40-49 KENDALL SCHMIDT
FEATURES 4 - AJR 8 - American Authors 14 - The Limousines 16 - Manchester Orchestra 22 - Little Bombs 32 - Dallas Smith 34 - Jodi Good 36 - Hello Highway 54 - I See Stars 60 - August Burns Red
EDITORIAL 12 - Breakout Artists of 2013 24 - Best TV Shows of 2013 26 - The Naked Eye: Live Photos 38 - Top Albums of 2013 50 - Photo Special: K108â€™s Jingle Ball 56 - Top Movies of 2013 66 - Most Anticipated Albums of 2014
Isabelle Chapman Noah Tavlin
MANAGING EDITOR Nicola Pring
COPY CHIEF Nicola Pring
Tatiana Baez Jenna Ross Alexandra Tse
DESIGNER Catherine Powell
Jackie Bui, Susan Cheng, Tara DeVincenzo, Alex Lane, Stacy Magallon, Stephanie Petit, Catherine Powell, Tanya Traner
AJR Words by STACY MAGALLON Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
There are two teenage girls running up and down the sidewalk outside Webster Hall in New York City. They look a bit lost, muttering short sentences under their breath. I overhear them as I walk by. They’re looking for the proper place to stand in line. When I ask them who they’re here to see tonight, one girl replies with three letters: “AJR.” I meet the brothers of the indie-pop group on a chilly November afternoon. We sit on a pair of couches on the top floor of Webster Hall, about four stories above the stage where they’re scheduled to play a headlining show tonight. They’re dressed in skinny jeans, canvas sneakers, button-down collared shirts and cardigans. Their style is pretty indie, but their taste in clothing isn’t the only thing that falls under that category. AJR’s music and approach are pretty indie, too. The guys of AJR, Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, were born and raised in Chelsea in Manhattan. They first took their craft to the streets eight years ago. Busking in one of the world’s busiest cities was their own personal boot camp. AJR developed their performances in New York City’s parks — they name Washington Square Park, Central Park and Battery Park City as their go-to locations. “There were a bunch of people who weren’t there to see us, but we had to win them over,” Ryan says of their early days. “There was a lot of pressure to keep an audience.” In one instance, they performed at the last stop of a sightseeing tour. When tourists departed the tour bus, they assumed AJR were part of the tour. “One group of people thought we were the Jonas Brothers so they bought our CD,” Adam says, laughing. Though busking was a good start to spreading their sound, AJR’s first major problem came when the brothers were almost arrested because they didn’t have a permit to perform on the public grounds. Jack, the youngest of the three, was only 8 at the time. “I wasn’t going to spend the night in jail,” he says, chuckling. “But performing on the streets was the perfect training for us.” Shortly after, AJR took their street cred to the Internet. They first uploaded a cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You” before deciding to post more covers. A year ago, the group made a video for their current single, “I’m Ready,” then tweeted their video to different celebrities. Singer-songwriter Sia Furler retweeted it. “We ended up having breakfast with her at her hotel downtown,” Jack says. After their brief meeting with Sia, she introduced AJR to management opportunities. Their career took off over night, and the brothers were still pretty young. Adam, the oldest of the three, graduated from Columbia University last year where he studied business and philosophy. “I never had anything to do with music,” he says. “My friends still see me as the academic.” Ryan, on the other hand, is taking his second year off from Columbia. Jack is currently enrolled at the Professional Children’s School in New York. The college preparatory school gives students time off to pursue their acting, dancing and musical careers. “All these 6
kids are after their own passions,” Jack says. “I’m just another one of them.” Though the brothers are all active on social networks, Adam is the brains behind marketing. He uses his skills in business to make AJR as successful as possible. “I figure out the sweet spot for our demographic, to how we promote our shows and even our videos,” he says. For the past seven years, AJR have been writing, recording and producing music in their living room. “Ryan would listen to songs on the radio and replicate it just to see how it was created,” Adam says. AJR don’t have a traditional record label, either. So they created a production company of their own. This method allows them to control their brand, how their music sounds and the venues they play. Their musical routing has been independent thus far, but the results are showing. They’ve shared stages with big names like Hoodie Allen, The Wanted and Demi Lovato. “It just kept getting better and better,” Jack says, smiling. AJR name fun., Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons, The Beatles and The Beach Boys as their main inspirations, though they like writing with a personal twist in mind. “We shoot to make songs that are a little more innovative,” Ryan says. “I think we’re a little more unique than just bland pop.” AJR don’t want to be an exact replica of their influences. Instead, they’re pushing to be one of those new Top 40 bands. AJR have always done things on their own. They don’t have producers or songwriters. They don’t have a crew either. “We’re the ones setting everything up on stage and we’re the ones breaking everything down,” Adam says. Additionally, AJR’s material has never been touched or handled by anyone outside of their three-man team. Their first full-length, tentatively titled Living Room, will definitely be produced by themselves. The expected material is versatile — they’ve recorded songs about their creative process, growing up in New York City, coming-of-age stories and classic love songs. Their inspirations are diverse, which explains the diversity in sound. “Every single song is pretty much different,” Jack says. “They apply to a different audience.” They hope to release the album in late winter of 2014. AJR’s fan base, a blend of both males and females, is also diverse, which is exactly the following they wanted. “It’s a fan base that’s unique and something most boy bands don’t have,” Ryan says. AJR, however, don’t classify themselves as a boy band. “We’re a man band,” Adam jokes. “That’s a more perfect description.” Since their show at Webster Hall, AJR performed on the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving show and have released a five-song EP titled 6foot1. But they don’t want to stop there. Adam, Jack and Ryan hope to change the music industry by showing off their success with their DIY method and inspiring others to do things on their own. For AJR, it all started in a living room. “I think it’s cool that we’re able to do this all by ourselves,” Ryan says. “And if we can break through this, hopefully people can follow it.” NKD
AMERICAN AUTHORS Words by JACKIE BUI Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
Indie rock band American Authors may have built the foundation for their career at the Berklee College of Music, but they attribute their success to their dedication to music, unrelenting work ethic and the influence Brooklyn, their home of three years, has on them. The band members — Zachary Barnett, James Shelley, Dave Rublin and Matt Sanchez — knew when they met that they were destined to work together. While the band says they learned a lot at Berklee, they left before graduating. “We all went there knowing kind of what we wanted out of Berklee. We wanted to find a band and play music with people,” James says. “You don’t need to graduate [from] Berklee to play music.” The boys agree that at Berklee, they were able to meet people who had the same interests as they did, and who influenced them. “I feel like you go there for the networking. You go there for the people you’re surrounded by,” Zachary says. “And you go there for likeminded musicians who are really talented. Everybody who goes there has been playing music since they were little kids,” James adds. The band chose to leave Berklee in 2009, saying that they used what they learned at the school and applied it to their careers. “You go to Berklee, you learn the rules and then your professors say the best thing to do is break them, so we went out in the world and broke the rules,” Dave says. Zachary adds, “Being there, you learn so much. You get really good at what you’re doing. Then you step away from it, and you realize it’s really not just about that. I feel like when you step out of the musician community and just work together¸ that’s where you learn.” While still attending Berklee, the band worked with writers and producers from Boston who had relocated to Brooklyn. They found themselves traveling from
Boston to Brooklyn several times a week and with the cost and time it took to travel, they decided to make Brooklyn their new home, and relocated there after leaving school. They had no jobs lined up, but they packed up a van, took a leap of faith and hoped for the best as they made their move. Brooklyn, they say, has a vibe unlike any other place they’ve been before. They say the environment they live in exudes creativity, and it’s a place they know their music and careers can flourish. “There’s nowhere in the world that’s like Brooklyn. Brooklyn just has this vibe,” James says. “We live in Bushwick and everybody there is musicians, artists, models [and] people doing film. Everybody’s doing something creative, so it creates a vibe that’s like nothing else.” When asked if they ever envisioned coming to New York, all members, except James, agree that they had pictured this as their future. James, who is from Tallahassee, Fla., says he never even dreamed of New York. “I didn’t even know what New York was growing up. New York was like a faraway dream. Nobody even leaves Tallahassee, let alone [goes] to New York,” he says. The guys agree that New York is where they belong and they don’t see themselves leaving their home any time in the near future. “It is the greatest city in the world. Most eclectic, it’s incredible. You can’t beat it,” Dave says. One thing that’s worked for the band so far is their dedication to songwriting. “We worked our asses off for six years, since college.” Zach says. “Putting together our own tours and just always writing. We just kept writing song after song until we finally got two songs that just clicked. They came out at the right moment and it just worked.” The band found their first real success with the song NKDMAG.COM
“Believer,” which was picked up by Sirius XM radio, through a friend of a friend, before it was completely finished. The only other song they had finished was “Best Day of My Life,” which also was put out by a friend of a friend. The song got synced to a Loews commercial and then to a Hyundai commercial in France and England, and is now receiving radio play in America. “Once you have those two things going, the rest kind of starts rolling and snowballing,” Zach says. The guys say that what made both “Believer” and “Best Day of My Life” different from the songs they attempted to release before was that for the first time when writing these songs, they were able to be themselves. “I think that was the first time we really just let go. I think as a songwriter, you have to find what works for you,” James says. Zach adds, “We just had more fun with it.” The four agree that the best songs they’ve written were the ones they stepped out of their comfort zone to write, while also putting a little fun into them. With the success of their singles, American Authors are hard at work on their first full-length album. Fans can expect the album to be released in March 2014. In the meantime, they are going to continue going on radio tours to promote their music and hope to tour in the U.S. and worldwide in 2014. American Authors are steadily gaining more traction and the boys are becoming more successful, but the road they’re paving for success hasn’t always been glamorous and never came easy or without work. “It’s just about never giving up and I think it can be really difficult for a lot of people,” Zach says. “Because you’re working a job you don’t really like and you’re living in a cramped apartment with a bunch of roommates…and it can be very discouraging at times. But the nice thing about working with a band is that everyone challenges each other to keep writing and to write better and to work harder and to stick with it. It was never something that came easy for us.” When asked what they hope to make of their career, James says it’s simple. The band wants to be able to connect with their fans while sharing music that’s important to them. “We just want cool experiences,” he says. “We want to reach out to people and we want them to be able to feel it. We’re telling stories and lyrics that mean a lot to us. Music is not just for us, it’s for everybody. We’re putting it out there for people to have that experience with us, because everybody can relate to words the same way.” Matt adds, “The greatest thing about that right now is that it’s connecting. We’re watching it in real time and we’re seeing fans in real time tell us bits about their life and bits of what the song has done to them. And that’s seriously so amazing for us right now.” NKD 10
breakout artists 13. OH HONEY
Oh Honey emerged on the New York City scene this fall, and they’ve quickly proven they are not just another Brooklyn-based hipster group. Landing on the NOW! compilation before their EP was released proves we’re not the only ones who think so.
