July 2019 - Beyond The Stage Magazine

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BEYOND THE STAGE

BEYOND the stage

STAFF

ADDIE WHELAN

EDITOR IN CHIEF

GINA SCARPINO MANAGING EDITOR

CHELSEA GRESH PHOTO EDITOR

LAUREN KLONOWSKI

DEPUTY EDITOR

JOE HERNANDEZ

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Beyond The Stage is a digital music magazine based in the United States. You can read Beyond The Stage online for free or visit our website to buy a hard copy. Previous issues are always available to read online or order in print.

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WRITERS

Revisit our previous issues at: https://btsmag.co/Issues Alyssa Buzzello Grace Kolpack Ivy Sandoval Lauren Klonowski Morgan Jones Sara Feigin

PHOTOGRAPHERS

DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER

Addie Whelan Alyssa Buzzello Becca Mathias Blake Charles Carly Butler Chelsea Gresh Emerson Swoger Francesca Fronzaglio Gina Scarpino Joe Hernandez Marina Boichuk Morgan Jones Nicole Solero Rebekah Witt Sara Feigin Stone Fenk

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TABLE OF

CONTENTS ON THE COVER

GALLERIES

FEATURES AND FESTIVALS

26 AVA MAX 06 Kevin Garrett 18 The Faim 40 Audien, Echosmith

12 Bunbury Music Festival 32 The Wait For You Tour Diary 48 The Amazons

04 Why Don’t We 05 SWMRS 10 Broods 11 FEVER 333 16 Haley Reinhart 17 Alec Benjamin 22 RÜFÜS DU SOL 30 LANY 31 YUNGBLUD 38 PUP 39 ionnalee 45 Bad Suns 46 Jai Wolf 47 The Greeting Committee 52 Now, Now 53 Johnny Orlando 54 lovelytheband 55 Bea Miller

AVA MAX ON THE COVER

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WHY DON’T WE

GINA SCARPINO - NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2019

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SWMRS

CHELSEA GRESH - PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 2019

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KEVIN GARRETT PHOTOS BY GINA SCARPINO WORDS BY IVY SANDOVAL

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W

rapping up a US tour in honor of his debut album Hoax, Kevin Garrett talks about his music, future plans and reminisces on moments throughout tour. This 28-year-old singer-songwriter has been in the industry for quite a while and has had the pleasure of working with many incredible songwriters over the years, even earning a Grammy-nomination for his writing contribution on a track from Beyonce’s Lemonade. Being around music his whole life, and starting to write songs at 13, the Pittsburgh native found his interest in actually pursuing music after his move to New York. He played his first show at Rockwood Music Hall, a small NYC venue, where after his performance he was invited by the owner to play again. “The owner asked me to come back and play a second show, which was opening for Nora Jones. So, it was then where I was kind of like, ‘Maybe I could hang and really give it a shot.’ Through that community at Rockwood and playing throughout New York, I just started to teach myself some things about managing time and managing this kind of world. After that, I started putting songs out. I’d put some songs out here and there under different streaming services and now people keep listening, which is cool.” This unceasingly talented artist is one to watch as he has amassed quite a following with sold out US and

UK headlining tours. He’s garnering millions of streams and gained the support from fellow artists such as Mumford & Sons, James Vincent McMarrow and Alessia Cara. The contemporary, R&B and soul singer takes influences for his style and writing from the likes of many jazz, contemporary and old country-like music and artists. “I think musically, a singer I always refer back to is Sam Cook, who is someone I listen to all the time. His vocal aerobics, or acrobatics if you will, are stuck in my brain and that’s where I get a lot of my influence for the way I sing. A lot of songwriters like Johnny Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, old Willie Nelson is what I really like, old country music, essentially. I’m a big fan of a whole bunch of jazz players. I think contemporary stuff, Cautious Clay, our opener, Minke is amazing. There’s this rapper Kota the Friend that I can’t stop listening to as well.” Taking influence from poets as well, he said, “One of my favorite poets is E.E Cummings. He’s actually had a big influence on the way that I handwrite my lyrics and given me kind of a different perspective on how I see the words on the page and kind of tell a separate story within the words themselves, rather than what you’re listening too. There’s a handful of other poets who get creative with the way they present their writing. It’s an ever evolving list of inspiration.”

