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Venture mag

october issue november issue2013 2013

The Maine lydia / asker / sebastien grainger / crystal antlers / new beat fund + more

EXPLORE We have arrived at issue number thirteen (oh, doesn’t time fly), and we thought we would have our good friends in The Maine gracing the cover. Having released their fourth studio album ‘Forever Halloween’ in June, the band have since announced that they will be releasing an acoustic EP in December. Meanwhile, they’re currently keeping busy touring. We wanted to know what was going on in that crazy world of theirs.
























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Animal Collective, Gold Panda, Sebastien Grainger, Forever Can Wait, Rachel Lynn, AFI, Lydia, New Beat Fund + MORE.






sir sly gold




MONTHLY PLAYLIST Here’s our collection of songs that we just haven’t been able to stop playing throughout November. Lorde is killing it and since we seen Lucy Spraggan live we just haven’t stopped humming her tracks. Lily Allen’s new track is an absolute tune while we think that Adelphia and Anavae are bands you should be looking out for. What, or rather who is on your monthly play list?



Venture mag FOUNDER + EDITOR IN CHIEF BEKKA COLLINS: Founder / Press / Graphic Design / Writer BREANNE GILL: Editor In Chief JAKE WILLIAMS: Graphic Design



special thanks Asker / Lydia / The Maine / New Beat Fund / Forever Can Wait / Rachel Lynn / Sebastien Grainger / Crystal Antlers / Gold & Youth / Sour Cherry / A Story To Tell / David Marek / Christian Moudy / Anna Meacham / Hannah Braid / Cath Hurley / Steph Knight / Shoshie Aborn / Moses / Lou Goodliffe/ Oli Knowles






Asker are an indie rock trio from Minneapolis. With so many bands trying to break out into the industry, it can be difficult to get your voice heard. Vocalist Alexander Rollins told us how the band got started.

“I met our drummer Alex Sullivan via a flyer I put up at our college. I was looking for a bassist and he called saying he could play drums, we’ve been like brothers ever since. I met our guitarist Jack Vondrachek one day in class, we all go to the same school. He was playing in some other band, but we just started talking music and we were making demos in his basement a few months later. I personally got started in music by taking piano lessons, but I quit after a few years and my Dad soon exposed me to 60s and 70s rock bands. But it wasn’t until high school that I really got into music, my brother was my source for all the bands that made me want to be a musician, like The White Stripes, The Shins and Radiohead.” With those influences in mind a new tight-knit band named Asker were created, and they set out to make some music. Alexander describes their first EP ‘The Escape Room,’ as “more cathartic, mellow and indie rock,” but truth be told the band just weren’t happy with it. “We released that record and played all over the country in support of it, but when we came home we felt like we were back at square one. One night at about 4am I woke up and wrote a song called “Bloom”. I made a groggy voice note on my phone, and a few days later we ending up being frustrated in the studio. I pulled

out the voice note and we laid down a demo track in two takes, and listened back after about 30 minutes. It hit us how special this song was, but also how different, and we scrapped 95% of the other songs we had. We’re anxious to put ‘The Escape Room’ behind us, and focus on what’s next.” So with ‘The Escape Room’ chapter almost fully in the past, we wanted to hear more about the bands new material.

“We just finished tracking “Bloom” at Humans Win! Studio (greatest place on earth), and it will be mixed within a few weeks. Our goal is to put it out this fall and take it slowly from there. All of our new music is a step in a different, but very right direction. I’ve been listening to artists like Tame Impala, St. Vincent and James Blake, and finding a ton of new music has rubbed off on my writing. We’ve all definitely been digging fuzzy, psychedelic guitars. We haven’t been afraid to just go for it and experiment in the studio. Plus, Jack has been updating his home studio all year, and we’re going to be doing some recording on our own over the coming months.” And with new music, eventually comes touring. “Its always been our goal to be incredibly tight as a band, that’s really important for us. We’ve seen too many bands be sloppy live, it always distracts. We amp up the songs live, play them with a lot more intensity. We make a lot of sound for being just four guys on stage. We’ve never played to a track and never will, I think that makes the performance so much purer. We

like when the songs kinda take on another form live. I think it’d be boring if we sounded exactly the same as we do on recordings.” Touring can be tough for anyone, and like most things it has both positive and negative aspects. “The best things are the camaraderie and the travel, you become family on the road. Every time we’ve travelled together as a band, we’ve gotten closer as friends and I can’t think of anything better than seeing the country with some of my best friends. The worst parts are times we’d really rather not revisit. The darkest moments stick with us when we come home. Playing to one person in Boise, Idaho, on Easter Sunday and then sleeping in the cold van afterwards, for example, was a moment we’d rather forget. That said, it didn’t deter us from the road. We’re hungry to tour again and talk about it all the time.” It seems like Asker have a much clearer vision for where they see themselves in the future, so all that’s left to ask is - what’s next? “Expect “Bloom” in just a short while and a music video to follow. We’ve got some other ideas planned for the end of the year, but right now our focus is to huddle ourselves in our studio and work on new music. After that, a steady stream of new music, an EP, and eventually we’re going to aim to put out a full-length record. But we have no concrete plan in place, we’re just going to take this one step at a time for now.


OLD AGAIN Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Old Again have been making quite some quake in the pop punk scene. Within their short time of being together, the band have released two EP’S titled ‘Broken People’ and ‘Comfort in Confusion’. The unique and energetic sound of this group is showcased to devoted fans, that are known to shout the bands relatable lyrics into the microphone that vocalist Josh Partridge willingly holds out for them. Old Again have embarked on U.S. tours playing along the likes of The Swellers, Neck Deep, Real Friends, and many more, and are set to embark on a Midwest and West Coast tour within the new year. Be sure to look out for this promising young band who are on the rise and check them out in a city near you.