12. DAN + SHAY
Their debut song “19 You + Me” has soared up the iTunes charts and landed the duo a spot on country radio. They don’t have an album out yet but people can’t stop talking about them. The Nashville natives are sure to take the country by storm in the new year.
If Justin Bieber likes you enough to not only endorse you, but make a cameo in your debut music video, you’re probably the real deal. This teen-star on the rise made her mark on 2013 with her infectious single, “Melodies,” with the help of Scooter Braun and The Biebz himself.
8. TWENTY ONE PILOTS
Twenty One Pilots went from a tiny club tour this spring, to Lollapalooza, to opening Fall Out Boy’s arena tour, to a sold out headlining tour this fall. It hasn’t been a quick success story for these boys, but they’re sure growing.
11. BASIC VACATION
7. TORI KELLY
6. THE 1975
If you’ve seen the preview Walking With Dinosaurs, you may have heard Basic Vacation’s hit single “I Believe” playing in the background. We believe in this act because they killed it their
This sibling act was only supposed to be on Warped Tour for a week, but they were asked to play the entire summer because of their crowd size. Echosmith wowed listeners with their debut album Talking Dreams and are on track to reach even more ears in 2014.
9. MADISON BEER
Also taken under Scooter Braun’s wing, Tori Kelly proved that you don’t need to take off your clothes to be a successful pop artist. Her vocals impressed the masses and she proved her talent with her live show, which consists of just her and her guitar.
become “the band that evself-titled debut full-length landed on almost every Top Albums list and took the band from a tiny bar at SXSW to sold out radio shows across the country.
s of 2013 5. BASTILLE
Coming over from the U.K., Bastille are without a doubt one of 2013’s best success stories. Glittered with heavy drum beats and harmonies, their song “Pompei” became an instant Internet sensation, eventually getting them radio play across the country.
The New Zealand bred teensensation shook the airwaves with her original single, “Royals.” The song became one of iTunes’ most downloaded of the year and made a lasting impact on pop music. She also became best friends with Taylor Swift.
3. FIFTH HARMONY
After coming in third on X Factor, this girl group proved there was no stopping them. On,” was given heavy radio play and earned them a slot on this year’s Jingle Ball tour.
1. ARIANA GRANDE Though she may have been a household name before due to her hit shows Victorious and Sam & Cat, Ariana Grande’s music career took her to a new level in 2013. By being called the new Mariah Carey by pretty much anyone who listens to her, Ariana broke the actressturned-singer mold with her original voice and catchy songs. Her debut album, Yours Truly, is heavily ballad driven, but has enough hooks to interest even the haters. Everyone from Jesse McCartney to Justin Bieber to Demi Lovato want to collaborate with the star. With
release date, there’s no doubt that 2014 will be an even bigger year for this popstar.
2. FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
Combining the best elements of both country and rap, Florida Georgia Line got the whole country cruisin’ with their multi-platnium hit, “Cruise.” They even got Nelly to rap on the remix, which brought them to Top 40 radio.
the limousines Words by TANYA TRANER Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
When it comes to music, The Limousines have seen a lot of transition. The California duo has explored many different genres, labels and even careers along the way to creating the electro popinspired music they are becoming known for. They pair created their first few songs without ever meeting face-to-face. Producer and on-stage DJ Giovanni Giusti says he never saw this coming and wasn’t sure if he was ready for it. He started out far from the music world in construction after not being able to find work with a sound and engineering degree. “I loved it,” he says. “Waking up at 4 in the morning and working with your hands like a real man. It was cool.” He never gave up on music, but he wasn’t influenced by the electronic world. “When I started out in music, I was mostly into hip hop stuff,” he says. “I was really into rap music.” Giovanni loved working with hip hop samples and remixing. One of his influences was the Danger Mouse mashup The Grey Album (2004) which coupled a capella Jay Z lyrics with Beatles samples. Giovanni created his own remix in 2007, not knowing this would be the catalyst for The Limousines. The Limousines’ singer Eric Victorino was in a rock band at the time. The guitar tech for Eric’s band was a mutual friend who showed Eric the album Giovanni remixed. Eric liked the sound so much that he sent Giovanni an email, and The Limousines were born. Giovanni says he would email beats he created to Eric, and Eric would send back lyrics. The two worked back and forth this way, creating three or four songs without ever meeting in person. They finally realized this could be a real thing and met in Oakland, Calif. to record their first album Scrapbook (2009). This album was still far from the sound that has gained popularity for the band. Giovanni says he isn’t sure how the band molded into its electronic sound. Even though he had been producing hip hop beats, he was influenced by electronic bands like The Postal Service. “I think I just wanted to branch out and do something completely different that I’m not used to,” he says. The two weren’t completely happy with the self-
described “trip hop” sound of Scrapbook so they began to work on their next single, hoping to create something that wasn’t so slow, something that was more upbeat and happy. “I had this beat lying around with a really cool chorus melody,” Giovanni says. “So I sent it to him, and he sent me back something that was just pure genius. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing.’” The song was “Very Busy People,” the single that truly got things started for the band — it was picked up by Sirius XM before the band had even signed a record deal. This single gained so much attention from radio stations and labels that Giovanni says they became overwhelmed because they weren’t sure if they were ready for it. “We weren’t even sure if we wanted to be a band,” he says. “When Interscope [Records] called and they’re like, ‘We want to make a record with this,’ we were like, ‘Slow down, we don’t even know each other really.’ It’s kind of like when a potential girlfriend gets a little overbearing, and you’re like, ‘I don’t know let’s take it slow we could really fuck things up this way.’” They decided to go for it. The pair signed with Dangerbird Records, but after what Giovanni describes as “ringers and problems” with the label, they have since been completely DIY. “The label before we went independent actually owns our music,” he says. “I mean, it’s kind of scary to think that your music is owned for like 15 years by someone else.” Giovanni says going DIY isn’t a safe or easy transition because you need money. When the two wanted to create their latest album, Hush, (2013) they knew they had to raise the money to do it. They decided to work with Kickstarter to raise money online. They set a goal of $30,000, and were blown away when they raised $75,000. Giovanni says this money went to pay for everything, including production, merchandise and the gifts they promised fans for their donations. For two guys who weren’t even sure if they wanted to be a band, The Limousines have come full circle in discovering who they will ultimately become musically. The two continue to write music from afar, emailing back and forth and plan to continue touring in the future. NKD NKDMAG.COM
ORCHESTRA Words by TANYA TRANER Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
Manchester Orchestra hardly had time to breath until a few years ago. They toured and released new music constantly. Since 2010, however, the group has seized the opportunity to work at their own pace. We sat down with singer and guitarist Andy Hull and keyboardist Robert McDowell to discuss their brief hiatus and seamless return. NKD: For those who have never heard of your band and your music, give us a general history. Andy Hull: We met and started out playing in bands in high school and started touring in 2005. I took off my senior year of high school and from there we were playing 250 shows a year for four or five years straight. We’ve been really lucky to have a fan base that stays with you and really has been invested in the whole career of the band rather than a song or an album. How did you handle 250 shows a year financially? How did it affect your families? AH: We were lucky because we didn’t have families back then, and we had a lot more energy. A lot of us were living in the same house. We didn’t have a ton of financial commitment. We just made it work. We’ve recently taken two years off touring and it will be three years between records. We all went a little bit crazy and we knew it was time to take a break. I was just not appreciating what was happening. It was so normal that people were coming to shows. I didn’t lose touch with reality in a human people-to-people way, but I lost the touch of reality of how grateful I should have been. Robert McDowell: It was like watching the grass grow and not ever standing back from it.
make sure I had something to write about instead of just writing about something to meet a deadline. So we had a sort of mission statement, to create a super powerful, immediate rock record that is to-the-point, huge and something that is not really happening right now. The record is how we have evolved into a band. We’re a lot louder and faster and more aggressive live than we are on record, so we wanted to make a record that brought those things together. Why have your live shows been more aggressive? AH: Because it’s more fun. RM: You start to play off the energy of the crowd. We were striving to do that, it’s really hard to capture that energy in recording because you don’t have the crowd. With the energy of the crowd comes sloppiness because you’re excited. You’re focusing more on everything that’s going on than playing perfectly. AH: We truly did this record ourselves, and we did it without a record label telling us what to do. We paid for this whole record ourselves. We gutted out the house we lived in and renovated it into a huge studio and merch place. We just made the record that we wanted to make and it took us a really long time because we wanted it to be perfect.
What finally brought you back from that? AH: Taking the time off. Walking away. We took three months off and after that we played a small club show, and after the first song, we all kind of looked around and it was like, “Oh yeah, we’re like, good at this. This is our talent.”