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Kevin Garrett’s music will make you imagine you’ve been taken away to a train ride on a rainy day. This talented alternative pop singer with a soulful, soothing voice and lyrics that are sure to tug at your heartstrings will act as your new soundtrack. A sound “kind of rooted in old R&B and soul” in the production aspect of his music with a mix of his lyricism and a definite cross of a lot of other genres. With multiple singles and two EPs under his belt, Garrett recently released his most self-awaited and methodically-composed debut album, Hoax back in March of this year. An album years in the making and so meticulously planned and processed, the singer explained the process of Hoax coming together saying, “There are so many different versions of these songs. I worked with a producer named Brad Cook. We started fresh on the album, we went into the studio in North Carolina, with like 13 songs. After a few days there and a few days in Brooklyn, NY, and a day in LA, some time on my own and in my own room, I got the album re-recorded.” Like many artists, there is a goal of perfection and genuine satisfaction, as Garrett expresses his fulfillment with his album. “My goal with everything I put out is to make it feel like it’s the best thing I’ve done so far. I believe that is true for this record and I’m excited to challenge myself with the new stuff too.” Music is something that makes people feel and gives a platform for expression which is exactly what Garrett hopes to convey with his music. Saying, “When I write songs, it’s a very personal confrontation and expression. That’s how I talk myself through things, by writing and recording music. Being in the studio and getting ready to share it. My goal is to give anybody who wants to listen an opportunity to do the same thing for themselves. The goal with putting anything out is for it to be a moment for anyone to reflect on something in their own lives and connect to it in their own way and find how it’s relatable.” Simply put, “Just try to stay honest and universal.” With a debut album out, it was time for the singer to hit the road for the first time in quite a while. Nerves were high, but once he hit the stage welcomed with overwhelming support, those nerves ceased to exist. He explained, “Before this tour I hadn’t been on the road in a long time so I was really anxious and eager to be back on stage and sing to people. There hasn’t been a show where people haven’t sung along to pretty much every song and that’s crazy to me. There was a solid year where I wasn’t doing any shows so I BTS

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could make this album happen. So to be able to come back and see people from the first shows I played on tour in 2014 and also, seeing new people who are coming to these shows for the first time is incredible.” “That’s the reason I think any of us go on the road; to share that sort of performance experience with each other. It’s overwhelming sometimes to see the amount of people that know your music and I think that’s the best part.” Garrett says explaining the performance aspect of being an artist and having the right team along to help. “I’m also working with a new band, two really talented musicians, Elliot Skinner and Zack Mullins, they’re both undeniable, the whole team that goes with me on the road are all very helpful and looking out for me. They’re in my corner. It’s all really good people. Whether it’s the fans coming to the show or the people on the team supporting me and traveling with me every night.”

This undeniably polished musician shows no signs of stopping either touring or releasing music. “There are some things in the works that I can’t disclose yet that aren’t entirely mine. Hopefully getting back on the road sooner, rather than later. I missed touring and playing each night. It’s been amazing. That is the goal. It took me forever to get this album out, so I don’t want to wait. I have a whole lot left to say. I’m going to be in the studio and I’m ready to record again.” The dreadful four letter word “soon” that every fan despises hopefully won’t be too long of a wait again. In an industry so relentless and surrounded by pressure, Kevin Garrett is one who prevails through those negativities and stays true to himself. Garrett is defining what a true endowed songwriter is, while continuing to grow as an artist and connecting the world through his perspectives of music.

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BROODS

MORGAN JONES - SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 2019

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FEVER 333

ALYSSA BUZZELLO - LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 2019

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THE ACES

GRETA VAN FLEET

AWOLNATION

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BUNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL PHOTOS BY CHELSEA GRESH


MACHINE GUN KELLY

POPPY

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL

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THE 1975

THE ORPHAN THE POET

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FALL OUT BOY

LOVELYTHEBAND

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HALEY REINHART JOE HERNANDEZ - PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 2019

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ALEC BENJAMIN ADDIE WHELAN - CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 2019

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THE FAIM Photos & Words by Morgan Jones

High school is where a lot of our dreams start, and unfortunately end. Our teenage years are filled with exploration, angst and confusion that can often lead us down paths that we never wanted to turn down. But with the members of The Faim, they had a dream in high school and they are living it out now, to its fullest. Birthed from a small town in Australia, The Faim went from “Small Town Heroes” to touring around the world with bands like PVRIS and Sleeping With Sirens through hard work and dedication. The Faim is not your typical alternative band and they sat down with Beyond the Stage to tell us why, in a green room 30 minutes before they were set to open for Andy Black. “I think most bands and people in this industry are very hardworking, dedicated, motivated and enBTS