FIRESTARTER Firestarter are a four-piece pop punk from Albany, New York. Forming in late 2012, they’ve had a promising and impressive start in the game. They have released an EP titled ‘New Beginnings,’ along with an acoustic album ‘Rooftop Acoustic Songs,’ and their split with Florida natives, Old Again. The band have played many shows in and around New York, and even embarked on U.S. tours spreading their name across the states. Firestarter have gained most of their recognition by the shows they’ve played alongside Transit, Hit the Lights, Handguns, and various bands within their genre. This band is on their way to the top with no plans on stopping until they get there.






are one of the newest and freshest duos to have emerged from London in the past year. Confined to recording their early demos in a shed at the bottom of a garden, they released tracks like “Too Much”, “Doing My Time” and “Gold” into the world. Though they started with the intention of forming a full band, their songs began to rapidly rack up thousands of plays so they went with what they knew. They thrive towards a minimalistic approach and attitude, and when they were invited on tour by The Vaccines last year they couldn’t help but jump at the chance. Trading their drummer rehearsals for the cheapest drum set they could find, they began to travel the country and increase their exposure. With this momentum still growing the duo have just released their latest single “Fearing Faces”. Electronically infused their single combines pop-packed beats with sincere lyrics layered with a laid-back vibe. Pale are still defining their sound but we’re not surprised that they’re one of this years most talked about London acts.






Gold & Youth are a four piece

from Vancouver. We spoke to the bands newest member, Louise Burns, about lyrical inspiration, the bands original formation, and what has been going on in their musical world since she joined. The boys previously played music in another band known as The Racoons, and Louise has been in bands since she was 11. Having met through the Vancouver/Victoria music scene, they had worked together many times, before coming together



What is your writing process like, is it static or does it change depending on the song? It really depends on the song. A lot of our music is composed in parts independently. For example, I was living in Toronto when I wrote most of “Jewel” and sent it to the guys in Vancouver. We ended up working on it via the internet and the recording program Logic. We’re getting into Ableton now as well. Some of the songs on ‘Beyond Wilderness’ were written a few years ago when the guys were still known as The Racoons, and re-worked when they went in to record the album. Where do you tend to draw your lyrical inspiration from? Matt grew up in Saudi Arabia, and lots of his lyrics are inspired by that time in his life. Lot’s of visual references. We like to create atmosphere so sometimes it isn’t necessarily about telling a story as it is about creating a “soundscape”, to use the over-used cliche. Since you don’t always try to tell a story, was there a message throughout ‘Beyond Wilderness’ that you tried to convey, or again was it about creating a soundscape?

We tried to convey GIRL POWER. World peace. Sexual liberation etc. No, there wasn’t really a message or meaning, not really. What was the recording process of ‘Beyond Wilderness’ like, would you do anything differently? I joined the band after the majority of the record was recorded so I can’t fully account for the process, but I do know they wrote the record one Summer and recorded it with Colin Stewart at The Hive in Vancouver, one of our cities finest studios which no longer exists in its original form. I came in to add some backup vocals and joined the band shortly after. We then went back and recorded some more tracks. A lot of our sounds are from home sessions the guys had created before even going into the studio. Same with “Jewel”, some of those sounds are just taken

“WE LIKE TO CREATE ATMOSPHERE, SOMETIMES IT ISN’T ABOUT TELLING A STORY” from our bedroom sessions. Actually a lot of backing tracks on the record I recorded in Toronto with Dean from Odonis and sent the files back. THE POWER OF THE INTERNET! Your first music video for your track “Time To Kill” is very artistic, who came up with the idea behind the video and what can you tell us about it?

has directed all our videos except for “City of Quartz”, which was done by Claire Edmondson, another brilliant director based in Toronto. You’re just finished touring the UK, have you noticed anything different between UK shows and those in the US? At risk of sounding precious, I feel audiences “get” us over here. To quote Sister Sledge via Anita Lane, they get “lost in music” with us. What has been your biggest highlight as a band so far? Everything about our reception in the UK. Seriously! What do you have planned for the rest of the year? Writing new material.

Having just finished up their UK

mini tour, we are sure that Gold & Youth will have returned home with bounds of new fans. The group have made their plans for next year pretty clear, and we can’t wait to hear what their new music will sound like. For now we suggest you keep your eyes on this daring quartet, they have the potential to become your new favourite band. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Thank you! Natalie Robison directed it. She has a brilliant, dark and beautiful mind. The concept was a collaboration between her, myself and Murray. She made it look like a million dollars. She’s incredibly talented and she



When playing live I have found that the majority of emerging bands either go one of two ways with their approach to their music; either sacrificing the quality of their songs in a bid to inject more energy into their performance or meticulously hitting every note perfectly to the detriment of their performance and the crowd’s enjoyment. It gives me great satisfaction to say that Saint Motel, who headlined Koko’s ‘Club NME’ managed to solidly prove themselves as an exception to this rule, striking the muchrevered balance between energy and control throughout their set. With such enthusiasm the audience found it impossible not to get involved and dance along to their songs. The quartet from Los Angeles grasped the audience’s attention as they hit the stage, not relinquishing this hold until the end of their half an hour set. Saint Motel danced their way through a well crafted song list, not missing a beat or harmony, with a degree of professionalism and slickness that is often expected from larger, more established acts. Predominately assembled with tracks from their 2012 release, ‘Voyeur’, and current single “My Type”; Saint Motel’s set was jam-packed with upbeat, indiepop tunes that would be at home at any summer festival, or more fittingly, a carnival.


