Press founder, editor-in-chief Dom Vigil
Co-Founder, Managing Editor
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Svetlana Joukova Shannon Shumaker Jordan Altergott Nick Reece Jordan Garza Alejandra Elisabet
CONTRIBUTING Writers Dillon Crader Nick Reece Jordan Garza Jordan Altergott Shannon Shumaker Dom Vigil Blake Britton Kalyca Lawrence Alejandra Elisabet
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“This issue was a blast to create! It was our first
issue with a decent-sized team put together (and on that note, please welcome Kalyca, Blake and Alejandra to the team!) and it made things run so much smoother. Every day I’m blown away by the amazing opportunities we’ve gotten, especially since this is only our second issue, and that couldn’t have happened without the awesome team that we have working on this magazine as well as the great people that we have the privlage of working with every single day. I want to give a special thanks to Austin Griswold, who gave us a ton of great stories and opportunities for this issue and for giving us a shot when we honestly barely had any content on our website. A big thank you also goes out to Natalie with Equal Vision, Steve with SKH Music and Craig Owens for taking time out of his busy schedule so we could ask him some last minute questions the day before this issue was due to come out. This issue has definitely been a big one compared to the first one, but it’s been really fun to work on thanks to our awesome team!” - Dom Vigil
Want to advertise with us? Interested in contributing to us? Questions? Comments?
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10. In case you missed it...
14. Tour Photos
28. Artists to watch
32. Rusty Sun Audio
38. Album Reviews
Fewer and fewer people
sincerity. "As people, I think we all like to have fun and do our thing... but I still take this band more are inclined to start a band and follow through seriously than my actual job. More seriously than I with a vision at the adolescent stage anymore, but take anything, honestly." Postcards are no strangers to defying standards. After all, the success of their recently released It became more and more apparent Wake Up EP proves that they're not just another throughout our chat with the band that this was local flash in the pan. If their sound and etiquette no joke. Hinting at a new three song EP, the band hold out, they're a band we're going to be seeing expressed interest in attempting to move forward a lot more of in the upcoming months. They may with their sound on the potential full length. And seem like any other playful pop-punk band from with a market that's as saturated as the pop-punk the outside, but beneath the surface lies a group scene in the modern age, who could blame them? of extremely talented and dedicated individuals When the band first started they spoke of influencwho, when it comes to sound and vision, are exes such as Can't Bare This Party, a French electro tremely thoughtful and self-aware. easy-core band. But Grapengeter spoke briefly of recent sounds that may have had a little influence The coolest thing about them? They're comon the upcoming songs. Names as surprising as pletely aware of that dichotomy. Aidan GrapengetLana Del Rey and the Front Bottoms came up but er, Postcards' heavy-hearted leader, spoke of the as fellow band member Ryan Sites pointed out, band's effort to find balance between frivolity and 8 - THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM
"we keep the stuff we listen to com- On top of the band's new EP, release date pletely separate from what we play." TBD, the band spoke of hitting the road over the summer. "Lyrically," Grapengeter went on, "it's going to be more serious "We're going on a West Coast tour!" Field just because there are more serious says. When we originally spoke, the band only things going on in my life. The one spoke of the California, but since then the band song we have completely solidified is has expanded with dates in Utah, Nevada, and more dark. It still sounds pretty pop- Arizona added to the schedule. And if they sound punk, but you can tell there are things anything like their boisterous and ambitious soundbeyond that happening too." ing rehearsal they played for us, it's going to be a fun, hot summer for the band. The tour kicks off Bassist Chris Field spoke up. on June 16th in Denver, and though scheduling "We want people to recognize us as conflicts have risen with recently added member Postcards and not as children any- Zane Deluccie, the band has found a temporary more. We're trying to act like a real replacement with producer Alex Scott, who, as band now." Deluccie himself mentioned, takes the credit for their incredibly polished and sharp sounding Wake I was taken aback by his Up EP. statement. This band, as small as they may be as of now, seems like Keep your eyes peeled for this amazingly one of the most dedicated bands talented group in your area, and purchase their I've ever seen at their age. If they're most recent effort, "Wake Up" at postcardsco. comparing some of their previous bandcamp.com. efforts to children of their age group just trying to find a sound, then listeners are surely in for a treat with these upcoming three tracks. Even their song writing style seems like a well thought out group effort 100% of the time. They spoke of starting with guitar and building from the ground up. "Usually I write the songs with an acoustic guitar in my room," Grapengeter says. “I then I show Chris. He can always tell me if a song's a pile of shit, but when it's good, we bring it to Ryan and he'll write a part over it." "Aidan works with rhythm. It's just easier for him to write a song with his guitar so drums are added later." Field adds. What already sounds tight and well-constructed is to become something even bigger. And what more could you ask for from a solid group of talented musicians? "The content of our music is going to be about something even more personal this time around," Grapengeter concludes.
PHOTOS: Shannon Shumaker STORY: Blake Britton
JUNE TOUR DATES • 16th - Denver CO // Seventh Circle Music Collective • 17th - Grand Junction CO // 4th Door Art and Music Collective • 18th - Ogden UT // Mojos • 19th - Salt Lake City UT// The Shred Shed • 21st - Las Vegas NV // Beach Hut Deli • 22nd - Corona CA // Maya’s Cafe • 23rd - Orange County CA // TBA • 24th - Phoenix AZ // The Trunk Space • 25th - Flagstaff AZ // The Hive THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM - 9
In case you missed it... contagious. It was clear we’d all come together for a good time. Up first to build our anticipation was The Bunny The Bear. This band had two lead vocalists wearing namesake masks and play music in the MSI direction (because, let’s face it, MSI really is their own direction) with the added bonus of screamo. I must say that The Bear’s clean vocals were crisp and at many points higher than the chorus for ‘Take On Me’ by A-ha. They were put together well and their sound was thumbs-up worthy... hardcore screamo with clean vocals and you’re okay in my book. The Bunny The Bear was followed by Death Valley High who went the complete opposite direction to say the least. Where The Bunny The Bear was screamo hardcore, Death Valley High was punk rock. Their sound had the grunge guitars that you really can’t dislike and the vocalist had that punk call-to-action in his voice. Problem was I couldn’t understand more than half their lyrics which is what I listen to most. It was a shame but the band was still fun and even had their self-titled song stuck in my head for a bit.
