Issue 1 - June 2014
The Indie Authority
The Authority On Indie Music
On The Cover
i g n a l a P k Fran
Social 66 - Infallable Framing Hanley - Kill Scheme Alice in Chains & More!
Frankie Bonacci, 24, of Dunmore, was Saturday evening after dying tragically.
Born in Scranton, son of Robin Barrett Bonacci, Dunmore, and Frank Bonacci of Florida, he was a graduate of Dunmore High School and had been employed as a mechanic with Cole Muffler. Frankie was a proud supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous, being a best friend to everyone he loved and cared for. He was always on the go and up for anything, especially enjoying karaoke and dancing, and riding quads. His smile could light up a room, and in return, he could always make people smile and laugh. It is his smile that will get us through this heartache and most difficult time. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Joyce, Gino, Doug and the entire community for all of their love and support. Also surviving are his grandparents, Nick and Jean Tielli, Dunmore, with whom he resided; Robert and Becky Barrett, Blakely; and Marie and Frank Bonacci, Archbald; sisters, Jessica Bonacci, Dunmore; and Nicole Francis, Peckville; a niece, Avery Francis; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends. If you would like to learn more about the Frankie C. Bonacci Memorial Fund please visit www.frankiesvoice.org 2 â€˘ The Indie Authority Magazine â€˘ www.theindieauthority.com
FRANK PALANGI Interview by Heather Marie If you do not know the name Frank Palangi yet, you will. This young brilliant musician is on the rise providing a great message and some rocking tunes. We had a chance to interview this amazingly talented guy and had a wonderful time getting to know him.
Issue 1 - June 2014
The Indie Authority
The Authority On Indie Music
Frank comes from New York where he discovered his love for music through the inspiration of his favorite movies. Who doesn’t love a great soundtrack? Well, Frank took his inspiration and ran with it. Now working with Rob Coates, a producer, mixer, and engineer from Nashville, TN, he has big plans for 2014. I, personally, was greatly pleased with the interaction between myself and Mr. Palangi. He is a true inspiration. Find out what he had to say below. Your professional profile mentions that you are from New York. As you interact with fans from all over, do you find that your fans are pretty much the same? Each person, I’ve noticed, has different individual tastes in their music. They all have a different favorite song of mine. I do notice things that come up a lot with whom I remind them of, or something that stands out in my stage performance. Do you answer all of your own emails and respond to your own social media comments and messages and if so, why? I do. Everything I do is personal with me. I answer and respond the best I can. I know as things progress I’ll have a harder time doing so and will get some close people involved. There’s only so many hours in a day. It’s that interaction I think is best with the fans and that’s what they want too. Without my fans, I only have my music sitting there going nowhere, haha. Your profile also states that you over came medical hardships to pursue your dreams, which is extremely inspiring. Can you give your fans a bit more insight on your hardships that you had to conquer in order to give them some inspiration? I think in everyone’s life there is some kind of personal struggle. The key is to overcome that and become a better person out of it. With my medical issues growing up, it routed my weakness into a personal strength toward my music. It gave me the drive, passion, and determination to overcome challenges instead of just giving up. School all the way up to graduation wasn’t easy for me to get through and could go on for hours with things I’ve dealt with, but if I had to do it all over, I’d choose to be home schooled most of my years and probably would of lived a healthier childhood. Why is music so important to you? Was there a time in your life that made that impression? I’ve always loved movies and that lead me into music. Hearing the soundtracks of films like The Crow, Terminator, Aliens, Robocop, and Halloween gave me inspiration to try some stuff on my own. I had a friend who brought over a CD and said “This is Ozzy, Creed, and Metallica; listen to it.” Ahah. I was forever changed. I sat down and learned tons of tunes by them and started making songs on my own too on a Foxtech tape machine. What instruments do you play? I sing and play guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Where do you find your inspiration for songs and for the music? Life experiences and certain subjects or feelings, society or a theme.
On The Cover
Social 66 - Infallable Framing Hanley - Kill Scheme Alice in Chains & More!
Editor In Chief CJ Marsicano
Artist/Label Relations David Garlow
Operations Manager Donald Miller
Art Director Matthew Blake
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 3
Continued from Cover Story How long does it take for you on average to perfect a song? I usually work on a tune for few months. It’s usually not one tune but a group of songs. There’s a process into it. Writing, practicing, recording demo then recording quote on quote the actual structure version then practice some more, re-write and record what you guys. How many songs did you scrap before you finally got the right sound and message you were looking for? I don’t ever use the word ‘scrap’. I’ve never scrapped a song. I’ve just reworked and edited or changing it. I’ve written before my debut EP from 2011, a few hundred tunes that are on tapes and CD’s. Even the song I thought I was going to record and say was going to be on my EP in the demo process that I end up not using, I don’t scrap. You will hear those songs in its full version eventually. Did you attend a music related educational establishment of any sort? Very little, I’m self-taught mostly. I took one drum lesson course at a college, and when I started guitar when I was 13, I took about 6 months of classical, then a few rock lessons. But partly I’m not [entirely formally trained] because I wanted to get down the grit of things; to learn songs, write songs, and not play something note for note like a robot, haha. What is it like working with Rob Coates? Rob is a producer, mixer, and mastering engineer from TN. We’ve worked on my I Am Ready EP and Hope together so far. Rob is very down to earth, good family man, and great mixer! We’ve actually never met before, but we message and talk over the phone about the tunes. Even with never getting to meet me, he gets my style, what I like and what my limits are. I’d like more one on one interaction if I could, or getting a budget to go back down to TN to work personally on a project. I have one more new tune being worked on now as well. What would you say to all those fans who are struggling musicians? Just keep learning and keep pushing yourself. Re-think yourself too. Once you learn something and say ‘I have it down’, and think it’s great, let it sit for a bit and come back least a few days later and see how you can improve on it more then. Believe in yourself, and what you do if it’s your true passion. If you play guitar for fun and learn some tunes to impress the girls, that’s cool too! But if you want to do this a career and become a working artist yourself, it requires a lot of time, sacrifice and waiting to grow and expand. When I say sacrifice I mean, choosing what to do over other things or other work priorities. You can hear his music on Reverbnation.com and he has outstanding music you can get your Rock-loving-hands on at CDbaby, iTunes, and even Amazon like his I Am Ready EP, which I find completely and utterly amazing. If you would like to message Frank, then you can friend him on Facebook and know that he is going to answer you back; personally. To get some more information on the Rock sensation, log onto his official website at FrankPalangi.com. Author Bio: Heather Marie is the producer for ‘Sweet Freakings’ and a writer of many years. She holds down many positions that include writer, producer, mother, wife, and crazy-person.
4 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Framing Hanley Framing Hanley has a new album out called The Sum Of Who We Are, which truly is a soundtrack of the bands struggles and successes over the last two years. It sounds like their most artistic album to date; the songs catch every emotion the band dealt with as they overcame challenges and ultimately triumphed with this album. The band has back up with the fabulous vocals of Lindsey Stamey of Oh No Fiasco on the song “Rollercoaster” that shows off the bands maturity and Stamey’s powerful pipes. She has amazing power and range. The album is melodic, full of hooks, and also has some sweet spots such as the ballad “Unbreakable” which is about Nixon’s wedding day, and takes into account that three band members got married within six months of each other. The band throws some self-reflection out, as anyone that has gone through some struggles would, as heard on “Crash & Burn”; an uplifting song about taking stock of all the bad and making it right. Being strong. There is a little venom and disdain as well as heard on “Criminal” and “Crooked Smiles” that take on some personal observances and occurrences. Nixon laughed when I brought it up, somewhat surprised that I had noticed those emotions so quickly. We also touched on the bands name; it is a tribute to their friend Ashley who, sadly, passed away after an auto accident. The band is ecstatic to finally get back out on the road and are headed to a town near you soon. They will be all over the place with Devour The Day. This writer will be covering the show here in Syracuse, N.Y. at the Lost Horizon. I found them to be truly down-to-earth and easy to engage in a conversation, just regular guys from the South, really. Framing Hanley has made one outstanding record with The Sum Of Who We Are. It truly is a must own, so go get it now, it is available everywhere! Links: http://framinghanley.net/ Framing Hanley line-up:
Nixon – vocals /guitar Ryan – guitar/vocals Brandon – guitar/vocals Chris – drums/vocals The Sum Of Who We Are track list: Criminal Twisted Halos Collide Crooked Smiles Simple Life Rollercoaster (featuring Lindsey Stamey) No Saving Me Unbreakable Science Streetlights And Silhouettes Crash & Burn Forever Till The End Castaway Interview with Nixon Nixon thanks for the time today, Framing Hanley has a new album out, you guys have been away for a couple years, so how are you feeling? Oh man, it feels good to be back! It’s been six months since we even played a show, the last time we did a U.S. tour was a year and half or so. This is the rewarding part after recording for so long; to be able to go out and perform this album live, it’s going to be a blast! I see that the cover is actually from a picture your wife Krystl took of your
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 5
son, that’s pretty cool man. Yeah! Chris, our drummer’s wife took a picture randomly at the park one day. We had the album title all ready and we were going back and forth on the album cover. When I saw this picture I was like “whoa”, that’s perfect and everyone agreed. Great songs all the way through, “Rollercoaster” is a really cool tune and you have a guest, can you talk about that song? Actually, I originally wrote that song back in 2010 when we were touring in support of our second album, so that’s how long it was floating around. Lindsey Stamey is in a band that I think everyone should know about, Oh No Fiasco. I was such a fan of her voice that I always wanted to do a song with her and that song, I felt, definitely called for a female vocal. As a fan, it was an honor to have her on the album. That’s a fun little song that’s been kicking around for a little bit and adding her on it, I think, was the deciding factor of it being on the album. Yes, it is a great song! Thank you man! *Authors note: I must agree with everything Nixon said about ‘Oh No Fiasco’. I would recommend that you look them up on Facebook. www.facebook.com/ohnofiascomusic “Unbreakable” is a pretty song, can you tell me what that is about? Yes, it is about my wedding day, actually. When we recorded that song, three of us had gotten married within like six months of us going into the studio. It was an experience that we all had, and it felt like it was not just a contrived love song, it was actually recalling that day. It is another song that had been kicking around a bit longer than the others, and we revisited it on this album. It felt like a big story and a big portion of the bands lives over the past few years, and we wanted to include that. I saw where you said that working with Brett Hestla helped you become better songwriters back in 2006; can you elaborate on that? He taught us a different way of looking at a song as a whole in the creation, the sculpting if you will, and what will be the final product. As a lyricist, you get wrapped up in trying to describe something too eloquently. Working with him the first time he was like “Hey! Get to the point! What are you singing about?” It was a completely new way to look at writing. We were still wet behind the ears, a young band, we were one of those bands that had a three-minute intro before the song ever kicked in. (We laugh) Working with him, “Hear Me Now” was the first song we ever did with him. The chorus of that song was originally the bridge. It was all about, stop catering to your personal needs and start catering to the listener and still get across the point of why you are writing this song, what is the story? The band’s name has a story to it too; can you tell me about that? Yes, in 2007, a very close friend of ours, Ashley Hanley, passed away in a car accident. Ashley was almost a part of the band, anything that went on, she was that sixth person there. For someone that meant so much to us, we felt like it was the least we could do to honor her and her memory. The ‘Framing’ is in the aspect of when you frame a picture to preserve a memory. We had to do a name change anyway because there was another band with the same name of our previous moniker, so the label told us to change the name and it was the only thing that felt right. That is a great story and a great tribute. “Crash & Burn” earned some more volume on my CD player, great tune. Can you talk about that one? That was just actually a part of the beginning of going in the past two years and working on this album. To a degree, we felt like maybe things had fallen apart, everything we had worked to build on the previous five years had just all fallen apart. It was like “I can’t change that, it’s happened” but let’s get this ship back on course, let’s fix this. It’s about putting your foot in the right direction, regardless of what has happened in the past, we just need to make sure that here and tomorrow is better than the past was anyway. “Criminal” really kicks off the album in a big way, and “Crooked Smile” is wickedly good, are the songs pretty much about things you experienced the last couple of years? Yes! You sensed that. (Laughs) There is some disdain in some of the songs. I guess the best way to explain it is there were some lows over the past few years in our lives. There were also some great things. It’s just really a summation of what we have been through and that is where the title came from. Everything that we’ve gone through, it’s just our story. I don’t know that I knew any other way to write at the time. That is why you get a different vibe on each song.
6 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
You guys are on tour now, right? Yes, we just kicked off with two dates for the first time, as I said, six months since we have played a show. The first two dates we played a lot of the new material, came home, fixed the kinks and we head out with Three Days Grace for a week and a half. (Author’s note: The interview took place two days before they headed out with Three Days Grace) After that, we go straight out with Devour The Day, Starset, and Three Years Hollow”; we have a busy summer coming up and we are looking forward to it! You will be right here in Syracuse, NY at The Lost Horizon with Devour The Day on May 8th, I’ll be there man, what can the fans expect at the show? The same energy we have always had live times 10-hundred maybe because it has been so long. (Laughs) We miss playing! This is the rewarding part of putting yourself through the hell of recording an album, or at least what it became. Being able to perform these for people maybe that have been following the band or people that just found out about us, they are a treat for us. Especially people that, after the album has been out for a day, are in the crowd singing along. I’m excited about the release and even more excited to be getting on the road and playing some shows. With local bands, what advice would you give to get them over the hump and into a wider audience? Oh man, I don’t know! One thing I’m not too frightful to say is in all the years that we’ve done this I don’t know that I know that there is a clear answer to the question ‘How can we get there’ you know? Especially now everyday the industry is evolving. For the good or bad, who knows? (Laughs) It’s evolving into a different machine. You have stuff like crowd funding and things like that. I think if you can get some good songs out there, that’s where it all starts and maybe people can find out about your band and connect with what message you are giving or what stories you are telling. We still aren’t even where we want to be and we are lucky to have achieved and done as much as we have done. It’s just a constant evolving machine that there is no prediction on where it’s going to be even two weeks from now. Wherever you guys are trying to get to, The Sum Of Who We Are is a brilliant album and you are well on your way to getting wherever that is. Oh, well thank you man. I hope so! (We laugh) Last one; what would you like to say to the fans out there? First of, anyone that was involved with our Kickstarter thank you because this band wouldn’t have a third album and probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for that Kickstarter funding us. To be able to come out now and give everything we have built up inside and let it pour out onstage and connect with you all again, we have missed it and are looking forward to it. So come out to a show!