However, due to what I can assume to be a combination of the time allotment of the evening and amount of tracks played, lead singer and guitarist A/J Jackson was left short for time in between songs to converse with the audience, chiming in only a few words introducing various songs. This minor point on what otherwise was a highly enjoyable show would always disappear as soon as the subsequent song kicked in, as the band, crowd, and myself would start dancing again.




Sebastien Grainger may well be a name you recognise, and if so we’re not at all surprised. If you’re at loss for who this man is, he is the other half to Jesse F. Keeler, at least with regards to the Toronto based alt-rock duo, Death From Above 1979. Although the band broke up in 2006, they announced their reunion in 2011, much to the delight of many fans. Yet Sebastien Grainger has music running through his veins, and also identifies as a solo artist, who “had always been doing it [music] and one day paid my rent from playing shows, so I kept going.” We got a chance to talk to him about his decision to release solo material, what we can expect from it and how he processes different elements in order to come up with new songs.

our collaboration. I have taken a different approach to my solo material. I don’t answer to anyone but myself on this record, I’m only accountable to me. Not to bandmates or cowriters, or even an audience. Jesse and I have a very specific and confined way of writing and playing that limits us to what DFA1979 is, an undeniably unique sound. We both need outlets for the other sounds in our heads, and I grew up listening to pop music, hip-hop, jazz, blues, world music and rock and roll. There are so many textures in all those genres that aren’t on the agenda for DFA1979.”

He tells us that a few of his songs on his solo release, ‘Yours To Discover’ were “written before there was even a notion that DFA1979 were going to get back together. I am a songwriter and a producer, so that impulse didn’t just stop when DFA1979 started playing again. In fact, my focus became stronger,” he noted. “DFA1979 is a very visceral and powerful experience, if I lived that way all the time I wouldn’t still be alive. I like being alive, so I need the balance. Some of these songs have been sitting on the shelf for so long that it was time to liquidate my inventory and start fresh. I just felt like the time was right to share what I’ve been up to.”


We, alike many others were curious to find out what Sebastien had been up to, and he so happily shared that with us. “If DFA1979 fans have followed my solo music, this record will not be a shock to them. Jesse and I made it clear early on that we were separate artists, and that DFA1979 was

That being said, we were keen to learn more about the formation of ‘Yours To Discover’, from the recording to process to how Sebastien finds his state of mind

when trying to write a new song. “The recording process was varied, but mostly done at home outside of the traditional studio environment,” he said. “A lot of the room tones and textures are from my living room. You’ll hear percussion and that could be me beating on a chair leg or a ladder. I wouldn’t change anything on this record. Though there is no specific concept driving the material, it’s just honesty and an invitation to come listen. I want people to be drawn to these songs, and hear their own stories and make up their own harmonies. Someone tagged this dirty old mattress leaning up against a wall at

the bottom of my street that says ‘curiosity is the cure for boredom’. This record is definitely not boring, but curious indeed.” In terms of obtaining his inspiration, Sebastien states that it “depends on the song, but usually I’ll start with a melody and a cadence and then let a lyric emerge from my subconscience. From there I’ll figure out what the song is about and lean in it’s direction. I guess in the end it’s pretty average stuff; sex, love, atheism, hangovers, death, aging, abandonment. Those kinds of things.” And when asked what was one thing that creating ‘Yours To Discover’ had taught Sebastien, his answer was very simple: “You can do everything you want.” Sebastien has said that for now he does not plan to tour in support of ‘Yours To Discover’. He said: “If there is an outstanding demand for it I will. The production on this album is so specific, that if I were to tour it, I would have to treat the show as a production and not a “jammy” live band. My rock band that I toured with on the last record were all great players and we all clicked and could jam on the material. This record would need a different approach. I guess we’ll see.” Sebastien does however plan on making another DFA1979 record that will “make every other band’s music obsolete.” And with that in mind, his honest advice to up and coming bands is simple; “If your friends and family are the only ones that tell you your music is good then it probably sucks and you should quit. If strangers seem to like it, quit your day job.” And on that parting note, we can’t wait to see what comes of the new DFA1979 record and his solo success from ‘Yours To Discover.’ WORDS: BY BEKKA COLLINS

T a l l h a r t


Indie-alt rock band Tallhart will be ready for stadiums in no time. The band from Tampa, Florida beautifully balance rock with their gentle, southern flair. Made up of Matt Segallos, Christopher Brickman and Glenn Espinoza, Tallhart were the first band signed to Max Bemis of Say Anything’s Rory Records, an imprint of Equal Vision Records. The band’s latest full length release ‘We Are The Same’ was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Sunny Day Real Estate). While it does not break any boundaries it is a solid and honest rock ‘n’ roll album that found itself receiving well deserved praise. ‘We Are The Same’ has helped to define Tallhart’s powerful sound. The record is a compilation

of rich and emotive tracks with heartfelt lyrics. Matt Segallos’ soulful vocals combined with atmospheric guitars and jazzy bass lines will have you hooked from the beginning. Having already toured with the likes of Dashboard Confessional and Cute Is What We Aim For it is time for Tallhart to take their music to the world. They seem to have big plans for the year ahead and we can’t wait to see what they get up to in 2014.


