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Saturday, May 18, 2019

NATALIE SWEET - "OH BY THE WAY... IT'S"


Released on Surfin Ki Records from Italy, former lead singer of the Shanghais NATALIE SWEET's debut solo album is a damn fine rock'n'roll album featuring the dream team of nowadays power pop:  Morten Henriksen of The Yum Yums , Devin Clark Jorgenson of Color TV and Travis Ramin of Nikki Corvette & the Stingrays, Tina & the Total Babes, the Fevers! 

So it was time for this blog to listen to what Natalie had to say about this first solo record.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell to introduce yourselves? Was is your background and Since how long have decided to go solo? We want to hear it all from you!

Hello there, I'm Natalie! Depending on how old you are you may know me from any number of roles in the garage scene. When I was still in college/university, I worked for Get Hip Recordings in Pittsburgh, PA selling records to stores across the USA and Europe. There I met Miss Georgia Peach and together with Travis Ramin we started a small record label called Ramo Records. We released several awesome singles in the mid-00s and even did a short west coast tour with The Little Girls, Nikki Corvette & the Stingrays, and Thee Makeout Party. I spent most of that trip behind the merch table. Later, I lived in Philadelphia and DJed power pop & garage rock all over town with my monthly party Uncontrollable Urge. When I moved to San Francisco I finally started my first band, The Shanghais and later the Control Freaks with Greg Lowery. So, ya know, basically, I've been around. Haha.
The idea to do a solo album kind of happened by accident! My old pal Travis Ramin wanted to produce a Shanghais LP. It was a dream come true but the band's original lineup had sort of fizzled out at that point. I decided to move ahead with the opportunity to record with Travis with the blessing of my old band mates. It took awhile to get comfortable with the idea but it made the most sense to release the album as a solo Natalie record- this way we were able to go beyond the style parameters set with The Shanghais and venture into some weirder stuff with much more production. The band I recorded with was made up of my friends Travis Ramin, Morten Henriksen, and Devin Jorgenson who was also the Shanghais original bass player! I was extremely lucky to work with these talented dudes, especially since all of them have inspired my music since day one.


2) About your debut full length record,"OH BY THE WAY... IT'S", recently released on Surfin' Ki Records 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 recording process was awesome and crazy. Morten and I flew to St. Paul, Minnesota to record with Travis and Devin at our friend Dave's studio. We had 3 days. That is 3 days to practice together, solidify any tweaks, and then record 13 songs. That is a very tight schedule, my friends. We recorded all of the basics tracks live then I did all of the lead vocals and a few backies. After our 3 days in the studio, Dave, Travis, & Devin continued working on adding extras and more backing vocals. Morten also worked on additional production and those beautiful backing vocals from his studio in Moss, Norway. A LOT of love went into making this record. Again, I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such creative and talented people who completely understand my vibe and what I wanted to make.

3) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

I do not think it's foolish to enjoy the process of analog recording. I've done it several times and it's a
pretty cool and special experience. It makes a true artifact and I love it. But there's also nothing wrong with utilizing all the modern stuff. In the case of this LP we recorded fully digital. Because we had such limited time to work together in the same room we needed to capture maximum output on tape. Dave, the genius that he is, recorded almost non-stop, including most of our rehearsal, just in case. As we were wrapping up our 3rd day my voice was pretty fried from singing nonstop for 3 days and I needed to record a lead vocal for "Pizza Man"-- I was super worried my voice wouldn't be able to handle it in that moment and I didn't want to ruin the song. Luckily, Dave had recorded my rehearsal where I had a great take and we were able to use that! He totally saved the day. Saved by digital haha!

4) Is there a main composer for this record or was everybody involved in one way or another?

This record was a true collaboration all the way around. Most of the songs were co-written by me; a few of them were old Shanghais songs that we never recorded, two songs were written by and shared with me my pal Paul Oxborrow, several songs were written by me and my friend/collaborator/bandmate Nick Colella, Morten and I wrote a couple together while an ocean separated us-finishing IN the studio and creating one of my favorite tunes on the record,  Travis and Devin weighed in with some ideas and excellent arrangements, and, of course, we did two cover songs for fun.

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

This may be generic but I usually just write about relationships in my life. Sometimes the song is a love letter, sometimes it's all the things I wish I had said, sometimes it's just straight snark.

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

As a teenager I listened to a ton of stuff and was usually super excited when there were women in the band. I was really into The Donnas, and the Muffs, and No Doubt...but my favorite stuff since childhood was always old doo wop, soul, and 60s girl groups. I also loved the Beach Boys and the Beatles because those were the first LPs I ever listened to on my dad's old stereo. I'd say all of that stuff influences and inspires me today. I mean, I recently saw Donna A at my favorite coffee shop and freaked out! Still obsessed.

Three bands that influence my work lately? I'd say Suzi Quatro, The Marvelettes, and Heart.

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

Stay tuned, it's coming VERY soon!