Tour Dates Date
Apr 30 May 01 May 02 May 03 May 05 May 07 May 08 May 09 May 11 May 12 May 13 May 15 May 16 May 17 May 19 May 20 May 22 May 23 May 24
The Masquerade w/ Devour The Day Capone’s w/ Devour The Day Hard Times w/ Starset, Another. . . Blue Fox Billiards Studio at Webster Hall w/ Devour The Day Upstate Concert Hall w/ Devour The Day The Lost Horizon w/ Devour The Day The Chance w/ Devour The Day The Claddagh Pub w/ Devour The Day, . . . Simon’s 677 w/ Devour The Day, . . . Pearl Street w/ Devour The Day Exhibition Hall w/ Devour The Day, . . . Planet Rock w/ Devour The Day, . . . Route 20 Outhouse w/ Starset, 3 Years. . . Cheers Pub w/ Devour The Day, . . . Majestic Theatre w/ Starset, 3 Years. . . Take 20 w/ Starset, Devour . . . Mojoes w/ 3 Years Hollow The Machine Shop
Atlanta, GA Johnson City, TN Fredericksburg, VA Winchester, VA New York, NY Clifton Park, NY Syracuse, NY Poughkeepsie, NY Lawrence, MA Providence, RI Northampton, MA Watertown, NY Battle Creek, MI Racine, WI South Bend, IN Madison, WI Cherry Valley, IL Joliet, IL Flint, MI
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 7
This Month, Running with SCissors talks About Pay-to-play
By: Lady Spitfire | PAY-TO-PLAY?
his month, Running with
(primarily applies to musicians) turns in
that Pay-to-Play is not only a rip-off, but
Scissors talks about Pay-to-
money before taking the stage. This pay-
counterproductive to sustaining a healthy
Play. As musicians, we can’t
ment can originate either directly from
music community. I further believe that
stand it. The idea behind this
the artist or be collected from the artist
the practice of Paying-to-Play will ruin
article is try to come up with a solution to
through the sale of tickets (aka pre-sale).
important/unique opportunities for the
avoid having to go through it moving for-
All or the majority of the collected funds
next generation of artists.”
ward--for we are all on board with trying
go to an independent promoter or to a
to create a global music scene worldwide.
What is Pay-to-Play? According to never-
Bon Von Wheelle’s website http://www.
paytoplay.com it means “The transfer of
neverpaytoplay.com/ has a mission state-
So the question of the day for everyone
money from an artist to a promoter before
ment that clearly says it all--“It is my belief
is: How do you feel about Pay-to-Play? Do
playing. The term Pay-to-Play is used to
that building a strong music/art scene
you think that Promote-to-Play means the
describe a performance where an artist
is vital to the success of musicians and
same? Is there a solution?
His website is a great resource for musicians.
8 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Sarah Lish, http://www.nothingbutass-
ally, we feel that P2P is the biggest scam
How does Lady Spitfire feel about Pay-to-
holes.com/: “Selling tickets is the same
perpetrated onto musicians. The idea that
Play? I look at it as Promote-to-Play. It’s
as Pay-to-Play. If you don’t promote your
a band should have to pay to prove its
a good concept, because it’s the only way
own show then who will? The promoter,
worth is ludicrous, and the fact that it’s
that as a DIY musician, you’re going to get
the venue--they shouldn’t be stuck doing
been passed off for long enough that it is
heard. The venue is going to make money,
the work the band should be doing. They
now accepted by many artists, is disturbing.
you will make money, and your fans will
have other responsibilities they are han-
Nothing hurts a scene, its venues, and its
come out to see you. However, I think if
dling in order to make this the best show
artists as much as P2P. We as a band have
you are someone who can figure out the
possible for everyone involved. Don’t you
never and will never participate in any P2P
system and find an alternative solution
realize that selling tickets will help you
show or do business with a P2P promoter.”
that works for all parties--that works too.
as a band create a good solid fan base and help your band get known by the
Let’s see what promoters have to say about
I recently reached out to a group on
people in the local scene? That is the
Facebook called Musicians against Pay-to-
main reason this website was created--to
Play, fronted by Bon Von Wheelle and this
counter all the lies and half truths about
RedDragon Records LTD, Dorset, UK: “We
is how they feel about it:
Pay-to-Play being the only way venues
do not endorse and will not work with
can keep their doors open.”
Pay-to-Play promoters. If you are a good
Xtreme Party Team: “We are trying not
promoter, you will match a good band to a
to promote Pay-to-Play for our event at
MusicThinkTank.com: “The trend for
good venue and collect your pay from the
Central PA Music Fest 2014.”
bands to use their (or their parents)
ticket sales of your night.”
hard-earned cash as a short cut to playTanna Welch, Everett, Washington: “I have
ing the supposedly “choice” gigs in town,
Chris Lawler, Wartime Entertainment: “I
been posting that Gorilla, Afton, et al.
has sadly remained commonplace in the
believe Pay-to-Play is beneficial for both
approach to having musicians sell tick-
music world. With the onset of websites
parties--the promoter and the artist. It
ets and turn proceeds into promoters for
offering “opportunities” in return for a
ensures the touring band gets paid and it
stage time, is legal human trafficking: i.e.
fee to submit your music, the Pay-to-Play
ensures the locals playing do their part in
requiring exploitation of people to free
phenomenon has also found a new home
promoting the show. Although it depends
labor to give them money, for stage time. I
on the demographics of the city. Bigger cit-
do not see the difference between requir-
Further reading the website, they talk
ies like LA benefit--as opposed to a smaller
ing people to labor for free in sex trade,
about Lazy Promoters, A Live Cycle,
cities-- that wouldn’t do so well with pay
manufacturing, etc. and requiring artists to
Nobody Wins, and Ignore the Temptation.
tionary definition of human trafficking...
Let’s see what some bands have to say
Lisa Norman, Independent Promotions &
it’s pretty much the Pay-to-Play model. Just
Productions, Lewiston, ME: “My feeling on
labor for free. If you look up the actual dic-
my 2 cents.”
Pay-to-Play I guess depends on the situGoverning Murphy, NEPA: “Pay-to-play?
ation or the event. A lot of the so-called
James Cripps, Rock Gator Radio, West
As far as selling tickets in advance--it is
industry showcase shows that promise the
Melbourne, Florida: “Bands should not
the way it’s going. Does any band like it?
artist label exposure, etc., fall short with
have to Pay-to-Play. If a promoter wants
No. But this has always been the way out
holding their end of the deal with the art-
to use a good local band to bring people
west and now promoters are bringing
ist. Some are promised things like major
in for a national, the local band should be
it here. However, it does give more of a
label exposure, a record deal with some
compensated. For a local show involving
guarantee on who is going to come and
battle-of-the-band set-up of some sort--
all local bands, bands should be given
see you. But, the bands that are selling
telling them they have to sell x amount of
tickets to sell and the opportunity to make
these tickets are not getting paid enough
tickets and will make x amount of dollars
as much money on the show as possible.
for selling them.”
and get x type of exposure. When it comes
Good bands who work will do well. Bands who don’t, won’t.”
down to it, the artists are buying the tickIsaiah Stauffer, Drummer, Tigerbomb,
ets, then giving them away to get the most
Lancaster, PA: “As a band and person-
heads in the door--which equals winning
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 9
the battle un-reliant on talent. Most of these events are equally
Theneverendnigstage.com: “I will use the words “THROW UP” On
matched and are mixed genre and that makes such events unfair-
the idea of bands ever having to Pay-to-Play! Nobody should have
-depending on the demographic in the area the events are being
to Pay-to-Play. Pay should be included in all gigs for the hard work/
held as well. And in the end, they still get nothing promised. Like
multiple hours put into the craft of being a musician, performer,
I said, some--not all. But the bad ones make it hard for the good
entertainer and group. It’s also an “INSULT” to musicians because
there are real costs to being in a serious band. Unpaid practices,
Yvonne Loveland, Voodoo Queen Management, Coal City, Illinois:
gas, time, up-keep for instruments, gear and 100 other hidden
“Well, Pay-to-Play can be looked at from two different points of
expenses. Then marketing pressures—then, oh by the way--you
view. Although I am not found of tickets sales, at the same time,
must now pay our venue to play? Trucking INSANE!”
when you have a band that has a chunk of guarantee to pay and the locals want on that slot--the tickets are the only way to go to
JC Coffey, Red Rage Entertainment: “I think that ticket selling for
make sure the national act is paid. Do I like it? NO. Is it necessary
a national act show is reasonable sometimes. You can’t just start
sometimes? Yes! From the standpoint of a manager, promoter, and
a band and say we’re not going to sell tickets. You have to pay
producer of my own shows, you must earn the trust and respect of
your dues! Every band in their career has sold tickets at one time.
the bands and no matter what you do, be a part of the work, and
If nobody has ever heard of you, why would the venue just throw
your show will always be worthwhile.
some band on the stage opening for a national act? This is your
Jeff Totten, Project Independent: “PI offers a service that no one
way of showing that venue they can rely on you to open up for a
else on the planetoffers. That is what we charge for, not the “right”
national band and blow people away.”
to perform.” Linda Parker, Wolf Band Management & Music Promotion, UK:
Chicago Metal Alliance: “Pay-to-Play--well, we are not your typi-
“Gigs are very hard to come by sometimes, and then the bands are
cal promoters. We are musicians and Randy is a fan. We try to
expected to sell so many tickets to be paid. This is what Pay-to-
run things so that bands benefit from their work. Pay-to-Play is
Play is all about and it is WRONG! Bands are coming to venues,
UNACCEPTABLE! We have struggled with this many times through
filling the tills, bringing people in, and yet are expected to pay for
the years because we are sick of losing money. But, still unaccept-
able. We’ll ask bands to sell tickets to earn their slots on a big show but, that’s as far as that goes.”
Jim Jarrell, Jim Jarrell Promotions: “I guess it depends on the circumstances--if you’re and upcoming band that had to Pay-to-Play
Mike Fowler, HaHO Promotions: “Pay-to-Play is a scam--and a huge
in a small venue in front of less than 50 people--I wouldn’t do it.
one at that. Most venues will allow people to use their building
But if it was playing with a national act in front of thousands, I
for little-to-no cost and promoters make money in their own ways
would just for the exposure--especially if the venue would let you
through ticket sales or a cut from food or drinks. Asking a band to
sell your merchandise at the show.”
pay $50.00-$150.00 “for the exposure” is just wrong--especially considering the gigs have a door cover or ticket sales most of the
Rock Titan, Delaware: “Okay--so my thoughts on Pay-to-Play…
time. Pay-to-Play events VERY RARELY actually help a band any
honestly, I think it sucks. I feel that Pay-to-Play is a greedy
more than playing a local festival and getting paid. Same deal with
philosophy--by both booking agents/promoters and the venues
promoters who require a minimum number of ticket sales to hit
especially. Musicians bring out crowds, no matter how big or small,
the stage. The biggest rip-off is when they try to bring out-of-town
that wouldn’t otherwise be in attendance at whatever club, bar, or
bands or out-of-state bands in, and still want to charge the band
restaurant it happens to be. The agents and venues are all profit-
for stage time. Pay-to-Play benefits only one group--the people
ing from the musicians performing LIVE, so why shouldn’t they be
who set up the scam to begin with.”
paying the talent that makes that possible? Let’s say it wasn’t LIVE original music. The venue would be legally obligated to pay BMI,
Let’s see what the venues have to say about this….
ASCAP, SESAC to play any cover music or DJ-produced music. So, why shouldn’t original bands is compensated in the same fashion?
Blue Room, Linden, NJ: “Ultimately, there is no scene anymore and
Pay-to-Play is a red flag that would motivate me to boycott the
bands do not have much of a fan base. Bands play a show with a
venue and the agent promoting the show. Pay-to-Play? How about
month in advance to promote nowadays, and then they show up
PAY ME TO PLAY!”
with 2 people with no presales required. The clubs would have to close and there would be nowhere to play or very few outlets to
10 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
do so. And if the clubs advertise and spend that money with local band names on the ad, you are lucky if 5 heads show. It’s sad, but it’s the only choice as a venue to keep up on the bills to enforce some kind of presale. You must be fair and give them their opportunities to make money as well.” Nina Kelley-Rumpff, Owner, The Legendary Dobbs: “On the one hand, I see the venue’s or promoter’s perspective--when they have production costs that must be covered and a band does nothing to market them. In that case, the venue or promoter ends up taking the production costs out of their own pocket and the band essentially just got a free rehearsal space in front of at least some crowd. On the other hand, I see the bands’ perspective--in that they feel that they shouldn’t be responsible for bringing the whole audience--and the promoter and/or venue should be marketing the event and their brand. But ultimately, any band that expects to be paid MUST have draw. So the band must do their part to market themselves. All of that being said, it truly should be a PARTNERSHIP between venue, promoter, and musician.” The Factory Underground, Wilkes Barre, PA: “I, myself have been on the band side of that before and now being on a venue side, I’d like to think I have a well-rounded perspective on that. When it comes to Pay-to-Play, it’s usually involving a national act headlining, touring support acts, and a local act opening. In that case, there are a lot of local bands that would love to open for say, Nonpoint, who may not sell-out a venue. So the venue opens up the avenue to these prospective local openers to sell, say, 50 tickets for that slot. I don’t see that being unfair because the venue doesn’t want to show favoritism to 1 local band, yet has a quota to reach for any given show. So for any local opener who has the fan base to sell tickets to a show that they are playing for, the exposure that they get from the fans, in my opinion, is a fair trade.” Now, after taking into consideration everything that people have said, we are pleased to inform you that a VERY GOOD friend of The Indie Authority Magazine and I have created a solution that is working for him--and we hope that others will take it into consideration. So here is what Lady Spitfire has come up with--based on a recent phone conversation with DJ RTFX over at NeueRegelRadio.com in Barnegat, NJ: “Just finished another Launch Pad Live program, and as I sit here listening to all the amazing Independent artists on NeueRegelRadio.com, I think it is about time that I share this information and a plan to finally get rid of Pay-to-Play. First off, with the growth of Independent artists and the popularity of the growing revolution it has become, venue owners are lining up to have original music performed.”