sour cherry

Nearly three years ago the infectious pop sound of Sour Cherry was born. Consisting of Kortni Turner (vocals), Aidan Thompson (guitar), Jamie Frith (bass) and Tony Keyworth (drums), this quartet from Sheffield knows how to get you on your feet and dancing. Catchy melodies, humorous lyrics, powerful vocals, and contagious pop beats sum up this band in a nutshell. With two music videos under their belt and bounds of


experience, it’s no wonder that this band have managed to play sold out gigs at the O2, Leadmill, and Plug in Sheffield. Alongside their numerous list of gigs, they have headlined Live In Barnsley and performed at a few other UK festivals despite only being together for a few years. Their ability to produce music with a message, while being able to add their sense of humour into the mix shows just how one-of-a-kind they

truly are, and only gives us an idea of what they plan to achieve in the future. We are looking forward to keeping up with them across 2014. You can follow along with the links below too.

ones to watch


a story to tell

British rock is on the rise, especially with newcomers like A Story to Tell leading the way. This Peterborough five piece formed back in 2010 after vocalist Jack Wycherley and guitarist Mark Smith found common musical ground. In January of 2012 their line up was finalised with the addition of Chris Beale, Sam Amos and George Wood. With strong writing abilities and infectious heavy-hitting tracks they are certainly making people talk.

Back in June the band released a music video for their single “Home”, which was the debut single from their first album ‘Direction’, released in July. Working their way towards dominating the underground rock scene, the band have been praised for their live performances. Having already secured and played support slots with bands like Mallory Knox, it won’t be long before the boys are headlining their own tours.

With 2014 looking to be a promising year filled with new music and more shows, keep your eyes on this dynamic quintet as we certainly think they are ones to watch..

ones to watch







Forever Can Wait are an alternative rock act from Southampton. Made up of Liam Baker, Tash Crump, Luke Gould, Will Wilson and Toby Leonard, this five piece are highly energetic and a force to be reckoned with. Influenced by bands like Emarosa and Letlive, the band have described their sound as “alt-rock with a mix of aggressive gritty tones and sweet melodic vocals.” The band are gearing up to released their next EP ‘Beauty & Grace’. When asked about it they said “The title describes what we’re all about. We have heavy guitars and backing, and bring a contrasting softer, elegant side to the music with clean sections and Tash’s voice. All the lyrics are incredibly personal to Tash. She conveys her emotion when we play live and the music is a way for her to let it all out.” But before we find out more about their high-strung live shows, we wanted to learn a little more about the EP itself. “The recording process was so much fun. We recorded with James Bragg at Middle Farm Studio in Devon and we experimented loads with different instruments and sounds. We even managed to record live cello which Toby played. With this EP we wanted our come back as this new band to be exactly as we envisioned, which meant making sure the songs were good enough, the sounds we created were recorded by us and we got the best takes we could get with as much ‘live’ sound as possible, with no vocal tuning/drum replacement in post production. Having listened to the album ourselves we do think that this is something they have achieved fairly well.

“We write the songs differently for each song. Some of them have been written by our guitarist and we work out new parts at band practice, whereas others we don’t even play live until it has been finalised in demo-form on Logic. Generally it takes a long time before we are happy with the final song which means that playing new songs live is a novelty as we get so used to playing the current set. New material needs to sound good before we play it live so it goes with the other songs.” It is clear that Forever Can Wait have obvious pride in their music, and want to create it to the best of their abilities. They won the Red Bull Studios Live At Download competition and mentioned that they “got treated like we were supposed to be there which we found really strange, when we were surrounded by such ‘rock royalty’. Seeing our name on our dressing room was crazy, and we couldn’t believe how many people came to see us play” they said. Speaking of the bands hyped up live shows, we ought to expect “a lot of energy from us onstage, sweet melodies from Tash and a tight performance. Download pushed us to always improve our confidence during our performance, helping us to play more passionately and as tightly as possible.” Citing Download as their musical highlight in their career so far, Forever Can Wait have their hearts set on staying around for a long time. With more writing and future tours plans for 2014, you will want to keep yours eyes locked on this young act.







LYDIA ON SUPPORTING THE MAINE AND ANBERLIN, THEIR NEW RECORD AND TRYING NEW THINGS. Lydia are an Arizona based quartet who have been together as a band for ten years. Nicole Thomas got a chance to catch up with singer and guitarist Leighton as well as Matt, the keyboard player, while the band were on tour supporting The Maine and Anberlin on their co-headline tour. Speaking about the tour, “It’s been great. We’re about two weeks in on this tour and it’s a pretty short run. We’re also on the same management company as The Maine so we’re all really good friends,” said Leighton. “Yeah, we all go way back. I recorded some of The Maine’s songs back in day, and I remember John used to sell merch for us when we first started out. We’ve all had some good times together,” added Matt. While on the road the band released their ‘Devil Deluxe’ album, which included four new songs and a couple of news songs. We wanted to know why there was a re-release and how they decided which songs made the cut. “We first released ten tracks, and we had a handful of songs left over that we really liked but didn’t make the cut the first time around. A few months later we had these songs that we didn’t want to wait for a new record to release so we decided to create sort of a b-sides album,” explained Leighton. Having released a handful of albums already, writing is something that the band should be fairly used to by now. So how does their writing process work? “Up until this last album, I was kind of doing everything solo. Then for ‘Devil’, Matt came in and we collaborated and wrote a lot of the

songs together. We also had a whole new team behind us this time. With a new producer and management group, it was kind of a whole different experience compared to our previous releases,” Leighton said. In the past the bands album artwork has always contained similar style paintings, but not this time around. Matt said: “We hate being safe, whether it’s music, art or anything. We wanted to take that next step.” “Our manager and I came up with this weird kind of concept for it. The original idea wasn’t even what the final cover came out to be, but it kind of morphed into it. Lydia has always done these ‘technically beautiful’ paintings, and we wanted to get away from that. Not for good, but we’ve always done that and thought the music went away from that this time around, so we wanted to accommodate that and do something different,” added Leighton. When it comes to picking setlists it seems things can get pretty feisty, as Leighton tells us that “we just yell over each other until the right song comes up.” Matt however said the most important thing is that “the show flows well, so we have to pick the songs that go well together as well as crowd favorites.” Matt also mentioned that after this current tour ends the band have a week of headlining dates where fans will be able to hear some of the new songs from ‘Devil Deluxe’ live. The bands current plans are to continue touring and continue writing, we can’t wait to see what the new years brings. INTERVIEW BY: NICOLE THOMAS





