Volume 4 The Real
t o n y
ief h c s i M s Mis
The Trees Fifth World Grand Central Artist Jenny Kurek Jointpop The Fores We Are The Becoming Gunner by Rick Buda and much more!
From the desk of… Wow! Do we have an issue for you!! It’s going to be full of musicians, artists, reviews and all the usual good stuff you’ve come to expect from us, we have also been receiving submissions from lots of people on a whole wide range of things related to the entertainment industry! We are so thrilled to have Tony Duggins from the Tossers as our main featured artist. Cola and I took a road trip to his home where we were privileged to talk to him in his environment, so we can bring you an interview like you’ve never read before. We also have Matt Irie, visual artist and singer for Chicago band Cougars. From the UK: Grand Central, The Toniks, The Fores, and The Trees. Our Featured article “Same Old Ten” is with Impale’s drummer Phil Messina and we are also repeating some featured articles from last time, like wise words and advice from regular contributor Wicked D, as well as starting some new ones. Oh! And our beautiful spokesmodel, Miss Mischief answers a few questions for us too! There are some great things coming up I’d just like to tell you about, I Decline have come out of a 7 year hiatus and will be playing the Metro, Chicago with an amazing line-up which includes Earthen Grave and Sacred Dawn on March 5th. Get on down and show your support! Also Ideamen are going on US tour with fellow Rotten Records artists, Polkadot Cadaver, Vampire Moose and Karen Page, starting March 10th in Indianapolis Indiana, make sure to check the dates for a show near you. Like I said, this is one packed issue!! We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together for you.
Lissy MacMillan Editor in Chief
www.inclinationwebzine.com www.myspace.com/inclinationwebzine www.facebook.com/#/inclinationwebzine email@example.com
Table Of Contents Pages 4-5 The Trees Interview by Lissy Page 6 My Secret Service Incident by Mike Paus
Hear the compelling tale of Mr. Paus’ one-on-one showdown with former President Bill Clinton!
Page 7 Dear Cola Pages 8-9 Who The F*%k Is Matt Irie by Cola
Matt Irie of Cougars discusses music, art and mopeds.
Pages 10-11 Horoscopes by Lola & …AND I’M OUT OF VODKA by Cola Pages 12-15 The Real Tony Duggins by Cola and Lissy
Inclination gets personal with Tony Duggins of The Tossers on life inside and outside of music.
Pages 16-17 GUNNER by Rick Buda Page 18 Gaming With Grampire and Kevin Brannigan Page 19 Retro/Active by Brian Ryder Pages 20-21 Miss Mischief Interview by Lissy Page 22 2009 Indie Music Business Recap by Wicked D Page 23 You’re Breaking Up…What? by Brian Ryder Page 24 Audio Files Pages 25-26 Jen Kurek Interview by Cola Page 27 SPRITUALITY & RELIGION by Dr. Robert Binford Page 28 Jointpop Interview by Coma Pages 29-30 The Toniks Interview by Lissy Page 31 BACK TO THE FUTURE? by Wicked D Page 32 The Fores Interview by Lissy Page 33 KLOVER FILM by Kristin Love Webster Pages 34-35 Grand Central Interview by Lissy Page 36 Fifth World Interview by Cola Pages 37 SAME OLD TEN by Lissy Page 38-39 WE ARE THE BECOMING INTERVIEW by Sarah 13
Lissy MacMillian Editor-in-Chief and Founder
Movie: Moon Book: The Year Of The Flood - Margaret Atwood Now this is weird. I normally have two on the go at once, but it’s been so long since I’ve read anything. I feel I can’t recommend a book, but I’d like to read this one next. Albums: Boxer Rebellion - Union The Tossers - On A Fine Spring Evening Place: Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago
Graphical Wizardry & Editorial Associate http://thefuryofpurerock.blogspot.com twitter.com/purerockfury Movie: Little Children How Jackie Earle Haley spent 13 years in limbo before resurfacing here is one of life’s great mysteries. His performance was outstanding, causing my skin to crawl. Book: The God Delusion by Sir Richard Dawkins Albums: Kinghorse - Unreleased Demos The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love Place: A-F Books
Music & Game Reviews Movie: Chaos Book: Chronicles Of Wormwood by Garth Ennis Albums: Tyr - By The Light Of The Northern Star Charred Wall Of The Damned - s/t Place: Any motorcycle shop
Film Corner Movie: Bright Star Book: Transforming A Rape Culture by Emilie Buchwald, Pam Fletcher & Martha Roth Albums: Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days Place: 11th Street Diner
Associate Creative Director
Movie: The Invention Of Lying Book: The Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlene Harris Albums: Grand Duchy - Petit Fours (Frank Black from The Pixies and his wife Violet) Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (They’re back!) Place: Flavor, Flossmoor - Great food and great ambiance http://flavorrestaurant.net
Articles & Interviews Movie: Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Book: Night World Albums: Acey Slade & The Dark Party - The Dark Party The Becoming - Volume I Place: Zombies Bar, San Antonio
Articles Movie: Anvil: The Story Of Anvil Book: Music 3.0 by Bobby Owsinski Albums: Be’Lakor - Stone’s Reach Hemoptysis - Who Needs A Shepherd Place: Mic Dance, Baytown, TX
Horoscopes Movie: Henry And June Book: Woody Guthrie: A Life by Joe Klein Albums: Rumbleseat - Rumbleseat Is Dead Place: Witchy Wearables
Dr. Robert Binford Articles Picks Not Available
How and when did Trees begin? Simon: The Trees were formed in the late 90s by me and Tony and our first singer who sadly, past away. I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was 18 years old but I was playing the synth at an early age, I remember seeing Tony walking down the road with his guitar and desert boots (Jim Morrison phase). We found a drummer and the first line up of The Trees was formed, we secured a management deal and started to record and gig, then due to different issues and illness, we slowed down and concentrated on recording, we found Ben our current bass player from a advert online, and bumped into Tommy a friend from college who’s now our drummer, this current line up is working well and we are recording our best songs yet. Your style is very reminiscent of 60s/70s Psychedelic music; in fact you even do a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence”. Did you all come together from a common musical interest or was your direction something that came later?
Tony: I think with today’s computer based recording technology its perfectly possible to create a recording cheaply that’s is of reasonable quality however that doesn’t make a song good so while it helps to sound polished and professional a good song will shine through a poor recording every time. Simon: I think it comes down to how good you are live if you can cut it live your halfway there, but with today’s venues insisting on a commitment of a least 50 people a struggling band, has difficulty even getting a gig, a situation we have found ourselves in many times. Can you tell us about “Changes”?
The Trees are an Indie/Alt band from London, England. Due to popular demand, they’re making a comeback after slowing it down for a few years, so it’s no surprise that they were voted Band of the Month for November! Read all about them here in the interview, and then check out their amazing music on their myspace page or LastFM.
Tony: I think we all have similar interests in music both contemporary and past, it myspace.com/thetrees08 wasn’t a conscientious effort to sound a last.fm/music/TheTrees particular way its just sort of happened and we never wrote or recorded a song and it was ok, nothing special, then we to slot into a particular genre. forgot about it for a few weeks, then Simon: I know the sound I bring to the feeling inspired I went in to the studio band is heavily influenced from my and just recorded it and did the vocal in fathers record collection, Pink Floyd, one take, no overdubs because I didn’t Genesis, Beatles, Cream, it’s the music think anything would come of it I didn’t that shaped everything I do musically, bother correcting the little mistakes, Tony came round put his bass down in someway or another. and it was finished it only took about Back to “Sound of Silence”- Great 8 hours, the best songs usually happen job! Why did you decide to cover that like that. song? Things have changed so much in the Simon: we wanted a song to end our music industry over the last few years. set on, a good cover, something that’s It used to be that a band would play memorable. We tried various songs a few live shows, some bigwig from REM, Man on The Moon, The Who: a record label would show up and if I can see for miles, Pink Floyd, Bike, you were lucky, you got signed, then but couldn’t really decide, then one recorded and put out an album. How day while watching a reality show on important is it, do you think, for an TV, I heard the song and remembered unsigned band to have a top quality how good it was, so me and Tony tried recorded product before they can even it and did it the same as the original, think about being signed?
Well its now called The Great Tree Conspiracy: Tony: Our last album Things That Make You Happy was just a collection of songs that we had recorded on our home PC and was never intended as an album we just decided that after we had lots of songs, This time we decided to actually try and record an album so we decided to write and record about 20 new songs and pick what we feel are the best so far we have about 10 written and recorded so we’re getting there. Do Indie bands get much support and radio play in the UK? We’ve had some amazing support from independent radio stations, Katy Jay WCRFm, WarmWebRadio, London Café, Nervecast, BBC6. And various pod casts some of these are on our myspace page. Do you play a lot of live shows? When we first started we gigged extensively of late we have been concentrating on getting these new songs recorded so haven’t gigged so much. What is your favourite song you’ve written and recorded so far and why? Tony: For me it’s odd one out as its simple and honest and a little odd.
Simon: For me its whatever we are working on at the moment, I love the buzz of a new song.
hole society with neat little slots for people to occupy so I think this song is about rejecting that and after all “They can never take what matters most the fire in your eyes.”
Do you guys do everything yourselves, or do you have a manager, booking agent, help with myspace etc? We had a manager when we first started to help with gigs etc. but now we do it all ourselves. Its hard some time, so we usually delegate between us who does what. How important is it for you, as a band, to have a relationship with your fans? Tony: We feel its very important to keep a sense of how people feel about what we are doing and sites like my space and last FM help to do that and enable us to keep it relatively personal, its a good source of feed back and constructive criticism.
You guys must really like the visual aspect of music; you have five videos on your myspace page! Yeah were quite liking making videos at the moment clubs for us. There is a massive unsigned as I said earlier it started out as just a community there to help the unsigned little fun but people liked them so we artist; I’ve also joined Reputation, which made more we might invest in a decent is shaping up to be just as important for unsigned acts.
Your video for “Stop Talking” was our Video Of The Week at the beginning of November, can you tell us about Simon: LastFm has been a godsend for us, more people have heard The Trees it- who made it, now than ever before, we also have how etc? some fans promoting and setting up fan We make all the videos ourselves using stuff we’ve recorded ourselves and stock footage bought from various sources on the net. It was just a bit of camera and try something a little more fun really but people liked it so we did live, I think seeing something visual along side the song can make the more. listener hear the song in a different way and bring out new dimensions to song. What’s the song about? In life you always get those people that tell you, you should act this way or dress that way, you have to be like this to be accepted, you have to look like that to be liked they think we live in a pigeon
What will come next, after your album release? Hopefully more recording and live performances.
Back in 1994, Bill Clinton visited Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Illinois for one of his “town hall” meetings. My high school was in the same district as Hillcrest, so our NHS and Student Council were invited to this once-in-a-lifetime event. The fact that I was in neither NHS, nor the Student Council, was not a deterrent to my fellow students or me. One of them was so kind to sacrifice their field trip form so I could go. The reason: they all wanted me to wear my “Impeach Clinton: And Her Husband Too” shirt that I wore frequently my junior year. The plan was for me to keep it hidden under my jacket and show it off right as Bubba went on stage.
My Secret Service Incident
There was one problem in my logic. While I successfully penetrated the metal detectors and pat downs of the outer Secret Service perimeter, I was unaware that the gym where the meeting would occur would be locked down for two hours before Clinton arrived. Two thousand people in a room with no air conditioning sent the temperature over 80 degrees, and I was melting with my jacket on. With an hour left before Clinton hit the stage, I took my jacket off. That’s when everything went to hell.
My first nemesis was an evil looking hag that was casting a questioning eye in my direction at my shirt. She then proceeded to inform a very well dressed gentleman with those infamous radio earpieces and a gun of my presence. The next thing I know, he’s bounding up the bleachers to grab and yank me down the rows of seats, leaving my horrified principal and classmates behind.
I was terrified, thinking I was going to be executed in the hallway or at the very least ejected from the building and arrested. What came next, though, surprised me. As they pushed me behind the bleachers, a very angry Country Club Hills cop and Secret Service agent started grilling me. They informed me that my shirt was offensive to the President and his wife, and that I would not be allowed to wear it. They informed me under normal circumstances I would have been removed from the building, but since they were in lockdown I would be asked to turn my shirt inside out instead. I now became furious, asking: “Isn’t there something called the First Amendment that allows me to wear this shirt?” The Secret Service agent coldly answered: “That doesn’t apply here.” I meekly decided to cut my losses and turned my shirt inside out. In retrospect, I rather would have kept my shirt on and been arrested then be returned to the bleachers and endure the shameful looks of my principal and teachers while I endured Slick Willie masterfully spinning answers to the prepared questions given to him by the crowd.
I was furious with Clinton at first, but later realized that the Secret Service does this to anyone who dares object to the President in person, whether they are a Republican or Democrat. And the Secret Service is completely wrong: Their charter is to protect the President from physical harm, not save him from embarrassment. The First Amendment does not give the President immunity from his protestors. Indeed, protestors of the President are the ones the framers first had in mind when they wrote the Bill of Rights. Shame on all of the Secret Service agents who violate their oath to the Constitution by suppressing the freedom of speech.
Written by Mike Paus
My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 year and we now live in an apartment in a very seedy part of Chicago, itís making me unhappy. I love him, but when he and I got this place together, he claimed it was an artsy neighborhood and that we would fit in perfectly. I have found out in the past year (we have been here almost 2 years now) that this is not even close to being the case. I am seriously considering packing up my shoes (LOL) and running away in the middle of the night. The main reason for this being, when I told him that I was feeling unsafe walking from the car to the entrance doorway, he laughed and called me Vanilla Paranoia. After my windshield getting smashed and having all my shit stolen out of my car, TWICE…you would think that he would GET IT! We need to move and he is not even considering it.WHAT DO I DO?
I have been playing the drums in a band for about a year now and I feel like my talent is going to waste. We have been playing all cover songs and catering mainly to an audience of older adults while they sip their fruity drinks at the casino. I would like more than anything to get involved in a project that revolves around original music and play to an audience of younger folks. I am a 27 year old single guy, and I am not into the cougar thing. How should I branch out?
My girlfriend doesnít want to try anything out of the ordinary in the sack. If I even suggest that she and I get out some rope, or a blindfold, she freaks out. I have always had a fetish for BDSM and would love it if she would help me to live out some of my wild fantasies. I have dreams of busty blonds pouring mustard and ketchup on my “hot dog” and eating me. I would go wild if she would play a role as small as that one. I offered to buy her a wig and she is already a solid C cup. The rest of the supplies are in the fridge! Since she is always bitchin’ about money, this role play is cheap and easy. I just want her to tie me up and turn me into a ball park frank! Is that too much to ask? How do I make this work?
I think that I might be addicted to my iphone. I can’t seem to put it down. I wake up and check it, I go to bed listening to it stream radio. My husband thinks that it is getting really annoying. In my defense, all of my networking goes through my cell. I check my Facebook, my email, my MySpace, my texts and of course Twitter and MyLife. Oh yeah, and I use it to call people. I can’t give it up, but how do I make him understand how great the phone is?
Signed, Drummer Drama
Signed, Oscar Meyer
Signed, Vanilla Paranoia
Dear Vanilla Paranoia,
Dear Drummer Drama,
Dear Oscar Meyer,
The many neighborhoods of our fair city of Chicago are as diverse and somewhat dangerous as any other major metropolitan area. Seeing as you have been the victim of a robbery twice over, you are feeling angry and fearing the worst. It is my opinion that if you havenít already, you may want to get to know your neighbors. Also, take your valuables out of your vehicle when you leave it unattended. I am praying that you are not a racist, and that your reasoning for wanting to flee the nest, is due to your lack of community involvement and fear for your safety; although I didnít read anything about you having any violent experiences. My advice to you is to suck it up, at least until your lease is up. If you truly love your boyfriend, explain to him that youíd like to open up other options as far as neighborhoods in Chicago go. If all else fails, move to the burbs and live a boring but somewhat more safe existence.
CRAIGSLIST is your friend. You need to post an ad stating that you are open to playing original music within other musicians in your age group. You may also want to read ads where bands are seeking drummers. Check out The Chicago Reader, The Illinois Entertainer, and soon enough our site. ;-) As a former member of a band who had gone through a few drummers, I can say from personal experience that you should easily be able to find others to hook up with.
If lady ain’t feelin it, she ain’t feelin it. Try to come to a compromise be finding out what turns her on. Slowly begin to insert element of your fantasies into her own. You may not wind up on a bed of tin foil with relish on your nipples, but it’s a start.
Does daddy have an iPhone too? If not, you may just want to get him on that train. As an iPhone user, I have to agree that the phone is fun. Don’t get too excited though, I am about to scold you a bit. It seems clear to me that you have too many things going on as far as your networking goes. Cut down, just as I would tell anyone about any ìaddiction…everything in moderation. Most importantly, don’t forget about the importance of human contact.
You can all write to Dear Cola @ Inclination. She will do her best with whatever ails you. Cheers!