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 11
“Here are a quick DON’T! DON’T ever PAY to get on to a national show. When did this start? It must have happened while I was away in college in the early 90’s. Use a simple CPM measure. Some promoters even request $1000 to get on a national spot. WHAT? Most Events sponsors for Events pay about .3 cents per impression (people who come into contact with the brand) because of all the pre promotion that goes into a show via web and traditional marketing techniques. So for them it makes sense.” “Now, take the max capacity of most venues of 400 people. This means you are potentially paying $1.25 a person to POTENTIALLY see you perform…WAIT, YOUR PAYING PEOPLE TO COME SEE YOU? This doesn’t make very good business sense. Save the money for some great merch or into your own promotion. Usually the money you pay to open either goes into the pocket of the promoter or the headlining national act because there is no sponsor support in the first place. That is not a knock at all. Sponsors are very smart with their money these days. In this economy…wouldn’t you be?” “I have heard from many artists that this is the way it is, “brother” and NRR will have to follow suit. I SAY BULL&*$%! You only believe that’s the way it is, because you grew up in it and predisposed to it. IT wasn’t that way in the early 90’s, the 80’s or the 70’s. IF YOU WANT IT TO CHANGE, YOU ALL HAVE THE TALENT AND THE GUTS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! Unless you want to keep lining other people’s pockets and not your own.” “What we do is work directly with the venue owners and request that the FULL door be split equally between all the artists. Along with that, we request that the bands share the ENTIRE door or depending on the venue who is working with us, we actually get the artist GUARANTEED money. And all of this without the artist SELLING ONE TICKET. On our bigger events, we bring in corporate sponsors to offset costs for the venue, so that a bigger and better event and show can be created. So the people going to the show are treated to an EVENT, not just a show.” “Now there is a request of the artists--and that is to stay at the entire show and support the other artists. In other words, put your money where your mouth is when you say you support the scene. WE NEED TO ALL WORK TOGETHER. We have created this model in New Jersey, New York, and now Central PA and the UK as well. IT is the NEW ORDER, a new way of doing things. The venues do well and artists don’t have to spend their last dime to play a show. Remember, without the venues, there is no place to play, so SUPPORT your venues who RIGHTLY treat Independent artists. We, the NEW ORDER, DO NOT take any of the door from the artists. We are supported by our sponsors-which we work hard for. We are all part of this REVOLUTION and all part of the NEW ORDER!!!!” “People have asked ‘Aren’t you afraid that people will copy your model?’” “I WANT PROMOTERS AND AGENTS TO COPY the MODEL and treat HARD WORKING INDEPENDENT ARTISTS BETTER. So if it does make a difference and WE MADE a change--isn’t that what it’s all about in this life? Making a positive difference?” “COME AND SEE A SUMMERSONIC CONCERT SERIES EVENT AND SEE WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!”
12 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
ALICE IN CHAINS Live show review By TheDavid Garlow
It was front row for Alice In Chains at The Landmark Theater in Syracuse, NY last night as the iconic rockers played a set list of hits spanning their career. Opening act Monster Truck put on a solid set and definitely gained some new fans. Overheard were some comparisons to Soundgarden. They did have that vibe. The night saw a packed house of 20-somethings and up in a good mood as the crowd waited for Alice In Chains. A lot of milling around the lobby and packed beer lines made walking in interesting if you were not partaking of the brews, but people were polite and made way with no complaints. Once the house lights went down, the full house enthusiastically greeted the band as they opened with the classic ‘Them Bones’ from the bands second album, 1992’s “Dirt.” Loud roars greeted guitarist Jerry Cantrell as he put on a flawless performance and his superb guitar prowess was in full display. Cantrell, along with bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney, pounded out the hits with power and talent as vocalist William DuVall strutted, posed, and encouraged the crowd to get louder throughout the set. DuVall and Cantrell do a masterful job at the dual vocal work that became part of the Alice In Chains brand with Cantrell and the iconic Layne Staley. Every chainhead out there keeps him in memory, but AIC goes on strong with DuVall. He plays some guitar, too, although the main axe is wielded masterfully by Cantrell. I get people having issues with band changes, but in this case there is no going back to the original, so people making that comparison need to get a grip and enjoy. End of story. “Man In The Box” and the one tune I had to hear,“ We Die Young”, had the building shaking and fans abusing their vocal chords. The band threw in newer songs “Check My Brain” and “Choke” that blended perfectly with the classics. The volume was cranked, but not deafening (unless you usually go to folk-acoustic shows, then I can understand the complaints). AIC continues to rock on loud and proud; true rock fans and writers alike loved every second of the show. The band had some fun with the crowd with an impromptu 30-seconds of ‘The Doors’ that ended mercifully as the band and fans all laughed. Cantrell introduced the band and pushed for more noise between songs. He is not the long-haired jump around guy of earlier days, but he owns the stage with very subtle work on the guitar that I hadn’t noticed before and a way of gazing at the crowd as a whole then suddenly locking eyes with someone and giving them a nod. If you missed the bands hour and fifteen minute set then you missed out on a great show with an energetic crowd. If you are an Alice In Chains fan, then get the bands newer albums into your library as they belong right next to the classics. Alice In Chains rocked the house. What:
Alice In Chains is:
Alice In Chains live
Jerry Cantrell - Guitar, Vocals
Sean Kinney - Drums
Mike Inez - Bass
May 12, 2014
William DuVall – Vocals
Set list (74 minutes): Them Bones Dam That River Again Check My Brain Hollow Rain When I Die Choke Man in the Box Grind
Nutshell It Ain’t Like That Stone We Die Young Rooster Encore: No Excuses Got Me Wrong Would
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 13
3 Secrets to Marketing Your Music on Social Media Why do some very talented musicians have a smaller fanbase, not as much exposure, and not as much recognition as less talented artists? Although there may be a number of reasons for this disparity, the most common culprit resides in the business side of the music industry, specifically – marketing, branding, and promotion. Many musicians aren’t able to increase their fanbase, gain exposure, and receive recognition because they don’t pay enough attention to marketing. This leads to constant struggles to make sales, book gigs, and move their music careers forward in any meaningful way. Here’s some good news. If you’re willing to put in the work, it’s possible to learn how to market your music on social media. The primary goal of social media marketing for savvy musicians is to turn “likes” and “follows” into loyal fans and consumers. After all, your band is more than a hobby, it’s a BUSINESS! You want people to flock to your shows, buy CDs and merchandise. Take a moment to think about your own behavior on Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, YouTube, or SoundCloud. People tend to use social media platforms for various reasons – to relax, engage with others, or be entertained. They don’t tend to visit or like sites that are riddled with promotions for shows and music. However, there are effective ways to use social media to build a fan base, while growing sales. Here are three key secrets for marketing your music on social media to help get you on your way. Secret #1: Be yourself Fans want to feel a close connection to their favorite artists. If they don’t know you, that’s all the more reason for you to open yourself to the public. If fans form a bond with you, they will be loyal to your band for years to come. You may even gain some “street team” members who are willing to help promote your shows, events, and music. Posting and/or tweeting a couple times a week can generate a lot of engagement. The key is to always KNOW YOUR MARKET! This is very important. Making regular posts and being yourself works well when you know your fanbase, its general style, and your fans’ posting preferences. If you can’t think of anything specific and creative to say at the moment, try posting a random quote or song lyrics. A lot of bands are cold and calculating when it comes to social media posts. They may share a video or song, talk about an upcoming show, and that’s about it. Being overtly focused on self-promotion is not entertaining and doesn’t create engagement. If your social sites focus on sharing band members’ personalities and building connections rather than posting about an upcoming event, or another type of plug, your fans will be much more interested in following you. Moreover, they will be much more likely to share the post with their friends. Secret #2: Fan Interaction Since the direction of social media sites is leaning toward “pay to view,” engagement and interaction with your followers and fans is vital. Practically speaking, social media engagement improves the chances that people will see and respond to your post. But even more importantly, people like to feel special and your fans and potential fans are no exception. Be sure to reply to every comment, every message, and every new follower/subscriber/like. If you don’t care about what your fans say, why should they care about what you have to say? Too often, I see fans commenting on musicians’ walls, but the musicians don’t reply, even when the person asks a simple question. While the effect of this isn’t as significant if you’re always gaining new fans and have a huge fanbase, replying will help you grow a lot more quickly when you are starting your career. It also sends a loud and positive message about your commitment to them. Conversely, ignoring comments, questions, and responses also sends a message, but it’s one that may have a negative impact on your band’s reputation. By involving your fanbase, you create loyal fans who will feel as though they’re part of your journey. Because of this, they’re more likely to support and share what you do. You never know where these kinds of opportunities may lead! While marketing and social media don’t always involve two-way communication, if you don’t interact with others on a regular basis you’re going to find it a lot more difficult to build a fanbase.
14 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Secret #3: Involve Others Music marketing, including social media engagement, isn’t difficult once you know how to do it. However, it does require a lot of time and energy. The various demands are challenging for even the most business-savvy musicians. Musicians that attempt to do all their marketing without any outside help tend to experience slower progress, increased levels of frustration, and possible burnout. Why go it alone? More hands make lighter work. It’s also a great way to strengthen your efforts. Once the quality of your music is where you want it and you’ve set your goals, start building your marketing team and network. This may include the street team of dedicated fans to help with promotion. It’s a great way to spread the word and amplify your marketing and social media efforts. Consider hiring a marketing firm or an individual with marketing expertise. Your record label can also help, but it’s important to promote your own music so you’ll be aware if the label is promoting you properly. So there you have it – the three secrets to marketing your music on social media. Be yourself, interact, and get others involved in spreading the word about your band.
A JOURNEY THROUGH INK By Lady Spitfire This is an interesting concept… Donald L. Miller (Operations Manager for The Indie Authority) and I were conversing the night of the release of the April Issue of the magazine. He had said to me “Hey, I tried to get that tattoo picture in there, but it was throwing all of the layout off--but I thought of a good concept for you. You have a journey of ink, and I think that a column called A Journey through Ink would be a nice little edition that brings some artistic love to the magazine--think it over.”
And here it is…
a new feature that reaches out to the
readers and their tattoos… and talks about the stories behind them.
MAY TATOO: THE LETTER “R” (Tattooed on Lady Spitfire by Art Rage Studio) This was my second tattoo done by Art Rage Studio, located in Scranton, PA. The reason for it is because it reminds me of Superman. The Superman in my life these days is my husband Dave. So every time that I see this, it reminds me of him and how he saves me every day from trial and error.
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 15
Scotty J LIVE From The Pit by Scott Johnson What does it truly mean to support local music? Ever since I started providing media coverage for various musicians in and around Philadelphia, there has been one very dominant and repeating theme: SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC! But what does that truly mean? Now I’m not suggesting even in the slightest bit that local, original music shouldn’t be supported. The only way that musicians can thrive in a very challenging and competitive business is to establish a strong and loyal fan base, so of course support is mandatory when it comes fostering music talent. All that said, where and how should the support be provided? Just because artists are out there playing their hearts and souls out, does that entitle them to having potential fans take a night off from doing what they might have done otherwise, pay a nice little cover charge, more than likely overpay for nasty swill at some bar and restaurant, only to possibly be entertained? From what I’ve seen in my years supporting local music around the Philadelphia region, as a music video VJ, there are parasitic and symbiotic relationships. What is truly sad is that I see very little in terms of reciprocation by the various bands and musicians and their loyal fans. I’m not saying that goes for 100% of the original
local artists, but I find it staggering the
to no money for their gigs comprised of an
“gimme gimme gimme” mentality among
intense amount of blood, sweat, and tears,
the majority. “Go to our merchandise table
a simple “thank you” goes a long way.
and buy our crap”. “Come out to our next show and pay a sometimes lofty cover
Entitlement, ego, and arrogance are some
charge”. Autograph signings. Engaging with
rather repulsive character traits I’ve seen
the audience in terms of High-Fives and
in one musician too many. Support local,
handshakes. Providing a fan club with
original bands and musicians? Absolutely!
actual incentives. For what reasons should
As a populace of people deeply passionate
many of these local original artists con-
about music and the artists that make it,
tinue to garner fan support?
there is an inherent responsibility to foster and perpetuate the effort that makes
Let’s not forget about all the other neces-
local original music a reality. But there
sary players required in successful support
absolutely needs to be a mutual respect
of our local original artists. Fans constitute
between the musician and all the other
an audience, so that’s an obvious necessity.
components that are required to make
But, what about the booking agents, pro-
everything. function (or at least appear to
moters, venues, journalists, internet radio
function) as a well oiled machine.
stations, and other media service providing entities? These people and businesses take a significant risk and quite often spend and absorbent amount of time attempting to hype and provide enhanced visibility for the musician. There is a very tangible financial burden often incurred by this element of the music community, when very few guarantees of profit exist. For the record, I do not endorse the “pay to play” philosophy. At the same time, venues risk a slow night at the bar, booking agents owe guarantees to the venues for various services, promoters have spent copious amounts of time in creating various forms of media to market the musicians, as have all the various media entities covering and featuring these artists. While so many of the local original artists are making little
16 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
In the Eye of the Beholder By Doug Barker - Internet DJ One of these guys is Joshua Bell. Take a guess – you have a 50/50 chance. Come on, blue sweater or white? One of these guys is the lead singer for a band called Aerosmith. What? You know them both? No way! I wonder if either of these guys would have been noticed? You’re probably saying right now,“Okay, Doug, what’s your point! Cause now your pissing me off!” Sorry about that, but my point is this, You can be the best musician in the world, but if you don’t have branding and image building
Much To Do About Nothing
in your business plan, you are not doing your job correctly. The whole package needs to be presented and aggressively promoted.
recently read a Washington Post article about a “social”
In 2014, the world is going to be introduced to some bands that
experiment that was really much to do about nothing. The
without the proper help, may have gone unnoticed. This is a very
premise of this was set up as such. They took a world class
important step. If you need a hand, let me know. My email is rock-
violinist, dressed him down so that he looked like a normal
firstname.lastname@example.org … Hit Me Up!! Thanks, DB.
person, maybe even a little under privileged,, and put him in Metro Station in Washington D.C. on a cold January morning during rush hour. This man was playing a set of songs from J.S. Bach, about a 45 minute set. The violin that he was playing was worth 3.5 million dollars. He played as an estimated 1,100 people passed him; only a few gave him more than a second glance. In his violin case laid out in front of him, he collected $32. When he was done, he stopped, collected his money, and slowly walked away. No applause… no encore… no triumphant shouts of “BRAVO”. Nothing but the PA system calling out departures and arrivals, and the white noise of a thousand people being humans. What’s the lesson here? Well, the implied lesson here was this: In a common place environment and at an inconvenient time, as humans, do we have the ability to recognize the beauty of life? Do we have to be enthralled to recognize greatness? If so many people can miss this talent, how much more are we missing? Really? Maybe I am missing something …but that is not proven here. What is proven is that even though this violinist is well compensated and well known in the classical music world, that is irrelevant because this music has no mass appeal. What was the demographic of the people walking through Metro Station that day? The hard cold fact is that the music of Bach was written in The 1700′s, and musicians who perform it, while brilliant, are not well known. Here is an example ….will the real Joshua Bell please stand up?