Here at Venture Mag we’re big supporters of a band called The Maine. We got a chance to speak to vocalist John O’Callaghan and guitarist Jared Monaco while they were touring with Anberlin on their co-headlining tour. . You guys released your fourth studio album ‘Forever Halloween’ earlier this year, how have the crowds reacted to these songs live? John: It’s been great so far, some like them more than others, and for whatever reason some people are attaching to certain songs. We’re playing a pretty fair amount of new and old material so we’ll eventually work more new material into our sets. Over the years your sound has evolved quite a bit. With so much material, how do you go about picking your set lists while making it sound cohesive? Jared: We really try to tie all the songs together as best as we can. Pat basically came up with the list this time around. For example on this tour we’ve played the most songs we’ve ever played in a row with out stopping. John: Pat is the most unbiased you can be in this band. I mean, as people who go to shows ourselves, we get it. However, I feel like if Jared and I chose the set list it would be all of the new songs. It’s great to have someone in the band who kind of keeps a leash on everyone.

Speaking of ‘Forever Halloween’, I read that you took on your last two releases independently, how was that process and would you go down that route again? John: Well, we went through the whole struggle of getting off Warner Brothers a few years back. Jared: We knew from the start of writing ‘Pioneer’ that this is the route we wanted to go. John: Right now, we definitely believe that this is what’s best for us, and who knows what will come in the future. We’re in a position now where we get to do what we want, when we want with no restrictions other than money. That’s always tough. Have you guys ever thought of doing a Kickstarter? John: No. That’s cool and all but I just don’t think it’s right for us. We come from a different place. We started out online and we utilized sites like MySpace before we could go out on the road. Now it seems that everyone’s like “Help us raise $10,000 and I’ll send you a signed selfie!” I don’t know how I feel about it to be honest. Maybe it could be great for certain things. I feel like it all depends on the artist too, and where they’re at in their career. John: Yeah, a lot of bands that have already done the touring thing, realize they can’t make money on the road, so they want to ask fans for donations.

You guys tour so frequently, it’s probably a nice change to play some new material live.

Over the past few tours, you guys created a tradition to bring all the bands on stage to play a cover song. What brought up that idea and how do you choose the songs?

Jared: It’s awesome to have Pat in the band because with his mindset, he’s very good at anticipating what the fans are going to want. John: He’s so in-tune with everything online. It’s good to have him to kind of bring us down to earth.

John: I can’t remember the tour that started that. Jared: I think it was the Augustana tour. John: Yeah, Dan from Augustana asked us if we wanted to cover a song by Tom Petty, and it just created this great vibe at the shows. We’re always advocates


John: Exactly. Jared: It’s awesome to have Pat in the band because with his mindset, he’s very good at anticipating what the fans are going to want. John: He’s so in-tune with everything online. It’s good to have him to kind of bring us down to earth. Speaking of Forever Halloween, I read that you took on your last two releases independently, how was that process and Jared: It’s awesome to


of whoever is on the bill. We’re all out here for the same reasons, and sacrificing quite a bit to be touring. Recognizing that we’re all in this together brings a lighter side to the stage. Jared: We all just like to jam, and don’t like everything to be so serious. It’s nice to have that freedom to have fun. When you see your favorite bands on stage together, it’s a great experience for the fans. Are there any countries you haven’t been to yet and what are some of your favorite tour memories? John: We’ve had some great times in Brazil. We’re also visiting Switzerland for the first time soon. Jared: For past memories, going to South America has always been great. The first time we went there we knew it would be fun but we didn’t know it would be so insane. Our fans there are really dedicated and they don’t get to see us as much as everyone else. John: We’ll be visiting Europe for our 8th time soon, so it’s crazy. We’re just super fortunate we get to experience these places again and hope to visit some new territories along the way. Is there anything else coming up that we should be looking out for? John: We’re going straight from this to Europe. We’ll be doing some exciting things in December as well. Jared: We always try to do either tours or a new release around the holidays. John: We have been buying a bunch of recording equipment, and hopefully on our end, we can build our own studio. We hope to start releasing albums completely D.I.Y. Which is what we did for ‘Pioneer’ at a studio out in Texas. The problem is that the really cool DIY studios cut us some slack and helped us out a ton, so we can’t go back there and expect them to bend for us again. We recorded about 26 songs at Sonic Ranch and are very thankful for every one there. Jared: Yeah, we’re all looking forward to having our own studio. It definitely sounds like our friends in The Maine have some big plans coming up, including the release of their acoustic EP in December. You can follow along with their journey by using the links below.