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thusiastic about what they do. Obviously, everyone believes in their craft but I think the biggest thing with us, is that we are so transparent with each other, we all have different opinions and different perspectives. We truly listen to each other, whether we agree or not. I feel we give each other that chance to experiment, that chance to grow outside of ourselves and become a unit. I think a lot of people get caught up, not that it’s a bad thing. Ego can come into the picture and not allow you to grow and listen to opinions,” Josh Raven, lead singer of the Faim told Beyond the Stage. The boys of the Faim consider themselves nowhere close to typical and anyone can agree with that after listening to their discography or seeing their live show. All the boys have electric and eccentric per-


sonalities on and off the stage, and one has to wonder after exerting all that energy on stage almost every night on tour, how they stay healthy during all of it. “Eating well is good. I’ve been really bad today, I haven’t eaten today. I’m not doing a good job looking out for myself. Even if you go to Walmart and buy some measly bars, just to have in the van for whenever you need a little snack. And just try to get sleep whenever you can. It sounds a bit lame, but if you can have an early night on tour, take it,” says Linden Marissen, drummer for The Faim. Early nights are few and far between for the boys of The Faim because if they aren’t constantly touring, they are working on their debut album. Although they boys said there isn’t a set release date for the album, they told Beyond the Stage that the album is their number BTS

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one priority. The Faim has been releasing music since 2018 and they have released two singles in 2019 that can prep you for what is to come, when the album drops. Listening to The Faim’s music, it’s hard to stick them in one genre, due to the fact that their music transcends alternative and punk sounds. With such a unique sound, we had to ask what bands they love and draw inspiration from. Marissen replied, “I’m definitely heavily influenced by the Seattle scene. Nirvana is my favorite band. I like a lot of those 90’s alternative rock bands: Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, all those guys have a big impact on me personally.” “I like Coldplay, they’re one of my favorite bands. I also really love classical music. I grew up playing classical music since I was four,” said Stephen Beerkens, bassist and keys for The Faim. He went on to say, “It’s bands my dad basically listened to. Back in the day when I was a kid, there was no such thing as iPhones and such, so I would listen to CDs in the car and whatever my Dad would be listening to. So bands like Audioslave and Red Hot Chili Peppers, all those sorts of bands. As far as new music, I like The 1975, they are a huge inspiration for me.”

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Raven explained, “My music taste is quite eclectic. The Red Hot Chili Peppers always seem to withstand time for me. I’ve listened to them for at least 12 years straight and I don’t get sick of their songs. Every time I listen, I find more of a story and more of a reason to look further every time. I like songs that are more conceptually interesting. I really like words.” With such a wide range of musical influences put together in the same band, their creative process for making music and writing must be an interesting one; and Raven broke it down for us. “Usually we just fall into it and kind of see where we go. Sometimes, we’ll do some weird stuff and shake it up and all try to play the weirdest chord ever or let’s all take our clothes off and see how we feel about it. Then we write a song. It sounds weird but, you know, shaking up your mindset and being with your four best friends, people that you trust very very much, it’s important to really cut all barriers open. For us, songwriting is such a raw and passionate process. We keep things very acoustic and stripped back and then we go from there. We really just do weird things, it’s a very natural process for us. We like to keep it that way as much as possible. Obviously we work with other producers and writers, but we keep true to our vision and keep true to our sentiment.”


That’s one of the things that really stand out about The Faim. No matter what venues they play, how many fans they accrue or who they work with creatively, they stay true to themselves no matter what. However, touring and creating music with your four best friends helps. Whenever the boys stray from their path or need to be checked, they have each other to help them get back to where they need to be. Whether it’s creatively or mentally, the boys push each other in positive ways. “I just think we push each other in the right direction. We push each other’s boundaries, we never sit in a comfort zone. We always push our limits, in a positive and encouraging way. We are always just trying to get the best out of each other. It’s not about tearing each other’s ideas down, it’s about lifting them up and bringing new perspectives to the table. I think it’s really important. It’s something we’ve done recently as we’ve been writing for the album. It’s encouraging,” explained Marissen. Being able to be that open and positive with each other helps The Faim push past boundaries that other bands might struggle with. Especially when making an album, being able to critique each other and openly listen to each other’s opinions and thoughts is bound to make an impeccable and honest album. Raven let us

