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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sorrows - Love Too Late... The Real Album (2021) Big Stir Records


In the late '70s and early '80s, New York quartet SORROWS was a band on the rise with a thrilling stage presence and a unique sound: three lead singers, a twin-guitar attack, and immediately unforgettable, hook-propelled tunes. By '81 and the release of their debut album TEENAGE HEARTBREAK,  they were along with The Romantics and The Plimsouls at the top of the then called "Power-pop" scene.

The expectations for the sophomore album, Love Too Late, were very high but the end result was disappointing for fans and for the band itself. In fact, it's barely Sorrows on the original album at all, with the players and singers replaced in the studio by a bunch of hired guns, with only the songs surviving intact. 

After four decades and some legal battles, original SORROWS members ARTHUR ALEXANDER (vocals, guitar), JOEY COLA (vocals, guitar) and RICKY STREET (vocals, bass), joined by drummer LUIS HERRERA re-recorded LOVE TOO LATE... the real album. It is, as Arthur says in the sleeve notes, “real Sorrows, playing real Sorrows music, as only Sorrows can”, and those who were there to hear these songs performed live in the band's heyday will attest that This Real Album now released on BIG STIR RECORDS is the real deal indeed.

1) For the sake of the argument, let's say that a very young viewer stumbles upon this blog for the first time and doesn't know who SORROWS are: what would you tell him about the band to introduce the various members, the history of the band and also your body of work? 


I started Sorrows around 1976, shortly after leaving The Poppees, one of the NYC bands on the then just starting punk/new wave scene in the city.  The Poppees were heavily slanted towards the Merseybeat sound of the early 60s, especially The Beatles, and were one of the early bands who laid the foundation for what was soon to become known as Power Pop.  

Sorrows lineup consisted of Joey Cola on voc/gtr; Ricky Street on voc/bass; me on voc/gtr, and Jett Harris on drums (Jett also played with me in The Poppees.)  Early on we played all the hot spots in New York and often played up and down the east coast in Boston, Philadephia, Washington, DC and other cities, developing a solid following.

In 1979 we signed a record deal with one of the CBS Records associated labels and put out two albums.  The first one - “Teenage Heartbreak” – was very well received by the fans and critics alike, becoming stuff of legends.  Especially, since after its initial release CBS never again re-released any of our records.  The follow-up album, “Love Too Late”, was recorded in London and produced by Shel Talmy.  It was a total cluster fuck and a farce of a record.  Basically, a bunch of studio musicians we were replaced with, accompanying Joey’s vocals. 

We as a band disowned it, fan picked up on the stench and the radio DJs wouldn’t touch it.  The record, as could be expected, was a total flop and disappeared without a trace.  And that was a good thing!  

2)  About the newly re_recorded album, "Love too late",  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? 

While re-releasing “Teenage Heartbreak” was relatively easy, just a matter of improving the mixes and overall sound, “Love Too Late” presented a whole different problem.  Even though we eventually reclaimed the rights to our songs and masters, when it came to this record there was really nothing to ‘re-release’. Talmy’s “production” was total garbage and “the band” was a bunch of studio hacks, not Sorrows. The only (and the right) thing to do was to record the album as it was intended. 


By this time we were spread out between east and west coast so doing it “live” was not an option.  Also, by then Jett Harris had retired from playing altogether.  Luis Herrera stepped in and the first thing on the agenda was to replace the abominable sounding drums with ones that sounded like drums and being played by a real rock and roll drummer (though I would have settled for at least someone with a pulse!).  That done, we replaced all the fucking keyboards and synths the tracks were drowning in, with guitars, since we ARE a guitar band! Next came replacing the studio singers with our own vocals (what a concept!).  Only then came the overdubs as I intended them to be, which I never even got to do any of it after I walked out in the middle of the original sessions.  It took a lot of time and hard work, but it was worth it.  

Love Too Late… the real album” IS the album that Sorrows meant it to be.

3) As far as the recordings of this latest album are concerned, did you use the nowadays digital recording technology or do you still keep on working with analog machines in analog studios?

We didn’t have the luxury, or the budget, for going to commercial studios and I have a pretty  cool studio setup of my own.  It was all done in Pro Tools, although I did run many tracks through my 2-track Studer/Revox tape machine while recording.

