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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Abyssmals - "Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash!"


Rescued from a cult and saved by love and rock'n'roll. Read all about it here!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about you and your musical background to introduce yourself? Can you also introduce the other members of The Abyssmals who participated in the recordings? 

JARPON: The Abyssmals are a five-piece garage psych band from the Schenectady, NY formed in October 2016. The band consists of Bob Forget on guitar/vocals, Boris Cahrenger On bass/vocals, Nick Nigro on drums, Muffy Reyes on keys/percussion/vocals, and me (Jarpon Reyes) on guitar/lead vocals. The group initially formed around a collection of demos (The Abyssmals S/T) I started recording in Spring of 2016 and released that September.  Up until that point everyone was in separate bands that were in the process of ending so it took a bit to get together. Once everyone was assembled, the songs began to take on a new life with everybody bringing their own personality and musicality to them. While there’s definitely a cross section of psych music for us, everyone integrated their own distinct musical sensibilities, styles, and sounds. Personally, the Velvet Underground are my faves, but the stuff that most informs my writing for The Abyssmals is mixture of early Mod/British Invasion, 50’s rock, 60’s surf rock, Nuggets-era psych, 70’s punk, and a little 80’s post-punk.  The Animals, The Monks, Los Saicos, The Stooges and ? and The Mysterians were big vibe inspiration behind the whole idea when I started writing. More modern psych and garage bands like BJM, Black Angels, Black Lips I also love and can be traced in our songs. Also artists like Elvis, Roy Orbison and more currently, Angel Olsen. My dad was a big karaoke guy and I grew up on American oldies radio so I’ve got a major soft spot for dramatic crooning and melodic, vintage pop.

BOB: I grew up listening to a lot of British Rock, started with The Beatles, The Who and The Stones.
I eventually shifted into Brit Pop, Shoegaze, Psychedelic, New Wave stuff like Oasis, Blur, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses. I also enjoy several American artists, The Velvet Underground, The Black Angels and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

BORIS: Hello, I’m Boris and I play bass. My own personal music background goes way back to high school, where I played euphonium for 4 years or so. After that, I went into a pawn shop and purchased a Squier p-bass without even playing it beforehand and never looked back. I’m a huge fan of Motown and Stax artists, and also passionate over rock and roll.

MUFFY: I'm pretty much a tempestuous fan of music so it depends on my mood what I'm really digging. The most impactful artists for me musically though are Blondie and The B-52's. For performance style and aesthetics, the B-52’s still reign on high with that, but I also really love 60's flight attendant outfits, Cher in her Bob Mackie days and any and all drag queens.

2) About your debut full length album "Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash!",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

JARPON: We recorded in the basement of our friend, Shane Williams’ house.  He was essentially the engineer and I mixed it. Our friend, Troy Pohl mastered it. Side note: Our song, ‘Mansion of Happenings’ is actually about Shane’s house.  When Muffy and I moved to New York in 2016, the first show I went to I ran into Bob and Shane and also met Boris. I’d known Bob and Shane because my old band in Boston, Peachpit, played some weekend tours with Bob and Shane’s old band, Linear North, back in 2014.  That night Shane invited me over to jam with them all at his house the next morning. I hadn’t played with people in months since my old band broke up so jamming with them was great and inspiring. I immediately went home and wrote ‘Death Row Messiah’ and ‘Mansion of Happenings’ the next day and kind of sparked the idea of a band. As for the recording process, we did the majority of the instrumentation live. Bob did a few guitar overdubs. All the vocals were recorded separately at me and Muffy’s house as was most of the organ, percussion, synth and random bells and whistles. I cut together all the weird audio samples. The first bit at the beginning of the record is a mix of a John Lennon clip and Rod Steiger’s Twilight Zone intro monologue.  The sax before ‘For All of Time’ is a recording of our friends’ son mimicking Ornette Coleman.  Other than that, most of what is heard happened in one room together over the course of 2 or 3 days. I’d never mixed a bulk of work like this before so it definitely was a massive undertaking for me and also a huge learning experience.  I probably went through 6 mixes for each song.  I love recording and mixing just as much as performing, but I think for the next record I just want to watch and learn while someone else takes the wheel.

NICK: Recording live takes at Shane's house was a blast and I think the live feeling definitely came
out in the final product. It was an awesome experience to watch the mixes evolve over time.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios? 

JARPON: Yeah, we used all the newfangled digital stuff. It’s what was available, haha. I also feel like as long as you have a sense of vision about what you want, you’ll get there somehow. I do know we’d love to do some analog recording though. Hint, hint if anyone is reading this wants to record us.

4) How would you describe the music you're playing? 

JARPON: I used to use the label, “Butt Psych” for kicks before, but most folks stick us with “Garage Psych” or some variation of that. We’ve gotten a pretty good mix of bands people have compared us to or hear in our songs. The Cramps, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Velvet Underground, Beatles, Stones, Black Angels, The Pretty Things, The B-52’s, The Warlocks, The Allah-Lah’s, Dick Dale and even Tommy James and the Shondells have all been mentioned. Our sound gets likened to Quentin Tarantino soundtracks with some frequency as well. I’m ok with it. All of that’s in there and more, I think. Muffy was quoted in another interview as characterizing us as an “inter-dimensional trash prom”. I like that one.

MUFFY: It's true! I feel like we're the cool band that a school got to play at their prom back in the 50's -- but in an another post apocalyptic dimension where the world had ended but yet we as humans are still here.

NICK: It's definitely a mix of what everyone is bringing to the table. At it's core, it nods to vintage rock and roll with some twists and turns thrown in the mix.

BORIS: I tend to keep it simple and tell people we’re 60’s style psych/garage rock with energy, attitude, and style.

BOB: A lot of people throw us in the Psychedelic Garage category but we all bring our musical backgrounds to the table and it just ends up being The Abyssmals!

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

JARPON: There are definitely some themes I end up swimming with a lot. Those would be belief/disillusionment, obsession/addiction and escapism. That may sound kind of grim or heavy, but I like to present them in a tongue-in-cheek way.  I very rarely begin writing a song with a topic in mind though. Usually it begins with some chords, then a melody, then I pull words out of the melody.  The topic of the song will springboard off the first line I come up with so I put a lot of emphasis on having a solid first lyric. Overall though, I try not to think too hard about it. I don’t write very personally or confessional with Abyssmals songs really. It makes it a little more fun that way.