8) What can concert goers expect at a NATALIE SWEET gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs? For the recording you could count on an amazing backup band featuring Morten Henriksen of The Yum Yums , Devin Clark Jorgenson of Color TV and Travis Ramin of Nikki Corvette & the Stingrays. Will these guys all tour with you as well?

You'll have to stay glued to find out! What you can know for sure is our show will be bananas, super fun, and filled with surprises. Will we come to a town near you? You decide!

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

Yes, every single band that one of my friends plays in...which is a lot of bands :) I love you all.

10) Anything you wanna add?

I hope you enjoy this record and have an awesome life! <3 p="">

PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY  HERE:
http://surfinkirecords.bigcartel.com/

PURCHASE A DIGITAL COPY HERE: https://nataliesweet.bandcamp.com/album/oh-by-the-way

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The KAAMS - Kick it


The Kaams is a Rock'n'Roll/Garage trio from Bergamo, Italy featuring Andrea Carminati: Vocals, Guitars, Organ; Marco Facheris: Bass, Guitars, Backing Vocals and Tiziano Carozzi: Drums, Percussions. 

Their latest full length album was released recently by Area Pirata Records on CD and on vinyl. After various changes in the band, this new record sees the light of day four years after "One To Six", and two and a half years after the lastest single "Don't Forget My Name", both also released on Area Pirata . "Kick it" is featuring 12 new songs recorded at the Outside Inside Studio of Volpago del Montello by Matt Bordin and mastered by Andrea De Bernardi at the Eleven Mastering Studio in Busto Arsizio.

Let's talk with main man Andrea.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The Kaams to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays? Can you also explain the name of the band, where does it come from?

We formed in 2009 and all we wanted to do was play some Beatles and Kinks tunes in our rehearsal room. Over the years, the line-up changed so many times, (I am not going to list every single change because I think it wouldn't be interesting), in a few words: we recorded our first demo and 7'' as a duo, then our first and second album as a four piece, and eventually our second 7'' and our latest album as a trio, tricky story eh?  Nowadays we are: Andrea - vocals and guitar, Marco - bass and backing vocals, Tiziano - drums.

In front of the legendary PIT'S
The story behind the band name is much simpler: we got our first gig arranged but didn't have a name yet. At the time I was studying Italian literature, in particular "The Million" by Marco Polo and the chapter where he met Kublai Kahn, the emperor of the Mongol Empire. In my book, Kahn - whose name roughly translates into “the king of the kings”, or at least I’ve always liked to believe so - was wrongly written as ‘Kaam’. You see, we are humble guys.


2) About the latest full length record "Kick It",  released on Area Pirata 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 recorded our latest album at Outside Inside Studio. Matt Bordin (Mojomatics, Squadra Omega) did a great job and we are really satisfied with it. The recording process was basically a live take (drums, bass and guitar) with some overdubs: vocals, we added an organ, some more guitars, percussions, Matt played harmonica and so on. You know, all this kind of stuff to make it more professional.


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

Outside Inside is mainly an analog studio, that's why we chose it. We recorded the live take directly on tape, and the overdubs on pc, you know, digital material is easier to handle when you want to add short parts or some solo, and it allows you to save time and money, but then Matt transferred it to another weird tape machine and the outcome was a blast! As you may notice, I'm not an expert.


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

The composer is me (Andrea), I usually write the music and a vocal line, we practice all together and if it works I start writing the lyrics.


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

I don't have a favorite topic, but I can tell you for sure what I don't write about: politics.


6) I know it's not the best idea to confine bands in "categories", but How would you describe the kind of music you guys are playing? 

This is a hard question. We like so many different things and we listen to so many different kinds of music. Your music reflects both: your taste and your influences. It's plain, but I can't precisely define our music. We love 60's bands, soul music, psychedelic pop, punk rock music, folk songwriters... ah, don't know, too hard.


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

No, we don't have any video, video killed the radio stars. Here is a live version of "Out of the Blue"




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

What to expect from a Kaams' concert? Don't know, maybe three guys trying to play the best they can, with passion, energy and precision, if they are not too drunk ah ah. We have always played some cover songs during our set, currently we are playing a song by The Tunas (the best Italian band of all time), "This Man He Weeps Tonight" by Dave Davies and "Don't Send Me No Flowers (I Ain't Dead Yet)" by The Breakers.


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

When I was a teenager I used to listen to a lot of punk bands like the Ramones, the Queers and Porno Riviste. Maybe they don’t influence my way of writing anymore, but I still love them!


10) What can you tell about the cover artwork by Roberto Taminelli? Did he come up with the idea or was this your idea and he made it happen? How do you think this cover represents you as a band?

We gave Roberto some ideas for the cover, but then he came up with a sketch of a half llama and half human figure. Originally, it was supposed to be a frog in reference to one of our songs. Specifically, it should have been a big boot kicking a frog, but we were afraid of animal-rights activists’ reaction; so here is the human-llama. I really like it.


