ine gaz a M
ver a year of touring, recording and dedication has led to this moment for Texas singersongwriter, Steven James. After dropping his first single last summer, he's set to release his debut, full-length album, "Baby L.A." recorded over the past 10 months in Austin. During that time, Steven James has toured across his home state of Texas with his band "The Jaded," as well as flown to L.A. and Nashville gaining more than 6,000 new fans on his Social Media sites along the way; and over 10,000 views on his Youtube videos.
M TEA s, S ferent cities it was a hindrance or a k c Hi
ball, Alpha Rev) at Sound Outragoues Studios in the scenic hills of Austin, Texas. The pair have made a collection of songs that pay tribute to Steven James' past as well as his music's future trajectory. “I've always enjoyed working with Steven on records in the past,” said Lars. “This time it Music fans around the globe have was a little differreacted to Steven James' own brand of ent: instead of nostalgic, melodic rock - often drawing coming in with a comparisons to Kings of Leon, Black band that he has Keys, and even a "young John Mellen- played live with camp." Through his team's own radio and parts that are pretty much ready to go, we built the songs campaigns, Steven just the two of us, with James has received April 11 help from the pheairplay in Texas, the nomenal Daniel Jones CD Release Party Mid-West, the East Coast; France and with Lovers & Fighters on drums.” England. "The reacExecutive tion has been amazCC ing to these new songs; we were really just blow away," James said. "To have people reaching out to you from the UK and saying' how much your music means to them, is something really special.
His new album entitled "Baby L.A."
combines experiences and stories from his more than 15 years of playing in rock bands throughout Texas. Now, Steven James has struck out on his own, working with legendary producer Lars Goransson (The Cardigans, Fast-
"Lars and I are both total Rolling Stones and Beatles Junkies, so to work with him was a real blast," James said. "He has collected all this rare gear over the years that gives these songs a very authentic sound." From singing on the actual microphone that Mick Jagger used on "Exile On Main Street" to playing the same model guitars and basses The Beatles used on their first records, Steven James said the experience of recording in Austin was unlike anything he's ever done. “I can't tell if the geographical challenge of us living in dif-
Surf Club TX
benefit; it made us focus more on these precious weekends we spent in the studio”, says Lars.
The new album's debut singles "Best
of Your Love" and "Go Down Slow" are both catchy, pop-laden rock songs that also hint at Steven James' love of Country Music. But also within the new album, are other, deeper influences; like the album's ballad "Lonely City," written the day James learned of Robin William's death. "That really affected a lot of us who grew up with his movies," Steven James said looking back. "So I wrote this song as if I was speaking to someone who thinks they can't go on... it's just a message of hope that I think we can all relate to," he said. There are also moments on the album which reflect his childhood, listening to classic, pop like the Beatles, or Billy Joel songs like "Weak in the Knees" a 1960s throwback that admires a significant other's physical charms. "Everybody loves my baby, when she's in the room all the boys go crazy," James croons. Title track "Baby L.A." is probably the most personal for Steven James, which encapsulates the album's overall theme of aspirations of aim for the stars. "That song is about someone you love moving away and trying to pursue a dream, and you're left behind and just forced to carry on," Steven James said. "But it's also about making the best of
where you are," he added. "You don't need to move to Hollywood or New York to make it. You can realize your dreams wherever you are."
www.stevenjamestx.com StevenJamesTX @ Facebook.com; Twitter.com; Instagram; youTube.com – watch my new music video "Go Down Slow"!
This spring, Steven James &
The Jaded played a packed showcase at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, and are set to perform for huge crowds in South Texas at the first ever Fiesta de la Flor Music Festival, honoring Selena. It's that determination to succeed that drives Steven James each day to connect with music fans, write better songs each day, and play as many shows in as many cities as possible. And it's a dream he and his band aren't letting go of anytime soon. "We just all feel so lucky to be able to pursue this crazy dream of playing music," Steven James said. "It's been a wild ride ... but we're just getting started."
