Posts Tagged ‘BTB Exclusive’

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BRAVESOUL

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: Let’s dive right in. So you’re getting your music out there partially from the buzz created by winning the Whole Foods Team Member Music Project. Did you ever think this type of contest would be what would catapult you to a larger audience?

BRAVESOUL (Max): I had no idea. I moved to Northern Virginia a year ago knowing I was only going to be there for a year. It was really hard for me because it was the furthest thing away from the band and playing music. In reality, it was the thing that jump started us and actually helped us. I think that’s pretty surreal.

RB: I admire artists who have worked hard to get to higher grounds. What’s the struggle behind Bravesoul?

BS: Well, as for recent struggles, we stayed together as a band the past year with Max being 3,000 miles away. Having a baby at 23 was a pretty challenging thing, but the band hung in there for him and kept it together until he could make it back. That said, we did tell ourselves no more long distance relationships after that. But as for our lives, Marty and Max came from low-income homes, growing up together in the valley. Max ended up playing music and touring with various artists and bands. Marty ended up going to Yale and getting the whole thing paid for by the school and government. That’s where he met Eric and they bonded over their similar upbringings (Eric grew up in LA proper) and obsession with music, which were both a bit rare in the ivy league environment. Everyone ended up back in LA, happily ever after…

RB: I’m really lovin’ your sound – it’s fits in the vein of Kings of Leon, but with a flavor all its own. What artists or bands would you say have rubbed off/influenced the sound of the band?

BS: The Walkmen, Radiohead, Muse, REM, Joy Division, to name a few.

RB: What’s the story behind the band’s name?

BS (Marty): It’s from a song I wrote in 2009 called Bravesouls which was about the Iranian student uprisings that happened right around that time. It’s specifically about a girl named Neda that was murdered on the streets of Tehran and became a martyr for the movement. My parents grew up there and so the whole thing was pretty emotional for me to watch, and the song was my way to pay honor to the courage of these kids putting their lives on the line against a tyrannical government. Sometimes it’s hard to realize how good you’ve got it until you see people fighting for something so basic as freedom. Those students are heroes to me, so the name represents that ideal and what we should all strive to become.

RB: The video treatment for If The Morning Ever Comes is fantastic. Image and style direction is crucial in this business and I think you guys are doing it right. Who directed the video? Location? What’s the breakdown for how the video came to be?

BS: Evan Weinerman. He’s great. He directed Time to Run for Lord Huron, another L.A based band we like a lot. We shot it way out in Ridgecrest, California at a demolition derby track. It was about 18 degrees outside while we were shooting it. We had complete creative control over the video, so we were shooting ideas back and forth with Evan and he had some great ideas.

RB: You’re prepping the release of your debut album in February, correct? Nervous? Excited?

BS: We are ready. I think that’s the best way of putting it. We’ve been crafting this album for over a year now and it’s been way too long to not release anything. We’re ready to put it out there.

RB: Tell us something random about the band. Give us something good.

BS: Max has three nipples.

RB: For those just now discovering your music, what’s something we should know?

BS: We worked really hard to make it possible for you to hear these songs, and every single song is something special for us. We’re not interested in just making singles, so we hope everyone will take the time to hear the entire EP. Every penny we earned went into it and the whole thing was funded by ourselves and the generous donations of our Indiegogo supporters, so it’s a project of blood, sweat, and tears.

RB: What was the last album you purchased on iTunes?

BS: That new one by Pretty Lights.

RB: Finally, are you touring with this release? Shoot us some dates. Also, much continued success going forward!

BS: No formal tour announcement yet, but we’re playing February 18th @ Hemingway’s Lounge in Hollywood, February 22nd @ Empire Control Room in Austin, and March 12th @ VH1 Showcase during SXSW. We’re confirming some more LA dates, so keep on the lookout for more show announcements.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ADAM BIRD OF THOSE MOCKINGBIRDS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: How did you all meet?

ADAM BIRD: Tory and I met on a street corner in NYC, near the World Trade Center. She was holding her violin, getting ready to go into a show that she was attending with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while. We talked for a few minutes and it turned out Tory would be moving from Rhode Island to NJ soon thereafter, so they exchanged info and stayed in touch. Everyone else somewhat knew each other in some shape or form, and once Tory and I had started the band up, a call was placed to Rob, who brought Kevin in with him, and then Jon came in last as the final piece.

MC: What’s the story behind the band name?

AB: The band name is a twist on a song title by an Australian band called Silverchair. Most people in the US who remember them at all, think of them as 16-year-old grunge kids, but they went on to become an extremely creative group. On their final album, they had a song called Those Thieving Birds, and I had been kicking around the idea of using the word “Mockingbird” in the new band’s name. Slam the two together, and you get Those Mockingbirds.

MC: Which do you prefer? Studio or touring?

AB: While studio is absolutely a great experience, it’s also a lot more stressful, because it’s almost like waiting for a child to be born. You’re doing everything you can to make sure it’s perfect and there are no hiccups, and that it comes out exactly as you had hoped, that most of the pleasure comes in at the end, once you’ve heard back what you’ve done. Touring, however, has that incredible thing where you connect with people every day and travel to cities that you don’t live in and feel a sense of wanting to conquer. It’s really exhilarating the entire time. I would have to say I prefer touring.

MC: If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?

AB: I’d be a pop star.

MC: New music, tell us about it…

AB: Our new record is called Penny The Dreadful. We moved to Portsmouth NH to record it and we are extremely proud of it. Lyrically, the overall theme is thwarting and/or managing evils in one’s life. Penny, is a character in a few of the songs, and so is the Devil. I use both characters to illustrate different evils of life, and perceptions on what is evil, because sometimes, the thing that looks evil from one person’s point of view, may not actually be, from someone else’s. It’s pretty much an exercise in Buddhist philosophy now that I think about it. Or maybe just me exorcising demons of mine. [Laughs]

MC: And of course, the video for How To Rob A Bank — where’d the concept come from?

AB: The new music video for How To Rob A Bank came to be after we had a few meetings with the director, John Komar, about having a good story in the video. We had two different leading ideas, one involving the bank heist, and the other involving kids playing the lead roles. We pretty much combined the two to make it what it became. Tory gets credit for most of the initial concept, but we all fleshed it out once we were confident with the idea. And funny story… We actually had to shoot the video twice. When we wrapped, John, the director, was transferring the files to a secure hard drive, and I kid you not, lightning struck his house and the files all got mushed together. We tried for a week to go into the code and pick them apart, but it was futile and we had to do it again from scratch. That was a very upsetting week. [Laughs]

MC: Where can people find you?