How are the fans receiving the new music on this tour? AH: We are only playing two new songs live right now. We had to take a break, but then you worry whether as many of them will be around. Are they outgrowing the band? But we’ve just been blown away. RM: This is better than any other tours when we had an actual record we were touring on. AH: I think people appreciate us more since we went on hiatus. People come see our band five, six, seven times, and they’re like, “Why would we pass up an eighth time?” And that’s why we’re really lucky. Our last record, some people didn’t even really like as much as previous records but nobody’s leaving because it wasn’t their favorite.
Let’s talk about this tour and your latest record. AH: We took this time to figure out what kind of record we wanted to make next. We’re fortunate to have three records and absolutely no regret. I feel positive about our catalogue so far, so we wanted to make sure that what we did next would be worth it. I wanted to
critics have praised your older records. How did you take that in creating Simple Math (2011) as well as your upcoming project? AH: I was probably looking at the reviews that weren’t as good and getting mad about those. You tend to ignore wonderful things, and you focus on these meaningless, negative things instead. You’d hope that it
wouldn’t be the other way around. We are such tough critics on ourselves that we just have to make something that in our minds is perfect. Do you take outside criticism into consideration? AH: There’s a little bit of, “If the worst criticism is something that stings you, there’s probably a little bit of truth in it.” Then there’s the criticism where you just tell someone to piss off because you know it’s not true. RM: You can do what we did and only see the bad in something, or go the opposite and only see the good and have smoke blown up your ass. Taking a break is what allowed us to come back and be like, “Ok, let’s make a record that we have always set out to make.” AH: Let’s just try to make an honest record, a record that you’re not making for anybody else. Something that you know is right, is true to you. Not ever having to feel like I wish I wouldn’t have folded to a label’s request. RM: It’s scary because if they don’t like it, it means they don’t like us. AH: Our last record wasn’t the obvious next step that a band should make, but it felt completely honest and true to do it. And so we did it. Why wasn’t Simple Math the obvious next step? AH: From a commercial standpoint. People thought we would release more of the same, something fast and catchy. Simple Math is more of this wavy, dreamy, orchestral thing. Nothing on the record repeats. There’s
never even a repeating chorus. RM: It doesn’t really work on radio. It’s an investment record. AH: It’s a concept record. It’s something I am really proud to have in a catalogue. Considering the commercial success of your previous albums, why didn’t you want to continue down the same path when you wrote Simple Math? AH: I did. I certainly wasn’t trying to write a notcatchy record. I was just trying to write the best, coolest, smartest most beautiful record I could. I wanted it to have those little intricacies that our other records don’t have. The hard part was when people were like, “You know, there’s not really a total single like your last record.” It was like, “Hmm I guess you’re right, I didn’t really think about that.” What would you say you stand for if you are writing honest music? What is honest to you? AH: Just being a kind person to one another. Thinking about self-improvement. I believe in trying to be better by treating people better, striving to contribute positively to life rather than taking away from it. RM: For us what’s true about this record is what’s true about our live show. We kept trying to capture that, and that’s why on this record we finally feel like it’s honest and represents us. It’s what we are live. It’s abrasive. It’s dynamic. It’s fast. It’s loud. But it’s all done in a way that isn’t just knocking your head off. It’s tolerable. NKD
LITTLEBOMBS Words by ALEX LANE Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
Pulling from ’90s heavy-hitters like the Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr. and the Pixies, the gents of New York City’s Little Bombs are creating music that is refreshingly familiar. If you are anything like me, listening to music from the early/mid-’90s puts you right back in the back seat of your parent’s car as a kid. Singing along to the mumbling of one of the many grunge-gods of the era, the whole world was right outside, and the possibilities were endless. The music had meaning, and every song had a message. For many millenials, Little Bombs will sound like a ’90s childhood, except now, for 20-somethings, the lyrics will resonate. Kieren Smith, 25, the band’s frontman and guitarist, started Little Bombs in late 2010 as a bedroom project. He released Little Bombs’ first self-titled album later that year, and then sat on the project for over a year. “There was pretty much a whole year of nothing in between that. I wasn’t really doing music, I wasn’t really writing,” Kieren says. During that time, he says, “I wasn’t even sure I really wanted to do music anymore. I was sort of in this weird, kind of dead zone artistically.” To get out of that space, he took the year to work on other endeavors and projects, and when he started writing again in the fall of 2012, he found himself unencumbered by the creative boundaries he felt before. “I was kind of writing with no care, no intention, no boundary kind of thing,” he says. “I was just writing to write. The stuff that came out, I thought was kind of cool. It reminded me of the stuff that I had written before I was in music. Kind of the stuff I was in my bedroom with when I was younger, without other people criticizing or giving input, or whatnot, saying how it needs to be more of this or that. It was really refreshing.” It wasn’t until 2012 that Kieren hooked up with drummer and vocalist Henry Colle, and bassist Nick Cantatore. Kieren met the guys through mutual friends and found that they were good musical matches for the project. After pulling Henry and Nick into the project, the guys took to putting together new material for the band. By March of 2013 Kieren, Henry and Nick had 40 songs to work with, and were ready to get to work on their new album. They found Vancouver-based producer Jesse Gander, (Japandroids, White Lung) who seemed to be a good fit for the guys. “I kind of talked to him for a while and told him what I wanted to do, and he totally got it right away. He hooked us up with a deal because he knows we are an unsigned, independent group,” Kieren says. Gander and the guys met up in late March/early April
at a studio in Coney Island and recorded 13 tracks in about a week. After he left, Kieren says, “I was kind of sitting there like, ‘What am I going to do with all these songs?’ You know? The band had just kind of resurfaced with the new members, and the new sound and new identity. I didn’t really want to put it out right away.” So they didn’t. Instead they released an EP that Kieren had recorded himself in May of 2013 called Subway Rat Bite. They reintroduced the band based on that EP, and began playing shows around the New York City area. Then in October, they released Strange, a digital 10-inch that is more indicative of the newer Little Bombs sound. Their new album, which is yet to be titled, will be released early this year. The new release will share some of the same fundamentals as previous material, but with a new edgier twist. The album artwork, which Kieren says is a critical part to the artistic package, will be from Chris Parks, the same illustrator who did the cover art for Subway Rat Bite. “He’s the kind of guy where if I have a weird dream, or I drink too much, or I do other things that inspire creativity, I can call him and explain it and he can somehow put it on paper exactly what’s in my head. And I can’t draw for shit,” Kieren says. Kieren is hopeful that listeners will be receptive to Little Bombs’ evolved sound. Their new album will pull from the same inspirations as previous releases, but will have a darker, deeper side to it. When asked to describe the new tracks, Kieren says, “Lyrically it’s introspective, rhythmically it’s reserved as far as the pace goes… and melodically and sonically, I would have to say, it’s… gloomy…For me personally, I wrote it from a very personal place…it’s not easy listening by any means.” Kieren likes the idea of this album being a go-to for young adults who are struggling with the stage of life they are at. He is hopeful that for listeners who are post-college but pre-family, and “not knowing what the fuck you are doing with your life right now, that you can maybe find something in it.” Many of the tracks were written from a personal place, and reflect a lot on the society that Kieren, Nick and Henry have grown up in. “Us millenials and Gen Y people have a lot of problems and a lot of tools,” he says. “We have the financial and intellectual tools to be very successful, but we lack emotionally and we lack the guts, wherewithal and reality. Our generation is very, very smart, but almost too smart. [This album] is all about what’s going on with me and my peers right now.” After the release of the new album early this year, the guys will head to SXSW and do some regional touring. They are excited about the potential of the band, but Kieren says they are just going “see what happens.” NKD NKDMAG.COM
best tv shows o 13. MELISSA & JOEY
Two of the ‘90s biggest stars (Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence) have come together for an asbolutely hysterical family comedy revolving around Mel, a her manny. Watch It: Wednesdays @ 8PM on ABC Family
12. THE VOICE
With so many singing shows differentiate, but The Voice stands out. If the extremely talented contestants weren’t enough, the ever-entertaining panel of judges makes this show worth watching every week. Watch It: Mondays @ 8PM on NBC
11. THE CARRIE DIARIES
Before there was sex and before there was the city, there was suburban-bred Carrie Bradshaw trying to balance her high school career with her budding journalism career. A must watch for all teenage girls, basically. Watch It: Fridays @ 8PM on The CW
10. GREY’S ANATOMY
Grey’s Anatomy is on it’s 10th season and still leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. While this Meredith and Christina drama is driving us nuts, it’s hard to give up on characters we’ve known for so long. Watch It: Thursdays @ 9PM on ABC 24
9. THE OFFICE
2013 saw the end of one of the best comedies to ever grace television. Though the later seasons weren’t as funny as the earlier episodes, it was always enwas everything a diehard fan could have wanted.
The murder-mystery drama revolving around a group of teenagers will have you on the edge of your seat every week. Avan Jogia, who prior to Twisted was only seen in comedic roles, shines as Danny Desai, a child murderer who’s now just a little misunderstood. Watch It: Tuesdays @ 9PM on ABC Family
7. PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
Based on the books of the same title, Pretty Little Liars is addicting and nailbiting. Don’t look at Twitter while a new episode is airing or it will be spoiled for you instantly. Watch It: Tuesdays @ 8PM on ABC Family
6. THE FOSTERS The Jennifer Lopez produced drama about a group of foster kids living with their gay, bi-racial mothers tackles not only gay rights and racial prejudice, but gives an interesting look into the lives of foster children in America. Watch It: Mondays @ 9PM on ABC Family
of 2013 5. MODERN FAMILY
Let’s just say there’s a reason this show wins the Emmy for “Best Comedy” every year. It’s as relatable as it is ridiculous, and you can’t help comparing the characters to your own family. Watch It: Wednesdays @ 9PM on ABC
If you like country music, you’ll love Nashville. If you don’t, you’ll still love Nashville. The city-centered drama gives an inside look into just how corrupt the music industry and city politics can be. They also have really great cliffhangers. Watch It: Wednesdays @ 10PM on ABC
3. THE MINDY PROJECT
Move over New Girl, there’s a new female comedy on your channel and it’s awesome. Mindy Kaling is a comedic genius as Mindy Lahiri, an New York gynocologist who lives her life like it’s a romantic comedy. Watch It: Tuesdays @ 9PM on FOX
1. BREAKING BAD
While most shows fall off by the last season, Breaking Bad is the exception. The last eight episodes of the AMC drama were more exciting, interesting and mind ers laughed, cried and cheered as Walter White and knowing the ending of all their beloved characters. While the spin-off, Better Call Saul, will be entertaining and full of laughs, nothing will ever fully replace Breaking Bad Drama this summer, but he really needs an award that says “Best Thing To Ever Happen To Television.”