Rachel Lynn

ON WRITING AND DEVELOPING HER SOUND... Rachel Lynn is a classically trained singer-songwriter who is performing her original music all over NYC. Determined to make music her career, she spoke to us about her influences, getting started and her future aspirations. “I come from a very musical family, so getting started in music wasn’t hard,” she recalled. “My Grandmother ran a church choir and my Mother was a classically trained flutist and music teacher for many years. My Father was a lovingly-deemed ‘band geek’ growing up and one of my Aunts is an opera singer and voice teacher. One of my Uncles is also a classically trained pianist and taught music theory at the collegiate level, and another Uncle is a professional guitarist. I guess you could say music is in our blood!” With a long family line in music we were interested to hear about Rachel’s background, and how her sound has evolved. When we asked if being classically trained had influenced her sound in anyway, Rachel declared that: “vocally, it’s everything. Technique is what you fall back on if your mind goes blank, or if your nervous, or it’s hot at the venue or freezing. It creates a more reliable way to perform, and I’m grateful for that. I like to say that my sound encompasses all of my influences, but sometimes you can’t control what comes out of you when you sit down to write. I like to try and incorporate the soul elements of Motown, one of my favorite genres of music. I’m also influences by singer-songwriters like James Morrison, Allen

Stone and Marc Broussard - the artists of today who succeed in incorporating that soul, but still actively create their own sound.” As Rachel said, when you sit down to write you can’t always control what comes out. She went on to say that her writing process “definitely changes which can feel scary sometimes because you want to go write something and you think ‘how the hell did I come up with the last one again?’. Generally speaking though, I like to start by trying to create the melody with basic chords underneath. Then, I can elaborate on lyrics and progression once a foundation or form is set. It’s like I have to build the playground first; then I get to play in it. I like to write about experiences, but I think those are pretty relatable experiences. At shows, I’ve had people come up to me and say that they were touched by certain lyrics, and it feels incredible when people relate like that. It reminds you how universal music is, and that there is real power in music.” Speaking of Rachel’s live shows, she said if we were ever to watch one we could expect “a lot of passion.” She went on to say that “with each performance, I really want to connect with my audience and bring them into the world that is my songs and my music. At the end of the day, I’m a vocalist, so you can expect to hear and see me strive to make each note and each word worth it, or dare I say...perfect.

that she plans to release next year. She’s made the somewhat daring decision to make her forthcoming release with a full band, and we wanted to find out why. “When I first moved to NYC, I was performing acoustic sets only, so the first EP was really in my comfort zone in that way. The biggest thing we had on it was a cajón, and I’ve always wanted to ultimately have a more complex sound; it’s just been about finding the right way to create it. I love thick percussion in conjunction with a soulful vocal, so that’s kind of what I’ve been going for with this new project,” she said. The most recent snippet of new material that we have heard from Rachel comes in the form of her newest music video for her track “Abide”, which is portrayed in a simplistic but beautiful nature. “My very talented friend Greg Barnes offered to make this video with me,” she noted. “When we met up to figure out a plan, we decided that since the song is simplistic in nature and focuses lyrically on the concept of light, the video should also be fairly simplistic and focus on those ideas of beautiful light and shadow.” Rachel has said that the rest of the year will be filled with recording sessions, so maybe we’ll hear her new music sooner than we think. Until then, keep up with her adventures by following the links below.

With the pressures of perfection looming, we also know that Rachel has been working on a new album INTERVIEW: BY BEKKA COLLINS

Crystal antlers

ON THEIR NEW ALBUM AND TOURING... Crystal Antlers are a three piece from Long Beach, California. Made up of Jonny Bell, Kevin Stuart and Andrew King, this atmospheric trio have just released their latest album ‘Nothing Is Real’. We spoke to guitarist Andrew King about how he got started in music, the bands new album, touring and more. “Music has always been in my family,” stated Andrew. “My Mom was always signing along with the radio and doing callbacks to the singers. She was a piano teacher my whole life, but I never studied the piano. My older brothers were into punk rock, reggae, hip hop and were musicians too. They turned me on to a lot of great stuff and I got really into punk rock. From there, I just got into everything. I started playing drums when I was about 10 years old then moved to guitar when I was 15.” Andrew described Crystal Antlers music as “precise,” and went onto tell us about the recording process of the bands latest album. “Our new album, ‘Nothing Is Real,’ was record mostly at Jazz Cats, Jonny’s studio where we practiced and came up with most of the material for the album. It was a lot of fun to make. It was very relaxed; having the space and all the time

we needed to record makes a huge difference in the recording process. Unlike recording some of our other albums where we may have been under a bit of pressure either from record labels, or just pressure from having to get everything recorded with a deadline in someone else’s studio.” “Our writing process can happen in a lot of different ways too. Sometimes we just jam around a little bit and end up in some kind of groove, sometimes we’ll come up with a few riffs or parts of a song when we’re alone at home. I play mainly acoustic when I’m at home. Jonny comes up with a lot of material playing piano or his bass. We bring all of these elements together and a song comes out.” One of their songs that people may be familiar with is “Rattlesnake”, which was the debut single from ‘Nothing Is Real.’ “Rattlesnake has some cool elements in it,” said Andrew. “Not every single song sounds like Rattlesnake but I guess we thought it would be a good representation for what the rest of the album sounded like.” Since the release of the album back in mid October, the band have been on the road for the ‘Nothing Is Real 2013 Fall Tour.’ Andrew said you can expect a lot of

“energy and sweat” from one of their live shows. He said the best things about tour are “meeting new people, getting to play our music for new/ old friends and strangers, checking out the small towns and the landscape and running into friends in weird places. The worst things about tour though, are being trapped in a van for way too long, no privacy, getting sick, bad food and being away from family and friends.” Like any band, Crystal Antlers have made sacrifices but it seems to be for the best. Andrew told us that “being able to make music that we like, touring, and being a part of the art and music world,” is a big accomplishment, alongside “working with some amazing artists like Raymond Pettibon, and C.R. Stecyk III.” He told us that they are going to be working with the legendary dub master The Scientist and are “really lucky to be doing what we do.” With new singles, new music videos, touring and more writing, 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for this trio and we’re sure their success will carry on into 2014. Keep up to date with the band by following the links below.







Check out “Luv, Hold Me


Captivating and irresistible are two words that sum up post-punk quartet DROWNERS. Made up of Matt Hitt Jack Ridley, Erik Snyder and Lakis Pavlou they are New York City’s newest romantics. After releasing their debut EP ‘Between Us Girls’ at the start of the year, the momentum following this band has been crazy. With their new album due to drop in early 2014, the band have released their newest single “Luv, Hold Me Down” to tide fans over until then. Charm worthy and bordering on retro, Drowners have already found their signature sound. Despite being new to the scene, the quartet have already supported Arctic Monkey’s and are looking forward to expanding their fan base across the next year.

shannon saunders



Check out “Heart Of Blue”

Check out “Lucky Dip”

Check out “Yankee”

Not many people know what to expect when they post their first YouTube video, and often say the response can be overwhelming. Shannon Saunders who is known for her cover tracks and heartfelt originals has a similar story. After continuing to juggle YouTube and performing locally, she was approached to audition for the Disney Channel UK talent contest, and ended up with her song “I See The Light” on the Tangled soundtrack. She has since released her debut EP and has just finished up a tour with Lucy Spraggan. This girl’s going places.

Newcastle based Blank Maps have been turning heads with their indie fueled tunes since 2010. Forming following a degree course performance, Thom Piddock, Ben Trotter, Jake Longely and David Ellwood decided to give being a “real” band a shot. Known for creating atmospheric soundscapes, ambient sounds and lofty guitars. With their creative nature and somewhat unusual sound, they have been likened to acts such as The XX, Sigur Ros and Radiohead. They definitely have a promising future ahead.

London based sextet Haus, made up of Jack Bushell, Ashley Mulimba, Sam Kelly, Daniel Hylton, Ellis Mortimer and Lyle Simpson, offer up an exciting batch of tunes in their latest EP ‘Bless’. Having spent the last year or so rehearsing and refining their craft, we’re not surprised at how well sounding and produced their irresistible tracks are. Gritty and rock-like, layered with indie elements and packed with power, there’s no escaping their talent. Though we don’t know too much about these newcomers, we think they’ll be sticking around for a while.






With their indie-pop vibes and new single “Stay” doing so well, Coasts put on an energetic performance despite a smaller crowd. Tight, well rounded and musically pleasing, you couldn’t have asked for more from their set or their delivery.

The Pretty Reckless put on a pretty damn good show. Taylor Momsen knows how to engage a crowd, and put together her stage presence and her bands musicianship and they work well together live. Playing fan favourites “Makes Me Wanna Die”, “Your Medicine” and “Goes to Hell” they left the audience wanting more.



jessie j

LUCY SPRAGGAN From a girl and her guitar to almost sold out academy shows, Lucy Spraggan is a jack of all trades; a performer a singer and a songwriter. Her witty song lyrics hold her above the rest while her performance is genuine and admirable. She has more to give and we know she’ll succeed. WORDS: BY BEKKA COLLINS

LAWSON Having little knowledge of their songs, I was unsure what to expect when one of the newest boybands took to the stage. They seemed in their element and gave a slick performance like they had been doing it for years. Honest songs with feel good melodies, you can hardly go wrong with that. They delivered a powerful set and made for great openers. WORDS: BY BEKKA COLLINS

Mainstream acts get a lot of shit for being manufactured artists but Jessie J is quite the opposite. A rarity in terms of vocal power, she never showed a sign of weakness as she gave her whole through every song. Incredibly energetic and a load of fun, a definite must see act who won’t disappoint.

At nineteen years old it seems capturing a crowd is second nature to indieact Sam Fender. With his husky tones his impressive vocal ability shines through as he tells his story through emotive lyrics and strong leading riffs.







ONE TWO THREE four five OUT OF / five





I’ve had my eye on LAB Records’ Anavae for a long time, before they were even signed, and they have finally shared with the world their latest 8-track release ‘Dimensions’. Opener “Anti-Faith” is a smack in the face with pounding drums, layered vocals and extreme energy that exudes the bands passion for what they do. “Storm Chaser” has been released prior, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a chilling and needed addition. “The Wanderer” incorporates pop elements and “Hang Man” offers a gritty rock chorus. “Aeon” however is especially diverse, wrapped around a methodical structure with added synth breakdowns. “Bring Me Down” is a power-stricken ending to the album if you don’t include the acoustic and stripped back version of “Anti-Faith”. Lyrical riddles that are haunting but beautifully delivered circle this release while atmospheric soundscapes and alternative experimentation encompass it. Anavae know what they’re doing, and this album more than justifies that.

It seems that no matter what Lady Gaga releases, her loyal fans (Little Monsters) will have her forever labeled as their Queen. Yet delving into her third studio album ‘ARTPOP’, it seems like Lady Gaga has too many ideas and not enough time to carry them out. It’s as if we’re fighting against the clock as track likes “Aura”, “Sexxx Dreams” and “Swine” combine too many elements it’s sometimes too difficult to follow. That being said, this is not a bad album, and is easier to digest in snippets as opposed to a full listen through. 80s fused and slicked with synths, Lady Gaga shows her experimentation has no bounds. Expanding her skills as a producer and artist, her sound is definitely evolving in a clever, witty and respectable way. As flamboyant and confident as ever, the handful of hits that ‘ARTPOP’ include will be plastered all over the airwaves whether you love or hate her. Stand out tracks being the already released singles “Applause” and “Do What U Want” as well as “G.U.Y” and “Gypsy”. It appears she’s succeeded again.