11) Anything you wanna add?

I just want to thank you and tell you that we are playing some gigs in Belgium this August, so see you there!

PURCHASE A DIGITAL COPY HERE : https://thekaams.bandcamp.com/album/kick-it-2
OR
PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HERE :https://areapiratarec.bandcamp.com/album/kick-it


Friday, April 26, 2019

Brad Marino - Extra Credit


Hailing from Rochester, New Hampshire singer, guitarist, songwriter Brad Marino has various reasons to rejoice at the moment. Not only has RUMBAR Records released is brilliant debut solo album but, as you will read below, he and his lovely wife Caity (remember the girl in front of the Jukebox on the cover of an E.P. by a band we will not mention the name here? :-) ) are now the proud parents of a little boy.

Brad has spent the past year writing, recording, playing every instrument, and co-producing ‘Extra Credit’ with a little help from his friend Kris Rodgers on the keys and mixing board. 

Let's talk to a man who has obviously plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

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?

Sure! Please allow me to introduce myself. I co-founded The Connection with Geoff Palmer. I’ve been the lead singer, guitarist and co songwriter for The Connection since we started in 2011. Before that I was a drummer in a punk rock band, Rydells and have also recorded and toured with The New Trocaderos, Tommy and The Rockets and had a short stint as bassist in Kris Rodgers and The Dirty Gems.

2) About the debut full length solo record "Extra Credit",  what can you tell about the recording process? Can you also explain choice of the title? What are you referring to?

The process was interesting because I played all the instruments myself. I would make a demo on garageband and then remove the fake drums and play along with myself in the studio to get the drum tracks. I recorded some guitar, bass and vocals at a recording studio and did some recording at my home studio. It was a lot of fun playing everything myself. I then would send the bounce to Kris Rodgers who would add his keyboards, he also mixed the album so that was very convenient. As for the title of the album, in a previous interview back in 2017 I mentioned how I was a student of rock n roll and was always ‘looking for extra credit’. My friend Michael Chaney pointed out that “Extra Credit” would be a cool album name and I ran with it.

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

In a perfect world I would love to record only on tape/analog but unfortunately recording studio time is extremely expensive. I always record drums in a professional studio and do as much in a big studio as will fit in the budget. I have some nice gear right at home and am able to record quite a bit at my home studio which is nice since I don’t have to worry about the clock running and the bill growing.

4) Leaving the Chuck Berry track on the side, are your own 10 songs specifically composed for the purpose of this record or are they songs you have gathered over the years and were deemed not fit to make it to a The Connection record?

The majority of these songs were written in 2018 for the purpose of this album. “C’Mon C’Mon C’Mon” I actually wrote about 10 years ago for the Rydells and put it on the shelf when that band stopped. “From The Start” was one that I wrote in 2014 and just never got around to recording with The Connection. Everything else was written and recorded within a few months last year. “Fit to Be Tied” and “Don’t Do The Crime” were written by my friend Michael Chaney.

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

It is sort of cliché but the easiest topic is girls/relationships. Everyone can relate to relationships gone bad or falling in love, heartbreak. I don’t usually write from any sort of experience it’s just what comes to mind. I think most songwriters would tell you that the easiest topic to write about is relationships whether from personal experience or the experience of a friend or whatever.

6) Does your solo album and also the forthcoming solo album of Geoff mean that the Connection is on a indefinite hiatus?

The Connection is not broken up, just on a bit of a break. It just turns out that after last year’s album “Wish you Success” Geoff and I decided to both do solo albums. We’ve been a band for almost 9 years and have always been involved in other projects, The New Trocaderos, Kurt Baker Band, The Guts, Tommy and the Rockets etc. It’s just that these projects are under our names as solo albums. I anticipate doing more solo releases and recording more with The Connection, the more music- the better!

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

Sadly, no. I may still try to put one together but it is a huge pain to make videos!

8) Are you gonna put a band together and perform this solo album on the road? Are you gonna play any famous cover songs? 

Yes, in fact just last weekend as of this writing I played 2 shows as the Brad Marino Band. I have Craig Sala (Kris Rodgers, The Connection, Kurt Baker Band) on drums. Chris “B FACE” Barnard (The Queers, Mopes) on Bass and Kris Rodgers on the keyboards/back up vocals. We did 2 show’s, one in Portsmouth, NH and one in Boston, MA to celebrate the new release. I think we will do a couple more in the fall and I’d love to do a few shows in Europe sometime.

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

Close as in friends? I’m friends with a lot of cool people in cool bands. RumBar Bands both locally and not. And of course lots of cool bands from Europe and such. I always like playing with cool bands and hanging out with cool people who “get” it when it comes to music. Some current bands I have really been digging on lately are The Peawees from Italy, The Gold from Madrid and Justine and The Unclean from over here in Boston.

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.

