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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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hammered Satin - "Velvet Vortex"



"Velvet Vortex" is the sophomore full length by the Los Angeles based Hammered Satin. The album is released on Dead Beat Records and is a huge improvement compared to their first album, Glamorama.

Gone are the hard rock influences. The addition in the band of Elizabeth Boyd who took over on guitar and Victor Penalosa on drums had a very positive influence on the new sound of the band that is now embracing a more Junkshop Glam and Bubblegum direction.

This new album is a real rock'n'roll masterpiece displaying one catchy tune after another and it'll keep you humming the songs for hours and hours.

It was time for yours truly to have a very enlightening conversation with lead vocalist -and also  record collector- Noah Wallace.  

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

Hammered Satin started in Los Angeles California in late 2010 with Dan Sandvick on Bass and Conor Berhle on guitar. Our first album "Glamorama" was released in 2013. We had more of a 70's hard rock fused with glam sound with our original lead guitarist Conor on the first album. I started to push the band in a more Junkshop Glam and Bubblegum direction like my first two bands, Teachers Pet and S’cool Girls, when Hammered Satin started doing a few 7” 45 singles after Glamorama.

You see, I’m a record collector and I’ve been collecting what is now known as “Junkshop Glam” or
“Proto Punk”. I have amassed a few thousand 45’s of 70’s Glam and late 60’s Bubblegum and have been collecting since the 1990’s when it was simply known as “Glitter Rock” or “70’s Glam”. Mostly European bands.

Anyways, Teachers Pet started in the late 90’s and covered groups like Milk N Cookies, Hello, Kenny, the Boys (UK) and Stanley Frank. Then in the 2000’s S’cool Girls covered Iron Virgin, Angel (UK glam original one), Hello etc. There is even a version of Angels “Little Boy Blue”, which was written by Andy Scott and Mick Tucker of the Sweet, on the S’cool Girls EP. 


Anyways, long story short, Conor left the band and moved back to Baltimore after being in the band for 8 or so years. My girlfriend, Elizabeth Boyd, took over on guitar. About a year ago Victor Penalosa who is also in the Zeros and formerly played in the Flamin’ Groovies, took over on drums. Now the only two original members are Dan Sandvick and I. Don Bolles of the Germs, Celebrity Skin and Ariel Pink etc has been singing backup vocals for us at live gigs and sings backups on a few tracks on the ‘Velvet Vortex’ album.

2) About the newly released full length record "Velvet Vortex",  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?

Yeah, the bass and drums were live with scratch tracks of rhythm guitar and vocals. We recorded that to analog tape. We added overdubs of other instruments and vocals after we got the foundation tracks. Dan also played Moog Synth on a few tracks. Beth did some slide guitar overdubs tuned to the Glitter Band tuning with a fuzz pedal. I asked John Rossall of the Glitter Band, he’s on Facebook, how to get the tuning and he told me! There’s footstomps and handclaps and vibraslaps and tambourine. Jonny Bell the engineer played a Farfisa organ on a few tracks to get an authentic Bubblegum sound.

The big difference this time was working with an Engineer who actually listened to me and did research on YouTube of Junkshop Glam singles. He not only knew how to get all the right drum and guitar tones, he actually had a lot of vintage recording gear.

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?

We did a blend of both. It makes the process go faster. Which is helpful when you have to cut corners on a budget. I think we recorded and mixed the entire album in 6 days. My vocals and double tracks were mostly first take so they aren’t perfect but I pulled it off. This album sounds more legit 70’s Glam than when we spent an entire month and 5 times the money!

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

I write the lyrics and the vocal melodies to the songs with basic chord structure on a guitar. The rest of the band writes things like guitar solos and contributes a lot to the composition and finished project that I could never do on my own as a musician.

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

I keep it campy, fun, quirky and positive. People like Mike Chapman and Marc Bolan are my main lyrical and songwriting influences. But I like to think I have my own original twist on it. I’m also singing about modern day themes at times so it’s not completely retro throwback. But as 70’s Glam as I can possibly take it!

6) Hammered Satin are described as a "glam" band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?

