want to see for me in the future.” Fresh off of that time away, Henderson’s solo project launched in January of this year, with single, “Sleepwalker” which took fans by storm. Added to dozens of Spotify playlists around the world, the song trended in Mexico City, Mexico, ultimately ending up on the country’s version of the Viral Top 50. With more than a million views on the music video alone (which premiered on Billboard), the song instantly peaked as a 2017 favorite among music fans everywhere. When asked about the process for recording, Henderson noted that he’s working with Beyond The Stage-alum, producer and songwriter Nick “RAS” Furlong, who also wrote and produced for Big Time Rush among others. Henderson spoke about the friendship, “He’s a great guy and we make music really well together. We’re really close and we have really wild taste in music so when I said I wanted to do something very different

Sharing a photo of the two on his then only active social channel, Twitter, Henderson announced his return to music. The photo was captioned with “Chapter II” and now has almost ten thousands likes from eager fans. That photo, shared in early December of 2015, was when fans officially knew they were getting music from Henderson soon.

With an alternative pop sound, Henderson then released two more singles. One of which, “Bite My Tongue,” is a pop song that’s driven by an almost too catchy rhythmic guitar part. With a building synthesizer dominated pre-chorus, the song instantly impacted playlists, with adds to playlists like “Best EDM,” which grabs the attention of more than 40,000 listeners worldwide. “I remember hearing the guitar part of ‘Bite My Tongue’ and just thinking, ‘We need to write to this and we need to make this a song,’ because I was just kind of able to see what it could look like and the sound and the landscape.” Followed by “Bite My Tongue,” Henderson released “Speak of the Devil,” a surprise single that had a fake release date, ultimately leading to a release on Halloween. His most daring track yet, the track pulls from Henderson’s musical interests, which he stated, several times throughout our interview, are all over the place. “‘Speak of the Devil’ kind of made me uncomfortable given the content that it’s about and the way that it’s laid out musically,” Henderson said about the single. “We were up late, going through sounds and thinking about what’s the weirdest thing we can do.” Rather than release the three songs in an EP or release album details, Henderson has remained constant in the fact that he’s planning to continue to release singles. BTS


“I think singles are just a little bit more. I think there’s something to a body of work and I love that. But singles are just my way to dip my toes back into music. I think a lot of people put a lot of pressure on themselves and I’d rather write music when I feel like when I feel like writing music. I like telling stories when I feel like I have something to actually offer and say, instead of just trying to jam out records over and over, I really don’t like that vibe for me. So three singles was enough to kind of show the difference in musical background and musical taste. It allows people to kind of jump on board with what’s going on with me and start to get to know a bit more of me each time.” Along with those three singles came album artwork, visuals and two music videos that continued to build Henderson’s personal career in the spotlight. Premiered originally on Billboard, both music videos were cited as parts of the project that Henderson has proved to both enjoy and influence. Released the same day as the single, “Sleepwalker” features an almost eerie countdown and an ending that’s the most dramatic part of the video. Almost six months after the release of that video, Henderson shared the video for “Bite My Tongue,” a dramatic, intriguing, visual compliment to his second single. Filmed in London, the video enters the highly relevant topic of alternate universes and romantic relationships. During our interview, Henderson noted how much he’s involved in the visual side of his solo project, which shows his heavy emphasis on one of the biggest components of his career. “I guess that I’m not quite able to see [my songs] in any other way. So I think if you already have some inclinations, sometimes when I hear sounds I see colors, so everything that you see from the type of color that it is, the type of font that you see, the type of story that we’re telling, that’s something that comes to my mind naturally. Not always right in the beginning, but sometimes later, it’s something that comes to me. It’s something that I feel like I should have to go along with the music project. I see it as a whole and not just one thing that I need to do, I see it as a complete entire project. And for me to be comfortable and happy with what I put out, I have to have everything kind of in its place.” As Henderson moves forward with his solo career, the main thing that is apparent is his desire to tour in 2018, which in turn will give him inspiration to create and write songs. BTS