Who the f&ck is Matt Irie? changed my major to painting the next day. Cola: How did “Cougars” come about? Matt: Cougars came directly out of Hot Stove Jimmy. After our third record, Theme for a Major Hit, a couple of the founding members decided to leave the band. We were already heading in a different direction and with the addition of Bryan Bienias (bass) and Brian Wnukowski (drums) it solidified this trajectory. We played a few shows as “Hot Stove Jimmy”, but quickly realized we were a different band. We had played our first show at the Metro under the name Dame. Around this time the drummer mocked up a couple posters listing us as either Dame or Cougars. I remember walking into Brett’s house (guitarist) where we used to practice and seeing the Cougars poster and I thought, “Yes. That’s it, Cougars.” The other members thought so too.
Interview by Cola
Drawing by Keiler Sensenbrenner
Who the fuck is Matt Irie? (Matt’s Answer)
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1977, Matt Irie lives and works in the Chicago area. Irie received his MFA from Northwestern University, Evanston (2002). He completed a permanent commission for the Chicago Public Libraries in 2005. Irie and his regular collaborator Dominick Talvacchio recently participated in the Luleá Art Biennial, Luleá, Sweden (2009). They had a solo exhibition at Unit B Galley, San Antonio (2007); and most recently were included in Double Take, a public exhibition of site-specific sculptural works funded by The Public Art Fund at MetroTech, Brooklyn, NY. In addition to his activities as an artist, Matt Irie has also been a long time member of Cougars, an aggressive rock band based in Chicago. Cola: Hi, Matt. You’ve made quite a reputation for yourself as a musician and artist over the years. When did you first know that your life was going in that direction? Matt: With regard to music I have always been interested in exploring it. I started playing the drums in junior high and have been collaborating with other musicians in bands ever since. At this point it would feel completely strange not to practice at least once week. As far as visual art is concerned, I have always been interested in that as well. I was told in High School that I would not have to take physics if I was planning on becoming an art major in college. At the time I was getting a D in physics, so it just made sense. As an undergraduate I was enrolled as an illustration major. When I asked my instructor, Mark Arctander, which illustration teacher I should take, he replied that I should take some real art classes. I
Cola: From your success with Hot Stove Jimmy to your growing popularity as front man of Cougars, what lessons about the Chicago music scene did you learn the first time around? Matt: It was really just a continuation of the path we were already heading down. However, I will say that it seems the older I get the more debased and juvenile my lyrics seem to get. I don’t think I learned any lessons from the Chicago music scene.
as space, color, line, composition, rock, and an overall modernist evolutionary method of investigation. I still believe working dialectically can produce new and radical things even when the investigations don’t address the political directly. However, I am also influenced by a postmodern way of thinking about the world and I imagine the work I do with my long time collaborator (Dominick Talvacchio) attempts to straddle these seemingly opposed positions. Cola: You’re a professor of 2-D art at the college level. How do you like teaching? What made you decide to choose a career as such? Matt: I had a number of amazing professors in undergrad and graduate school. The impact that these people had on me is immeasurable. I decided I wanted to teach very early on in my college career. It is my hope that I can be to my students what my professors were to me. Cola: What does Professor Matt Irie listen to in his car, on his sofa, or wherever? What music gets you going? Matt: In the car I mainly listen to NPR and audio books. Most recently I have been listening to the audio versions of books by Chuck Klosterman, David Cross, Bret Easton Ellis, Katherine Dunn, Philip Roth and John Updike to name several. On my sofa I am addicted to TV series such as The Wire, Californication, Dexter, etc. As for music, lately I have been listening to the most recent Bill Callahan, Great Lake Swimmers, David Grubbs, Jim O’ Rourke, YACHT, and Pissed Jeans records. Cola: Do you feel as though you are more of an influence to your students, or do you feel that your pupils are influencing you? Matt: Hopefully it’s both. Cola: You’ve traveled around quite a bit. As far as music goes, what is your favorite location? As far as art goes.... same question. Matt: Anywhere in the Europe. The Cougars last/first tour in Europe was fantastic. It’s really different there. It’s as if people really enjoy live music and they are appreciative of the people who make it. Those were the best shows and the best hospitality by far. As for visual art, I can’t really say. Dominick and I recently participated in a Biennial in Sweden that was great. We also just finished a piece for the Public Art Fund in Brooklyn. I suppose it would have to be New York at the moment, but I’m sure that will change.
Cola: It’s no secret that you are actively involved in a socialist network, and that you hold strong to your political philosophy, due to being well read and also hard headed. When did you discover your potential as an activist? Do you consider yourself an activist? Matt: I don’t consider myself an activist. I have a certain world outlook that I am, at times, quite outspoken about. I suppose I have always been skeptical about the status quo. As an undergrad I became very close with one of my history professors (Marvin Rosen) who was a Marxist and that theory had a great impact on my worldview. In graduate school I continued to study Marx and a number of other radical or critical thinkers.
Cola: As far as the artist in you, where does he fit into your passion for music and politics? Matt: He’s all over the place. For one reason or another I have tried to keep the music somewhat separate from what I investigate with art and/or politics. My political views saturate my work as an artist, but they only creep up here and there in the music. In this I believe I am somewhat schizophrenic, as I also believe our place in history is. Part of me is interested in exploring more formal issues such
Cola: Whether you’re writing lyrics or creating art, what inspires you most? Matt: I probably write lyrics differently than most. I would describe my lyrics as abstract in that I collect a number of things I might say or hear in different contexts and then collage them together to create a sort of mood or semblance of a narrative. I am inspired by multiple histories and potentialities when creating art. Cola: You are really into your moped. What’s with the moped obsession? Matt: Moped Army Mission Statement: The Moped Army is the organizational end result of an outcropping of moped enthusiasts throughout the nation. Seeing it as more than just an easy and inexpensive way to get around town, members uphold the moped as a way of life. Although the advantages as a mode of transportation are many, a similar mind set is what brings us together. We see the moped as more than a means of travel, and truly believe in the lifestyle that accompanies riding one. It’s all about the moped’s aesthetic, its marginalized status in our society, the friendly traveling, easy stop communication, and our ability to enjoy the trip, as well as the destination. 2-Stroke Power. Swarm and Destroy. Live Fast, Ride Slow.
Cola: Who are some of your favorite artists? Matt: Well…Traditional: Giotto di Bondone, Jan van Eyck, Hans Holbein the Younger, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, and about a hundred other artists. I’m not really good and picking favorites. Lately I have been interested in the work of Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Urs Fischer, Frank Nitsche, and Erwin Wurm. My contemporary heroes remain Felix Gonzalez-Torres, James Turrell, and possibly Thomas Demand. However, this really changes day to day. Cola: Who do you feel that you are most influenced by in your own life? Matt: Everyone I come in contact with? Cola: What is on the agenda for 2010; for Cougars, your own artwork, moped adventures, travel, and just life in general? Matt: Cougars- Shows and hopefully making another record. Artwork: New projects, applying for grants and opportunities, exhibitions. Mopeds- Maybe the L.A. rally and possibly a couple rallies in the Midwest, mashing up the streets of Chicago. Travel- nothing scheduled yet except for a trip to New York in April for a panel discussion. Hopefully this changes. Life in general- Please see above. Cola: You possess an old school charm about you. Where does this come from? Matt: I am not sure what you mean by old school, but I
imagine whatever it is it comes from me being in my thirties.
will know my name and most likely I will proceed drunkenly.
Cola: Nice! As far as Chicago local bands go, who do you enjoy seeing live? Matt: Cougars share a practice space with a few bands and we like to support each other. The most recent shows of Chicago bands I checked out are Haymarket Riot, Loose Dudes, and The Jesus Lizard reunion.
Cola: I’ll bet. I just have to know, what makes you happy? What makes Matt feel most content? Matt: Keeping busy and making stuff.
Cola: Okay Left Hand Luke, which I feel to be a fitting handle or what not, where do you see yourself in 5 years? Matt: Gallery representation in multiple cities. Included in the Whitney…
In order for me to profile the persona and detail the experiences of this quirky left swaying art and music cultivator, I would need hours from patient ears. Wrapping Matt up in a package of descriptive words and glossy high resolution pictures would never do him the justice that he has earned as a local figurehead of our generation. From Hot Stove Jimmy’s hard yet circus like tunes to the rock experience that is the music of “Cougars” signed to Go-Kart Records, Matt has led the parades of uber talented musicians toward mind driving performances with his show stopping vocals and movements that remind me of the great Mike Patton. Matt’s art boggles my mind. I see the peculiar humor of his installments along with an undertone of serious attempts at communicating his social and political philosophies with all of us. Some pieces are not so obvious, while others are vomiting anti-capitalist fury at our feet….and this vomit has a voice: A teacher, a political activist/pseudo preacher, a man on a moped, a musician and an artist. Who the fuck is Matt Irie? I still don’t know. As we take a listen and a look into his creations, we are certainly provided with a map of his mind. Unfortunately, the compass is nonexistent. As our journey into Matt’s artistic genius begins, we are allowed a trip with a multitude of directions.
Cola: Aiming high I see, but more importantly, if you were stranded on a desert island, what (outside of people, food and water) are the 3 things that you couldn’t live without? Matt: Onyx (my Great Dane), my computer (it does everything), my studio (does this count? It’s crammed with all kinds of shit). Cola: Okay, you’re at a pub full of strangers, you have no way home till closing, the beer and spirits selection is limitless....what do you order? Does the room know your name by the end of the night? How does Matt proceed? Matt: Scotch. Some will call me a savage for ordering it on the rocks, but Macallan 12. I doubt the room
Who the fuck is Matt Irie? (Cola’s Answer)
www.poorhammer-sadsickle.com www.cougarsrock.com www.mopedarmy.com www.myspace.com/cougars
Someone has a birthday coming up! You are glowing. You have been working hard and now is the time to sit back and enjoy what you’ve accomplished. This will become more evident as the sun goes into your sign on the 20th.
Life has been feeling stagnant lately...same old, same old. Think of this boredom as a chance to recharge your batteries. There will be plenty of excitement in the coming spring.
This is definitely not the time to give up or even go back to the drawing board. There are things in the works that are beyond your scope and grasp. Success is for those that can face many rejections.
You are absolutely strapped of energy right now. The reason for this is that the sun is as far away from your sign as it can get. Feeling like nothing is going your way? The pendulum is bound to swing back! By April the tides will turn.
Major changes are happening and for once you feel like they are all in YOUR control. Good decisions made around the New Year are beginning to pay off. It’s time to make some solid summer plans.
Watch your finances closely this month. A simple error can send things out of control. Time to figure out where the leaks are. Being honest with yourself is the best way to fix this. This summer you’re gonna thank yourself for it.
This is a good time to give back. Some simple gestures of kindness will not only help out others, it will make you realize that you are part of something bigger. This month a much needed door will open for you.
Try not to burn any bridges this month. Sometimes it’s better to just move on. This particular time, you will be happy you kept your cool. Sparks are flying with you and a co-worker. Could these two things be linked?
Winter has been difficult, but you begin to feel more like yourself this month. Around the 3rd, you’ll gain back your equilibrium. Around the 15th, pay close attention to what your day-to-day life is telling you.
February ended with a bang for you, in more ways than one. Try to keep this momentum. An intriguing person that you met in the late fall will turn out to be an excellent ally/connection.
This will be a month full of movement. You feel like you are constantly on the go. All this activity has you wondering if it is worth it and if you can keep up. It is, and you can!
You feel like you woke up and discovered what your emotions have been doing while your thinking cap was asleep. It’s ok. You are heavily influenced and inspired by passion and sentiment. You revel in it. You may need a small clean up in aisle one though.
MY SNOWMAN IS GIVING ME DIRTY LOOKS AND I’M OUT OF VODKA I have, for the very first time in my life, discovered the utter misery that is SAD, commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Damn, living in the Chicago land area is rough this time of year. Sure, we all love the snow as it falls from the sky like clumps of tissue between November and the beginning of February. Yes, every one of us has made our yearly “stoner” Christmas light cruise, and enjoyed the beauty and majesty of the Midwestern weather. We watch the snowflakes shooting at us like stars toward a spaceship cruiser, or while we’re not heavily medicated, our car windshields. We get our winter sports on, we build our discombobulated snowmen, we bundle up like Eskimo folk and we face the freeze.
can choose to bask in the extended weather dilemma, go to a state park that hosts cross country skiing, tubing, horseback riding, ice fishing and hide out at night in one of the many wood shelter cabins that are equipped w i t h
Enough is enough! We are now approaching spring (as the Roman calendar determines….obviously someone didn’t take into account us poor Chicago cats who have the privilege of experiencing a seemingly never ending Winter, which no exact date can predict the end of) and we are continuing to wake up to SNOW, WIND and MORE SNOW. Even when the sun is out, we are freezing & praying that our yearly extra long winter will cease to exist. There are only so many times that one can shovel snow, clean their car off, strap on the “ugly” boots and super insolated jackets (and let’s face it, we all own them) before we all begin to feel depressed and long for temperatures above the low 30’s. My solution is to do one of two things. You
drive 10-15 hours south and to the east.
My pick for busting up the winter blues for the month of March is to head on out to the Carolinas, more specifically, Hilton Head, South Carolina. Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side, if you intend to stay at a resort, but there is always the option to rough it. Yes, bring your tent, sleep in your van/car/truck or whatever and just enjoy the improvement in weather. Hilton Head will be the prescription that will cure “SAD”. Strap your mountain bike to your vehicle, pack your nonperishables and hit the road. What more do you need outside of warm weather and nature? There are great restaurants, ranging from road side stops and greasy spoons to 5 star wallet busters. There is the OCEAN! What else can I say? As I am certainly not working for a travel agency, or getting any kind of endorsement for our zine by suggesting these get-a-ways, my ultimate goal in writing this to all of you is just to offer you a solution to the quarry that faces all of us…that is unless you really do love being cold while “spring” approaches. So, either embrace the cold and snow by indulging in the outdoor activities, or hop in your car and escape this weather. Either way, I personally plan to take a Louisville Slugger to my “SAD” this season. A road trip beckons me.
electricity and radiant heater, or you can
By Cola & Lissy
s we walked into the home of Tony, Jesse and little Nora, we were immediately blown away by the cozy and hospitable atmosphere of this punk rock family. The beautiful and intelligent Jesse was cooking up some beefless stroganoff while baby Nora was sitting in her tiny seat on the kitchen counter, jamming out to “We’re a Happy Family” - The Ramones. Daddy Duggins singing along to her and mommy while offering us both drinks. The environment was mellow and fun. No stress over the music business for Tony, and all smiles from Jesse, whom obviously basks in every moment she is able to share with her little angel. They are the quintessential “happy family” and love where they live…
t o n y
in the presence of two parents that are bound to raise a well-rounded child. Another important member of the family is Pelee, their dog, Jesse rescued him from the streets of New York “ I found him at a bar called The Pelee Royale, that’s where he got his name, He was just a little shit when I found him, 4 months old.” There was also a gorgeous longhaired cat roaming around taking in the scene, “Lola was a stray when I found her too, she was running across Western Avenue.” Tony and Jesse are two very interesting and insightful individuals, whom are obviously well read and have invested in their daughter’s growth, spending their every free moments loving her and making her surroundings ideal for a happy and stress free childhood.
“Too bad you can’t see the yard,” says Jesse, “we have such an awesome yard. The reason we moved here is because my sister lives close. Tony’s watching her now, but she stays home with her kids, the youngest just started Kindergarten, she offered to help, so when Tony goes on tour she can go over there” referring to little Nora who’s sitting
there watching her Mom talking, “which is huge, you know? She’s always available. So, we looked into this area and had three houses set up and we saw this one second.”
We brought the conversation and little Nora into the family room area, that along with being adorned with vintage rock posters like that of legends “Guided By Voices” and “ The Dubliners”, also catered to baby Nora. High-end baby play equipment and a piano for dad and mom to serenade her completed this room, fit for a “family”. Tony singing songs about everything from the vacuum cleaner to Nora’s diaper fill ups, he dotes over his little lady, keeping her all smiles and coos. As we spoke quite casually with Tony and Jesse there was a real feeling of being
Tony and little Nora were kind enough to give us a tour of their humble abode; with little Nora all smiles during her miniwalkabout. Upstairs at Casa Duggins, we are amazed by how much time and effort Daddy Duggins has thrown into making his
little rock and roll princess’s surroundings beyond aesthetically pleasing to a tiny future lady. Nora’s bedroom is filled with whimsical Winnie the Pooh characters, and not only on the shelves. As we gazed onto the ceiling, directly above her cradle, we are impressed beyond words by the artwork of Tony (Daddy) Duggins. Tony had painted a full size mural of a map of the Hundred Acre Woods, that magical place that was home to Winnie and friends. A sweet addition to this map is “Nora’s House”, which he creatively included into the fun landscape. “Nora’s House” pictures Nora, her doggy and her cat, it’s beyond sweet and was yet another testament to how well acclimated Tony had become, as far as fatherhood. Along with the walls being a child’s dream, Tony also hand made a toy chest that in my opinion would rival that of any furniture store. Nora’s room is a dreamland, adorable and artistic.
Beyonce, she’s amazing, the girl can sing and she writes her own songs.” We had been talking about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and how he had been there 10 years prior doing a show.
While mommy Jesse gets baby Nora settled in for the night, Tony escorts us down to his “lair”. Within this finished basement, you can find Irish heritage wall hangings, mugs, trinkets, family photos, more vintage posters of The Dubliners and a bookshelf filled with all of the great writers throughout history. Tony and Jesse do not neglect their devotion to great books, possessing a collection to be envied. As Jesse frowns on television in general, and Tony prefers “Miss Marple” and “Big Cat Diaries” for he and Nora to enjoy, books take precedence over the boob tube in their house. Within the Tony/Jesse library of classics, you can find everything from Tom Robbins to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, showcasing a truly diverse collection of reading gems. Also in the Duggins lair is a hip and comfortable sofa area in the corner, a bar (Of course, I mean…we are in Tony’s lair) and a casino style card-playing table. We sit down with Tony, who is continuously plying us with ales and begin to get down to it, the interview that is.
“…It was under construction, but as VIP, we were able to take photos and go up to the attic where they had the rap exhibit. It was funny ‘cause they had Easy E’s notebook from high school, and you know what it said on the front? ‘This book is the property of (pause) A Real Nigga’ we all got a laugh out of that, and of course then the conversation turned to the other exhibits and memorabilia and how Aretha
One of the songs from his latest release “On A Fine Spring Evening” is about his old local pub Teehans, “I know that these days there’d be no one that I know there, except for the bartender…Noel’s there every fucking day if you go at the right time, I know Noel.” He says of one of the regulars “Most of the guys I still know that go there are up in the afternoons, we used to go there after work.” (Referring to his old job at Tinley Ice) “Yeah, you know, I wish I could get down there, at least once, just to see everybody. I’ve always been on the attitude that I could be on tour, it could be a couple of years and I’ll come back and you guys will all still be there…we’ll know each other forever.”
Franklin’s dresses were so small back in the day. This whole time their dog, Pelee, who is eleven years old is hanging around with us, “he’s still got his wits about him, just like Sherlock Holmes.” Tony comments about him as he rubs himself all over our legs, depositing hair all over our jeans.
As we’re getting the whole story on Tony we turn the conversation around to politics and have a laugh as we discuss the fact that there is a definite split on either ends of the spectrum. We tell him about one of our articles in this edition, how Mike Paus had quite an experience with the Secret Service “Was it because he wrote some paper?” Tony asked. We explained that it was because he was wearing a derogatory T-shirt. Tony laughs and adds, “Yeah, that’s funny, I know Mike Paus. He comes to our shows. Ha!” He didn’t realize that Mike was so into politics though “I’ve always been really political on the records, and a lot of people know that, and they all try to come up and strike a conversation up with me, and maybe Mike and I have talked about this and I don’t remember, ‘cause the only time I ever see him is at fuckin’ Teehans….ha! We could’ve sat there and talked about politics all god damn
Probably what will not be so surprising is that we start off by talking about music and different artists, what might be surprising though is who we were talking about, it turns out Tony is a fan of Beyonce and Shakira. “She can really shake her ass” says Tony about Shakira, and that we all agreed on, then he said “I really love
“My brother is fuckin crazy about Sherlock Holmes, I’d read a couple of them, as a kid... hound of the Baskervilles…you know, shit like that, and I now, I’m like totally into him, and that’s only within the last couple of years.” He then grabs a book and reads from it “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence, it biases the judgment.” Which Tony then explains to us is one quote, which he whole-heartedly tries to live by. Nonjudgmental is Tony Duggins for certain. Tony then gives us his best impersonation of the character, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
night and I wouldn’t fucking remember...” Then we switched to Irish politics and his views on that “It’s completely seen differently here…well, because when you think of it, anybody that’s my age, that’s even first generation here, was born in the 70’s, so their parents had to have come here in the 70’s...before the 60’s which was before bloody Sunday, before Bobby Sands died in 81, before any of that shit happened, before it became serious. It didn’t get really bad until like 72 onto the mid to late 80’s, which was when it was the fuckin worst. Our parents from here didn’t have to deal with any of that shit…they were singing the old fucking songs, but even like Ronny and Duke from the Dubliners they were in London at the time, as their biggest fame was in England, they went back and forth...and up until 72, they completely stopped singing the rebel songs. There were a couple tunes that were not an anti-English, but more of
an anti-establishment- for lack of a better word: sentiment…they stopped singing those songs because everything did turn so bad A lot of Americans my age were so far removed, and the parents of them were still singing the same songs and the kids didn’t know any better...” He explains, “People here are just so out of touch, they’re just so far removed from the situation, I
mean everybody knows what hurts and what doesn’t, and with September. 11th, the whole world felt that happen. I remember in the early 80s too big things…1980, John Lennon died and in 81 Bobby Sands died...he was a hunger striker who starved himself in prison. Everyone knows what’s sad, everyone knows what’s wrong and right...print this if you want...I don’t care… and I’m American, so what do I care? It’s got nothing to do with me…and it has no bearing on my life what so ever.” he says the IRA are “fucking gunslingers, they’re all fucking gunslingers... but that has no bearing on what the British have done to the Irish as far as occupation... Paisley and McGinnis were the least deserving of the office.” “I used to hang with the fucking communists, the Chinese Chairman Mao killed more people than Lenin and Hitler put
together. That is not only where it doesn’t make any sense to meand where you can’t leave any of those countries, it’s the fact that it’s one thing that people keep trying the same thing over and over, just revising it. Well, you just give up…” We asked him about taxes and what he thought about the possibility of a government where we weren’t taxed, would it possible? As a Dad, would there be sufficient schools for his daughter without taxes? “We have to be taxed, but we can’t be taxed this much for nothing. Half the private schools are elitist, religious and then they’re occupational. Why does the American populace vote against anything Socialist? Because they don’t realize how many programs we have that are socialist, they don’t realize that we are mostly a socialist country because we take care of our people, they don’t fucking realize that but they vote against anything socialist that comes along, like healthcare.” He then adds “We have a constitution, but it’s something that can be used to scare voters from voting a certain way, and actually the people that do it are the Republicans, they say, ‘This is a Social stance’ they’re the ones that call themselves Republicans.” He finishes “As soon as one branch gets into office, the other turns into something else.” After such a heavy conversation we decide to take a cigarette break outside in the freezing cold, but beautiful backyard, where, even though it was dark you could see the fence that Tony had built and the huge maple tree that the squirrels live in. “Is that thing still on?” he asks me, referring to my digital recorder. I tell him it is, and he then says: “We get a lot of shit for being plastic Paddies ’cause we’re American and we play Irish music, people have said such things in magazines and on the internet” He finishes his cigarette and starts to walk indoors and turns back to me “Well, here’s the deal with that- is Sting from Jamaica? No. Is Bono American although he sings Rock N Roll like one? No, Ya know? We went on tour with a band called The Mighty Stef; they’re from Dublin and
Tony and The Tossers had some problems getting into Canada while they were touring “I’ll tell you, they’re not lax if you’re going through with a band, they’re hardcore, it’s not the drugs or anything, it’s the tax they get if you’re working” he explains, “you have to have a work visa, and if you’re our size band it’s not even worth it all” (The Tossers are a six-piece band). Then on the second trip they were going to be taxed so much for their merchandise they turned back around to the US to mail it to where they were going “We took all the boxes of merchandise to a Post Office and mailed it, everything was like, I don’t know 200lbs a box, it cost around $3000 to mail it”
they play the fuckin’ blues yeah? Like the real fuckin’ blues, It was funny ‘cause they supported us, they’d get on stage, do their thing and sing in an American accent, then we’d do ours, then we’d have one hell of a time drinking together ‘cause they’re Irish and we all drink.” At this we all laughed and went back down to the basement to continue the interview. As we sit down Tony says, “Here’s another thing…when I
was talking about Sting and Bono adopting another persona to present themselves the way they want to be presented, that’s Rock N Roll, that’s what you do, everyone takes on another persona.”
How did Jesse win Tony Duggin’s heart? They met in a bar… “She was smoking hot, she’s beautiful!” he says, “After we got together I couldn’t believe a girl that pretty would even talk to me, but I called her back and yeah, she wanted to hang out and so we hung out and we kept hanging out. I was walking on eggshells expecting it to end but did everything I could to make sure it didn’t” So, what do they do? “With Nora we can’t even go to a movie, we go out to eat though. I don’t go to bars, I have never been to a bar round here” he adds “There’s a lot that’s changed, but I’m still that obnoxious kid” So, Tony that was born May 15th, 1974 on Fort Leonard Wood to Dorothy and Dennis, the Tony that liked to nap, and play in coffins as a child while his dad trained to be a mortician, that played disco with our Cola as a teen and eventually found himself as singer of The Tossers is now settled down and a Dad- but still the singer for The Tossers has that glint of mischief in his eyes and the personality that makes you like him instantly. As you can see he had a lot to tell us and we enjoyed listening, but best of all was when he finished off the evening by bringing out the mandolin and gave us our own private show and singing Beatles tunes and whatever else we requested.
This document is a transcription of a computer file recently found on disc in the wreckage of a hotel. The hotel is in (censored) (The identity of this country should be kept secret). The current war against terrorism might even be jeopardized if it should leak out. In reality, the beginning of this story go back over 36 years. With this in mind, here is the transcribed file, exactly as written by (censored).
Roland were best of friends. They fought side by side and defended each other in battle as well as during negotiations and bar brawls. It was their choice of weapons that set these t wo, and the whole coterie, apart. They fought almost exclusively using Thompson Submachine guns.
***** There is not a lot of dialogue – this is not a fanciful piece of fiction reproduced for your entertainment. If that is what you seek, then perhaps some other offering is for you tonight. If, however, you wish to hear more about what happens everyday in countries and places beyond most people’s horizon’s then this may be of some interest. As usual, there is nothing else to back up this story, other than this telling. *****
n the legends of mercenaries there is one tale that stands out over all the rest. While being a story often passed down from person to person, written since medieval times, there has always been a re-occurring theme: A warrior, betrayed, murdered; then finally wreaking his revenge on his betrayers. I believe I may have uncovered a modern manifestation of this myth. Sent to (censored) by (censored) magazine, I had traveled all over North Western Africa and parts of the Mid-East, trying to find an interesting story for (censored). Being a men’s magazine, I wanted a manly story to pass onto the publisher. While in Tunisia, I heard snatches of a story about a mercenary, who had seemingly been in almost every nasty battle for over 40 years. It was, however, here, in Africa, where the story unfolds. In the middle 1960’s there was a battle in what was then called, The Congo. We recall names like Biafra and the Bantu as well as the Congolese. It was into this bloody fray the interesting character, Roland, makes an appearance. It seems this war, as many in this part of the world, was financed by not only the governments, but also, rich interests that had their own reasons to see the war through, in a manner most beneficial to themselves. The Congolese were well enough off using this help, to hire some of the world’s best mercenaries. In this one group, the tale is laid. Nick Van Owen, Paladin Roland, Gerard Byrne, Guy Longchamp and an Italian fighter, Costantino Fortunata made up this band. This group of five men exemplified the UN, representatives from around the world. While they all were familiar with each other, supposedly Van Owen and
As Told By: Rick Buda These 45 caliber dinosaurs were this band of five’s signature. Often, in the heat of the bloodiest battles, Roland and Van Owen would be seen, sometimes be back to back – slaughtering hundreds, as the guns spat lead clots that ripped through armor, flesh, bones and brains. With the Nor wegian and the Swede so busy, Byrne, Longchamp and Fortunata often were reduced to ammunition carriers, keeping the murderous duo slaying for hours. To pay them all respects; any one of the quintet could be that killing machine and when they all were moving for ward, a straight, tight line of five, their gangster weapons spat fire and lead, no one advanced upon them. In 1966 they landed in Africa and reported to the Congolese commanders. The ammunition for their weapons was cheap and plentiful. When the army of the Congo saw the carnage that the five men could lay, they knew their money had been well spent. Please remember, this part has been pieced together from stories told to me, often by people plied with alcohol. I have attempted to reconstruct it here as best as I can. Hoping to get it published in (censored), upon my return. I have put it all onto this disc and will send it to you in (censored) so that you can keep it and, hopefully, others until I see you again. In 1967, the Congolese were overrunning the Bantu. While the US had ample reason to support either side, or neither, they had chosen the Bantu and their dream of a “free” state as the “Official,” United States stand. The spearhead of the armies of the Congo was Paladin Roland. While Nick Van Owen was no second fiddle, the fierce, blond fighter stood out so against the dark armies of either side. It was Roland that attracted the most attention. The CIA approached Nick Van Owen in October of 1967. They offered him safe passage out of the Congo and to where ever he needed to be to feel safe. Van Owen knew that if he betrayed Roland, the other three might come after him.
The Agency assured Nick, the others would be “taken care of.” The money was transferred and since mercenaries always establish their price for death, the deal was struck. Less then a week later, in the thick of a battle where all five men were firing and dealing doom, Van Owen swung his chattering angel of death around, hitting Roland in the head at least t wice with bullets nearly ½ inch in diameter. By all accounts Paladin Roland’s head was blown off. Soon the battle turned and there seemed to be a huge surge in Bantu gunfire and the Congolese army, the headless corpse of Roland laying in their midst, fled. During the frantic retreat, single shots from an unseen sniper killed Fortunata, Byrne and Longchamp. Ironically, the Bantu, from whom the sniper would have emerged, had few men with marksmanship fine enough to do this in the heat of a withdrawal. Rifle fire placed so well, was nearly unheard of from tribesmen mostly known for their prowess with the blowgun. Regardless, with them gone, Van Owen vanished. For 36 years Van Owen wandered, while tales about Roland grew and strengthened. If you look in history, however, the name Roland and Paladin seem to leap out at the center of so many ghastly, nightmarish stories. With that said, the story of this Paladin Roland took on a shroud of modern horror, that even after I had heard it over a dozen times, I could scarcely believe a single word. Yet the story, almost unwavering in its frightening detail, was repeated. Let’s look at myth-laden stories as passed down to us. While most have an iron hard core, the details get changed from telling to telling. From ancient fables to urban legends, we see this over and over. With Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner, the core and details seem cast in granite. Within weeks of the grisly battlefield murder, the headless corpse of Roland would be seen, in battle, during the bloodiest episodes. Often he would also be sighted at night, in the still moldering remains after a huge battle. The truly horrifying aspect was that only the flash from the huge Thompson submachine gun he wielded at his side lights him. Most often, while the sight is seen, no sound accompanies it. You may say to yourself, the world is full of battlefield hauntings and while (censored) may indeed want to buy this story, it is not remarkable. It was with that quest I set out to find the remarkable. Two weeks ago, obliterating all the odds, I found
Nick Van Owen. All over Africa I had traced the story – interviewed the survivors – finally I found him. Few people realize how huge this continent is! “What’ll ya have.” The language here in South Africa is Afrikaans. It is a mash of English, Dutch and African accents. “Gin,” I replied. The only drink you know will kill you at a prescribed rate. “Get one for him.” I nodded toward a huge – yet worn man who seemed he was pushing against the bar. His hair was sandy – bet ween the blond of Nor way and white of age. If I had the right story I knew who he was. “Aye” the barman grunted. He poured me a tall gin in a greasy glass and another just as generous for the slumped man. The fellow stirred at the clink of the glass, reaching – in case it was being taken away. His was safe – his eyes brightened with the vision of a fresh drink, standing near the well-used shooter. “Hey. Thanks.” He said, a dead flatness in is voice. “Nick Van Owen?” I shot the wad, figuring – what the fuck let’s see if it works. It did. “Who’s askin’?” He countered – but standing up – aware, alert. His face had changed. “Who wants to know?” I introduced myself, adding that I was researching his life and wanted to find out where his mercenary ways had taken him. Van Owen never lost his suspicions, but he seemed not to fear me. We talked for hours – I bought food and more drink. I learned that this man, while un-afraid of any earthly thing feared the legend of Roland, The Headless Thompson Gunner. “He’s still seen – he will not leave this continent until he avenges his death.” “Why don’t you leave?” “Don’t you think I have tried?” He said. “I have left – where ever I go, he follows.” He was quiet. Chewing a bit he’d sucked from his teeth. “He travels?’ I said, flippant. “Does he go Coach?” “Fuck you, Mr. Reporter man.” He spat in my face as he spoke. “You being here – hearing the story will make him come around all the faster.” “How does he travel?” I re-worded the question – I figure I’ll let him tell the answers.
“I don’t know. He does. I leave; he is where I go – I have seen him – heard stories, Ireland, Iran, Berkley, Israel. Any place where killing is – where I am – he has been.” You’ve been to those places as well?” I was incredulous. Here’s a guy running for his life but going to where guns were hired.
blood. I sat. No damage! I stood slowly – there seemed to be no other sounds. Like no one outside had heard and no one would be coming in. I looked around.
“A man has to earn a living.”
The Barman had taken five slugs across his chest. The back wall sprayed in deep red. It sharply stood out in contrast against the gray, everything.
Mombassa is not a big town. A few people arrived as we spoke. Nick asked that I come back the next day at noon (I figured he was gonna get lunch out of me – but that was fine). I agreed.
Van Owen was dead. He was hit 40 perhaps 50 times. To be frank I could barely recognize him, except that there was no one else in here. Perhaps Van Owen had seen the gunman and smiled the smile of resolution to his executioner.
I typed up what I had here and loaded it onto this disk overnight. The next day was hot, dry. What the Hell did you expect in this town? Just a minute or so before noon I headed to the gin mill we’d met in, hoping to get the rest of the story. I pushed in the door.
I left town. Something told me to get out. I typed this up as you see it now. I know who killed Nick. I know why there was no sound. The lightning flashes of a large gun lit up my retinas through my closed eyes – yet no sound was made beyond the ghastly impacts. I knew who had killed Van Owen. He might want me if he found I had the story.
As I walked in, Van Owen spun to look at me. He stood straight up a slight smile on his face. He looked so different – almost resigned. Perhaps his confession to me would free his soul.
I keep stopping to save this as I go. In case something happens. Don’t ask what might happen. I just keep hitting “Save”. It makes me feel a bit safer.
The Barman looked up as he washed a glass in dirty water. Almost instantly I saw, something was very wrong.
I called the desk – checked out. There’s a knock – I’ll answer and continue.
I was so close to Nick that he reached out and grabbed my left arm as I walked – pulling me to the heavy palm wood bar. I still managed to spin around and look in the dark entryway I had cleared moments before. There was someone there! Before I could say anything more, or react, Nick Van Owen had pulled me so hard I pitched for ward. I can’t say exactly what I saw – but it was the sound that stunned me. Not the sound of gunfire, but the clatter of the impacts. Impacts – ten – fifty maybe a couple of hundred. If you have ever been caught in a hailstorm under a thin roof – you have an idea of the sound. The splatter was not the hail – for that was lead - The bar began to disintegrate. Glasses nearly vaporized. I was down. I have never tried to lay INTO a floor before that night. That night I tried. Still no gunshot sound, but the splatter and crashes of each bullet crushed the room. In a few seconds it was over. I lay for a minute, not sure if I had been hit. No extreme pain made its way to my buzzing brain and my aching ears heard dripping. A stream of beer became visible slowly flooding the floor; Foamy and at room temperature. I looked at my hands – A knuckle was cut – some
Back and typing as fast as I can – no one there. But up the long, dimly lit staircase I can see a dark shadow. GOD it looks like lightning and I can see he has NO HEAD!! The disk is blank beyond this. (Authors note: As a fan of the late Warren Zevon, you may recognize the story. I confess – drinking and listening to one song over and over can do this to your brain. If you have no idea of what I speak – Listen to Mr. Zevon’s song, Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner.) About the Author. Rick Buda has been writing for over 20 years. His Supernatural Mystery WolfPointe won a LiFE Award. He is currently working on a coming of age novel about Chicago Rock and Roll as well as a sequel to WolfPointe.
http://mooramoora.org.au/bobrich/ writer/life.html The LiFE AWARD
To CD or Not to CD G a m i n g W i t h
by Kevin Branigan
n the beginning, there was the live musical performance. For thousands of years, the only way for a listener to hear music was to have a musician perform for them in person. This all changed with the invention of the phonograph in 1877, followed by magnetic tape and the digital disc in the second half of the twentieth century. But, as we all know, the story does not end there. Well into the twenty-first century, the format of choice among many music consumers is the megabyte.
copies duplicated with full-color graphics. I had big plans to market the CD like a maniac, get my music out there, and maybe even make a few bucks. But after playing the salesman for a few weeks, I got burned out and went back to what I truly loved--songwriting and recording. I still have several hundred copies a box.
This column isn’t really a new game review as much as it is my personal game of the month which, in reality, isn’t done by release date but more of what I’m enjoying currently. Now that my explanation is out of the way, let’s get onto the game at hand.
A few years into the new decade, I acquired the tools to record CDs, print color graphics on CDs, and print my own inserts. I soon realized I could re-master my early cassette albums and put them on CDs. This was ironic when I was manufacturing “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” because the core concept of that title was that the album should have been a CD. Now it actually was.
My early days as a recording engineer were in the mid-1980s, after the invention of the compact disc, but before these discs were recordable to the average consumer. As a result, all of my earliest recordings are on four-track cassette So from 2004 and on, I went crazy making CDs. tape. One of the most exciting periods of my Between re-mastering my early tapes, putting life was transferring these recordings to CD. together compilations of dozens of songs I had recorded over the years, and recording new Ironically, as I am finishing up a new album in songs, by 2007, I was finishing up my fifteenth 2010, I am questioning whether or not I will album, “Nocturnal Enterprise.” All of my even release this album in CD format. Although albums were now in CD format, except for the there are legitimate reasons to manufacture first two; I selected the best songs from the two physical copies of my project, I am seriously and made one CD: “The Best of the Late 80s.” considering releasing my music online only and refraining from traditional duplication. I am currently mixing tracks for my sixteenth album, and once again I find myself at a historical This is something I never could never have crossroads in terms of duplication technology. foreseen when I released my first two albums As a result, I am questioning whether or not in 1990. Both albums were released in I should actually manufacture CDs, or just cassette format, and I had 100 copies of each release the songs online. I am already working manufactured by a cassette duplication company. on simple videos to post on YouTube, which is a In the two years that followed, I recorded requirement in this day and age, and I’ll be posting dozens of songs, and in 1993, I put together a links on Facebook and MySpace to start with. compilation of more than twenty of these songs. Theoretically, this will be enough. And the I had just finished having my mixes mastered at fact that it is virtually cost free makes it hard a local recording studio when I received a copy to justify duplication, especially when CD of a CD that a friend of mine had just finished duplication is still relatively expensive. I producing. This was a reality check for me. I would either have to invest over a thousand had to ask myself, “Why am I still limiting myself dollars for a thousand copies or more, or to cassettes when CDs are the cutting edge?” spend twice as much per CD for a short run of 100 and still spend a couple hundred bucks. In reaction to this, I decided to name the album, “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” I I could manufacture the product myself, but the was questioning the way I was doing things. ink is costly, the quality is significantly lower Nevertheless, I had 100 cassettes duplicated. than a professional job, and it is time consuming to do one at a time. And although the quality In retrospect, when I received my friend’s of standard audio CDs is better than mp3s, the CD, I hadn’t even created my graphics gap is closing as mp3 technology improves. yet, which means I probably could have manufactured the album as a CD right then Furthermore, knowing myself and my limited and there. But CD manufacturing was a ambitions with regards to marketing and sales, mystery to me at that point in time, and I am likely to distribute a few necessary copies, probably much more expensive than it is today. and the rest will sit in a box unless I give them away. So for now, the plan is to release the I released two more albums on cassette over songs online and hold off on duplication. The the next few years, and it wasn’t until the year question, still unanswered, is whether or not I 2000 that I had a CD manufactured. It was will manufacture CDs in the future. called “Carnival of Delusions,” and I had 1000
his month’s Game Of The Month is DARKSIDERS. I’ve been hooked on this game since I first bought it and really started getting into the meat of the game and I am currently on my second playthrough. Let’s get into the story of the game: the setting for this story is post-apocalyptic Earth. You play as War of the Four Horsemen. You answer the call to the apocalypse but when you arrive, you realize that Heaven and Hell are already in battle and you are the only horseman to show up. This leaves you to blame for the apocalypse. War convinces the Council, a group that preserves the order between Heaven and Hell, to let him return to Earth to clear his name and thus begins your adventure. Graphically, this game is beautiful. The attention to detail is great and the colors just seem to pop out at you without being too colorful to lose the feel of the environment. Focus has been given to this game graphically so well that you can see every little detail on Chaoseater, the sword of War. The scenery gives off the post-apocalyptic feel in a very good manner. The creatures are nicely done and great care to detail has been taken in this action/puzzle game. As far as game play goes, they have put a great deal into making the game fun and challenging without using awful controls or bad camera angles as part of the challenge. There is definitely a God Of War influence, but it seems they’ve built off the best of that influence to create their own game. At first, it may seem just like a button masher but once you get into the game and develop your skill set, you will begin to see how much your combat and defensive moves matter against certain enemies. You are also given a plethora of weapons which you will need to advance certain situations or take on certain enemies. This game is challenging without being a controller-throwing, head-punching experience. My defeats didn’t make me want to quit, but rather drove me to defeat the enemies at hand. The world is free roaming and weapons received later in the game will have you going back to get to new areas in previously explored sections. All in all, an amazingly fun game that does borrow from previously released titles, yet seems to improve on those ideas with a few innovations of their own. Hold the Heathen Hammer High, Grampire
In art as well as in life, so much is made about what is new. It has been stated many times that we live in a throwaway culture. Bearing this in mind, this column exists as a means to shine a light on great achievements from the past one last time. Releases that have long since been put aside, discontinued and forgotten about. Each month, this space will serves as a means to giving books, films and music that helped shape me in the past the notice I have always felt that they deserved. By Brian Ryder
If you were aware of punk rock hailing from Louisville, KY in the early 1990’s, Endpoint was likely the go-to name that found its way into the conversation. By and large, Endpoint was the most recognizable name and cut the widest swath in terms of audience in the underground for being all inclusive. However, there was a force of nature lurking beneath the surface that, while gaining some notoriety of their own, never quite gained the status. That force was Kinghorse. Officially, Kinghorse only released one album, a self-titled affair that just happened to have a producer by the name of Glenn Danzig. Word has it that the notorious antics of Louisville punk rockers was originally the trademark of the mighty Kinghorse. Musically, Kinghorse stomped out a sound that was akin to the Bad Brains playing in a dingy biker watering hole. As the music erupts, members of Thin Lizzy and The James Gang walk in, sit down at the bar and commence the fine art of inebriation. When the time is just right, the bar patrons stumble up to the stage and the entire rosters of the Bad Brains, James Gang and Thin Lizzy clobber one another with anything in sight. The musical results are Kinghorse. In addition to their unholy self-titled album, I recently stumbled upon 12 unreleased demo tracks online that are equally as brash as the album, albeit via poorer quality. Seek these tracks out and prepare to unfurl a sad face once you realize what you’ve long since missed out on.
Though admittedly a comic book/graphic novel newbie, I can say without pause that there are a multitude of tales of the Batman that exceed the expectations of the medium to the outsider. This month, I’d like to call attention to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s noir masterpiece (yes…I said masterpiece) The Long Halloween. What began as a tale of 12 months in the life of Bruce Wayne/Batman went on to inspire Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking film The Dark Knight. The Long Halloween feels like a dark murder mystery filtered through n obscure Tim Burton film. With villains that both exceed through excess and lead Batman through the darkest recesses of Gotham’s underbelly, we find Batman seemingly chasing his tail to solve a series of serial killeresque murders. Each murder is deliberate, calculated and intent on leaving a clue behind, almost as if the mysterious killer is begging the Batman to unearth him. The Long Halloween combines mafia elements akin to The Godfather with the usual cavalcade of Gotham’s finest criminal minds. Almost every major villain from The Joker to Calendar Man bows in and out to bring the DC universe together with the world of organized crime. Like all great mystery novels, The Long Halloween keeps you guessing from the start and in the end, you suspect you’ve been lead by the nose all along. It is a brilliant piece of noir fiction that, along with other graphic novels, gives serious legitimacy to the medium.
Trash cinema is an acquired taste. Even for the most ardent consumer of low grade schlock, there are limits to which one will endure before someone needs to grab their remote and simply stop the madness. For all intent and purpose, H.G. Lewis is one of the crown princes of trashy, gore-soaked nonsense. Though he dabbled in various forms of exploitation, gore was his creme de’ la creme. While there are certainly better choices in his library of blood and guts, this month belongs to The Gore Gore Girls. I will be the first to admit that this is a hard film to sit through. Not because of any excess (of which there is much), but because the in-between is so incredibly dry and boring. It is an 89-minute film, but it’s a long 89 minutes. Without the inserts of exploitative gore, this film is unnecessary on every level. So, if I have these gripes concerning the long stretches of nothing that are strewn about this film like a child’s toy collection, why I am plugging it here? Simple. Despite it’s many flaws, there are moments that are flat out unspeakable in how hilarious and unreal they manage to be. I will refrain from indulging in the details for the few of you brave enough to submit 90 minutes of your life over to this DVD. For those who follow my recommendation, there will be plenty of moments where you will want my head on a pike. However, if you are a gorehound (which I completely admit to being), you will find sequences here that will have you in tears. You would have to be because otherwise, you cannot possibly have a sense of humor.
I’m sure you recognize Miss Mischief, she has been with us from nearly the beginning and we have had her on our backgrounds on our various sites, used her photos for promotional material and she’s also popped up in our magazine. When she approached us, we were very grateful and the thing we love the most is that her look is so multifaceted and no matter what the season, or mood we are going for at the time, there is a photo we can use. If there’s anything else you’d like to know after reading this, let us know and I’m sure we can set up another interview later on. First of all I’d like to say Thank You for being our spokes-model, you’re very beautiful and we love the photos you have allowed us to use. Did you always want to be a model growing up? Miss Mischief: Haha not really. I always thought I would sing or become an archeologist. I really did. But I certainly wouldn’t trade in what I do now! I love that your look is so versatile! What’s your favorite to do and which is most like you when you just go out as “you”? MM: Well I love gothic, steampunk and pin up. Although I’m fond of many different looks... My “usual” look would be a beat up, rock and roll type top and jeans. If it’s warm, I’d be barefoot, or wearing flip-flops. During the colder months, I like my slip- on skull sneakers. You have worked with a multitude of photographers, who would you say is the one you enjoy working with the most?
Interview by Lissy MacMillian
MM: Well, my favorite photographer of all time is SMP Photography (Shaun McCurry). We are very much on the same creative and inspirational level, so working with him becomes more of an art project. I have creative openness working
What did you think of Lady Gaga’s outfits that she wore at the Grammies? Would you wear them for a shoot? MM: I didn’t actually see what she was wearing but have seen some of her other outfits. So far, I’d rock most of them. Some of them are very similar to what some of us alternative models and performers have already been wearing Your make-up always looks so amazing, what brand do you use? with him, and of course his work is amazing!! I admit, he takes most of my favorite photos of you. I’m sure you get a bunch of idiots sending you “fanmail” What’s the most ridiculous thing someone has said to you? MM: HaHa, I’ve gotten some funny ones but probably the most ridiculous was when someone offered me his credit card. That is ridiculous! No man should give a girl his credit card- don’t they know that? Haha! If a guy wants to get your attention in a way that’s not going to make you laugh or throw up, what should he do? MM: Approach me with a Mohawk. You’ll already score a point! If you’re silly, funny or even a little dorky you can get my attention! What kind of music do you like and who’s your favorite band/artist right now? MM: Locally, I love our resident Chain Drive! I love All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, RED, Haste the Day; they all rock and are some of my personal favs!
MM: Honestly, whatever is cheap! I’m so not a make up buff! I’d probably put mud on my face if that was in my bathroom. HA. But I’ve done my makeup so much, that I can pretty much work with anything! How old were you when you got your first tattoo and what was it of? MM: I was 19 I think. I got this little symbol on my calf when I was in the military in air borne school. It was one of those seedy places off the highway that everyone went to... and yes, it’s bad! What kind of stuff do you like to do in your free time?
MM: When I can, I like to get my adrenaline pumping. I’ve done some skydiving, rappelling, and love to shoot my gun. Sometimes I just like to chill on the couch with a beer and watch a movie! What’s your favorite movie of all time and can you quote a line from it? MM: My favorite movie has to be Snatch. I can probably quote the whole movie, but my favorite part is when Bullet Tooth Tony is giving the “balls” speech as he puts his Desert Eagle down on the table. Quoting it would require a lot of censorship! But it’s one of the best parts of that flick. Oh, we don’t worry about censorship around here…Do you do fashion shows as well as photo shoots? MM: I’ve done several fashion shows. I did a great one last year at the Fetish Flea Market and Fangoria. Those were two of my favs. They don’t come along all that often, so when they do, I jump on ‘em! If someone wanted to contact you for networking purposes, how could they do that? MM: I can be contacted through myspace. com/missmischiefchaos, facebook.com/ missmischiefchaos, morallycorrupted. net or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2009 Indie Music Business Recap
By Wicked D
bviously, I can’t squeeze every little detail of a year’s worth of music business happenings into one article. So much happened in 2009 that several books could be written and still not cover it all. Electing to bypass the continued debate over the NIN/ Radiohead business models, Live Nation/ Ticketmaster merger, and MySpace’s struggle to stay afloat, I would like to focus on the rise of the independents. I believe 2009 was the year indie musicians leveled the playing field. This is probably no more evident than at the 2009 Grammy Awards where independent artists and labels won 56 of the 110 awards given. Granted, they were probably recognized for achievements the year before, but it was made official in 2009. The revolution has begun! This past December, George Howard, executive editor for Artists House Music, published “Coin a Phrase: The Leveling.” He stated, “...in the music/creative world at least - we’re reaching a moment where the technological barriers that provided advantages to those with the most resources is nearly over.” Simply meaning, independent artists now have many of the tools and resources available to them that were once reserved only for major label backed artists. Again, things were set into motion years prior, but really came to a peak in 2009. ProTools, TuneCore, and the rise of Social Media put the power of competitive sound
recording, worldwide distribution, and global marketing & promotion into the hands of those creating the music. Furthermore, in 2009, TuneCore announced a new service that added physical distribution via Amazon’s CreateSpace to it’s Amazon digital offering. Forget localized, FM radio, artists at any level now have easy access to worldwide radio airplay & live interviews through internet broadcasting and podcasts. Open opportunities exist for artist interviews, music reviews, and featured articles by way of webzines & blogs. Let’s not forget viral video distribution via YouTube and other video sites. Did you know that video viewing on social media sites doubled from October 2008 to October 2009? Social Media integration exploded in 2009. ArtistData, Ping.fm, and many other such services allow artists to post one time with the results being displayed across all of their social networks. Many of the social network companies themselves have applications that allow data sharing. Even the previously anti-social network, Myspace, a site known for blocking out the rest of the web for years, opened up to integration and data sharing. Artist promotion platforms such as Reverbnation can also be easily integrated into your social networks. One of the major topics of discussion in 2009 was the Direct To Fan business model. By definition, this model bypasses the historic major record label model, thus allowing the
artist to create interest in their music directly with their fans by developing relationships with those fans. Companies such as Nimbit, which started a few year’s earlier, makes it easy for artists to sell direct to fans via their own website. There are also several other companies that allow artists to sell their music by way of widgets and viral promo tools. PayPal apparently had this business model in mind when it introduced the Mircopayment option in 2009 which helped indie musicians hurdle two major roadblocks: consumer trust and transaction costs. PayPal is the most trusted name in online payment options. By adding lower transaction costs, direct to fan sales became more feasible than ever. Spinning it old school, 2009 also saw increased sales of vinyl albums - in a big way! By late November, more than 2.1 million vinyl records had been sold in 2009, an increase of more than 35% over the previous year, according to Nielsen Soundscan. That total was the highest for vinyl records in any year since Nielsen began tracking them in 1991. Furthermore, The Coalition Of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) reported that vinyl sales jumped 222% on Record Store Day, April 2009. Vinyl appears to be the one physical format that continues to defy trends. Believe it or not, Best Buy, the third-largest music seller (behind iTunes & Wal-Mart), laid out a plan to begin selling vinyl.
The Best Of The Rest
In no particular order, I thought I would throw together a short list of other industry news/events that came across my desk in 2009. - Ariel Hyatt’s Indie Maximum Exposure List (A Guide For The Rest Of Us) - http://www.arielpublicity.com/pdfs/IndieMaxExposure.pdf - Audiolife launches Public Beta, offering artists virtual stores - http://www.audiolife.com - Bandize opens to public, offering a suite of DIY tools - http://bandize.com - Band Metrics releases Artists Mapping Platform - http://bandmetrics.com - GameSoundCon, First Industry Conference on Game Music and Sound - http://www.gamesoundcon.com - INgrooves partners with Topspin, providing custom direct to fan marketing - http://www.ingrooves.com/node/46 - Musicnotes and Tunecore team up, offering artists sheet music - http://ow.ly/YMK7 - Music Sponsorship Spending at All-Time High in 2009 - http://ow.ly/YMh2 - ReverbNation and Bandzoogle partner For D.I.Y. Artist Web Site Builder - http://ow.ly/YMxH - ReverbNation launches Fan Reach Pro - http://ow.ly/YMzM - Rock Band opens platform to indie music - http://creators.rockband.com - SoundExchange partners with ReverbNation, to register and deliver digital performance royalties - http://ow.ly/YMvv
You’re Breaking Up...What? By Brian Ryder Are you kidding me? Seriously? I am finding it increasingly more difficult to believe that I ever took you serious. I admit that in the beginning, I had a fascination that bordered on obsession. There was clearly a lot of hype in certain circles that imbued it to you. And I fell for it…lock, stock and barrel. I completely fell for it. I feel kind of stupid for it now. As a person ages, they feel that they have been burned enough times in life to know better. I thought I knew better. I thought that I had been smart enough to sense something amiss. Once again, I’m an idiot. I am willing to admit mistakes as well as forgive them. I understand that no one is perfect. We all have our missteps. No matter how old and wise we may ever become, we are always going to be vulnerable to the occasional failure, large or small. With you, I was warned from afar. There were those out in the distance that tried their damnedest to let the world know not to get too attached. While there were past triumphs to be found, the litany of disappointments was too great to be ignored. I assumed that exaggerations were afoot. But no, they were right. All of them. Your penchant for letting people down is all too real. The occasional bomb, in this case the utterly unwatchable “Stendhal Syndrome”, is forgivable. But “The Phantom Of The Opera”? Are you f%*king kidding me?!? I cannot even fathom where to begin. I thought that perhaps I could manage to bypass any expectations since I had no prior exposure to the story as a whole. I figured that I could forego preconceived expectations and analyze this as a standalone piece. But goddamn it…really? I mean, Jesusfuckingchrist! I’ve seen more professional special effects in “The Gingerdead Man”. The entire production resembled something that PBS might have invested funding that they stumbled upon in an old cigar box to run on a Sunday after midnight just to fill a slot. Cable access would have laughed had they been offered the chance to air this monstrosity. I know, I know…”Suspiria”, “Deep Red”, “Tenebre”, etc. I get it. All of them stellar examples of horror filmmaking for their time. You can’t just keep bringing up the past though. Recent encounters have all ended in tears for me. Hours of my life spent watching your films that I will never get back again. Dario, we had a solid run. It was a good time while it lasted. Who knows? Maybe after my anger subsides, we can try being friends. Maybe we can just reconnect on Facebook or something, just to keep one another abreast of where our lives have gone. But I can’t defend you. Not anymore. I’m sorry. I just can’t do this anymore.
Transparent (Self Released)
American AntiGravity songs remind me of a good shag. They start off slow and lazy, building up to a frantic and loud finish. Tr a n s p a r e n t is no different. Getting 2010 off to a good start, they released their first brand new song in a long time on myspace at 12.01am Jan 1st so click on over to myspace.com/ americanantigravity and tell me you don’t also love the trippy sounds of the eerie synthesizers and vocals preluding the onslaught of sonorous power from all directions, especially the guitar solo that brings us to that satisfying climax. But don’t expect these guys to cuddle after. They’re busy this year making lots more music and preparing to unleash other projects they’ve been working on. (LM)
Flowers In The City (Rag Veda)
Elke Robitaille’s Flowers In The City is her third release, inspired by her time touring the US and Canada, which you can really hear in her song Home. This folk singer, originally from British Columbia, has a beautifully addicting voice that makes you want to hear more of her and would appeal to a broad audience, as her haunting melodies and honest lyrics are recognizable to everyone at some point. There are some really great instrumental parts that I really enjoyed: I loved her use of the cello in some of the songs, but most of all I loved Interlude where you get to enjoy some didgeridoo and banjo along with the acoustic guitar. It is totally brilliant! Ever
since I received this album, it has remained in rotation in my CD player. I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite, but Out of my Life is the song that always really stands out for me. It’s just an all-round beautiful, but powerful song. I hope that in her future travels, Elke Robitaille makes it to my town. I would love to see her play live. (LM)
SOULS DEMISE 3 Song Demo (Self Released)
This demo reminded me of going to the record store back in the day and buying some obscure thrash band’s album to check it out and being glad you picked it up. The vocals are of the throaty mid-range variety which work well with the music. The musicianship is really good as these guys took the time to learn their instruments well. Souls Demise strays from the trappings that plague plenty of modern thrash bands such as dating themselves to sound straight out of the early 80’s or the typical verse-chorus-versesolo formula. There are many great ideas, time changes and riffs-a-plenty here. The leads and melodic, layered guitar parts are excellent. The drummer is also a highlight for me. He is tight as nails and does some interesting and intricate things behind the kit. He is much more than an average time keeper. Overall I enjoyed the demo quite a bit and look forward to hearing more from this Chicago thrash outfit. (GR)
✪✪✪✪ Hazy Hamlet
Forging Metal (Self Released) Coming across as a cross between average power metal and Ratt, we have Hazy Hamlet. The band is tight as far as keeping time, but the vocals are loud and bellowing, seeming to overtake the riffing. The music isn’t bad but the vocals are a bit hard to take seriously and they get in the way of the musicianship.
The vocals almost remind me of a bad take on Peter Steele of Type O Negative’s vocals. The leads are tight and really good. Very interesting lead-wise. I wish I could say the same for riffs. They definitely can play their instruments, but there’s nothing here that grabs me and demands my attention. Might be well received by others, but it’s definitely not my cup of tea. (GR)
✪✪ ETERNAL FEAR
Embraced In Darkness (Noreen Music)
From Sweden comes Eternal Fear, a band I had not heard until this review and damn…am I glad I got to review this. I was instantly hooked on these fine and catchy tunes. They have a way of writing the kind of things that get stuck in your head. The vocals are a midto-high range and this guy can sing! Every aspect of this band is complimentary to each other and everything fits perfectly. The guitars are thick and heavy with a melting pot of influence from 70’s rock and metal. They weave these influences together to create fun, catchy and interesting songs. The guitar harmonies remind me a lot of Thin Lizzy without sounding like they were lifted straight off one of Thin Lizzy’s records. I found this album to be so good, I went on iTunes and bought not only a proper copy of this but I also picked up their 2007 release. Embraced In Darkness is a great and catchy record that will make you want to rock out! (GR)
Reviews by Lissy MacMillan & Grampire
✪ Poor ✪ ✪ Fair ✪ ✪ ✪ Listenable ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Great ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Epic
with Jen Kurek shade them in so that when my dad came home from work he would be so proud of what I had made. No one really believed that I had drawn them but Hello, my name is Jennifer Kurek. I am a contemporary artist that uses acrylic paint my father would act so excited when he got to create unique personalized works of art. I am a stay at home mom that is living home and I showed him what I had made. my dream. I have the pleasure of raising my amazing daughters, at the same time create, and show my art. My husband and I have four lovely girls ranging from the age of 2 to 14. Anyway, the point I was getting at is when I My family is very involved with and supportive of my art. I love receiving new ideas: whether it is for a decided to start doing them all on my own commissioned piece or just something, you would like to see on canvas. I benefit by getting new ideas. I create my art for the purpose of others to enjoy. Therefore, feedback and suggestions have a great impact on is when I realized how much I liked them me. I strive to consistently explore and develop new depths to my creativity. I am always experimenting and better. No, they might not have looked trying new materials and supplies to make my artwork more vibrant and dramatic. Earha Kitt summed it up like they were “supposed to”. That is what perfectly when she said, “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” There will never be makes art so wonderful? There is no right a time when I feel I have learned all I need to. or wrong way to do it. When I realized the blaring and usually enjoy a cocktail. My way I made my horse was so different from favorite is red bull and vodka. There have the way the book told me to do it and it still looked great was the moment I knew I Cola: Hi Jenny, when I look at your been many sleepless nights. magnificent pieces, I feel serene. When Cola: When did you first realize that you would never stop creating art. you are working on your art, what kind of had such terrific potential as an artist? Cola: What inspires you the most? atmosphere do you like to surround yourself Jen: I would say the moment I knew I truly Jen: Music has always been my biggest with? loved art was at about the age of five or influence. I can use it to alter my mood to Jen: I usually do most of my art in my six… I used to go to the library in our town where I want it to be. I love most types of garage (also known as the K Bar). I am and check out books teaching how to draw music. I would have to say the musician that most creative at night after my wonderful different things. My favorite was How to has inspired me the most would be Jerry children are sleeping, or at least pretending Draw Horses. I would trace the horses and Garcia. The Grateful Dead has always been too. While working I always have music one of my favorite bands. I was fortunate
A message from the artist:
Interview by Cola:
or do you just free flow? What is your creative process like? Jen: I usually know the general layout of the painting before I start. I place things out in my mind before I put it on the canvas. They do not always stay how I envisioned them. A lot of the time, I change things. Very rarely do I start a painting with nothing in mind. Some of the times that I have just blindly painted I created some amazing pieces, other times I have created dreadful pieces.
enough to see a bunch of shows before he passed away. However, not everyone knows how truly talented he was. He created a lot more than just amazing music. He was also a very talented visual artist. I have done many paintings that include different Grateful Dead icons. I have also sold many prints of those works in the parking lots of concerts. I truly love going to see live music in both large venues and small bars.
She is woman, hear her roar! Jen Kurek is a true inspiration to all women
artists, considering the path of family life. Jen is quite able to continue creating her art and fulfilling her dream, while staying connected to her loved ones. She is a real “All American Gal” with love for her family and friends. She lives for a good laugh and the happiness that her husband Tim (her true love/soul mate/support system/biggest fan) and daughters bring to her. The artwork of Jen Kurek is both beautiful and thought Cola: What about art interests provoking, blatantly inspired by all of the meaningful experiences that fill her life. She you the most? Jen: I hate to say is a truly free spirit and shares her peaceful everything but I think energy with all whom surround her. This is that is the truth. I love exemplified by her soulful paintings which learning new techniques and ways of showcase her passion for music, love, nature doing things. I enjoy using nontraditional and the joy of her life in general. Beyond her painting supplies to see what will happen. ability to awe us with her current pieces, she Okay I think I answered the question here is also capable of putting your dreams onto with these last two sentences. I guess the canvas, as Jen also works as a commissioned experimentation process is my favorite. artist. A wife, a mother and an artist is Jen That is one of the reasons my artwork is Kurek. Jen’s amazing artwork can be viewed so all over the place. I do not stick to one and acquired by visiting her personal website, a portal into her talent and serenity. style because I enjoy doing many. The -Cola entire process is so different when doing an abstract painting compared to a www.roseysunshine.com landscape. A landscape is so much more detailed and an abstract is so free.
Cola: What would be your ideal painting, Cola: What is your educational background one you could stare at for hours, what like, as far as the arts go? Jen: For as far back as I can remember I would it look like? have always enrolled in different types of Jen: My ideal painting art classes.. I attended the International would be of a beautiful academy of Merchandising and Design amber colored rose (now known as the International Academy with a brilliant sunset of Design and Technology) and received directly behind it. I my Bachelors Degree in fine art in 2001. tried to do this painting My major was fashion design. I just woke once and couldn’t get it up one day and decided that was what I to look like I wanted it wanted to do. I went down to the school too. So, I have put that and enrolled. I figured that would be a good canvas away for now and way to bring my art into a “real” career. I will go back to always heard art is a great hobby, but what it at a later time. are you going to do for a living. Now I can My design is say I am doing what I love. I work when also the name of my company. I want and work on what I want. I don’t The reason it means so much to me is that the name comes from my two think it gets better than that. little girls. It is a combination their Cola: When you first begin a piece, do you middle names Rose and Sunshine and know what will wind up on the canvas, they are my most valuable creations.
i I’m Dr Robert. I find it exciting to introduce I N C L I NAT IO N ’ S newest column for you. The spirituality and enlightenment column is given herein to explore the freedom of spiritual and progressively enlightening music and other media. But, WTF! I find the daunting part of discussing this topic its ambiguity. But, if you’re wondering you can check your religion at the by-line buddy. We can agree, no one can really say where spirituality and religiousness begin or end. Then again no more could anyone tell you where the shallow waters or the deep waters divide in the ocean from one moment to the next. It’s kind of a current. Music and art are religious in as much as they allow you comfort in your paradigm, much like the shallow shores allow us comfort at the edge of the vast ocean. Music is spiritual in as much as it awakens
you from your paradigm much like a deep-sea diver exploring the reaches if the Mariana Trench. That is, if, you can see him floating with his headlamp and flippers slowly paddling him into the unknown. And, as a spiritual enlightenment musician you sometimes feel in a battle of sorts when attempting to label or group your music and that of your contemporaries. So in an attempt to set a definition or perspective for Inclination readers, I feel it’s important to define what types of music and media we will acknowledge gravity to and about in future columns. This is submitted to you, my Inclination readers, as a mission statement and vision of sorts for Yours Truly, Dr Robert. Spiritual isn’t Religious experience. I will not be focusing special attention or declination on any faith system or art form based on such systems. The spiritual, in my experience as both an artist and visionary, is a moment when
the mind, the heart (musheee!!!), and the spirit fuse together and experience in union the same moment or truth. Meditation is a widely accepted method to achieve this place. So, transcendental media is a go. (The operative word being trance). The mind-altering experience embodies the variety of inspiration and enlightenment by which I am intrigued. Therefore, I vow also to seek out and explore those artists who use such heightened states to create their music and arts. I argue that the process of creating music or art can be a profoundly spiritual experience for the creators as well as the fans or patrons of the art. This I bring to your altar, you holy of holies. This is my vision, not the latest Amy Grant “Jesus Rocks” album, albeit she has her own legitimacy. I bring the stuff that really puts you in touch with the greater soul not what qualifies you as a fan of one of its stage names. Now, if you can, share in my vision, let’s go diving.
First up...I must say thanks to Nervecast for the support. I am sure it helped with sales, exposure and getting new fans. What is the story behind “Monday Morning Love Situation”?? That lyric just came to me on a Monday Morning. It may mean so many things...but it’s just a good old rock n roll song.
Interview by Coma Who the hell is Jointpop you may ask? Well, imagine The Clash being molested by The Beatles while smokin’ with Bob Marley. That kind of describes the pop/ punk fusion that is Jointpop. This 5piece from Trinidad/Tobago has toured a lot of places including the UK and the US. When you hear the single Monday Morning Love Situation, you may just want to hear it over and over. I know I did. This is no Island music, this is good old rock and roll. All of Jointpop’s tunes are catchy, upbeat, and will probably get stuck in your head, but in a good way. It’s a refreshing break from the same old same old. What’s it like being a Rock-n-Roll band on the Island of Trinidad and Tobago? The Jointpop story is one of a rock n roll band on a calypso and reggae island. About trying to find a voice in your own home. Just about being travelers and rock n roll troubadours. What is the state of music there as compared to the UK and the US? Because of where we come from, we are
Aside from the obvious, who are Jointpop’s musical influences? Well I can’t seem to get enough of the Followill boys, brilliant rock n roll band, The Kings of Leon. Pete Docherty’s work is impressive. The Magic Numbers, are you aware Romeo and Michelle are from T&T?? My Morning Jacket… now getting into their genius MGMT, Sterophonics, Starsailor. But my Ipod is loaded with all the great bands and singers. But I’m just really a Dylan, Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Clash, Pistols, Smiths, Blondie man…way too much rock n roll to mention.
free of all music biz trappings. So we are free to write as we please, any topic and style, versus if we were from London for example. We may get caught up in all the ‘Brit’ scene, the Camden fashion and ‘most’ of the bands sounding the same etc. But at the same time, our local scene is one of “no ambition”. The radio, press and the Music Industry in general are all mainstream, so the underground is really suffocating. In the UK and the US, so many independent and Underground Radio, Press, TV, Mags etc. The UK and US got an actual Music What do you and the band hope to Industry, and sadly T&T do not have a accomplish within the next few years? Just to keep Jointpop together as long as Music Industry. possible, have good fun with the band, Are you currently looking for a be honest with our music and travel label? the world. We are all very good friends We are always on the lookout for a also...and that is worth keeping. cool Label...one that gets the story of jointpop, but at the same time it’s a DIY If you had to pick any other profession situation and we just keep writing songs besides Rock-n-Roll, what would it be? I would pick being a Professional and gigging. football (Soccer) player... but not sure if You have been on several radio shows it would pick me. lately, including The Nervecast Show, has this helped with sales of your new Thanks Gary... Cheers Coma! CD “January Transfer Window”?
The Toniks are Mark, Jez, Tom, Jim and Gaz. They’re a pretty new band from the London area of England, but they already have it together as far as how they want to sound, getting into the studio, gigging and even some radio play which is no easy feat for a band in it’s early years. They may be pop, but The Toniks are definitely the cure for the mundane. How long have you guys been together? We’ve been together as a band for about 2 years. You just recently signed to the Reputation Label, how did that all come about? John who at that time ran Nervecast Radio approached us via Myspace just after we’d formed and since then we’ve kept in regular contact. John then formed Reputation & approached us again with a view to signing to his label and as we all got on so well & he’d supported us from the beginning, it all made perfect sense - it was meant to be :) On your myspace page, it says you’re
“Unashamedly pop and proud of it” how exactly would you describe your music? That’s a very tough question as everyone’s take on The Toniks will be different but we don’t shy away from the catchy choruses & we’re big fans of melody. One common thing most people take from the music is the fresh, uplifting sound. We’ve been compared to bands such as Squeeze, The Feeling with a touch of Snow Patrol thrown in. We think we have our own sound but we would say that wouldn’t we :) What has been your biggest achievement as a band so far?
Just getting the lads together in the same place at the same time is an achievement (only joking!) Signing to Reputation has been a big leap but we’ve also attracted lots of extremely positive music industry attention almost from the first tracks going up on Myspace which was an achievement so we felt we must be doing something right! We have great hopes for this year with the new material we’re writing & also working with Reputation. I saw that you support some charities, would you like to tell us about this? Yeah, we’ve supported Oxjam, Chase and The Armed Forces charities in the past
and this is ongoing. Where we can, we’ll always help out.
I really like your live recordings; do you play a lot of live shows?
Have you recorded a CD yet? If so where can we get it?
We do play live shows but we keep them local to test new songs out. The problem most bands have is that nobody knows who you are or have ever heard your songs so playing a venue in London to 20 people just makes money for the promoter. Festival gigs are much more fun. As a new band, you really need to be on a support tour and plugged on the radio to get known so this year we will look at that with Reputation & hopefully move ahead.
We did a soft release last year ourselves to get some local promotion though these were demos. We’ve also put some live recordings up on our Myspace site for free download at myspace.com/thetoniksmusic. Do you have plans to get back in the studio anytime soon? Early this year, through the Reputation label we’re gonna do our full on EP, hopefully going into the studio to record in Feb. We’re very excited about this and can’t wait to get it finished and out there! Do you have a specific method to writing your songs? Myself or Jez will usually come up with a rough melody and chord structure first. Then we get together to vet our ideas and see what’s worth working on. We’ll usually then record a rough demo at my home studio & give this to the lads in the band to learn their parts. The boys add their magic for the live set & studio recording... we then review the songs again to tweak and address any niggles, sometimes re-writing whole sections. The songs normally come together really fast. If there was one major music event in history you could participate in, which would it be? Bit before our time but Woodstock would have been amazing because all the legends were there and that period of time produced some fantastic music which has influenced us & a lot of bands today.
I like ‘Lifetime’. Is this one of your new songs? What is it about? Lifetime is one of our new songs and much more of the direction we are going in musically. It’s about looking reflectively over your whole life up to now & then looking ahead to what’s on the horizon. Like most of our lyrical themes, it’s bittersweet in the sense that certain things don’t turn out as you expect but there’s still optimism for the future. Are you getting much radio play? Thankfully through John, we’ve had a lot of airplay on Nervecast and we’ve also been played on a lot of BBC local stations around the country doing interviews and live sessions. This year, we hope to get a lot more! What do you think of internet radio? Do you think it’s the way of the future, or do you think it’s a good way for indie bands to get exposure? It’s the future for sure. People are getting bored of being spoon fed the mainstream on the big stations and the internet gives a level playing field to all the music out there giving up & coming bands a chance
to be heard & giving the audience fresh new music that they might have never heard. Ironically, this allows some bands to get the exposure that ends up with them getting played on the mainstream stations! Above all, it gives everyone the choice of what they listen to. What’s your opinion on all these social networking sites and music websites for bands? Do you twitter? Are you on every site available or do you focus on a couple and spend your time maximizing those? They’re fantastic to a point. We don’t twitter but Myspace has been a great platform for us and got us a lot of attention but this is now swamped with bands and spam so we keep it as a promotional page where you can hear the tracks and check out gig dates. We’ve recently setup a fan page on Facebook for more personal contact with fans of the band & this is great for direct contact as is Reputation’s site. We should be on these more but to be honest, we spend most of our time rehearsing or writing! Did you always know you wanted to be in a band, or did you have other careers in mind? If so, what were they? We’ve always loved music from an early age so it was inevitable that we’d end up in a band. We’ve never been career minded & actually always seen jobs as a tedious distraction to the music! Is there anything else you would like to add? Just to say, thanks for the interview, keep reading Inclination & watch this space for The Toniks!:) Thanks and I look forward to hearing more from you.
et it be known that I am not a psychic. I do not possess a crystal ball, nor consult with an oracle. By no means do I claim to be a futurist of any sort. I just feel things. Derek Sivers, founder and former CEO of CD Baby, once stated, “Nobody knows the future. Anyone who pretends to is full of shit and not to be trusted.” Still, I’m feeling something here. With that said, this article is written in good, clean fun, and poses the question Has Music History Gone Full Circle, and, if so, shouldn’t you be a part of it? More importantly, as a musician, what does this mean in regards to your livelihood? Here we are in 2010. Digital music sales, particularly singles, have been all the rage for the past few years. Go back several more years and it was the Compact Disc. Before that, cassette tapes, 8 track tapes, reel to reel, and of course, vinyl records (LPs), which had already been around for many years. Strangely enough, vinyl, the oldest of the aforementioned formats, has made somewhat of a resurgence in recent years. Many listeners have found its sound quality superior to that of both CDs and MP3s. Let’s make note of the resurgence of LPs, along with the digital trend of selling singles, as opposed to complete albums. I’m reaching here, but bear with me. Let’s look back about 50 years or so, around the time Rock n Roll was beginning it’s climb to chart dominance. Vinyl, in the form of singles, called 45rpm records, were the accepted release format, particularly for promotion purposes. Hmmm?!?!? Should we be looking back in time for that ever elusive, future business model?
Back To The Future? by Wicked D
OK, we all know bands can’t survive on selling digital singles for a living, right? Let’s consider them a write off for marketing & promotion purposes, something I have called “Music As A Marketing Tool.” The fact of the matter is, musicians simply must look for reimbursement elsewhere. Music sales are just not gonna cut it! There are plenty of ways to make money as an artist, but we want to focus on the most obvious. So, looking back even further, what did musicians do before there were 45s, LPs, reel to reels, 8 tracks, cassettes, or CDs? Hell, what did they do before there were recording studios and record labels? How about play live, constantly? Musicians had been honing their trade in front of an audience for thousands of years before the invention of sound recordings. In fact, they were more often than not, well respected individuals, receiving privileges usually reserved for royalty. They were also well paid and well taken care of, in most cases. I truly believe today’s artists need to get back to the basics of “working for living”. Unfortunately, too many of them expect someone else to step up and foot the bill. Honestly, what if an artist put as much energy into creating a paying gig as the lack thereof, sitting around, wondering why no one has purchased their latest single on iTunes? What if they focused all that energy into placing THEMSELVES in the spotlight, instead of hoping a record label will come along and magically whisk them away onto a major tour? What if an artist took control of their own destiny, set some goals, laid out a plan of action, and used all the recording, distribution, and promotion tools now available to build a career as a working musician?
What if, right? OK, no more pipe dreams, no more fantasies, just plant both feet firmly in reality, take the oath, and I’ll see you out there! “Oath of the Indie Musician” I am an indie musician, this is my livelihood. I have developed a concrete plan with specific goals and dates. My skills are honed, my mind is open. Self assessment, investment, and promotion are mandatory. I am my own niche, rising above generic clutter. Writing, recording, and performing require detailed critique. Fellow artists are my colleagues. My fans are my life’s blood. I am actively involved in my community. I am surrounded by good people. My network was built by helping others. I am an indie musician.
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which again is awesome when you’re in the studio and very reassuring when you know the person giving the advice knows what they are talking about. What would you say would be the most valuable thing you learned from the whole experience in the studio with him?
Honestly, if you haven’t heard of The Fores, you’re not listening to any of the Underground radio stations around the web. I think they have been played and interviewed by just about everyone, but I still had to feature them here in INCLINATION because, quite frankly, they deserve the attention they are getting. So, if you haven’t heard of them yet, read this, then go and listen to their music on their page- Join the rest of their fans from all over the world! myspace.com/thefores Your music has a classic rock sound to it, which is not surprising when you look at your influences. How would you describe your music? We would say our music is like a modern kind of indie rock n roll with a vintage kind of twist. However we like to see ourselves as a more eclectic kind of band, the songs that are currently on our web-site are very upbeat and rocking mainly because when we were writing these songs we were just getting started and only playing 20minute gig slots so didn’t really have much time to mess around with the tempo so just decided to keep it upbeat and rocking but we are looking forward to mixing it up a little in the next set of recording sessions but will still definitely maintain that Fores sound! We used to have a kind of cheesy slogan which was “bringing rock n roll to the new generation” and even though we don’t use that anymore it still pretty much sums up how we see our music. I have to say I am impressed at the way you handle your self-promotion! Are you one of those bands that can prove you don’t need a label to make it or are you using your charms to seduce them? Great question! Well to be completely truthful we are hoping that one day a good label will snap us up and give us a chance, don’t get me wrong we think its awesome that bands today can go it alone, but the kind of ambitions we have we think we will need a label. Stuart Epps has worked with some of the best: Led Zepp, Elton John, Robbie Williams… how did you get to work with him and what was it like?? Stuart added us on myspace and sent us a cool comment saying if we needed/wanted someone to mix or record some songs to give him a shout as he would like to work with us, which was great! So funny enough his timing was spot on because we had just finished recording some new songs and were looking to go re-mix them so we thought we’d go with Stuart. So we drove down to his house and spent a few days there mixing. He’s a really cool guy who tells it how it is and is very confident in what he does which is great, he comes across as someone who likes to pick what he works on and doesn’t simply “press record” and offers lots of personal opinion, ideas and advice
It would have to be that sometimes less truly is more! For example sometimes we’d want certain things turned up which meant that other things had to be turned up and everything would begin to become uneven but Stuart just told us “look, pack all that in, just one guitar here, another there and lets keep it all straight forward!” which really worked for us! He said with a band like us and songs like we had don’t kill your songs with too much decoration and as long as your guitars sound good and everyone’s delivery is good then that’s all we need to worry about, which again worked! We learnt that you can easily overdo things with-out knowing or intending to and by doing so you can divert the direction in which you want the song to be heading. He said that we were pickier than Elton John! Haha Can you tell us what your song “Roll of the Dice” is about? Its about living for the buzz of being on the edge, like if your life isn’t as exciting as you want it to be and your trapped in the system of 9 till 5 and want things to be more exciting and you have that “bug” for excitement and again being on the edge. What do you guys do when you’re not doing band stuff? Well we all have our individual hobbies for example Liam and Guy both work at music shops (separate ones) Liam enjoys going to football (soccer to you guys) games and hanging around with friends as does Tom but if you mean collectively as a band we keep in regular contact (daily) and speak to each other a lot over the phone and e-mail each other and stuff and go to gigs together. Tell us some of the most prominent highlights you guys have had since forming the band. Playing the Cavern in Liverpool was awesome! We have played it three times but the first is always the most special! Especially seeing as it was only our second gig and we only found out Guy could sing about 4 weeks before so we were in awe of the place to be honest, we’d never played in a city before and with it being the home of The Beatles who are big influences on us all it was brilliant, there are statues and pictures of them everywhere, along with the Who, Rolling Stones, Oasis and so on so it really felt like home. We went up there with some mates stayed over night, played the show then went clubbing afterwards! Was an awesome night and we were really proud of ourselves that we had done it and to go up there and get a great reception was brilliant and we got a lot of confidence from that. Also when we played The Barfly and took a coach full of people that was awesome! Probably our best show to date! Everyone was cheering us and jumping around and even had two of the other bands come up and shake our hands and compliment us which was really cool! It was brilliant! Working in the studio for the first time and hearing our music back for the first time
all count as highlights for us! There are too many to mention to be honest. Your first gig was played on the side of a lorry (truck for the USians) what was that like? That was the most bizarre gig ever! Haha, not because of the fact it was in a lorry but after we had played there was a big gang fight that kicked off and police helicopters and everything were called down so we grabbed our stuff and legged it! (Rock n roll! Lol) but from a performance side it was great, we were all a little nervous and had been rehearsing for a solid week before but it broke the ice well and we played ok. Got some nice feedback and everyone seemed to enjoy it and people stopped, came over and listened and complimented us so we were happy with it but again a strange experience for a first show! haha If you could collaborate with anyone, alive or dead on a song, who would it be and why? (This question sparked a discussion that lasted almost an hour! Lol) Well, the answer varies for all members of the band but for one reason or another we would have to say it would have to be either Noel Gallagher from Oasis, The Beatles (all of them can’t just pick one! Hehe) or Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones, just for the fact that we think Noel is one of the best songwriters of the last 25 years and inspired Liam especially to pick up a guitar so to be able to watch him in action and make a song with him would be a dream come true! Plus most of the people in Liams area (friends and people in the town he lives) all love Oasis so to be able to tell everyone he has worked with Noel would be incredible! Does Keith Richards need an explanation apart from the fact he’s KEITH RICHARDS!!! One of the coolest and iconic rock stars ever and it would be an honor to even be in his presence so to work on a song would be awesome! It’s something that you can tell your grandkids about! As a songwriter he is awesome! So it would be amazing again to play alongside him on a record. And The Beatles changed music forever and are the most important and biggest band that have ever and will ever live! And for that reason they would have to be on the list! Also Liam says “I would love to work with Rod Stewart, just a LEGEND in my opinion and my mum and dad have been fans for about 35-40 years so to work with him would make them really proud!!!” – We know you only asked for one but we couldn’t agree on just the one! I watched Spinal Tap for the first time the other day, what a piece of film genius for its time~ What is your Top 5 Musical Movies list? Don’t really know of many to be honest! But it would do something like this – Rockstar, Spinal Tap, Almost Famous (wicked film!!!). Cant think of any others, sorry! Lol! Where can we buy your music? Is there a CD? Yes there is a cd! Shoot an e-mail to – Melvin.h@ ntlworld.com and we’ll send you a cd. We are going to be putting it online for purchase very soon. What are your goals for 2010? Record another 6-10 songs keep on improving as a band and individuals and attract as much positive attention as possible. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Yes, thank you to everyone for your amazing support! You guys rock and your support really does mean the world to us!!!!
Not So Crazy About Crazy Heart
f you’re looking to be captivated by a great performance – possibly a once in a lifetime character – you won’t find it in Crazy Heart. What you’ll find instead, is a great actor doing what he does best. But I’d hardly call it “Oscarworthy” or “stellar” like so many other critics are hailing Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. Being guilty of buying into the hype surrounding this independent feature (also starring a frazzled Maggie Gyllenhaal and a much ignored Colin Farrell), I rushed to the theaters, looking for inspiration and magic. Things start off promising as you are instantly transported into Bridges’ character Bad Blake’s life as an aging, boozing, talented yet failing country singer/songwriter. The mise-en-scène* as we filmmakers call scenic atmosphere, was perfect. You felt like you were right there in that dingy motel room, smelling the stale whisky and feeling the searing heat that makes Blake sweat so profusely. And for his part, Bridges is that man. He’s sweaty and drunk, and like the old country song goes, “looking for love in all the wrong places”. But the substance in the story is missing. Blake has been on the road for awhile at this point, and much to his dismay (and his record company), he’s booking run-down bowling alleys and small town bars. This is killing him, especially since his one time protégé, Tommy Sweet, played brilliantly by Farrell, is selling out stadiums. The most endearing and frankly, redeeming quality about Bad, is that he doesn’t let his envy for his old friend hold him back from giving his all (what’s left of it) to the bands that back him up and to his followers. In fact, when asked if he tires of playing his most famed hit, he appreciatively replies, “it’s been too good to me. I can’t turn my back on it”. His appreciation was refreshing to hear, and made me lose a little respect for artists who avoid performing their biggest hits when touring. One follower who comes into his life early on
in the film, acting as the “antagonist” if you will, is Jean, a thirty-something single mom who’s trying to make it as a reporter for a local newspaper. He guardedly grants her an interview, but upon meeting her, extends their initial chat into a date, which you can guess, turns into sex, which of course becomes a relationship. Making things complicated for Jean, but easy for Blake is her 4 year old son Buddy (Jack Nation – a precocious preschooler with a rock star name). It doesn’t take long to figure out Blake is looking for redemption in Buddy, and you can’t help feeling it all comes about too fast – his bond with the boy and his mother. Almost midway through the movie, Blake is given a great opportunity, when Tommy Sweet
(Farrell) invites him to be his opening act at one of his sold out shows. Reluctantly, Blake agrees to the gig, thinking it will be his way back into the good graces of his record company. What he finds instead, is an opportunity to make a living, writing songs for (ready to feel the sting of salt in his wounds?) Sweet. Now this is where things start to unravel for me. Blake is our hero, albeit an unattractive one, so we want to feel for him. But when you’re introduced to Tommy Sweet, you can’t help but feel like maybe Blake is part jealous old man who doesn’t want to see someone other than himself succeed. It doesn’t help that Farrell plays his character so carefully, that you start to wonder if it’s no coincidence that the writer gave him the last name “Sweet”. Tommy genuinely wants a friendship and working relationship with his mentor, and when Blake finally agrees to work on new song for him, you hope this is the beginning of something great for both men.
Immediately after the concert, Blake makes his way back to Jean, and what seems to be more important to him, Buddy. During the weeks that follow, we get a sense that both Mr. Bad Blake and Jean are using one another for something other than love – comfort. Of course it doesn’t take long for Bad’s habits to drive a wedge into their relationship, and the first time Buddy is put in harms way, she finds her senses and leaves. What follows is a very realistic, but unexpected response from Blake, that again, feels entirely too rushed. The movie comes to an end right when it feels like it might be getting somewhere, and I guess it says something that it was hard as a viewer to accept that this story was over. But leaving unsatisfied is never a good thing. I wanted more, more from Mr. Bad Blake, and more for him. In the end, the greatest reward to come out of Blake’s struggles is the song of his career, “The Weary Kind” – a song he ends up giving to Tommy Sweet, as promised. Angry, you can’t help wonder why the screenwriter couldn’t allow Blake to have the one thing he wanted most, a last moment to shine (because everyone knows, the performer always gets the credit even when they had nothing to do with the original creation). The movie is good enough to sustain your
interest for an hour and a half, and the music provided by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett (of Walk the Line fame) is outstanding, but you may leave feeling disappointed and for me, unconvinced and cheated by the end to the journey with Bad Blake. *Mise-en-scène has a literal translation of, to place in the scene.
DVD Suggestion of the Month – February 2010 The Sea, 2002
Hafid (Iceland) One of the finest films to come out of Europe this century, The Sea or Hafid in Icelandic, is an honest portrayal of a dysfunctional family from a seaside community. You get a glimpse into a secretive household, whose lies and enigmas start to unravel and free them. Shot on what some would call Utopia-like locations in Iceland, including the geothermal pool Blue Lagoon, The Sea is a rare treat. It tells the story of the ties that bind us, all the while avoiding the family story clichés that Hollywood finds hard to steer clear of. Sometimes difficult to find, it’s very much worth the hunt. You’ll laugh, cry and thank God for your family – or lack there of!
Grand Central brings you Rock and Roll that is as widely appealing and unique as the many different faces that you would see walking though the station they are named after on any given day. This interview gives you a little glimpse into the lives of the Hannan brothers, the backbone of this band, talking about all kinds of things, from how they write their fantastic songs to what they like to drink down the pub. So, Take My Hand, step Inside and get ready for a Headrush cause this is quite a read! Lissy: Your logo is very striking, it reminds me of the Chinese Communist Army flag. Was this what you were going for? What would the relationship be to your name, Grand Central? Cade: Good question! Grand Central station in NYC represents the hub of the world really. Everyone knows it and anyone in NYC travels through it. The style of the architecture etc. all represents the world and art. The whole “Chinese Communist” thing is more an element of the East, the Cold War, the differences between East and West, so we tried to bring the 2 together in a stylist way. If you look at the cover art of our 2 singles, they follow the same style. We hope our music acts in the same fashion of bringing down boundaries. Or I could be speaking bullshit and just say we liked the visual element and design concept ;-) hahahaha. Well it’s both actually. Ryan: Way back during the Cold War, the land behind the Iron Curtain was mysterious and alien to us on this side of Checkpoint Charlie. I remember getting hold of a book of Soviet Propaganda posters and was really impressed with the imagery. I guess that Stalinism and the Soviet Propaganda Machine left us with some great art. Not just visually, but great Soviet composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev created masterpieces during that part of Russian history. Anyway, there’s gravitas in the imagery, which represents so much of what was going on at the time so I really wanted that idea. Also, I liked the idea of our band being more than just a band, more like an “ism”. The beliefs that were behind this imagery rocked the world during the 20th century and held it on a knife-edge…so that’s a good reference point for a belief system…I thought. Lissy: How long have you guys been together? Can you give us a little background on your band? Cade: Well Ryan and I are brothers so we have been together a long time haha. We played together in a previous band before Grand Central. That band, “Lumiere” was more electronic, and when we started Grand Central we wanted something more organic. Grand Central started about a year and a half ago when we felt we weren’t done and still had a lot of music left to write and play. Lissy: So far you’ve been releasing your songs one at a time… do you think you’ll release an album eventually? Cade: In the current Music Industry, it’s quite a different world to even just a few years ago. Previously you would aim to get signed by a Label, and then they would pay for you to get into the studio, release the
singles, and then an album would naturally follow. Nowadays, people are not really interested in buying music in a physical form. People are more interested in downloading the song they like. They will first listen to the Album on Spotify, and the songs they like, they will probably just download. Saying that, an album is something we want to do. It basically groups together a particular style, feel and moment in the bands life. It’s important for a band to create, develop and to evolve musically, creatively and visually. An album allows us to bring together the songs we write and play at this moment, and to come up with a visual element, such as the whole “communist” feel you mentioned, as a visual style, and then hopefully once the album is released, we can experiment with something new. If you think of all your favorites and the great albums/singles, you always remember the videos, the album or single cover and I think that these days, bands have lost that element of visual style and how it works with the songs. Rant over – yes we will hopefully be releasing an album in the late summer 2010 :) Ryan: I think you need something tangible to say, “Look, this is us!” Downloads became part of this chew-it-up and spit-it-out consumerism where people just pay attention to something for as long as they need to search on the latest P2P website, download it into their folder of a million anonymous MP3s and then forget about it. Buying a CD is a commitment to the belief in music, in bands, in musicians. Let the tweens fill their MP3 players with whatever the media spews…but let music fans get excited by getting their paws on something physical. Lissy: Each of your songs sounds completely different, which is one of the things I Iike about you so much. How does the writing process begin? Then do you complete the song as a band, or is there a main writer? Cade: Thanks. Well, I think the music scene; especially the UK scene has become quite boring and repetitive. They are always looking for the next Franz Ferdinand or next Bloc Party... Everyone is just trying to be like everyone else, without doing something original. English music is not melodic any more, which is what the USA does so well. We are not trying to be like anybody; of course we have influences, and some songs you might hear a bit of this or a bit of that. We don’t want to be one of those bands that it all sounds the same. We want you to hear the song and go, oh that sounds like Grand Central, not because it sounds like another song. Of course we don’t write each to sound different, it just is how
we feel and if we like it and if it goes that way. Ryan and myself are the main writers. With most of the songs it will start with a guitar riff, which I hear, and write the melody and lyrics, and we work on the song after the basic structure and melody is done. With a couple of songs, Ryan emailed me a riff of a few seconds, I have an idea, and I write it down and then sing over it, email it back to him. We go onto Skype and I sing it to him and he plays guitar over Skype and if we are happy, we go in and record a demo. Ryan: Let’s just say that Skype is not an ideal writing environment…unless you like writing in treacle. Which may be entertaining but extremely sticky. The delay in Skype is like working in a DAW with extreme latency issues. The problem with riffs is that they’re sometimes just a hook; I like to build up from the rhythm sometimes too. Create a loop in Reason and work up from that. Quite a few ideas have been jammed out recently, although I’ve never been big on jamming. I like to craft as much as I can before playing it in front of anyone. Lissy: CD Vs Digital. Where do you think we’re going with this? Cade: As much as I love CD, a physical thing you can touch, give to and look at, with a design, inlay etc., I believe that its end is near. Digital is the way forward, and we just have to accept it. The good thing is people are now starting to buy music again because it’s cheap enough. Also with sponsorship, like we had with Microsoft and Windows 7, they will sponsor the songs so people can download it for free, but we get a small cut. Digital got a bad rep because of Napster and illegal downloads, I think the only reason people download is because it’s too expensive, or it’s not available to buy online. Another thing is that a lot of people just want to buy one song, so they download the whole album to get one song. Now, you can download an individual track from an Album, which means, even an album track can be a top selling track without being a single. So... we just have to find ways of making digital more interesting, other than just an mp3 file. With long play through Itunes and the new music format MusicDNA to include lyrics, artwork and extras; I think this is a great thing. You pay a bit extra to get it, but I think most people want that as its the only advantage a CD has over digital . Ryan: I think I gave my two cents worth a few questions back. I would say “at the risk of sounding like a stuck record”, but people won’t understand that anymore because MP3s don’t generally get stuck do they? Although…actually, I have an MP3 player that
Ryan: You wouldn’t get a free drink, not in UK venues anyway. You might get to hammer the strings of my guitar when I decide not to play it. You would probably get an earful of rather catchy tunes. Afterwards I’m probably too distracted to pay attention to anything for very long. Don’t be surprised if you come up to me to say “hi” and I say something Grandma Georgina-esque like “I love grapes”. Lissy: If we wanted to buy you a drink, what should we get you? Cade: I’m pretty much game for anything, although if you had to buy me a drink, it would be either a double Jack Daniels and coke, or a tequila sunrise. Our drummer, Bogdan, would probably take a tea or a Jack Daniels. Ryan: Cuppa tea would do nicely ta very much. Gone off the vodka these days. A shot of Limoncello wouldn’t go amiss. Lissy: Are you looking for a label and do you a think a band can be successful without the financial backing and promotional help from one?
skips. What’s that all about? Lissy: We saw a rise in Vinyl sales here in the US last year. What’s the trend there in England, and how are the small record stores doing? Cade: Vinyl has always been relatively popular here. With all the DJs and clubs here, most DJs still prefer vinyl to cd/mp3. There are quite a lot of record stores and indie stores around. They are still around, and probably are losing business but they seem to have a good niche here and people are still shopping there. So its a good thing . Ryan: Ah, the joys of a freshly bought LP on vinyl... the smell of it as you remove it from its inner sleeve... something about it you know. Lissy: Can you explain to us what MIDEM 2010 is and your involvement? Cade: MIDEM is the biggest and most important Music Industry event. Its held in Cannes where all TV Networks, Publishers, Labels, Agents, Bookers, Management Companies, Film companies, Radio etc. all go to talk about music, release their new business ideas, talk about the current music situations, new music companies etc. It’s basically a place where all music industry people go to make business and deals. We were represented by a UK Company who partners with Spotify, to represent the best emerging UK artists. They went to promote the UK music to companies. It is not based on sales, but based on music song writing and believing that the music can sell products, so its got a lot more punch as advertising and synchronizing is really where music money making is going so its a great honour to be there. Ryan: Talk to Cade, I prefer discussing Cubase. Lissy: You play a lot of live shows; in fact you’re going to Europe this summer! What would I get for my money if I came to a Grand Central gig? Cade: Yes we play a lot and this year will see us head to Europe. We are going to be hitting Spain, Italy and a few other European countries in the summer. If you came to a Grand Central gig I think you would get a great gig. We always put on a good show. Ryan who always finds something interesting to mishap on stage will entertain you. Just recently we played a gig in London where our drummer accidentally pushed shuffle on the ipod and we had some green day and some other stuff coming out over the speakers in mid set. We all laughed and started dancing on stage. It’s all about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. Sitting around after the gig, having some drinks and chatting about life, music and travel. We love to learn about new people and things.
Cade: Well... Of course any band that says, “we don’t want a label” would be lying. We would love that teenage rock star dream of playing a gig and some old rich fart from a major comes up and says “here’s a million dollar contract” but its not realistic is it. We are doing things ourselves for the moment up until someone offers something better. We can do a lot ourselves but of course, you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t have the contacts. That, realistically, is what you need. No bills. No thrills. One can only do so much yourself before you need some backing. Very few bands make it without it. Our friends Datarock, were fortunate enough to get a licensing deal to 17 EA Sports games and get their song in Sims and on Ipod ads. That is pretty much where the money is now, and so without labels, publishing is the way to go which will hopefully get the labels looking at you. So yes you need the labels and promotional help from the companies, but bands are not so dependant as before, but to make a job out of it, you need the backing. Ryan: I want someone to pay me to do what I love and buy me a nice amp and place for my guitars. That would be nice. And a popcorn machine backstage. But to get the whole touring machine into gear requires money, which is best found in the pockets of some label guy. Lissy: There’s a gazillion websites now for bands to use to get their music heard, promote shows, and build a decent fan base on, which one do you feel has been the most beneficial to you? Cade: Well...firstly you have to be able to have good songs otherwise no website can help you. I usually try to keep up with the new start-ups in the music world, so I can get beta sign ups for free before they go public. I find Reverbnation to be great. They have fantastic support, statistics and also they work with Microsoft to try and get bands sponsorship deals, or give them cuts from advertising. We also use that for our fan mailing list. Another is obviously MySpace to get the people to hear your music. Facebook, for the real fans to follow and promote gigs. Band Central is a new thing in the UK, which is pretty interesting. Ryan: er…talk to Cade about web-promotion. My premise is if you’re shit, a website can only hide the smell until they come and see you. You have to have a good product. If your songs are bad, or the band is crap, the websites will just quicken your journey to the gutter (or keep you from getting out of it) The websites, at least, give power to the fans. Instead of relying on a select few magazines or Simon Cowell to decide what’s good or bad, the fans who trowel the websites can decide if something is shit or not. Thank you so much Mr. Cowell for the exceptional leap in quality in music since X-Factor/American Idol etc. has infiltrated the living rooms of the world. Turn it off people! Go and see some live music instead! Lissy: What would be the key features on these
websites that make them work compared to the ones that are a waste of time? Because lets face it we spend hours online promoting what we do every day. Cade: I would say, Reverbnation is great because you have a lot of control over what people see. You can set up a song to be streamed, clips, downloadable and allow only fans that register to download it for free. It has great control over fan email groups. It has great info of statistics and demographics of fans, which helps the band know who listens and where they are more popular. Myspace is great to look for people and get your music heard in places you never would otherwise. If they set up myspace a bit better it would be excellent. Facebook only for the more dedicated fans to interact with the band and for events. Ryan: Can I just say that I think Facebook is the Devil. A necessary evil. Does that actually make it the Neville? Lissy: If I were coming over to England to check out the indie music scene, where should I go? Manchester or London, and why? Cade: It’s a tough one because I don’t really hang out much in other cities. London is my city, and Camden Town is my place. There are hundreds of pubs and venues around the Camden Town area. It’s where most UK bands have started out (like Blur, Madness, Bloc Party) etc. I love to just walk around and go into a venue and see what’s on and hopefully see something that blows my mind. Doesn’t happen often but I remember going to a venue in Camden. 8.15pm on a Tuesday night and saw a band. 3 people in the audience, and it happened to be Bloc Party when they had just started. You never know. But I would say Camden Town in London. Plus I live down the road so drinks at mine before!! Ryan: Manchester has a rich musical heritage, but I think London has a greater variety. Lissy: Do you have any other news you’d like to share or anything else you’d like to talk about? Cade: Just to tell everyone that your magazine is great and thanks for the support. It’s a pleasure to meet everyone from Inclination and it’s a fantastic zine. Our new single, “My Star” is out in the spring and we hope to give Inclination an exclusive to all their readers! Ryan: Please bear in mind that in the Southern Hemisphere, spring is in September - so if you live in Australia, don’t hold your breath. Unless of course you want to, but I assume no responsibility.