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

Sounds like you mean “lyrics”?  Joey and Ricky are actually quite good when it comes to lyrics.  Me, well, I’m no Bob Dylan, so I typically end up sticking with the tried (trite? ) and true, you know, boy/girl/sex… though occasionally I do surprise myself with something that’s actually half way decent!

5) 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.

We all share common influences, from the early rockers, like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Eddie Cochran, to the 60’s Brit bands; Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks, etc… 


6) Now that your sophomore album finally received the deserved treatment, do you also consider, at least, a reissue of your debut album. If I'm not mistaking this album has never been released on CD?

Ummm… errr… you are mistaken!  “Teenage Heartbreak” got its due with the release of “Bad Times Good Times”, essentially the “Teenage Heartbreak” album with new mixes, mastering and bonus tracks, released in 2011 by Bomp! Records. The Poppees’ legacy was also preserved by the 2010 release of “Pop Goes The Anthology”,  on Bomp! Records as well.

7) Are there any artists in The USA today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?

Frankly, I can’t think of any, one exception being Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders from LA.  A great rock and roll band that deserves way more recognition than they’ve gotten. 

8) Do you think it was easier to be in a rock'n'roll band way back in the 70's/ early 80's than it is now? What has changed?

I don’t know if it was “easier”, but I think it was more fun.  At least for us, since we were fortunate to be a part of a real ‘scene’ that was happening in New York at the time, something that really hasn’t happened since. 

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

I’ve been the main writer in the band, but I always encouraged the others to bring in their songs .  Both Joey and Ricky have contributed quite a few great ones to our repertoire.  

10) You guys are now Big Stir Records recording artists. Is this the label that suits SORROWS the best And if so, why?

Yes, we’re part of BSR family of artists and couldn’t be happier!  They are great people, work their asses off for their artists and are truly on a mission to not only promote Power Pop, but to also treat their artists like human beings, not just numbers on the accounting ledger. Quite a refreshing concept!...

11) What are the plans for the rest of 2021 as far as SORROWS are concerned? 

The way things are right now, with Covid raging across the country and half the US population apparently having swallowed the ”stupid pill”, there is really no incentive to do much. Hopefully they all get a clue before they die and things will get back to normal.

12) Anything you wanna add?

I’d love for Sorrows to do some live shows, tour, especially Europe, Japan would be a blast!... but for the time being that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.  May be 2022 will bring some hope.

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE:  

https://bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com/album/love-too-late-the-real-album



Friday, August 6, 2021

The Mergers - Three Apples in the Orange Grove


THE MERGERS return with their 3rd album on Soundflat Records and again they deliver a perfect mix of 60's influenced Freak Beat & 90's Power Pop. If the first track of the album, 'Outta My Way' is pretty much what you might expect from the four boys from Nuremberg, it becomes clear pretty soon, that this time around they are trying to create something new and a little bit more psychedelic than on its predecessors. 

But whatever the various influences you might hear, the quartet comes up with a sound of their own. Unique, timeless and fresh, with superb vocal harmonies and lots of reverb and swirling guitars. This new album comes out like a real masterpiece.

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

The Mergers started in 2011 as a 60's Beat/Garage band. Over the years our sounds became a little more psychedelic. Jerry and Jay e.g. met for the first time in kindergarten and started their first band together about 20 years ago but we’ve all played together in different bands and formations before and we have known each other for quite a while. The Mergers’ lineup is and has always been: Jerry Coma - Vocals/Guitar;  Jay Le Saux - Vocals/Guitar; Henry Florence Jr - Bass/Vocals; Winston McCloud - Drums

2) About the latest released full length record 'Three Apples in the Orange Grove',  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? Can you also explain the meaning of the title of this album?

For most of the songs we played the basic tracks together. But this time we had the intention to explore a little more where the musical journey might go to or end up. So here and there are some overdubs or sounds that we added afterwards while trying to create something new that hasn’t been on our previous LPs.

Actually there is just one song that was recorded track by track because we had to rearrange it completely so it would fit on the record. 

The title Three Apples In The Orange Grove could mean that ‚it might not always be what it seems‘.


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

We use lots of vintage equipment and instruments but no more any analogue recording machines. We experimented with it in the beginning - didn’t really work out for us.

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

Jerry is writing most of the stuff while Jay is contributing a lot of songs too, but there are no restrictions of any kind. We are still creating the final versions of all the songs all together in the rehearsing room like we always did.