“Traveling is a huge piece of [my inspiration]. Having my own time and not having my own time and having to be around people constantly. That gets to be a lot. But you get to meet new people and hear new things and anything sparks new ideas for songs and songwriting and anything like that.” When asked about his favorite place to travel and even his most recent favorite, immediately, Henderson explained, “London was a huge spot for me and it made me re-think a lot of things about my life and who I am and the person that I want to be. So that was a big changing point for me. And I got to see things that I’ve never got the chance to see.” Part of that travel, Henderson hopes, involves a 2018 tour which will help him find new fans and listeners. “I think there’s a lot of places that I haven’t traveled and a lot of people who haven’t heard the music. Another one is to go on and play shows with artists that I haven’t played with. I’m listening to so much, so I’d love to get with some of my favorite artists.” When asked about the “favorite artists” he speaks of, it’s almost a shock to hear all of the different genres Henderson listens to throughout his day. From old school jazz to hiphop, Henderson listens to a massive variety of music. He even cites another Beyond The Stage cover-alum, Nothing But Thieves. “I think that they’re just doing a really fantastic job,” he said. “[I’m also listening to] Billie Eilish, she’s doing some really cool stuff. Tove Lo I love, Portugal. The Man, XYLO, the list goes on and on. The Killers have always been a huge band for me.” While fans might be surprised that Henderson has influences all over the place, they might also be surprised to know how much material Henderson currently has in his catalogue. “I think time will kind of unfold and people will be able to see [what I’ve been working on],” he said of the songs. When asked about what’s next for 2018, the topic of tour once again becomes important. “A big portion of it is really getting my tour together right now. Which just takes a lot of work, especially because I want it to be the way I want it to be. That’s really been the biggest thing. A lot of traveling in the top of the year, being able to do cool things at the end of the year and finish up some records that I’ve been really excited about. And then spending time with family, kind of laying low until the top of the year.”

With more than seventy thousand listeners monthly on Spotify and more than three million Twitter followers, Henderson’s active fan base continues to drive his music into the spotlight and the public eye. One of the most actively requested artists throughout livestreams and

polls, Henderson’s music and visual compliments are cohesive, well-thought out and exactly what the music industry needs. As he continues to be added to playlists, radio and even mainstream pop shows, we can’t wait to see what Henderson is up to next.

























The lifestyle of many 19-year-old American kids in the midwest can seem pretty self-explanatory to the average eye. But to up and coming indie artist Chappell Roan, her life has been anything but. Since 2015 she’s signed to Atlantic Records, released an EP of original music and took to the road to support Vance Joy on his current North American tour. “It’s been so good,” she told BTS earlier this month. “And he’s so talented, he’s so great. We’re all backstage together and he’s just so kind to me. And he’s just so lovely to everyone. I’m very lucky that I got to be on a tour with him”. Roan has been working on music professional since before she had even graduated high school, playing piano being one of her first introductions to creating music. “I never ended up learning notes or music theory. I would just watch my piano teacher play it and I would memorize where his fingers were, and I would do the same thing.” The teenage singer-songwriter embodies all that listeners expect from an indie-pop breakout. Her muted style is sophisticated while still giving off a fresh vibe that any rising figure in the entertainment world would want to portray. And that style continues throughout her broader artistic releases. Roan’s debut single “Good Hurt” establishes itself as a complex and eerily enjoyable indie track, layering Roan’s own vocals over and over to mirror an entire wall of sound. “The vocals on top of it was just kind of,” she began, trailing off to find the right words to attach to her art. “It was too there to not have it in the background vocals.” But this track wasn’t always what Roan had wanted to come from her brand. “Here’s the thing about ‘Good Hurt’ - I hated it at first,” she says, telling BTS about the track’s subject matter of getting out of toxic relationships but still craving that pain. “That was always the intention, I just wanted something - I was feeling totally opposite on things and felt bad for it. So I wrote a song about it because it helps me to write about how I’m feeling, because then it releases that feeling.“ And as if this song wasn’t enough of a statement on its own, she delivers a full package deal with the accompanying music video. A creepy spa with questionable treatments, live animals and stoic staff members make up the proscenium for the song to stand under. A color scheme of subdued neutrals