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CONTENTS SOUTH TEXAS CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE FOR UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
WWW STEAMMAGAZINE NET
APR 2015 VOL. 4 ISS. 1
16 STX MEDIA: SOME STORIES ARE BETTER LEFT UNTOLD
14 MASTER OF FINE ARTS EXHIBITS: JULIA CURRAN MARTIN MOLINA
20 TROUBADOUR INSIGHTS
21 AROUND TOWN
MUSIC 3 LOCAL TUNES: STEVEN JAMES 10 REVERBNATION SPOTLIGHT:
SHAYNA SANDS THE TEXAS KGB 12 ZZ TOP’S BILLY GIBBONS
ALWAYS IN STEAM
CD REVIEWS 7 COMICS 6 NEW CDS 8 NEW MOVIES 8 QUICK READ 5
PUBLISHER RUSTY HICKS EDITOR TAMMA HICKS COMICS EDITOR ALLENE HICKS STAFF WRITERS RICK BOWEN, DALE MARTIN, TAMMA HICKS, JON-PAUL JONES CONTRIBUTING WRITERS J MICHAEL DOLAN, DEREK SIGNORE, ADAM DAWSON STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS ALLENE HICKS, RUSTY HICKS, JON-PAUL JONES, KEVIN MCDERMOTT TO ADVERTISE WITH US 361-904-4339 SALES@STEAMTX.COM SEE US ONLINE AT WWW.STEAMMAGAZINE.NET WANT YOUR CD, BOOK, OR SHOW REVIEWED? HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? SUBMISSIONS@STEAMTX.COM
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J. Michael Dolan (:23) It’s well known that when he couldn’t afford brushes, the emotionally tormented, often “freaky” Vincent Van Gogh made his own, with sticks and horsehair. Proving that if you’re a true “committed” artist or entrepreneur, NOTHING can stop the creative urge within from getting out. Actually, you have no choice. Like a raging, rushing river, the torrential flow of great ideas and vivid visions MUST forge its way through the rocky resistance of fear and doubt in order to ultimately arrive at the ocean of expression. Give up, and that river dams up somewhere deep within the dark, inner world of the artist—causing frustration, resentment, envy, anger, and too often, resignation. That said, as a freaky, genius artist; a crazy, risktaking entrepreneur, we expect you to fully express your
most outrageous inspiring works of art, and manifest your great, impossible ideas. In fact, it’s your responsibility, we’re depending on you to let loose, let go, and let your freak flag fly! Jimi Hendrix wrote: “I'm gonna wave my freak flag high” (1967 song “If 6 Was 9). David Crosby wrote: "I feel like letting my freak flag fly" (1970 song “Almost Cut My Hair”) Sarah Jessica Parker said: “I don’t
judge others. I say if you feel good with what you’re doing, let your freak flag fly!”
NO STINKING MANUAL J. Michael Dolan (:27)
The Chinese say that opportunity comes as a double-edged sword—the opposite side of the blade is “crisis.” However, it doesn’t remain a crisis with YOU for very long. Fortunately, “career crisis” is where artists & entre- preneurs shine. I don’t mean petty “dramas” I mean genuine crisis. That’s when you do your best work—under pressure, under the gun, undercover and up against an impossible deadline. Scoff if you like, but it’s true. You’re a creator, a deep thinker, a thought processor— you’re the one with the advantage. When others come face-to-face with crisis, they anxiously search through the manual for answers. You on the other hand CREATE your way out of financial jams; FORGE your way through frustrating tech challenges; REASON with difficult people; and INNOVATE your way around challenging career barriers. All the while, standing alone, on your own two (shaky) feet—standing toe-to-toe with uncertainty, face-to-face with doubt, and nose-to-nose with fear. Truth is, you don’t see career challenges as a “crisis” because you’re too busy looking for ways to turn them into career opportunities! Why? Because when you chose your crazy, genius, independent, creative life style, it didn’t come with a stinking manual!
E APR 2015
www.theawkwardyeti.com | www.lunarbaboon.com
CD REVIEWS Rick J Bowen
demonstrates his study of Wes Montgomery during the swinging duet “Twilight Breeze.” The mood stays jazzy for “The New York Song,” with a nimble trio joining in. Neil Young’s “For the Turnstiles” is read with authentic country style and is surely a favorite of Fowler's set in the Tokyo clubs.
ARTHUR FOWLER WHAT’S KEEPING ME GOING Proof positive the world is getting smaller and the “do it yourself “ mantra of the music biz is growing, 54-year-old Spanish language instructor Arthur Fowler has lived in Tokyo the past five years and just released his debut album, What’s Keeping Me Going. Fowler is a Milwaukee native who studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for two and a half years in the ’80s. His 11-song collection is an exploration of acoustic guitar sounds and styles ranging from easy folk pop to jazz, Latin, and shades of the Grateful Dead. This self-released album was produced with sensitivity by Seiki Kitano at Bang On Recordings, Tokyo, a professional-quality home studio. According to Fowler, “Tokyo is swarming with first-rate musicians available at an affordable rate." They were also able to exceed Fowler’s modest initial ambitions for a guitar-and-vocals album. The title track opens with an easy flair introducing Fowler’s lofty tenor, that declares his love and what keeps him
LINDSEY LOU & THE FLATBELLYS IONIA (EARTHWORK MUSIC) From their name, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, one might surmise that the Michigan acoustic quartet is an old timey cornball bluegrass outfit playing the standard barn yard fare and folk songs, but their new album Ionia, released February of 2015 shows they are far from old timey and are on the cutting edge of new music by embracing the past and future simultaneously. The solid Twleve song collection was recorded in four days in the dining room of turn of the century house on Lafayette street in Ionia Michigan, hence the name, live without over dubs around a few microphones in the old style. The songs push the limits of acoustic roots instruments; Mandolin, banjo, string bass, dobro and acoustic guitars by
The atmospheric Middle Eastern-flavored “Splash” features more creative percussion sounds from Kikuko Yasui, and just a touch of Seattle grunge. The album closes with another raving duet, “On The Verge," wher Fowler trades barbs with himself on acoustic guitars, and burns up all the chops he’s got. going. Matthew Skoller add tasty chromatic harmonica to the political manifesto “Please Try,” and the island grooves continue for “Love the Music,” featuring authentic percussion from Kikuko Yasui. Jim Ediger adds accordion and fiddle to the self-examination tango take on Hendrix’s “Room Full of Mirrors,” and Fowler shows off his nylon string guitar chops on the meditation to the maker “HU.” He then nimbly comps for himself and
combining traditional genres of folk, blues and spirituals with rock, pop, emo and EDM sensibilities. The masterful picking and strumming is focused into dynamic arrangements designed to showcase the velvety vocal range of Lindsay Lou. The gifted singer songwriter certainly could have chosen a more conventional approach to her songs of love and hope, but thankfully for us she the Flatbelly boys chose to go for an indie route vs. joining the auto tuned Nashville hit factory.