Mindless Self Indulgence, The Bunny The Bear & Death Valley High
It’s 10:00 P.M. and so far I’ve seen various costumes, a guy in a tutu make moves on every band member that takes the stage, a woman stand from her wheelchair, and a man ice his nipples. Anything can happen at a MSI show.
It had been awhile since I saw Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI) and a lot had changed between seeing them live in 2006 to now. For one, I was in my first year of college, living with my parents, and was trying to embody the rebel lifestyle (which consisted of questionable clothing and language, life was easier back then). So imagine my surprise walking into the Bluebird Theater, a 27-year-old well out of college working a 9-5 job and briefly wondering if this was going to be past my bedtime when I am surrounded by younger versions of me. Granted, these younger versions have on less clothing and more color in their hair than I could afford back then. But their relaxed attitude was evident and their smiles
The lights dim and the crowd screams. I’m in college again waiting with my little sister for our rebel idols to dawn the stage. Each member takes their spot on the stage with that look of knowing for how much we’ve all starved for this moment. Their poor attempt to make us feel guilty for taking them away from their families in order to perform for our own enjoyment is received with screams and hands in the air beckoning for them to satisfy us. And boy do they satisfy. Back in 2006 Jimmy was sight to behold: taking girls out of the crowd, dancing across the stage, and using the audience for his crass entertainment. I’m happy to report that the times have not changed. Jimmy has more hip action now than he ever had and although he grabs no one out of the crowd he takes a gander at predicting their future. Lyn-Z hasn’t aged a day and she has the
Wednesday, April 9th@ The Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO
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yoga moves to prove it. Steve learns to share the microphone with Jimmy and talks to the audience in slurred speech to our amusement. Kitty looks amazing in her Michael Jackson-inspired blinged neckline which means she doesn’t fade into the background when the music starts. But enough about how everyone looks, what about the music? Each album got its fair share of play. The opening song “It Gets Worse” off their new album How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence (can we take a moment to appreciate the length of this title?) gets everyone jumping before a string of oldies greet us. There was not one disappointing song and every song was delivered with the energy and uppity that is all MSI. Jimmy was in the zone enunciating his lyrics the way only Jimmy could. Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from the show. I wouldn’t say I was preparing myself to be disappointed but I did not see myself screaming the lyrics with everyone else in the audience or jumping up and down as favorites were played.
Though it had been years since I had seen them, their return reminded me of why I idolized them in my youth. Their carefree, funny, and energetic performance carried with it the kind of immortality that gets better as the days grow shorter. Reminding you of the good ole days when screaming ‘fuck’ out the window of a running car was fun and not frowned upon. MSI didn’t have an impressive set-up with two monogrammed screens on either side of the stage with a backwall announcing their name and Kitty’s drumset spelling out MSI on the front. But in the end are you paying for a light show or an act so well performed you leave feeling bummed that you can longer scream inappropriate phrases like “bitches love me” and “we can make a fuck machine”? In all seriousness, Mindless Self Indulgence is a sight to behold and is recommended to anyone who has a taste for profane-laced lyrics and a band who had fun delivering each one to you with a motherfucking smile on their face. PHOTO: Svetlana Joukova STORY: Kalyca Lawrence Listening to Final Blow’s music, you can really feel the intensity and soul of hardcore. Wether it’s a room of one-hundred people or just twenty, Final Blow is sure to give you a performance. Even with technical difficulties, Final Blow kept their energy up and the show moving with lead vocalist, Vino continuing the show with no microphone. It was just him and the audience singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs and a true moment of realization of why we all listen to the music we listen to, go to shows, and how we truly have each other’s back in the end.
Thursday, March 20th @ Art Lab, Fort Collins, CO
PHOTO & STORY: Jordan Garza
Being around since 2008, Final Blow have definitely come a long way in the hardcore scene musically and as a group themselves. Talking with the guys, you get sense of the journey they have gone through as individuals which plays into the type of band they are today. They’re all-around awesome guys and they are open books to the world if anyone is willing to listen. With performing at the 2014 Vapor Fest and future shows getting lined up, I think it’s safe to say Final Blow is making a bright future as a band and for the local scene as well. THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM - 11
last lyrically or stylistically which I have to say I’m grateful for. I only catch the title of a few songs out of five, “Failures” and “Speak to Me.” I pulled Friday, April 25th @ The Marquis Theater, Denver, up the songs later on my free time and I certainly CO recommend them as an introduction to the band’s sound.