compiled with the damp texture of a majority of the set gives off a heavy feeling that’s only made more prominent by the slow motion cinematography. “So first of all, the alligators are not actually in the bathtub with me - split screen,” Roan laughs off as she explains the scene at the end of the video. “But you know, the whole video is about kind of getting good hurt. It’s like a spa, right? And the treatments, the acupuncture, it’s like a treatment to give me that good hurt...and the video made me like the song, because it was so dark and weird. I love it - it’s really beautiful to me.” So that brings us up to speed to the rest of Roan’s 2017 and beyond. And the road is far from over - in her mind, we’re only just beginning to see what she has in store. “What’s up in the air right now is we can’t decide if we want to release another EP or full album. Nothing is definite, but new music will come out early next year - that I can guarantee.” And hopefully this time around, it’s all her all the time. “I just want it to be 100% me,” she begins, getting more sentimental and thoughtful while talking about her music. “No matter if someone writes one line in your song, that was their experience. Plus, I’m so picky with how things sound...and I’m confident in myself as a writer, that I can do it myself.” So although she’s seemingly just getting started, Roan’s journey has come a long way from its starting point. And what’s even more exciting is she’s already got bigger, better plans. “I’ve always wanted to write more not-so much sad songs... I want to write happier ones and just, something that you can move to a bit more. That’s my goal. I just have to unlock that part of my mind.” And who would she want to help her take those goal-tracks across the world? “I would love to tour with The Weeknd. I just think he’s so cool...I love The Weeknd, [or] I would love to collaborate with Frank Ocean, or Miguel. I love all of them.” But for now, Roan has more than enough platform to get herself to the success she sees herself achieving sooner rather than later. “I would love to go back on tour. It’s been nice because I’ve never seen some of these cities before...playing New York is just,” she trails off, seemingly at a loss for words before continuing. “I did some of the songs on the EP here. So coming and playing here is like - it’s just very surreal and very full circle.”

Chapell Roan




Until that second full circle, make sure to check out Roan’s debut EP “School Nights” and catch her on the remaining dates of Vance Joy’s North American tour.







ALBUM REVIEWS Flicker Niall Horan Capitol Records Irish singer-songwriter, Niall Horan, distanced himself away for his boy band One Direction earlier this year. From his previous sound, he took on folk rock and a new pop sound. With sound bites of classic rock and influences like Fleetwood Mac, Flicker is already one of our favorites this year. The ending track, “The Tide” is one of signature tracks that showcase the folk rock/pop sound, along with other tracks such as “Seeing Blind”, a duet with country singer Maren Morris, which has the Fleetwood Mac influence. Horan also experiments with classic rock influence in tracks like “On the Loose”, “Fire Away”, and “Paper Houses”. “Paper Houses” seems to have influence from one of Horan’s favorite bands, The Eagles. The guitars in the track have a classic rock vibe that you hear in The Eagles 1976 album Hotel California. 5/5 Download: “Seeing Blind,” “The Tide,” “Paper Houses” Words by: Valerie McIntyre