Congrats to Fowler for sticking to his guns and realizing his dream of making his own album, 42 years after getting his first guitar. ARTFOWLER.COM
This aesthetic is best exemplified in the track ‘Old Song,’ with its chorus “Like and old song, we’ve all heard before, give us peace of mind and takes us back in time.” Other highlights are the percolating percussive strings of opening track ‘Hot Hands,” that create a dance floor groove all on their own, and the ever ascending arpeggios of “The Fix,’ that build the tension to a climax. Mark Lavengood takes a turn at lead vocals for the easy folk blues sing along ‘Sometimes,’ while the breezy tune ‘House Together,’ is full of spicy hooks. The loving rendition of May Erlewine’s ‘The River Jordan,’ is so honest and truly spiritual it is hard to believe the song is only a scant four years old. PJ George delivers the albums only real percussion by way of Cajon, flatfoot and hambone...aka his own body on the remix ready instrumental title track. WWW.LINDSAYLOUMUSIC.COM
COMING TO THEATERS APRIL 1
APRIL ALBUM RELEASES 4/ 21
21 4/ Monday 6 April Fast Food White Men Are Black Men Too Tuesday 7 April Aceyalone Action Adam Cayton-Holland Backyard All Time Low Future Hearts ALSO ALSO American Wrestlers American Wrestlers Blues Traveler Blow Up The Moon Brian Wilson No Pier Pressure Callaghan A History Of Now Darius Koski Sisu Delta Rae After It All East India Youth Culture Of Volume Folk Family Revival Water Walker Lapalux Lustmore Lee Harvey Osmond Beautiful Scars Marriages Salome Matt & Kim New Glow Mew +Priory Need To Know Royal Thunder Crooked Doors Shlohmo Dark Re Sworn In The Lovers/The Devil The Mountain Goats Beat The Champ The Very Best Makes A King The Waterboys Modern Blues Toro y Moi What For? Trickfinger Trickfinger WATERS Whatâ€™s Real Waxahatchee Ivy Tripp Weed Running Back Monday 13 April Looper Offgrid:Offline Tuesday 14 April Bop English Constant Bop Calexico Edge Of The Sun Dwight Yoakam Second H& Heart Greg Holden Chase The Sun Halestorm Into The Wild Life James Pants Savage Jeremy Bass Winter Bare John &rews & The Yawns Bit By The Fang Lowland Hum Lowland Hum Now & On Earth Blacked Out The Damnwells The Damnwells Villagers Darling Arithmetic Monday 20 April Drew Lustman The Crystal Cowboy Tom DeLonge To The Stars... Nadine Shah Young Fathers
No Control Tuesday 21 April Alabama Shakes Sound & Color As It Is Never Happy, Ever After Built To Spill Untethered Moon Death N.E.W. Dustin Kensrue Carry The Fire Good Riddance Peace In Our Time Joywave How Do You Feel Now? Low Cut Connie Hi Honey Mylets Arizona OOFJ Acute Feast Passion Pit Kindred Rocky Votolato Hospital Handshakes Sam Lewis Waiting On You San Fermin Jackrabbit Skinny Lister Down On Deptford Broadway Speedy Ortiz Foil Deer Squarepusher Damogen Furies Terra Lightfoot Every Time My Mind Runs Wild The Peter Ulrich Collaboration Tempus Fugitives Tom DeLonge To The Stars... Wire Wire Yelawolf Love Story Monday 27 April Blur The Magic Whip Mew +Tuesday 28 April Ambrosia Parsley Weeping Cherry American Wrestlers American Wrestlers Blur The Magic Whip Braids Deep In The Iris Crocodiles Crimes Of Passion Delia Gonzalez In Remembrance George FitzGerald Fading Love MG MG Millencolin True Brew Nai Harvest Hairball Nick Catchdubs Smoke Machine Odessa Odessa Raekwon F.I.L.A. Robert Pollard Faulty Superheroes Sam Cohen Cool It The Weepies Sirens The Young Novelists Made Us Strangers Turn to Crime Actions Tyler Farr Suffer In Peace Zac Brown Band Jekyll + Hyde
314 E AVE. G PORT ARANSAS
SPOTLIGHT STEAM MAGAZINE IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH REVERBNATION TO SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON ARTISTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. THIS MONTH WE ARE FEATURING TWO BANDS FROM TEXAS, SHAYNA SANDS FROM CORPUS CHRISTI AND THE TEXAS KGB FROM AUSTIN! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUBMIT FOR AN UPCOMING SPOTLIGHT OPPORTUNITY LOOK FOR STEAM MAGAZINE OPPORTUNITY ON REVEBNATION. Words by Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine
When did you become interested in music? I think we are all innately interested in music. I always loved singing the spiritual songs in synagogue as a child, but I remember having this strong connection to music when I was 8 or 9 while singing along to some popular songs of the time. I felt I had the same sort of spirit the musicians possessed and considered myself of that breed long before I actually was one. One day before an elementary school talent show, I grabbed an old guitar that belonged to my friend's mom and pretended to play while making up some ridiculous lyrics. We had so much fun pretending that I went home and told my dad that I wanted a guitar from a pawn shop. He bought me this miniature Gremlin acoustic guitar. That's when the real interest kicked in. The guitar became this source of entertainment, inspiration, joy, and education. I just wanted to learn more and more about music ever since. How did you choose this genre? What other genres do you perform? When I was just starting to really explore music, I was all about the powerful and virtuosic guitar in Metal songs. Black Sabbath and Metallica were some of my favorite bands at that time so that was what I wanted to learn on guitar. It wasn't until I took a creative writing class in
high school that I opened up to writing poetry. Soon after, I discovered the poetic lyrics of Bob Dylan. I'll never forget the first time I heard my dad's Bob Dylan CD in the car. That was how I chose to put my poetry and music together. I have been a singer song-writer from that point on. I also play blues because it gives me the chills. My music is heavily bluesbased. Now I am learning classical guitar which offers such intricacy and beauty. I love to mix up all of my influences and styles in my songs. I am excited to broaden my musical horizon no matter what genre it is. All that matters is that it sounds good and feels good. What inspires the music you write? Do you hear the music as you write or does that come later? My music is about capturing an experience from my life's path. Those experiences that enrich the soul; that make your heart pound faster. The writing process is always evolving for me. Sometimes, the entire song comes out at once- melody, rhythm, lyrics, chords. Sometimes, I hear the melody and rhythm in my head and write lyrics to it as if this ghost version of the song already exists and I'm just filling in the blanks. But lately, I have been focusing on lyrics first and foremost, then writing the music as a separate but equal art and fusing them together later. Fusing them together...now that's the challenging part! Any way that works is a good way to write. What are your plans for
touring? I plan on touring in the summer. The tour will be scheduled around a very special gig in NYC I have wanted for a long time. I used to live in New York and worked at this amazing venue called City Winery. It is a winery/restaurant/world class venue where some of my heroes have performed. The date is tentative, but the programmer and I are looking at the dates at end of June. I just played in Memphis Tennessee for the first time as part of a weekend tour. I am playing a bit around Corpus Christi in April and May. April 4th at 5 pm, we are playing at the grand opening of this cool new record store called Day Glow Records. On April 18th, my band and I are playing at Disc Go Round at 1pm, and the Nasa at 7 pm. On May 21 at House of Rock, I am opening up for this really talented songwriter named Matt Pless. I actually met him in New York and have wanted to play a show with him since. Itâ€™s funny because we didn't even plan for us to play together; it just happened. Shaynasands.com . shaynasandsmusic
& shaynasands shayna-sands
Words by Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine
STEAM Texas KGB is a very interesting name and brings to mind thoughts of the Cold War; so how did you come up with it? KGB Well K.G.B. actually stands for Kelly Green Band. Our band joke is "We're not Russian but we were in a hurry to get here."
STEAM How did you band together this group of musicians? Please give me short bios on everyone. KGB We are a family band. Kelly and Jace are married. Kody and Kelly are brother and sister. B.B. Lee is their father and Dawg is a longtime family friend. We've been on the road together traveling for the last six years playing over 250+ shows every year. Kelly Green (Lead Guitar/ Vocals) started playing guitar when she was 6. She played acoustic guitar for 16 years before switching to her Goldtop electric guitar, "Goldie Hawn." Kelly and her brother, Kody, had throughout high school called "Kelly Green & Never on Time." After a brief stent as a pizza restauranteur Kelly went on the road with Jace and her father, B.B. Lee and never looked back. Jace (Lead Vocals/ Rhythm Guitar) after 4 years in the Army, Jace picked up his guitar and started writing songs. Singing and playing gigs around Georgia and Tennessee as a solo artist, he hit the road to tour with a band he formed with B.B. Lee called "Jace N' Lee." The band toured the states for a few years be-
fore adding a new member and changing the name to "The Texas K.G.B." Kelly says, "I joined the band because his voice sounds like dark chocolate." Kody Lee (Saxophone/ percussion) started playing drums when he was just 5. He played in a few groups growing up including a couple different bands with his sister. Kody picked up the saxophone in high school band and had an instant aptitude. He went to Reinhardt College in North Georgia to learn more about saxophone and Music Theory. He graduates May of 2015 and will be on the road full time with The Texas K.G.B. B.B. Lee (Bass/ Vocals) started off as a drummer quickly turned guitar player. B.B. is a lifetime road musician and part time studio engineer. He picked up the bass in 2014 to work with The Texas K.G.B. and is most known for his red Stratocaster which is tattooed on Kelly’s left forearm. Dawg (Drums) spent years on the road with Eric Quincy Tate, original country outlaw David Allan Coe & Confederate Railroad and he also wrestled professionally. He met B.B. Lee and Jace Cadle in 2009, when they formed "Jace n Lee". When the organization restructured in 2012, Dawg stayed with Jace and Kelly to form the Texas Kelly Green Band.