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 17
Kill Scheme Review By Vern Parsons
Kill Scheme formed in March of 2012 from an idea that vocalist Bill Dunkelberger had. He wanted to create a CD of original music
Too Much Time is my favorite track. But you need to buy it and tell
with a mix of band members he had played with in the past. This
me your favorite track.
“album” idea was nothing more than an amalgam of guys with different styles, backgrounds and tastes; and it was to be named “My
In conclusion; BUY THIS DISK! GO SEE THEM LIVE!
Friend’s Diary”. As several guys from different bands came to record and lay tracks down, Luke, Nate, Bill and Harry heard each other’s work and needless to say, liked them. (Taken from press kit Bio) The disc starts off rather Linkin Park, then a very nice lead guitar starts to ring in, and BAM! They are off. A real strong riff in “May We Die” with an uncanny dry vocal mix, which actually is refreshing to me. No processing means all attitude and confidence. The guitar tones are so clear yet aggressive, so kudos on the engineering. Next comes “Us To Go”. This one is more of the bounce that Breaking Benjamin would be known for. But a surprising tribute to the great Iron Maiden comes out with a really nicely executed harmony guitar riff.
Kill Scheme is: Bill Dunkelberger - Vocals Harry Kerstetter - Guitar/Vox
“Another Day” really sends me into the attitude Godsmack normally
Luke Shellenberger - Guitar/Vox
does. I feel like calling up somebody that cheesed me off and
Nate Longenderfer - Bass
telling them off. That’s a good thing. It truly gets a point across.
Shawn Hoffer - Percussion
Grungy guitar and a nice drum groove powers this through. The tracks continue to draw you in, and I say how can this be easy to listen to? It just is. They are heavy and grungy, but the mix is real easy to have cranked, my ears aren’t bleeding and yet it stomps really heavy.
18 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Mainland - Album Review by Nik Cameron
This band has an interesting genesis. The singer, Jordan Topf, lost
The best case scenario is if you took a band like Bass Drum of
his father and needed to get away.
Death, fleshed out the band to a full band instead of two dudes,
What would you do?
made the lyrics intelligible, added a pop sheen and sensibility, and wrote the songs while being, at least less, drunk than those guys,
He bought a van and went on tour. Just try to imagine that. After
and you’d begin to have an idea of what these guys are about.
the loss of your father, you then head off into the world? Loss
The guitar and bass are crisp sounding and gritty enough to feel
of stability and he gives up all stability and everything he’s ever known.
like the strings were broken in before the red light came on, but the amps have the right sound to keep things articulate and not
Well every good song and good album starts off with an even bet-
a sonic mess. The drums play right along with everything. Though
ter story. Mainland set off to write their story. This is a very stag-
the record is thin on layers, it’s full on sound.
gering idea to me. Over the weeks and months, seeing new faces,
The vocals are a bit strained, but not so strained as Soundgarden
they wrote, they created and they met a fellow in Austin who’s got a recording studio and they wrote as much as they could and picked out these four to put into their debut EP. This short four song EP only clocks in at 13 minutes, but it’s a strong quarter of an hour. As they would tell you, they’re a garage
to be annoying, but like how old Chicago Bluesmen strained their amps to get just a little bit more out of them. This group has great potential and we will watch their career with great interest.
rock band through and through, but they’re somewhat polished. Normally, I try to compare the sound or style of the bands I review to something similar that someone may have heard, but I cannot place this group and none of the bands in their if you like so and so list are remotely familiar to me.
Release date: 2/25/2014
Genre: Indie Rock
Running time: 13:00
3) Leave The Lights On
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 19
“Infallible” by Fisthammer Review by Nik Cameron styles of delivery, it does not permeate the
Here is another death record from
Philadelphia. You may recall my raving about Coffin Dust. It would appear that a
If you didn’t get on board with Coffin Dust,
scene is developing.
here’s your next chance to catch Philly’s death metal train.
These bands are both full on brutal death metal, but they sound distinctly different
This is the best metal you’re going to
from the standard Tampa Bay style death
get for $7 this year...or just remove the
metal that has been so prevalent in the
USA and beyond over the years.
Philly’s own Fisthammer has been at this
Genre: Metal, Death Metal
as a band since 2008. Their first record, “Devour All You See,” was released in 2012
In those outros, and the interlude, there
and for our perusal today, we have their
is some truly inspired guitar work, both
acoustic and electric. When was the last time you heard significant acoustic guitar
They have been on tour with bands like
on a death metal record?
Master and Sacrificial Slaughter. Perhaps this has helped them mature far more
The guitar work, at 2,000 miles an hour is truly in the
upper echelon of death
metal. It’s not just the
this band is that, for
double picked Tampa Bay
the most part, their
Riffs, or the powerchorded
songs do not contain
chugs. It’s literally all of it
intros. Presumably, John
with the closest thing to
McCarthy, the drummer,
blast beats that a guitarist
counts off to four and away
with There are guitar fills
where that feel like
entire solos crammed into two bars. This band’s
After listening to a few songs, their outros become rather
groove and use of dynamic are second to
conspicuous. Instead of the conventional
none in metal.
RAWR growling and double bass/double cymbals and then stopping, Fisthammer
Because of the aforementioned, their
actually craft small song within a song
record does not feel like a forty five
outros. In some cases those are truly
minute song, but a collection or an album
of songs. There is even differentiation in the vocals. With about three different
20 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Tracklist: 1.Arithmos Tou Theriou 2. Evoking the Wrath of the Revenants 4. Automation of Flesh
quickly than had they been left
Run time: 45:38
3. Temple of Poseidon
to their own devices.
5. Doom of the Gods Part 2: Nidhoggr Winged Serpent O 6. Dismal Inveracity 7. Interlude 8. The Coven 9. Thousand Yard Stare 10. Conjuration of the Fire God
The Full Package Do new bands need a gimmick to really go places? By Corey Bowden The indie music world is a sea of rarely contrasting personas,
of indie. Instead, labels are looking for David Beckham look-a-likes
attitudes, styles and above all else, sounds. This leads me to
who can play 3 chords on a guitar, would look great on the cover
wonder ‘why are all new bands who become popular so similar?’
of Vogue, and have 14-year-old girls pining for them.
In the past 5 years, it seems that the vast majority of new indie
It is unfair on bands and it is unfair on the fans. Labels should be
music that has floated to the surface of the mainstream has been
encouraging their artists to be creative, think outside the box, and
suspiciously reminiscent of past decades and dead movements
come up with something original rather than giving them a chunk
that went on before most of the bands re-creating them hadn’t
of money and explaining the guidelines and timescales. The worst
even been born. Be it the psychedelic sounds of the 60’s, the
part of it all is you can hear the bands trying to keep inside said
cheesy yet glamorous ruckus of the 70’s, the synth-led pop of the
guidelines through the production, writing, and instrumentation of
80’s or the fuzzed out alternative rock of the 90’s, listening to a
the songs. A message to all new bands trying to make something
new band nowadays has become a lottery of which of the said eras
of themselves: Be yourself, sound like yourself, write like yourself,
they will nod to.
dress like yourself and act like yourself. Don’t submit to the label heads or pop trends telling you who to be. That is the opposite of
This begs the question, why is nobody bringing anything new to
what ‘Indie Rock’ is.
the table? Simple. The idea of ‘Indie Rock’ has changed. Going back to the early 2000’s, bands like The Libertines and The Cribs were fresh. They had a new sound that people immediately latched on to. Meat and potatoes rock ‘n’ roll music that hadn’t been executed properly since The Rolling Stones came around. Nowadays, ‘Indie Rock’ is a marketable label used as a ploy to sell records, gig tickets and MP3’s. Bands like The 1975, Bastille, Kodaline and plenty more are still labeled as ‘Indie Rock’, yet are being marketed to the point where they have very little control of what they do, the music they make and who they are. Gone are the days of turning on the radio and hearing an indie track that sounds like nothing you’ve heard before. I can count on one hand the new bands around today that sound like nothing I’ve heard before, but nobody likes naming names. I find it shameful that the idea of ‘Indie Rock’ is now in the hands of the record label. There is no longer the freedom for bands to do, within reason, what they like and be successful. There is an unwritten criteria where if you aren’t the trendiest person in the world, the best looking person in the world or the most marketable person in the world it is highly unlikely that you will ever make it in the world
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 21
Toothgrinder Gnaws Away At Jersey Shore Metal Scene Drummer Wills Weller On Band’s Uncompromising Journey - By Mark Uricheck Being called “The Craziest Live Band Ever” may seem like a dime-
The pure physicality of the band’s live show removed, Toothgrinder’s
a-dozen tag that you can throw at just about any metal band that
music can still fill the void for the extreme.
breathes hell-snarled, guttural vocals, incites a pit not seen since the bloodied-nose heyday of Exodus circa 1985, and pounds a
Since their formation in 2008, the band has released two EP’s,
drum head like the almighty Thor taking his hammer to stone.
2011’s “Turning of The Tides,” and the following year’s “Vibration/ Colour/Frequency,” consisting of a single 18-minute track of
If you think such thoughts, you’ve probably never encountered a
the same name. The music, should you dare to infect your iPod,
band quite like Asbury Park, NJ-based Toothgrinder.
turntable, or CD player with such savagery, is overwhelmingly heavy – akin to the apocalyptic noise tirade of Between The Buried
Bestowed with this mosh-worthy title by a laid-to-waste blogger
and Me, tapered with a progressive edge that plays like a less
over a year ago while witnessing the band decimate Trenton,
idiosyncratic reading of Frank Zappa’s double-disc “Guitar” album.
NJ’s Championship Bar, Toothgrinder in no way disputes such a description.
“We like that emotion,” begins Weller, “the shades of light and dark that when you go for the quieter part, it makes the next heavier
“Yeah, our singer’s pretty extreme,” vouches Toothgrinder drummer
part even heavier. We can find inspiration in just about anything,
Wills Weller with a laugh. “He’ll swing from the rafters, jump on
but we interpret it in our own way. I think that’s what really
the equipment; really gets the crowd going. We’ve had an entire
sets us apart. We’re constantly pushing the limits of playing and
lighting truss ripped down, we’ve already been asked to leave a
22 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Since beginning the band in 2008, and even prior, Weller explains that Toothgrinder has always been a tight unit. Comprised of
Toothgrinder is a band that you’re not likely to lose in the shuffle
Weller on drums, Jason Goss and Matt Mielke on guitar, bassist
any time soon. For these self-proclaimed “Keepers of The Shred,”
Matt Arensdorf, and vocalist Justin Matthews, the five-piece goes
their sound is likely to take on an inertia that simply won’t be
back a long way.
“We grew up together,” says Weller. “And, we also went to college
“We’re always trying to figure out how we can expand our sound
together. The only time we could play, though, was during the
and keep people’s attention,” says Weller. “We’re still not where we
summer, so we’d play shows then go back to school, all the while
want to be, we’re always working and trying to progress as a band.
having the itch to get out and play again. We’re all very familiar
We want to become better musicians that rely on our creativity to
with each other, musically, and we all have the same passion for
push this band further.”
this band.” Weller acknowledges that his band is definitely “different.” Since hitting the road hard after college graduation, and not letting the constraints of day jobs snag their perseverance (Weller’s
“It’s not because we really try to be that way, it just happens. What
employed by Asbury Park’s Russo Music Center), Toothgrinder has
I really believe, though, is that if you have passion and play music
been racking up believers all across the country. The winners of
you believe in, people will take notice. We operate as though our
the Asbury Park Music Award for “Best Heavy Rock Band” every year
next show is going to be our best.”
since 2010, with Weller named “Best Drummer” in 2011 and 2013 (he’s also now endorsed by companies like Sabian Cymbals and
For more on Toothgrinder, visit the band’s Facebook page at www.