Evolve Imagine Dragons

KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records It is clear from the album title that Imagine Dragons’ Evolve aims to showcase the band’s evolution. The Las Vegas rock group’s third record combines their old sounds with new electronic-pop influences, however the band’s rock origins is what made their past albums so great. After the band’s multi-platinum debut album, Night Visions, and their sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors, Evolve seems to span across multiple genres, which is definitely a testament to the band’s impressive and wideranging talent. However, some of the album’s tracks are catered more toward fitting in with contemporary pop hits than to maintaining the successful rock sounds we know and love. The album opens with the synthy ‘80s-sounding “I Don’t Know Why,” which is not quite what one would expect from Imagine Dragons. Similarly, frontman Dan Reynolds’ rapping in “Whatever It Takes” and the folksy electronics in “Yesterday” both go out of the band’s comfort zone. The first single, “Believer,” is the closest to a traditional Imagine Dragons tune. It is reminiscent of the band’s hit, “Radioactive” and is sure to have fans tapping their feet along to the catchy melody and infectious drumming. Another favorite is “Walking the Wire,” with its feel-good lyrics and powerful beat. The album ends with two more gems; “Thunder” successfully brings new electronic influences into its catchy chorus, and “Start Over” is another anthem with its strong chorus over an edgy tropical house sound. In Evolve, Imagine Dragons experiments with different sounds and shows their progression as a contemporary group, while balancing anthem rock with catchy pop tunes with power ballads. Although the band succeeds the most when they’re not trying so hard to fit in with current radio hits, Imagine Dragons prove that they are not an ordinary rock band. 3.5/5 Download “Walking the Wire,” “Thunder” and “Believer” Words by: Abby Fox BTS


Wonderful Wonderful The Killers Island Records Five years after the release of their somewhat lackluster album, Battle Born, The Killers are back with Wonderful Wonderful - and more than a few tracks on the album really do live up to that name. Between the raging 80s-style guitars, eerie electronics, rhythmic keyboards, and earnest lyrics, this record is a balance of the type dance-floor anthems we know and love, and a new sense of vulnerability. Since the band’s 10th anniversary of Sam’s Town last year, frontman Brandon Flowers began working on a collection of more personal songs. Inspired by his wife’s battles with mental illness, Flowers wrote lead single “The Man,” about how feelings and empathy are what truly make a man. “Rut” recounts the fight against depression with deeply heartfelt lyrics, and “Life to Come” is a promise of the singer’s unwavering support of his wife. Flowers’ own stories about struggling and healing give fans a new illuminating perspective of the artist. “Run for Cover” is a pure The Killers-style power anthem that will surely be a hit during the band’s upcoming live shows. Another standout track is the ethereal ballad, “Some Kind of Love,” co-written with Brian Eno. The album caps off with the emotional track, “Have All the Songs Been Written?” (the title referring to the subject line of an email Brandon Flowers sent to U2’s Bono for guidance about songwriting). While the song starts with a dark overtone, it ends with a victorious sound. This doesn’t sound like a goodbye; it sounds like the beginning of something great from the band. Wonderful Wonderful might not be full of arena-ready chart-toppers, but The Killers are wearing their hearts on their sleeves in this collection of tracks, and we can’t wait to see which direction they go next. 3.5/5 Download: “Run for Cover,” “Some Kind of Love,” and “Life to Come” Words by: Abby Fox








To turn your soul into art, to expose your deepest vulnerabilities and to do it on a stage with an infectious energy -- you need to love it. And the eclectic alt-pop trio Sir Sly is the perfect example of loving it. Every single bit of it. Comprised of Landon Jacobs (vocals), Hayden Coplen (drums), and Jason Suwito (keyboard), Sir Sly was an organic emergence. Having met at church when they were fifteen, Jacobs and Coplen grew up playing music together in various projects. Suwito was making his own music at the time and joined the duo when he learned to produce. The Sir Sly story began when the three came together and realized this was all they wanted to be doing. “We were all tired out on the things we were doing creatively,” Jacobs admitted. “In that year of writing together, we realized we wanted to keep on writing.” It’s this genuine and natural unity that becomes a necessity for the success and longevity of a band. Creative blocks are common, but if you’re asking yourself why something isn’t working, that frustration can signal something negative. “It’s hard to watch friends make music and you can tell there’s an

unsettling kind of feeling,” Coplen said. “You love music, but you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall in some ways.” Both Jacobs and Coplen agree this lack of frustration (and banging of heads against walls) is how they knew Sir Sly was onto something greater. “This [the music] was easy for us to stand by,” the two explained, “we didn’t have to do mental gymnastics to be proud of the music we’re making, especially with the new album.” The new album Don’t You Worry, Honey is the second studio album from Sir Sly released earlier this summer. It’s a 10-track admittance of grief, mourning and resolution, accompanied by electric and dancey synth pop melodies. For those who feel lost, there’s a song for you. For those who feel pain, there’s a song for you. For those who want reassurance you’re not the only one feeling this way, there’s a song for you. You can feel the humanity in each word Jacobs sings and you welcome the comforting sound. I’m a lover having a hard time / walking a thin line between the life I want and the one I live “Fun”