AB: The new video is airing on mtvU right now, but can also be found HERE. The rest of our web presence can be found on our website.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ARIANA AND THE ROSE

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those unfamiliar, can you give us a brief background? How did you meet the band?

ARIANA AND THE ROSE: Sure. I actually started as an actress, doing musical theater, commercials and film from the time I was a kid all the way through college. I wrote and played music on the side as a release. Throughout high school and the beginning of college, I wrote with people in New York, LA and Nashville, but it wasn’t until a year before I graduated from NYU that I decided I wanted to pursue music full-time. I put a band together as soon as I graduated, meeting guys through my managers and friends’ suggestions. I decided to call the band Ariana & the Rose since we perform all the music with live instruments and we’ve been together ever since.

MC: I love the new acoustic video for Heartbeat — the song is beautiful. The video is very raw and personal. What made you choose the dark color theme?

A: Thank you! Well, the song has this theme of a beautiful thing falling apart. I created that video with my friend and fashion designer, Daniel Silverstein. We wanted to make something that spoke to both of our styles. (I’m wearing a dress from his Fall 2013 collection in the video.) There’s something so classic about black and white and we felt that having the color of the video to be completely de-saturated would be a modern way of capturing that classic feel.

MC: What would you say you enjoy more: Recording? Writing? Or performing?

A: I really go back and forth with this. I always say that I enjoy whatever I happen to be doing at the moment the most. I’m currently in the studio writing, so right now I enjoy that more. But I’ll be on tour in a couple weeks and that will be my favorite part. I look at it as a good thing to be indecisive about.

MC: Do you write all of your own material?

A: Yep. I play piano and usually start most of my songs on an acoustic instrument. I do a lot of co-writing, typically me and another writer/producer. I find that writing alone can get a bit lonely sometimes. I’m a really social person and I like having another person to bounce ideas off of.

MC: If you had to place your music into a certain style or genre, could you?

A: I would choose synth pop, as a broad genre. More specifically: singer-songwriter with heavy electro and synth influences.

MC: I see you have been compared to many artists but I think your sound is very original. Do you find it flattering when placed with artists?

A: Thank you. I really try to create music I feel sounds just like me. Of course, it’s always flattering to be compared to other artists, especially ones that have been so successful. I’d like to think that when people compare you to other artists they love it’s because they love you too.

MC: What’s next for Ariana & The Rose?

A: My single Heartbeat came out on Nov 19th and my EP Head vs Heart will be released in early 2014. I’m also headed on a US tour with Heffron Drove (Nov 23-Dec 22). So lots of new material and live shows. It’s the perfect way to end the year.

UPCOMING ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS (INTERVIEW)

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: I must admit that I am just starting out on getting my fix of Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas — you all are fantastic! How did you guys meet?

JESSICA HERNANDEZ: I’ve met the guys at different points over the last couple years. When I was playing around as a solo act I would play shows with them in their other bands or run into them at shows. When things started picking up and I needed a full time bigger band, it was an easy transition into working with these super talented guys I already knew from the Detroit music scene.

MC: What was the music scene like growing up in Detroit? I mean, after all, it’s known for so many iconic things!

JH: You probably wouldn’t guess from the style of music I play now but I was actually really into the hardcore/grindcore/ riot girl scene when I was in high school. I always had a love for soul and Motown and a million other things, but I didn’t get heavy into going to shows every weekend and making music a lifestyle until the high school hardcore days. I spent a lot of time at the Shelter and St. Andrews getting kicked in the head and yelled at by straight-edge kids.

MC: You have a very distinct tone in your voice that I feel is very different from anything out there today. How often do you practice?

JH: I guess I don’t really “practice” singing, but I write every day which involves using my voice and constantly trying out new things vocally. I’ve been singing pretty much my whole life, but I didn’t really find my voice and my own vocal style until I started writing.

MC: I love the new video you released for Dead Brains (acoustic), and I feel like it sums you guys up in a nutshell, almost like a documentary. Would you agree?

JH: Thanks! Yeah, I guess you could say that. There are definitely no frills and it’s really honest. It was all shot in one take on iPhones and I edited it myself knowing very little about video editing.

MC: You have a kick ass tour lined up for the Fall. For a first-time, live-set goer like myself, do you guys switch your performances up at each stop?

JH: Yeah, we try to switch it up. Sometimes we will have a set that we all just really love to play and we will stick with it for a few shows though. We always adjust the set to fit the vibe of the night. If it’s a really chill show, we might play more slow songs than usual or do all of our fun songs if we’re playing a rowdy bar. Whatever fits the vibe of the crowd.

MC: What would you say you enjoy more: recording or live shows?

JH: I don’t think I could say. They are so different for me. Live is all about the energy of the crowd and how they feel and how they respond. That’s what gives you the energy to perform at your best and go nuts. Recording is so personal and all about your own mood and your own energy in that moment.

MC: I bought your EP Live At the Magic Bag, and I must say it hasn’t left my iPod in a few days. Any plans for a full-length in the near future?

JH: Yes! The album has been recorded for a while now but has been taking a while to finish mixing and mastering and getting the final touches right. It’s finally there and is set to be released in March. I can’t wait.

MC: If you describe Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas in five words, what would they be? Go!

JH: Soulful, feel-good, carnie rock. Is feel-good one or two words? [Laughs]

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

If you’re a fan of rock music, or just good ass music in general, you need to get on board with J. Roddy Walston & The Business. Their new album, Essential Tremors, sits comfortably among the best of 2013.

MARIA CIEZAK: First of all, I want to tell you that Essential Tremors is one of the best records I have ever heard. So this first statement is a simple congratulations.

J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS: I thank you kindly. Very nice of you to think and say that.

MC: I read that you guys were able to use your own stuff this time around on recording in Georgia, as opposed to at Sound City on the last record. In your opinions, did that make a huge difference?

JRW: In some ways it did. We still used a lot of Mark’s gear on this record. It was just nice to have the option to use our gear. Sometimes just knowing you can do something is as comforting as doing it. Billy played his own guitars for 99.9 percent of stuff and that was definitely more comfortable for him.

When you tour as much as we do, your gear is beyond familiar and other stuff can just throw you off in a serious way.

MC: What usually comes first with you guys — the music or the lyrics? Or does it vary?

JRW: Yeah, it varies. Sometimes it’s just a riff you stumble on, other times it’s a whole melody with lyrics that you came up with in your head while driving on a vacation. I don’t really understand song writing as a method. I just have an instinct that says it’s done, it’s good. Of course, there are the other guys in the band who also need to think that and have their own instincts. So the songs get beaten up pretty good.

MC: I’d have to say my favorite tracks on the record are Take It As it Comes and Same Days. But of course, I want to talk about the success of Heavy Bells. Did you guys always know this would be a single?

JRW: I always loved that song. The very end vocals were an improv thing I did late one night. I called Billy immediately and said I think this is the biggest payoff in a song we have ever written. But that recording is actually the demo, the studio version didn’t come out right.

That song wasn’t going to be on the record. I was freaking out. I called our manager and he sent the demo around again with the idea of just remixing it and everyone said that feels right.

MC: I have to talk about the video. It’s hilarious, and I feel like it describes you guys in a nutshell. Who thought of the concept? And can I play you all in wiffle ball?

JRW: Anytime you wanna feel the heat, you are welcome to challenge us to a game if wiffle ball. You should know that we are better at that game than music.

The video I had a loose concept for and then the director Matt Wignall and I brainstormed on it a bunch. Then the band had some input. It was a group effort for sure.

MC: One of the many reasons I respect you guys so much is that you are true, raw rock. I find more and more nowadays that bands are afraid to rock. So many bands sound alike — would you agree with that?

JRW: Yeah, rock and roll is hard to come by. It’s really hard to be a rock and roll band and still be artistic, creative and sincere. I think there are bands that want to go loud and fast, but they stumble on things like being ironic or complete rip offs or just the fact that what they are doing is cheesy. The path that we have chosen is not wide, easy, or clear.

MC: You guys are also about to embark on a tour, I believe tomorrow, October 23rd. I will be in attendance at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City. This will be my first experience of Live Business. I have heard such rave reviews. Anything fans, like myself, can expect on this tour?

JRW: We actually have been touring since September 5th and it seems like no matter how long it’s been we are getting no closer to the end. [Laughs] I don’t know what to tell you to expect. I never know what to expect. I think that is the best part of live music. We rarely have a set list. We have zero production, so there are no rules. We don’t have to hit the lighting marks or be a slave to elaborate backing tracks etc. I know we put it all out there every night. The biggest variable is the audience… If they give us something serious back, it’s like powder keg ready to explode.

MC: After a sixth release, what would you say has changed the most in the music business since you guys first started out making music?

JRW: The Internet and people having become lazy because it’s so easy to find music. People don’t have to search and scramble for anything. That’s probably why it’s less valuable.

MC: For anyone who isn’t yet convinced to purchase your new record, can you sell them for us?

JRW: I honestly have no idea how to supply you with that answer. If I knew I guess I would be shouting from the rooftops and be a rich man.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: NEW BEAT FUND

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: Can you give us a little background on how you guys met?

BURNIE BAKER “THA HIT MAKER” of NEW BEAT FUND: Not sure what was in the background when we met, perhaps a hippo going down on a mermaid? All I know is New Beat Fund Iz, and our Iz chills with Oz.

MC: Is there a crazy story behind the band’s name?

NBF: Depends on what you believe in. If you believe we baked the ashes of a piggy bank labeled “New Beat Fund” into a batch of double fudge brownies and ate them to initiate the birth of our band — then you might be on the right track. If you believe in anything else, then you probably enjoy watching paint dry.

MC: I recently saw you guys play with Blink 182 at The Starland Ballroom in NJ — I liked your set. How did you land up on tour with Blink?

NBF: Thank you. We sent an ice cream Oreo cookie cake decorated as a yin yang symbol to Tom’s PO Box. Not sure if he liked it, but we’re now on tour with them.

MC: You guys played a sick cover of Sublime. Do you do a lot of covers?

NBF: No, we only do one, but we combine two halves of two different songs into one cover song. We eventually hope to be a Celine Dion cover band. That is our dream.

MC: Can you tell us a little bit about the new EP?

NBF: It’s called CoiNz ($) and you can get it for free at newbeatfund.com. If you like layin’ out on the beach with a beer and a blunt in your paws, then you should probably download it.

MC: What was it like growing up in LA? Do you find that it’s harder starting out there as a band?

NBF: It’s all we know of growing up. Yeah, people try to come here to make it, but if you know your hustle and your hustle is true, then LA is the place for you.

MC: If you had to place your music into a specific genre, what would it be?

NBF: G-punk / Beach Funk.

MC: I noticed you just announced a nice fall tour with 3OH3! That should be cool. Any venue in particular you are most excited to play?

NBF: To be honest, we’re stoked to play all of them. We’ll find out which venue likes to play with us most and report back to you.

MC: If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?

NBF: Cereal killer.

MC: I heard Scare Me on the radio the other day. People seem to really be enjoying the single. How did you know that was the one?

NBF: The same way I picked all my ex-girlfriends.

MC: Sum up New Beat Fund in five words.

NBF: Uh Shut Up Stupid Idiot.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: HEAVY ENGLISH

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those unfamiliar with Heavy English, what’s the brief backstory?

SAL BOSSIO from HEAVY ENGLISH: Well, Dan & I have been making music and touring together since 2005 with our former band. The band broke up and we all went our separate ways for a few years, but the two of us eventually reconnected. We lived on opposite sides of the country initially working on some of my ideas via Skype, until we realized it was slowing us down. At the very end of 2011, I moved back to New York and went at it full force. We spent over six months writing before Ari was introduced to us through our mutual friend and longtime collaborator/producer, Bryan Russell. This is when Heavy English was starting to feel like a band.

MC: The name of the band — any crazy story behind it?

HE: The story of our name is simple and not very interesting. It’s two words that randomly came to me on a flight in the prelim stages of the band, and a year later we all decided it was the one. But it really just means to put heavy spin on a ball. We all thought that was cool, so that’s just a plus.

MC: I’m in love with the single 21 Flights and have been hearing it on Sirius radio a lot lately. How has the reaction been to people hearing your music on the radio?

HE: The reaction to 21 Flights has been phenomenal; to be honest, I haven’t seen a bad word about it. That definitely doesn’t happen nowadays. Everyone is so critical and they’re all haters.

MC: Do you blast it when you hear it come on?

HE: We’re constantly hearing from old friends that are hearing it on the radio, but we still have yet to hear it ourselves, so no blasting just yet.

MC: Being from New York, I know you guys play a lot of shows locally (which I’m hoping to check out soon!) — any plans for a tour in the near future?

HE: We do plan to tour, but not exactly sure when as of now.

MC: What about an album? Possibly an EP?

HE: We will be putting out an album; it’s looking like early 2014. You probably won’t ever see an EP from us.

MC: Your sound as a group is so full for a three-piece. Did you ever consider making the lineup larger, or was this always the plan?

HE: We wrote the album and recorded it live as a three-piece (drums/bass/guitar). If we felt something needed to be layered on the studio, we did that. Dan is responsible for supplying us with that extra layer live. It’s actually pretty amazing; he plays drums & SPDS at the same time. SPDS is a pad that triggers certain notes or chords and he plays it like an instrument with his drumsticks on all the off-beats. So at the very least, we sound like a four-piece, even though there’s only three of us on stage. Have we thought about adding people to the live show? Yes, we thought about having two girls sing harms and do percussion like Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense. That’s about it.

MC: What is the ultimate goal for Heavy English?

HE: The ultimate goal is to make good music first and foremost, be able to share it with the world and hope that people enjoy it. We just want our music to be heard everywhere and we want to tour on it cause our live show is fun.

MC: For fans to get to know you better, what is the best way for them to reach you?

HE: Fans can reach us on Twitter or Facebook, or they can get us at heavyenglishmail@gmail.com — either of those work.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: THE DELTA SAINTS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. For those who are unfamiliar, can you provide a brief background story on the band?

BEN RINGEL of THE DELTA SAINTS: David Supica (Bass), Ben Azzi (Drums), and I (Ben Ringel – Resonator/Vocals) moved to Nashville in 2007 to finish up college. The band pretty much started as a necessity for a social life. We each played music and had some idea of doing it as a career, but at first it was more for the drinking and conversation. We started writing songs, and a few months later, we played some of our first shows. We started touring more and more, and after a few personnel changes, and five years, we’ve arrived here.

MC: The Delta Saints, I dig the name. Is there a whole crazy meaning behind it?

TDS: I wish that there was some great deep meaning behind the name. You hear stories of bands who have these religious experiences with songs and books, and their names come out of these crazy experiences. Our name came out of necessity and in passing. We had a few songs written, a gig or two booked, and no name. Someone just threw it out, and we all like the sound of it, and felt that it worked for this swampy sound that we all had heard in our heads. One day we’ll make up a great story about how we got our name. It will involve prison and bourbon and voodoo, but until then the truth will have to suffice.

MC: I always hear such fantastic things about the Nashville music scene, and how it’s like no other. Would you agree?

TDS: I definitely would. There is something for everyone… Well, almost everyone. There’s obviously a lot of country music, and that dominates a big part of Nashville. But there is a really great rock scene in Nashville. Some of the big guys moved their camps down to Nashville, like the Black Keys, and Jack White’s seemingly endless endeavors. We’ve also got guys like Kings of Leon coming from just south of Nashville. There’s a whole other level of rock and indie rock just below the obvious surface though. I’ve been super impressed over the past few years of great bands starting up around Nashville. Bands like The Apache Relay, Kopecky Family Band, and The Blackfoot Gypsies are some groups that are just killing it lately. I think one of the big reasons, is that the atmosphere in Nashville is pretty supportive for new artists. It’s still the same cut-throat industry, but there is community in the struggle.

MC: You guys have a nice solid US tour in the works for the fall. Any venues you are most excited about in particular?

TDS: We’re really excited about the whole fall run. We’ve spent five of the past six months over in Europe, so it’s nice to be able to come home and finish the year with a solid US tour. We have started a tradition of always playing a Halloween show in Lawrence, KS. It’s basically our home away from home (and a few of the guys are from right around there). It’s always a great time and a great show. It’s nice to be able to look forward to traditions like that. We’re also really excited to be coming back up to NYC. That city is just enchanting and overwhelming. It’s always a huge rush in both time and adrenalin when we’re up there. We never end up staying for more than 18 hours, but we always seem to leave happy and usually still well within the effects of the night before.

MC: I know you also just wrapped up a stint in Europe. Did you bring back any exciting stories with you?

TDS: We’ve certainly found ourselves within situations that we hadn’t planned. On this last Euro tour we had a fly-out date to Las Palmas, which is in the Canary Islands. We essentially didn’t sleep for 72 hours, because there were gigs on each side of that particular show. We walked off stage in Las Palmas around 3AM and had a taxi scheduled for around 4. After load-out, we had just enough time for a shower and to collect our things. Our cab driver showed up on time, and it was about then that we all recognized him from the club. He was the one pounding drinks at the bar all night. We also noticed that he had some company in the front seat, and a cooler full of beer in between them. So there we are, at 4AM, speeding down the Spanish highway, having not slept for 2 days, our cabbie is drunk and still drinking, there’s what seems to be a prostitute in the front seat, and the sky is just starting to show signs of dawn. It was a bonding moment between us and God.

MC: I’m obsessed with single Liar, and have a few other personal favorites too, including Steppin. What are your influences as a band, and is the writing done as a group effort?

TDS: Between all of us, we listen to a pretty wide variety of music. I feel confident in saying that no one in this band listens to the same thing. There are bands that we can all agree on, but if you compared what everyone was listening to at any given moment, it would range from commercial pop, to hip-hop, to indie rock, to funk, to blues, and folk. Because of that, each person brings a different perspective and idea to the music. We definitely write as a band. I write all of the lyrics, but songs don’t necessarily start with lyrics. When we first started writing, the process was very one dimensional, but as we’ve grown, it’s really opened up, and now they can come out of nowhere. I think it’s the same with our influence. At first, everything came from a really small box. It was very much in the blues or swampy realm. As we’ve grown and progressed, that box has opened up. Now, we’re able to listen to bands like My Morning Jacket or The Derek Trucks Band, or even guys like Townes Van Zandt and experiment with ideas that come from listening to their records. It’s certainly gotten a lot more interesting as the years have gone by.

MC: Your sound is very unique and original. I feel it can be tough in the music business these days to maintain that originality. Is that something you guys ever think about when recording?

TDS: I think it’s all about deciding what you want and how you want to get there. I think that will decide how original and how much control you are able to have. We have high aspirations, but we know that growing slowly will allow us more control and a bigger space for creativity. We definitely have a specific sound that we all hear for the band, and we try to write songs that will not only progress and strengthen that sound, but will also push the band forward. It’s just a balance of art and commerce.

MC: Would you say you prefer recording over live shows?

TDS: They are two different worlds. I love both, personally. I think my favorite part of the entire process is actually writing the songs though. I just enjoy the freedom that it allows for, and being able to create and conceptualize every little detail of an idea.

MC: I actually found out about you guys from Red Bull Sound Select. How did you guys get involved with that awesome program?

TDS: There is a great radio station in Nashville called Lightning 100 (100.1 FM) that really puts a lot of focus on local artists in Nashville. They partnered with Red Bull for the Sound Select campaign, and a few of the guys over there talked with us about getting involved. It was a really great thing to be a part of, and the show was awesome. Red Bull seems to be one of those companies that is doing things right. They are not only doing really interesting things with athletes and artists, but they offer opportunities to smaller bands, like the Sound Select campaign, that really give support to bands like us. It’s nice to see a company actually investing in entertainment, and not just throwing money at the same old tricks.

MC: It seems like the future is very bright for you guys.. Was there ever that one moment where you thought: “This is actually going to work out for us?”

TDS: I think that we are all still waiting for that moment, and I’m curious as to what that moment would look like. For us, everything has seemed to grow slowly but steadily. So, it’s never this eye opening, trumpets sounding moment, but when we step back and look at where we are compared to where we were the year before, it’s always surprising to us.

MC: This is a question I ask a lot of artists, because I like to see what else you are feeling on a personal level. If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

TDS: In various forms of rehab… I would probably be in a kitchen somewhere. I’ve been a line cook since I was about 14, and really loved it.

MC: Where can fans learn the most about you and access your music?

TDS: Our website is a great place to start, but we’ve also got a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various other social media outlets. There’s even a Myspace for those looking for a nostalgic look back.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CISCO ADLER

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo by: Taylor Herron]

MARIA CIEZAK: First and foremost, I want to talk about the new music video for Free Tree. I love it! Where did the concept come from?

CISCO ADLER: I want to make videos that stand the test of time and that I will be proud of forever. This song is a protest song about Mother Earth and all she gives us, and how we always end up getting charged for things that should be free. Marijuana, a medical miracle, is one of them. I figured a classic propaganda vibe with tons of imagery that leaves the viewer asking questions would be awesome. My friend Matty Smooch, who shot the video, edited for two days to make sure all the visuals were thought-provoking and would make you want to watch again.

MC: You’ve had quite a busy year with music, touring, and everything else in between. Any plans for a fall tour?

CA: I’ll be out this winter. Some great plans are in the works.

MC: Your very active on socials — what is your favorite platform to communicate with fans?

CA: Instagram is a pure pleasure platform, as it’s not too much advertising and spamming, and a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Snapchat is the next one, I think. They are entering the music space as we speak and will be making a splash.

MC: I’ve been a fan of yours for quite some time now, back to the Whitestarr days. You must’ve seen a lot change in the industry over the years. Would you say it’s gotten harder remaining a relevant artist?

CA: It’s always going to be yes and no. It’s never been harder and never been easier.

MC: I love your remix track with Sammy Adams. How did that collaboration come about?

CA: Sammy is a friend and a great artist on the rise. I always like to cross-pollinate and create bridges between audiences I think would get it. The song is amazing, and his verse brought a new energy and connected our communities.

MC: You must have a ton of songs in your “vault”. How many would you say don’t make your records?

CA: [Laughs] Thousands, literally.

MC: This may be random, but I’ve always wanted to know: Who designs your tour flyers? They’re always so rad!

CA: Thank you! I do. I am an artist at all costs. I love to be creative in any medium.

MC: Who are some artists that you’d like to collaborate with?

CA: Flea, Rick Rubin, Kanye, Keith Richards, and Damian Marley, to name a few.

MC: If you weren’t making music, I picture you running a tiki hut somewhere. What would you be doing?

CA: I’d be dead. Music is my lifeblood. It keeps me ticking. This is why I am here.

MC: For fans who may not be familiar with what you are about yet, how would you describe your music in five words?

CA: Perfect for a sunny day.

INTERVIEW WITH BEWARE OF DARKNESS!

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I recently had the opportunity to chat with one of rock’s hottest up and coming acts, Beware of Darkness. Kyle and Tony took the time to talk to BiggerThanBeyonce.Com about their new music, life on the road, and rising success. Their debut record, Orthodox, is available on iTunes now!

MARIA CIEZAK: First and foremost, I want to congratulate you guys on all the success. Tell us a little bit about how you the band came to be.

BEWARE OF DARKNESS: Thank you. We all met in LA. Tony and I met at an R&B show downtown, and we met Dan a bit after. Dan was living in New Jersey and found out he had a half-brother living in Santa Monica. He came out here to visit, and we all wound up meeting each other. Fate.

MC: Your sound is extremely full for a three-piece. In the past, did you ever consider adding more members?

BOD: Yes. It’s still a passing thought every now and then. Anyone and everyone who plays tuba or a related brass instrument should email bewareofdarknessmusic@gmail.com.

MC: Your debut record, Orthodox, is really getting quite a buzz. Can you tell us about the writing process on this album?

BOD: The writing process was get out every single idea and then organize them into a complete cohesive record.

MC: Single Howl is doing very well on active rock radio. What made you guys decide to pick this track?

BOD: It was a no-brainer. The people around us reacted to it, and it acts as a very powerful introduction to the band. Like hello world, here we are! Bam! Honestly, I never thought it would be doing this well, and it’s still going. We played Pohoda Festival in Slovakia yesterday and people freaked the fuck out when we played it and were singing along and dancing. It’s crazy to be halfway across the world and have people react like that.

MC: I see you have a heavy tour lineup this summer with various different artists! I will be catching you guys in New Jersey on August 17th. Any venue in particular you are most looking forward to?

BOD: We’re about to play Wembley with the Smashing Pumpkins on July 22nd. To be able to play there already is surreal.

Tony- I’m really looking forward to Verizon Wireless in Irvine, CA in September, because last time we played it was for Epicenter Festival and we had technical difficulties. I feel like we owe the venue a great show.

MC: Do you guys ever get homesick on these long touring stints? Any “band rituals” you stick to on a daily basis?

BOD: I don’t at all. I’ve been at home my whole life writing songs and wishing I was touring. Now we get a chance to travel the world and play music.

MC: What would you say you enjoy more, recording or live performances?

BOD: To say we get to do both is pretty cool.