Without a doubt the most underrated show on television right now, Parenthood is a simple and honest portrayal of family. With an all-star cast and relatable storylines, it’s a mystery why everyone isn’t watching this show every week. Watch It: Thursdays @ 10PM on NBC
FALL OUT BOY Dec. 2, Mid Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
P!NK Dec. 11, Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.)
TRAVIE MCCOY Dec. 13, Hammerstein Ballroom (New York, N.Y.)
DALLAS SMITH Words by SUSAN CHENG Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
Believe it or not, Dallas Smith suffered from stage fright at one point. Until he was about 20 years old, the Canadian country singer shied away from the microphone. Now Dallas is on tour with Florida Georgia Line, performing sold-out shows and promoting his 2012 country album debut, Jumped Right In. Dallas, who actually started off in a rock band, has made many bold moves to get where he is today — the first of which was getting up and singing in a front of a crowd. Dallas was born in New Westminster, British Columbia. He grew up in a musical household with a guitarist father, who played a lot of classic rock, and a vocalist mother who sang in a professional choir, Sweet Adelines International. Until he was about 5 or 6, Dallas could usually be found singing along to his parents’ tunes. “My mom told me when I was 5 or 6 years old…I got really shy at that point, and I stopped singing,” Dallas says. “I’d sing in the car, and I’d sing wherever anybody couldn’t hear me…I thought I was decent at singing, but I was singing to no one. Who doesn’t think they’re good?” As he got older, Dallas developed a taste for rock music, which had become popular in Seattle, a city not far from him. By his 20s, Dallas was spending a lot of time around his friends, who were in a band. While they performed, Dallas only wished he could do the same. “Finally, I got enough courage just to get up on a Friday night in the garage and sing a couple songs,” Dallas says. Three months later, Dallas and his friends teamed up to write their own songs and create a demo tape, which music producer Joey Moi then took to the frontman of Nickelback. From then on, Dallas catapulted right into his music career. “Within a year, we had a U.S. record deal, so it’s been pretty bizarre,” he says. “And a year and a half after that, we had sold a million records with that band down here, toured all over the world.” Touring with Nickelback forced Dallas to overcome his stage fright almost immediately. “My first time on stage was pretty nerve-racking. I smoked at the time, so I smoked the whole time, and I hid behind the mics and I was very, very nervous,” he says. Dallas recalls his first time performing at a venue in Vancouver. “I think my second or third show was opening up for Nickelback in Commodore Ballroom, which was like 1,000 people, and that was my second time ever on stage, so I was forced to be comfortable, no easing into it,” he says. Dallas also went on to perform in places like Australia, Europe, Japan and even military bases in Afghanistan. He refers to a joke he likes to crack on stage about one of his first songs. “That one song, ‘Wasting my Time’ was kind of my ticket to drinking free beer around the world. Good way to spend your 20s.” It was around this time country music started developing more of an edge and becoming more guitar-driven. “I really
started gravitating toward what was going on [in country music],” Dallas says, specifically mentioning Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts as the first two country artists he started loving. He and Moi would rave about the exciting new country music scene whenever Dallas wasn’t touring. “We’d be at parties, we’d be at get-togethers, having drinks and talking about how exciting country music is and how much we’d really love to do a record,” Dallas says. That’s when Dallas realized he was no longer satisfied with just making rock albums. “I just kind of came to that point, where I wasn’t happy with what I was doing anymore,” he says. Dallas and Moi headed to Nashville, where Dallas learned to refine lyrics and develop hooks from other talented songwriters. Whereas Dallas used to build off guitar-riffs to develop a rock song and save the melodies and lyrics for last, country music required him to do the reverse and work on his songwriting first. “It’s completely flipped from how I’d done things with a rock band,” he says. Dallas sees himself as a performer who brings rock and country together. “I like to present myself as sort of that rock-edge [artist] with country. I kind of bridged that gap,” he says. “I keep it pretty guitar-driven so it’s not a huge giant leap. It’s kind of a blend of what I grew up with, classic rock and country.” On the other hand, making the switch from rock to country music was still something of a bold move for Dallas. “My family and friends saw it coming. They knew what I wanted to do,” Dallas says. “But I think it was a lot more out of left field for people who didn’t know me personally.” Dallas had heard stories about the public not liking artists switching into different genres. “‘Is this going to work? Is this not going to work? Is this door going to be shut on me? Is this going to have a chance?’” Dallas recounts some of his thoughts during the initial days of his country music career. However daunting the switch may have seemed to him, Dallas never lost faith in his talent. “I was just a firm believer [that] if I just put a record together of great songs, it hopefully would transcend…[people’s] preconceptions,” Dallas says. “I believed in the songs enough, that they would do ok.” And they did. “Somebody Somewhere,” the first single off Jumped Right In, was a hit on many Canadian charts, and his album received five Canadian Country Music Association Award nominations and a Juno Award nomination. Dallas is satisfied with the way his career has taken shape. “I’ve been in every situation, whether it be acoustic or electric stuff, or new crowds, or any sort of venue. I’ve been through all of that stuff,” he says. “You know how you say, ‘I wish I could go back to high school and relive that,’ sort of thing? It’s kind of like that, where I can reset, be comfortable in any environment, believe in myself, believe in what I’m doing, believe in my ability and just go out there with a fresh new audience and sort of redo it. I’m having more fun on stage than I ever have, to be honest.” NKD NKDMAG.COM
jodi good Words by JACKIE BUI Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
Singer-songwriter Jodi Good is a self-proclaimed introvert. She claims this quality has helped her become a songwriter, but she wasn’t always like that. Until she was 4 years old, the now 23-year-old was a really brave kid. “I was wild,” she says. Then, at 4, she fell off her tricycle and broke her arm in what doctors said was one of the worst breaks the hospital had ever seen. “That kind of shook my whole world,” she says, “and that was 19 years ago. It really shook me and I became much more timid and introverted. I had a lot more fears, but all of the fears allowed me to be more in my head and analyze things and that’s how I did a lot of my writing. I spent a lot of life learning and observing rather than participating.”