“Discovering that sound is one of the best parts of a being in a band,” Jacobs revealed, as it’s truly a learning process album to album. What sounds good in the studio? What would sound good live? How can the two intertwine and connect both lyrically and sonically? This was the writing process for the new album now that Sir Sly has more live show experience. “We thought about how we wanted it to sound live and we’d record stuff that would sound better in those situations,” Jacobs and Coplen explained. This careful consideration of the band’s live sound paid off for the better, especially in recent shows. To perform music that translates is to understand how it feels to be a fan. It’s feeling the overwhelming anticipation when you buy a ticket to your favorite band’s show. It’s that familiar energy and connection to those in the room around you. Coplen explained this is how Sir Sly knows they’ve got something that works. “I was thinking about this the other night,” he detailed, “I was going to this show as a fan in the biggest sense of the word and I haven’t been in that psyche for a while. You show up and

you’re like ‘take me on a ride, music man!’ and I realized Landon made it [our shows] feel like these.” When you go to a Sir Sly show, you’ll see the love, whether it’s on stage or in the crowd. You’ll feel like you’re right where you’re meant to be. “I don’t know why you would make music if you didn’t really love it,” Coplen added. And it’s true. As a fan, you recognize who’s making something special on stage and who feels forced to be up there. When you’re at a Sir Sly show, you know you’re in for that something special. As for the near future, Sir Sly are staying “busy boys.” Along with jamming their current rotation of Frank Ocean, Moses Sumney and Pinegrove, the band talks of touring, writing, and releasing a music video. And as for 2018? “Festivals next summer, so hopefully people wanna see more of us on the road!” If you haven’t gotten the chance to do so, make sure you add it to your list for 2018. With the inevitable success of such a driven, passionate, and level-headed band, Sir Sly should be on your radar for years to come.










Jax Anderson aka Flint Eastwood is Neon Gold Records’ secret indie pop weapon. As an artist, she has written all of her own material, designed her own persona, and has directed every part of her act. Flint Eastwood’s roots are deep in Detroit. “I come from a very musical family” she says, “My dad is one of 10 kids, all of which sing and play guitar”. It only seems right that a kid whose parents met because of playing music follows in their footsteps. Flint Eastwood started her writing career by creating “here and there” while younger then was told she “could potentially make it into a career” which set her passions into motion. However, Jax Anderson was not always Flint Eastwood. The name was coined as an homage to her father’s love of spaghetti western films. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a classic film and I would go with that for my favorite spaghetti western” Anderson decided. Following her EP Small Victories in 2015 and single “Saviors” in 2016, Flint Eastwood released a highly anticipated EP Broke Royalty this past April. Anderson fully wrote and recorded Broke Royalty in a collaborative studio space that she helped co-found called Assemble



Sound. “It’s this old gothic-looking church from the 1800s that a few friends and I purchased and decided to create a collaboration space for Detroit musicians to write together” she says. Assemble Sound is home to artists like Sam Austin (an artist in residence), Manatee Commune, and many other Detroit creatives. Broke Royalty is full of ambition and radical reinvention. The body of work truly sounds like she has mustered a bigger, bolder personality and from start to finish is reaching for artistic greatness. “Queen”, which is the the first track on the EP, is about the first time she was asked what it was like being a woman in music. It is her battle anthem, screaming out “I’m a queen, not a soldier”. Anderson makes it clear that she is a boss regardless of her gender and her up-front attitude is a breath of fresh air amongst the constant questioning of females in the music industry. “Queen” found adequate indie success that put her center stage for the eager to listen public. With this new EP she crafted something that is perfectly polished and holds a high enjoyability factor. No filler tracks, only tons of bravado, personality, and attitude.

