Introduce yourself and your role in the band. Hello my name is Garrett and I play bass in the band The Maine.
You're over a month into "The American Candy" Tour. How has this tour been so far? This tour has been one of the greatest (things) we've ever done. All the band kickass and kids are showing up which makes for great shows. Its gone by so fast. I feel like we could have done another month and we still would be just as excited.
This tour is obviously based oﬀ of your new album American Candy, how have fans reacted to the new album and the new songs played during these shows? It's the first time where we've put out an album a few days before a tour and kids know every word. We're playing half the album and for kids to be singing every word is such a great feeling. You never know how people will react to new music and this has just blown all our minds. The support for this album has been nothing but great.
What was the writing and recording process for the album like? Was it any diﬀerent from writing and recording your previous albums?
I feel like it was our first album in a while where we really knew what we wanted to make. The last few records have just been go and write and whatever songs come out we will make an album. American Candy we knew we wanted to make an uplifting record with a positive fun vibe. We also knew we wanted to to be short and to the point.
Why did you decide to take a more pop route with American Candy rather than the dark sound of Pioneer and Forever Halloween? We always like changing things up. We try hard to never do the same thing twice. Honestly I think the album art on Forever Halloween made it seem darker than it actually was. Maybe that just me remembering writing the album and never really felt like it was a "dark" record. I'm not sure. I think what makes American Candy seem so happy is the grooves. Every song makes you want to move to dance and dancing and happy fit well together. What is your favorite song from American Candy, or previous albums, to perform live? It really depends on the tour. We sometimes change up songs to fit the set better. The most fun I've had was playing a new song called "Same Suit, Diﬀerent Tie". It's got a great groove and a bouncy chorus. For it being a new tune people would sing and dance along, made for a great time. How has the reception of this album been so far? Insane! The best reaction we've had to new tunes in years! Some of the craziest parts of the tour were during new songs. We couldn't be happier. Do you think that future albums will have the same pop upbeat sound? I think it's to early to tell. Like I said, we always like changing things up. Even if the next record is upbeat it won't be American Candy pt. 2. That's no fun for us. That being said, we are having a great time with this upbeat songs! Anything else to add? Thank you so much for the interview!
The Word Alive and Chelsea Grinn co-headlined The Real Sick Tour. At their stop in Houston on May 18 I got to sit down with Telle Smith of The Word Alive and talk to him about the tour, the beginning of the band, and their most recent album Real.
Q: Introduce yourself and role in the band.
ily we have a really great drum tech, which also recorded our album Life Cycles, who is super familiar with the songs and with the band and one of our best friends so it’s pretty seamless as much as it could be. Obviously we wish Luke was out here but we are fortunate that we didn’t have to cancel any shows and that we only had to cut two songs from the set to keep going.
A: My name is Telle and I sing for The Word Alive. Q: How did The Word Alive become a band? A: Zack and Tony wanted to be in a band; they had been in a band together before. And then they partnered with, technically our original singer before, Craig Mabbit and formed a band with some local people and it made its our way to where we are now. That was seven years ago.
Q: What was your favorite song oﬀ of the album to record? A: Two diﬀerent ones. I would say Collapsing was my favorite because I got to do a lot of my favorite things vocally. And then I’d say Lighthouse and The Runaway because I got to record them with John Feldmann who is one of my favorite producers. Some of my favorite singers have recorded with him like Bert from The Used so it was cool to get a diﬀerent perspective on vocals and to be pushed in a diﬀerent way.
Q: Your most recent album Real came out almost a year ago, how has the reception of this album been diﬀerent from your previous albums? Has it been better? A: I think it’s been diﬀerent in multiple ways. One, it’s a little bit more honed in in some aspects because it was Luke’s first album with us so we had input from a drummer for the first time so I feel like some of the stuﬀ is a little bit more creative and unique and people definitely notice that. I think, arguably, it has some of the best songs that we’ve written. The fans have reacted really well when we play them live especially with Play The Victim, Lighthouse, and Glass Castle; those are the best three live songs for us from that album.
Q: Is there any new music in the works? A: We are always writing. We are taking oﬀ for the summer so I’m sure we will be doing a lot of writing. No time frame though for a new album. Q: How does it feel to be co-headlining The Real Sick Tour with Chelsea Grin?
Q: You mentioned Luke and I know that he got hurt recently and hasn’t been able to play some of the shows. How has that aﬀected the band since he hasn’t been here?