MC: Any insight on what the next single will be?

BOD: All Who Remain. It’s going to be big.

MC: There are so many bands out there these days battling for the same listener. I feel you guys fit in the format well, yet still have your own unique style. How do you maintain that “stick out” sound? Or do you even think about this when recording?

BOD: Thanks. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is good songwriting. Style and production change over time, but at the core, there’s got to be a real song under it. Also, about sticking out, it’s not hard when every other band out there is either feebly whispering and hiding behind 14 synthesizers and backing tracks, or playing folk music, dressed like fairies, stupidly smiling on stage and singing happy songs for two hours. Is there depth to that? Is that real? Is there sex to it? Is that fulfilling? Absolutely not. To answer your question, we stand out because of that.

MC: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

BOD: I would’ve graduated college and either pursued a career in social psychology or be at home writing a novel.

MC: Who are some of your favorite artists right now?

BOD: J. Cole’s new record is brilliant. Other stuff we’re listening to is Ryan Adams, St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, King, Dead Sara, and Joanna Newsom. Arctic Monkeys are great. The new Queens of The Stone Age record is good too.

MC: Any plans for a fall tour?

BOD: We’re playing Uproar with Alice in Chains and Janes Addiction in August and September. Going back to the UK for Reading and Leeds, playing Rob Zombies Horror Night on Halloween, and then we tour America again.

MC: For BiggerThanBeyonce readers who are unfamiliar with Beware of Darkness, give five words to describe your band.

BOD: Raw, Soul, Rock, Love & Passion.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW W/ JERSEY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: ONLY LIVING BOY

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: You guys are one of my/New Jersey’s best-kept secrets. For future fans, can you provide us with a brief background story? How did you all come together?

TREVOR NEWCOMB of ONLY LIVING BOY: First off, thanks for doing this interview with us. We really don’t want to be a secret, so we appreciate it. The first time we played on stage together was probably in the 6th grade. We kept playing and learning together and we went on to graduate high school together. In 2006, we formed Rabid Roy with the intension of “making it.” Rabid Roy became OLB after a couple of tough years and one bad record contract. Since the formation of OLB, we’ve independently toured most of the country, put out a few full-lengths and several singles and EPs… You know, trucking.

MC: Now I am assuming the band is named after the Paul Simon song? Are you guys mega fans?

OLB: We all love us some Paul Simon but the name is just a coincidence. We needed a name for the band and after several months of tossing around terrible ideas, Paul Simon’s Only Living Boy in New York came on the radio while we were on our way to a jam. The rest is history.

MC: You just released a new EP entitled Cool Collected Headcase, and it’s been getting a ton of buzz. I know you worked with Paul Ritchie from The Parlor Mob in the past. Where was this recording done?

OLB: We plan on working with Paul again; he’s the shit. This time around, we got the opportunity to work with Billy Perez at SST Studio in Weehawken. SST isn’t on a lot of people’s radar, but I suppose that’s purposeful. To put is plainly, SST is the most incredible studio we’ve sat foot in. Throughout the years, as some of the big analog studios in NYC closed, SST acquired their gear. So it’s packed with incredible recording equipment and a ton of history. It’s in an amazing space – huge rooms, huge ceilings etc. They’ve hosted some ultra big acts. Everyone from the Crows to Nirvana to Sabbath has done something there. It’s crazy.

MC: Who does most of the writing? Is it a group effort?

OLB: Joe is the core writer, but once the rest of us get involved with his ideas you never know where the song is going to go.

MC: What comes first? The music or the lyrics?

OLB: One thing’s for sure, Joe writes 99% of the lyrics. He has books/journals of lyrics and ideas. I think some of his lyrics are done first and then it hangs around until the right song comes together, but most of the time it’s music, then lyrics.

MC: How do you keep yourselves so original in such a mainstream day and age? Do you even think about it?

OLB: Oh, certainly it’s best not to think of it. We just do us. We just try to maintain some sort of edginess and rawness. And of course, we try to record and perform with energy and power. And I suppose if there’s one benefit of being a trio, it’s the fact that there isn’t a lot of them out there and there’s way fewer that sound anything like us. I know lately we’ve been getting a lot of QOTSA comparisons and that’s cool, but I can tell you, with all honesty, we got that 5-6 years ago before we ever even knew of them. We are sponges. We absorb influences all the time. Everything we hear. It’s true.

MC: Your live set is something that everyone must experience. How do you determine a set list for each show? Does it require much catering to certain venues?

OLB: Thanks. We usually write out a set and then do some improving once we get going. And we don’t mind taking risks. We’ll play new songs or old songs that may or may not be ready for the stage. I think risk-taking is something that is important with rock. We aren’t afraid to push the envelope. We aren’t afraid to fuck up. When I see other bands perform with that attitude, and they pull it off, I think it’s exciting. Like watching a stuntman almost wreck.

We really try not to cater sets for anything, but inevitably we tend to play louder and harder at bigger places. Also, sometimes we play acoustic; we can do more than rock at 115db.

MC: Any tours coming up in the near future?

OLB: Hell yeah. As Lemmy from Motörhead says: “You’re not a real band if you don’t tour.” We’re heading out in July for a couple weeks, working our way out to the Roots Rock & Deep Blues Festival in Minneapolis, where we will join our good buds in Poverty Hash (their lead man, Joe Roberto plays harmonica on our track Spread Your Butter). Also, we’ll have to hit some college circuits in the fall. Lately, we’re looking for some good bands to hit the road with. It’s always more productive and fun that way.

MC: If you could place yourself on tour with any artist, who would it be and why?

OLB: We’d love to go out on the road with any band that rocks and can help us get in front of more people. Top pick: Queens of the Stone Age. Or any Dave Grohl or Josh Homme project. Those guys are the top dogs in rock, as far as I’m concerned.

MC: How much material is there in the Only Living Boy vault? Are there a lot that don’t make the record?

OLB: So much material. Between his solo stuff and the OLB stuff, that Joe Cirotti is a writing machine. Currently, we’re working on songs for the record that’s coming out after our next record. So we’re like three albums ahead already. We constantly write and record demos. Many of them don’t make it to the albums or haven’t yet. Many of them we still play live.

MC: What is the ultimate goal for Only Living Boy? The music business is so different these days. Is getting a record deal somewhat of a priority?

OLB: Good question…

Every time I feel like I have a grip on the biz, I realize I have only the benefits of my own successes/mistakes to reflect on; otherwise, I’m half guessing just like everybody else who is short on investors.

Having a career is our ultimate goal. I would be satisfied being a lower-middle class full-time musician. However, we’re not looking to sell ourselves short. I think another equally important goal is to share our music with as many people as possible. So some combination of that: a career and maximum exposure. That’s my pragmatist stance.

Now, a record deal? That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And it doesn’t always involve the combination of exposure AND career that we are looking for. That being said, we will be looking for some sort of “deal” over the next few months, however, in the mean time, we won’t stop outing our music by ourselves.

MC: Now that you guys have made quite the name for yourselves in the Tri-state area, if you could have done anything differently, would you?

OLB: I spent most of my twenties traveling the country playing honest music with my two best friends – I’m pretty lucky. So I don’t have too many regrets.

One thing though, if you’re in a band and you’re thinking about signing to a label or some other business arrangement, consider who it is that represents you and what they have to gain/loose from the process. Sometimes it seems like someone is fighting for you when, really, they’re only worried about themselves or they may be too short-sighted to give two shits about how your career goes in the long term.

MC: What advice do you have for bands just starting out?

OLB: When pursuing your art, patience is the key and so is being yourself. That is, unless you’re ok with being a tool.

MC: Five words why people should listen to Only Living Boy.

OLB: Real rock and roll lives on…

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KID FELIX

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those who are unfamiliar with Kid Felix, how would you describe your sound?

KID FELIX: It’s a mix of grunge and modern alternative, with some indie grooves.

MC: You guys are about to hit your two year anniversary as a band. You have done more in that short time than many do in their whole career. How has the ride been?

KF: It has definitely been challenging, but it’s also been really fun. We’ve gotten to meet people and do things that we never expected to do in such a short time. We’ve even got to play with some artist that we’ve always been fans of.

MC: You just recently got to play with some pretty incredible bands including Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. How did this all come about?

KF: Jaxon from 93.3 WMMR happened to see us at a show in Philly and made us one of his Artists of the Month. As we kept on working, more and more of the DJ’s at WMMR started getting behind us. Through them we got a few shows, all growing in size, until one day we got the call asking us to open up their MMRBQ with Device, Buckcherry, Cheap Trick, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. We, of course, said yes!

MC: Kid Felix is really dominating the New Jersey music scene. Do you feel like you’re starting to branch out into different areas more and more?

KF: Slowly. We haven’t really toured yet, but through the bigger shows that we have played, we’ve gained fans from different areas.

MC: I know you are getting consistent radio play for your single Class Action Satisfaction. If you had to pick another single for on-air, what would it be?

KF: We’ve always seen Alone Now and 100 Years On from our newest EP as singles. We’ve also been writing a lot recently though, and are really excited about some of the new stuff that we haven’t had a chance to record yet.

MC: You’ve done Warped Tour, you’ve done Bamboozle… What’s the next big festival you are aiming for?

KF: Made in America. It would be awesome to play a major festival in the city that we got our start in.

MC: Any plans for a tour in the near future?

KF: We are working on it. We’re pretty much doing everything independently, so booking tours in new markets is tough, but we’re sticking with it.

MC: Kid Felix picks some sick covers. I’ve seen everything from Florence and the Machine to Muse. Do you guys fool around with other artists material at practice a lot? Or is this a once in a while type of thing?

KF: Usually it’s only a once in a while type of thing. We really try to focus on constantly writing new music, but there have been some instances where we had to learn a cover. When we have to though, we like to try to mix it up with our picks.

MC: You guys have seen it firsthand how important it is for bands to network. Is social media the best way to get in touch with you all?

KF: Definitely. We run all of our social media, and always try to answer everyone that contacts us. You can find us at: www.facebook.com/kidfelix / Twitter: @THEkidfelix / Instagram: @THEkidfelix.

MC: Rumor has it you are going to try to release a full length in the near future. How is the writing process going?

KF: It’s going good. We all write our songs together, so the writing process can be a little bit more tedious. We have a lot of half songs that we have to go back on and finish up.

MC: What usually comes first? The music or the lyrics?

KF: It’s a little of both. Like I said, everyone writes their own parts, so sometimes Jake will come to the band with some lyrics ready to go, and other times a band member will have something musically first.

MC: If you could give yourselves some advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?

KF: Work hard and be patient. You don’t always see the return on what you’ve been working for right away.

MC: Any advice to bands just starting out who don’t think they have a chance to make it?

KF: You’re not gonna make it with that attitude!

MC: Tell BiggerthanBeyonce readers why they should check out Kid Felix.

KF: We have a really energetic live show, unique music, and we’re all incredibly handsome.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW W/ PENTATONIX

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: Many may know you as the winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off Season 3, but I want to know some REAL history. How did it all start? I read in an article that you guys never officially met until 24 hours before your audition? Is this true?

MITCH GRASSI of PENTATONIX: Yes, that’s true! Scott, Kirstie, and I started out singing together in high school as an acapella trio. When Scott got to college, one of his college friends suggested that we audition for The Sing-Off, but recommended we fill out our sound a bit more. We met Avi through a mutual friend, and discovered Kevin on YouTube.

MC: What made you decide to try out for The Sing-Off? They had to have some inclination that they had some talent on their hands with a band named after a five-note music scale!

MG: [Laughs] We hope so! Scott convinced us to fly out to LA to audition if, for nothing else, to say that we took advantage of the opportunity. I’d say it turned out pretty well!

MC: Noticing that you combine everything from Pop, R&B, Soul, and even Electronic music, it seems pretty evident that you are all influenced by many genres. How would you all describe your sound if you had to?

MG: We all have vastly different music tastes and influences. Scott is very R&B and soulful. Kirstie was in musical theatre, so she has this beautifully bright tone. I would say my voice is fairly feminine and trebly — I listened to mostly female musicians growing up! Avi is our ground-shaking bass man, and Kevin is influenced by classical music and old-school hip-hop.

MC: Acapella swag at its finest, I must say. You guys are anything but a “typical” group. What is the toughest part? Harmonizing? Putting together arrangements? It has to be tougher than it looks!

MG: The toughest part is arranging, but we’ve gotten so much better at it than we used to be! It’s a fun challenge, though, because we get to brainstorm and come up with different musical ideas.

MC: You guys have some amazing covers on your YouTube channel including Gotye, FUN, and even PSY! How do you decide what you cover? Does it just come naturally? Does the whole group decide? Take a vote perhaps?

MG: What we’re known for is taking top 40 hits and giving it our own spin. Sometimes, however, we’ll take a poll on Facebook and ask the fans what they want to hear! And sometimes we will just bring a song to the group if we are really digging it.

MC: Evolution of Music surpassed five million views on YouTube in its first week! Honestly, how do you react to that success in such a short amount of time?

MG: We were very excited! That particular arrangement was our most difficult to date, so we were thrilled/relieved it got such good feedback.

MC: Your live show is getting quite a buzz, and you are embarking on a nice U.S. tour this summer! You guys are actually headed to my turf to play The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey on July 25th. Any surprises up your sleeves?

MG: I won’t say much, but I WILL say that we have a killer light show.

MC: If you could give your younger selves some advice on how fame would be, would you do anything differently?

MG: My younger self was a bit more introverted than my present self, so I would tell him to not be so afraid of expressing himself, and to be happy with who he is!

MC: When you’re not singing your brains out, what do you guys like to do? Are you always together?

MG: We spend most of our time together. [Laughs] We do all have various hobbies, though. I picked up DJing and music production, so on the off-chance we have break time, I like to practice that. I’m also a total music nerd, so I love record shopping and keeping up with the latest music.

MC: You are all very active on your social media. Does fan engagement ever become overwhelming?

MG: It can be, yes. Sometimes fans will tweet us literally 30+ times until we follow them. Otherwise, we love interacting with our fans on Twitter. They’re usually very sweet!

MC: What’s an artist on your iPod right now that fans might be surprised to see?

MG: Candi Staton! She’s an old disco vocalist. I love her voice.

MC: What’s next for Pentatonix? More music? More tours? Perhaps starting your own singing competition (wishful thinking)?

MG: We are currently working on PTX Vol. 2, while planning our brand new tour and performing at venues around the country.

MC: Give us five words to encourage new fans to give you a listen.

MG: Like nothing you’ve heard before!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW W/ ANOOP DESAI!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: First things first, you’ve really surprised me with the direction of your new single Love War. I’m hooked! I love that you’ve broken the mold of American Idol. Was it always your intention to steer towards electronic music?

ANOOP DESAI: Not consciously, no. It was really a process of musical evolution for me. Going to shows, being around music as a professional, advancing as a writer, etc. It was an organic process for me, just trying to find my voice within the genre for the past three years. People may have a memory of me from “Idol” that seems different from the new sound, but it’s really just filling a niche in EDM that I felt was there for the taking. My rule when making this latest record was that I could only make music that I personally liked. It was a decision that seems to have led to a wider appreciation of my music, which I’m thrilled about.

RB: The video treatment for the song is incredible. I’m really impressed with everything your doing at the moment. Can you tell us a little about the visuals in the clip? (I’ve noticed some horses and country scenes which I think are cool, meshing with your North Carolina upbringing.)

AD: We filmed parts of the video in the North Georgia mountains, parts of it on a white backdrop with cool lighting, and of course there’s the military footage in there. It’s meant to be jarring but also visually clear. And you sort of hinted at it, the idea is that the song is referencing a past gone by while really trying to express the reality that struggle still plays in everyday life. Essentially, no one comes out unscathed from a Love War.

RB: What artists have you been inspired by with regards to this new sound/style?

AD: This answer really changes weekly for me, but I think at the time I was writing Love War I was listening to a lot of Bassnectar, The Weeknd, the first Ellie Goulding record, and because I was a recent Atlanta immigrant, LOTS of hip hop. I’m in a space right now where I’m really into James Blake, Kishi Bashi, Purity Ring, Active Child, M83, etc. (and still a lot of hip hop), so we’ll see how that affects the next batch of stuff I’m working on.

RB: You must be stoked about your debut album? Any idea/timeframe as to when it might drop?

AD: So stoked. I think I owe it to myself and my fans to make sure that it has everything behind it that it deserves, so there’s of course a financial and promotional element there that we need to set up when it’s done. We’re already done with half of it, and I’m personally aiming for late this year or early next year. In the meantime, I’m releasing a new remix package of Love War in June.

RB: Like most girls and soccer moms, I loved you on American Idol! [Laughs] What I don’t love is hearing that you experienced some racism after the show. That sh*t really bothers me. But major kudos to you for being able to be vulnerable and real and open about it. I think that type of honesty encourages change.

AD: Thanks. It’s nothing new, although it was new to me at the time. I don’t think it’s headline news that there are dumb people in the world, but it’s always weird when that kind of stuff is directed at you. I’m fully aware that I don’t get as much of that stuff as a lot of other people. As messed up as it is, sometimes people have to be peer pressured into acceptance. (I hate the word “tolerance”.) Hopefully, the kind of mainstream success I am working towards can be part of that pressure.

RB: Do you feel like your experience on the show pushed you in a way to break away from the more safer styles/genres the show seems to embrace/push winners towards? Meaning, there’s not many artists from the show who are doing what you’re doing right now, which is making really rad electro music!

AD: In a way… I tried to do the “safe” thing at first and it just didn’t really work for me. On a critical and personal level. Like I said earlier, my rule for the new sound was that I had to like everything that I was putting out there. I didn’t have that rule before, and I think it showed. At first, I pushed myself towards that bubblegum ideal because I felt like that was what my audience wanted. Whether that was smart or just pandering, I don’t know, but it definitely didn’t get me where I wanted to go. As I’ve begun to write more and really focus on the craft above anything else, I’ve evolved as a musician and as a fan of music. And, of course, that will never stop.

RB: This is a staple in questions I ask artists: What’s a few of your current guilty pleasures? Music or non?

AD: The new will.i.am album, bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

RB: Last album you purchased.

AD: James Blake – Overgrown. It’s just complete mastery. I went to his show at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC the other night and it was literally awesome. Although I’m also a fan of the new Charli XCX, Django Django, and Major Lazer records.

RB: Are you planning on touring with the upcoming album release?

AD: This fall, but no dates are set in stone yet.

RB: Finally, I wanted to say that BiggerThanBeyonce focuses a lot of energy spotlighting incredible indie artists like yourself. Although difficult at times, do you feel a sense of personal triumph and victory being free to make the music you love?

AD: Of course! It is difficult at times, but that’s going to make what’s ahead even sweeter.

EVE! #LIPLOCK ALBUM RELEASE PARTY!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Myself w/ the one and only EVE, last night at her album release party!

Hosted by Simyone Lounge

[Related Post: Autographed Eve/Lip Lock Giveaway!]