“Broke Royalty kind of comes from this that idea of we all had to be our own royalty in order to create what we wanted to create because it wasn’t being given to us” Anderson says. It is clear that the collaborative attitude of Assemble Sound drove her openness to try new sounds and production techniques on the new EP. “We had to kind of pave our own way, and that’s kind of the idea behind that” she adds. The idea that she sees herself as part of a whole creative force stemming from Assemble Sound is carried throughout the EP. “All of the collaborations were some way or another from Assemble” Anderson points out. She goes on to explain that she met GRiZ because he was working out of Assemble and from there, “Rewind”, the synthdriven track which he is featured on, was born. This song presents a very unique blend of a popping bass line and a barrage of samples and lyrically plays on rhymes and an idea of self-discovery. Broke Royalty’s tracklist also includes a song titled “Assemble Kids”, which holds a contagious melody. As she sings “We don’t gotta dollar but at least we’ve got our freedom. Down on the bottom, yeah we live life for the feeling”, she emphasizes the power of the unity and the success, though not monetary, that she has found in the collective nature of Assemble Sound. It is apparent that Anderson is no stranger to what is going currently in music. What has she been listening to lately? “I’ve been really into St. Vincent’s new record, Masseduction” she says. As for smaller acts, young pop artist Billie Eilish has been on her radar. Anderson says that “She’s got a really good voice and is a very good songwriter. She has a very good visual aspect to what she’s doing”. Long times on the road often

call for a change in musical landscape sometimes. Surprisingly she has also been listening to lengthy ambient playlists. Of course, she’s always supporting her friends and community at Assemble Sound and listening to the artists that come out of that space. Since the release of Broke Royalty, Flint Eastwood has been busy touring the United States. This year she has played major festivals like Voodoo Festival, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and Lollapalooza. “I love playing festivals because you get to discover a bunch of different bands that you never knew of before. I feel like I’ve also seen a lot of artists that I’ve been wanting to see for a long time”, Anderson says. Along with major festival appearances, she has played shows alongside PVRIS, LIGHTS, and Phantogram this year. Anderson’s live act is the culmination of her bold personality and the bold sounds of her work. In talking about how her work translates to the live stage, she remarks “I’m very passionate about what I do and I think my passion kind of bleeds off onto the audience and the audience has a very good time”. Flint Eastwood’s Sunday set at Voodoo Fest was infectious and gathered one of the biggest 1 p.m. crowds of the weekend. Dedicated fans singing along in the front and walk-by listeners alike enjoyed the energy flowing from the stage during her set. “My show is very, very, very energetic so it feels good to be able to play it out and get that feedback”, Anderson says. At times during her performance you could palpably tell that the songs were deeply personal to her, especially during a pause in energy in the set when screamed out “Muster up some childhood trauma and let’s get loud!”. BTS







Colony House, a band from Franklin, TN, has been known to blow fans away with catchy hooks and fun choruses. Growing up with a father in music, it is no surprise that brothers Caleb and Will Chapman formed a successful indie rock outfit. “We’ve been playing music together our whole lives” says Will. The brothers first formed a band as early as second grade. Fast forward past high school and playing Christian music with their father, the two found drummer Scott Mills through a mutual friend and started Colony House. Rounding out the lineup, they asked for the bassist for an opening band on one of their early tours to join them. Parker Cottrell borrowed a friend’s bass, played the last two weeks of the tour with the group, and by the end was asked to be in the band. “He’s better at being funny than playing bass” they joke. And with that, we have Colony House as we now know it. Only The Lonely, the band’s sophomore album, was released at the beginning of the year. The body of

work is a beautiful collection of gigantic sounding rock songs. “You & I” was the first single released on the album. The change up during the bridge of the song is something that catches listeners by surprise and leads them into a free falling second half. This part holds more of a hazy sound toting the lyrics “Maybe we’re all lonely and afraid. Maybe we’re all trying to find the words to say” while building back up to an energetic ending. On the track “3:20” the band shows their distorted guitar chops and throws in echoing vocals while holding a garage band jam quality. Keeping true to their Christian roots, “This Beautiful Life” is a slower biblical reference-filled jam that is an interesting wild card in what seems meant to be a pure indie rock album. In seemingly an attempt to connect with the masses, “I Want It All” is a lovable edgy rock tune that gets listeners amped up. Overall, the album shows the band’s exploration of their southern background and boasts maturity.