LETLIVE., ARCHITECTS, GLASS cloud & i the mighty
It’s a decent night in downtown Denver and a crowd is already is lining up, anxious for tonight’s lineup. Personally, I’m a bit excited myself since most of the bands on the ticket I have not heard of (I’m here for Architects). So I’m hoping to be blown away and if not, well there’s a bar inside and I have a twenty…
To continue with the night of not sure what to expect, Glass Cloud takes the stage. Once again this a new band for me and with a name like “Glass Cloud” I expect a pandy, indie jam. Where I the Mighty feels like something that could be played on 93.3 (for those that listen to the radio anymore), Glass Cloud is a kick to your teeth and liking it underground. They open up with “How to The first opening band is I the Mighty from Survive Suicide” and I have to quickly switch from California and quite frankly, I’m not expecting any- the afterglow of jammy nodding to preparing for thing. I don’t set the bar high for opening bands the mosh pit to explode with adolescence as bodso I don’t have to be disappointed so early in the ies start flying. The bass and drums are heavy, the night. But tonight is no ordinary night, and I am vocals throat-scratching raw, and the bassist has pleasantly surprised by their clean vocals and me transfixed for longer than five minutes. That jammy undertones. Surprised enough to, gasp, guy is fucking happy! enjoy the first few songs. And unlike other starter bands, each song played doesn’t sound like the Now here is tonight’s show, for me anyway. 12 - THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM
I had listened to the Architects a while back after a friend recommended them and swiftly regarded them as every other screamo band out at the time. I apparently didn’t learn my lesson though and when that same friend (along with a few others) raved about their newest album Lost Forever // Lost Together, I had to give them another go, and boy am I happy that I did. So as Architects enter, I am pumped to be blown away by some of my personal favorites like, “Gravedigger,” “Naysayer,” “Colony Collapse,” and “Broken Cross” to name a few. And though the band has a few technical difficulties they never lose their energy or let it throw off their performance. Their vocalist is top notch, album quality, which is a relief because sometimes with screamo bands you don’t know what you’re going to get when the vocalist takes the stage. The last band to grace the stage is letlive., who I was lucky enough to watch two months ago opening for Bring Me The Horizon. Now their music is great and their set (white flowers anyone?) is something to see… but that’s not why I stay to watch them. To me their presence is with vocalist
Jason Butler who is a sight to behold on the stage. If you ever, EVER have an opportunity to see this band live ,TAKE IT because Jason is a cannon ball up there. With each song, “Dreamer’s Disease” and “Muther,” the audience practically climbs over each other in an effort to get a piece of Jason as he leans over the edge. The energy on stage is almost on par with the insanity of the crowd. At one point there are so many fans on stage that have crowd-surfed there that I wonder if there is any security for this show at all. As their set comes to an end Jason manages to climb a speaker which I didn’t think possible at the Marquis, but there you go. Soon things start flying, wires are pulled, and letlive. keeps living. I, along with the crowd, will leave the venue exhausted, but with a smile on my face.
PHOTOS: Shannon Shumaker STORY: Kalyca Lawrence
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Photo: Svetlana Joukova
Photo: Jordan Altergott
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE
Photo: Shannon Shumaker
Photo: Svetlana Joukova
Photo: Svetlana Joukova
Photo: Shannon Shumaker
SKYLER ACORD OF ISSUES
Photo: Alejandra Elisabet
Having been part of the music scene for over a decade, it’s no surprise that Chiodos seem to be more self aware and on top of their game than they’ve ever been. With the release of their newest album, Devil as well as Craig Owens fronting the band again, they’re making a point to reconnect with old fans, as well as forming bonds with new ones. And the best part about it? Unlike most bands that have been through splits, member changes and the occasional drama, they’re willing to address it, even making a point to thank their fans halfway through their emotional and energetic set for sticking with them through thick and thin. And from the looks of it, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
So, you’ve been at it for about a month now, We’re fans of music first and foremost and we just wanted to make a record that we were proud of how’s tour been so far? something timeless, something not too focused on It’s been awesome. We’re connecting with a lot of the instant gratification of winning fans over. We wanted to do something that we were really proud Chiodos fans, old and new. of for years and years. Do you notice any differences between the Was there anything that you really wanted older fans and the newer ones? to try with this album or anything that you Not really, it’s kind of meshing together. Bone Pal- wanted to stay away from in particular? ace was just as big as All’s Well, and that was like seven years ago… So yeah, I think a lot of those No, not really. I don’t really think this album sounds older fans are stoked on Devil, too. It’s not too that different. I mean, it’s really progressive… It awkward, but there are definitely fans of all ages was a bit more focused. It’s not like I’m screaming over random parts in every single song. It’s like… for sure. there’s a heavy song and then there’s a poppy When you guys went to record Devil, did song. you have any goals in mind? Or did you just The songs have a purpose. let it flow? We wanted to make the best record possible. We wanted to make music that we wanted to hear.
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“...We’re more focused now than ever before. We know what we want to do.” - CRAIG OWENS
Coming together after a few years apart, split. Because we couldn’t grow at all. We couldn’t did you get a chance to look at things from grow up because we didn’t have time to. a different perspective, that maybe you It’s hard at that age to know exactly what didn’t when you were younger? you want. Yeah, because I’m completely different. I mean, we started Chiodos in 2001 and that was when I I don’t think anybody ever really knows what they was a junior in high school. So we paid our dues want. But yeah, it’s hard not to fall into old habits, for a lot of years and then we found success and I either. Even though I’ve been doing this since I don’t think that any of us were really prepared for it was seventeen, eighteen years old, I still have to and I don’t think that our management at the time remind myself that I’m really lucky to be able to do really allowed us to process what it was that we what it is that I do and remain grateful. Old habits were going through because we were so young. pop up every now and again, but I’d say that we’re And I think a lot of that has less to do with them more focused now than ever before. We know and more to do with the music business in gen- what we want to do. eral, because touring is where people make their ends meet. So keeping us out on the road for so I think everybody has their own goals and reasons long at such a young age didn’t really allow us to for being here, but now we’re respectful of that, go home and process or really get any perspective whereas before if your goal didn’t match my goal, on what it was that we had done. We were just then we would battle. It’s the arrogance that comes out and aimlessly working toward something, so I with youth where you think you know everything. don’t think that we were really able to soak it all in as much as we wished we could have, and I think You said you catch yourself falling back that eventually lead to our demise in 2009 with the into old habits, how do you stop yourself 26 - THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM
from doing that? I think it’s less about me, and more about the group. Personally, I think I’m doing awesome at avoiding old habits. But it’s just about being conscious of your decisions and being able to think about what it is you’re experiencing before you just emotionally jump into one thing or another. Little things throughout the day just keep you in check. I would say that communication has always been Chiodos’ inner biggest problem because half of us are over-confrontational and half of us are passive-aggressive (hold it in, resent and explode) and the combination of the two without any communication only leads to explosions and people over voicing and people not voicing at all. The worst old habit that we fall into as a group would probably be lack of communication, but I think that we’re better than we’ve ever been as a band. Not in overall morale like rainbows and puppies and stuff like that - we still have problems - but as far as communication goes, that’s something we’ve really been working well on. Having been around for so long, is it hard to stay relevant in the scene, or is that something that you don’t really worry about? The key to success is reinvention. We’re artists. We’re fans of music, but we’re also artists and I think as an artist you always want to push yourself. You never want to do the same thing twice. I mean, if you’ve ever listened to a Chiodos record, you can’t tell me that two songs really sound the same. It’s no different on Devil and it’s no different now for us. As artists, we’ve always been fearless and willing to push our boundaries, to be eccentric and chase our creative visions. So within that comes reinvention.