in on how they’ve been creating this sincere album that means the world to them. “It’s a big work in progress. You can expect a lot of hard work, passion, self-criticism, evaluating. A lot of ups and downs, highs and lows, blood, sweat and tears have gone into this album. For us, it’s just really one of the biggest milestones that’s coming up for us as a band because we really just put so much of our heart and soul into it. We really think the people who have supported us and basically brought us to this point, now really deserve to hear not just a big chunk of our music, but a big chunk of our identity. They will really get an insight of who we are as people and who we are as musicians.” The band has yet another milestone coming up before their album, their State Of Mind World Tour. The boys are playing a 26 date world tour, including festivals like Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festival. After we saw the boys in Seattle, we know everyone will want to witness The Faim live. With over 260,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and a debut album on the way, Beyond the Stage is excited to see what else The Faim has up their sleeve and hope everyone else is too.

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RÜFÜS DU SOL

MORGAN JONES - SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 2019

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AVA MAX Photos by Chelsea Gresh Words by Grace Kolpack

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A

fter years of rejected record producer demos, Albanian dance-pop artist, Ava Max has skyrocketed to the top charts. At the age of just 17, she moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of her dreams. In the beginning, Max was merely competing in numerous middle school singing competitions when she was only eight years old and it launched her passion for music.

other producers, no one could ever really crack the code. “I would be like, ’I want it to feel big like a Beyoncé production, but mixed with Britney, but also Ace of Base, and also a little Shania Twain because I love her. I just wanted it to be me.’ When we got into the studio together, he just instantly knew my writing needs and he just brought it to life- it gave wings to my songs.”

Max is very humble about her current status. “I can’t believe it because all those years of disappointment and now seeing fans react and relate, it just makes me feel happy.” Max stated in an Idolator interview. “I don’t take anything for granted, that’s for sure.”

Max recently became the only current artist to have two songs in the top 10 European Airplay.

“I’ve been wanting this since I was like five or six to perform on stages and really just release music and to have it connect with people- and to have it actually be happening with ‘Sweet but Psycho’ and now ‘So Am I’, I just can’t wait to release the album so people can really see who I actually am as an artist.” In 2018, Max finally had a breakthrough with her music after working tirelessly to gain more momentum. Cirkut, the producer of Max’s “Sweet but Psycho” was her saving grace. “He is a very talented producer and he pretty much brought my sound to life. When I was working with

“Wait, what? Wait, I didn’t know that! That is so cool! Well, I am originally European- I’m Albanian. I was born in the states, both my parents were immigrants to America and they worked super hard to get to where they’re at and they basically just taught me to never give up and they were just my soul inspiration, so to see that it just makes me feel like ‘Wow, hard work pays off.” Gaining critical praise from big names like PAPER, Billboard, FADER, V Magazine and more, Max is nothing but grateful. “Well, my favorite was Billboard- I mean I look up to Billboard so much and the Hot 100 tracks. You look at those all the time, it’s just something you do as an artist, so for them to mention me in articles and to do

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a photoshoot as well for the magazine has been like a dream.” On top of big-name critical praise, Max has also performed numerous times on national live television. “I didn’t think I was gonna do that, that soon for sure and I didn’t even think of doing them because that’s not what you think of when you’re just releasing music. So when they said that I was going to be performing on The Today Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden and Ellen, I was like, ‘Okay, this is crazy’ because I’ve always watched Ellen, it was really awesome to just experience a live TV performance. Each live performance was cool and fun in their own ways, but very different from each other.” With her newfound spotlight comes traveling for radio shows, interviews and more. We can’t help but think- is Ava going on tour? “Yes, there are plans to tour internationally. We are working on a headlining show and tour in the next few months and I can’t reveal any dates yet, but once the album comes out it’s gonna be a full-fledged headline tour- Europe, Australia, Asia, America- I’m so excited.” Along the way, Ava stopped to perform at New York City Pride on June 29th. “I feel like I’ve always wanted to perform at a Pride event. I went to LA Pride three years in a row. I used to walk with everyone and have a lot of fun. So, that’s super special that they want me to perform. I’m excited.” Being on the road can be difficult especially when you don’t know what to expect- how does Max keep herself preoccupied? “I have my best friend on the road- he’s my behind the scenes photographer, and I also have times that my family comes on the road with me, but not a lot- but I did get to spend time with my parents at Wembley when I performed there because that was such a special event, so I flew them out for that. I try to do it as much as I can but it’s hard, tour life if hard.” Max’s hair is a defining signature of her as an artist. Two years ago, Max was in the middle of cutting her hair while simultaneously baking cookies when she looked in the mirror and found her image. In a Vanity Fair interview, she mentions, “It was funny, ’cause I was actually experimenting with different haircuts and colors, pink hair, blue hair, all that kind BTS

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of stuff,” she said. “Nothing felt like me. One day I cut my hair, my actual hair, cut it on the right side, and I remember I had something in the oven—I think they were chocolate-chip cookies. And I run downstairs without cutting the other side.” As she recounted the anecdote, it was easy to imagine her telling this story again and again over the next five years. “I run downstairs, and then I’m like, ‘Oh my God, [the cookies] almost burnt.’ As I’m going [back] upstairs, I see in the mirror my reflection and the haircut, and . . . I literally tilted my head, like, why does this feel like me? It felt like me, like I had found myself.” Max isn’t the only musically inclined member of her family- her mother is an opera singer. Having grown up with such inspiration coming from Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Britney Spears, Max has created the ultimate dance-pop sound. “To be honest, I started singing in my basement like Mariah Carrey, Celine Dion all the biggest vocalists. Celine was a big one- Shania Twain, Evanescence, I mean I will go on and on. That’s how I learned to sing, was singing their songs over & over again trying to reach their high notes. Finally, I had a breakthrough and then I started songwriting at 13- so it kinda came through just loving music and enjoying hearing their voices sing the melodies.” Ava is gearing up to release her debut full-length album in the next couple months while also being on the road traveling across North America for radio shows and some performances. “Man, I don’t do any writing or recording on the road because I tried that last year and it was rough, we had to bring a microphone in the hotel room and people were telling us to shut up- but the album is pretty much done, we’re just making final cuts. I might add one more, like I’m leaving some room even though there are 15 tracks on the album and there’s no features, and it’s just straight dance-pop records that I cannot wait to share with everybody. They’re very strong, they’re for my females for sure.” Ava Max continues to take the world by storm by hitting top charts, breaking records and impressing fans with her crafty dance-pop anthems that are filled with a much needed dose of fiery female-empowerment. We have no doubt that ‘Sweet but Psycho’ is just the first of many platinum records to come from Ava Max.

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To stay up to date with all things Ava Max, follow her on Twitter (@avamax), Facebook (@avamaxofficial) and Instagram (@avamax). Be sure to check out Ava’s website for upcoming tour dates and more - avamax. com


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LANY

CHELSEA GRESH - CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 2019

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YUNGBLUD

SARA FEIGIN - NEW YORK, NY - MAY 2019

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THE WAIT FOR YOU TOUR DIARY JAKE MILLER + LOGAN HENDERSON

CONTRIBUTIONS BY (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER): NICOLE SOLERO, CARLY BUTLER, BECCA MATHIAS, SARA FEIGIN, STONE FENK, EMERSON SWOGER, REBEKAH WITT, MARINA BOICHUK, JOE HERNANDEZ, FRANCESCA FRONZAGLIO

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL

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NASHVILLE, TN

PHILADELPHIA, PA

NEW YORK, NY

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NEW YORK, NY PHOTO BY SARA FEIGIN

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NEW YORK, NY PHOTO BY SARA FEIGIN

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PITTSBURGH, PA

COLUMBUS, OH

DETROIT, MI

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TACOMA, WA

PORTLAND, OR

LOS ANGELES, CA

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PUP

SARA FEIGIN - NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2019

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IONNALEE

BLAKE CHARLES - PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2019

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AUDIEN & ECHOSMITH PHOTOS BY ALYSSA BUZZELLO WORDS BY LAUREN KLONOWSKI