Aquarian Drumheads) the band now consistently takes its show
on the road – far beyond their favorite stomping grounds like The Asbury Lanes. “We did a West Coast tour last year, it was total DIY,” admits a proud Weller – a quick YouTube search will yield an entertaining visual retrospective of the run. “It was just us e-mailing venues and bands, trying to drum up support. We even played a showcase for Sumerian Records at The Whisky in Los Angeles. We learned a lot about how the business works from that experience.” Other notable live experiences have included an opening slot on a New Jersey date of the 2013 Rockstar Mayhem Festival ahead of artists like Rob Zombie, as well as local Asbury Park gigs in support of national acts like Whitechapel. Constantly trying to move their sound forward, Weller says the band is succeeding at bridging the gap between the metal crowd and the more prog-oriented faces in the audience – he’s seen the proof in the after-show chats with satisfied customers. “We’ve had metal kids in the studded wristbands come up to us and they were like, ‘you guys are awesome,’” he says. “We’ve also had the Goth kids in the black eyeliner appreciate what we do. Even some of the parents come up to us and say, ‘thank you for playing tonight, we loved it.’ We listen to everything from Pink Floyd to The Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah, and our fans have those same tastes.”
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 23
UP CLOSE AND ON FIRE
WITH LADY SPITFIRE
Faith & Scars |
Hey everyone! This is my new column
2. Why do you want to record and release your own music?
that I am writing, about bands that are “on fire” with Lady Spitfire.
Music has always been there for us during tough times, and we
These are the 3 reasons why bands get into the Up Close and On
would like to share those emotions and experiences with the
Fire with Lady Spitfire column:
3. How did you come up with your band name?
No matter what scars our lives and experiences have given us, we
Musicianship This “up close and personal” all started when I posted a status on Facebook on 03/20/2013 that read: “Seeking Musician or Band to accept my challenge of answering all the questions that I have come up with--first to respond, gets it.” The first person that responded put a “?”. Then I said “What’s your question ****?” And the person commented back “What (musically) is most important to you?”
will always have faith in our dreams and goals. 4. What are your dreams and goals? We would like to be a signed touring act sharing our music and creativity with others. 5. What advice would you give fellow bands? To always push on, to never be
response to that was, “Um, what
complacent, there is ALWAYS
don’t you understand about the
room for improvement. NEVER
question? Never mind--carry on.”
let your ego get the best of
And then, that golden moment
happened… Matt Faircloth from Faith and Scars replies with “Yes?”
6. How do you sell your music?
And I said “So, you’re ready for
Currently we sell our songs
the challenge? Are you in a band?
on Reverbnation.com. Once
Because I have a surprise for you.
we complete our upcoming EP
The challenge is actually a surprise.”
we hope to also make them
He responds “Yes, Faith & Scars.
available on other outlets such
We submitted our music via your email a few days ago.” My response back to him was “Well, my friend, it’s
FAITH & SCARS (Photo credit: Revolution Studios)
your lucky day--because you have just won a feature in our May issue (here we are) Up Close and On Fire with Lady Spitfire!” His reaction? “Sweet, thanks So much! Awesome!” When I asked him “Are we that happy?” He said “Yes, we would love to get our name out there. This is awesome, thank you so much!” Little does Matt know, but I sent him 5 versions of questions (and he had to answer them all). I told him that I am going to pick them at random--because obviously I can’t use them all, but that I would attempt to try to incorporate all of them into this feature--because
7. Are you looking for an independent label or a major label? Honestly, we would be happy with either as long as we have a good deal of creative control. We do not want to be another one of those cookie-cutter bands out there. We just want to be able to share our gift with the world--and have people love our music because it’s really good and they can relate to it. 8. What are your immediate career goals? Currently our biggest goal is to finish our EP. We are finishing up
he’s that excited about it. So here’s how it all went down…
writing a few new songs to go along with what we have available.
1. What is your musical background?
9. How do you describe your music to people?
We have all come from previous bands, so we each bring our own creativity and experience to the table.
24 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Our music is full of a variety of emotions. They all come from past experience whether personal or professional. We like to pour our souls into what we do.
10. Who are your musical influences? We all have different influences that we bring to the table. But to list a few, I think we’d have to say Alice in Chains, Alter Bridge, August Burns Red, Led Zeppelin, Paramore--just to name a few. It’s hard to list every band that speaks to your heart and creative side. 11. If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be? Our very first practice as a full band, we all just “clicked”. We knew that this was the line-up that we needed--and the rest of the evening was full of music, laughter, and awesomeness! 12. How do you promote your band and shows? Currently, we have accounts on Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram-- just look for Faith & Scars. We also do a lot of “word-of-mouth” promoting to anyone who will listen! 13. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Headlining our own tour!!!
Mezza Luna back on 08/03/2012 on an outing with the people from Steele Entertainment. This was a night that I will never forget. It was the best time ever. Mind you, now, the people that took the road trip with me were Keith, his wife, and Aaron from
14. Tell us about your next show and why we should be there. We have a Battle of the Bands we have joined in April. There will be quite a few great bands and people there, sharing their music with the people. We are always excited to show our energy and love for music, and we always try to get the crowd to participate! 15. Is there anything else you’d like to add that I didn’t mention? What is in store for the future? Where do you see your career taking you? As long as we are all still together--writing material and sharing our gifts--then we will be happy. Success is defined by how happy you are with sharing your emotions and spirit with everyone you can. As long as you enjoy what you are doing, then you are a success!!
Governing Murphy |
It was shortly after I met Ron Murphy and Wally McGovern out at
MuzicMania… I have no idea how we got there. To see Rockin’ Al and Princess Nikki come and make the trip with us that was extra special. Joining us were the people from Steel Entertainment (Amy, Bryan, Traci, Ida and Sue Steele the owner) and Michael Phoenix from A Valley and Beyond. Now that was what I called a night to remember. It was that very night that I got the first drafts, and I still have that CD of the majority of the songs that they are singing today, and let me tell you when I say HOLY mother of ***, I mean that. Then finally, because I was so enthralled by this band and loved what was coming out of the cannon with them, I met Ringo Short, the bassist in 2012 at the New Penny when I showed them my Governing Murphy tattoo. I put their logo with the words “Keep The Faith”, something Captain James R. Minicozzi taught me, and it fits them oh so well. I have seen how this band first started out when it was just Ron and Wally. I can remember when I got the
This up close and personal all
call from Bill saying that he was going to be a part of this band, I
started when I met the drummer Bill Caufman back in 2005, when
couldn’t believe it... and then finally when Ringo came into play,
he was in the band Mariah Wakes. I then continued to follow him
the lineup was complete.
when he was in Five Ton Jack. Bill and I have been very close
Now, I haven’t heard all of their new music just yet, but I have
friends since those days and we still are now. To see someone go
heard Hollow Creek and let me tell you ... the entire band brings
from a cover band to a completely original band, that is a perfect
on the rock during this song. This band is a great reason why the
example of someone who likes to take risks. Now mind you he has
local scene is starting to thrive again because you have hard work-
been drumming for many years in various bands. Bill likes to crack
ing guys like these guys exploding into the local scene.
midget jokes all the time as well as other jokes for those of you
I recently had the opportunity to chat with the guys to ask them
who know Bill. He also likes to fill in and jam with various bands. I
some questions and this is what how that went down. (Please
can remember at Concert In Memory Of RJ Minichello he jumped
note... you have been warned I am not responsible if any of the
right in and started jamming. That goes to show you how talented
questions get out of control)
Bill really is in what he does.
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 25
Up Close & On Fire, Cont. | Governing Murphy 1. Explain the name of your band The name of the band came from Wally Govern and Ron Murphy. They started as an acoustic act 1a. How did you guys meet? Answer: Ringo and Murph met in other cover bands. Murph and Wally are longtime friends, and Murph met Bill when Bill stole him from another cover band for 5 Ton Jack. 2. What made you get into the present day? Answer: Lots of hard work. We have a bond. It’s a brotherhood. We get along like brothers, we disagree like brothers. But we all love what we do. 3. What’s life like for you outside of the band? Answer: Murph is happily involved with his girl Jamie, Wally is somewhat a new daddy and happily married. Ringo is taking care of his Mother, corrupting the morals of anyone near him, and Billy is dying for warm weather to get out on his Harley and ride with his beautiful lady. 4. If you had the opportunity to create the biggest marketing campaign involving music and your personal life…. What would it be about? Answer: Wow, that one is tough because of the fact we all have different influences and we like so many different of those ideas 5. Whose your all-time favorite musician/artist and why? Answer: Again, Way too hard to answer based on our influences, but some of our favorite and influences are The Beatles, Pearl Jam, GnR, Maiden, Motley Crue, Buck Cherry, Seether, Alice in Chains 6. Who were your hero’s when you were young? Answer: Wally: Of course my Parents. Support me and come to every show. Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden. Murph: MOM, Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, GnR, and Alice Cooper Ringo: My father, grandfather, KISS, Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche Billy: MOM, Tommy Lee, John Bonham, Eric Carr 7. So what’s the food on the tour? Do you do boxers or briefs? Tell us about some of the memories you guys have as a band Answer: Food would be anything anybody wants to invite us in for. Bill and Murph don’t wear boxers or briefs. Wally is a good ole boy. and Ringo probably doesn’t own any. The memories are the looks on our faces when we just finished a new song and love it. Playing with Jackyl, POPevil and next month, Buckcherry. Oh, and the time we went Squatching. (Don’t ask) 8. What do you consider to be either your greatest accomplishment or life changing moment? Answer: As a band? Putting this band together and the people we have met along the way. 9. If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be? Answer: Hopefully we don’t have that memory yet. But, if we have to make it personal, For Billy, Ringo and Wally, It would be holding our daughters for the first time. Murph, he has too many memories and we are all jealous. But his biggest would probably be the time spent and every concert and style of music his mom introduced him to. 10. Do you have any regrets? Answer: You can’t live life with regrets. It makes you who you are. A very amazing woman taught me that. 11. Is there anything else you wanted to add that I didn’t mention … What’s in store for the future/Where do you see you, and the station say 5 years from now? Answer: 5 years from now we hope to still be writing music and pleasing our fans. And hopefully touring. Also, We will be performing live in concert with Buckcherry on April 4 at the Sherman Theater and you can still get tickets on our website in our store. 12. Where can people find your stuff? Answer: YouTube, iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, Spotify, Reverbnation, and www.governingmurphy.com
26 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Promoters and Venues and Bands, Oh My!
Also, promote the show… it is not just the band or promoter or
By Matthew Blake
upcoming shows is available on your venue’s website, up at the
When a local concert goes badly there is plenty of blame to go
entrance to your club, and at the bar. If someone has been in your
around, lots of finger pointing and no one wins. But, ultimately,
venue, they should know what shows are coming up at your venue.
who’s responsibility is it to get people to the venue on show night?
Had a bad show?
booker’s job to promote the show at your venue. It is in your best interest to promote as well. Make sure information about all your
Just showing up and playing your music is not good enough, folks.
Promoters and bookers line up on one side, bands line up on
You have a direct line to your fans and it is your job to promote
another side and venues line up on a third side… and once this
your upcoming shows to your current fans. Venues, Promoters, and
triangle is formed everyone starts blaming everyone else for the
Bookers do not know all your fans, but you do. You can rely on oth-
problems that occurred during the shows that weekend. Now, I’m
ers spread the word about your show in addition to your efforts,
known for speaking my mind… loudly and publicly. And I am going
but you have a responsibility to promote a show that you are
to offer some of my insights on this triangle of terror that happens
playing at. I’ve got news for you, bands… the people hurt the most
to the local music scene every week. But it all sums up like this… if
if you have no-one show up to see you, is you. The Venue has bar
you had a bad show, you are probably partially to blame:
sales and the other bands, the promoter or booker probably has
Promoters / Show Bookers:
other bands on the bill. You also have to let your venue and booker
You should make it very clear what exactly you expect from your bands and your venue. If you want you bands to load in at 6pm, don’t tell them that load in starts at 6. Tell them that load in is at 6. If you want your bands to play a 40 minute set, tell them “You will play from 10:00 – 10:40”, don’t say you go on at 10 and Band 2 goes on at 11. As a promoter or booker you are usually working with everyone involved in the show and it is your job to make sure everyone knows specific details. Let the venue know how you and your bands expect to get paid and when. Make sure the bands know how to collect their money. Make sure sound techs know the full details of the night’s events and any special needs of the show. All of these details should be spelled out, clearly and in advance of the show date. If you are being paid to promote a show, promote the show. You would think that this goes without saying, but posting a few links on Facebook is not promoting a show. You should be actively seeking out ways to reach fans who would enjoy the show and finding ways to get the show information in from of them and get them to show up.
Venues: Again, Be clear and detailed about what, when and how you expect things to happen at your venue. What personnel will you have at the event and what are the extent of their responsibilities? If you are providing a sound tech and PA for the show, then make sure, for the love of GOD, your sound tech isn’t trying to get more money from the people running the show. Your employees should treat bookers, promoters, bands, and fans with respect; and when they don’t it reflects badly on your venue. This is your venue, and you have a right to set the rules and guidelines. But they need to be set ahead of time and enforced equally.
know exactly what you expect out of them; if you start trying to negotiate the terms of your gig at the venue a few hours before you play, don’t expect anyone to be helpful! Know the terms of the show; know what you are getting paid and when you will get it. If these details weren’t decided ahead of time, do not get upset when you are stuck with your hand out at the end of the night. A big problem that I am seeing more and more is over booking. If you are playing on a Friday night in one town and you book a Saturday show, the next night, in the same area do not expect to have a good draw either night! If you don’t promote your show until a week before the date, plus you announce another show the next night, only 30 miles away, do not expect to have a good crowd out to see you. Also, if the booker or Venue says you only drew 7 people, then ask to see the door sheet. If the door sheet says you only drew 7 people, then you only drew 7 people. Don’t argue about it, unless you can bring more than 7 people over to the door that will say they came there to see you, if you do argue about it you will only make yourself look like an egotistical jerk, period. Do not show up late to the venue, when it is time for you to get set on stage get on stage and don’t leave until after your set and do not get so drunk that your cannot perform your own music correctly. A good show is everyone’s responsibility. These are all just guidelines, but, if everyone involved in a show maintains good and open communications and is specific about their expectations for the show and takes responsibility for making it a good show; you should have a good show! If you want to make money with live music you should treat it with the respect that any job deserves. Now, stop bickering like little children, own your actions, take responsibility, and make your show a success.