When Jodi was growing up, she felt very different from everyone around her. “Middle school was rough,” she says. “I grew up in an area where everyone is the same.” High school wasn’t any easier for Jodi, who transferred into a performing arts high school after two years. “I was painfully self-conscious,” she says. “I was like, ‘I know there has to be another place that exists where I won’t feel this way.’” Jodi’s opinion about school changed when she switched into her new school. “Everyone was just themselves and happy to be themselves and happy that we were all different,” she says. “It was such a wake-up call that other life existed out of the small bubble that I grew up in.” Jodi says that it wasn’t until she switched schools that she felt like she was truly living. “I kind of started living when I was 17 and everything else [before that], I was just breathing,” she says. Jodi found meaning being surrounded by like-minded peers and in the classes she took, which included creative writing and poetry. “That’s really what I loved,” she says. “Singing is kind of what I was born knowing to do, but the writing aspect really excites me.” After graduating from high school, Jodi attended Berklee College of Music. “That boosted my confidence that maybe I could sing and it wasn’t just in my head,” she says. “But going to Berklee, I knew I wasn’t going to graduate.” Jodi took many songwriting classes, but left after two years. “It wasn’t the academics, it was all my insecurities and the way I view life,” she says of the reasons she left. “Why spend $40,000 a year when I’m never going to use that. As a musician, you come in with your own style, your own sense of music and you get what you need from Berklee. But when they try to teach you general education, you’re like, ‘I don’t need that.” Being in Boston at Berklee, however, taught Jodi a lot. She was able to immerse herself in what she refers to as a supportive artist environment. At Berklee, she received feedback from peers, which helped her grow, both as an artist and as a person. She was also away from home for the first time in her life. “It was just more of a huge growing step and spreading my wings creatively,” she says. After Berklee, Jodi attended beauty school and left that after two months when she realized she wanted to sing full time. She is now in New York City pursuing singing and songwriting, “I am trying that
singer-songwriter thing. Thank God I have supportive parents,” she jokes. At the time of our interview, Jodi is gearing up to have her video for her song “Definitely Different” played at Macy’s, Tilly’s, Journey’s and Nordstrom. The idea behind her song was that you don’t have to have the ideal of what beauty is to be recognized. “I always wanted to be in a beauty pageant, but I knew that I could never win one,” Jodi says. In the video she is in a beauty pageant, but instead of winning, she is given a sash that says “different.” “You don’t need to have classic beauty to be a great person,” she says. “You can have a unique way of looking at life and a great personality. People should embrace their differences and not think there’s only one way to success or what beauty means.” Most of Jodi’s fans are between ages 14 and 17. “That was a huge time for me growing up,” Jodi says. “I think it’s a very important time to have someone to speak to and hear from someone who is a little older.” Jodi remembers listening to P!nk’s Missundaztood (2001) and Christina Aguilera’s Stripped (2002) when she was around that age. “They were my saving grace. I used to listen to those albums and think, ‘There’s hope for me,’” she says. “[Those songs] just gave me assurance.” Jodi has a lot of goals for her career, but what it comes down to is being able to write lyrics that people can connect to. Jodi wants to have a song that people will remember in decades to come. “I want to have a song that makes it, in a sense that it lives on,” she says. “Not just this year, but a classic song. I think those songs that transcend decades are because of lyrics and are a universal message they are sending to people.” She also aspires to be recognized by someone in the industry as having talent. “It’s one thing to hear from people you know, but if I could get someone I admire in the industry, like Linda Perry, to turn her head and be like, ‘Who wrote that song,’ that would be affirming to me.” Although Jodi considers herself both a singer and songwriter, she chooses being a songwriter over singing. “While vocally I can be a singer, I don’t have the attitude and confidence. Singers are very cutthroat, they have attitude and they want to be in front of the stage,” she says. When it comes down to it, Jodi wants to use her words to reach an audience. “I just want a platform to speak to,” she says. NKD NKDMAG.COM
Words by TARA DEVINCENZO Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
Fans know Daniel Sumstine as alternative pop solo act Hello Highway, but now, the young musician is changing his image. Daniel originally chose the stage name so fans could avoid the difficulty of pronouncing his last name, and because it mirrors what he has accomplished as a musician. “It basically just represents the mindset of not letting anything hold you back from doing what you love doing,” Daniel says. Now he’s changing his stage name to Daniel Adams — a name that makes it clear he’s a solo act. In the video for his song “Hope In Tomorrow,” which was released in July, he’s on a cliff by the beach playing piano, but his first instrument was the drums. As a freshman in high school, Daniel started playing in garage bands with his friends and though he enjoyed the music, he didn’t see it as becoming a career right away. He was a fan of the bands like Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World, but it was going to Warped Tour when he was 15 that was his “eye opening experience” into music. After that, he started going to more shows. He saw Philadelphia-based band The Starting Line play in his hometown of San Diego and knew he has found his calling. “That was my moment of, ‘I want to be doing that,’” he says. Now 24, Daniel broke away from the garage band mentality and started working on music all his own. He followed Paradise Fears while they toured with other bands, and admired their success. “It’s been really cool to see them take off,” he says. As much as Paradise Fears were his inspiration for starting his career, they were also a segway into launching it. He used their tour to promote himself. He began by handing out his own CDs outside Gramercy Theatre in New York and later got to play alongside them on the Resolution Tour last February. “It was a rewarding feeling, it reminded me that If you work toward something, good things will happen,” Daniel says. On this tour, he played songs from Timeless, his first EP, which he released in August of 2012. A year later, he spent the month of August on his first headlining tour with artists Jocelyn and Once Upon A Time. Daniel continued performing for a few months after his tour, but kept to the same material. He had amassed a good fan base and was proud to be able to tour with his songs. His song “Heart Like A Metronome” was his first release for the EP and huge relief for Daniel. “I was very hesitant [about] whether people were go-
ing to be open to it, but it ended up being one of the most favored tracks on the record,” he says. “You never know really who’s going to like what.” His fans had been receptive to his music, but Daniel wanted to start to do more. While on the road, he continued playing the songs from his EP without working on much else. “It’s tough to write on the road,” he says. “You don’t have too much free time.” After Daniel finished touring late in November 2013, he knew he wanted to start working on new material. He wants a radio-style sound like Gavin DeGraw and Matt Kearney, but has hopes to write with artists from Nashville. “It’s a different style but I think people are gonna like it,” he says. “It’s just finally getting to the end of that album cycle where I gotta put out something new, I gotta start a new chapter. The Timeless tour was his last as Hello Highway, before he starts working under Daniel Adams. “I’m ready to move on to the next chapter, but I didn’t want it to be a sob story of a tour,” he says. He finished the tour and took the month of December to work on his next project. “I might book a cabin for myself,” he says. “Just for a couple weeks to give myself that solitude and write as much as I can.” Daniel wants to create music his fans will love, and find other fans who will like the sound. By going off the radar, he hopes to make a comeback that will be his biggest moment yet. “I’m still going to be writing music,” he says, “It’s still going to be the same me.” He’s still unsigned but the idea of signing to a label is always lingering. Daniel has done it for himself for so long, he’s not sure if he’s ready to make the sacrifice of sharing his image with anyone else. “I don’t know if that’s the route I want to take just because I’ve found success doing it independently up until now,” he says. Daniel says everything he’s written has been done primarily by himself, but he’s open to the idea of working with someone else for a new sound. With a few artists in mind and a supportive team of producers, he plans to work on a few co-written songs early this year in preparation for a summer album. “I feel like what I can bring to the table and what I’ve heard them produce, we can take the best of both worlds,” he says. For Daniel, this year is about making Daniel Adams just as successful as Hello Highway and working hard for a bigger tour. “My biggest fear is making sure people don’t forget about me,” he says. “I hope that all those fans who were there when I started Hello Highway will be there for the new stuff.” NKD NKDMAG.COM
13. BANGERZ MILEY CYRUS
9. THE ONES YOU MEET ALONG THE WAY
Standout Track: “Maybe You’re Right”
Standout Track: “Too Good”
12. WITH LOVE
and set the tone for all of
before wowing the Internet Standout Track: “I Love You Will Still Sound The Same”
It was legen - wait for itdary. Standout Track: “Rescue”
11. BATTLE SCARS
7. FRAME BY FRAME
After spending nearly two The Voice, and her star potenlisten. Standout Track: “Used”
Standout Track: “11”
10. DANIELLE BRADBERY
DANIELLE BRADBERY After winning The Voice, Danielle Bradbery proved she was
Standout Track: “Dance Hall” 38
6. THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE, PT. 1 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE After six years of not re-
Standout Track: “Blue Ocean Floor”
5. DAMAGE JIMMY EAT WORLD -
to write a bad song, and Damage is
three years before their Standout Track: “Please Say No”
4. NATIVE Native
1. JOURNALS JUSTIN BIEBER
song to the next. Standout Track: “I Lived”
Believe with Journals.
3. THE 1975
plan with a new song released every Monday. On Journals. The songs
to take the band to new his pants... Standout Track: “Rollercoaster”
Standout Track: “Girls”
2. SAVE ROCK & ROLL FALL OUT BOY
Standout Track: “Alone Together” NKDMAG.COM
KENDALL SCHMIDT Words by STACY MAGALLON Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
I’m watching Kendall Schmidt microwave a plate of chicken wings on his tour bus. It’s just past 11 p.m. one night in late July. Exhaustion is hitting me hard, but Kendall’s distinct, raspy speaking voice is keeping me awake. The actor, singer and one-fourth of Nickelodeon group Big Time Rush is settling down after his set on the Big Time Summer Break Tour. Outside the confines of the tour bus, I can hear the distant shrieks of fans lining up behind barricades in the venue parking lot, hoping to catch a glimpse of the boy band member. Kendall, on the other hand, is calm. He’s no longer dressed in his on-stage ensemble, instead he wears a pair of dark skinny jeans and a navy T-shirt. It’s a refreshing contrast. He was, after all, performing intensely choreographed dance numbers under beaming neon lights an hour earlier. The contrast doesn’t stop at his attire either. Kendall’s slow, patient paces are nowhere near synchronized with the noise outside. It’s clear that these fans want his attention, but after singing his heart out on stage for 90 minutes at the Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, Kendall has one thing on his mind — he’s hungry. Last night, the fourth season finale of Kendall’s television show, Big Time Rush, aired on Nickelodeon with no word on a fifth season. On top of that, the tour, currently halfway through it’s route in North America, is slowly coming to an end. So the question arose — what was his next move? Fortunately for Kendall, his first musical project, an unsigned alternative-dance rock venture called Heffron Drive was aching to make an appearance outside of the free .mp3 downloads available online. The microwave timer hits zero. A strong, barbecue aroma escapes from the microwave. “There will definitely be plans for Heffron Drive in the future,” Kendall says before he sits down across from me. “I’ve already drawn out an image in my head.” Fast forward to December 2013. Today, Kendall’s image for Heffron Drive is no longer a daydream. The marquee outside Webster Hall reads: “Heffron Drive at The Marlin Room” in black letters. The temperature is fluctuating between 30 and 40 degrees on the Lower East Side of New York City. It’s only a little past noon, but there are already teenage girls shivering in a single-file line, waiting for doors to open at 6 p.m. Kendall and I sit on a leather couch by the bar inside The Marlin Room. He’s watching the production crew hustle around the venue — they’re preparing to film the show in a few hours. The room is quiet, except for the warning signal to cover our ears before a quick sound check. “There are so many lights for such a small room,” Kendall says softly as his wide, yellowish-green eyes observe the ceiling lined with light bulbs radiating a golden glimmer. “It’s pretty unbelievable.” Kendall looks exceptionally dapper today. His outfit is clean-cut — a white shirt paired with a black blazer, gray 42