As a teenager I was into a lot of punk rock and pop punk. Pretty much once I got into the Ramones it was all Ramones all the time. At first I liked bands that were influenced by The Ramones, The Queers, Riverdales, ETC and then I moved onto the bands that inspired the Ramones and became a big Rock n Roll Fan. They still have a huge influence on me, I’d say Green Day still are an influence since they helped turn me onto the Ramones and other bands and The Beach Boys were another one I was into a lot as a teenager, mainly because everyone grows up with them and they were a big influence on The Ramones.

11) What are the plans for 2019 as far as your solo career is concerned? 

Well my wife and I just had our first child so I think this year will be about parenting more than music. I was lucky to play a couple solo shows recently and will do a couple more in the fall. I have been writing a lot of songs lately. The Connection will hopefully get back in a studio to cut a couple new tracks this summer and I am planning on recording a few more tracks for an eventual second solo album or new single in 2020.

12) Anything you wanna add? 

Thanks for doing the interview, I appreciate the chance to talk about the album! Hopefully we can hangout sometime in Belgium again !

PURCHASE IT HERE IF YOU ARE BASED IN THE USA:
https://rumbarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/extra-credit

OR HERE IF YOU ARE BASED IN EUROPE: 
https://belugarecords.se/products/brad-marino-extra-credit

Monday, April 22, 2019

Hayley and the Crushers - COOL/LAME


Hailing from sunny San Luis Obispo, California, Hayley and the Crushers is a syrupy garage-tinged power pop trio featuring lovely Hayley Crusher Cain on vocals and guitar, Dr. Reid Cain Crusher on bass and Gabriel Olivarria more recently replaced by Benjamin Cabreana--behind the kit. Recorded with legendary punk rock producer Bart Thurber at House of Faith Studios in Oakland, CA, "Cool​/​Lame" is their sophomore full length album and first to be released by Eccentric Pop Records. If you like the Go Go's or Blondie minus Jimmy Destry's farfisa sounds, this is right up your alley and VERY recommended.

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

Hi, Hayley Crusher Cain, here! Hayley and the Crushers are a poolside glitter trash gang from The Crusherverse, also known as San Luis Obispo, California (that's halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, near the ocean). We have the most fun on stage, where we dance, jump off amps, and generally sweat to the oldies. The best thing anyone ever said about us is: "you're like a demonic version of the Go-Gos." I wear a swimsuit on stage because I want to let the crowd know it's time to leave the normal world behind. I play a budget model Electromatic Jet Gretsch (silver sparkle) because I always was inspired by Billy Zoom of X. Dr. Cain (bass) loves to play the heel. He is like a villain wrestler. He's a cranky punk rocker who will do anything to get a rise out of the crowd. Together, we have been lucky to work with a clutch of really talented drummers who add a lot of personality to the band, like  Gabriel Olivarria and Benjamin Cabreana. We have been known to build tropical stage sets out of trash just for fun or throw Mexican candies into the crowd for the girls who are on their periods that day. We never felt cool, so we made our own fun, and you are welcome to join us. When we are on tour, we use borrowed gear and rely on the kindness of strangers. So far, we've made a lot of good friends that way!

The band formed in the summer of 2015 when myself and my bass player (Dr. Reid Cain, Esquire) left our previous punk band, Magazine Dirty, which broke up at a casual family pizza restaurant. For a year or so before that breakup, I had started writing more surf and pop-inspired stuff that I wanted use for another group. After playing lead guitar in a pretty hardcore punk band for a few years--which was cool, because we got to open for bands like the Weirdos, Adolescents, Agent Orange, FLAG--I knew I wanted to be the front woman and guitar player, not in the background. My original idea was for an all girl band, but then the two girls I was working with ran off. Also Reid (who happens to be my husband) kept saying "I'll be in your new project!" At first I said no, because I had my heart set on an all girl group that could tour, and he had a Comic Book shop and was not able to travel much at the time. Then, I heard what Reid could do with these Crushers songs on his bass. He took my surfy pop punk songs and gave them an edge with his distorted bass lines. He had never played bass in his life. He was always a guitar player and songwriter. So, I was super impressed when I heard what he could do on bass, plus he agreed that I would be in charge. : ) I liked the fact that he had no formal training, so his bass lines are just wacky and hairy, almost like a choppy waves--you don't know where they are gong to take you. Right now the band is Hayley Crusher Cain on guitar, Dr. Reid Cain Esquire on bass and Benjamin Cabreana--more recently--on drums. However, our original drummer, who we recorded the album "Cool/Lame" with, is the mighty Gabriel Olivarria. He has had a huge influence on our sound and he had to stop playing with us due to medical issues. He is from a metal background and has a lot of power, swing, and swagger behind the kit, and you can hear his dynamic style on "Cool/Lame."  He also sings really angelic backing vocals throughout the record--which is funny, when you see this metal dude with long hair and pentagrams all over his vest. Ben, our current drummer, is an energetic guy, a really good skateboarder, and he is more about precision, which has led us to explore more straight-ahead rock n roll vibes. As a result, our new forthcoming album (fall 2019) is a tad more on the straight-ahead rock/pop-punk spectrum, but with some surfy flourishes.