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 27
THE GROOVE MUSIC LIFE CONCERTOS FOR ROCK BAND AND BEER KEG
South this past January. Cause of Affliction themselves have since become part of
year, partially thanks to his discovery (via
the Project Independent family thanks to
my own Facebook) that we’re both fond
massive fan support and will probably be
of Dean guitars. Halfway through the set,
doing their own run of dates later this year,
Steve and I got into whatever song Cause
but more importantly, they released their
In the time between writing my first col-
of Affliction were playing (probably one
long-awaited first album Freedom is a Lie,
umn for last month’s issue, and the time
of their newer ones not yet released on
the magazine itself made its debut, quite
CD, otherwise I’d remember the title) a
a bit happened. The worst was having to
bit too much and started a group head-
Some people might think “long-awaited”
buy a new laptop not long before Issue
bang, which caused an unintended mishap:
might be pushing it for a new band’s
One (our test issue) of this magazine
Somehow, a power strip got knocked off
debut album, but I say that for two reasons.
went to press – thankfully, most of my
the table, and the plug to Gary’s cordless
One being that when I first saw them on
data, especially my digital music, is on an
mic receiver came out. A complete acci-
March 22, 2013, I was so blown away that
external hard drive! The best was when
dent, but I was a little embarrassed until
I wanted to go home with a copy of their
I commemorated the first anniversary of
Steve came to my defense. (The next time I
music, and was a shade disappointed that
the event depicted in last month’s col-
saw the band’s soundman at another gig a
they didn’t have a CD out yet. The second
umn, a year to the day, with the same two
couple of weeks later, I couldn’t resist rib-
being that COA had such a loyal following
bands, The Curse of Sorrow and Cause of
bing him with the question “Did you tape
already that a CD was inevitable!
Affliction [COA for short], and with Lucia
everything down this time?”)
By CJ Marsicano
Peregrim, the culprit who sent me to see
COA deserves their own cover feature in
both bands and thus got me involved with
At the end of Cause’s set, one of drummer
this magazine, and I hope they get one
this crazy and wonderful indie scene in the
Amanda Touch’s drumsticks went flying (by
soon, but I can easily and briefly encapsu-
first place, in tow!
accident – the rock star move of throwing
late some of their appeal in the rest of this
one or both drumsticks out into the crowd
A few funny things happened on that
isn’t a wise move in a small club). I went
to catch it out of reflex, but Lucia got a
Obviously, there’s the music itself. There’s
Before the show started, I was sitting with
hold of it first – and started to irritate
a slew of seemingly random influences in
the Curse of Sorrow’s frontman, Nick Necro,
(read: beat) me with it! She stopped after
the band’s sonic stew from the past thirty
by their merch table, shooting the breeze.
a few seconds of torture. Later on, we’d
years of modern rock, be it the Flea-like
Out of the blue, Cause of Affliction’s Gary
moved off to the side of the stage area to
funk basslines that kick off “Lost Control”,
Edrington decided that he would join in
watch the Curse of Sorrow’s set. Out of the
the Alice In Chains-channeling harmony
the conversation… but with no empty seats
blue, she pulled the drumstick back out
vocals in “Molotov”, Gary’s clever referenc-
in the immediate vicinity, Gary decided to
and started to irritate me with it again.
ing of Metallica’s “Blackened” in “The End
sit on me. Thankfully, Gary is about six
(Alcohol was not a factor in this – neither
Is Near” (Metallica is Gary’s favorite band,
inches shorter and fifty pounds or so light-
of us drink!) A photographer Lucia knew
he tells me)… and that’s just for starters.
er than me, so he could get away with such
also happened to be in the vicinity taking
a stunt! (It also helps that I love the shit
pictures of the band. Out of the blue, Lucia
Their musicianship itself is par excel-
out of everyone in both bands.) I couldn’t
got his attention, and we ended up pos-
lance. Guitarist Billy Tobin is a very nimble
resist joking, however, “Dude, I know I’m a
ing for a shot where I tried to fend off an
fingered player (but thankfully not some
big supporter of your band, but this is tak-
attempt by Lucia to shove the drumstick up
insane Vinnie Vincent-esque shredder that
ing things literally!”
one of my nostrils!
can’t play anything slower than a 16th-
During Cause of Affliction’s set, I was
Both bands have come a long way in the
on bass, often going from Chili Pepper
watching from the side of the Curse of
year since I’d seen them. Last October,
string popping to arpeggiated chords to
Sorrow’s mixing desk along with the
the Curse of Sorrow went out for a week
whole-tone dyads in the same song. Gary
Curse’s bassist Steve Slaughter. Steve and
on the Project Independent tour, hitting
Edrington is able to do melodic, almost
I have bonded quite a bit over the past
New York City as part of their itinerary,
poppy singing (see “Holding On” from
note). Matt Van Fleet is equally adept
and released their third album Six Feet
28 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Freedom is a Lie), soulful crooning, and the hardcore and posthardcore vocalizing that is almost standard in today’s modern rock without any difficulty whatsoever. And then, there’s Amanda Touch, often nicknamed “Metal Mandy” and “The Dutchess of Thunder” by fans and bandmates – a rock-solid timekeeper in a region where most wanna-be drummers seek to emulate Neil Peart’s more complex playing yet can’t play a 4/4 beat to save their lives. In sort, she can outplay most male drummers just by showing up with a
pair of sticks in her hand. Topping off every live COA show is the implement known as “The Keg”. Yes, it’s an actual empty beer keg, and it’s not there for show – it’s also a part of the band’s sound both onstage and in the studio. On select COA songs, including their signature tune “Salami”, Gary Edrington will play The Keg with an aluminum baseball bat, emitting a cutting industrial sound more masculine than any cowbell on the planet. (As of this writing, Gary has had to replace the baseball bat!) While Slipknot’s Clown has been known to use a beer keg as part of his percussion set up, Gary’s use of The Keg actually harkens, however unintentionally, to a lineage that stretches back to Gang of Four’s “He’d Send In The Army” (which starts with Andy King setting the song’s tempo by banging on a disused household appliance with a crowbar) and the early recordings of industrial music pioneers Einsturzende Neubauten (think their first album Kollaps and their first Strategies Against Architecture compilation). Future plans for COA include an opening gig for Canadian metal legends Anvil (an event that occurred before this issue went to press, with most of the band getting pics with Lips and Robb Reiner) as well as aiming for a spot on this year’s Vans Warped Tour, recording and releasing the followup to Freedom is a Lie, and of
The Indie Authority is an internet radio station based in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania market serving a nationwide audience. It is our primary goal to provide our listeners with the best in “Indie” music. Our station takes a unique approach to content development and presentation to listeners. The Indie Authority is comprised of the people that used to work for Rok Out Radio. The Indie Authority is located in NEPA and is operated by The Piccolino Agency. The Indie Authority streams independent bands from around the world 24/7/365. For more information about who we are, what we are, and why we do what we do, check out www.theindieauthority.com
course, more live performances everywhere they can walk in with their guitars, drums, and keg. COA website: www.causeofaffliction.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/CauseofAffliction Twitter: @CoARocks YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CauseOfAffliction Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/causeofaffliction
Submission instructions can be found here on our website www.theindieauthority.com/ musicsubmit Send your fans our way and together, we can share the best music, worldwide!
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 29
MARTYR DE MONA By TheDavid Garlow
The Indie music scene is alive and well not only here in New York, but across the country and around the globe. This writer has over the past five years, been lucky enough to meet and speak with bands in all locations. I have always found that local scenes, be they in the heartland or in Norway or Sweden, to be rather eclectic, sometimes volatile, and on a whole completely the same regardless of where the location. Some are certainly more robust than others and one of my personal favorite areas to cultivate those gems hidden in the media noise distorting the airwaves and pages of online and print magazines is over in the United Kingdom. The bands all seem to have an ‘it’ factor over there, at least to me. Recently, I was again fortunate in coming across one such diamond over in The Midlands, UK called Martyr De Mona. Undeniably talented rockers with a swagger, confidence, and an eye to giving you the fan all you can handle in music and visuals. They immediately struck me as parts of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Tesla, and the original version of Alice In Chains. They feature deep, rich tones, wickedly delicious guitars with equal parts melodic intonations and devil-may-care shredding. The bass and drum line slaps down some intense power while dialing up the intensity without losing the emotion of a song. The vocals are strong, crisp, have some awesome backing, and can take the listener on a ride within each song. The band just released their second full length CD entitled Impera that has not left my car CD player yet, thank God they sent me the Zip file so I could jam it out in the house while I work. It is ten songs of pure, unadulterated rock pleasure, plain and simple. Every single track kicks you square in the face with power, melody, aggression, and speed. In short, these guys may be a new name to the world at large, but I would not be at all shocked to see them on a bill anywhere in the world over the course of the next year. Let’s get to the basics: Martyr De Mona is: Louis Hale – guitar and vocals Ashley Leatherland – drums Joshua ‘JJ’ Wooldridge – bass, guitar, vocals Ant Ricket – guitar, vocals
30 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Impera tracklist: Siege Mentality Influence & Persuasion Reprisal Sentient Impera Nothing Sacred Gravity Breaks KYO Suffer Unto Me HollowShore The band also just released the video for the song “Influence & Persuasion” and can be found on YouTube. I can only say that my teen daughter heard the music and quickly asked who it was, I then played the video and well, teens being teens, a new crush was born. So yes, they have the look and the chops to back it all up. The CD starts out with the soft soulful picking on guitar that starts of “Hollow Shore” and is joined in by some perfectly blended words sung in complete harmony with the music. The band then kicks in with the power and while this is not exactly a ballad, it is as close to an old school power ballad new style that is out there and one of the best I have heard. Then they twist it around and the full effect of the band hitting the volume up to 10 is felt and heard. Those are key things to know as the songs are all active rock radio friendly, and each displays the bands writing prowess and musical abilities and those are all quite exceptional. My advice is to take the time to check these guys out, buy this CD and put it in your vehicle’s player, crank it out with the windows open while cruising down the highway. It is the perfect fit for speed, road trips, and heading out to see some live music. The guys were gracious enough to indulge me with an interview and this may be one to hold onto because as I said, in a year they may be filling their time touring around the world. Interview with Martyr De Mona Let’s start with the band in general, how did you guys get started? Louis: Martyr de Mona goes back to 2007 when I started the band with school friends. We had some local success, winning battle of the bands etc before a few line-up changes! MDM has changed a lot since then, we’ve had good times and bad but now feels like the MDM I always wanted and wouldn’t change anything.
How did you come up with the name?
remains in my car’s CD player and I crank it every time I go somewhere. Can you talk about the writing and recording of the record
Louis: Myspace porn name generator! Martyr de Moaner was
thrown out when we put a girl’s name in. Louis: Glad you like it! It was a long process. With a completely The band is incredibly tight with some crunching melodies and
new line up formed about 2 years ago, we’d had a few months
really wild solos, can you tell me about the bands backgrounds as
playing gigs and getting that chemistry right and we then signed
they grew into the instruments?
to In At The Eye Records. The signing alone was an inspiration, we had to deliver and we were writing in our own studio every spare
Louis: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10 and started singing
minute for about 9 months.
when I was about 18. I was massively influenced by Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley.
Ant: It was hard work; juggling day jobs and putting in the necessary hours but every week there was something new and we knew
Ant: I’ve been playing guitar since I was about 8. Players like
that we had something special on our hands when we recorded
Michael Schenker, Jeff Loomis and Steve Morse have been massive
some tracks in demo form after 3 months of writing. Some of those
influences. There is some ‘shredding’ on the album but I’d like to
didn’t make it but it was a great help in the process.
think we managed to get as much melody and feel into the solos as much as possible.
Ash: We had about 20 songs to choose from and we then demoed our final chosen 10 in our rehearsal space before we started
Josh: I was a guitarist until I auditioned for MDM as bassist. It was
recording in September. We recorded the drums and bass at
the only way I was going to get in the band! That’s been over two
Monnow Valley Studios in Wales. It was amazing; it had a huge
years now so I’ve had to progress quickly to get up to these guys
drum room, so much history, and the occasional bat flying around
standards - but I’ve never been as comfortable with an instrument
to remind you Ozzy Osbourne has recorded there!
until I picked up the bass. I’ve been influenced by bands such as Periphery, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Sylosis and early Martyr de
Josh: To work in a studio that had so much history dealing with
some of music’s greatest bands, and to be able to be working there was massively overwhelming! We’d spent months going through
Ashley: I’ve been playing since I was 11. Iron Maiden got me in to
different demos of an arsenal of tracks, and we all settled on the
music and it’s great that all of us share Maiden as a huge influence.
ones we wanted to push further for the album. It was a lot of hard
I’m influenced by a lot of bands, including Tool, Mastodon, Sylosis
work, but hopefully it’ll all pay off with what we’ve created!
and Alice In Chains. Louis: It was a bit surreal being in a studio where Black Sabbath Now that the preliminaries are done, last year the band opened
and Led Zeppelin have recorded. As well as our producer Romesh,
for some pretty big names, can you tell me about who and where
there were about 9 engineers, techs and runners there when we
and what are some of your thoughts about sharing the stage with
arrived, who just did everything for us besides the playing!
them? Ant: We then went to Long Wave Studios to do all the guitars and Ash: We were lucky enough to be asked to play the Forum at the
vocals and we used 2 separate studios there for about 3 weeks. We
LG Arena in Birmingham, opening for Black Sabbath and then
got through a crate of Monster and ended up using Funeral For A
Avenged Sevenfold. It was an honor just being able to play in the
Friend’s Peavey amp coupled with a Blackstar for the guitars. We
same building and we got great feedback of the fans.
actually blew it up! They were kind enough to lend us another one though for a crate of cider.
Louis: That’s 4 times now we’ve played there. We also did the Guns N’ Roses and Alter Bridge shows a couple of years back. Never got
You worked with producer Romesh Dodangoda who has done
to meet the bands though!
some giants like Motorhead, what was it like working with him and what did he influence during the recording process?