A: It’s cool. We tried something diﬀerent. We’ve never toured with them. They’re a band that’s trying to break out of the death-metal world and we had some tours that were a little lighter than normal so we wanted to do a kind of heavy tour with this album. They were looking for someone to tour with at the same time so it just kind of worked out.
A: Nothing has really changed. There’s not really a way to interact with the drums only so it’s like if they’re there then they’re going to do the same thing no matter who is playing drums so the shows haven’t been any diﬀerent. Luck 8
Q: What has been the most memorable experience on this tour? A: Yesterday we had an oﬀ day in Pensacola and it was one of my favorite oﬀ days ever. A few of us went jet skiing in the ocean and it was really sick, got some bomb food, had some drinks, played some mini golf. Pensacola and Orlando have been the two best shows of the tour so back-to-back great shows and an oﬀ day so three days in a row with nothing to complain about was great. Hopefully tonight will beat that streak. Q: What is one thing that you always have to have with you while on tour? A: I hate to say it but it’s my phone. Just to stay connected back home and keep up with everything and to share my adventures along the way with my family.
Q: How has your family reacted to your success with The Word Alive? A: They’ve always supported me from my first tour until now. I’d say my parents are my biggest fans. They always come to shows and support me and the band. It’s great that we all have parents who do that. Q: What are y’all doing after this tour? A: Taking a break. I left home March 8th.
Q: Anything else to add? A: Look us up on YouTube and watch some videos. If you’re reading this then hopefully you came to the show tonight!
FREE PRESS SUMMER FEST
SUPER DUPER KYLE
“Yeah, okay so this is for the white girls who ain’t heard of him,” from King Wavy himself, Super Duper Kyle. They say that he sounds like Drake – he don’t. Your girlfriend thinks that he’s great – he knows. And he’s currently waving across the country on his King Wavy Tour, and we got to catch him on a whitecap in Dallas at Three Links.
It’s “Just A Picture” perfect life for Kyle right now – he knows who his true friends are and they aren’t afraid to bring him on tracks, because he is (and will hopefully remain) an honest rapper. A lot of his current projects touch on real life topics social media, love (of course |sick emoji|), and a few other issues that people turn to music for (Just A Picture ft. Kehlani, Don’t Wann Fall in Love, Keep It Real, etc.). Kyle brings a unique and concise enunciation that we’re not used to from rappers that his style and he has been compared to artists like Drake, GEazy, Skizzy Mars and a few other fresh faces as well as established acts. I’m actually jamming his Spotify Radio Station as I’m writing this (and I might’ve had a glass of whiskey for some liquid creativity) and all of those artists and others have been deemed similar enough to be featured on his station…ain’t they lucky?
“Really? Yeah!” is going to turn into a classic from this nineteen year-old rapper who has features on tracks with other upcoming artists (later mentioned) and continues to (pun intended) ride the wave to the top. Straight out of Ventura, California, he comes with all the culture and cliché that the beach-bums would bring us, while still maintaining a bit of his own personal brand of cool (which we rock the hell out of). Somehow, Kyle manages to make cool even cooler with his crowd-surfing board and cardboard trees up on stage that only add to his retro sound and genius metaphors. Wonder why I personally think he’s so cool? He doesn’t try to be anyone or anything he’s not…again, I know its cliché and we’re all tired of hearing it, and claim to be living it, but Kyle is living proof with his feature on Chance the Rapper’s new [free] album Surf – Big Sean is also featured on the track if you need another reason to listen to it.
So, what’s my point? I don’t know if I have a real point to this outside of: YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT SUPER DUPER KYLE…”I mean like for real, the shit’s only fair.” “I guess this is weird, and we should have something to fear because we were following musicians instead of pounding beers…” But, I wasn’t lying; Kyle has lyrics that can apply to nearly any situation. He keeps it real.