2) About the latest full length record "Cool/Lame",  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?

First let me back up a bit. Our first full length album, "Jewel Case," which came out in 2016, also features Gabriel Olivarria on drums. We were finding our footing and our style, and although we're not crazy about how the recording turned out, you can hear us really growing and having fun and finding a unique identity. There's some 50s inspired soda pop kind of tunes but also some more garage style and surfy pop songs. I was learning to become "a singer." "COOL/LAME," our debut vinyl, felt like we came into our own. We love the way it turned out and it captures our spirit. It was a really big deal to do the vinyl. Reid and I had both done 7 inch records before with other bands, but we'd never done a full length LP (and we owe Travis Woods from Eccentric Pop records major props for helping us make this dream real). We recorded with Bart Thurber in Oakland California at his Studio House of Faith. He's recorded many Bay Area punk bands from the 90s on, including Neurosis, Swingin' Udders and TILT....honestly, there are way too many to mention. He is very detailed, and has a way of producing us with a very light hand, yet making subtle changes that take a song from an 8 to a 10. He is also an old school dude who uses analog tape. We recorded "COOL/LAME" with a "live" setup, as a band, then doubled guitars, added backing vocals, and added additional percussion (chimes, bongos, glock), and I came in and did the vocals all in one day. I have pretty minimal guitar solos, and I like to keep it really simple, so we can get it done and move on. My vocal takes on COOL/LAME are pretty much the second take every time. I think "Threat Level Red" was the first vocal take.  Bart records everything to tape before bouncing it to the computer. We had John Rogers out of Las Vegas do the master. Dave at Lucky Lacquer did the vinyl master.

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

The studio capture is recorded analog, on tape. The mix is done on the computer. This works for us for a few reasons. 1) It keeps us moving along in the recording process, because we don't have unlimited takes (or tracks) and Bart has to physically re-wind the tape for us to fix something (that has a psychological effect on me to just get it done right the first time). Bart has worked with tape for a long time and he has it down to a science. He also re-uses tape, so it's not super expensive to do. No, we don't think there is some mysterious magic is in this method, but when you have a good thing going, just go with it. We are currently finishing up our second album with him now. I think the only important thing about recording is getting out there and doing it. We are not snobs about analog. Just do it!

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

It goes like this: Main composer: Hayley Crusher; secondary: Hayley and Reid, third: Reid. These are historically mostly my songs, but Reid contributes some songs too. Lately we have been doing this thing where I will write either music or lyrics and Reid will do the other part, or vice-versa. We've found that this makes the songs a lot more dynamic and weird (we like that). For instance, I spent the holidays in Berlin visiting my sister. Reid sent me a guitar riff via his iPhone memo app, and I wrote the lyrics while hanging around Germany. When I got back, I wrote the chorus and corresponding riff, and we cobbled it together into a really cool song. Creating in a separate realm, then coming together to make the song great, is what works best for us. We rarely ever sit in a room and collaborate together, unless it is to discuss a specific part, like a bridge or a turnaround that needs help or something like that. After working together and playing music together for eight years in four different bands, we've finally found our groove. The best songs are a joining of two different interesting ideas, seen from two different perspectives (we are very different in our writing style, which is a good thing). The struggle of coming together, and the joy, is making it work, is why we do this. There is no better feeling. And those are our very best songs.

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


I love to write about women, but in a way that makes you go "Wait, what did she say?" My most proud line is in the song from Jewel Case, "She said you look like a child prostitute/I said mom I look cute," because that is actually something that happened to me. "Parking Structure Girl" is about a woman who seemed really miserable at her day job at a parking structure in town, and "Bad Girls" is a cover we really loved by our pal Christian Cortez. "Seventeen Strum," from the album "Jewel Case" is about my life as a teen, trying to find freedom from rural small-town existence, with a busted guitar and some gin swiped from my parent's liquor cabinet. That said, we still do a lot of party songs, beach songs--songs you could just enjoy while having the best summer ever. Then there's stuff that has more of a moodiness, like "Small Lives" or "Blacked out." Reid came from a small town in Colorado, where there was a small tight knit group of punk kids, and he later was part of the East Bay punk scene in Oakland in the mid to late 90s. I also come from a small CA town, then many of my formative teen years in Los Angele's South Bay, in an all girl band that was pretty wild. I felt like I was part of a really self destructive punk scene and I saw a ton of violence, drugs, and destruction. I had to pull myself out of depression and addiction. So, we also write from that dark place, too, and you can find it if you look for it in my songs. "Cool is the New Lame" is our take on the so-called punk scene today. When we tour we notice that there is this "I'm so bored, I'm interesting" thing happening; not unlike what was happening during 77 and the fashion took over the message. We feel like, if you're bored, say something, do something, don't just take a selfie. Take a risk. There is no glory in normcore.