Let’s get to your newest album ‘Impera’ which you were kind enough to mail to me, I’ve had it for almost two weeks and it
Louis: Romesh really crafted this record. He paid a lot of attention
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 31
to the demos we cut beforehand and really
it was the most obvious choice. There
they care about. It can be draining watch-
thought about the sound and the feel of
was a huge intro which we cut once we’d
ing people make mistake after mistake but
the band. Vocally he got me reaching notes
decided on Siege Mentality being the
at the end of the day everyone has to make
I’ve never hit before. He really pushed to
their own choices, so it’s like a release.
get the best possible results. Romesh also
They just want to be rid of the responsibil-
mixed the record and the same goes; he
Ash: We recorded the video in the derelict
ity and the baggage but at the same time
knew what we wanted. He nailed it first
part of a stately home, it was a long day,
let that person know that they still care.
doing take after take but the producers
It’s a conundrum. I think it portrays some
Video INK were great, they really captured
great visual images. Might make a good
the energy of the track.
video one day!
names in the industry. It’s always a worry
Josh: It was really hard work to be giving
Josh: It was another one where we jammed
when you work with someone new but we
your all in a performance for a whole day,
some ideas in the first session at Blue
did our homework and listened to albums
but the experience was great - being able
Whale Studios. The middle changed a
he’d produced and from day one in the stu-
to crank up the volume of a brand new
couple of times, and the ideas were being
dio we knew we’d made the right choice.
song in a creepy environment really made
thrown all over the place for this one - it
Couldn’t be happier with the results and
it a special day for me!
was crazy! But we wanted something that
Ant: Romesh is a proper producer and it’s no surprise he’s working with the biggest
we learned a lot. I’ve got to give a massive
would really showcase the band on both
shout to the engineer Rob Thomas too. He
Louis: Lyrically it’s about people who try
depth, emotion, and really create a roller
was ‘on the ball’ every day; it was great to
to be something or someone they’re not.
coaster of a song.
work with him.
There’s a message in there. Just be yourself.
I see you guys are signed with In At The
“Siege Mentality” simply blows me away
late addition but it really brought out the
Eye/Universal Music, how did that come
every single time I play it, can you talk
dynamics. Another massive chorus!
about and what did that change for you
about that one?
Ant: The mid-vocal then solo section was a
as a band?
“Nothing Sacred” is an aggressive rocker, Ant: This is one that came together in the
great riffage, awesome work on the drums
Louis: We put out our last album on our
first recording sessions. Josh had this cool
and bass; what is this one about and how
own label; Eagle Two Records, but with this
intro that he’d written a while back and
did you go about writing this one?
album we really wanted to go to the next
we just added to it and worked out the
level and we felt like we needed some
sections pretty quickly.
more backing from professionals. We’d
Louis: As with all the tracks really there was no real writing formula, we just
been approached by IATE and decided to
Ash: It’s a perfect opener with some great
jammed ideas, picked out what was best
sign after meeting with them a few times
vocal lines and harmonies. The chorus is
and we all expressed our opinions and
with our manager.
communicated well. This one; musically
Ash: The only change I’d say is that it
Louis: The chorus is a challenge!
is inspired by Alter Bridge. The lyrics are pushed us to work harder as we are part of a bigger team now.
about someone who never had the guts to express their opinion and then complained
“Hollow Shore” is another one, okay, they
about not getting what they wanted.
all blow me away so I am just picking them here, some incredible musicianship and
Martyr de Mona has won some awards
The first single “Influence & Persuasion” is
just some intense guitar work; can you talk
and been called the “‘UNDOUBTEDLY
off the hook killer, great song and a very
about the writing process that went into
THE MIDLANDS’ HOTTEST BAND AT THE
cool video, can you talk about the song;
this one and what it’s about?
MOMENT” (Midlands Rocks) can you talk
what it’s about, and the making the video?
about all of that? Louis: It’s about someone who’s tired about
Ant: Cheers! It was written with the inten-
feeling guilty all the time and worrying
Josh: We won a Best British Band award
tion of being a single I guess, or at least
about the choices of other people that
through a radio station competition. We
32 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
beat Heavens Basement to that one which was cool. We don’t take
Yours” that is just as killer)
it all that seriously but it’s cool to be nominated and compliments from press are always good!
Louis: Thanks David, glad to have a fan in the USA! And cheers for the great feedback.
Are you guys still very active in your local scene and can you tell the readers where exactly you are from?
I thank you for the time, what would you like to say to all the readers and fans out there?
Ant: We’re all from the West Midlands in the UK and it’s still our local fan base that drives us on. We’ve been all over the UK and
Ant: We have our album Impera out on 31st March, please check
we hope to head to Europe this year but when we play local it’s
always a massive event. Ash: We have our album launch show in the Midlands. To be able
Louis: Thanks for sticking by us and being patient, you’ll love the
to play in front of 1000 people will be an incredible, rewarding
experience. Josh: See you on tour in April. We’re playing all over the UK and Here’s a chance to give some local love out, can you tell me about
hopefully a few festivals in the summer.
some of the bands from the area that I should know about and describe the scene at large?
Ash: Please buy Impera! Cheers!
Louis: There are so many, lots of different styles, but most of us
You can find them at:
support each other. Check out Fool’s Glory, Lightfire, The Black
Hounds, This Elegant Chaos, Rising Struggle, Left For Red, Fire Red
Ant: Eyes of the Raven, Destroyed Beyond Belief, Pencils for Pistols, Proteus Ash: Liberty Lies, Captain Horizon, Hostile, Methodemic, Wraith, Aceldama Josh: Venom & Apathy, My Great Affliction, Sister Shotgun What advise would you give to any local band trying to break away and start the climb to being heard, seen, and known? Louis: If you really want to make it you need to work hard and network as much as you can. You need a lot of luck, hopefully we’ll get it! Be active, make each show an event. Read up on the industry and decide what you realistically want to achieve. You have to set yourself a goal and then go for it. It’s a tough industry. There’s big support underground but even there you still find people with massive egos who will try and bring you down. For me it’s not a competition. We’re in it for the music ultimately and we have fun doing what we do. Again, I can’t stress enough just how killer your album is, the video is awesome, and I see you guys on the world stage very soon. (Author’s note: the band also has a video for 2012’s “Protect What’s
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 33
Only Living Boy & 91s Live at Trippin Billie, 114 N. Centre Street Pottsville PA 17901
By Sharon Ruth Frantz I was thrilled to find out back in April 2014 that two of my many favorite bands, Only Living Boy & 91s were going to be performing “live” once again, at our local venue Trippin Billie located here in my hometown of Pottsville PA, on May 9th, 2014. I have seen them live many times since November 2012 and to say they are a powerhouse of talent is an understatement for both bands! This time, though, Only Living Boy was going to be the Headliner for the first time. They have shared the stage, there, and at many other local & out of state Venues many times prior to this with our mutual friends the bands, Crobot, Empire Escorts, & Ruby The Hatchet, etc. Finally the evening arrived and I walked to the venue which is only a few blocks from my home. I had chills of anticipation knowing my senses were in for a wonderful treat of some down home, blues, rock, stoner rock, and guitar pickin the likes of which Pottsville PA doesn’t see enough of!! I arrived, went in, and was greeted by many good friends, including Joe Cirotti and Eric Curley of Only Living Boy, we chatted and then, not long after that,the evening’s set got started when the 91s took the stage around 10:15 pm. The 91s opened the show. If you’ve never heard or seen 91s let me tell you a bit about them. I have seen them live a few times in the recent past when they opened for good friends, Crobot at Trippin Billie. When I heard and saw them back then, as well as on this particular evening, I was treated to some rumbling bass lines from Tony Garber, which were joined by vocal musings from Robbie Gallagher, Jr. on Drums, & then some wonderful pickin, grooving, & vocals by Patrick Michael Reigel on lead guitar. 91s first started back in 2008 and as I’ve heard it said, are one of
34 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
the rare bands that can look the rigors of the rock n roll lifestyle straight in the eyes, throw their collective middle fingers to the sky and with smiles on their faces kick out their jams for the simple reason that they truly love them! I’ve come to know this to be very true! Their songs created a groove featuring enough heavy fuzz and “thick” riffage to give you a serious case of cotton mouth… The 91s are a fun bunch of guys and really packed a punch to the audience! Hearing this music we couldn’t help but get into it! The vocals joined the guitar in a sort of duet until eventually all three instruments came together to unleash the finest groove that made sitting still no longer an option!! Best of all, we started out with not much of a crowd, but Trippin Billie is in the habit of leaving the doors open, when it’s warm out, because they have a very nice patio set up, and it lets everyone outside hear the wonderful rock n roll going on. I watched a really small thin crowd begin to grow into a large one as people were being drawn in by the groove this band was putting out there! The people came in and immediately walked up to the stage and began to have fun with the wonderfully sleazy lyrics and riffs thick enough you could chew on them!!! This was some of the best rock n roll Pottsville will ever hear! This was 91s! 91s ended by giving us the grand finally of psychedelic, stoner rock goodness that showed us all one hell of a good time! We took a break, believe me we needed it! Lol! Whilst Only Living Boy got ready to take the stage next. I couldn’t wait! 91s had us primed and ready for the music of Only Living Boy! Music that penetrates listeners with a raw sound that is organic with an edge, full of blues, rock, and a distinct sound. Now, in case you’ve never heard or seen Only Living Boy “live” before let me give you a bit of their history that I’ve learned from reading up on their band bio. Lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Joe Cirotti, drummer Trevor Newcomb, and bassist Eric Curley have played together in different incarnations since prepubescent basement jams. From what I read, they initially formed under the band name “Rabid Roy” and the trio played hundreds of gigs throughout New Jersey and New York. Known for their rousing live shows, the band has shared the stage over the years with acts such as former Sheryl Crow guitarist and co-writer Todd Wolfe(Easton, PA), the Milwaukees(Jersey
City, NJ) Hero Pattern(Rockaway, N.J.), Quimby Mountain Band, Our own Pottsville Natives, Crobot, and Lionize (Silver Spring, Md.) at Venues such as New York City’s The Knitting Factory. The Stone Pony, Bar46, The Historic Blairstown Theatre, Asbury Lanes, all of NJ, & Locally they’ve played at Cactus Jack’s Southwestern Bar & Grill, & of course Trippin Billie in Pottsville PA. They haven’t left their roots behind though, and have also served as a staple within their home town music scene in the Hackettstown, N.J. area hosting regular jams and helping set up shows for out of town acts. In 2008 the band reinvented itself as Only Living Boy, named after Simon & Garfunkle’s 1970 song “Only Living Boy in New York” The change represented a shift in attitude, songwriting, and musicianship. They then began recording and have released some pretty righteous CD’s! The most recent being “Cool Collected Head Case “ which was released under the bands own Wurli Records Label. This is the EP that I was fortunate enough to attend the release party for that was held on April 27, 2013 and featured our own Pottsville natives, Crobot, and also the very talented bands, Empire Escorts and Ruby The Hatchet. Nice thing about all these bands, they are all like family to one another and they have left myself and many of us become part of their wonderful musical family as well.
easy and Trevor Newcomb brings it all together with his terrific talent on the drums. I was so thrilled because I had asked them on Twitter prior to the show, if they’d perform one of my faves their song “Hide Nothing” which they did and I appreciated! They also thrilled myself, & the crowd with many of their original songs, such as “My Heart Is Burning”, “Lonely Puppy Blues”, “I Beg Your Pardon”, “Everything Is In Me”, and “Demon Shuffle pt 2” and a few terrific covers, such as another of my faves, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. I had goose bumps and chills standing there, watching and listening to them! I’ve read a few reviews that said they take cues from Stevie Ray Vaughn, and produce blues a bit on the nastier side and I couldn’t agree more! It is always a pleasure to watch and listen to them. I always tell everyone that if they haven’t heard or seen Only Living Boy & also 91s “live” please don’t pass your chance up! They never disappoint! Needless to say, the audience and myself didn’t want them to stop playing, we all called them back for an encore, but then we had to let them go because both bands had a long trip back to Hackettstown NJ, to leave for because they were due to play Bar46 the next evening as part of their tour they are currently on. Their next dates of the tour will be on May 23, 2014 at The Livingston Love-In Festival, Livingston, NJ. Then both Only Living Boy & 91s will return together for their next show on Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at Savannah’s on Hanna a wonderful Venue located in Harrisburg, PA. 91s will be taking a break after the show at Savannah’s to do some writing and to work on some cool events for the late summer/fall . As far as Only Living Boy, I’m not sure what they will be having coming up? Please check out both bands links, and my Facebook page located at http://www.facebook.com/sharonruthfrantzsworldofmusic to keep up to date on any upcoming dates, and info, etc. You can find both bands on the web at:
Back to the show! When Only Living Boy took the stage the crowd really began to light up, I was taking video of both bands all evening and captured a few that you can hear and see how much the audience truly enjoyed themselves as did the band members. We were all treated to Only Living Boy’s Northwestern New Jersey roots that helps their unrivaled style that is woven together with threads of Jam, blues, reggae, and some of the best guitar pickin you’d ever want to hear and watch. Joe Cirotti lead guitar and vocals and Eric Curley make it look so
Only Living Boy http://onlylivingboy.com/ http://itunes.onlylivingboy.com/ http://youtube.onlylivingboy.com/ http://twitter.onlylivingboy.com/ https://www.facebook.com/onlylivingboymusic 91s http://www.91spot.com https://www.facebook.com/ninetyones
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 35
The most amazing night of music, Ever! Tantric, Atomic Shift, and Redefine | Dallas, TX Show Review By Matthew Blake When I say that I have seen a lot of live music it is an understate-
appoint. Their most recent two albums “The Power of Persuasion”
ment. In the past 10 years I have probably seen in the neighbor-
(2009) and “Blur on the Horizon” (2011) are filled with a combina-
hood of 400 concerts. I have seen some great shows, I have seen
tion of beautiful melodies and guttural hard rock that will leave
some great bands, and I have had the time of my life! Recently,
you rocked, shocked, and ready for more. WIth their new music, in
however, I attended a show at Trees, in Dallas’ Deep Ellum, that
the works for a release later this year, Redefine has done nothing
topped them all. Where they the most amazing or talented bands
but improve on an already solid formula for rocking the proverbial
of all time, no, but this show was one that I will never forget, and
socks off their fans. The new tunes, along with some favorites from
I’m going to tell you why!