BOB: I normally don't write any lyrics, but when I do it's usually about escaping, struggles in life, space and water. Other times when i'm working on a song I try to create a mood with different guitar lines and effects. Then there's the acoustic guitar approach where I'll be strumming away on something and then i'll just record a quick demo and build off of that.

6) Do you have a new video on youtube  featuring a track from the new LP?? 


JARPON: No new video yet. That’s something we’ll be working on.  I made a video for the ‘Death Row Messiah’ demo I did, but we’ve got some ideas for stuff off of G.H.A.O.T. I guess it’s technically past due for our “promotional” time, but we’re mostly concerned with just making something fun and cool, timelines be damned.

7) What can concert goers expect at a The Abyssmals gig? Are you playin' any famous cover songs during the gig? 

JARPON: Concert goers can expect to escape the realm of earthly burdens and fall head on into the abyss. No taxes, no mortgage, no debt to pay. Just straight freedom of freakishness. They can expect to be entertained. As for covers, we’ve done a few.  ‘Hold Tight’ by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, which is a good, classic Nuggets tune. We also did ‘Reverberation’ by 13th Floor Elevators at our album release show, which was shortly before Roky Erickson passed. Probably the most famous one we’ve done is ‘Helter Skelter’. That’s always a bash.

8) Are there any bands in The USA today you consider yourself close to musically speaking?

JARPON: Actually, when I first heard the band, The Nude Party, I immediately felt like we had some kindred sonic sensibilities. I absolutely love that band too.

MUFFY: When I listen to Black Lips, I definitely think we can play a bill with them, they have that stanky southern rock while we have a cheerfully despondent, post-industrial America sound.

BORIS: It’s hard for me to say who we are close to, but we have been told that we sound like The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Black Angels, which is cool to hear people say, as they are definitely big influences.

NICK: As far as more other well known bands go, Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall match the heavier side of our sound. We also had the good fortune to play with the bands New Aura (Boston, MA), and Psychotic Reaction (Norman, OK) who have a similar feel.

9) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

JARPON: As a teenager I started off mostly listening to 90’s alt-rock bands that would have been on MTV’s 120 minutes (even though that was off the air by the time I started high school).  It really wasn’t until my late-teens/early 20’s that I started finding my own tastes.  I started getting heavily into The Beatles’ full discography around 16 or 17 and obviously that was huge.  But also right around then I started listening to Elliott Smith and that deeply affected me. It was the first time I’d heard an artist and felt like their music was speaking directly to me. His music made me fully realize I wanted to write songs above anything else. And not necessarily songs that sounded like Elliott Smith but just good songs in general, regardless of genre or style. But as far as bands from my past years of musical discovery that currently influence the Abyssmals’ songs - I’d say the the Velvets, The Beatles, and a dead tie between The Stooges and The Buzzcocks .

BOB: The Beatles, Oasis and The Who were my favorites as a teenager but then I started pushing towards the psychedelic, shoegaze stuff later on. I always loved the songwriting of Lennon/McCartney and Noel Gallagher but I found my strengths were in the lead guitar/guitarist role. Nick McCabe from the Verve was always a huge inspiration for me when it came to the guitar same with Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine, they both had a big impact on me when it came to finding new sounds.

BORIS: For me, the first band that I really got exposed to and loved as a teenager was Tool. I was blown away by the rhythm of their songs and the riffs. I also loved Rage Against The Machine, Chili Peppers and in my late teens I got really into The Beatles. Three bands/artists that still have an influence on me today (off the top of my head) are Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and Television. I can go on and on with artists though!

NICK: I grew up with a lot of 60’s rock, folk, and Motown in my house. As I got older I found my
way into punk rock, grunge, hip-hop and indie/alternative rock. If I were to pick 3 bands from early on I'd say David Bowie, John Lennon/Plastic Ono band and Velvet Underground have had a lasting impact on me.

MUFFY: I was in a cult as a youth so I was not allowed to listen to any music outside of American top 40 radio.  It was only until I was rescued about the age of 25 that I was able to diversify my tastes.

10) What are the plans for the rest of 2019 as far as The Abyssmals are concerned?

JARPON: The rest of 2019 we’ll be playing as many awesome shows as possible, working on new material, and ideally getting ‘Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash!’ on vinyl and available to our ravenous fan base for the holidays.

11) Anything you wanna add?

JARPON: Firstly, on behalf of all of us, thank you so much for your listening, interest, and time Eric!  Secondly, I thank anyone who takes the time to read this and listen to our songs. Lastly, to any bands, labels, bookers out in EU who may read this or listen to us: we want to play with you, we want to play for you, we want to release with you!!! Hit us up at godblesstheabyssmals@gmail.com

PURCHASE IT HERE:




Thursday, September 19, 2019

Reese McHenry - "No Dados"


Hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Reese McHenry is a singer, songwriter and guitar player. Her sophomore album "NO DADOS" was released some months ago on Suah Sounds. On this latest album she is backed by a badass rock'n'roll band that delivers some really powerful music. But what sets Reese McHenry apart is not only her brilliant songwriting but also her forceful voice that somehow will remind you of Janis Joplin. 

Purchase this record, it's absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about you and your musical background to introduce yourself? Can you also introduce the other guys who participated in the recordings? Are they part of your "live" backing band now?

My name is Reese McHenry. I’m a female singer, songwriter and guitar player. I taught myself how to play guitar in my early 20's to write songs. Songwriting isn’t something I do as much as something I am. The record No Dados was recorded in August 2018 in 6 days at Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC by producer/engineer Missy Thangs.

The people who played on the recording are Mike Wallace, Guitar. Thomas McNeely, bass. Chip Steiner, drums. Trevor Reece, guitar.

Mike and Thomas are still in the band with me, now with Thomas playing drums. We have Mark Connor playing bass and sometimes he plays guitar and we have bassist Kaitlin Grady with us. When we play as a 5 piece I don’t normally play guitar.

2) About your sophomore full length album "No Dados",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

I like everything to be live, in the same room, looking at each other. I’d love to do the vocals live but it’s not worked in the past. We have vocal overdubs and some guitar overdubs, but not much.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

We use digital. It doesn’t always sound as good but it much easier and less expensive.

4) How would you describe the music you're playing? Do you call it "Garage rock" or do you consider there is much more to it?