OF MICE AND MEN
Of Mice & Men made their way around the U.S. on the Full Circle Tour with support from Volumes and Crown The Empire. I made it to their Dallas stop and watched them play a sold out show at the House of Blues. Of Mice & Men know how to keep the crowd energized and keep the crowd screaming all of the words to every song. They opened with "Public Service Announcement" from their newest album "Restoring Force". Throughout the show, frontman Austin Carlile led the band on a great performance. By the end of their set, the crowd wanted more. Of Mice & Men closed with "You Are Not Alone", also from "Restoring Force". This was my second time seeing Of Mice & Men and I can see that this band gets better and better with each performance. If you have not seen Of Mice & Men live then I highly recommend it. 22
As G-Eazy has recently started to enter the mainstream spotlight, one of his long time friends, Marty Grimes, has quietly been paving his own road to success in the music world. Fresh oﬀ of the “From The Bay To The Universe Tour” with G-Eazy, he performed at sold out legendary venues across the country, from Webster Hall in NYC to The Wiltern in LA. Already having worked with artists like G-Eazy, KYLE, Ground Up, and Manni Phantom, Marty is well on his way. Get to know him a little better by reading the interview I did with him!
what’s it been like transitioning from that side of touring to actually performing at sold out legendary venues? MG: It actually wasn't a hard transition. A lot of people don't know, but I've been doing that ever since we started touring. I went by another stage name, but I still worked the merch table along with other jobs and performed with G. Every day I perform on a stage with G I tell myself Imma have that in time. G: So now that the tour is finally over, what are you doing now? Did you take some time oﬀ to relax or did you get right back to making music?
Gibson: It was great meeting and talking to you before the G-Eazy show in Boston. What was that whole From The Bay to the Universe tour like for you, both as an experience and in terms of your music?
MG: I always get straight back to work after tour for about a week before I take a real break. I have so many stories from tour that I want to get on paper before I forget. I know I won’t have time like that for a little bit once I get home and settle back in. Other than music, I help manage a Brooklyn style pizzeria, a spot that I've been at since I was in high school. The owner has always supported my music, and I've never really felt like I needed to leave if I have time while I'm home.
Marty Grimes: It was a great experience to have with the homies for the first time. Each tour we’ve had has created a family, and it’s nice to see it all grow and have our home be the base of it all. While I'm on tour I get to perform “Bang Bang” along side G, and that moment is what I wait for everyday while I’m chillin’ at the merch table. I get to watch each tour grow bigger and bigger while learning everything I’ll need to know when the time comes for my own tour. That’s the part I appreciate the most.
G: Going way back, how did you first meet GEazy and was he very diﬀerent from the way he is today?
G: What was the craziest thing that happened on tour?
MG: I met G back in high school in Science class. It was really a, ”I rap”, “You rap?” conversation and after that we recorded a few songs together, later starting a rap group called the “Bay Boyz”. We had shows at our high school, which got all the stage fright out quick for performing. The only changes I've seen have been for the better, besides that he hasn’t. Which is why I respect him so much as a person outside of being my best friend.
MG: During one of the shows one of our tour busses caught fire. Luckily no one was hurt, and the things lost can be replaced. It was just a crazy sight to see since the only part of the bus that burned was our bunks. Everyone knows I lost my red Supremes that night. G: I understand that initially you were touring with G-Eazy just helping with merch etc. so 25
G: Your music keeps getting better and better (Long Way Down is one of my favorite songs right now, but has a pretty diﬀerent sound than a lot of your other music). What do you attribute to this constant improvement, and ability to keep putting out a wide variety of songs? MG: Everyday I work on my music constantly growing and pushing myself to do better then the last and show improvement. Shout out to one of my best friends as well as producer, Kevin “KDE” Beggs for bringing me and Danny Pratt together for that record. I really think my next album “Nobody Said It Was Easy” will show how I've evolved musically I'm excited to show what me and KDE have been working on. G: Who are some of your musical inspirations that have influenced your sound? MG: One of my favorite artists is 2Pac, from how his music told real life stories of what he went through and you could sometimes relate to it. Another is Eminem, for the same reasons and he would say whatever he wanted despite all the hate thrown his way. On the flip side of that I'm a big fan of R&B music, growing up my dad always had Musiq Soulchild playing, R. Kelly, Floerty, Usher, and from that I feel like it helped me add some more emotion to my music. Art-
ists like Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak, E-40, The Team, Frontline, Suga Free, many more Bay Area artists. Along with Kanye, Drake, J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Meek Mill, Even more than that.
MG: Yeah, I love it for the simple fact that it’s home and even though everyone might be from a diﬀerent city in The Bay, everyone still supports one another.
G: What can people expect from you this year? (New music, touring, etc.)
Favorite song right now: J. Cole - A Tale of 2 Citiez
MG: I’m releasing my 2nd project this year along with more singles. Expect a lot of music along with some shows here and there. We will see what new opportunities present themselves as I keep building. What are some short term goals you have for yourself and where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? MG: At the moment, I'm really focused on getting my music out and building my numbers. Getting into a position where I can open up as main support for an artist to line up opportunity to headline my own small tour. I see myself making music everyday for a living, playing an endless amount of shows and enjoying life wherever I may be. G: There’s a crazy amount of talent in the Bay Area right now and from the outside it seems like a really unique music scene where pretty much all the artists know and support each other. Is that accurate? What is it like being a part of a community like26that?