“It’s called Only The Lonely so loneliness is definitely the theme of the album” Caleb points out. It’s no secret that Colony House is a touring-intensive band and has been playing shows almost nonstop. This follow up album was recorded on the road while touring in support of their first album. Even with a tight brotherly bond present, relationships can be hard to navigate on the road. Caleb says that the album “came from our relationships with each other on the road and how we were managing our marriages and our friendships. Back home, we were having friends go through crazy things and we were out on the road dealing with thinking ‘I wanna be there for you but I’m not able to be there for you’”. The fact that the album is about loneliness does not just stop at the title, it carries throughout the whole album. On “I Want It All”, the lyrics “Long distance is bringing me low. I’m tired, of being alone” speak of the toughness of figuring it all out. Caleb added that “Now we’ve figured it out and we’re really good at it”.



One of the most important aspects about the band is their genuine spirit. “We believe that there is power in music, like everyone at this festival believes. But, we value the time that people give us to listen to our music, whether it’s three and a half minutes on Spotify or an hour slot at Voodo Festival”, says Will. This outlook is a breath of fresh air in a climate where it’s easy for bands to take fans and audiences for granted. In thinking about their set at Voodoo Festival that weekend, Will adds “People are standing there for an hour of their life to listen to us play music, so as cliche or cheesy as it is, we want to say something worth their hour”. If the promise of a catchy tune does not make Colony House worth listening to, their authenticity does. Continuing on the topic, Will says “We actually do care and really do want to make the most of the words we’re saying. Hopefully inspire people. Tying back into Only The Lonely, we want to make people feel not so alone in it all.”

Voodoo Music + Arts Festival in New Orleans over Halloween weekend offered a multitude of different style musical acts which drew an incredibly diverse crowd. “We were here for Kendrick Lamar’s set last night and that was cool” they remarked. Colony House was lucky enough to have an afternoon set on that same stage they had watched Kendrick on, the main stage. “You never know what’s gonna happen at 3:30 in the afternoon”, they commented. Even at 3:30, Colony House drew a sizable crowd. What was unique about their set is that they played for an hour which they have not gotten the opportunity to do on tour as support for Mutemath. “Festival crowds can be really honest. I feel like it was pretty cool to play an hour long set and have everyone stick around and really be involved and clapping. It just felt like everyone was

happy to be there” Caleb added. This festival crowd honesty loved Colony House. And what’s not to love? Whipping out hits like “Silhouettes”, “You Know It”, and “Was It Me” they kept the crowd dancing and singing along throughout the entire hour. The band slowed down and shared a sweet moment when they shared a microphone during older song “Moving Forward”. Frontman Caleb really put on a show running back and forth and even jumping onto the drum kit. Bassist Parker showed off his skills while he controlled his side of the stage. Colony House is a band that perfectly carries a rock and roll vibe that captures any fans that listen. Next for Colony House is a tour with Judah & The Lion, a must-see lineup. We’re sure that you’ll leave the show more than satisfied and with a tune stuck in your head. BTS





PLAYLIST Gold - The Beaches More Than Friends - Grace Weber Altar - Sir Sly A Change is Gonna Come - Greta Van Fleet Purple Teeth - LANY Milk - The 1975 Repercussions - Bea Miller Runaway - Sasha Sloan Hostage - Billie Eilish Paris In The Rain - Lauv Hopeless (ft. Cashmere Cat) - Halsey You Should Talk - Fletcher Find You - Nick Jonas Lose It - SWMRS Sit Next To Me - Foster The People