I’m proud of the Glam label. 70's glam is considered proto punk and influenced the entire punk movement. It was born out of the mod psych thing of the late 60’s. Glam also has a 50’s R'N'R throwback sound at times. Bands like Roxy Music also inspired new wave groups like Duran Duran etc. New Wave then sparked the indie rock movement. In my opinion 70’s Glam (NOT 80's) is the best overall genre if I had to choose. If people want to try and turn the word Glam into an insult then they usually are simply not well educated on the history of music. Another big misconception is when people think of the 80’s hair bands when they think of the word Glam. It’s two very different things. I like bands from all eras of music but Junkshop Glam or 70’s glam is my favorite.

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

We filmed a new video for the song ‘Planet Boogie’ off the new album a few months ago but it’s not finished being edited still. It’ll be out soon! Hopefully!



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

Hammered Satin rarely does covers. We once did some Bowie songs just after he passed for a tribute gig. We believe in our original songs enough not to rely on covers. If we did do a cover it would be something Junkshop like Pantherman or Bonnie St. Claire etc.

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

Not exactly. There’s a few bands that sort of sound like it but they certainly don’t look the part and they may not even consider themselves “glam” anyway. As far as I know.

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

Right now we have some gigs in California. Tonight at Monty Bar in LA is our ‘Velvet Vortex’ Record Release Party at our monthly Junkshop Glam DJ night called Velvet Tinmine.
June 28th we play the Casbah in San Diego. July 5th we play the Burger Boogaloo pre party in Oakland and Eli’s Mile High Club. And July 18th at the Whiskey A Go Go with an original 70’s Glam band from LA called the Hollywood Stars. After that we might go back into the studio and record again. We were planning on touring Europe but it fell through. We’ll get back over there sooner or later!

11) Anything you wanna add?

You can order the ‘Velvet Vortex’ album on vinyl at dead-beat-records.com

Thanks for the interview Eric!! All the best :) - Noah

PURCHASE A DIGITAL COPY HERE: 




Thursday, June 13, 2019

Geoff Palmer - Pulling Out All The Stops


Hailing from Rochester, New Hampshire, Geoffrey Palmer is one of the nicest persons around in the music business and is best known (so far, wait until his solo career goes sky high ha ha ha) as a founding member, songwriter and guitar player for The Connection and before that, for The Guts.

I had personally the pleasure to meet him on various occasions as he toured Europe. First, as guitar player for the KURT BAKER BAND and a few years later with The Connection.

So when I heard that Rum Bar Records and Stardumb Records were releasing his brilliant solo debut full length record, there was no way yours truly could miss the opportunity to talk with him again and to feature him on this blog. Here it goes:

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? 

Hello, my name is Geoff an I'm an addict….. An addict of Rock'  N' Roll!!! I've been playing this music game for quite some years. A few acts at least in the underground world you might know are The Connection, The Guts, New Trocaderos, Kurt Baker Band, The Queers and, The Nobodys.

2)    About the newly released full-length solo record "Pulling Out All The Stops," what can you tell about the recording process? Can you also explain the title? What are you referring to?

It started as a fun project and, it ended up that way too! I did a session tracking four songs with my buddy Adam Cargin. I was pumped with how it came out. It felt good dusting off the old "punk" chops from back in my youth. I then set up a second, third, and fourth session. Each time at a different studio with different musician friends from over the years. We would learn a few songs and record them. It was a total blast, and I'm super happy with how it came out. The name "Pulling out all the stops" came from Stefan Tijs of Stardumb Records.


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

Both digital and analog. I love recording to tape, but fewer studios offer that today, and it is a higher price point. Whenever possible I like to get at least the drums, bass and guitars to tape.

4)    Leaving the covers on the side, were your own songs composed for the specific purpose of this record or are that songs you have composed over the years and deemed not fit to make it to a The Connection record?

It started with "This One's Gonna Be Hot." I wrote that and knew it wasn't really a Connection song. That was the catalyst for this whole thing. I always have some songs kicking around, I love writing. I would say 80% was written for this album. A few ideas are older songs I had little demos of that might have been on the table for The Connection.

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

Ummmm... I think it's all over the place. It could start with a funny line, something I saw in a movie or a situation I was in. I try not to be pigeonholed into a subject matter.