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

Used to be love. Right now it’s more about time or the right way to spend your time before it is all over or about the meaning of life or some strange thoughts on life in general.

6) The Mergers are sometimes described as a 60's influenced band. Do you agree with this opinion? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that? 

We are definitely heavily 60’s influenced. I don’t know if we’re proud of it - it’s just the way it is. Of course there is a lot more in it. But even the 1970-2021 bands that had an impact on us were mostly heavily 60’s influenced too.

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

Actually we have 3:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C695E5McbK8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16xFtU2YKHk&t=1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-VPxoGhcVg

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

People can expect an energetic life show and a band that can actually play all the stuff that’s on the record. Usually we don’t play any cover tunes during our shows.

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

Sure, there are some German bands that have the same musical background and are playing music that we like too but at least we don’t know any German band that we would consider really close to us or what we’re doing.

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

We probably all listened to The Beatles as teenagers. Then some of us listened to Oasis, Blur, Kula Shaker, Supergrass, Travis, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, The Police and lots of other stuff. The 60’s influenced bands like Oasis and Kula Shaker or the real 60’s bands like The Beatles still have a big influence on our music today.

11) What are the plans for the rest of 2021 as far as The Mergers are concerned?

We’ll be playing our first indoor show since the begin of the pandemic in October (Nürnberg Pop Festival). Besides that we’re just trying to plan a little ahead for 2022.

12) Anything you wanna add?

Everybody who reads this - buy the record!

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE: 

https://www.soundflat.de/garage-mod-surf-en/garage-mod-surf-lp/mergers-three-apples-in-the-orange-grove-orange-vinyl-lp


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tommy Ray - Handful of Hits


GadM Records from Berlin, Germany, recently released the vinyl version of “Handful of Hits”, sophomore effort by Tommy RAY, the primary songwriter and front man of power-pop band “The CRY!”. 
This sophomore record is displaying 11 new tracks that will very soon become powerpop classics. It's quite difficult to imagine better tracks to open a record than “In Love Again”  immediately followed by the ultra catchy “No No No”.


 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?

Well, I’m a rock & roll songwriter from Portland Oregon.  I started playing in the bars downtown when I was about 13. I found all my pop’s old gear and got a couple friends form middle school and we formed The Delinquent Souls.   After that I played in a few punk bands until I met Brian Crace and we started The CRY! When I was 18. The CRY! Did two solid studio LP’s, a great live record, and toured for about 5 years until drugs, girls, and egos pulled the band apart. For my part, I regret a lot of the shit that went down.  

In 2017 I decided to start recording again.  My first effort was a punk record The Decayed -PDX Punx (2019-GadM).  I was pretty well received so I opened up the trove of songs I had written  And started making my own power pop records.  

The first record ("First Hit’s Free") is exclusively demos. The second record, "Handful of Hits", is more newly written material mixed with a few old demos. I think the song writing is a bit stronger in this second record.  The thing is, I want to show young musicians and kids sitting at home with song ideas that you don’t need a ton of money or a big label to make your own kind of music.   

2) About the newly released sophomore solo LP "Handful of Hits",  what can you tell about the recording process? Did you play all the instruments yourself? How do you work to build up a song? Do you start with the drums, following a click track? And then bass? and then Guitars and you end with the vocals?

I did most of record on Mac’s using Garage Band, M-Audio interface and a $40 mic. I get frustrated with my gear sometimes.  Songs always start with an acoustic guitar and an Idea.   When I have a few ideas for the arrangement I do a click track and lay down a scratch track of vocals and acoustic.   Once that is all good I just start filling in the instruments. That’s about it. 

3) About the recording technology, was this album like the previous one, totally recorded on Garage Band?

Yep.  I would like to do better productions if I could.  I think the songs are worth it.  But recording studios take time and money….  

4) Were the songs on "Handful of Hits" newly composed tracks?

A couple were older but most are from the past year.  I write a ton and already have the songs for a new record selected.  I would love the chance to have a pro produce my tracks. 

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

My shit show experiences and frustrations.  I try to keep it as base honest a I can.   After that, girls (of course).

6) The first 2 songs, "In love again" and "No No No no" have a real The Cry feeling to them. Is this a way to show the world that, in the end, The Cry was mostly your band?

 Naw it’s just the way I write and sing. I never though about it that way….

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

Sure, I’m working on one for “In Love Again” but  NO NO NO NO, has been published.