Favorite album ever: 2Pac - All Eyez on Me Artist you would most like to work with: Eminem
Favorite emoji: Angry face blowing smoke out the nose Favorite song you've ever made: unreleased material at the moment Favorite food: BBQ Coolest gift you’ve received from a fan: A nicely rolled J and a bag filled with red sour straws Place you’d most like to go on tour in the world: Tokyo Favorite show on this past tour: Warfield in SF Three dope rappers most people probably don’t know: Manni Phantom, KR, Dave Steezy Many thanks to Marty Grimes and his manager/producer, Kevin Beggs, for making this interview happen!
THE BLONDIES BLONDIES THE
Names of all the band members?
struments and really think about the complexity of our writing.
Has your sound changed at all over the last eight years?
Frank Klopotowski Jerry Feist
Definitely. Earlier on we were more old school rock and roll, and now we've developed more of our own sound that mixes a lot of diﬀerent styles.
Location of the band?
Who influences you in the music industry?
Bay Area (Berkeley/Oakland)
We have a lot of diﬀerent influences, old and new. Our primary influence is The Beatles, but we also like newer bands like The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, and The Kooks.
How has touring been? We love to get on the road and wish we could do more. The past 24 hours have been FANTASTIC! It’s really all good fun (said in a British accent)
Where did the name “The Blondies” come from? Was it influenced at all by blondie?
What is your favorite song to play live?
Blondie had nothing to do with our name actually. We were originally 'The Artificial Blondies' because some of us bleached our hair blonde (back in the little kid days.) Then when we stopped doing that we dropped the artificial and stuck with The Blondies.
Either “Beautiful Life” or “Rusty Sunshine” of our upcoming CD. For us, They’re the most energetic on stage, we really have fun playing them together. What is your favorite song you have written together
How does it feel to be so successful at such a young age?
Probably “All I Ever Wanted”. It’s the most developed, we added horns, and it has a wide appeal. You really can’t pinpoint a specific style.
It feels great to know that people really like our music, but we definitely have a lot more work to do.
How was receiving the Gibson Guitars Artist award?
Did music find you or did you find it? Simon: I think music pretty much found me. The first time that i heard an Eric Clapton album, or a Beatles record i was fixated on learning how to play the guitar, and i wanted to be good. As good as they were on the recordings. If for some reason i had never heard those records, i may not have ever started playing music.
It's always nice to be recognized for the work that we do in any capacity, especially when we love doing it so much. You guys all have been playing together for Eight years how has your perspective changed over the last eight years? We've all changed tremendously over that time, and I think we're all still changing every day. We've all matured a lot, and I think we've learned more about why we still play together so much. We’ve learned and incorporated more in-
Frank: For me personally, I think music found me. At a young age I didn't think of it as something I would get involved with. But it kept finding a way into my life until I couldn't say no. 28
Who influenced you to join or create a band? It was something we were interested in doing ever since we started to play music. I don't know if it was anyone specifically other than all of the bands we look up to. At what point did you know music was something you wanted to pursue? Simon: I think I always kinda knew. It’s just always been something that made me really happy, and i’ve never really seen a reason why that alone shouldn’t be the answer for me. Frank: I think from the first time we really played together in elementary school we knew that we could do something special. There hasn't really been a point when we haven't wanted to keep pursuing it
Probably The Happiest Place On Earth So, a few short weeks ago, a friend (@bri_leeper) and I made a “short” 16-hour trip to a small town called Manchester, Tennessee. We went to a small festival called Bonnaroo, where we found nearly 100,000 other people who were just as excited as we were to see people like Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons and The Alabama Shakes. After our last issue, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do review-style writing, but I couldn’t think of any better way to cover Bonnaroo for the magazine. I mentioned that our drive was [supposed to be] 16 hours, but we made it a bit longer by stopping in Bentonville, Arkansas and then Nashville on Tuesday and Wednesday. We arrived at The Farm on Thursday afternoon a little after noon, and it only took us about two and a half hours to get from the highway to our campsite for the weekend. Along the way we saw people running in and out of cars, policemen who looked like they were getting dehydrated and some other “interesting” things. All in all, I think we waited A LOT less than we expected to wait to get into the campsite. We borrowed a tent from a pretty good friend of mine (that didn’t have a rain flap) so, we had to improvise with a tarp that Bri brought along with us. Your campsite is plopped right next to 3-5 other campsites and you’ll make friends pretty quickly with the people around you, provided you’re not extremely anti-social. Luckily, it didn’t rain while we were at The Farm, but we definitely woke up every morning to the sun attempting to bake us alive…we forgot to bring something to give us a bit of shade over our tent.