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

Yes, a few actually but I would not call them a "video" in the sense of a big production. I filmed myself on my iPhone and edited together some stuff. It's merely another way to share the songs for marketing. It is not some art piece that tells a story. Don't expect November Rain, haha! For the track "Giving In," I stole an idea from The Replacements Bastards of Young. Keep it simple!



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

Yes, I do plan on doing some live shows. Still trying to figure out who is available to be in the "band." I will have news about that later down the road. As far as "famous" cover songs… We won't be doing any Beatles but probably a song by The Vapids or Gino and The Goons. They are pretty famous in my book!

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

That is hard to answer. There are quite a few impressive records that have already come out in 2019. I listen to all kinds of music from top 40 hits to very small independent bands on basement record labels. For the genre I think my record fits in (punk, pop-punk, power pop) I would say the standouts so far this year are The Suck, Local Drags, Steve Adamyk band, Brad Marino, The Gold, and Big Eyes to name a few.

9) Does your solo album and also the solo album of Brad mean that the Connection is on a indefinite hiatus?

Not really. The Connection will do something again sooner than later, probably. Brad and I have been talking about it. Both of us like to keep busy musically, love writing, recording, and always have songs kicking around. When the Connection does something, it is planned out. We set time aside and make the Connection. There is plenty of time outside of the Connection for either of us to work on other musical ventures. 

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. 

Outside of the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Ramones, and Tom Petty (If you don't like those bands, why are you playing RnR?). I would say Green Day (and anything Billie Joe does on the side), The Dwarves and The Lemonheads.

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

I don't have any real plans. I will probably do some shows and work on another LP and/or EP. This "solo" thing didn't start with a road map. It was a fun project to keep myself busy. I'm still having a great time, and I've been pleasantly surprised by the reaction. Like with most things I'll do it until it isn't fun anymore. Rock N Roll is supposed to be a happy feeling, a party and I like fun!

12) Do you remember that last year you had promised me a "Wish You Success" CD but never actually sent it? :-)))     

Now that you mention it, yes I do, and I'm sorry about that. Looks like I need to make good on my word. I will get that CD in the mail along with my solo album!

13) Anything you wanna add? 

Thank you for the questions!! It is super cool you reached out to me. One of my favorite things about music is the friends I have made over the years. You are one of those people!!




Purchase a digital copy herehttps://geoffpalmer.bandcamp.com/album/pulling-out-all-the-stops



Purchase a physical copy here:

USA – The MACHINE SHOP: 
www.themachineshoprocks.com/Geoff_Palmer_Pulling_Out_All_the_Stops_LP_p/gp2.htm 

EUROPE – STARDUMB RECORDS 
www.stardumbrecords.com/products/geoff-palmer-pulling-out-all-the-stops-lp 

CD WORLDWIDE - Rum Bar Records https://rumbarrecords.bandcamp.com/



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The GOLD


Kurt Baker is probably the hardest working man in rock'n'roll these days. It's hard to count the various bands / projects he is involved in. But when the man is involved in a band not only do you know that the songs will be great but you also know that the group will kick some major ass.

With The Gold -featuring Kurt Baker (guitar, vocals) and Marky Las Vegas (bass, vocals) -founders of the group-, Oky Von Stoky (drums) and Mark O'Flaherty (guitar)- homage is paid in full to The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, The Rolling Stones or The Stooges.

The Gold's debut full length, produced by Mike Mariconda (Remember The Raunch Hands anyone?) , has been released very recently on Penniman/Mean disposition records. Get it! You won't regret it.

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

Hey everybody, we are the GOLD from Madrid. We formed back in 2016, but back then we were called Kurt & Marky. That didn't last very long, because that name kinda makes us sound more like Sesame Street characters, and since we kinda are already like that, we decided we needed a better name. So we chose the Gold. Everybody wants a Gold record! So now, with our new record in your collection.. you can have one! Ya, so Marky sings, plays bass sometimes. Kurt plays bass, sings sometimes and even plays guitar. Mark O'Flaherty plays lead guitar. He's from Canada. Oky Von Stoky plays the drums and keeps us from going WAY too CRAZY!