I would call it garage rock-ish with a powerful, pointed singer.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

I really like the idea of working out the difficulties and beauty of human relationships. I struggle to maintain healthy relationships and I am forever assessing and processing. Songwriting is perfect for that.

6)  Do you have a new video on youtube  featuring a track from the new LP?? 

Yes. It’s called Bye Bye Baby.



7) What can concert goers expect at a Reese McHenry gig? Are you playin' any famous cover songs during the gig? 

We have been doing “if it makes you happy” by Sheryl Crow lately. At our show, one can expect a rock and roll show with great energy and camaraderie on stage.

8) Are there any bands in The USA today you consider yourself close to musically speaking?

I think we share space with heavier 60s influenced  rock bands, like Shannon and The Clams, thee Coat Hangers, The Advertisers, Brenda, Dim Delights and The Muckers,

9) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

I loved 60s “girl group” doo wop, a Lesley Gore, The Shirelles, The Ronettes, Rosie and the Originals. Any Garage Rock from that era. I also loved Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Ratt and Black Sabbath as a teen. I think the 60s bands still have a huge hand in my songwriting.
3 band that have an influence today would be: The Ronettes, Nirvana and The Oblivians

10) What are the plans for the rest of 2019 as far as you're concerned?

We’re doing a tour to NYC and back in October, I’m going out to California solo on November. Our goal is to work on the new songs I’ve written to start recording in February. I want to tour internationally more than anything.

11) Anything you wanna add?

I am happy and terribly thankful to be able to play in this band and we will continue to record and tour until we all get tired of it. So, forever, probably.

PURCHASE IT HEREhttps://reesemchenry.bandcamp.com/releases

Friday, September 13, 2019

Gyasi - Androgyne


In the woods of West Virginia, in an isolated hollow, a young boy thought he was a peacock. When he realized, much to his dismay, that he was not a peacock, he picked up a guitar. "Androgyne" is the debut full length of Gyasi (pronounced "Jossy"), the new face of Glam Rock. And it's brilliant.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about you and your musical background to introduce yourself? Can you also introduce the other guys who participated in the recordings? Are they part of your "live" backing band?

Well, I’ve been playing music since I was 4. I grew up on a farm in a hollow in the mountains of rural West Virginia, an only child, with 265 acres of woodland with chickens, horses, pet peacocks and a whole world of imaginary characters I would create in my head. My parents taught me to live very close to the land, and also introduced me to the great world of music that came out of the 60's and 70's as well as the folk and blues music that sparked it. The family next door were immigrants from Russia, intellectuals who fled the suffocating Soviet existence and brought with them an incredible record collection and a wealth of knowledge and philosophy that shaped me in many ways as I grew up. There is a bit of a revolving cast of musicians with the group. None of the players on this record are actually part of my current touring band. Ammed Solomon and Gaelen Mitchell played most of the drums, and Dylan Whitlow played bass on one tune. Otherwise it’s mostly me on all the instruments.

2) About your debut full length album "Androgyne",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

The bulk of the songs were recorded with just me and a drummer, either Ammed Solomon or Gaelen Mitchell, done very live, sometimes improvised for the base tracks. Then I would build parts on top of that initial guitar/drums foundation. On Bring Your Love I played all the instruments including the drums. Dylan Whitlow, an incredible musician in the band Blackfoot Gypsies, played bass on Young Love. That one is almost entirely live. The more live the better for me. As long as there is a strong performance captured initially, it’s easy to build on. With this record there was never very many overdubs. I think Wilde Childe has the most. The more you can hear the musicians interacting the better.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

This record I did at my home studio on an 8 track tape machine. Most songs were initially recorded on tape and then finished in Logic on the computer. 8 tracks was usually not quite enough for me to finish out a song, but I would basically treat the computer like a tape machine without much editing or manipulation.

4) How would you describe the music you're playing? Do you call it "glam" or do you consider there is much more to it?

I suppose both. The presentation is certainly glam and the essence is glam, but there is definitely much more to it. My favorite glam artists (David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop) all had a whole world within their music that went well beyond any simple classification. I suppose if there’s any term that fits all of it, it’s rock n roll. I am very influenced by so many kinds of music, but it sort of gets filtered through a glam rock presentation but there is much more there, and there will certainly be evolution to come as well with the next music I’m writing.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

Hmm, I don’t know. It’s different every day. All depends on the mystery of the moment I suppose. All the subconscious things that I pick up on tend to come out in songs, and it can be hard to predict what it will be. I suppose in looking at my songs I tend to write about certain types of characters, often characters seeking enlightenment through self destruction or rebellion, but it varies a lot.

6)  Do you have a new video on youtube  featuring a track from the new LP?? 

Yes. Tongue Tied, Nightcrawl, and Blackstrap all have videos on youtube.




7) What can concert goers expect at a Gyasi gig? Are you playin' any famous cover songs during the gig? 

My goal for the live show is spontaneity. We almost never play the same set and the songs always change night to night. It’s high energy rock n roll that’s designed for the escape in to the present. I think that’s what audiences are hungry for, and it’s what I’m hungry for. To share the moment together with the audience. We rarely do covers. Sometimes we’ll do Waiting for the Man by Lou Reed. We’ve done some old blues tunes and Moonage Daydream. When we play longer sets sometimes they’ll come out but in general we’ve been focusing on the original material.

8) Are there any bands in The USA today you consider yourself close to musically speaking?

Mmm in the US, not a whole lot. There are certainly elements that we have in common with other bands, but as a whole thing there aren’t many that come to mind. I mean, I love Starcrawler, and I suppose we are similar to them in some ways but at the same time quite different. Also the Lemon Twigs are awesome. I like how much they are always changing their sound and presentation.

9) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

As a teenager, I was totally obsessed with every nuance of Led Zeppelin. I spent years learning every thing I could of their music. Also The White Stripes. The Rolling Stones were also huge for me at that time. At the same time, though, I was hugely into a lot of old blues music like Robert Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy, and also Django Reinhardt was someone I studied extensively. Hard to narrow it to 3.

I would say all those I mentioned still influence me but I would definitely add Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and David Bowie to the list. My songwriting and lyrical influence came in my late teens and early 20's when I really got into those three artists.


10) What are the plans for the rest of 2019 as far as you're concerned?

Well I’m finishing the next record now, and we have some dates coming up in the next few months. Some small touring and some cool local shows. Most of our booking and plans are going toward the spring though, as December and January are very slow for the music business.