I was completely thrilled when my old friend Tim agreed to allow me to interview him about his latest and in my humble opinion, greatest musical endeavor, “Fifth World”. The Current lineup of this circus jazz fused, moving, melodically chaotic creation is one to be revered! Catching a show of theirs is an experience beyond the sound itself. The energy of the crowd, the visual show, I have yet to see anything quite like it. Currently they have 6 full time members. Mart Rocha on drums, Richard Ward on percussion, Asif Wilson on Keyboards and vocals, The Sensei of Soul MC and Beat boxing, Greg Firak on guitar and vocals, and the man himself, Timothy (Also known as “Smu”) McCarthy III on bass guitar and vocals. Cola: Hey Tim, everyone who doesn’t know you, wants to know…how did you get into playing music? Tim: I think my spirit was preselected for this. I’ve had instruments since I was a child, participated in choir in 4th grade, started the Alto Sax in 5th grade-8th grade (school band), then I met the bass guitar at age 13. Cola: Your latest project, Fifth World has become quite the rage. Why the name Fifth World, what does it mean to you? Tim: Fifth World is either the present world or the next world, in several Native American beliefs which center around a cyclical understanding of time. According to both Native American Hopi mythology and Maya mythology, the current world we inhabit is the “Fourth World.” In both belief systems, time is cyclical, and the end of one world is the beginning of the next. For the Hopi, the end of the fourth world is marked by the arrival of Pahana, or the lost “White Brother.” The Maya Calendar charts out this progression through astrology, concluding that the current, fourth world will end sometime near the December solstice in 2012 (dates vary based on interpretation). The coming Fifth World (where our present World is presented as the Fourth) is said to arrive following a cycle in nature affecting our entire Solar System, where our Earth births an egg (Mystery Egg, Hidden Egg) and then moves “up” within our system to reach its crowning place. All of the Earth’s life is then said to be “raised” to its perfected-eternal form. Some tribes refer to this period of change as “Purification Time.” During this period of purification, time is said to change where we must choose between the natural Time we have now upon our Earth (meant for us) and an unnatural time structure which removes us from nature and our opportunity to reach the Fifth World. It is told that everyone will have to choose between the two time frames—one leading to the Fifth World with our Earth, and the other (which will be very alluring, deceiving many) which will remove us from our Earth, taking us to oblivion. Cola: How did Fifth World come about, when and what kind of lineup changes did you experience? Tim: In 2006 I was looking to put together a new group to express the type of music I heard in my head. I had been playing with “Forty Piece Choir” since 1999 and had gained a wealth of experience about being in a band. In FPC,Dana Okon was the predominant writer and band leader. I learned so much from him and the others in the art of crafting fine tunes, and band survival. FPC was always more geared towards indie rock and Americana with psychedelia bleeding through. However I had always leaned towards funk based music, psychedelic jam band rock, jazz fusion, hip hop, and electronica. Bands like Phish, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Sound Tribe Sector 9, the Disco Biscuits, Thievery Corporation, and the Grey Boy All Stars. I then hooked up with Marty Rocha, a long time friend of mine from the Chicago Jam band scene. We met in 2000 after Phish had gone on hiatus and the funk jazz fusion scene was exploding in Chicago. We attended and befriended the Silver Wrapper crew. Silver Wrapper was throwing all the hip (funk/jazz/jam) shows in Chicago at this time. It was at a post Greyboy Allstars’ party at the loft that Marty and I finally played together. This improvisation session led to a bunch of dancing artists, hippies, and promoters, as well as the light bulb moment, that brought Marty and I together.
a band that is. One of us will come in with a skeleton of a song and the rest of us will add the meat. We’ll often try a few approaches and then vote on the way the song will be. The original writer gets the final call on how a tune ends up though. We’ve actually been going back over old material and making some tweaks. It’s been a really positive experience.
FIFTH WORLD By Cola
With a mutual friend on Guitar, the first Fifth World lineup was put together. Marty was on the kit and his friend and former band mate Ryan Mcgraw was playing guitar. We were a trio with big ideas. We built a rehearsal room in Ryan’s basement and started doing some serious creating. I brought in the initial bulk of material, and we went to work solidifying those songs. (Inky Binky Bay, Sitting on the Dark Rift, Coffin Riding,ect..). At this time I was throwing all of the Boombox shows in Chicago, so they gave us our inaugural show opening for them at the Bell’s Brewery to a near sold out show in Kalamazoo. This was in Nov. 07. One Dec. day Marty and I showed up for rehearsal and there was a second guitarist there. We were kind of pissed off, but went through rehearsal any ways. The guitarist melted both of our minds. He had technique, chops, and was dripping with soul. His name was Greg Firak. Greg quickly learned our tunes and brought in a few of his own (Brain Surgery and Shine On). We did a gig in early Jan at the Double Door, where Greg’s long time keyboardist Asif Wilson attended. The following week Asif came out to audition. He was the missing link, the glue we needed to really solidify the band and even out our sound. Once Asif joined full time he took the role of running rehearsals. He busted our butts to keep tempos and to clean up the slop. It was also at this time that we realized our original guitarist wasn’t going t work out. Through countless mood swings and mental breakdowns, and eventually the straw that broke the camel’s back. Not showing up for a gig. We went our separate ways from him and that’s when the band really started clicking. All of a sudden, we lost the big distraction and really ironed out our craft. Our one issue was we needed a front man. We all loved hip hop and thought it would be perfect to bring in a MC to augment our sound and style. Asif brought out his buddy the “Sensai of Soul”, he was a MC from the south side of Chicago. He then became our voice and master of ceremonies!! All that was left was percussion, and that’s where Richard Ward came into the picture. He played with us off and on for the course of the last year and a half, but is now officially our sixth member. Richard definitely makes us even groovier and adds all the secret sauce. So that’s our conception in a nut shell..... Cola: What are some of your favorite venues to play? Tim: House of Blues, Kinetic Playground, Double Door, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Founders Brewery, and the Metro. Cola: What are we to expect from Fifth World this year? Tim: We are releasing 2 albums this year and trying to play around 40-50 shows. We’re really excited about this year and really feel as if we’ve come in to our own. Cola: When you all get down to it, who writes the songs, what is the process like? Tim: When we first formed I was the predominant writer, but as we’ve added members and have fallen in to our own, we’ve all been contributing to the writing process. It’s been a really organic process, growing as
Cola: How can people pick up your music and add it to their collection? Tim: We’re finishing up our first release entitled “Sitting on the Dark Rift”. I’m hoping for a late spring early summer release date. As of right now, you can download some live recordings from our MySpace page. We often give away live CDs at our shows at the merchandise booth as well. Cola: What is your show schedule like this year? Tim: We’ve been playing around once a week since the end of 2009. We play every third Wed. at the Tonic Room in Chicago. 9:00 PM at the Tonic Room - A Wednesday Affair : presented by Triple Dot Mas, 2447 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL. 60614. Cost: $5.00. We play from 9-10:30. We are actively booking summer festivals right now. So far we are confirmed for “Jammin on the Wolf.” This is an amazing 2 day camping/ white water rafting fest in Langlade Wisconsin. http:// jamminonthewolf.weebly.com. We also have Duck Fest booked for July 31st. Cola: How do you feel about the Chicago music scene in general? Tim: The Chi town scene has always been very kind to me and my various musical projects. I tend to be very lucky in these regards. Cola: What were you doing before Fifth World? Tim: Before Fifth World, I was playing with Forty Piece Choir. We had a great 10 year run. I was very blessed to have that tenure with those guys and gal. I also ran a promotion company called “Smu Presents” for a few years while I was putting Fifth World together. I needed to keep in touch with the talent buyers and the scene in general. Cola: What have you learned from past band experiences? Tim: I’ll borrow a line from Phish here.. “The secret is, you need to surrender to the flow”. Being in a band is like being married to x amount of people (without the benefits). You need to discuss time off, compromise artistically, and have trust in your partners. In order to make the greatest music you need to really become egoless, step outside of yourself and become the conduit. Let the music play you. At the same time in the management area of the band sometime you need to let go of your original idea and move to where everyone else is. Cola: When you’re not practicing, playing out, or recording....what do you do for fun and how do you relax? Tim: I really enjoy hanging with my family. My wife Melissa and sound Nyjah are two of the most intense and amazing forces I’ve come across. I feel very blessed to have them in my day to day life. I love spending warm nights in the yard BBQ and sipping on a fine beer (the more hops, the better). I also love attending music festivals and hiking. Being in areas like the Red Woods, Smokey Mountains, Guatemala, Belize, Killarney National Park. I love traveling and visiting areas of the world with tremendous energy. We will our reality. Timothy “Smu” McCarthy III - Bassist for Fifth World & Forty Piece Choir, Chicago regional coordinator for Evolver Customer Service Manager and Artist relations for US Music Corp (David Eden, Randall, Washburn, Parker, and Oscar Schmidt) www.fifthworldmusic.com www.myspace.com/fifthworldmusic www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=148292 www.fortypiecechoir.org evolver.net/user/smu573 evolver.net/group/evolver_chicago
The Same Old Ten
With Phil Messina of ... This Issue’s Same Old Ten is with Impale’s Drummer: Phil Messina. Impale are a death/ thrash metal band from Chicago IL. They have been around for 8 years (Phil is one of the original members) and have played many shows including opening for Machine Head and Chimaira. Check out their myspace for more information and to hear their music
www.myspace.com/impale1 1. What was the last concert you went to? Um, I think it was Satyricon, Chthonic, and Rosenguard at The Double Door 2. Who would you most like to record a song with?
Metal news on The Gauntlet.com and your interview 4. If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
Do certain things I’ve wanted to do, and tell certain people things I’ve wanted to say.
5. Who would you say is the most Michael Amott from Arch Enemy/ underrated musician in the History Carcass/Carnage/Spiritual Beggars of Rock N’ Roll? 3. What are you reading right Hmm, I would say Daniel Erlandsson now? from Arch Enemy. 6. What’s your favorite meal? Anything involving Italian and BEER!
7. Where in the world would you most like to visit? Germany, so I can go to the Wacken Open Air Festival
8. What was the last song you
listened to? Buried Dreams by Carcass
9. If you could be someone else for 24 hours, who would it be and why? I wouldn’t be anyone else. I can only be myself. And I like myself. 10. What has been your biggest fashion faux pas?
Being a lazy ass and not wearing clothes that match, or clothes that have tons of wrinkles in them.
We Are The Becoming was my first face to face interview, and a very fun one. I couldn’t have chosen a better band to interview, these guys prove that good southern hospitality and kindness is not dead. With that said, they have an air about them that let’s you know, even in makeup they could probably kick more than half the guys asses in the room. Though they aren’t angry or violent, they are a band that has a rock and roll soul. Since this interview I have seen them a few times, and every time, they have been great, both on and off of the stage. I have never seen one of their fans treated badly, and in fact anyone I have talked to that has met them can do nothing but praise them. We Are The Becoming is a band whose music grabs you, their live show captivates you and their attitude and personality sell you. We Are The Becoming is a band not to be missed live, it’s a necessity to get out and see them.
You guys seem to be pretty busy, from touring with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, to touring with The Eyes, and now touring with Gunfire, how has this adjustment been for you, how is touring with The Eyes and Gunfire? Dustinn (Lowry, guitar/vocals): They are both great and they’re a lot of fun to tour with, Do you feel a little more comfortable on this tour since you had just hit some of these cities, and maybe gained some more support for this time around? Dustinn: yeah, definitely, it’s always great to come back and see a familiar face *pauses* and it’s great to see new fans.. What are the highs and lows of touring? *All laugh*
Dustinn: There is a lot
Caleb (Owens, vocals): Probably lack of sleep and driving is one of the lows
Caleb: Lot’s of water
Dustinn: Yeah, but getting to play every night is great, and the fans are amazing, they kind of cancel each other out Any rituals before you go onstage? Dustinn: Shockingly no, not really Caleb & Kory (Arcidino, bass): What about the hand clap thing? Dustinn: *laughs* Oh yeah, but I don’t do that every time. What is a must have item when on tour? Dustinn: Water Kory: Baby wipes Dustinn: *laughs* Baby wipes, yeah and
If I was someone who had never heard the band before what is something you would tell me, how would you ‘persuade’ me to give your band a listen when there are so many bands out there? Caleb: We wouldn’t make you listen, it’s cool if you would though, we greatly appreciate it if you do, if you don’t it’s your choice. Kory: Just listen Dustinn: Actually when we first started out, we used to walk around selling our cd’s, I think that by showing people this was us, we are involved in getting ourselves out there was a good idea. I would tell them hey give it a listen, I guarantee you’ll like it, if not I will give you a refund from my own pocket *pauses* well maybe not from my
own pocket, that wouldn’t be very smart of me *All laugh* You bought it, now you’re stuck with it. Dustinn: Exactly! We got you now *Laughs* You guys were working in a tattoo shop prior to the band, what was that experience like? Are there any similarities to working in a tattoo shop and being in a band? Dustinn and Caleb: We didn’t work in a tattoo shop, that was Kory, we just spent a lot of time there *Laughs* Kory: Well, the hours are long, and the money isn’t great. Caleb: I would think that being in such a creative and artistic environment would be inspirational. Kory: yeah, that too. Are there any pranksters in the band? What has been the best/funniest prank? Dustinn: We got The Eyes pretty good Kory: Yeah Caleb: Yeah we like to do pranks like on other bands when were on tour Dustinn: We got Dommin pretty good too, we basically just made their stage so really pussified, cuz uh, they’re all like big, tough and serious. We put punk streamers, pink balloons and that sort of stuff on the stage. Kory: Duct tape Dustinn: *laughs* There was an opening band for a show and during their show, we rushed the stage and duct taped their arms down, and put Aqua Net all in their hair. They couldn’t do anything about it because their arms were taped All: *laugh* What is one of your all time favorite band? Dustinn: As a band like collectively? Kory: We don’t have just one. Caleb: We like a variety of different bands Dustinn: The Eyes, Johnny Cash, Murderdolls, Wednesday 13, Motley Crue, really we are kind of all over the place when it comes to what we listen to. If you could do a cover of any song, what would it be and why? Caleb: We aren’t a band that does a lot of covers Dustinn: I mean, maybe live, for fun. As far as recording we really only play our songs, it’s just how we work, ya know? Kory: I would say Europe-The Final
Countdown. Any crazy experiences that happened on tour you’d like to share? All: *laugh* Dustinn: Every night is an experience. If you could put together your dream tour or festival, who/what would be involved? Caleb: Well it’s not so much what band it is, or what they play. We would choose based on who they were, like we would want to have a lot of diversity, and play with bands we like. Bands that for lack of a better phrase, we get along with. ‘I Cry’ seems to be a very personal song, do you think it’s a song everyone can somehow relate to, especially in today’s times, where the battle between inner goods and evils are so strong and easily lost? Caleb: Yeah, I mean, ‘I Cry’ is a song that can be interpreted in many different ways. That’s the beauty of it and a lot of music, what one person takes away from the song could be something completely different to another person. Someone might see this as a breakup song, someone may see it as a love song, it is all in you perception of things. So I think that everyone, in a sense can relate to ‘I Cry’ because everyone can find at least a little bit of relation to the song. Thank you for taking time out to do this interview, are there any final words? Dustinn: Thanks to the fans, thank you so much for the support. Caleb: Yeah, thanks for coming out to all the shows, it means a lot especially when we see the same fans at every show. Kory: It does mean a lot, we’re not just saying that. The fans make us able to live our dream, and we love how our fan base is growing. At one show, someone could be there for a different band, and at our next show, they are there for us. It is really cool when you start seeing a lot of different people turn up to support us, I like that a lot of times you keep seeing the same people. We love what we do, and the fans just make it a great experience. Find out more info at a few of the sites for We Are The Becoming: www.myspace.com/wearethebecoming twitter.com/weRthebecoming www.youtube.com/user/xTheBecomingx www.facebook.com/thebecoming Current We Are The Becoming members: Caleb Owens-Vocals and guitar Dustinn Lowry- Guitar and backing vocals Kory Arcidino- Bass Lance Bennett- Drums
Tony Duggins of The Tossers is interviewed as our main feature.