that you don’t like that, if given the chance, you would change? I don’t really know. I kind of like things the way they are because it allows be to be myself and stand out. I kind of bothers me a little that, some frontmen and people that are in the spotlight, I feel like these days they’re either super Disney or they’re intentionally offensive. I guess I would appreciate a little more real coming through. One of my biggest goals as an artists is to not become that old jaded guy because it’s really unpleasant to be around. I think that’s the complete opposite of what it is that I started for. I remember growing up, hanging out with some of my idols and they became that type of person and I made a promise that I would always just be thankful for this and welcome new things. The last thing I ever want to do is become that old jaded person because they’re just so unpleasant to be around. And that’s disappointing from the fan’s perspective, too. What happens is that ends up bleeding over into the art and you end up making songs intentionally at people and that seems contradictory to the reason to make songs. Thanks for sitting down with us! Would you like to add anything else? For anyone reading, thank you very much for supporting Chiodos. We recognize that we’ve been inconsistent throughout the years and our ups and our downs, and we’re here to reconnect with all of our fans. Hopefully we can earn your trust back, and thank you so much for even caring or listening or thinking about us at all.
You’re constantly growing. We’re products of our own influence and our influences chance and we do with them. So, since you’ve been in the scene for quite a while, is there anything in the music scene
PHOTOS & INTERVIEW: Shannon Shumaker
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artists to watch
hOMETOWN: New south wales, australia FOR FANS OF: The fray, One republic, Imagine dragons CURRENTLY: Getting ready to embark on an australian headlining tour Were any of you raised in a musical household? Did that have any impact on your songwriting or what kind of music you wanted to make?
You guys just recently signed to Tooth & Nail. When did you know that it was the right time to take that next big step with the band?
I grew up with music playing a massive part in my life within the household. My dad played music (my mum didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t) but from an early age I wanted to play every instrument I could. I started on piano, then moved to trumpet, bass, drums and guitar. My brother played drums and my sister sang, so it was a very musical household. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think it really impacted exactly what music i wanted to make. All I knew is that I wanted to make music.
I think after being a band for 7-8 years, you tend to understand the business side of music a lot more. So in regards to a label, for us, it was a matter of making sure we knew where it would take us and what we could (and want to) achieve. So when the opportunity arose to work with Tooth & Nail, we jumped at it. We had all grown up listening to their bands, and after a few chats with them, it all just felt right. Tooth & Nail are an awesome label, and
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we are so excited to be working with them in this each song takes you on a journey that listeners next step of our journey. can relate to. There’s anthemic songs praising the good times, and intimate songs reflecting on the What are some big influences that the band not-so-great times. There’s really something for as a whole has? Were there any artists or everyone. albums in particular that you were listening to when you went into the studio? Your single “Say It Like You Mean It” really feels like a new direction for you guys. It’s We all enjoy listening to bands like Coldplay, One definitely an explosive song. Can you talk Republic, Kings of Leon etc. as they are all known about that track and why you chose that for their massive “stadium” sounds, that we as a particular song to be the single? band want to emulate also. I think in terms of influential artists whilst we were recording, we drew “Say It Like You Mean It” was definitely a track that from a lot of different sources for certain songs. stood out to us. With its synth driven verses and Some songs have parts reminiscent of M83/The 80’s feel, we knew that it would be a great track Killers, whilst others have drawn from bands like (as a single) to launch the album. It was a song we Toto. It’s such an eclectic mix, but in the end we wanted to “shake things up” with. The track itself always wanted to still retain our sound. talks about being in a world where sometimes we play down the truth of how we’re really feeling for Was there any particular message or sto- fear of seeming different or weird. Where in reality, ry that you wanted to convey with In A it’s quite the opposite. That when you do say it like Breath? Any specific emotions that you you mean it, there can be freedom and reassurwanted this album to evoke? ance that comes from just being honest. In A Breath draws on the highs and lows of life. Its an album that whilst listening to it, celebrates the good memories and sympathizes with the bad memories. The main message we wanted to convey is that life is ‘but a fleeting breath’. We’ve all gone through things in our lives that make you re-evaluate the priorities of life. That life is so short, that we should make sure we spend time doing the things that really matter like investing into relationships with family, friends etc. helping people in need, giving generously etc.
Can we expect any North American shows in the future? Any big plans coming up? Definitely! We are currently planning on coming over to the States this year. We are just working out dates and the logistics of it all, so as to make the most of it. But we are so keen to get over there and start touring and meeting new fans. We love America, and can’t wait to show them this new record.
For someone who’s never heard of New In A Breath has a very solid and unique Empire before, what’s one thing you’d want sound compared to Symmetry. Was there them to know about the band? anything you really wanted to accomplish with this album that you might not have We are very passionate about the music we crewith previous releases? ate. From the start of it all, we always wanted to be a band that was true to themselves and a band In A Breath, for us, is more of a mature album. It’s that connected with listeners on another level. Our kind of like our “we just left high school” album. We sound is big and anthemic, whilst still retaining a wanted to make sure our sound still had the same ‘uniqueness’ about it. Also we love our fans so appeal as with Symmetry, but knew we wanted to much, and enjoy meeting as many as we can! make more mature songs. Songs with more depth both lyrically and musically, and I think we’ve done PHOTO: Provided just that. It’s an album that from start to finish, INTERVIEW: Shannon Shumaker
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hOMETOWN: orange county, new york FOR FANS OF: city and colour, death cab for cutie, Dashboard confessional CURRENTLY: CELEBRATING THE RELEASE OF his first full length, “Dear Love” Dear, Love sounds a lot fuller and more matured than All My Friends Are Dead. Were there any goals that you really wanted to accomplish with your first fulllength? I think I wanted to write from a more of a self-reflecting way. All My Friends Are Dead is a collection of songs where I assumed the position of different people and wrote about their struggles. But Dear, Love is about the hardships I have endured over 30 - THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM
the past 2 or 3 years, and these songs are stories about those times. It was very relieving to record all of these tracks. But yeah, I think I have matured as a song-writer and as a person. So to answer the question, I wanted to write an honest and transparent album. And I feel, with the help of so many people, we were able to accomplish that. Also, to be able to write with the full band in mind was a goal. To cover all instruments that I felt were appropriate, and again, with help from my very talented friends, I was able to accomplish that.
There seems to be a lot of bands lately that all sound the same, but Dear, Love definitely has its own unique sound, especially compared to a lot of artists similar to yourself. Was this something that you set out to do when recording the album, or did it just come natural?
sounds like, or worry about the cool new trendy underground band that plays with their backs to the crowd and only sells their music on 8-tracks. So, I guess what sets me apart is how I don’t feel the need to write music to fit in. I just do it because I love to, and hope you see it that way too. As an artist, is there any particular message that you want to convey? Is there anything specific that you’d want listeners to be able to take away from your music or live show? I want to help people with my music. Countless songs over the years have kept me sane and on track emotionally. Everyone has that song they play that helps them when they are down, or the one track that lifts them up when they need it. I want to be the soundtrack to my listeners struggles, and to their triumphs. As far as what they should take away... be genuine in all you do and be passionate about what you love. You need to work hard to achieve anything. You need the 4 jobs, and full time school to get to where you need to be. So just do it. Be genuine, be passionate, and stop complaining so much on Facebook. I think that is what I am trying to convey.
Wow, thank you! I really appreciate that. But no, it was never a thought of mine. As I was writing the album, I would listen to a Ryan Adam’s song and be like, “Woah! That’s what my new song needs to sound like”. Then I would try and write it and throw it away immediately. I PHOTO: Provided realized I was putting INTERVIEW: Dom Vigil too much pressure on myself to create a cohesive “album”, and not enough emphasis on just naturally creating music. Once I was able to do that, songs began to flow and it all came together as you hear it today. What would you say is something that sets you apart from other artists similar to yourself? Um, I don’t know how to answer this without sounding self absorbed, haha. I think it would be how each song has a sound, and seems to be different but when you put them together it turns into a cohesive piece of art/music. I pride myself in not being a “Mumford-baby” band and yelling “Hey!” every five seconds. I try and focus on what naturally occurs when I write, and not worry about what the new popular mainstream pop-folk band
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“Making people happy makes me the happiest,” Nick Nodurft, owner and engineer at Rusty Run Audio expressed not even five minutes into sitting down for a chat inside of his comfortable Colorado studio. Though even before he spoke those words, it was apparent that Nick felt them. Starting out small, Nick began recording local artists and friends almost directly out of high school, after – just like many eighteen year olds – figuring out exactly what it was that he wanted to do with his life. “It all started in my bedroom in 2009. It was ten dollars an hour, just programming the drums and putting a little Line 6 amp in the closet to record,” He explained, “I went out and bought a little mini studio to start learning, then I had some people come in and just started working my way up and from there I just got super into it. It has come a long way since then.”
fessional, with a nice big couch situated on the wall opposite of his gear, perfect for an artist to come in and relax and really feel like home. That’s something that Nick really strives to achieve as well. “This is a place where bands can come and get comfortable,” He stated, “They love the couch. And I like having a place where they can feel comfortable and feel at home, where they can come and relax and watch a movie or play PlayStation if they’re not recording.”
In fact, if Rusty Sun Audio should be known for anything, it should be the honest relationship that they have with their artists. It’s reassuring to find a business or a company that cares just as much – if not more – about their customers as they do about themselves. Nowadays, it seems that everyone is weary of being ripped off, constantly trying to find an honest business that actually cares about the success and happiness of its customers. The music industry is no exception to this, and And I honestly couldn’t agree more. While if you’re in a band, you probably know exactly how I haven’t been there from the beginning, walking it feels. into his studio just felt right. It was clean and pro-
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But it was refreshing walking through Nick’s personally is acknowledged for the music; as long Denver studio as he gave us the tour, talking excit- as the band is happy, he’s happy. edly and passionately about his newest projects, “I love getting texts from bands that say his big plans, and the great bands that he’s been recording lately. Within minutes of speaking to him, ‘holy fucking shit, this is amazing’ when they’re it was apparent that Nick really does care about super stoked on it,” He explained with a smile on his clients. The funny – sometimes ridiculous – his face, “When a band is really into it and when writing on the walls of his studio, all put there by everyone listens to it and loves a mix, I love it. I don’t care as much about them musicians who have recorded “They have to feel knowing about me as I do about with him, was proof of that. comfortable and you the band. When I work on some “They have to feel comhave to have a bond thing I have pride in it. I want to push the band forward and when fortable and you have to have a bond in order to make good in order to make people listen to it and love it and it helps the band get that much music,” Nick expressed, “I have good music.” bigger, it feels awesome to know to know what they’re capable of that I had something to do with that, even if noand push them to do that.” body else knows it.” It’s definitely a new take on things, especially in an industry and a scene where some peo- As an artist, it has to be a reassuring feelple are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the ing that the person helping you record your album top, even if it means pushing others down. Nick cares just as much about it as you do; that they’re is on the complete opposite end of that spectrum, just as passionate and invested in your success though, even expressing that he doesn’t care if he as you are. After all, nobody wants to go to any
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business – recording studio or not – that couldn’t care less about you or your happiness after you walk out the door. No, in Nick’s eyes, his clients are like family. “It’s a personal thing,” He said, “Half of my friends are from bands I work with. Literally 75 to 80 percent of the bands I work with are repeat customers because we just get along so well. They like the way I work and we become friends. I want to work with people that I like. It’s about a personal relationship.” After all, a musician can’t be expected to write or perform well if they’re not comfortable. And if they’re uncomfortable, they can’t be expected to push themselves to the next level, which is exactly what Nick strives to do with his artists, even if it’s hard at times. When talked to Nick about the most difficult parts of running a studio, getting bands to take things to the next level and come out of their shell was actually one of them. “I’ll do stuff like make a vocalist keep doing a bunch of jumping jacks and push ups, or jump around and take his shirt off and scream and go crazy,” Nick explained, “I have to make sure that they don’t hold themselves back because when they’re in the studio, they’re voice actors. I have to be able to motivate them to come out of their shell.” On the technical end of the spectrum, the difficult part is being able to commit to and finalize a mix. “Actually committing to a sound is what I’ve been working on lately and I feel like it’s really helped my workflow,” He expressed, “Going with your gut and with what just sounds good and raw is what makes the difference.” In fact, Nick’s attention to detail and his willingness to try new things are definitely something that Rusty Sun Audio should be known for. It’s something that he really prides himself on, and with good reason. “I focus on a lot. I’m willing to work with a band and change a part or be honest with them,” He explained, “I think they respect me for that. Sometimes they get heated because they have a certain way they want to do things, but in the end, we find a compromise of something that I love and that they love and that makes the record that much better.” And as an artist, that’s some-
TIPS FOR BANDS • Practice to a metronome, get your BPM down. It’ll help you stay solid. I recommend doing that live if you can. If you can’t and want to keep the natural feel that’s fine, but just be able to play to a metronome. • Keep recording yourself, even if it’s with a cell phone and listen to it to see what you can do to make yourself sound better. • Have your lyrics written down and figured out. That really helps a lot. I help a lot of bands write their lyrics, but if you’re on a budget, it saves a lot of time and money if you already have everything settled. • New strings and drum heads. To me, strings die, as far as recording goes, after like four or five hours, maybe a day if you’re lucky. You want that bright feel of a brand new string. • Have an idea of what you want the record to sound like. Know what you want the tone to sound like. Do what it takes to be prepared. • Practice a ton. You should be able to play it live just as good as you can play it in the studio. • Know your parts. • Don’t cut corners and don’t settle. Just keep pushing yourself to make things better. • Write more songs than you plan on making. If you’re writing a 12 song record, have like 1820 songs and figure out what you want then cut it down It’s better to do that than to scramble for more songs and have to write a filler song. • As sum 41 says, “All killer no filler.” THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM - 35
thing you want out of a producer – someone to ing able to accommodate more bands for longer keep you in check and give you an honest opinion amounts of time. “I’d like to be able to just hang out about your sound. for a month and make an album,” He expressed, “I want to just keep upgrading stuff and keep moving “I like working with all kinds of different forward.” On top of that, he excitedly announced music, so I don’t want to limit myself,” He said, the start of Karaoke Thursdays, where singers will when talking about future plans and where he’d be able to come in, have fun, and get a song or two recorded. like Rusty Sun Audio to go, “I work with rap, acoustic, “I’ve taken out loans and Rusty Sun Audio hardcore, pop-punk, rock, put in countless hours to everything. I like work- get Rusty Sun Audio where has come a long way from where the company started ing with different stuff and it is today, and I don’t plan back in 2009, and as Nick keeping it fresh so I don’t said, things are only lookget stagnant. I want to be on slowing down.” ing up. “I’ve taken out loans known as one of the places and put in countless hours to get Rusty Sun Auin Denver that people want to travel to to come dio where it is today, and I don’t plan on slowing and record.” down.” And the future looks bright for Rusty Sun Audio. With a goal to expand the studio in the PHOTOS & STORY: Shannon Shumaker near future, Nick expressed excitement about be-
ALBUM REVIEWS Artist:
In A Breath
Rating: 5/5 Listen to: “Say It Like You Mean It”
REVIEW: Shannon Shumaker There are just some songs, some albums, that make you want to drive down the highway with your windows down, wind whipping through your hair, without a care in the world. In fact, I currently have a playlist of those kinds of songs and albums ready to go in case of a spur of the moment road trip, and New Empire’s new full-length, In A Breath definitely needs to be added to that list. Seconds into the first track, “Tale of Jonah”, Jeremy Fowler’s vocals pull you right in, captivating and clear. In fact, it’s a fresh way to start the album; with just vocals and no other instruments for the first few beats. It grabs your attention and the song immediately begins to take you on a journey. In fact, listening to the entire album is an adventure. After the upbeat and progressive “Tale of Jonah”, the album swings you right into another great song. “Relight the Fire” is one of the many songs that really shine on this album, so much in fact, that the band also recorded and included an acoustic version of the song on the record. And as if the song wasn’t already beautiful and inspiring enough, the acoustic version adds even more, putting a soft and simple new spin on the track. In fact, the first time I listened to the album all the way through, I thought it was a completely different song,
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and I mean that in the best way possible. In A Breath honestly just seems to get better and better with every single song, really hitting its peak with the band’s single “Say It Like You Mean It”. The song itself is not only explosive, but the writing, production and vocals are flawless, and the lyrics are inspirational. It’s with good reason why the band chose it as their single. Another thing that really makes this album a stand-out is the fact that it’s so unique. While fans of The Fray, One Republic or Augustana would more than likely love In A Breath, it’s hard to compare this album to any other new releases in its genre. It’s refreshing to be able to listen to an album without trying to compare the band to other artists, and New Empire definitely accomplishes that with In A Breath. Instead of trying to decide what other bands they sound like, I was able to just sit back and enjoy this great album. There are very few songs, artists or albums that I can listen to, close my eyes and be transported to a different place or state of mind, but New Empire’s In A Breath is, without a doubt, one of those albums. Every single track is uplifting and captivating, with wonderful songwriting, lyrics and vocals, and it’s definitely an album that I’ll be keeping in my car for long summer drives this year.