11) Anything you wanna add?

I believe that covered it. Thanks! Cheers,



PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HEREhttps://gyasimusic.com/store

Monday, August 12, 2019

HORROR SECTION


As soon as I heard HORROR SECTION's debut full length, released at the very end of last year by Eccentric Pop, I was totally sold. All their songs are inspired by 80’s horror movies and the quartet delivers what sounds like the perfect punk rock soundtrack to a drive-in slasher flick but all done with ultra catchy tunes. If -like me you- dig Teenage bottlerocket, The Lillingtons or  Dan Vapid and the Cheats, this record is really gonna be right up your alley.

So it was time for your truly to have an interesting chat with TEFLON DAVE, mastermind behind HORROR SECTION.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about HORROR SECTION to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? 

Hi there! Horror Section is a 4 piece from St. Louis, Missouri that plays Ramones style pop punk all about horror movies. We’ve been together about 6 years. The band is Gabe on drums and backing vocals, Tommy on lead guitar, Nick on bass, and Teflon Dave (me) on vocals and rhythm guitar.

2) About the latest record "Horror Section" released on Eccentric Pop,  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

Our recording process is a little different from most bands. We don’t live super close to each other so we send files as much as possible. Gabe Usery is not only our drummer but records and mixes all of our material. We definitely use the tools at our disposal to make a quality record. While recording ‘live’ is cool, we don’t have the time or schedule for that.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

It’s all digital.

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

The song writing process for most of the material goes like this: I will come up with the main song and melody as well as the lyrics and send to Tommy to refine it. He’ll switch up some components and add a lead or solo and then send over to Gabe. Once we have the pieces of guitar and bass Gabe helps with final touches and backing vocal ideas. It’s really a good relationship / process.

Over the last year or so Tommy has been writing more music and I’ll adds on vocals which is great as it adds more of his perspective to the song writing process.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

80’s horror movies of course! I like to take a movie plot though and write a song from a unique point of view or about a certain character in the film. I like challenging myself to writing something more subtle vs. a straightforward approach. My favorite example is the song ‘Survive’ which is about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers and does it still influence your today work? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

The same bands that influenced me then still do today so that’s easy. Ramones, Misfits, The Mr. T Experience, and the Lillingtons. 

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the LP? 

We have several videos on YouTube! Some tracks from the new LP are on there but we don’t have an ‘official’ video for any of the songs. We do have some made for other songs though and a few live performances if you look us up!



8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of HORROR SECTION? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

We play a straight forward set. No costumes or theatrics, no stage banner, as few breaks as possible. We try and let the music do the talking. As for covers, we haven’t incorporated any into our set but we did do a short Mr. T Experience cover set once.

9) Are there any bands in the USA today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

I’d say the closest is the Lillingtons. We’re nowhere as good but if you like Death By Television or The Backchannel Broadcast I’d say there’s a fair chance you’ll be into us.

10) What are the plans for the rest of 2019 as far as HORROR SECTION is concerned?

Halloween is just around the corner! We’re working on a fun surprise for the season as well as combining our out of print titles for another project. 2019 ended up being a bit slow for shows and releases but we hope to be back in full force in 2020!

11) Anything you wanna add?

Thanks for interviewing us and also for reading this far! I’m stoked people across the world enjoy our music. This started as a one off 7” EP project and here we are years later still putting out records and playing really fun shows. I hope to keep putting out music and putting our spin on horror pop punk!

Check us out on bandcamp, Spotify, Apple music, etc.! Our online store is https://horrorsection.limitedrun.com if you want to check out vinyl, CDs, shirts, and much more. I suggest you put on an 80’s slasher film, put on our latest LP, and have yourself a beer. Thanks and cheers!







Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Jackets - "Queen Of The Pill"


Voodoo Rhythm Records recently released "Queen Of The Pill", the fourth full length album by Swiss trio The Jackets. For this new album The Jackets benefit from Jim Diamond (White Stripes, The Dirtbombs, The Vice Barons, ...) magic touch as far as the mixing and mastering is concerned and believe it, this album is a blast! 10 raw slices of amazing Full-Fuzz-Power-Punk-Beat with a touch of Psychedelia! The Jackets like you've never heard them before!

Don't miss the video here under that proves if proof was needed that this band has a lot of humor and a cool sense of fun. 

So it was time for this blog to have a enlightening conversation with drummer and founding member Chris Rosales

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The The Jackets to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument? 

My name is Chris Rosales. I am the drummer and founding member of The Jackets based in Bern, Switzerland. Our lead singer/guitar player and founding member is called, Jackie and our bass player is Sam. We started playing out in 2008 and have played all over Europe and recently in the USA and Canada.

2) About the recently released full length record "Queen Of The Pill",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? What can you tell about the choice of the title? 

All the basic tracking were played live and then of course the lead and backing vocals, percussion and solo and filling guitar parts, etc. were done afterwards. I can’t imagine doing it any other way since it is important to capture the bands live character and enthusiasm. The title of the LP comes from one of the tracks. It just sounded right and that song was one of the first we wrote and highlights the slightly new sound and song writing direction we were moving towards.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

We like both. We usually track to tape and then mix digital. Our LP "Shadows Of Sound" was done all analog and that was cool but the mixing process was a bit of a nightmare because we were changing our mind a lot. We like the flexibility of mixing digitally.

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

Everybody writes songs and composes but Jackie has written the most.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

We write a lot about breaking out of situations, being stuck in situations, being vulnerable, being
invincible, being bored. It has been said we have a lot of “anthem” type songs like Keep Yourself Alive, Wasting My Time, Freak Out, etc. We write a bit about relationships that are not exclusively romantic and we even delve into topics like suicide, depression and addiction. We don’t have a favorite topic. It doesn’t work that way. We write about what is happening around us or with us at a given moment.

6) If I were to label The Jackets a "60's psych/garage" band, would you agree with this description? Would you be proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that? 

We are not a 60’s revival band. Of course we love 60’s Garage music and it is obvious in our music but we like to think we have something to say about today. We are a forward thinking group of people even though we love the (punk) music of the 1960’s and 1970’s we don’t want to be trapped in that bubble. We are a Rock and Roll band. We are a Punk band. We are a Garage band, but to put a year in front of those labels puts us in a “box” and that is not how we want to be.

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the new LP?? 

Yes. We have a new video out on YouTube for Losers Lullaby which is a track on our new LP.



8) What can concert goers expect at a The Jackets gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the concert? 

Concert goers can expect high energy from the first second to the last song. We are a live band and love playing and giving everything on stage. We really are not a cover band. We played a few covers when we first started (live and on our first records) but we have our own songs and our own voice. But – we do cover “Hang Up” by The Wailers sometimes during our live shows.

9) Are there any bands in Switzerland today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

There are quite a few cool bands from Switzerland that we like but I am not sure there is a band quite like The Jackets in terms of a female lead singer and guitar player. In terms of intensity, the band that comes to mind would be Reverend Beat-Man’s band, The Monsters.

10) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

I was heavily into 60’s Garage as a teenager and involved in the Garage Revival Scene in Los Angeles in the 1980’s. I lived and worked with Garage Revival Legends The Miracle Workers before I moved to Europe in the early 1990’s. I loved bands like The Cramps (I was also in a band with Candy Del Mar), The Gun Club and X (Los Angeles). Jackie first got into hard rock bands like AC/DC as a young teenager and then was introduced to Psychobilly and Garage in the 1990’s. Sam was fascinated by Jimi Hendrix and Acid Rock from the late 60’s and 70’s when he was younger and then got into “Alternative” music and then Punk and Garage music in the 1990’s. I don’t know if other bands today have an influence on The Jackets songs or work right now. We have our influences from the past but try to make our own way into the future.

11) What are the plans for 2019 as far as The Jackets are concerned?

We are currently touring everywhere to promote our new record which was released in June. We have tons of concerts coming up in September-October-November (Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, etc.) so check out dates on our website for more info. We are also planning our third USA tour for Spring of 2020 and maybe Mexico and New Zealand/Australia some time next year as well. So stay tuned!

12) Anything you wanna add?

No, that’s about it!

PURCHASE IT HEREhttps://the-jackets.bandcamp.com/




Monday, July 15, 2019

Local Drags - Shit's Lookin' Up!


During his interview for this blog, Geoff Palmer mentioned this promising band featuring Lanny who was a member of the New Wave / Pop Punk sensations Starter Jackets. Their debut full length, "Shit's Lookin' Up", is now released on the dutch label STARDUMB RECORDS. 

If you're into big guitars and hooky melodies you are going to feast your ears to these 10 power poppin' punk rock tunes that benefit from the expert production work of Luke McNeill of The Copyrights. Get it without any delay!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about LOCAL DRAGS to introduce yourselves? How long are you together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? What can you tell about your musical background?

- I started the band with Matt sailor while living in St. Louis, Missouri in 2014-2015, I can’t remember. I moved back home to Springfield, Illinois a couple years ago and Matt moved to Colorado. He still played drums on the record, but the live lineup is my pals Carter Bibb on bass and Fred Malcom on drums, both of whom play with me in our other band starter jackets.

2) About the newly released full length record "Shit's Lookin' Up!",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

- Track by Track because it was only two of us. Not too many overdubs though, wanted to keep it a minimal sound. Recorded it at Luke McNeill’s studio in his basement in between Gin and Sodas and petting his cat.

3) Do you use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

- I played into Luke’s computer and then he made me sound good somehow.

4) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today?

-I got into punk and pop punk as an early teen through Tony Hawk Pro Skater on the Nintendo 64 and the SLC Punk movie soundtrack! I don’t know if they still consciously influence my songs now, but my favorites then were Lawrence Arms and Jimmy Eat World.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

-being a big loser fuck up

6) If I were to describe LOCAL DRAGS a "power pop band with a lot of power and a little bit of pop", would you agree with this description? Would you be proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?

- any description is fine with me. Someone will always be there to tell you you don’t sound like what you say to sound like anyway.

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the LP?? 

-yes! Matt has made a number of fun videos for us.



8) What can concert goers expect at a LOCAL DRAGS gig? Are you playing any famous cover
songs during the concert? 

-me having trouble with my one effects pedal. I try to play as much Tom Petty as possible.

9) Are there any bands in the USA today you consider yourself close to musically speaking?

-I don’t get out much.

10) What are the plans for the rest of 2019 as far as LOCAL DRAGS is concerned?

-Playing Fest in Gainesville Florida and putting out a 7 inch!

11) Anything you wanna add?

-Wash your hands every time you use the rest room. Thank you!



PURCHASE A DIGITAL COPY HEREhttps://localdrags.bandcamp.com/album/shits-lookin-up

PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HERE: https://www.stardumbrecords.com/products/local-drags-shits-lookin-up-lp

Available on black vinyl as well as red with black marbled vinyl

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

SURF ME UP SCOTTY - "Pop-Cultural Studies in "A" minor"



"Pop-Cultural Studies in "A" minor", the posthumous full length by SURF ME UP SCOTTY,  was certainly one of the best surprises as far as instrumental records are concerned. 

This highlight in the 20 something years of the band's career is featuring some brilliant renditions of "Squad car",  Journey to the stars" or "Taboo Tu" to name a few. 

Do yourself a favor: track it down and purchase a copy. You get all the useful information at the end of the interview that was conducted with founding members of SURF ME UP SCOTTY drummer DAN and guitar player PATRICK. Here we go.


1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about SURF ME UP SCOTTY to introduce yourselves? Can you tell us the full story of the band?  Who was playing what instrument in the band over the years? 

Dan : Well, our band which was active from 1996 until 2017, consisted of a core of 3 members – Patrick (guitar), Patrizia (bass) and me, that’s Dan (drums). Raised on anything that was more rock-ish in the 80’s – from metal to punkrock – we found a common ground in the surf-instrumentals that some of the Californian skatepunk-bands like Agent Orange and JFA included on their records. The idea of a project revolving around surf-instros came after a rehearsal (around ’95) with the punk-band we had at the time, when one of the members firmly rejected that sound after Patrick started playing “Mr Moto”. It was too clean, too “mainstream”, too … whatever.

Somehow, realizing that there’s such a thing like “bad taste” for a punk made it even MORE appealing to us! (that’s what made me also turn onto easy listening, exotica, crooner stuff, swing, etc – that and the incredible songwriting in those styles). So we started rehearsing in 1996 and did some shows after a few months, even though our skills weren’t exactly what you’d expect from a surfband (switching from bass to drums, I had to start from scratch!). Then again, we mostly played in front of punkrock crowds in the beginning and cranked up the speed, so few people cared. Neither did we, at least not in the beginning. Over the years, we noticed, obviously, that there’s more to surf music than 3 chords played over a reverb unit, so I think it’s safe to say we improved on our skills in both playing and songwriting. And in picking coversongs.

Besides the band’s core, we had a bunch of musicians either on organ/keyboard or on rhythm guitar, most of which left after a while. We started to doubt if our body hygiene was responsible in some way, but they assured us – it wasn’t. Even though 2 band-members emigrated to remote places such as Estonia or Florida. Here’s the list : Alexej (keyboard 1996-1998), Muck (keys 1998-1999), Katia (keys, 1999-2003), Polka Claus (keys 2003-2008), Nicolas (guitar, 2008-2014), Eric (guitars, 2014-2016). And we had Mendaly, the Luxembourgian scream-queen (“De Zombie-Film”) on theremine and she also did a kinky sideshow for a while in the late-2000s.

As for our discography : we did a split 7” with a local noise rock band, Gauged, back in 1997 (our first output), a demo CD-R called “Music to get wiped out by” in 1999, a first full-length-CD in 2003/2004 (“Surf now, Apocalypse later”) and it took us, ehm, what?, another 14 years to put out “Pop-cultural studies in ‘A’ minor”. Plus a bunch of compilation tracks.

2) About the posthumous full length record "Pop-Cultural Studies in "A" minor",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? 

Dan
: Recording track by track, with quite some overdubs on some songs. We decided to exploit all the technical possibilities that were available, for instance on songs like “Como quien pierde una estrella”, which is a cover of a 90’s latin-pop classic – a song we’d never played live. It would’ve been a pain in the ass to bring all the folks together that played on that track for a single rehearsal, let alone a liveshow! But then again, that’s one extreme example – all the other songs had a spot in our live set lists for quite a while, and we added some percussions or guitars on those. I think the “honesty” of a live-recording is one thing, but it shouldn’t turn into a dogma. We knew we could add some extra spice to the songs by doing some overdubs, and the result was more important to us than a musical ethos. What’s “real” anyway? Didn’t Plato already question our perception of what’s “real”? ;o)

Patrick: Also, considering the band’s impending break up, time was a factor here. First you are confronted with a choice: make the recordings as “live” as possible, and, in doing so, sacrifice some of the possible grandeur of the compositions, or go with the flow instead, record with the available personnel (the extreme example here is our cover of “Besame mucho”, which at the time saw ME lay down all the tracks on a Bass VI and some latin percussion, all alone…with Dan coming in the next week to record a track of Bongo rythms on top of that – done! Just the two of us…), to “Coyote” or “Como quién pierde una Estrella”, which featured all of us (three different guitar tracks) plus violin, trumpet, latin percussion and samples…almost a surf ORCHESTRA!. The second point to consider was that of a point of view…was it really important to catch a band “live”, which, by that time was a patchwork at best, or rather focus on the SONGS to produce the best possible way for them to sound so they could shine on in posterity? We opted for the second!  ;-)

3) Did you prefer to use the nowadays digital recording technology or did you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

Dan : Analog over digital anytime. Except for bands who don’t rehearse enough to get it all done live in an analog studio – like Surf me up, Scotty!

Patrick: Living in Luxembourg, one does simply not have a lot of analog studios to choose from. So we opted to work again with our long time friend and studio engineer André Thiltges of “Emerald/Orange Box Studios”, which were rebaptised into “Spacestation64 Studios” for the occasion. It’s in a town close to all of us, so we could drive there on the weekends and/or after work to continue working on our recordings whenever some of us had the time. He also has a lot of vintage amps, effects and microphones, so the “digital” recordings were done with a richly analog and vintage equipment. I exclusively played a 1962 brown-face FENDER showman amp with a reverb tank hooked up, to give it the surfiest sound I could muster. Some bass tracks and reverb splashes were recorde through an all-tube SUPRA combo amp and we used an original BINSON ECHOREC, the works!

4) Was there a main composer in the band or was everybody involved in one way or another? Or alternatively did you only play covers and no original tunes?

Dan : About half of the songs are originals, which come from either one of the 3 guitarists involved in the making of the record – if there’s such a thing as a main composer, it’s Patrick in our case. Two songs were written each by one of both rhythm guitarists, “Lightning Bolt” (Eric) and “Coyote” (Nico) .“La Curandera” was the last song to be arranged and recorded by the band. The groundwork was laid by Eric, a Chorus/break added by Patrick and Patrizia and me laid down the rhythm section. As for the covers, some were picked by me (Taboo Tu, Space Fly, Journey to the stars) or by Patrick (who, in a flash of maestric genius, re-arranged stuff like “Como quien pierde una estrella” and “Besame mucho”).

5) Are all the tunes actually in "A" minor? 

Dan : You tell me… ;o)

Patrick: Most of them are, I guess…some may also be in “E minor” for that matter. That fact was of little consequence to the choice of the title. Most of all we liked the word play in the meaning of the title for the album. “Studies” can refer to courses taken in an academic environment as well as to a set form of written musical pieces. We wanted to take the listener by the hand and bring them on a tour of our favorite pop-culture items, in music, literature, as well as in a cinematic sense, as well as to provide them with the most finely crafted surf music we were ever able to perform, kind of a swan song, if you will.

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Dan :  it’s tough to pick only 3. As a teenager : Suicidal Tendencies, The Cult, Metallica.
3 musicians / bands that influence me nowadays, somehow (even though I’m not active anymore) : Ennio Morricone, Arthur Lee & Love, Brian Wilson / Beach Boys.
But it wasn’t only the music known as “surf-music” that inspired me, but also the whole lifestyle revolving around it : I started surfing in 1993, around the same time I got my first Ventures record. For a while, the myth of the 60’s California beach-lifestyle and the subculture (boards, mags, movies) was something that also inspired me to play in a surfband. For the record : surfing in Blankenberge on a sunny afternoon in the summer of ’98 and hitting a show featuring the Revelaires and the Fifty Foot Combo at the Botanique in Brussels afterwards was about as close as I could get to the Californian lifestyle, without even leaving the continent. Who needs Malibu and the Rendez-vous Ballroom then??

Patrick: For me, growing up, it would have been Gary Glitter(all things glam, really! Suzy Quattro, The Sweet, T-Rex, early Bowie, some Slade, etc), Alice Cooper, and, more relevant to the surf music I played: the Shadows and the Sputniks, some Ennio Morricone of which my elder brothers listened to a lot. Megadeth and Slayer were very prominent for me, then all the punk and hardcore legends…for surf music, I would always come to certain reference points: Dick Dale, Man…or Astroman? And I must admit the VICE BARONS were/are among my favorite surf bands of all time. I could not get enough of your albums, listened to them all day long in the middle of the 90's. “Friends in low places” was a go-to album if that surfing mood hit me. So you might understand that I am quite excited by the news of new material being put together by you guys!

7) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the LP?

Dan: Yes, we have : you can find an “appetizer” which features excerpts of 2 songs (only covers, though). Check my youtube channel (keeperofthelostpipe), I have a Surf me up, Scotty! playlist on there that has some live stuff and 2 unreleased recordings (“Surfing on the moon” and “Storm surf”).







8) What could concert goers expect at a gig of SURF ME UP SCOTTY, way back in the day?

Dan : Flashy outfits, B-movie trailers played on TVs, wrong notes, chaos.  Oh, and a bee-mask.

Patrick: Yeah, on our better and bigger gigs we would have B-Movie interludes: Dan transforming into a Bee-Man Monster, chopping someone's (fake) hand off…artificial blood spewing all over the place to the irritating sounds of a theremin playing an eerie sci-fi type background music, flashing lights. Later on we would have themed shows, we would all dress up as cops or do a classic Zombie show in full make-up and theatrical blood all over. We also had a Surf Nazi phase where we would shock people with anachronistic visuals and contrasting messages. A voluptuous, sexy girl (our friend and co-conspirator Mendaly who also laid down some theremin tracks for the album) would dance and improvise, interact with the audience or just plainly worship the band while playing, being scantily clad and luxuriously shaped. Visuals of all kind would be a fixed part of our performances, be it a surf or zombie or Mexican wrestling film on old TV sets playing, projections of slide shows, pictures and films, you name it.

9) Were there any bands you considered yourself close to musically speaking?

D : If you mean bands that inspired us, I’d say Agent Orange and Man or Astroman when we started out. The original 60’s bands, obviously. Those records are still spinning on my turntable on a regular basis. Also bands that took more care of their songwriting and arrangements - 2 bands come to mind : The Bambi Molesters and, uhm, yes, The Vice Barons.

10) What happened to the other people in the band? Are they still active musically nowadays?

Dan : Patrizia now lives in Florida and she did a band with her husband for a while, Giorgio ‘The Dove’ Valentino – check them out on youtube. Dark-crooner stuff. Nico lives the life he’s always dreamed of – as a lumberjack somewhere up the Baltic sea. Still playing his OG 60’s Fender Jag, but not a band in the making, as far as I know.

Patrick: Well, yes I have been and still am active in loads of bands and projects, chief among them would be TOXKÄPP! , my Two-tone ska band (which also evolved out of the super-group Dan mentioned earlier. SMUS and Toxkäpp would be sister-bands in that regard. I also play (along with Eric, of course!) in the live set of ROME, a dark folk band , which evolved out of our Oi-punk band THE SKINFLICKS and which is touring around the globe constantly.

11) Anything you would like to add?

Dan : It’s quite weird to think back of all the stuff we did – and it’s a bit sad to see most of it is gone. Not speaking only of the band, but also of the lack of interest in surf music nowadays, if compared to the situation in the 90's, when the Pulp-Fiction hype brought in a lot of people (maybe for the wrong reasons, agreed). At least we got to know cool bands and people from Belgium… and other parts of the world. But yeah, maybe it’s time to move on.

Patrick: yeah, I know we were all bitten by the surf bug, and even if this incarnation cannot function any more because of restraints that time and space chained us to, I am fairly sure that we will return in some form or another, maybe under a new name, who knows? But I myself miss playing surf music a lot…it still means a lot to me and we will do something along those lines sooner or later, come the right time! Thanks for the support and the interview, keep up the good work!

Dan: And then there’s the obvious beg : BUY OUR RECORD!  Since it’s the band’s final output, we really wanted to have it on vinyl and went the  whole hog : vinyl + CD in a gatefold cover. So it’s pretty clear we’ll never see our money again, but what the heck. It’s a present to ourselves for our 20th band-birthday, so it was worth it. If someone else along the way happens to dig it, it makes me a happier person. If someone wants to buy a copy, just get in touch via our facebook-page (/surfmeupscotty) or send me an email : sonicdan@gmx.net. It’s 15€ plus shipping (but I’ll throw in half of the shipping costs).

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Heavy Feather - Débris & Rubble released on Sign Records


A couple of months ago the swedish label The Sign Records released "Débris and Rubble", the debut full length album of HEAVY FEATHER. On this record, the band has perfectly recreated the end of the sixties / early seventies bluesy sound inspired by Cream or Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac but with a twist of their own. 

What sets HEAVY FEATHER apart from the rest is not only the riffing science of guitar player Matte Gustavsson or the soulful vocal performance of Lisa Lystam but also their excellent songwriting that puts them immediately in the league of bands that will matter in the next coming years. 

So it was time for your truly to have a conversation with guitar player Matte Gustavsson. Here is what he had to say:


1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about Heavy Feather to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument?

Heavy Feather is a rock band from Stockholm,  Sweden  with classic jam band influences. It’s the 60’s styles with bands like Cream, Mountain and Free. High volume and improvisations parts like that, busy drum and basses. But always a little bit of blues. Me (Guitar), Lisa (vocals and harmonica) and Morgan (Bass) did talk a long time creating a real rock band like the super groups in the 60’s. We love to play that kind of bluesy rock…. But we needed a drummer and then Ola Joined the band after jammin’ together. The band was created, it was in early 2017 and is featuring Matte Gustavsson - guitar; Lisa Lystam - vocals, harmonica; Morgan Korsmoe - bass and Ola Göransson - drums

2) About the newly released full length record "Débris and Rubble",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

We had an idea that we wanted this album to sound like we do in the reality. So we decided to play everything live, also the vocals. And we did. Of course the backing vocals and some small stuff are played afterwards but in general it’s totally a live recording in 3 days. And I think you can hear it, the live feelin’. I’m very satisfied with the results.

3) Do you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios? 