KGB Yes, we are very excited to announce we will be recording at 512 studios in Austin with Omar Vallejo in early June. The album title will be released on Dirty South TV in May.
STEAM Tell me about your endorsements. KGB We were recently endorsed by Blackstar Amplification! Kelly has been playing her Blackstar HT Stage 60 amp for two years and was honSTEAM Are you planning ored to become a Blackstar your next recording (ie 512 artist. The band is also pleased
to be endorsed by Jay Turser Guitars.
What are your plans for touring? KGB Our band van, "Van Morrison”, is headed back on the road in April and May. We are touring the East Coast. We have shows in Nashvillle,TN, Atlanta,GA, and Bradenton,FL just to name a few! We're also looking forward to playing Willie's Cut n' Putt in Spicewood, Texas on April 25th. Also, check us out on “Songwriters Across Texas” T.V. show! Our segment was filmed on March 31st at The Edge of Town in Pflugerville, TX. We’ll post show times on our website and make sure to check out our full schedule. We're all over the place! Look for “TheTexasKGB” @ thetexaskgb.com and... Twitter.com; Reverbnation.com; Facebook.com; Instagram.com; YouTube.com; CD Baby.com/Artist; ITunes.apple.com STEAMMAGAZINE.NET
"In a brightly colored barrage of many-layered magnificence artist Julia Curran spawns a frenzied satire of hyper-masculine insecurities and the apocalyptic pitfalls of capitalist America on steroids. Predominantly a printmaker, Julia also forcefully penetrates sculpture, performance, painting and installation in her creative conquests. The artist’s forthcoming body of work is all about “Party -Boys,” a herd of shameless donkey men hell bent on having a good time at the expense of everyone else. Julia’s work is of the socio-politically conscious tradition of printmaking, but is also nuanced by the artist’s well seasoned perspective and understanding of pop culture. Julia is a Fulbright scholar and the youngest member of The Outlaw Printmakers. She has shown her work extensively at home and abroad. In the artist’s upcoming solo exhibition at K-Space, opening on May 1st, Party Boy is on parade." ~ Art Writer/Critic Jack Arthur Wood Future plans: After completing her degree in printmaking at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Curran plans to move to Nashville, Tennessee with her husband where she will open her own print shop and studio. For now, you can follow her work on her Tumblr page @ JULIACURRANPRINTS.TUMBLR.COM and contact her @ JULIA.S.CURRAN@GMAIL.COM
Exhibit preparations are under way!
"Bullshit" Reductive Color Woodcut Print on Paper It started as a Minotaur and is surrounded by medication. It was a simple commentary on the medical system and the ability they have to overwhelm you with jargon and make you believe that you are ill enough to need lots of medication.
The therapeutic construction of my 2D work is an attempt to work in a nature of evolution and illustration. Composites of physical anomalies, abnormalities, malformations, disassociated properties, and conflicting personalities are the best ways that I can express my emotion, rationality and life experiences. For me Art is a disease, which I will never be rid of, and because of its true disposition, my work must al-
ways start with a concept, and its references substantiate the differences in contextual weight. Without the initial concept, the process ceases to be tethered to my imagination. Most of the time I reside in an obscure, static, stagnant pond rife with concepts, ability, inability, and doubts. It is when the pond stirs and spews, bubbles and burps that evolution occurs and something new emerges. As this form arises from
the morass, its elements establish coercion and inertia. The paintings and drawings secrete inclinations of further possibilities. When I have achieved a relationship between the contents structure and the ambiguous history of my personal life and conflicts, its composure emits a feeling of ripeness. Every piece of â€œartworkâ€? that I create is hypothetically completed, and retains an ability to be eradicated. ~ MM WWW.MARTINMOLINAART.COM
"Whale of a Tail" Oil on Masonite This is painting of a whale and the top portion has morphed into a submarine. This was a play on the fact that the humpback whale is one of the largest creatures on earth, but man has been able to conquer and destroy it. It has morphed into an animal that has guns and resembles a submarine.
Words by Tamma Hicks & Rusty Hicks STEAM Magazine
It’s Story Time JACOB GRIM
TELLING TALES WINNING AWARDS
SAL HERNANDEZ EXECUTI PRODUCER
STEAM Being a small company like, STX Media, usually means you wear more than one hat. What are your roles? S a l H e r n a n d e z (SH) Executive producer, director of communications, production manager, makeup artist, screenwriter, actor… I’m sure there are more. J a c o b G r i m (JG) Director for all productions, editor, cinematographer, graphics artist, screenwriter, and little bit of acting.
The cool thing about our partnership is that we identified what we were responsible for early on. We had the discussion of “what can and can’t you do; what can and can’t I do” and we stay within our lanes. I handle a lot of the business stuff; however, Jacob and I work together on all decisions. Nothing gets done without an okay from both of us and that’s the same for an artistic standpoint as well.
No production or story ideas will go through until we’ve both gone through it and have our say.
That probably helps you find the little things.
We’re open like that on the set too. If someone (an actor) says he can’t do a line or can’t physically do something we’re open to making changes. The script is not a Bible; it’s a blueprint for what we want to do.
We are both pretty good about writing dialog, so that it feels like something a person would say. Our scripts are not
grammatically correct and without slang; we put in what people do and say, not how it’s supposed to be.
STEAM What exactly does STX Media do? SH Horror films, commercials, graphic
design, commercials, logistics, and music videos. We also manage personal appearances and other public relations for Teri McMinn and Ed Guinn, who are original cast members of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), as well as its Director of Photography Daniel Pearl. We’ve recently partnered up with the coordinator of Fantom Fest, a San Antonio horror convention, to facilitate the event’s first Horror Film Festival.
In fact we just completed a music video for Sabbath Assembly, a metal band from New York. They came here, we shot it at Zeros, and it is a great video.
How did you get interested in the horror genre?
I have always had a passion for it. I would stay up and watch horror movies at night and as a kid I knew it wasn’t real, but I wanted to know how it worked and how they made it. I was so curious about it that I would go to the library. I was very little there was a book about the monsters in the old movies and I remember checking it out and looking at the pictures, and saying that I want to be able to do that. So, even as a youngster I was into writing scripts; my mom still has some. Then as I was growing up I would mess around with my parents VHS camcorder and make little movies. And as I got older it became more financially feasible to make movies on my own using digital camcorders. DSL’s came out about the time 7-Days Competition started, so my friend and I said, “Let’s try it!” And that was my first short film.
I was not a sheltered child, so when I was very little I was watching horror films. I remember there was a hallway going to the restroom and I would run through the hallway, smashing into the wall at the end, and say Freddie Krueger was after me. I loved going to my grandmother’s house because she had cable and I could watch more hor-
ror films. Watching was only part of it; I was interested in how they made people look like that. And of course that’s how my interest started me in studying. Around 2008, 2009 a friend of mine and I were talking about movies and that we should film one, and I finally said, “Let’s just do it. Put up or shut up.” So we made a short.
How long have you worked together as STX Media?
In May it’ll be two years.
Jacob and I had done a short together, “Deviant Behavior,” (which is going to be our next feature film) and then went our separate way. We came back together to work on a short, Stained Affection, for the South Texas Underground Film Fest (STUFF) in 2012 which won Best Story. Well, we realized that we worked well together on this project and decided to do a horror comedy with “The Roommate.” In these two years we have done somethings that I never imagined we’d get to… like interviewing Marilyn Burns, who was the original scream queen in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it was actually her second to last interview before she passed away. We interviewed Tony Todd, who most famously played Candyman. We also interviewed James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow.
How did you get these interviews and what are they for?
It was just a chance we took; we asked and they said yes, so we filmed the interviews and have them on our Facebook page.
Besides horror, what other genre’s do you work in?
My own take it is that with a horror SH Our costumes have become an exmovie you can sell it anywhere, anytime. pected even. Starting in about August, peoHowever, you can’t sell a comedy or a rople begin asking what our plans are. mantic comedy as easily unless you have big JG Let’s just put it this way, we’ve taken a stars in it. Horror films work because as few Pictures! long as you have good actors that STEAM So, tell us about the audience can “Dreadtime Stories”! identify with JG “Dreadtime Stories” was (actors that refilmed here, in Corpus Christi, semble a niece, a with no budget and with a volunnephew a friend) teer cast and crew. We began you can put those filming in the fall of 2013 and actors in a situaprinciple photography ended in tion and the audithe early summer of 2014. ence will follow. And historically if SH The film is about how a party you look a lot of turns bizarre when a malevolent big actors they book makes its way into the had their start in hands of the attendees who reveal horror, like Kevin its tales of monsters, madmen Bacon and Johnand the supernatural. The book ny Depp. Actualitself is evil and if you are a dark ly, Universal, a souled person it feels good to DREADTIME STORIES major film comhold the book, but if you are a pany, started with light souled person it makes you horror films. feel ill and reject it. The film is an anthology of 10 shorts/chapters and the tag JG The reason line is, “Some stories are better left untold.” you can do horror is because you can comEach short has its own trailer and can be bine it with any other genre; horrormarketed by itself; so with that being said, comedy, horror-action, horror-romance. It’s we can bring out a different short every just a pliable genre that can be molded with month, and the promotion will last through anything. That’s what The Roommate was, a year. At this point we are in the process of a horror-comedy. That’s what I personally submitting to film festivals around the like about horror. Also, you can sell horror world. As of right now, Dreadtime Stories anywhere. It has ups and downs as a genre, has been screened at the 2014 South Texas however it is always there and people like to Underground Film Festival and been offibe scared. So, take The Roommates. It is a cially selected to the San Antonio Horrific comedy, with the funny lines and situations, Film Fest and South Carolina’s Crimson but it’s got the scary parts too. The RoomScreen Horror Film Fest. The idea behind mate has been nominated at a number of the film is to make people want more, so film festivals for Best Short, Best Actors really we are just laying out the bricks and Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay Writing, planning to hit independent theaters. and Best Directed. At the Austin Indie Flicks it was also nominated for Audience STEAM Do you attend all these film festiFavorite. vals you are accepted to? SH It was off the cusp of this success that we decided to do another short, why don’t JG As many as we can. That said these we take all of these great ideas we have and festivals are expense and make a full-length feature, everything comes out of Dreadtime Stories. Some our pockets. Just the of the shorts are films we expense of submitting to had done and wanted to a film festival is $40 or make changes, improve$50, and we’re putting ments to or ideas that we out for 15 or 16 it starts had and wanted to do. adding up. Of course, some are just too far STEAM How did you get away, like South Carolina in the make-up side? for us to even consider it. SH Well, it all started STEAM What was the with the movie most complicated filming “Halloween” for me. I of Dreadtime Stories” had just learned that foam latex is the same stuff SH Each short was done used in filming. Its foam in a weekend. The most rubber and sponge finally complicated was the mixed together, kind of transformation of the like a kitchen sponge. werewolf. DREADTIME STORIES When it attaches to your JG What makes it interskin it forms a bond and esting was that we filmed moves with you, your the whole short in 15 expression on the outside is what you’re hours, in two locations, and it included the doing. In fact, in Dreadtime Stories, you’ll transformation. see former Halloween costumes that I put together. STEAM That is so cool!
I’m sure you’ve probably put together some quite amazing Halloween costumes.
That was what was so complicated for us because you know we can’t pull off American Werewolf In London, but by
had the best crew: sound and boom operator John Rosales, intern/2nd camera JG That was one of the main things when I operator/behind the scenes APR 2015 wrote this story and presented it to Sal. It videographer Jake Gonzalez, Make-up Aswas if we can’t do this part then let’s not do sistant and Production Assistant Sam Mata. this short, because I don’t want it done It wasn’t a full on, “let’s do this all togethpoorly. I didn’t want people to watch the er,” but we did bring groups in to help us whole movie and the only thing they rewith aspects that we needed. Chad Caron member was that terrible transformation. from Dark Dimensions Haunted House did set design for the segments “Punishment” STEAM So did you ever think we have to go and “Distension,” Isaac Rodarte from Psyreshoot that part because it didn’t shoot chotic Productions who well? provided additional SH We plan that pretty equipment and operation well, especially any part for the segments that has a monster or “Harvest Hollow” and makeup work in it. We’ve “Forgotten,” and Blanca never actually reshot Tamez from Wicked anything; we’ve changed Pissah FX for providing camerawork and the cuts the make-up and special and edits as those are just effects for the segment choices that you have to “Empty.” Pablo Schmitt make. Sometimes we composed the original think, “I really wanted score for the "Dreadtime this shot,” but something Stories" theme song for wasn’t quite right, and we the introductory credits had to go around it. and the song during the end credits is called STEAM As you said, "Don't Blame it on Me" Dreatime Stories was by the band Koruptore completed with a cast which will soon have its DREADTIME STORIES and crew of volunteers, own music video featurwhich tells me there is a ing some of the monsters great deal camaraderie from "Dreadtime Stobetween the different companies here. ries." We are overwhelmed with the amount of support and enthusiasm we have reSH There are a lot of very talented people here both in front of and behind the camera lens. Psychotic Productions brought in a lot of equipment that we needed. We CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 really working the camera and good edit cuts we pulled it off.
Film festival awards won by Sal Hernandez, Jacob Grim, & STX Media
ceived from everyone and we appreciate all the hard work and sacrifices.
One last thing… you mentioned cheating. Can you explain what that is and what is the length difference between short and feature films?
Sal, I read on Facebook not to long ago, that you went to Hollywood for an awards presentation. What film was that for and what did you win?
Yes, but first this was Pablo’s project and I was fortunate enough to have a free weekend when he needed an extra hand. 48 Film Project is an international film competition and they flew us out to Hollywood for the awards because we had been nominated for the short, "The Deal." The film "The Deal" was screened in Hollywood at the Directors Guild of America. I won Best Actor and Best Writer Pablo Schmitt won Best Film. This was a really great experience and although I was working for another film company and acting for them I was still representing our company, because that’s where I learned all of these skills.
Cheating is when you use a prop to do one thing and the actual use of it is for something else. Example would be your front door. I like the shape of the door, but I don’t want it to lead outside, I want it to lead into the living room, so we would “cheat” the door opening. When you open that door in real life it would take you outside, but in the movie you would walk through to the living room. A really good example is a parking garage downtown that we’ve used for so many things: a patient’s room; an insane asylum; walk way into an old abandoned building; and once as a parking garage.