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collaboration is always a great opportunity to mesh two genres, styles and artists into something new and exciting. The new track from Audien featuring Echosmith did just that. Connecticut-bred Audien, a primarily EDM artist, connected with California pop-rock sibling group, Echosmith, to create the dance-pop masterpiece, “Favorite Sound.” Beyond the Stage got the chance to chat with both artists about the song, writing process and how the collaboration began. When looking for collaborators, Audien said that he likes choosing artists outside of his genre. His process for ”Favorite Sound” was no different. “I actively searched out top lines in a totally different space than I am in. I often do that to blend genres and create something unique, so I asked Echosmith for some ideas! The rest is history.” Sydeny Sierota, lead singer of Echosmith, said the opportunity to come together simply came from a call from their manager. “Our manager told us about the opportunity to work with Audien sometime last year and we were into the idea right away! We love getting to collaborate with all types of artists and I’ve always loved EDM collaborations.” It’s clear that both of these artists love transcending genres to create music that is special and unique. When it comes to collaborations, the writing process can go about a million different ways. Whether it’s in person or not, it’s key to make something that will mesh and connect with people. For “Favorite Sound” the process was “really quick, and really internet,” Audien said. “We did everything on our own and I blended it all together in the end. Kind of a sterile process but the result was everything but!” Sierota talked about how this song has improved, as it was a track the band wrote for their own album but didn’t feel it was ready to be released as it was at that time. ”When Audien took the song and made the track, it gave the song a whole new life for us. We immediately loved it and only had one tiny note, then it was finished! It was honestly one of the easiest collaborations ever.” She went on to talk about the core meaning of the song and her strong connection to it. “This song is super personal for me and the most vulnerable lyrics I’ve ever written. Sometimes BTS

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the thoughts in your head can get so loud and hard to control, which then leaves you feeling a bit helpless. There is a way to control them and turn negative thoughts around to become positive, but it’s a choice we have to make. I think everyone can relate to this to some extent and that’s why it’s so important that we talk about things like this more often.” After creating such a great song together, we can’t help but wonder (and hope) that these two will team up again in the future. When asked about it, they both seemed into it. Audien hopes that it will happen at some point and Sierota said, “This was such a fun and easy collaboration, that I know it would feel the same way if we did it again. So you never know what the future holds!” Here’s to hoping that future holds another Audien x Echosmith track. In case that doesn’t happen, who else would these two love to collaborate with? Audien immediately said Calvin Harris and Sierota looks to rock legends The Killers and Coldplay. This is a perfect example of how different artists with completely different bacgrounds BTS

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can come together and implement all those influences to make music that’s unique. “I don’t like to put myself in a genre box, so I’m honestly open to talking about any kind of feature in the future. Musical magic can happen when you blend unexpected sounds and artists,” Sierota said. Both began music in 2009 and it’s no secret that things were a little different back then. Both within the industry and their own music, a lot has changed for both of these artists in the span of ten years. “Music has changed so much! Streaming wasn’t even part of the conversation when we were making our first album, and now everyone is bringing up the importance of it,” Sierota said. Looking at today, she said, “What I really love about music right now, though, is how diverse it is. “Pop” or “Top 40” is not just one thing, it’s so many different genres and blends of genres so it’s really giving all sorts of artists a chance to succeed in that way.” Audien notes that while the industry and his style may


have changed over the years, one thing has remained, his entire approach to music: “Energy and emotion.” Looking to the future, these artists both have great stuff in the works: albums. When asked what he’s working on right now and what’s to come for the rest of 2019, Audien said, “Album, album, oh and an album!” For Echosmith, Sierota said something pretty similar, “We’ve been in the studio pretty much every day wrapping up our album. We’ve gotten to explore so many different things musically and we’re just really inspired right now. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it

soon!” As if that weren’t enough, Echosmith also just dropped a new track, “God Only Knows” with none other than Timbaland. “The message and the whole feeling of the song means so much to me and I think it’ll mean a lot to a lot of other people too,” she said. With a great new track and all this new music on the way, we can barely stand our excitement. It’s sure to be a killer rest of 2019 for both Audien and Echosmith, and we can’t wait to see what’s to come for each of them.

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BAD SUNS

MORGAN JONES - SEATTLE, WA - MAY 2019

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JAI WOLF

BLAKE CHARLES - EUGENE, OR - MAY 2019

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THE GREETING COMMITTEE SARA FEIGIN - NEW YORK, NY - MAY 2019

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THE AMAZONS PHOTOS AND WORDS BY SARA FEIGIN


In a world so obsessed with the past, releasing a sophomore album that stands alone and follows a much lauded debut album can be a terrifying task. For the Reading, England-based foursome, The Amazons, this task was a welcome challenge. When we sat down with the group, comprised of singer and guitarist, Matt Thomson, guitarist, Chris Alderton, bassist, Elliot Briggs, and drummer, Joe Emmett, they broke down what recording their sophomore album was like, and how they stay relevant in the digital age. The group were only given about six months to fully focus on the creation of Future Dusk, their sophomore album which was released on May 24th 2019. “We had about six songs going into recording” Thomson explained to us, “We had a slight meltdown really” Thomson and Emmett said in unison. Going into the studio with only the bones of half an albums worth of songs can be a daunting task. The group explained to us that deadlines can be helpful, and push you to create work. However, during this six month process they spent a whole lot of time in their practice space in Reading trying to create music they were proud of. “Nine times out of ten we would walk out of the practice room like ‘fucking hell, we’ve got nothing.’

Basically you just need to go to the practice room a lot, and eventually you piece things together,” Thomson explained. In writing any album there will be obstacles, but when you face those obstacles head on you can create work you’re excited to share with the world. When hearing the band speak about Future Dusk, it’s clear that this is an album they are immensely proud of. In creating their debut album, a self titled record that brought them insane amounts of recognition in their home country of England, Thomson tells us they wrote that record in about four years time. “We didn’t even really know we were writing a record” he said. “This time round we were writing an album and we were like ‘it better be fucking good.’ Not because we want a chance at success, but because this is our chance to make something that we are fucking proud of,” he continued. Thompson spoke from the heart, and his speech was moving, unparalleled and contained a certain passion different from before. “You got to live and die for the record. And I gave this a real target, and in terms of the music, we got to keep making albums that we want to fucking fight to the death for. Which is

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actually quite hard. Because every time you do a song you’re like, ‘would I fight to the death for this song?’ Do you know what I mean? ‘Would I die for this song?’ This record wasn’t only a passion project musically, but the group really wanted their visuals to stand out as well. Album artwork and set design has always been an important part of the music industry, but ever since the introduction of social media, and especially, Instagram, a band’s online image can make or break them. If you look at The Amazon’s Instagram page, it’s clear they have a vision, there’s a visual aesthetic that coincides perfectly with their auditory vibe. Thomson explains that they intend to have their visuals expand on their music, give it more depth and take it to another dimension so to speak. They even brought a photographer, out with them to Wales where they were recording. They had the

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photographer create imagery of them and around their recording process. In doing this, they got the album cover shot, a beautiful image that was created in a cave by the Bay that they were recording near. The group felt this particular image really helped set the visual tone for this album cycle in a way they never expected. Emmett explained to us that the band was trying to leave an air of mystery for their fans and not to give too much away with the visuals. They wanted to drop Easter Eggs for the fans to dissect and feel whatever emotions they could from them. “We just want them to make stuff up in their minds,” Emmett said wistfully. Social media can be a taxing add-on to the job of being a full time musician. However when artists realize that it is not just any add-on, but more of an upgrade, an extra creative outlet, that’s when they really evolve to


the next level of creation. “We have to use social media, it’s 2019, we’re a band, that’s what we all do. It’s what we all use to consume music. I even look at it like, ‘oh for fuck, whatever, I really don’t want to do it.’ Or you can look at it as an opportunity to be creative” Thomson explains, “I find it a lot more interesting when someone uses the medium to be creative, and come up with new ways of doing it” which is exactly what his own band has managed to do.

The Amazons are spending their summer on the festival circuit traversing the UK and Europe introducing fans, new and old, to the Future Dusk era. This era includes a themed light setup, new songs, and a renewed passion for the music they’ve created. The band is clearly excited for what the future has in store for them. After playing this record on repeat for the past month, we’re even more excited to see what the future has in store for them.

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NOW, NOW

JOE HERNANDEZ - PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2019

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JOHNNY ORLANDO BLAKE CHARLES - PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2019

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LOVELYTHEBAND

ALYSSA BUZZELLO - LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 2019

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BEA MILLER

GINA SCARPINO - NEW YORK, NY - MAY 2019

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PLAYLIST 7.

1. About You - Fletcher 2. Maybe 25 - Minke 3. Rollercoaster - Jonas Brothers 4. Don’t Rush - Kevin Garrett 5. 1990 - La Bouquet 6. Number One Fan - Muna 7. Sad Forever - Lauv 8. The Less I Know The Better - Tame Impala 9. Flux - Ellie Goulding 10. Ice Cold Pool - Wallows 11. Hollywood - Lewis Capaldi 12. Evil Spider - BENEE 13. Retrograde - Maggie Rogers 14. Malamente - ROSALÍA 15. Big Blue - Vampire Weekend

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JAKE MILLER | PHOTO BY JOE HERNANDEZ


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