After getting our tent pitched and everything else (sleeping bags, festival clothing, etc.) situated, we went into the festival grounds. The campsites opened up on Wednesday night, so we made it to The Farm before the real rush that Thursday. As soon as we walked in, we completely underestimated the size of the festival grounds. There were 6 stages (Who Stage, What Stage, Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, The Other Tent) that varied in size, amount of shade and placement on the festival grounds. The largest of the stages (where Kendrick, Mumford, Florence, Hozier, etc. performed) was The What Stage and it was on the east side of the festival grounds. It had a few acres available for people to stand and sit around, but it was absolutely jam-packed with people whenever headliners were performing. While I’d love to do a review of the 25+ artists that we saw up on stage, I think I’ll only be writing about a few the headliners and some of the acts that I think are up and coming.
Friday night, we saw a few small acts on the Miller Lite New Music on Tap Stage, but I must start with the two HUGE performances we saw on The What Stage: The Alabama Shakes and Kendrick Lamar. Let me start by saying that Brittany Howard might have the most incredible soul I’ve ever seen anyone lay out on stage. I’ve shot a few concerts and music festivals this year and I don’t think I can say that I’ve seen anyone of her talent level lay everything out on stage the way she did. She graced the stage rocking a long-sleeve purple gown/dress that HAD to be burning up in the hot Tennessee sun (and obviously sweat through it), but it only added to her personality that she showcased up on stage. Running through hits like Don’t Wanna Fight and Sound & Color, she had no problem hitting the notes and emotions that we’ve all heard and felt on the radio, Internet and TV with the rest of her group. Playing a show at Bonnaroo, she had no problem relating to a lot of the crowd, because as their name suggests, they’re from the south as well.
Hitting the stage right after The Alabama Shakes was one of hip-hop’s hottest rappers today: Kendrick aka “K-Dot” Lamar. He opened up his set with Backseat Freestyle and managed to get the whole crowd to start with the energy through the roof. “Kendrick have a dream,” and he made it come true with everyone in the crowd shouting the lyrics like they wrote the song themselves. While he didn’t play anything from Section .80 or Overly Dedicated, he played all of his bangers and slappers from good Kid m.A.A.d City and To Pimp A Butterfly and even though the new album was only released a few months ago (March 2015), everyone was chanting the lyrics like it was already a classic. He opens and closes one of my personal favorite songs (good kid, m.A.A.d city) with a pretty catchy hook (If pirus and crips all got along, they’d probably gun me down by the end of the song), and at the festival he claimed that the last time he came out to Bonnaroo, we got up to an 8 out of 10. He wanted us to turn it up a few notches or else he wasn’t coming back. Well, he had us reciting that hook like it was a mantra and if you didn’t know the lyrics when you got to his show, you damn sure knew them “by the end of the song.” Admittedly, I was more excited to see some other shows at the festival, but I think Kendrick Lamar takes the ticket for the most fun show.
Raury was voted one of MTV’s Artists to Watch this year and I actually had the pleasure of being rained out during his show at the MTVu Woodie Awards during SXSW this year. We finally got to see him at Bonnaroo and I think the first thing I must say is that this performance was a little lackluster in comparison to the one I heard at SXSW. Raury is classified as an American singersongwriter who has some influence from hip-hop/r&b roots as well as some funk, folk and soul vibes. He was chosen as a part of the 2015 XXL Freshman class for his eclectic style and probably wearing that awesome straw sunhat. We saw him on The Who Stage, which was a bit smaller and more intimate, but I still wasn’t horribly impressed with his performance that second night that we were. He doesn’t have a lot of music, so we got to stick around for his whole set and his microphone levels were down pretty low which took A LOT away from his performance. His energy was tremendous, but his voice wasn’t there when we were trying to sing along with him.
Hozier at The What Stage on Saturday night and I don’t think we could’ve made a better choice for that time-slot. Bri was most excited to see him up on stage and I thought I’d be bored during his show, but it was almost like he came even more alive at Bonnaroo than he was at Edgefest. Of course he played the same set at Edgefest, but he added a bit more personality at Bonnaroo and the crowd just ate it up. He played most of his self-titled album and then threw in a bit of Ariana Grande and The Regulators during this set. Hozier might go down as one of the most musically talented artists in my book because he bounced around from the blues/soulrock that we’re used to over to top 40 pop and then again into rap. He’s got style and he doesn’t try and overstep his boundaries with his sound or his music. My personal favorite was Jackie and Wilson before, but I think he successfully changed it to To Be Alone with the cigarette guitar that he played on and the way he moved the whole crowd with that particular song.
One of the shows I was pretty excited for was D’Angelo and The Vanguard. They were set to go on at one in the morning on Saturday night and we got to his stage pretty early (as early as you can be for a 1am show) and waited for 35 minutes before deciding to leave the stage. I wasn’t too bummed out because I’ll see him at another festival at some point this year, but we were really bummed out that he kept his fans waiting for so long. I know I’ve written about the manbunned legend already, but we went to see 33
Ever heard of the X Ambassadors? Well, if not, I suggest you hop on Spotify, Soundcloud, Pandora, YouTube or whatever music search engine you use and find them. While Kendrick might’ve been my favorite performance from Bonnaroo, I think the X Ambassadors might have been the most fun. Their show was in between Gary Clark Jr. and Gambino on Saturday and theirs was well worth the wait too. Firstly, their producer/ pianist is completely blind which caught all of us in attendance by surprise, but he didn’t miss a beat…literally and figuratively. The lead singer, Sam Harris, was one of the most talented guitarists, drummers, saxophone and other instrumentalists that I’ve ever seen live. While the X Ambassadors aren’t very big, they’ve actually put out a lot of music (available on Soundcloud and Pandora) that’s pretty stinkin’ good if I do say so myself. They aren’t rock, they aren’t rap and they aren’t indie. They’re their own genre with some singing, some rapping and some heavy guitars. The X Ambassadors were attending Bonnaroo in 2008 and playing Bonnaroo in 2015 if that give you any sense of their dedication to music
The last show I want to talk about is going to be Florence & The Machine. First oﬀ: WOW. That’s all I can say is wow. She blew me away from the get-go. Florence has one of the most enamoring voices I think I’ve ever heard and when she showed up on stage in all white and held her notes and her own, I couldn’t help but feel awestruck while she held my heart in her music for her hourlong set. Of course, she recently released an album, so she was expected to put on a great show out in Tennessee, but she far surpassed my expectations with both her old and new music. I wasn’t particularly keen on seeing her perform since I’d have a second chance to see her at ACL, but I’m definitely glad that Bri dragged my butt out to see her. It wasn’t hard to dance with the devils on our back this festival, but we sure did try and shake them oﬀ in the awful Tennessee sun. I always try and do my best not to undersell the amount of energy that an artist brings to a show like this, but I know there’s no possible way for me to do her any justice with my own words. You just need to see her if you ever get the chance. While I’d love to talk about every single show I had the opportunity to attend, I know that I don’t have the time or the lungs (aka the fingers) to talk about every single one, but I’ll definitely list them out for you so that you can have a sense of what my (and Bri’s) taste in music looks like: R. Kelly SingAlong, The Districts, Alabama Shakes, a little bit of Guster, Kendrick Lamar, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Hozier, Gary Clark Jr., Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino, Son Little, Shakey Graves, Spoon, Florence & The Machine, Kandace Springs, G-Eazy and I believe there were many more both in choice and in passing.
A few of my recommendations for anyone who’s thinking of attending Bonnaroo: If you have the ability to, then you should definitely volunteer rather than pay for a ticket. We met a lot of people who just went out to The Farm a few days early, worked three sixhour shifts and they got to enjoy the festival just the same way everyone else did. You get free camping, free meals and a free shirt for working. Take a water bottle with you that you can refill. I think I filled my bottle up at least four times a day – that Tennessee sun is less forgiving than any other sun I’ve been subjected to. I came back with a nice tan both on my face and body…which brings me to my next point: LAYER ON THE SUNSCREEN MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY.
The festival lasted from June 11th to June 14th and I’m still seeing the peeling/tan-lines on June 26th. I brought along a sun hat and a couple of other hats so I could alternate between them, but fair warning: you run the risk of getting a tan-line wherever your hat covers all day. Plan your lineup before you get to the festival grounds.
More often than not, Bri and I found ourselves having trouble deciding what shows we absolutely wanted to see and what shows we were willing to be flexible with. You’re going to have a lot of choices on music and things to do, so it’s a great idea to plan this thing out before you drive (or fly) halfway across the country. Lastly, go with someone who you can be around for 5+ days. I was lucky enough to have a friend who I’ve made road-trips with and didn’t get tired of along the way, and you should try and make it with someone of the same caliber. I would make suggestions on how to find this person, but I’m self-
ish and don’t want to share my secrets. If you want to hear our eclectic taste in music come to life, we’ve got a playlist on Spotify that was specific to Bonnaroo and you can find it on my profile (Daniel Zewde). Once again my Twitter and Instagram handles are @dzewde and if you want to ask some questions or see some cool stuﬀ…
Better Than Louisiana Style JMBLYA What do you think of when you think about jambalaya? A little of everything, right? So, when I first sought out to write this particular piece, I fully expected to write a review of JMBLYA and I think I could save all of my readers a bit of redundancy by opening with this: It was AWESOME. ScoreMore Shows really does run the south â€“ they donâ€™t too much jogging. Warning: There might be a few [lame] puns involved here.
JMBLYA is a smaller one-day festival/concert that’s owned, hosted and planned by ScoreMore Shows in Texas. According to ScoreMore’s website, they’re an organization (read: group of college kids) that wanted to make college students feel welcome at events. What a novel idea, right? They started throwing concerts and shows all around the country by partnering with diﬀerent promoters in your typical “college-towns” like Austin, Houston, Dallas, College Station, San Antonio and so on. I only named a few, but their reach is truly national and you can catch musicians talking about ScoreMore Shows and their southern hospitality when they’re managing their shows and concerts. ScoreMore just wants to put your favorite rapper in front of a huge crowd and let ‘em do what they do.
JMBLYA started in 2013, making this their third year and it has gained and maintained a reputation of bringing the freshest and most eclectic blend of music to Texas in the early summertime. This event, being planned by a collection of personalities, has allowed for a diﬀerent vibe each year that is always unique to JMBLYA. ScoreMore started this event and have always seen it through each year by planning directly with the talent who is included in each year’s lineup. JMBLYA’s alumni include artists like Tyler the Creator, G-Eazy, Earl Sweatshirt, Chance the Rapper, Baauer, RL Grime and tons more – needless to say, you’ll find your flavor (pun intended) at JMBLYA.
Grant (our contact for JMBLYA at ScoreMore) says, “It’s an incredibly unique experience where you get to see up-and-coming artists that are about to blow along with some well-established acts. You get to experience a mix of people and cultures in a unique environment. Listen to every single act on the lineup and see what you think – you might discover an artist you had never heard of.” He wasn’t lying, and might’ve undersold the event because when I arrived in New Braunfels and started asking around about the event, people were pulling flyers out of their pockets and talking about who they were most excited for.
ScoreMore typically does a lot of social media advertising via Twitter, Instagram and a lot of contests on Facebook that allow concert-goers to try and win tickets to the shows they’re going to go to regardless. They also actively search users, hashtags and tagged photos to see who is at their events and interact with their fans and truly make their concerts a unique experience, and JMBLYA is no exception to this. Of all the shows I’ve attended [hosted by ScoreMore], this was by far the most interesting. You will absolutely hear new music at this day-long event and whether you like it or not, you’ll have fun. The Dallas event was hosted at Deep Ellum Outdoors and the New Braunfels event was hosted at Whitewater
Amphitheater this year. Both venues [being outside] happen to let the shows get a little wild and concertgoers might be subjected to rain, champagne or water bottle showers, but it only adds to the electrifying energy at the show.
Think this is something you want to get involved with? Well, ScoreMore wants to know! You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they accept inquiries from EVERYONE. They have a street team that hands out flyers, does cash ticket sales and several other odd jobs that need to be taken care of for each show. They help with personal brand promotion and recognition, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of a sick music promotion team? They’re “Your Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Promoters.” Daniel Zewde (@dzewde)
Special thanks to Grant (@grantdwaring/ @WeScoreMore) at ScoreMore for letting us cover both the Dallas and New Braunfels events and providing us a bit more information on ScoreMore Shows.