After her departure from Island Records and a fairly unsuccessful (chart wise at least), second album ‘Ten’, the young Gabriella Cilmi is back with her third studio album ‘The Sting’. Emotive and personal, Cilmi tells the tales of her youthful woes while still trying to rid herself from her cute “Sweet About Me” image. We see that her pain is all too real in tracks like “Sweeter In History” and “Vicious Love” where she tells us the story of some of the things she’s faced. With looping melodies, melancholy lyrics and husky vocals, musically the album represents her bare emotions perfectly. Yet it’s not all doom and gloom, with songs like “Not Sorry” and “I Am Just A Girl” expressing her concerns but with up-tempo moments. It seems as though Cilmi has learned how to take more control musically and lyrically. ‘The Sting’ is a promising step forward and deserves to be praised, as does Cilmi for her consistent efforts and definite improvement across the years.


Sainthood Reps recently released their sophomore album, ‘Headswell’ via No Sleep Records. The ten track albums collates around a definite theme of mourning, while still trying to figure how to approach things with optimism. Opener “Shelter” is packed with piercing drums and personal thoughts while “Desert Song” is alt-rock and riff focused. As the album progresses you can sense that it was created to help deal with issues, and while it is thematically distressing in certain parts, the angst and acceptance are filtered through tracks like “The Last Place I Left You” and “Quitter”. The album closes with “Breath Worth Breathing”. The acoustic number sounds somewhat more upbeat before you even hit play, but lyrically the tones and tales are still quite somber. Though this is a pain-fueled album molded from experiences, it has certainly turned into a promising collective of songs for this Long Island act.



Hellogoodbye’s third studio album ‘Everything Is Debatable’ is a step away from 2010’s ‘Would It Kill You?’ in more ways than one. A reinvention of their sound, ‘Everything Is Debatable’ is eleven tracks of pure bliss, balanced on electro beats and coated with synth sprinkles. This album sounds like it would have had a better chance with a Summer release, as it does a great job of making me nostalgic for sunny days and tanning at the beach. Despite that, it is a well structured album and one that has been well produced if the indie-pop market was still the main audience. Lyrically, not much has changed but this good, because Hellogoodbye have never had an issue with articulating through their storytelling lyrics, and I’m glad they haven’t comprised their sweet lines. Though this album might be a bit too synth happy for some folk, I’m enjoying the more concrete reliance on the keys, a grand effort at a third album.

NEW BEAT FUND New Beat Fund are a quartet from Los Angeles who formed back in 2011. Describing their music as “G-Punk”, we got to chat to three of the members; Button, the guitarist, Snapz the bassist and Burnie, the vocalist and he also plays guitar. For someone who may have never heard of New Beat Fund, describe your sound in three words. Burnie: G-punk, beats-funk, ghostrock. Snapz: I think that was six. Burnie: No they’re hyphenated so it’s really three! You guys have been touring pretty much non-stop this last six months including Warped and a short run with Blink 182, how’s everything been going? Burnie: It’s been really great. Button: Radical. Snapz: Tubular. Burnie: The Blink shows were dope. It was definitely a dream come true for us. We got on a date with them in Vegas and it just turned into more dates and we ended up playing the East Coast. Button: It all started with an ice cream cake turned into a yin yang, which we mailed to Tom. Snapz: We also got to play Riot Fest, as well as all of Warped, which happened to be our first tour. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that landing a full time gig on Warped


as your first tour is impressive.

memories from touring?

Burnie: Yeah, it was crazy. We sent Kevin some of our music and he liked what he heard. We were invited to play the first three weeks and when that went well, he decided to keep us for the rest of the tour. Button: Kat Corbett was playing “Scare Me” on a local station in LA at the time called KROQ, which really helped us get our music out there. Shout out to Kat!

Button: We’re sharing a bus with Wallpaper for this tour so it’s pretty fun. We’ve had a lot of drunken nights. Snapz: We went out for Burnie’s birthday in Boston. It was us, The Summer Set, 3OH!3, Wallpaper and Tonight Alive at a bowling alley on two lanes. Burnie: It got wild. Button: We also got to see Travis Barker play a show in Chicago on the Blink tour, which was actually on my birthday. We were standing literally within a few feet of Travis while he was playing so it was pretty awesome.

How was the writing process for your latest release, the “CoiNZ ($)” EP? Burnie: It was the first six songs we’ve written as a band, and we recorded it all in our bedrooms. We have a video for “Scare Me” out on YouTube right now. For Halloween, you released an alternative version of the “Scare Me” video, which was a compilation of videos from your Instagram. How did you guys come up with that idea? Burnie: We came up with the original video concept, featuring our ghost friend, otherwise known as Ghosty. We decided to lift some spirits of our own and do some funny re-interpretations of scary movies. We’ve always wanted to do a New Beat Fund variety show. It’s going to happen. It’s in the works and that was our first venture into trying that out. What are some of our favorite

Do you have any advice to other artists out there trying to make it in the industry? Snapz: Just stay true to your music. Burnie: Eat more pizza. Stop giving a fuck. Button: Have fun and be original. What’s next for New Beat Fund, anything we should be looking out for after this tour? Snapz: We’re going to drop a video for “Peachez”. Burnie: We’re going back in the studio soon too. Button: We’re going to be touring a lot more next year. Burnie: Just come on out and see us live, it’s a great time, I promise.





e r u t enmag



Venture Mag #13  

Our thirteenth issue see's our good friends in The Maine gracing the cover while the rest of the issue is packed full of other quality bands...