I AM THE AVALANCHE
Rating: 3/5 Listen to “Two Runaways”
Rock band I Am The Avalanche released their new album, Wolverines in mid-March of this year, three years after their second album Avalanche United. Having never listened to I Am The Avalanche up until now I should you give an unbiased and honest opinion of the album as a self-labeled outsider. I have always been into metal on bad days, screamo on good days and techno on the weekends so needless to say, I Am The Avalanche was outside of my comfort zone. But rolling with the times and how quick bands can change their sound these days, you have to be flexible and flexible is what it took to enjoy Wolverines.
REVIEW: Kalyca Lawrence
I Am The Avalanche has a guttural sound that only a punk vocalist can summon. So I’m quick to say that if that scratchy croon is not for you than neither is this album. If it is, then the sound of Wolverines will rock you into a lullaby of broken hearts and getting back on the horse when the day is done. I’d have to say my favorite song was “Where Were You” considering vocalist Vinnie Caruana carries the song with the steady lapping of the lyrics. The first minute is the beginning of a traitor’s tale while the steady strumming of the guitar in the background crescendos into the chorus. It’s the perfect story of betrayal to a group a friends that anyone can relate to but is weaved into the perfect song to sum up a shitty friend. Honestly every song sounds the same but with one vocalist, guitarist and drummer, how can you switch up any song to sound unique? So if I had to highlight anything that stood out in this album is would have to be the lyrics, from discussing someone’s guilty conscious in “Save Your Name” to the love of “Two Runaways.” Each song has its own story to tell and each is told with the same sing-song groan as the last.
ELDER BROTHER Heavy Head
Rating: 4/5 Listen to “Throw Me To The Wolves” Kevin Geyer, Guitarist and backing vocalist of The Story So Far, and Dan Rose, vocalist of Daybreaker, announced back in December of 2013 the release of their new side project, Elder Brother. Three months later Elder Brother released their first full-length album Heavy Head on March 11th via Pure Noise Records. The first time listening to Heavy Head, Dan’s vocals instantly calmed me; paralyzing all of my stress and problems. Not only are Dan’s vocals beautiful, but the lyrics written for the album are also truly meaningful. You can hear the emotions in Dan’s voice in every track, as if he’s telling you an important story. These emotions are also captured by Kevin’s guitar playing.
REVIEW: Dillon Crader
Outside of the Story So Far, Elder Brother really brings Kevin’s guitar playing abilities to the table. His guitar solos and rhythmic picking mix very well with Dan’s vocals making this whole album superb. At first I wasn’t sure about this release, thinking that the mix between Datbreaker and The Story So Far might sound odd, but after the first time listening to the album. Dan’s vocals pulled me in immediately. The sound that Dan and Kevin found is one of a kind. Elder Brother offers a new side of music that differs from both The Story So Far and Daybreaker. Though Heavy Head wasn’t on the top of my list for releases this year, it definitely has become one of my favorite albums of 2014. THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM - 39
TOKYO POLICE CLUB Forcefield
Rating: 2/5 Listen to “Beaches” Tokyo Police Club’s Forcefield is 2014’s best example of safe rock and roll music and judging by the pace and consistency of this record, they’re perfectly fine with that. What the band’s doing here is not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination. There’s no need for it to be. This album was released simply to be fun and catchy. And that’s good and fine. The problem is in its memorability. Each of these tracks sounds nearly the same. Sharp guitar hooks, mid-range vocals, and catchy choruses are all fine and well, but Tokyo Police Club fails to provide something that sticks in the brain upon listening to the album in its entirety.