A YEAR SINCE THESE THINGS HAPPEN
June 23rd 2015 – A year ago today, G-Eazy, also known by many of his fans as Gerald, released his first studio album on a record label (RCA) within the first week the album sold more than 47,000 copies in the United States. I’ve been blessed with the privilege to follow Gerald prior to These Things Happen and watch him rise to stardom. The first time I photographed him was at “Trees” in Dallas. He’d sold out the venue packing 700+ screaming fans into the space. He had a neon sign with his logo blinking behind him and Christoph Andersson on the keys and Blizzy Blake on the drums.
How did a kid from the bay area sell out a venue in Dallas, Texas over 1,000 miles from home? His songs are relatable and what every kid dreams of. Starting from his bedroom rapping and producing as a teenager to being a star. He captured his rise on his YouTube page documenting all the tours he’d been on and now “The Rise of The Villain” also rumored to be the name of his new album. Later that year Gerald made a pit stop in Austin Texas for South-by-South-West (SXSW) playing at The Spotify house at 2pm. Three months before his album dropping and in the middle of the afternoon he had a crowd waiting to get inside wrapped around the Spotify House venue
I remember hearing fans saying that it was just a matter of time before he blew up that the next album was it. I distinctly remember hearing heâ€™s put in the work now lets wait for the rise. As the gates opened and people flooded in. I grabbed a spot to shoot from and moved around. He played two new songs during his thirty minute set. After his set he hung around for a bit, took photos and had a conversation with me about his new album saying it was coming and its taken so long because it was his best work yet. Three months flew by and These Things Happen dropped on June 23rd a few hours early. After vigorously and intently listening to the album on repeat I knew I was about to witness something Iâ€™d never see before from someone Iâ€™d had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with.
His album climbed to #1 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard) since the drop of the album Gerald has performed on the Drake Vs. Lil’ Wayne tour as an opening act. He later came back in the fall with his first leg of “From The Bay to The Universe” tour with IAmSu and E-40.
I had the pleasure of seeing perform in Houston, Texas at a sold out Warehouse Live he opened with songs The Day it All Changed right into Downtown Love with help from Blizzy’s drum solo. He emerged from behind his lcd screen in all black from head to toe and with a black trench coat and glasses, his figure silhouetted against a white backdrop as fans screamed his name and lyrics. He ended the night with confetti and his legendary final song Loaded with a quick break for the holidays he jumped back on tour for the second leg of “From the Bay to The Universe” this time brining Kehlani, Jay Ant and K00l J0hn. Stopping in Dallas in January, I had the chance to see Gerald live again. He sold out “South Side Music Hall” with over 1,500 screaming fans.
Touring never really ended for G, he jumped right back on the road and started hinting at his new album. He retuned to Texas at SXSW, Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso, FPSF in Houston and the legendary JMBLYA presented by ScoreMore. G has been talking about his new album keeping fans on edge. As we anticipate this new album we are thankful to have been able to document the rise of a young legend. Check out EazySeason.com for more fan information.
ELLIS MUSIC MAGAZINE ISSUE #6 STAFF Owner & Head Photographer // Danielle Ellis Head Editor & Writer // Daniel Zewde Head Photographer (California + Las Vegas) // Jasio Sanchez Writer and Editor // Hunter Lohr Photographer // Chris Maldonado Photographer // Ljeoma Onyekwe Photographer // Elizabeth Mouw Contributor // Rebecca Reece Contributor // Gibson Dintersmith Reporter // Kayleigh Wagonon Reporter // Gabriella Jasso
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO MADE THIS ISSUE POSSIBLE Cover photo and design - Danielle Ellis The Maine photos & Interview - Ashleigh Humphries The Word Alive Photos & Interview - Ashleigh Humphries Free Press Summer Fest Photo by Rebecca Reece G-Eazy Free Press Images by Danielle Ellis Super Duper Kyle Photos by Chris Maldonado Super Duper Kyle writing by Daniel Zewde Neon Trees Image by Jasio Sanchez Of Mice and men photos and Interview by Ashleigh Humphries Marty Grimes Images by Danielle Ellis Marty Grimes Interview by Gibson Dintersmith The Blondies photos by Jasio Sanchez The Blondies Interview by Danielle Ellis Bonnaroo photos by Liz Mouw Bonnaroo Review by Daniel Zewde The Jmblya photos by Danielle Ellis The Jmblya Feature by Daniel Zewde A Year since These Things Happen Photos By Danielle Ellis A Year since These Things Happen Text by Danielle Ellis A year since These Things Happen Edited by Daniel Zewde