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.

Living in a small town in California, it was miles and miles to the next town to go to the record store. My big sister liked glam and art rock like Bowie, so I knew there was cool stuff out there, but it had already happened long ago. At 13, I knew about the Sex Pistols, and I thought that was basically it, and that it was a relic from the past, like glam rock. My mom had lived in NYC in the 1970s and told me stories about seeing Joey Ramone at the movies or serving drinks to the Talking Heads while I was still in her belly. I also knew about The Go Gos, because my mom had their CD laying around, and it was one of my favorites as a little kid. So, I liked the music, but thought it was from another time, not mine. But then when I was 13 everything changed and I realized punk was a modern thing that survived the 70's and even the 80's. I was in gym class and my friend gave me a burned CD with Operation Ivy's "Energy" on it. It was burned from her older brother. Even though that CD was relatively old at the time (this was in the year 2000) it felt fresh and modern to my ears. I basically freaked out right then and there and learned how to play all those songs on guitar, which I butchered pretty bad, because ska picking is not easy! Thanks to Lookout, I found more modern bands like Screeching Weasel, which also led me to the Queers. I understood that you could be melodic and dangerous. A punk boy at school showed me Black Flag. To this day, I have a folder of guitar tabs that is mostly SW, Black Flag songs with some Clash thrown in, because my guitar teacher couldn't wait to show me the more sophisticated side of things (including one of my favorite bands, X, Stay Cats, and surf music, like the Ventures, which led me to Agent Orange--a major influence). To this day I really resonate with a fun, rhythmic, rockabilly or surf guitar vibe, a dose of snotty pop punk sass, and hardcore energy.

7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the LP?
We actually recorded a live video for "Cool is the New Lame" in Reid's comic book shop, before he sold it. We also have a newish video for "Before the Blitz," which is a love song that is also about the end of he world, and we have a video for "Blue and Green," where I find a bearded mermaid on the beach. We also just did a super quick and fun video for "Polyester Sunday" where my friend Danielle Bagnall (who plays the MerCrusher in the "Blue and Green" video) follows me around our local swap meet. We are always making no budget videos with our phones! Just go to our Youtube. Entertainment and thrills for hours!


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLDJXUZWUeuhu_6UHcF32Og

8) What can concert goers expect at a gig of Hayley and the Crushers? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

Reid will jump off an amp at some point and maybe unplug his bass in the process. I will probably dance a lot and shake my ass at the audience. Ben will probably start singing the "Baby Shark" song....he might even take his shirt off! We have fun. Why get on stage if you're not going to ham it up and have the best possible time? At a recent all ages show we pulled a young girl, maybe eight years old, on stage and she flossed for an entire song! It was great, although I think she got nervous halfway through. She powered through, though! We have also been known to have dance-offs and award crowns and prizes, like in the case of the Pineapple King. We had a local friend who earned the Crushers Pineapple King crown with his awesome dance moves. So we invited him back on stage to challenge someone new. It was fun. Now the crown has been passed down to a few different people! We also do an annual Summer Crush event. The last one was tiki themed. Our artist friend Neal Breton worked with us to make a tropical backdrop out of recycled materials and we invited the local drag queens to perform.

10) You describe your music as being "poolside glitter trash". Can you explain?

A lot of our song ideas come when we're at our local Elks Lodge, which has a pool. Our office is the hot tub. I think that's where it came from. We also do an annual event where we take trash and turn it into a fun stage set (we turned the trash into a "pool party" set two years in a row)...we are trashy and sassy but sparkly too. Once I started wearing swimsuits on stage it just seemed like the right description.

11) What are the plans for 2019 as far as Hayley and the Crushers are concerned?

We have a brand-new album that we'd like to release on vinyl fall 2019. We would also like to find a Japanese and European label to help co-release it. We have a 2019 Midwest Tour happening April 25-May 7 with Dougie Tangent of The Putz/Devious Ones on drums, and you can see all the show dates here: https://www.hayleyandthecrushers.com/shows . We also want to head back to the Midwest/East Coast this fall and we would love to do some European festivals, like Punk Rock Raduno. That would be such a dream. We love to travel and we have basically packed our lives in to our van! If you want to play with us, or book us, now is the time. We are not burned out yet and we are looking to perform and record as much as humanely possible.



12) Anything you wanna add?

Yes, thank YOU Eric! : ) Also another a huge thanks to Travis Woods at Eccentric Pop records for distributing COOL/LAME all around the world, which opened us up to an incredible universe of friends who just want to dance! The Dummy Room Podcast is a source for all things pop punk and they have been extremely kind to us, as has Dougie Tangent, who helped get us on Eccentric Pop and is working as our booker/drummer for the midwest. Thanks to Mike in Tokyo Rogers who has been playing our tunes over in Japan, as well as to Rodney Bingenheimer, who gave us a good spin over at Little Steven's Underground Garage, Sirius XM. We appreciate every play. We appreciate every spin, whether on the radio or just in your living room! We are so very grateful to all the DIY bands, especially in California and the Pacific Northwest, who have played with us over the past few years and set up shows with us and letting us borrow their gear! You can find more of our stuff over at www.hayleyandthecrushers.com or @hayleyandthecrushers on Instagram.