REVIEW: Blake Britton
The opening track, by far the most “experimental” and clocking in at eight and a half minutes, is a real defining moment for me on this record. It’s supposedly split into three separate parts but it fails to have any dividing points that would indicate any sort of change in the song’s style or narrative with the exception of the last third of the track. It really sets the tone for the rest of the record. It’s trying incredibly hard to accessible, which is something the band actually did achieve with this album, but in the process of doing so, they forgot to make songs that the listener could feel. There are some moments on this record where the instrumentation and bright production really shine, but those elements are put on the back burner as soon as David Monks opens his mouth and begins to sing. It is here where the band puts all of their hard work to waste. The vocals on this record just stay mid-range the entire time. And this isn’t really new to the band itself, but it has to get tiring hearing the exact same vocal pattern over and over again. This record becomes far too comfortable with just being okay. When you stick boring vocal tracks over music that just hangs in the background, it doesn’t work. Not once on this album does Monks shift his vocal tone. Not even when the bridges begin to build. It’s infuriating. You just want his voice to do something. Anything that will make any track stick out among the rest. You wait and wait, and by the time the album’s nine tracks are complete, nothing happens. This album is like baking a really good cake and then not adding any toppings. It’s decent at best, but there are so many elements missing that could have made it so much more fun and enjoyable. But that’s just the kind of band Tokyo Police Club is. They play it safe so no one points fingers at them and says “you really screwed up on that one track.” Judging by this record, that’s not going to change any time soon.
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BEING AS AN OCEAN
How We Both Wondrously Perish
Rating: 3.5/5 Listen to “Even The Dead Have Their Tasks”
I guess I will just cut right through the bullshit and say that Being As An Ocean’s new album How We Both Wondrously Perish kills. With the line up changes in the past year, Being As An Ocean welcomed guitar player/backing vocalist Tyler Ross and drummer Connor Denis. With the new members in the band many people, including myself, wondered if the band was going to change, but Being As An Ocean continues their melodic hardcore sound that ultimately is just beautiful to listen to. How We Both Wondrously Perish is a very matured album compared to the bands previous album Dear G-d... that was released in 2012. REVIEW: Dillon Crader
How We Both Wondrously Perish brings a new type of clean vocals to the plate that makes this album very much more enjoyable than the bands previous record. Though these new vocals are a lot prettier and more enjoyable, I do feel that many songs in the album sound very similar to each other because of the new vocal style (making it hard to distinguish different songs). The album does have a lot more clean vocals than screams, though, which is why I find this album a lot more mature than Dear G-d… because I believe these are songs the band is truly happy with, and are not forced into the album. “Even The Dead Have Their Tasks”, stands out very much so on the album. The track is one of the heavier songs off of the album, ending with a very unique sounding breakdown containing guitar feedback, which should make any listener want to go crazy. Even with the new vocal style, How We Both Wondrously Perish is a great album and definitely will bring Being As An Ocean into the spotlight in 2014.
JESSE DENARO Dear, Love
REVIEW: Dom Vigil
Rating: 4/5 Listen to “The Grand La Monz” Sometimes, an album comes along, and listening to it is like a breath of fresh air. Finding albums or artists that do that, however, are pretty few and far between, though. Jesse Denaro’s first full length record, Dear, Love, however, is without a doubt one of those albums. Seconds into Jesse’s vocals in the first track “Someone Save My Life”, I knew that this was an album that would stick out for me. It’s a perfect opening song, upbeat and emotional, and everything that, as a listener, you’d want it to be. It’s a song that really grabs the listener, keeping them around for the other nine tracks. Another standout on the album is “The Grand La Monz”. While the song starts out slow and soft with just vocals and an acoustic guitar, it seamlessly transitions into a full band, making it seem natural and easy. Not only is the songwriting flawless, but the lyrics on this track are beautiful and relatable. The only downside with Dear, Love is that some of the songs don’t seem to fit as much with the others. But despite that one minuscule flaw, Jesse Denaro has really mastered his full-length album, creating a big handful of gorgeous, well written and relatable songs. THEPRELUDEPRESS.COM - 41
Rating: 4.5/5 Listen to “Hands Of Penance”
Time In Place
Within the first few seconds of the opening song on Artifex Pereo’s newest album, Time In Place, it is clear that this is an album that will be hard to forget. The first thing that really stands out are the vocals, which seem to tell a story not only as the song, but as the album progresses, and it’s obvious that this is a band full of musicians who really know what they’re doing and what they want to accomplish. This album isn’t an experiment, that’s for sure. No, Time In Place is consistent, well written, and over-all, an amazing listen. It’s an album that, upon listening to for the first time, I was excited about. For a band who’s vocalist had to move from one side of the country REVIEW: Shannon Shumaker to the other to write and record this album (From Oregon to Kentucky, to be exact) they really seem to have their shit together, especially considering that a lot of the material was put together when Lucas (vocals) was still 2,500 miles away from the rest of the band. The vocals are a dream to listen to, and compliment the music so perfectly that it was surprising to learn that this was Artifex Pereo’s first album with their new vocalist. None of the songs on the album are boring by any means and all seem to have a distinct purpose, giving the listener some great guitar parts as well as vocal melodies to get lost in. Time In Place is an amazing showcase of this Artifex Pereo’s songwriting and musical ability and definitely an album that will take this band far in 2014.
Rating: 4/5 Listen to “Realise”
Little Barrie’s newest album, Shadow is perfect for sitting down at the end of the day, relaxing and unwinding. There’s just something about the raw and stripped down quality of this album that is just as soothing as it is intriguing and it leaves you wanting more. “Bonneville”, the first track on Shadow, while slow and mellow, is just enough to pull the listener in and keep them around for the next ten tracks. Somehow, Little Barrie manages to combine sounds similar to The Black Keys and Cream, along with some laid-back 70’s fuzz in the mix. And while that sort of sound may be too slow and simple for some, the bluesy guitar work on this album more than makes up for it, catching the listener and keeping them interested. REVIEW: Dom Vigil
The great thing about Little Barrie is that there aren’t very many new acts similar to them. When trying to think of current bands to compare them to, it was almost impossible, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s nice to be able to sit back and really enjoy an album without trying to compare it to anything else. Shadow, while a little slow and laid back at times, is proof that Little Barrie is an act to keep an eye on, with a unique and fresh sound as well as phenomenal song-writing and musicianship.
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