their previous albums, took the small but energized Trees crowd on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride of rock greatness. Taking us from
The night was Thursday, February 27th. The venue was Trees in
hard and heavy riffs into sweet melodies where frontman, Scott
Dallas. The line up was Pistol Whippin’ Ike, Redefine, Atomic Shift,
Headstream, almost swoons his audience, then back to head bang-
and Tantric. The three opening bands are among my favorite Dallas
ing, powerful rock, that moves fists to the air. Redefine combines
groups, and Tantric is an exceptional nationally touring rock group
the best parts of hard rock and pure emotion better than most, and
that I have been a fan of for years. I was running a bit late to the
if you have an opportunity to see them live you will not be disap-
venue and so I missed most of Pistol Whippin’ Ike’s ( https://www.
pointed. But the Third, and most important, reason why I am a huge
facebook.com/pistolwhippinike ) set, but from what I did see and
fan of this band is the way they treat their fans. These guys are very
heard they put on their usual outstanding level of show. P.W.I. is a
talented musicians, but rather than strutting around, playing rock-
great rock band from Dallas that has been consistently providing
star, they humble themselves; showing deep appreciation to those
fans something to get excited about for years. Front man, Mario
who enjoy their music and attend their shows. The members of
Cadena, has a way of evoking the passion of his audience at every
Redefine not only spend time with their fans before they play, but
show. Although I do not see PWI often enough, I always enjoy it
they also remain at the venue, seeing the other bands and enjoying
when I do!
plenty of face time with the fans who love their music. This respect for the music lover is often hard to find and these guys take it to heart. Redefine always puts on a good show, but this night the stars aligned and it was truly an exceptional set. Between bands Redefine took the time to do an interview with me, talking about their music, the band, what’s coming up for them and a lot more. You can hear the interview, in it’s entirety, on WhiskeyBoy Radio, Episode #168 – Redefining Bacon! (http://www. whiskeyboy.us/wbr-168-redefining-bacon/) Redefine has recently joined Denton, Texas’ Do For It Records, and will release an album with them sometime this year The next band to take the stage was one that, honestly, I was not
Second up on this night was a staple to the North Texas Rock
very familiar with and had not even seen live before, Atomic Shift
scene, Redefine ( https://www.facebook.com/RedefineBand ). Now,
( https://www.facebook.com/ATOMICSHIFTBAND ). They are an
I have been a fan of these guys for a long time, and it’s for several
alternative rock group from Dallas, TX; and they put on a monster
reasons. Firstly, Their music is wonderful, honestly, it’s better than
of a live show! I was casually enjoying their set from the back of
most of what you will hear on the radio on any given day. Secondly,
the venue while chatting with some friends, the music was good,
they put on an amazing live show. These guys will blow you away
it was good enough that I was pulled from conversation by it on
any night of the week, and on this Thursday night they did not dis-
several occasions. But when I heard the familiar beginning to
36 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
“Killing In The Name” (Rage Against the Machine) that I walked to
our night. From that moment on the Tantric vocalist owned the
the front of the stage and stood in awe of this outstanding rock
audience and the night. He took every opportunity to interact with
group. I love a good cover song, but the sad fact is that most bands
his fans between and even during songs. I was recording video of
fail terribly at them, especially when covering a song so popular as
the show with my iPhone, and at one point Hugo reached down,
Rage’s “Killing In The Name”. But that was not the case for Atomic
took my phone out of my hand and walked the stage filming the
Shift. They nailed it, rocked it, and owed it - bringing the growing
crowd before handing my phone back to me. And the whole set
crowd to a jumping, singing, screaming frenzy through the end
continued in this manner. The appreciation for his fans shone
of their set. These guys are a new group to watch out for, and I’m
through not only in the performance, but in the way Hugo made
certainly looking forward to the next time I get the opportunity to
the whole performance so personal, talking with us, sitting on the
see them perform. Atomic Shift is currently working on their first
edge of the stage and singing right to the fans, and then, he told us
album, due for release in the late Summer or Fall of this year. I’m
that we needed to experience the show from his point of view. He
eagerly awaiting this album’s arrival!
then invited about a dozen people right out of the crowd to come up on stage, they stood there together, singing with Hugo Ferreira of Tantric, looking out on the small, but excited crowd. They took a break to bring out a keyboard so Hugo could have a seat and perform one of Tantrics older and slower tunes, before picking back up to the familiar hard rock sound of Tantric and wrapping the show up, with the band spent, the audience exhausted, and completely satisfied. This night, this show, and specifically the Tantric set was about more than the music. It was about the experience! It was an artist truly appreciating his fans and connecting with them on an amazingly personal level. It was a group of music fans sharing in a very special night of passion and seeing a show that we will never forget. This is what music on a local level is about. The connection, the stories, the friends, the artists, and of course… the music.
Matthew Blake is a freelance writer and graphic artist, He is also the Art Director of The Indie Authority Magazine, and the Host of WhiskeyBoy Radio, a weekly variety podcast. And now our headliner. Admittedly I was excited to see Tantric ( https://www.facebook.com/Tantric ), but I came out on this night because of the local acts. Little did I know that the already great night of music was about to turn into the most amazing night of music I had ever been witness to. Tantric is currently touring in support of their new album ‘37 Channels’, Thursday, February 27th, that tour stopped at Trees in Dallas, Texas. Tantric’s lead singer, Hugo Ferreira, is the only remaining ‘original’ member of the band, and he wrote every note of the new album himself. His passion and dedication to his craft shine through on the album, in a big way, but even that pales in comparison to seeing Tantric live. It starting out like you would expect from a live rock show, but quickly it got special. “I’ve always considered Dallas like home.” Ferreira noted between songs. He also took note of the relatively small crowd, letting the audience know that it didn’t matter how many people showed up, that we, the fans, would make it special and that it was
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 37
the nicest, down-to-earth, humble rockstars I have ever met. They were so excited to tell me all about their tour so far and their label. I also thought it was cool that Jason is from Akron, Ohio where I
Thompson House, Newport, KY Monday, March 31, 2014
just lived for the last 8 years. It was cool hearing about their sold-
Show Review Written by: Rock Princess Melissa
start out this tour.
out show a few nights prior at the world-famous Machine Shop in Detroit, Michigan and how that was the absolute perfect way to
During their 8-song set, Jason repeatedly thanked the crowd for being crazy enough to come out to a rock and roll show on a Monday night, asking them to drink with the band, yelling “are you out there, come on let me hear you.” This and this alone got the crowd pumped and pulled into their show. Now fans may have been there to see their beloved Tantric and Soil but I honestly believe that after seeing Social 66, they have a new band to fall in love with. Their melodies are refreshing and are at the cornerstone of what true American rock-legends are made of. Any of these songs could be heard on the radio today, and should be. They deserve the respect for masterpieces like “The Party Is On” gets the fans fist-pumping, head-banging and rocking along. My personal favorite, “Until We Fade”, really pulls at your heart-strings. Then they closed out the show with crowd-favorite, “Radiate”. Jason then thanks everyone again for coming out, to be
On this brisk spring evening, Pavement Entertainment’s own,
sure to stop by their merchandise booth to say hi and that they will
Social 66, commanded The Tommy Gun Theatre stage at Newport
see us all again real soon! Please be sure to stay in touch with
Kentucky’s legendary Thompson House. The Thompson House,
the band via Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Social66Band, on
well known as the birthplace of John Talliaferro Thompson the
ReverbNation at www.ReverbNation.com/Social66 or on Twitter at
inventor of the “Thompson “Tommy Gun” Submachine Gun”, which
www.Twitter.com/Social66. Their current merchandise line can be
has been hosting rock and roll shows for years now. So not only
found at www.Social66.StoreEnvy.com. Be sure to check the boys
was there buzz all over the streets for being the Cincinnati Reds
out when they come to a city near you as they do NOT disappoint.
Opening Day game but it was also the night before the release of their self-titled debut album. Members include Jason Odaniel on
See you on the road!
\m/ Rock Princess Melissa \m/
Lead Vocals/Guitar, Bassist/Backing Vocals Eric Seevers, Drummer Joe Bailey and Se7en on Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals….all hailing
The Thompson House was entered into the National Registry of
from parts of Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.
historic places by the United States of the Interior in 1977 (http:// thompsonhousenewport.com).
Per their Facebook bio, the band was purposefully created to write and record great hard rock songs with loud guitars and undeni-
Photo Credit: Chris A. Photography
able hooks. As I watched their show I was honestly astounded on
Edited by Jay Luster
the range of Jason’s voice. He can go from this tender beautiful
originally published at TheIndieAuthority.com. Reproduced with
soft tone to screaming in just seconds and I was floored. I can
the consent of the author.
genuinely ‘feel’ their emotions as their songs take you on a view into their life on the road, away from their families, dreams, passions, just plain living day-to-day and truly being a part of this journey with them. I had the honor of meeting all four guys at their merchandise table after their set. I know that there is this “stereotype” out there about metal rockers covered in tattoos but I have to say in this instance that does not fit. They were some of
38 • The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com
Cover Charges Vs. Guaranteed By Lady Spitfire Support your local scene. Because without them you wouldn’t have your favorite bands. You will pay $30 to $50 to go see a band play one song you heard on the radio… but you won’t pay $5 to $7 to see local bands? This disturbs me. Terribly. It bothers me because these bands have to make a living somehow. The reason why venues pay cover charges is because they want the bands to be the DIY person and bring the crowd to the bar. However, there are some that do a “NO COVER CHARGE” and provide bands guarantees. So let’s look at the pros and cons and see if we can’t come to a resolution… Warren Jeffrey Motter of warrenjeffreymotter.com states “I believe that a minimum guarantee (with additional finds above and beyond for x number of attendees) is the best solution.” Timothy J Bednarz, Gundacker Project : “No band should be given a guarantee. The cover needs to be fair and the bands need to be paid fairly. Proof of performance should decide wage” Greg Shaffer of The Factory Underground states “From a venue stand point, we definitely prefer paying our acts off of cover charges. It would be wonderful to be able to give every group a guarantee but in today’s competitive music environment it would be difficult to stay in business if we paid every band that simply brings their girlfriends a large lump sum.” Ok, so we have the band standpoint, the management company standpoint, and of course the venue standpoint. So let’s take to the fans because of course the bands want a guarantee (and please don’t take this the wrong way) because they don’t believe in the pay to play it’s more of PROMOTE TO PLAY. You then have the management company who states that they should also have a guarantee and I get that. But honestly I don’t see a guarantee being of value unless the band comes to a happy medium as well. On the other side you have the venue that prefers cover charges. I know that there are some venues that will pay extra if the venue makes out very well, but not all venues are like that. The Indie Authority’s own CJ Marsicano chipped his own view from his most recent performing experiences: “I have a bit of a nightmare situation insofar as cover charges from when I was in my last-ever cover band. In at least two different places we were playing for the door, which would have been at least okay if it weren’t for one complication. In the two places in question, the band would be in one part of the building where you’d have to pay a charge to come in, and there was another section (just a bar area) where one could see but not hear the band – and not have to pay a cover charge to get into the bar. Guess where most of the people were! Thankfully, karma intervened on both of these places, neither of which are operating anymore. So my advice would be, if you’re playing for the door (cover charge), beware of places where there’s a cover charge in one part of the building but not another!”
So here is what the fans have to say….. Francine L. Davis of Grand Rapids, MI and of Supporting Music World Wide “That’s good thing to know... which is why I go to places early if they have a cover charge, because sometimes I get lucky and don’t have to pay it. Going to a place early has three advantages to it: 1) to get a good seat, 2) weather and 3) if they are a venue that serves food. ” Kenny of New Jersey states “I’d pay a cover if the band was good… I always have. I would pay a 10 or 20 cover to see good original bands… because tix for concerts these days are through the roof on price… 10 or 20 is a bargain.” Jaspa of Heads Up Rock Show (UK): “Out here we call them Entrance Fees, and it’s the best way of support.” Thomas Jenney, Barberton, Ohio: “I am of two minds when it comes to cover charges versus guarantees. Having been an “art for art’s sake” leaning on my “artistic integrity” and unwillingness to compromise, and coming from an extremely rough market to play in. I also was a music venue owner for three years, and was probably the antithesis of my peers because I booked bands based on my quirky outre’ musical tastes, unconcerned about what we took in. I had food and beverage revenue for that. But everyone needs paid. This is a heartless business. Nightclub owners would put a wind up monkey playing cymbals on a chair and sells tickets if people showed up. And one I dealt with judged a “good” band strictly by receipts at the end of the night. I am one of the best guitarists you will ever meet in your life. This is an irrefutable fact. I’ve dealt with it. However, I have no personal guarantee to offer a club owner that every single seat will be full and they will drink your kegs dry. Not in this economy. The strippers are complaining they can’t make it. One of the absolute worst rock bottom bands I ever saw had a huge biker following, played poorly executed Metallica and Lynyrd Skynyrd covers, and lined the curb with bikes whose owner’s drank the bar completely out of beer and liquor so he had to have an emergency booze delivery to open Saturday. The club owner was in bliss and raved what a wonderful band that made them. You will meet many dishonest, incompetent, ruthless, and damaged people in this racket. Cover your ass with both hands.” So I think the bottom line here, or the moral of the story is this. Whether you are given a guarantee, or you are given a cover charge or entrance fee in the UK… please support your local music scene because they are the hardest working people I have come across because some of them are surviving off of this in order to live. I think we can all put ourselves there when we are in that kind of a predicament. Ya’ know? Until Next Time LadySpitfire
The Indie Authority Magazine • www.theindieauthority.com • 39
Please visit www.frankiesvoice.org for more information about the event and the Frankie C. Bonacci Memorial Fund