PURCHASE THIS BRILLIANT ALBUM HERE: 
https://hayleyandthecrushers.bandcamp.com/album/cool-lame

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A PRESENT FROM THE EASTER BUNNY


Night Beats – Night Beats Perform The Sonics BOOM (RSD 19)
IN WAV - Scans are included




A1.Cinderella
A2.Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
A3.Skinny Minnie
A4.Let The Good Times Roll
A5.Don't You Just Know It?
A6.Jenny, Jenny

B1.He's Waitin'
B2.Louie, Louie
B3.Since I Fell for You
B4.Hitch Hike
B5.It's All Right
B6.Shot Down

Vinyl rip.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/em87ltbppusdr9g/Night_Beats_%25E2%2580%2593_Night_Beats_Perform_The_Sonics_BOOM_%2528RSD_19%2529.rar/file

Friday, April 12, 2019

DAN VAPID AND THE CHEATS - THREE


As you will read in the interview, Dan Vapid & The Cheats is the latest project from singer/songwriter Dan "Vapid" Schafer, a veteran of the punk scene who has played in  numerous  essential bands, like Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, The Methadones, Sludgeworth, Noise By Numbers, The Mopes, and the Queers. Impossible for this blog not to have an honest conversation with a guy with such a resume. Here we go!

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

I am Dan Vapid, singer/songwriter of Dan Vapid and the Cheats. I’ve played in many bands, mostly in the pop punk genre, since 1987. Some of these bands include, Methadones, Riverdales, Screeching Weasel, the Queers, Mopes, Sludgeworth, Noise by Numbers. In many regards, I feel the sound of Dan Vapid and the Cheats has elements of all of the aforementioned bands. We formed in 2011 and have had a few line up changes. Currently, the line up is:
Me-vocals and guitar.
Gabe Usery-is the drummer/engineer/co-producer
Simon Lamb-guitar
Dillon Dunnagan-bass

2) About the latest full length record "Three",  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?

It was a fairly long process with most sessions done at night after I put my kids to bed. Encapsulated Studio in St. Louis is a 45 minute drive from where I live. Getting our schedules to align and providing adequate time was the biggest challenge we faced. There were lots of tired mornings at work which followed those sessions. However, after a span of a year and a half, we finished. The process for the recording was track to track with overdubs.  We recorded 15 songs and then chose 10 of them for the record.

3) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

No, we use pro-tools the same as most bands. I think recording live to tape can certainly produce great results for the right band. However, I was happy with the result from pro tools and will likely continue working in the same fashion.

4) When you compose a new song do you record a full detailed demo with all the various parts you want the guys in the band to play or do you come at the rehearsal and just tell the guitars chords so that everybody is involved in one way or another? Or are you guys just jamming until something interesting comes out of it? 


Sometimes I make a demo of a song and send it to my band mates.  Sometimes we’ll jam something and I’ll have them improvise. It depends on the type of song and part. If I’m distinctly hearing a lead, bass line or drum fill, and feel it’s integral to the song, I’ll want to keep it that way. However, in most cases, I want to hear my band mates interpretations of what I show them because they might have a better idea. My philosophy is to play whatever serves the song the best.

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

Although I have been married for almost 10 years, I’m drawn to break up songs. I don’t know why. I think it’s a topic that works well in music. Often breakup lyrics just emerge, seemingly of their own accord, when I pick up a guitar and strum.

6) DAN VAPID AND THE CHEATS are sometimes described as a "punk/powerpop" band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?

The punk/power-pop label gives some description but believe there’s more to it than that. I draw inspiration from more than punk or power pop. At the end of the day, music labels don’t mean a lot to me. Great songs do. These labels might be necessary to give a general idea about a band but beyond that I don’t pay much attention to them.

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

Not yet. Working on it.

Here is an old one, then:



8) What can concert goers expect at a DAN VAPID AND THE CHEATS gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs or songs of your previous bands? 

Yes, I often play Riverdales, Mopes, Methadones, etc...if I wrote the song I’ll play it live. However, now that we have a new record (three) I will likely be playing less of them unless there’s a demand to hear them.

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

Early teens I listened to metal. By the time I was 16 I was mostly listening to punk/hardcore. Ramones and Naked Raygun were my two biggest influences. Both bands inspired and made me want to play music seriously. I still think both bands play a role with my songwriting today.
   Naming three main bands providing influence currently is nearly impossible. There are so many bands, from many genres new and old I draw from. However, if I HAD to pick a favorite along with the aforementioned, I would say the Smoking Popes.

10) What can you tell about this rather dark cover art (well, at least, compared to the 2 previous albums anyway)? And where is this stairway leading to? To the depths of people's souls?