2) About the newly released self titled full length record,  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 this album with a great producer named Mike Mariconda. He wanted to get us sounding nice and dirty. He turned up the amps really loud and we had a lot of feedback. We also had a lot of beer, whiskey and other substances abundant for inspiration. So most of the tracks were all recorded live.. all of us in the same room. Some of the tracks were even done in 1 or 2 takes! Sometimes you play a track 10 times and realize that even though a couple of guys fucked up on the first take, all in all, it's the best one.. and who cares if there are a few fuck ups. Those are beautiful little blemishes that make a real rock n roll record!

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?

At some point when it comes to working with analog tape and analog studios, it's almost foolish because it cost so much money and budgets are tight with rock n roll bands and independent labels. We'd love to record to analog tape and have it be 100% analog but that just ain't in the budget baby. Sorry to say. We recorded this album in less than 4 days.. that's all we could get in the studio, but we made it work thanks to digital technology.. and that's even with a couple of one takes! Most of this is in part to the great production work of Mike Mariconda. He understood what we were going for sound wise... we had a real intention on making the record have that NYC vibe.. The Devil Dogs, Dictators, Heartbreakers and Dolls. Hell, even the Stooges... and that was all right up Mike's alley, so digital or analog.. fuck it, he's gonna make it work.

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

Marky and Kurt started the project by writing tunes and collaborating together. So the majority of the new record consists of compositions that were co-written by them. They were living really close to each other in a neighborhood in the center of Madrid, so they would often get together and have a bunch of beers, maybe some cake.. a cup of tea even. And then they'd work out some songs! Marky is a storyteller, with a lot of experience on the street.. he's seen it all. Fast women, dangerous criminals, all kinda stuff up in the north of Spain. His experiences were the main inspiration to many of the tunes on this new album. Kurt worked more on the musical part, writing the melodies and the harmonies to accompany Marky's words. Thinking to the next album, we're working on making more songs together as a group in a collaborative effort. We all have a lot of fun working with each other, so why the hell not!

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

Usually, our song topics include girls, beers, parties, drugs, nightmares, sailors, cowboys, prostitutes,  living on the streets, going to the rodeo, telephone sex, Canada, bowling, La Ermita del Santo, down at Los Caracoles, cheap beer, more girls, bad relationships, gentrification, life on the road, life in the shit, touring, trouble, crimes and ghosts.

6) When I listen to THE GOLD I hear a more muscular and sped up version of The Flamin' Groovies circa the Teenage Head period. Would you agree with this ? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that? 

We actually cover Teenage Head by the Groovies live. We love that song, but we wouldn't really consider them as a major influence to our sound. For us it's more like we mentioned before. Groups like The Heartbreakers, Iggy and the Stooges, Nervous Eaters, Lou Reed, New York Dolls... things like that.

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

We do! It's for the song "Blue Monday" and you can watch it on YouTube! Filmed at the legendary La Via Lactea in Malasaña and directed by 5 time nominated Goya Awards director Tito Ramirez!



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

We do a few covers here and there. Lately, we've been playing "Tropically Hot" by the Berlin Brats, "Bang Bang Bullet" by Streak and "Savage" by Fun Things. We also sometimes bust out "Teenage Head" by the Groovies, "Planet Fever" by the Nervous Eaters, and "Spooky" by the Classic IV.

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

We are close to a lot of bands in Spain. Many great musicians.. all special in their own way. But musically speaking? No! We are the only band that is making kick ass rock n roll in Spain and we don't give a fuck if anybody thinks otherwise!

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

We're gonna be rockin' all over Spain until the year is finished promoting this new album.. then it's time to make a new one. Maybe we can play in other parts of Europe, we love finding out about the new hip places to play and the tasty wine to drink. Each town and corner has a new surprise, so we wanna check those surprises out! Hopefully, we can clear up our criminal records (just petty theft mostly) before 2020 comes around. We will let you know!

11) Anything you wanna add?

Well, it's just that sometimes you've got to understand the things that you can't understand. Thank you! Goodbye!

Purchase a physical copy here:  https://pennimanrecords.com/collections/mean-disposition

Purchase a digital copy here: