Posts Tagged ‘Rock N Roll’

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TERMINAL GODS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those who are unfamiliar with Terminal Gods, can you give us a brief backstory?

ROBERT MAISEY of TERMINAL GODS: Rob Cowlin and I have a firm policy of not talking about how we met in the queue outside the London Astoria, both going to watch a Leeds drum machine rock band that shall remain unnamed.

Josh and I knew each other from school and have lived together for a few years, so we formed the guitar section. Jonno plays in a disgustingly brilliant electro punk two-piece called HotGothic, who we gigged with many times, especially in the early days. When our original bass player left, we poached him. He’s dead good.

MC: Also, the name, some may think of as somewhat controversial. Is there a specific meaning?

TG: It’s pure ego and (justified) arrogance. It’s also a fitting description. It’s part of the name of a really cool Aubrey Beardsley painting (Venus Between Terminal Gods). It doesn’t have anything to do with any pseudo-religious Lovecraftian mumbo jumbo (although I do like a bit of Lovecraft, for personal use only mind you).

MC: Let’s chat about the release of your debut EP, Machine Beat Messiah (released November 25th). I’ve had the chance to listen and I’m totally digging the sound. How did the whole process go? Did the writing come first or the music?

TG: In a nutshell, the songs tend to start life with just me, a drum machine and a 12-string telecaster, usually at about 4 am. We then flesh them out all together in the rehearsal rooms and, if they pass the quality control, Cowlin will write some words and melody.

I wrote the basic music for The Resurrection Man because I had a new 12-string acoustic with butterflies on it and wanted a song that sounded like it’d been written on a guitar with butterflies on it. I failed.

The rest of the songs are just jazzed up Stooges tracks. Seriously. All of them.

MC: Maybe I’m jumping ahead of myself, or it’s wishful thinking, or both (laughs) — but any chance of a full-length in the near future?

TG: We have enough material for a full-length record, which we’ll make when someone gives us enough money and promotion to make it worth releasing.

In the meantime, we’re quite content putting out singles and EPs. This is something more bands should do. If you’re going to spend all of your money on releasing a chunk of vinyl with only a few songs on it, you’d better make damn sure those songs are worth releasing. This is called quality control. We kind of envisage our first album being a kind of best of with all our best singles redone in a really expensive studio, maybe with Steve Albini on guest drum machines. I’m totally sick of bands discovering a sound they kinda like and jumping straight into an album before they have actually written enough good songs to justify it.

I do like the idea of doing a live album though – this is something we’re talking about at the moment. It means we can put out a decent amount of songs on one record without actually committing to a “debut LP”. If it’s really really good, we can just claim it’s our Kick Out The Jams and was meant to be an album all along.

At the moment, we sell small runs of limited edition records to a passionate, but relatively small audience. This is great, but we’re not going to fire all of our guns at once (by releasing an album) before we’ve even got ourselves off the ground.

MC: I also love the video for King Hell. On a personal note, it makes me want to attend a show, for I feel like I’m at a concert when watching. Was that the whole vibe you were going for?

TG: We’re a live band, it’s where the best (and worst) of rock and roll really happens. We also wanted to save the money for studio rental for the video for The Wheels Of Love.

Originally we planned to film the video for King Hell from the back seat of a huge Dodge Challenger while cruising into the oil-smeared sunset of The Badlands, but we scrapped the idea when we realised everyone had already seen Mad Max.

All our videos are made by Andy Oxley of Screen 3 productions. He knows us, we know him. It’s nice to have loyalty to the people you work with, and it gives you a chance to grow as artists together. In my opinion, the main reason our videos tend to look pretty cool, despite shoestring budgets, is because Andy has spent a lot of time getting to know us and our music.

MC: You guys are doing so well in London right now — any chance of coming over to the states in the near future?

TG: Hopefully. We’ll just phone our huge record company and ask them to charter a jet.

But seriously, there are some awesome Americans that have really put their names behind us. A guy called Jason Ledyard who runs a club called Absolution in New York has been our constant champion. Another guy called Ken McIntyre who has an amazing radio show called Advanced Demonology wrote a lovely bit about us in Classic Rock magazine. If more Americans like the record and are willing to go out and tell lots of other Americans what nice guys we are, then I see no reason why we won’t eventually end up in the States. It worked with the Germans.

MC: What are some bands you guys are into right now?

TG: For me, it’s mostly bands rocking the London alt circuit. There’s so much new music out there, I tend to go for stuff I can go and watch live regularly. The new Vuvuvultures LP is pretty swinging and the new Purson album is like a psychedelic sex dream cut to record. I also liked the new White Lies album a lot, but White Lies albums always sound wonderful.

Josh has a huge hard-on for a Sheffield blues rock/stoner doom two-piece called Wet Nuns. Josh is into a lot of Doom right now. We do a live night called Club Roadkill which is dedicated to putting on garage bands of this nature. The next band we’re putting on are called LOOM. They’re an awesome dark punk anger management case making big waves in London right now.

Cowlin runs a night called A New Dusk, which is dedicated to playing vaguely foreign sounding coldwave/darkwave/coolwave two-piece guitar/drum machine bands with loads of reverb on everything. They all sound like Suicide meets Siouxsie and the Banshees and they all claim allude to being from New York, although I’m pretty sure most of them are actually from the suburbs of London.

Cowlin and I are always listening to James Rays Gangwar. I know you’ve never heard of them, no one has. But the fact that they’re one of the most overlooked treasures of rock and roll is one of the only things we can agree on.

As I write this, I’m sitting with our tour manager listening to a Red Lorry Yellow Lorry LP called Blow. It’s really really good.

MC: Sum up in five words why people should listen to Terminal Gods.

TG: Like goth, but not shit.

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STONEY

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Hypnosis is a sign of good music. When a musician echoes so loud and long in your skull they become one with your brain, you know they’ve got good stuff going. After all, isn’t music one of the purest forms of connection, liberation, meditation? Some of the best songs only wake you up after they’ve put you to sleep.

Stoney is the UK’s latest snake charmer. He made some bloody fine burrows in Sheffield’s underground before crawling his way up to the surface.

Musically speaking, Stoney’s a connoisseur. His obviously keen ear allows for dabbles in pop, rock, indie and trance, lashing out with tiger’s claws only to slip into a kitten’s coat. His haunting, porcelain voice reminds me of Rob Smith (that accent always helps…), the sweet slush backing it a milkshake of Pulp and The Kinks.

I’ll often argue that an artist is better off releasing an EP, so as to ensure that all songs reap serious quality and leave out the fucking filler. However, Stoney has given us an entire album worthy of replay. More Than Animals is a mountain landscape, rolling from crushing peaks to gentle valleys. More valleys than I’d prefer, but I know most people need kisses between their punches. I like it best when he lets the reigns snap and shows some alternative attitude, like in Devil On My Back or The Score. You know me: I need music sharper than my boyfriend’s shaving kit. If such slicing, sweaty tunes can make me dance, even better.

Despite making ripples in the scene, Stoney’s striking far away from conformity. He’s settled down in Texas, to work on more music while basking in sunshine. This has lead to him picking up other projects (including Bobby Jealousy, a dirty pop-punk band that sounds ready for its own review), keeping a balanced focus between his solo and group works. I guess the best artists need more than one outlet!

The only song from More Than Animals with a vid so far is We Belonged, one of the gentler tracks that I feel falls beneath his full potential. Regardless, the visuals are beautiful, and the emotions real.

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: 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.

CATA9TALES RETURN

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Welcome back to my hip-hop fix!

In case you’ve forgotten (though I hope you haven’t), Cata9tales consists of two boys with sizzling brains and beats to boot. (See? When an act inspires excessive alliterations, you know they’ve got something special!)

Chameleon’s Dream (the album that had me raving last year) was downloaded over 10,000 times, which not only propelled their act into a well-deserved spotlight, but also (I hope) helped the underground rap scene recognize its own evolution.

Our world is digital, which means our music is the same. Instead of fighting it, we need to breathe deep and dive in, determined to create something worthwhile and meaningful inside this new, unfeeling system. Who knows- we may even change it from within. Cata9tales’ utilization of electro undertones to unmask societal corruption does just that.

Hello Maybe Everything (the album I’ll be raving about this year) surprised me when I hit play. While their alternative influence is undeniably modern, more of their rhyming schemes evoke old-school associations. Berkley Priest saves his tongue-splitting lyricism for certain verses; Kreator’s mixing pulls him back and slows him down. In particular, their choruses have grown increasingly mellow. As a result, their sound is more passive, less abrasive. Perhaps that’ll make their message easier to swallow. (Truth always chokes the throat at first.)

No particular song stood out to me. Every track was unified with its successor, blending every quick-drop. Maybe they’d have done better with a short n’ sweet, ear-hooking EP. Oh well. Either way, I’m giddy they’re back.

THE BOSTON BOYS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

More and more, I’m finding myself strung out by soul. Combining fiddles, electric mandolins and fizzling guitars with unexpected drumbeats, The Boston Boys have hooked a soniferous strangeness. At first play you find yourself insta-chilled, yet the longer you listen the more you find there’s definite movement beneath their deceptively cool exteriors.

Apparently they belong to the music style “Future Roots”, a smoothie-blend of soul, rock, americana and blues, topping it all off with the cherry of pop-friendly melody. One of the seven bands nationally selected for Obama’s re-election campaign, they are the poster boys of luck as well as hard work. What You Say?!, their first EP, was released in 2012, yet they’ve already snuck back into the studio to put down Keep You Satisfied, which won’t be officially let loose until October. However, if you’re thirsting for new vibrations, they’re already streaming it HERE.

Better still: though they formed in Boston (hence the name), they’re currently based in Brooklyn, and we all know how much BTB loves that borough!

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.

DOUBLE DOSAGE: KID FELIX DELIVERS X 2

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

After the success of their first two EPs, South Jersey-based Kid Felix are back with two new singles, I Am The River and Jericho, both tracks emotionally charged, potent and primed for alternative rock radio.

With a solid lineup of summer performances and heavy studio sessions, Kid Felix are well on their way to rock and roll glory. In the past two years, the band’s six members have left no stone unturned, playing The Bamboozle Festival, The Vans Warped Tour, and recently opening up the WMMRBQ at The Susquehanna Bank Center with Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, just to name a few.

Their two EPs, Head Above Water and Young Luck, are available now.

Kid Felix will be joining Three Days Grace and Otherwise at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on Thursday, September 26th for a show presented by WRAT-95.9FM and WDHA 105.5FM. Tickets are available now.

For more on Kid Felix, click here.

Double dosage below!

[Related Post: Exclusive Interview with Kid Felix]

THE REBEL LIGHT

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Every now and then, I find a hidden gem in my inbox — that fresh indie talent that really strikes a chord and gets underneath the skin. Today, that little gem is Los Angeles-based The Rebel Light and their new track Jukebox Dream.

This is the type of indie band that I love. One that isn’t careless and clueless to the current climate of music. One that knows exactly how to craft a sound that sticks. And this track really does have that tight, feel-good grip – it’s nostalgic, retro and gnarly. It tastes like an ice cream float and feels like sunny California. It’s a sound of innocent days gone by while cruising with the top down.

Simply put, it’s a fresh breath of air.

According to lead singer, Will, this track was created in-house – literally! – with instruments in the living room and vocals recorded in the kitchen, further proving the point that creative minds can make something memorable without ridiculous studio tricks.

I’m not fully versed in the rest of their material, but I’m diggin’ this track, and I think it’s safe to say that this is a band worth watching.

Listen to The Rebel Light’s Jukebox Dream below.

CAGE THE ELEPHANT TEASE NEW SINGLE

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

There are 6,001 reasons why we need new music from Cage the Elephant. However, to keep your attention span for more than a second, I will sum it up for you with just one: You ever see a band that is so raw and righteous in their live set that you almost want to call every single one of your friends to come to the show? Yeah, that’s why.

It’s been quite a while since Thank You, Happy Birthday — and of course, their self-titled debut back in ’09 — invaded our eardrums. I’d say it’s long overdue. I have found over time that when bands have such solid debuts like Cage the Elephant, it can be somewhat hard to follow up with something that is just as fresh while still maintaining their own. Some bands, however, like these guys, f**k this trend and make us even more anxious for another release. That, my friends, is what we have here. It’s difficult to put into words how interesting and eclectic they are until you see their live set, which will then again, leave you speechless.

They recently released a teaser video called Come A Little Closer, giving us a sneak peak at what to expect from their new record, due out later this year. Could 45 seconds really get someone that excited? Hell yeah!

These five guys present a delightful, fun, loud and crazy sound that will have all the bland indie music lovers wake up and realize originality and talent when they hear it.

They offer a pleasant distraction from the dreadful fare found on the charts these days. Cage the Elephant also recently announced a fall tour stint with the biggest stars on the planet, Muse.

Rock and roll needs you like a baby needs a bottle, Cage. Don’t keep us waiting too much longer.

Check out the teaser for Come A Little Closer!

[Related Post: Exclusive Interview: Cage The Elephant]

SONS OF THE SEA

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

When Brandon Boyd isn’t melting hearts and tearing up stages across the globe with a little band called Incubus, he makes time to expand in other outlets. Being an Incubus junkie since my youth, I get excited anytime I hear that his name is touching a project, but perhaps I am just bias. However, if you’re a fan of talent, you’ll listen.

His most recent solo project is called Sons of the Sea, which is in collaboration with one of the most well-respected producers in the industry, Brendan O’Brien. His latest video is called Come Together, which also features Brendan on the keys and guitar. It’s raw from the studio, really giving you an in-depth feel of the recording process.

Brandon recently took the time to talk with Fuse TV, in which he commented on the song: “I had a strong visual reference for how I wanted the song to sound — the scene in the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High where Phoebe Cates comes out of the pool in slow motion, water spraying everywhere, and she undoes her bikini top to show the world the glory.”

Basically, the song exuberates that sacred topic, sex, and he admits it openly.

Sons of the Sea’s new EP, Compass, is available now on iTunes. A full-length is expected to be out September 24th.

Come Together below.

DEAR GASLIGHT ANTHEM

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Every now and then, something in life comes along that grabs you by the neck and demands that you eat, sleep, and breathe it. In this scenario, for myself at least, it’s music. Artists and their craft always fascinate me, for it’s their own form of individualized expression. When I have a feeling or emotion that I want to share, it’s through writing. I also find a sort of release when listening to music that isn’t mine, even though I can always find a way to relate it to a situation in my life. This example shines through when attending a show. For an hour plus, I lose myself in an imaginative moment where I can pretend that every lyric is for me, and then when that last note is hit, reality strikes back in. Musicians perform and express their craft to put on a show and to entertain people who come out to see that show. Sometimes we forget that artists are real people, and when the lights go off on stage, they lead lives and strive to reach goals while perfecting their craft. However, in this instance, I am happy that one of my favorite bands, and certainly one of the most influential of my generation, are just as cool and as hardworking as they are portrayed to be.

I am currently 27 years of age, the same age as Brian Fallon when he wrote a little single called 59 Sound. I wonder what went on in his head upon writing this track, and if he anticipated that people would idolize his music. I don’t think anyone can ever be prepared for a situation like that, but I’ll tell you one thing, it’s my time at this moment to let him know how much it’s affected me.

Saturday night, July 27th , marked a special anniversary for me. It was my 10th Gaslight Anthem show. Yes, I said it. 10th. I still feel like it was just yesterday when I was hosting a radio show in college, roughly in 2007, and I got this demo recording of a track called I’da Called You Woody, Joe. I needed to know more about this band, and more about their story. I started playing them, and slowly and steadily people started calling in, just as curious as I was. I attended a small show of theirs, and I knew in my head they were going to be one of the biggest bands on the planet. Sure, you can say that I must think that often while working in the industry. Hell, I don’t blame you for thinking that, but truthfully, I rarely ever have that thought. Another band from Jersey hoping to make it big? Well, I say, why can’t they? Why can’t a real rock and roll band sell a million records in days like this? Well, the answer is there is no reason that they can’t, because they prove everyday that they can. I think about a few bands that make hits, get thrown into categories and so-called genres, all battling for the same listener, just hoping to get that 15 seconds where they can grab your attention before you turn the dial. The Gaslight Anthem, however, struck me with originality, emotion, and talent. As weird as it may sound, I tend to get nervous when attending shows, for I feel as if it’s almost taking a ballsy risk. When you hear music on a record, it doesn’t always prepare you for what you are going to go see live. I personally want to see something original, I want to see a band perform their own work, and get the respect they deserve for it. And with The Gaslight Anthem, this is a match for what I feel.

Flash forward to 2013, six years later, and I am once again playing their music on the radio. Only this time around, you know all of the words, you won’t stop requesting it, and you attend their sold-out shows.

This, my friends, is a success story that I wish I could paint onto a canvas, because it’s more than music to me; it’s art.

Upon walking into Irving Plaza on Saturday night, I could hear the excitement, most of which consisted of fans wish-listing songs they hoped the band would play. Now, I have a confession to make: I am very protective of bands that I like, and truly believe in. If someone says something disrespectful, or even that I don’t agree with, I find myself having a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Again, I have to remember that these musicians are also human, and the idea I have formed of them in my mind may be completely tainted. Who they are on stage is not necessarily who they are in real life. Take actors, writers, and even people who work in major corporations for example. They always act different outside of work. However, with regards to Gaslight, I have the credentials to back up my thoughts. I had the opportunity to interview The Gaslight Anthem twice, once with the whole group, and once with Brian solo. Not to sit here and blow smoke up your asses, but they are just as genuine as they appear. They are a band that will never forget where they came from. They embrace their NJ roots and truly care about their craft as if anyone would care about their job. I found talking to Brian easy, like I could talk to him about music for days, because it’s not just a gimmick that he has to portray as a musician, it’s his passion. It’s truly who he is, and I honestly couldn’t see him doing anything else, just from the total 60 minutes I have spent with him in my life. I found it almost mesmerizing how much he cares about his projects, and how much thought process goes into each song. He once told me that bands would be a lot better off if they could admit that not every song they write is good. That statement alone made me respect him (and the band) even more than I already had.

As the lights went on Saturday, and they began singing Handwritten, I felt proud to be in that room, and grateful to be a part of the story that they always tell. As the iPhones came out and the pictures began to be taken, I really hoped inside my messed up brain that people would put their phones down and just pay attention — pay attention to what this man and his band have to say — because for that hour and fifteen minutes of time, they are yours. You could capture any digital picture, but just always know, that’s their craft, and it should be appreciated and respected for what it is. Even for a veteran concertgoer like myself, who has seen them a significant amount of times, it’s always a new show. Gaslight has established a dedicated following that has them stuffing every venue they play in. Aficionados, critics, and inquiring ears keep coming out because the band’s rigid, zealous rock and roll and raucous live shows make them the fieriest ticket in any town they play in. I write reviews on this band because I want to spill my heart out with how I’m feeling, just like they do in their work. Take this as more of a page in my diary instead of a person from the media boasting and critiquing music. Forgive me while I say some shit that may be offensive, but when you go to their shows, go because you want to experience the band, their work, and their art, not because you heard they may sound like this other band or because some celebrity may randomly pop up on stage. Yeah, those are fighting words, but these five fine individuals are worth a few knockouts.

In regards to their future work, I love the fact knowing that whatever they release will be different. I love watching artists grow and witnessing changes in their work. As we get older and wiser, different things influence our writing. I would never be a fan of a band whose records all sounded alike, and that whole “selling out” theory, to me, just goes in one ear and out other. I must admit, writing a live review of The Gaslight Anthem is somewhat complicated. They play incredibly hard each and every time, so yes, it can be hard to stay impartial. However, they will always give you an insane amount of positive content to rant on about. The band always finds the time to thank the crowd for coming out, but in reality, we should all be thanking them — not only for putting on a great show and pumping out amazing records, but for breathing new air into the lungs of a somewhat stale rock and roll era.

Until next time, boys. I’ll see you on the flip side.

XNY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo Credit: Serena Reynolds]

Brooklyn-based duo XNY (Pam Autuori and Jacob Schrieiber), who originally met after overhearing each other practice through the walls of their apartment building, are creating buzz with their new music video for Jaw.

Directed by Raber Umphenour, Jaw shows the indie rockers having one major jam session on top of a New York City rooftop. The track, much like the city’s surrounding shell, is blunt and visceral.

Regarding filming the clip, Autori said: “It was 18 degrees out, on the top of a seven-story building… snowflakes, goosebumps, and all.”

That’s dedication, kids.

XNY’s new album, Orange, is set to drop August 13th.

Jaw below!

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.

PEARL JAM SCHOOLS ON NEW SINGLE ‘MIND YOUR MANNERS’

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Sometimes I yearn for the days of good rock and roll music, and then I remember Pearl Jam is still active. Proof that getting older makes you wiser, their new single Mind Your Manners is taking the world by storm. With a grungier, heavier feel on this release, I can only imagine how good the full album, Lightning Bolt, will be. The record is slated for release on October 15th, and will once again be produced by the amazing Brendan O’Brien.

I think it’s safe to say everything Eddie Vedder touches turns to gold.

Audio below!