I was working on a song called “Spiral staircase” that was a metaphor for someone’s life sinking into a deep depression. When we needed a record cover I asked my guitar player, Simon, if he had any photos of a spiral staircase and it turned out that he did. The photo was taken by him somewhere in Europe (Scotland, I presume) and with a few graphic designer tweaks and the band logo we had ourselves a record cover.

11) Anything you wanna add? 

Thank you for the interview, Eric. We will be playing Raduno Fest in Italy this July 14th. Hopefully Belgians and Europeans throughout the continent can make the trip over to this great festival.

PURCHASE A DIGITAL COPY HERE:https://danvapidandthecheats.bandcamp.com/album/three

PURCHASE A PHYSICAL COPY HERE: https://www.eccentricpop.com/copy-of-home

PURCHASE OTHER Dan Vapid & The Cheats GREAT STUFF HERE: 
https://danvapidandthecheats.bandcamp.com/merch



Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Reverberations - Changes


A couple of weeks ago, the Swedish independent punk rock label BELUGA Records released "Changes" the sophomore album by Portland, Oregon, based psychedelic rockers The Reverberations. The album was recorded in one week in Joshua Tree, CA in the middle of the desert and displays a band that has obviously matured and is now drifting toward more psychedelic pop rather than raw garage rock. 

So it was time for this blog to have a chat with Bob Fountain, organ player and once member of  The Crawling Walls, a garage band whose sole album "Inner Limits", was released on VOXX records in 1985 

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

Ian Bixby was raised by wolves as their percussionist. It’s a little-known fact that wolf packs often adopt young humans as their drummers, since wolves themselves are sadly uncoordinated and can’t reach the cymbals. Cam Mazzia plays ALL FOUR strings on his bass guitar, but usually not at the same time. Also, he is the egg-man.  John Jenne lives in a sealed coffin in a secret location. Incense and incantations raise him and his guitar for live (well, undead at least) shows. Bob Fountain is an accomplished time traveler, who recently returned from the year 1985, where he retrieved the Vox Continental organ from Crawling Walls (Voxx VXS200.030, Lolita 5043). His pesco-temporal machine is powered entirely by fish tacos. Dave Berkham found the other 4 hiding behind a Tuff-Shed in Northeast Portland and taught them how to play some songs.

2) About the sophomore full length record “Changes”, 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?

For a week in November of 2017, we moved into an AirBnB in Joshua Tree, California, to record the album. The guitar, bass, keyboard, and drum tracks were all recorded live by our friend and recording engineer, Pat Kearns. Most of the songs were done in one or two takes, with the notable exception being “Time Stops”, which took about a dozen attempts before we nailed it. The vocals and lead guitar parts were added over the next couple of days. Back in Portland, we added some finishing touches a couple of months later.

3) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys decided once and for all to only work with analog machines in analog studios?

We have recorded all analog and all digital, and everything in-between. We tend to lean towards messing with tape, especially when we record ourselves. It just gets a warmth that is hard to recreate. As far as being foolish for using new tech; That’s hard to say! Maybe we are the fools for using tape and losing all our tracks to faulty machinery. Or, maybe we are geniuses because we were forced to record it better.

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

Dave writes and sings the songs. The rest of the band members occasionally yell “Hey” at the right time and sing harmless harmonies. Recently, Bob has started collaborating in the songwriting process.

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

Psychedelic aspects of everyday life; lost loves; questioning existence

6) The Reverberations are generally described as a being a “60’s Garage Psych” band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?

We are, indeed, a garage psychedelic band, but we do all original material. Some of it is heavily influenced by the music of the late ‘60s. But, as our new album states, there have been some changes. Our newer sound is drifting toward psychedelic pop rather than raw garage rock.

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

“So Strange”:


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

 Expect it to be loud and have some behind-the-head guitar solos and bass flourishes. We often have our friend Matt Stanger provide a liquid light show during our local performances. We sometimes throw in a nugget such as “Hot Smoke and Sassafrass” or “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet”.

9) Are there any bands in Portland, OR today you consider yourself close to?

We share some band members with Hauer Things, Mantis, and The Low 12. We often play shows with the The Cool Whips, The Mean Reds, The Shriekers, The Sellwoods, The Pynnacles (before their keyboard player moved to San Diego), along with bands of other genres.

10) So far, your both full length albums were released on European labels ( first Screaming Apple and now Beluga). Is there more interest in your music from European labels than from American labels or is this just a coincidence?

Yes, there seems to be more interest from European labels, and our fan base is very international.

11) Will you ever consider releasing those full length on CD or is this totally out of the question?

We have CD’s!! We did only a small run of them mostly for promotional purposes.

12) Anything you wanna add?

We hope to play in Europe within the next year. If any festival promoters are reading this, please contact us!

“Mesmerized”: 

PURCHASE IT HERE: https://belugarecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-reverberations-changes