jeans cuffed at his ankles and black loafers to match. After 30 days of No Shave November, Kendall’s face is also freshly shaven. When I point out the nice change of style, he explains part of the reasoning behind it. “Did you know switching things up is good for your brain activity?” he asks me, smiling. “I researched it. It’s true.” Well, if we’re on the topic of switching things up, in comparison to his career, the facial hair is minimal. After rumors of Big Time Rush’s potential break-up surfaced on the Internet, there was a particular buzz around Kendall, who seemed to be the only one of the four who had a plan to fall back on. It’s been about five months since Kendall and I last discussed Heffron Drive, and in the course of those five months, his priorities have changed. There’s something fascinating about watching a member of a music group take flight on their own. They either crumble or crush the game. Big Time Rush is not at all over, but Kendall refused to waste time, and insisted on finding his way back to his roots. There’s a loud thud in another corner of the room. “They’re setting up a huge camera crane over there,” Kendall says, gesturing to the group of men and women dressed in black. He falls back into his seat before asking, “What did I get myself into?” Kendall Schmidt was born and raised in Wichita, Kan. By the time he was born, his two brothers, Kenneth and Kevin, were already swimming in the shallow end of the entertainment pool, booking small roles in commercials. Kendall, the youngest of the three, got pulled in and booked his first commercial at age 5. As a child, acting was never his full-time job. It was more of a “paid hobby” if he booked a part. When Kendall turned 10, he and his family moved to California. Over time, he landed guest appearances on shows like Frasier, Phil of the Future, Ghost Whisperer and Without A Trace. From early on in his career, Kendall was determined to be a part of something stable and successful enough to keep him on his toes — something that would make an acting career easier as he became an adult. “Fortunately, when I was deciding what the hell I was going to do, I booked Big Time Rush,” he says. “Divine timing, I guess.” When Kendall was asked to audition for the new Nickelodeon project that would soon change his life, he was discouraged from the get-go. After auditioning for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway, he didn’t consider musical auditions after “totally choking” at one of his final callbacks. “I was miserable about it and never wanted to do anything like that again,” he says. Kendall said he would audition for Big Time Rush as long as he could bring his acoustic guitar. The casting directors agreed. He booked the part and Kendall Knight became Kendall Schmidt’s television persona for four years. Big Time Rush, which focuses on the escapades of four hockey players from Minnesota who leave the Midwest to NKDMAG.COM
pursue a career as a singing group, became an instant hit on the network. It was writer and producer Scott Fellows who helped Kendall become comfortable with the project. Fellows, who easily pinned his new lead actor as a rock ‘n’ roll kind of guy, made sure Kendall was ok with handling a job that was a 180-degree turn from the comfort zone of his favorite bands, Incubus and Taking Back Sunday. “I just wanted to make music I could feel proud of and not feel weird singing,” he says. Fellows wanted to create a successful musical comedy. Kendall didn’t want to be embarrassed by the music. When those goals came together, it resulted in over three million viewers tuning into the series’ pilot, “Big Time Audition,” in November of 2009. The first official episode, which debuted in January of 2010, raked in nearly seven million viewers. It was Nickelodeon’s highest-rated live-action series debut. When I dispute that there have been a few Big Time Rush songs that might have been potentially embarrassing to be sung by a 19-year-old, Kendall scrunches his nose and pauses to think. “The melodies are still good though, right?” he asks. I agree. “’Call Me Maybe’ is catchy but I don’t like the subject matter. ‘Friday’ is also catchy, but annoying as hell,” he says. Nickelodeon was fortunate when casting their four lead characters. James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson — all of whom Kendall describes as “incredibly determined” — are good at shying away from the scandals common in the entertainment industry. “The network found people who didn’t want to be caught dating some random person or knocking somebody up,” he says of his band mates. The same can be said for Kendall who believes good presentation is essential for success. His fan base is a fusion of young and old Big Time Rush fans, but his attitude and behavior are not defined by his following. “I don’t really have the urge to say ‘Put your fucking hands in the air,’ whenever I’m on stage,” he says. “I might say that in my own personal time, but it’s not appropriate with music.” We decide his artistry can speak for itself. Aside from exhibiting his craft, Kendall also has way of displaying himself to people, and it doesn’t involve foolish antics on his part. “But at the end of the day I can say whatever the hell I want,” he says, placing a dramatic emphasis on “hell,” and grinning. After three albums under Columbia Records — BTR (2010), Elevate (2011), 24/Seven (2013) — and four seasons on air, the members of Big Time Rush have time to explore other artistic endeavors. This transition is a remarkable turning point in Kendall’s life — from major American boy band to a creation that is strictly his; from selling out 17,000-ca46
pacity amphitheaters like Nikon at Jones Beach Theater to a 500-capacity venue like The Marlin Room. It is, however, endearing to know Kendall is a little nervous to be performing in front of such an intimate audience, and to have his every move recorded. “I feel like I’m supposed to feed into a camera whenever I see one on,” he says, distorting his mouth and wiggling his eyebrows. “It’s kind of scary because you tend to second guess your own natural movements.” Though for Kendall, being caught in between two separate projects was a natural move he never second-guessed. Kendall and Heffron Drive band mate Dustin Belt met by chance at a Hollywood function. After learning they were both born at the same hospital in Wichita, they soon realized they also lived on the same street in Burbank, Calif. That street, they decided, would be the perfect musical moniker for their duo. They began writing and recording music under Heffron Drive in 2008, and posted their material on Myspace. Their songs quickly gained thousands of plays on the social networking site. But once Kendall’s time was mostly devoted to filming episodes of Big Time Rush, the duo had to be put on hold. Heffron Drive is no longer on pause. Kendall pressed play when he and Dustin announced their month-long U.S. tour on Twitter in October. The tour, comparatively different from Big Time Rush’s tours in size, is also different in terms of creative control. “It’s like running my own show,” he says of the difference. “Being the executive who makes all the final decisions is the most beautiful aspect of it all.” Kendall’s success in Big Time Rush may also be considered a blessing for Heffron Drive. He is taking full advantage of the relationships he’s built with his favorite producers, who have been keen on working with the project since talk of Heffron Drive began. “I haven’t had one problem getting a writing session set up because they’re excited about it,” he says. Most artists release new music then tour to promote an album or EP. Kendall’s approach to the Heffron Drive Winter Tour was the opposite. Due to a contractual obligation with Columbia Records, Kendall cannot legally release music under Heffron Drive just yet. “I could even get these songs on the radio before I’m allowed to sell it,” he says. “But this tour seemed like the best way to get music out there, knowing I can’t physically sell it.” Tonight, Heffron Drive’s set list consists of the material posted on their Myspace page, three new songs, a cover of Avicii’s “Don’t Wake Me Up” and the first song Kendall ever wrote. “It’s frustrating,” he says of the situation. “But this room is going to be packed tonight and there’s no music available. If I were a record label, I would be jumping to sign this band.” It’s all a matter
of time before his new songs, “Feels So Good,” “One Track Mind” and “The Art of Moving On,” are available for sale. The songs already exist in recorded .mp3 form for future release, but Kendall has dealt with his music being leaked on a number of occasions. “Hopefully fans don’t think it’s fun to hack somebody’s email,” he says. It may appear that Kendall is solely focused on music, but he hasn’t compromised his love of acting for his music career. Keeping his concentration on one thing is just easier for him. He’s also still working with Big Time Rush — after the Heffron Drive tour wraps up in late December, Big Time Rush have plans for a tour in early 2014. For now, he’s aiming to make sure Heffron Drive’s music appeals to all. Kendall’s current demographic, primarily composed of females, has never been an issue. Unless you count the craziness, then that may be up for debate. Whether it’s a clever social networking handle that incorporates his name, or following his tour up and down a coast, girls clearly adore him. Some of them lack a filter when it comes to making sexual remarks on Twitter. “It’s not like I walk around in my undies,” Kendall says, laughing. “If I wanted girls to sexually objectify me, I’d hope it’s because they think I’m a cool guy to hang out with.” That comes with being a member of a well-known boy band, but Kendall doesn’t mind. He’s more set on finding people who like his music. “I think it’s
amazing and beneficial to start off with a fan base that’s dedicated right off the bat,” Kendall says. “But I would love to see a person who doesn’t like Big Time Rush, know Big Time Rush or know Heffron Drive, hear a song and get really into it.” Kendall is running a little late. In half an hour he has to be at Planet Hollywood in Times Square to debut Heffron Drive for various media outlets. Three years ago, Big Time Rush made their first public appearance at Planet Hollywood too. Today, Kendall is standing alone. Later that night, I watch Kendall, Dustin and their backing band take the stage to Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Their dark silhouettes approach the fog and indigo-violet light, and they position themselves for the first beat of their opening song, “Better Get to Movin’.” The introduction music fades and the room falls into an abrupt darkness. Girls in the front row are relentless, already screaming and shaking against the barricade in front of them. It brought me back to a moment in our conversation a few hours ago. “I would prefer to be successful for the music than for anything else,” Kendall says, looking me straight in the eyes. “If that can’t be done, then I probably don’t want to do it.” On top of being able to say whatever the hell he wants, it seems to me that Kendall can do whatever the hell he wants too. And he can be damn good at it. NKD NKDMAG.COM
Q&A If you were to give yourself a high school stereotype with a personal twist, how would you categorize yourself? Professional procrastinator who still graduated with A’s. Are there characteristics of your childhood personality that you still have? My friendliness, I suppose. Maybe some of my picky eating habits. Strangest place you’ve woken up in? A villa in Bali. It made me definitely step back and realize how far away from home I was. What life lesson did you have to learn the hard way? Every relationship that goes by makes me learn more about myself. Sometimes in order to really know what you want, you have to learn in real life. What is one memory that never fails to make you laugh? A tour accountant of mine farting out loud in the airport. I think it slipped out.