Each film festival sets their own time limits, but for general rule a short is up to 40 minutes while a feature is at least 43 minutes. Horror films are usually in the 90 minute range, so when we realized that Dreadtime Stories was 105 minutes we thought that it was long; however, it runs together so smoothly that the length doesn’t seem to be a factor. WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ STXMEDIA Sal Hernandez, Jacob Grim, & the book of Dreadtime Stories
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San Antonio/New Braunfels/San Marcos/Austin "Drunk Last Night." It was a fitting follow-up to their hit album ‘Life at Best’, which featured the breakout hit "Crazy Girl" and the Grammynominated "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." Normally it takes a bit longer to tin get an album on the shelves but things moved quickly on this project. "We started out in the studio to cut an experiment with Ross and Jeremy," Eli says of fellow band members Jon Jones, James Young and Chris Thompson. "We went to the studio recording these four songs, originally intending to put into demos or maybe to lead into our next record, but then that's when everyone at the label (Big Machine/ Republic Nashville) fell in love with what we were doing. They decided that they wanted to fast track an EP and get a single out as soon as possible. It was exciting for us because when we've recorded albums in the past, it takes some time to get it out. We just recorded this stuff in the middle of January, and the fact that we're already out is pretty astounding to us. It's going to be fresh to us on stage when we play it live, for us and the fans too." The new tunes definitely push the envelope for the band, but if it’s one thing the group is known for, it’s taking chances and following their heart. They are road warriors, so expect to see them everywhere this summer, including a huge outdoor show with Alabama on July 18 in Stockdale, TX. In September they will join Toby Keith for his massive tour of America.
With Dale Mar
their 40th anniversary this year and have some amazing acts booked to promote this remarkable milestone. They have Kevin Costner and his band Real West scheduled for two shows. One on Sunday April 12, which is sold out, and another show on April 16, which isn’t sold out yet. The rest of April has Steve Earle, Loretta Lynn, Ryan Adams, Whiskey Myers, Curtis Grimes and two shows by Asleep at the Wheel. May brings the famous KNBT FM Americana Jam on May 17, plus shows by Jerry Jeff Walker and Hal Ketchum. In July, the iconic Charlie Daniels Band will make their debut appearance on the famous stage. This is only the tip of the iceberg, so check out gruenehall.com for a full schedule.
If you're going to play in Texas, you got to have a fiddle in the band. George Strait has two in his band and will come out of retirement to perform at the 50th ACM Awards on April 19th in Arlington, Texas. The performance marks Strait return to AT&T Stadium since his final Cowboy Rides Away show last June. Along with Strait, who was named Entertainer of the Year at last year's show, Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Keith Urban and Florida Georgia Line are all set to take the stage. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, who return to co-host the ACMs, will also perform. New artists Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell will also perform. The show is normally held in Las Vegas, the ACM Awards move to Texas this year to celebrate their 50th show, which will be broadcast live on CBS from the stadium home of the Dallas Cowboys. Lambert leads all nominees with eight nominations. The Entertainer of the Year field is particularly diverse this year, as veteran Garth Brooks competes with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and first-time Entertainer nominees Florida Georgia Line.
The Eli Young Band, one of the best bands to come out of Texas in the past decade, has released a brand new four song EP/CD titled ‘Turn It On.’ This release finds the band working with new producers and trying some new formats in their music. “We felt like 'Turn It On' was a good transition song to introduce this next sound that we have started developing," lead singer Mike Eli told Rolling Stone Country in a recent interview. "It all started developing with the new producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover and some of the new writing. It's that new evolutionary step for the band." Eli Young Band's last album ‘10,000 Towns’ contained their third chart-topping hit,
Speaking of Miranda Lambert and the ACM Awards, she recently spoke with Billboard Magazine about the fact that the ACM Awards were coming to her home state. “I can’t believe that it’s in Texas, and I’ve got a good amount of nominations” she explained. “I get to bring some of my family. It’ll be kind of a magical night. Magic happens in that building. You’re excited to be there because whatever you’re doing there is something that’s pretty awesome.” Lambert also told Billboard Magazine her wish that her latest album, ‘Platinum,’ achieves Platinum sales of 1,000, 000 copies. “I definitely want it to go Platinum, but it needs to earn its way, just like every other album that ever has.” She acknowledges the album is “kind of all over the map,” like her personality is. “This record is the most upfront one that I’ve done, just kind of attacking all the issues that go through my mind and my life,” Lambert said. “I’m just glad that I’m selling records and that I’m being played on the radio, because with the streaming and everyone putting out EPs now, I don’t know that I’ll ever have a record release like this again, where it’s old school a little bit: You just put it out and hope people buy it.” Something tells me Miranda will be just fine when it comes to selling albums for as long as she chooses to record them. www.martinsmusic.com
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STEAM Magazine - South Texas Entertainment Art Music - April 2015 features ZZ TOP, Rock Legends, Texas Blues Rock, Master of Fine Arts - Ju...
Published on Apr 1, 2015
STEAM Magazine - South Texas Entertainment Art Music - April 2015 features ZZ TOP, Rock Legends, Texas Blues Rock, Master of Fine Arts - Ju...