It's actually not an analog recording but we worked like it would be. I think analog recording is more about the psychology than the gear. You only have your 2 or three takes and if you think like that in a digital recording you can have a great and organic sound too. But I love to record totally analog too so maybe the next record…

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

We all are very involved in the writing process but Lisa is writing all of the lyrics and I made most of the riffs and parts but I’d say everyone is composing.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

Lisa writes about our lives and relations/relationships and stuff like that. I like that. I’m bit tired of this Satanic thing and all the stuff about beer and bad hangovers…

6) Heavy Feather is sometimes described as a "Classic rock" band. Do you agree with this? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?

Of course I agree that Heavy Feather is Classic Rock. But for me Classic Rock is the 60’s style as I described it in an previous questions. Not the cliché of rock if you know what I mean.

7) Do you have a new video on youtube  featuring a track from the new LP??  
We have our first single “Where Did We Go” as a Official video and then a couple of official live video recordings but I we will do a new one this summer.



8) What can concert goers expect at a Heavy Feather gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

On this first tour we of course play the songs from the album and some covers. Not the most famous one, more our personal favorite songs. Some people know it but not everyone.

9) Are there any bands in Sweden today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

Of course there is a lot of bands in Sweden  that play old school rock but not exactly this type. We have much more blues influences then everyone else. Many 70's retro rock bands today are coming from the metal and hard rock scene. We are the opposite and we have played mostly blues, just like the bands back then. I think you can hear it.

10) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

For me personally it’s Kiss and Cream and that is still a big influence on me. The whole British Blues boom from the 60’s with Fleetwood Mac etc.. We have our common favorites but we listen to a lot different kind of styles too.

11) What are the plans for 2019 as far as Heavy Feather is concerned?

In September we’re going on a German Tour for two weeks and in the end of this year we will record our second album.

German Tour dates for September:

05.09.2019 - DE Duisburg, Steinbruch
06.09.2019 - DE Münster, Rare Guitar
07.09.2019 - DE Wredenhagen, Café Scheune
08.09.2019 - DE Norderstedt, Music Star
10.09.2019 - DE Nürnberg, Z Bau 
11.09.2019 - DE Bielefeld, Potemkin
12.09.2019 - DE Berlin, Zukunft Garage
13.09.2019 - DE Jena, Kulturbahnhof
14.09.2019 - DE Frankfurt/M., Burg Herzberg Festival Party @ Das  Bett

Purchase a physical copy here https://freighttrain.se/en/the-sign-record/heavy-feather/

Purchase a digital copy here: https://heavyfeatherofficial.bandcamp.com/album/d-bris-rubble




Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Pezband - Cover to Cover Remix


If one had ever asked yours truly which PEZBAND was his favorite record, it would never had come to mind to answer "Cover to Cover". Well, even the band itself was not happy with that record.

But now one should seriously reconsider before answering that question because this remixed version make "cover to cover" one hell of a record with a bright and powerful sound just the way it was always meant to be.

So it's time to shine the light again on one of the best american power pop bands ever. One that never was afraid to put some serious power in his pop!

Time to talk to singer and guitar player Mimi Betinis.

First I will say a big warm hello to fans who are new to listening to the group and to the release of Cover To Cover. We are from Oak Park, IL. I sincerely hope you enjoy our sound.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about PEZBAND to introduce yourselves? How long are you together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays?

In the spring of 1977, our 1st LP was released on Passport/ABC Dunhill records. We were the 1st American rock group to hold the Power Pop label which came out of the Passport promotional department and we were featured on NBC's Today Show with Jane Pauly as "the latest sound, powerpop". We also played the ABC/Dunhill record convention that spring and were voted most promising act of 1977. Exciting stuff for us back then. We had been together as a rock group for about 5 years before we signed with Passport Records. Nowadays- Mike and I play and record. Mike plays with different groups. Mick plays drums with different groups and Tommy plays acoustic guitar at home.

2) About the recently reissued full length record "Cover to cover",  do you remember the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs? The album is now completely restored and remixed by producer John Pavletic. Did he work with the original multi-tracks recorded in 1979?

Many of the basic tracks on Cover To Cover were recorded on a remote 8-track tape machine. We rented a small house and did a great deal of pre production and recording. The recording studio which was called Tanglewood was in the process of being built so we were there only on a part-time basis. Once the studio was completed we recorded full tracks and many overdubs there. John Pavletic worked with us at both facilities. The 24 track masters were mixed at Tanglewood with John in 1979. I had the 24 track original recordings digitized and took them to John's home Pro Tools studio in March of 2018. He worked on the tracks for about 9 months.

3) If Pezband were to record a new album would you consider using the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

We have done a few recordings in the past few years. The process was rhythm tracks live to tape, then tape transferred to digital Pro Tools system. All of the overdubbing was done on Pro Tools.

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?



All of us write the material but I would say that I have done the most writing, co-writing and singing.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?

A song topic arrives from many influences such as current events, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, situations, books and of course love. Many of the songs I have written were based on my personal life.

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as teenagers? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.

The groups we listened to as teenagers were The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, The Who, Argent, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, Badfinger, ELO, and countless others. The 3 artists that influence my work today would be Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, and Wes Montgomery.

7) Do you have a  video on youtube featuring a track from the LP??

Yes, check out the Stella Blue video.



8) What can concert goers expect at a PEZBAND gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the gig? 

I really can't answer this question because we are not playing at this point.

9) Are there any bands in the USA today you consider yourself close to?

I think a fair comparison would have to be set to the 1970s and the band that was our competition was Cheap Trick. They opened many a show for us back then. At some point we opened shows for them as well.

10) What are the plans for the rest of 2019 as far as PEZBAND is concerned?

The plan for the rest of 2019 regarding Pezband is to continue the Cover To Cover promotion campaign. The media promotion is handled via Marty Scott and JEM records. I do most of the radio interviews and rely on our webmaster/artist Randy Nargi for all the special internet video and production. There might be a Best Of Pezband released this year.

11) Anything you wanna add?

On behalf of the group, I would like to thank all our fans around the world for their support and interest in our music. Music is powerful and I am thankful to be a part of it.

Go to Pezband's Official pagehttp://pezbandofficial.com/

PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HERE:
http://www.jemrecordings.com/

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=pezband+cover+to+cover&crid=2Q2PTNI1V6E31&sprefix=pezband+%2Caps%2C156&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_8