At the end of your life, other than your craft, how would you like to be remembered? As a respectful, kind, caring, adventurous and coolheaded man who helped as many people along the way as he could. What didn’t you accomplish in 2013 that you’d like to accomplish in 2014? Getting in better shape. Being skinny is fine and all, but I would like to get more shapely in general. If calories didn’t exist, what would you eat non-stop? Mac n’ cheese with chicken and bacon. If you could create one law that everyone had to abide by, what would it be? The Super Rich (the .0001 percent) are required to donate a large amount of money to preserve the environment and natural resources every year. If you were in a witness protection program, what would your alias be? The Octagon.
kiss 108 jingle ball
The biggest names in music took the stage at the TD Garden in Boston on Dec. 14 for Kiss 108â€™s annual Jingle Ball Concert. The line-up included Selena Gomez, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Robin Thicke, Fifth Harmony, Flo Rida and Enrique Iglesias. Miley Cyrus was scheduled to make an appearance but got stuck in New York due to a blizzard. Regardless, and was a fantastic end to 2013. More photos on www.nkdmag.com Photos by Catherine Powell
top movies of 2 9. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
13. THE TO DO LIST
An underrated comedy with an allstar cast, The To Do List is a must see about a recent high school graduate (Aubrey Plaza) trying to gather as much sexual experience as she can before she leaves for college in the fall. Watch It: On DVD
Disney’s prequel to Monsters Inc. was even funnier than the original. Monsters University follows young Mike and Sulley as they compete in The Scare Games to keep themselves from getting kicked out of college. Watch It: On DVD
12. WE’RE THE MILLERS
8. THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper come together for an amazing, three part movie that shows just how small the world really is. The plot is deep and some scenes are
Emma Roberts, Will Poulter) pose as a family to pull off a drug heist and it’s absolutely hysterical. Watch It: On DVD
Watch It: On DVD
is beautifully shot and Ryan Gosling rides a motorcycle.
11. THE GREAT GATSBY
7. CATCHING FIRE
ions was exactly what this classic story needed to bring it a new life.
the book. Though there are some elements missing, the overall plot is the same
The follow up to 2012’s The Hunger Games will
The over-the-top world that Baz Luhrmann created for
an extremely convincing Katniss Everdeen. Watch It: On DVD
Watch It: In Theaters Now
10. THE WAY, WAY BACK
6. SPRING BREAKERS
Spring Breakers got a lot a lot of attention due to its young, Disney-bred cast, but the movie itself is a genius exploration of youth culture. Selena Gomez
This summer blockbuster is a simple and uplifting into adulthood and learning to stand up for himself with the help of a waterpark lifeguard. Watch It: On DVD 52
and you almost forget about her wizard background. Watch It: On DVD
5. AMERICAN HUSTLE
First of all, this cast is a industry’s most talented actors came together for a fun, witty drama taking place in the 1970s. It’s an Academy Awards favorite and is sure to score some Oscars. Watch It: In Theaters Now
4. THE KINGS OF SUMMER
One of this summer’s most The Kings of Summer, ties of being a teenage boy in a unique way. When three friends escape to the woods to live off the land the stakes are high and hilarious. Watch It: On DVD
3. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Matthew McConaughey lost over 50 pounds to play the part of an AIDS-stricken cowboy, and his dedication makes the role even more convincing. Dallas Buyers Club is inspiring, heartbreaking and uplifting.
1. DESPICABLE ME 2 While the original was truly hysterical, the team behind the sequel learned something from their first time around: the world wants more minions. The yellow, gibberish-speaking little guys are even more present in Despicable Me 2, and their antics will have you and everyone you know rolling on the floor laughing. The animated movie is filled with love, comedy and plenty of explosions to keep every viewer satisfied. Seriously, this movie never gets old. Watch It: On DVD
Watch It: In Theaters Now
2. THE SPECTACULAR NOW A beautiful coming of age story about a popular boy who falls for the unpopular girl, The Spectacular Now is just that — spectacular. Miles Teller is ab-
Sudder, and Shailene Woodley is equally wonderful. Watch It: Available on DVD Jan. 14 NKDMAG.COM
Words & Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
I knew the boys of I See Stars were young, but I didn’t know that, until recently, half of them couldn’t order drinks at a bar. Considering the band has been on my radar for four years now, I assumed they were all in their mid-20s. Little did I know their success started long before their high school graduation. I meet up with frontman Devin Oliver in the VIP bar area of The Gramercy Theatre in New York City. It’s the band’s second night at this venue — both of their co-headlining shows here with The Word Alive have sold out. Devin is old enough to order a beer, but opts for a coke instead. Outside the semi-private room a group of fans has gathered to catch a glimpse of Devin. Some of them shout his name from outside. 56
He suggests we relocate to the band’s greenroom, but that does not appear to be an easy task. It’s less than 100 yards to the dressing room, but everyone in the downstairs lobby wants a picture or autograph from Devin. He gives out as many hugs as possible before the band’s tour manager escorts us into the backstage entrance and the madness dies down. I ask him how it got to this point, and he laughs and asks how much time I have. For Devin and his brother Andrew Oliver, (drums) music was a family affair long before it was a career. Their father sparked their interest in music and bought them each their first instruments: an acoustic guitar for Devin, and eventually a drum set for An-
drew when Devin received his second guitar — this time an electric. “We didn’t come from a wealthy family, and our dad went through a lot to get us those just to get us started,” Devin says. The brothers met guitarist Brent Allen in elementary school and decided to start a band when Devin was in fifth grade. The trio barely knew how to play their instruments, but that didn’t stop them from accepting an interview request from their elementary school broadcast station. “We didn’t know how to play anything so we would half-ass the national anthem on guitar,” Devin says, laughing. Eventually the three-piece became a four-piece with the addition of Devin’s childhood best friend, bassist Jeff Valentine.
The group carried on for quite a while before deciding they needed an official frontman, rather than a lead singer/guitarist hybrid, which was Devin’s role from the beginning. “I wasn’t even on the short list,” Devin says, clarifying they were on the hunt for a new member to take that position. Brent came to him and suggested he take the job and they would find another guitar player, and that idea stuck with Devin. The band picked up Jimmy Gregerson and tested him out for an audience of 15 kids at a local coffee house. “I felt so naked without my guitar,” Devin says. After a few shows he got the hang of it and the band started gaining stamina. And then Myspace happened. The band had been recording songs with one microphone and layering tracks in GarageBand, and decided to throw the songs up on Myspace. “People lost their minds over it, they loved it,” Devin recalls. Because of their online success, I See Stars began playing shows at the Myspace Cafe in Michigan and were drawing a lot of people. Because of that, bands like Devil Wears Prada and Chiodos wanted I See Stars opening their Michigan shows. There was one show in particular where the band was opening up for Four Letter Lie in a 1,000 capacity room, and after I See Stars played, only 100 of them stuck around. “That’s when we realized we needed to start figuring things out,” Devin says. Devin had become good friends with Frankie Palmeri of Emmure, who recognized I See Stars’ local success and dropped their name to Sumerian Records. The label kept an eye on the band for over a year before approaching them with a deal when Devin was 15. “They offered us a really great deal that is pretty much unheard of today,” Devin says. The band recorded their first record 3D (2009), jumped on tour and haven’t stopped pushing forward since. But there was a big roadblock early on: high school. The band didn’t want to miss out on an incredible opportunity, so they left normal high school. Only screamer, Zach Johnson, graduated with his class. The rest of the band hopped in a touring van with promises to finish high school online, but only Devin and Jeff did. “Everyone else is really confident in the band and didn’t feel like they needed to finish, and I’m confident too but I wanted to keep my word to my parents,” Devin says. The touring world was exciting for Devin, who was only 16 when I See Stars first entered it. “It was really easy to connect with the audiences because we were the same age as them,” Devin says. “I think a lot of bands struggle with connection and to these fans it was probably inspiring to see kids their age on stage.” At the time, they were one of the only bands NKDMAG.COM
their age touring full time. School aside, underage kids on the road are a huge liability to promoters and labels. “There were venues we couldn’t play because we couldn’t legally be employed by the venue until we were 18,” Devin recalls. Despite that, I See Stars were able to make it work and their early touring success inspired labels to start signing younger bands. “Now, there’s only younger bands,” Devin says. Touring can be an expensive lifestyle, especially for an opening band making very little every night, like I See Stars were in their early days. And while that may be a setback for older artists, the teenage boys of I See Stars didn’t have any bills to worry about. The money they made from shows and merchandise went toward gas and food to get to the next city. “The hardest thing about being in a band is there’s not enough money if you’re not in a really big band,” Devin says. “When you’re starting a band, you’re really starting a business. You’re investing money.” The band grew up without rich parents and never felt they needed pocket money to keep moving forward. All their money went to improving I See Stars, whether it was for new merchandise or new equipment. When they returned home after a tour, their parents would house and feed them, but never helped pay for anything band-related. “We’ve always worked for everything we’ve ever gotten,” Devin says. And for that reason Devin and the rest of the guys don’t take their position for granted. They recognize that the travel they get to do would take years of saving up for someone working a 9 to 5 job. Now that they’re getting older, finances are a little more important. Some of them still live with their parents, but they’re hardly ever home so it doesn’t matter. They’re working on saving money to put toward things like houses and cars for when they’re actually home more than three months out of the year. “We always try to make sure we’re being responsible,” Devin says. In addition to their growing responsibility, I See Stars’ sound has grown quite drastically since the early days of their Blink 182-inspired garage band. The electronic/screamo sound the band is putting out now is not only different from where they began, but also quite unique compared to most music being made right now. “I can’t even explain how difficult it is to be in a band and not know your place in the music world,” Devin says. When the band released 3D they 58
had no idea what they were doing — they were just creating songs. Their sound just happened. “Prior to releasing 3D we didn’t have fans with expectations, but once we released that first record everything changed,” Devin says. All of a sudden there was not only a new bar set for I See Stars in terms of quality, but also an expected tone for future records. “We weren’t sure if that was the music we wanted to make forever, so we took a chance and tried to write something different and see how we felt about it,” Devin says. The band released The End of the World Party in 2011, which was “a lighter side” of I See Stars. The band quickly realized that was not what they wanted to be doing. When it came time to write their 2012 release, Digital Renegade, I See Stars went back to their roots a bit to try and identify their sound. “Digital Renegade is, in my opinion, the best part of I See Stars until New Demons ,” Devin says. He and the rest of the band now feel refreshed and at ease knowing what kind of music they want to make. With New Demons, the band finally felt like they could release all their creative energy. They drew inspiration from all across the board, including from Deftones, My Chemical Romance and Skrillex. For I See Stars, the goal has always been to deliver a solid record, regardless of how it came to be. As they were developing their sound, their early fans stuck around to see what would happen next, and those same kids are still buying tickets to their shows. Even when sales for The End of the World Party tanked, I See Stars were still drawing very large crowds in every city. “Our fans really had faith in us,” Devin says, adding that Digital Renegade pulled anyone who was on the fence over to their side. Prior to releasing New Demons, Devin had his expectations set low and has been overwhelmed by the response from old and new listeners. Devin is starting to feel comfortable with his career and his future at a whole new level. “I’ve always believed that for a band of our stature, it’s all about the incline,” he says. I See Stars’ creative flow is always going, and they’re already writing for their next record. The band will be on tour for most of 2014 before it’s time to head back into the studio to record their fifth album. It really is non-stop for these guys, and I can’t help but be impressed by their work ethic. “I really think I See Stars is going to be around for a long time,” Devin says, smiling. NKD
AUGUST BURNS R E D Words by STEPHANIE PETIT Photos by CATHERINE POWELL
When lead guitarist JB Brubaker dropped out of college with only one year to go to pursue a musical career with four friends, he never imagined he would still be with the same band a decade later. Metalcore band August Burns Red have put out six full-length albums including a Christmas album, but they continue to keep fan’s attention by experimenting with new elements and not compromising their sound to be more mainstream. “We wanted to make sure that we weren’t doing the cliché things that I feel like a lot of our peers were doing that we weren’t interested in,” JB says. “We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve in metalcore. We want to be the band that’s influencing bands, not the one that’s being influenced by other bands.” A decade has brought many changes to the band, from member changes to a very different personal life for each band member. August Burns Red formed in 2003 as five friends from the town of Manheim, Pa. “We started out as cliché as possible, playing in our drummer’s parents’ garage,” JB says. They put out some “really horrible demos,” according to JB, and tried to tour 2004. At this point, they lost their vocalist Jon Hershey who realized he was not into the style of music they did. They replaced him with Josh McManness who was from the same area in Pennsylvania and he sang on their first record, Thrill Seeker (2005). They got signed in 2005 to Solid State Records. Shortly after that record came out, they did a full U.S. tour, but like the previous singer, Josh quit the band because he didn’t like touring. Jake Luhrs joined the group in 2006 and has been with the band ever since. “If we were going to lose a vocalist, it happened at a good time and certainly helped us in that Jake is a much better vocalist and more charismatic,” JB says. “I wouldn’t be talking to you right now if Jake hadn’t joined the band. It was an important move. It sucked at the time but it worked out really well for us in the long run.” Bassist Jordan Tuscan quit the band half way through 2006. According to JB, the band was touring nonstop and Jordan got serious with a girl and quit the band because he couldn’t be with her. Dustin Davidson joined shortly after and August Burns Red has had the same lineup since. Touring has slowed down a lot for the band. Instead of close to 10 months of the year on tour, JB says they tour for about six months a year now. It was especially light this year, as they recorded their new album Rescue & Restore, which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, in the first half of the year. “We can’t tour the states four times a year like we did when we were 62
starting out,” JB says. “It just doesn’t make sense at this point. You have to make it an event so that people actually care when you do come around.” Although he admits adjusting to life at home can make him a bit stir-crazy because August Burns Red have spent so much time on the road in recent years, JB and the rest of the band members don’t mind having more time at home. JB is engaged, a couple of the guys are married and guitarist Brent Rambler had his first child in October, so they have families of their own to come back to now. Building meaningful relationships was often difficult because they were usually long distance while the band was out on the road. “It takes a special person on both ends to be able to make long distance work,” JB says. “Especially because the girl who is waiting at home has to be behind what you are doing and understand why you have to be away, otherwise resentment will build up and that will destroy a relationship.” JB says he was friends with his fiancé before the band formed, so she understands because she has watched the band grow in popularity. The responsibility of supporting a family adds pressure to the band in a world where a band’s career can be over in an instant. “Especially in this style of music, careers can be rather fleeting,” JB says. “We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to do it even as long as we’ve done it at this point.” JB believes the bands’ friends and family realized August Burns Red was more than just friends playing music when their second album, Messengers (2007), came out and hit No. 81 on the Billboard 200 chart. Now with their fifth record out, they are faced with the challenge of creating new music that still sounds like themselves. “We kind of jump that bridge every time we get to it,” JB says. “We’ve never really sat down as a band and been like, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do on this record.’ It’s been a little bit more organic than that, fortunately.” JB says it would be silly to overanalyze since up to this point it has worked out well by simply writing songs and seeing how they come out. “We’ve been confident with everything that we’ve put out thus far so hopefully if we’re happy with it, it seems critics and fans have been happy too,” he says. One way August Burns Red try to keep their music fresh is by incorporating different styles of music that are traditionally not associated with metal, such as something with a Latin or classical feel. They are careful not to stray too far from their genre, though. JB feels that many metal bands are doing a lot of cliché things and making the genre stale, such as doing very pop-structured songs and auto-toned vocals. “There’s
no inventiveness for the most part,” JB says. “It’s like a couple bands got big doing that sort of thing and then everyone was like, ‘That got big, let’s do that.’ It’s just a pop formula and I don’t think that’s what metal is supposed to be about. I think it’s supposed to be a little bit more daring than that.” He also credits their lasting success to their dedicated fans, many of whom have been following the band for years and have grown with them. “We have fans that are excited enough about what we’re doing to go out and buy it as soon as it comes out,” JB says. “There’s no radio push or anything for a band like us. Most people don’t have an interest in what we’re doing, but I guess we’re lucky enough to have carved out this nice niche of loyal fans who will jump on whatever we do right off the bat.” JB knows that fans have a choice to make when buying concert tickets and he feels fortunate that people are still coming to see August Burns Red play when they have a number of choices of what to see. “I heard someone say there’s 17 different metal tours out between September and the end of November ,” he says. “That’s four or five band packages, not just 17 bands. There’s a lot of competition and there’s only so much money to go around. These kids can’t pay for seven shows a month. They have to pick and choose.” August Burns Red’s schedule for 2014 will include lots of international touring through the U.K. and Ireland in February, followed by Australia and New Zealand, where they will be performing at the SoundWave Festival for the first time. From there they will return to North America then do European festivals late summer. After that, JB will take some time off to get married. The band’s long run doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. JB’s time in school, however short, might come in handy when the band does slow down. He says he can see himself in a managerial role with bands in the future, something he had experience in the earlier days of August Burns Red. He managed the band through 2008 when they gained more international recognition and it became too much to handle alone. “I learned a ton through that and I’m still very hands on in the day-to-day business,” JB says. “I think some of the business classes I had in college groomed me to be a little more hands on and I do enjoy that.” JB has no regrets about not finishing college, as he knows his life would have looked a lot different than it does today. “I probably would have had some crappy office job, probably would have gotten married at 24 and have two kids already,” he says. “I’d be living a pretty plain Jane life. I’m really glad that’s not what happened.” NKD 64
most anticipated 13. THE CAB
The Cab have been teasing a new album for what feels like years now. But with a new label on their team and an internatinal tour lined up, we’re positive that 2014 will see the follow up to their 2011 release, Symphony Soldier.
12. ERIC CHURCH His hit single “Springsteen” brought Eric Church a more mainstream audience, but his new song “The Outsiders” shows that hasn’t made him lose his edge. His new record, The Outsiders, will be released Feb.11.
Their single “Acapella” got stuck in everyone’s heads this summer and a new album was expected to drop this past fall. After feuding with their label for months, March 25, 2014 was deemed their debut record, Pulses.
8. BLINK 182
Blink 182 have been promising new music for years, and they will be releasing a new album in 2014. Ever since their reunion in 2009, fans can’t get enough new music from the punk rockers.
11. YOU ME AT SIX
7. HILARY DUFF
record, “Lived a Lie,” set a high standard for the rest of the album, and we can’t wait to hear it!
that Hilary Duff will be releasing new music this year, but the ex-Disney star has been in and out of the studio all year working on new material. We’re hoping 2014 will bring the return of the pop-princess.
10. TAKING BACK SUNDAY
6. WE ARE THE IN CROWD
The U.K.-based band will be starting 2014 off right with their new album Cavalier Youth dropping in January.
The Long Island-bred rockers have been hard at work on their sixth full-length album for months now, and have long-awaited new album will be released this spring.
It’s been over two years since We Are The In Crowd released new music, so their upcoming release Weird Kids already has people talking. The full-length album will be released Feb. 18.
records for 2014 5. TAYLOR SWIFT ly said she will be releasing a new album in 2014, but she
writing one. If she continues her pattern of releasing new material every two years, 2014 will be the year to follow up Red (2012).
4. ED SHEERAN
His debut album + (2011) scored the British folk artist three hit singles in the U.S. His follow up has been the talk of fans for months, especially after the release of “I See Fire” for The Hobbit Soundtrack. Ed will be out in 2014.
3. LUCY HALE
The Pretty Little Liars star signed to Hollywood Records in 2012 and a record was expected to drop in 2013. “You Sound Good To Me,” will be out Jan. 7 and an album will follow later this year.
1. MEGAN & LIZ Though they’ve released enough singles to complete two full-length records, Megan & Liz have been holding a collection of tracks for their debut full-length record, Look What You Started
this February. Fans have been begging to 21-year-old twins for more information on the album, but the two have kept quiet hoping the music will speak for itself. Megan & Liz have been some of our favorites since we ly with the rest of the “Macers” when we say we want this album ASAP.
2. DEBBY & THE NEVER ENDING Debby Ryan officially announced her band at the end of 2013 with promises of new music coming soon. Their first single will be coming “sooner than later” and a full-length album will follow it this spring/summer.