 

8) What are the plans for 2021 as far as your solo career is concerned? Are you gonna put a band together and perform these 2 solo albums on the road? Are you gonna play any famous cover songs? 

In to find a new band and I want to make to best record I’ve ever made….You’d have to come to shows to find out about covers….

9) The final artwork is different than what was originally planned.  Why the changes and whose
idea was it? 

The original cover looked like this: We couldn’t get the label (vinyl) a HQ photo in time so they hired a designer to do the alternative cover.  He did a great job!  I like the idea of the original art.  At least it is on the CD (Kool Kat).  But the red cover is pretty tight.   Was pissed at first but happy with the product.  No bigs!

10) Anything you wanna add?

Keep an eye out for new tracks and tours!!


PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE: https://gadm.bandcamp.com/album/tommy-ray-handful-of-hits

Monday, June 28, 2021

Radio Days - Rave On!


RADIO DAYS is a rock'n'roll band from Milan, Italy featuring Dario Persi - vocals and guitar; Mattia Baretta - bass and backing vocals and Paco Orsi - drums and percussions.

Radio Days has released a slew of full length albums so far, plus one EP and 2 split 7” one with The Rubinoos and another with Paul Collins Beat. Their newest release, "Rave On!" is out since a couple of weeks and is definitely their best offering so far. Once again the trio blends perfectly  60's melodies reminiscent of the Beatles or the Kinks and the energy of bands from the late 70's like Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The  Knack, The Romantics or the Rubinoos.


1) What's new about Radio Days these days? Is this still the same band with the same members who recorded "Back in the day"?

Hello! It’s still me (Dario) on guitar and vocals, Mattia on bass and backing vocals and Paco on drums. We are rehearsing with a good friend of us called Massimilano Raffa who will be a sort of session player and will play guitar and keyboards live!

2) About the newly released "RAVE ON!" what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" recording in the studio or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

“Back in the Day” was a live recording with few overdubs, this time we decided to do a track by track production so that we could work a bit more on the sound of the different songs. We are very happy of the results, we worked with our long time friend Marco Matti at Casemate Recording Studio, our second home. The pandemic caught us during the recordings and we had to delay the album release by a year… it was a stressful time of course but we are now happy that we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.

3) Why did you choose to name the new album after a Buddy Holly song? Is this some kind of
tribute to the man with the big glasses?

It was Paco's idea, very spontaneous. We were thinking about a good title and after some days Paco asked us: “What do you think about “Rave On!”? Me and Mattia were like: “Let’s do it!”. We are all big Buddy Holly’s fans and the title has a great energy, exactly what we were looking for in the title.

4) For this new record, was there a main composer in the band or was everybody involved in one way or another?

Yeah I always write all the music, I do it at home with my acoustic guitar, then we rehearse all together and we arrange the songs. The other guys write most of the lyrics!

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

This time we made 4 videos for 4 singles before the album release:

1. I Got a Love:

 

2. Till the End of the Night: https://youtu.be/OhR56TZDDWg

3. Lose Control: https://youtu.be/NxdyMI6MwnM

4. What is Life?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPsz0qy58JY

Marcello Perego at Milkit Film is the director and we love the results!

6) I noticed that Herve Peroncini of the Peawees designed the artwork of the album. Are there any bands in Italy today you consider yourselves close to musically speaking.

Yes! We love Hervè artworks and we are good friends, check his job at slowbeat.it! We love the Peawees, they are one of the best italian bands! It’s a shame that there isn't a proper Powerpop scene here but there are other cool bands such as Giuda or Bee Bee Sea.

7) What are the plans for the rest of 2021 as far as Radio Days are concerned.

We are currently in touch with some promoters to plan live shows as soon as possible. We will play in London September 25th at Pump It Up Powerpop Weekender with the Yum Yums, the Speedways and many more and we can’t wait. We will be in Spain for a 10 days tour in February 2022 and we are in touch with some festivals right now and waiting for a confirmation. We also plan to come back to Japan as soon as possible.

8) In 2017 you told this blog you were planning your first Japanese tour. Did it happen and how was the experience? Tell us everything about it.

It was a fantastic experience! Totally different from Europe but we loved every single moment of it. The beautiful country, the passionate fans and the wonderful people there will always have a place in our hearts. We have played fantastic shows in Osaka and Tokyo with very enthusiastic hospitality. “Rave On!” has been released in Japan by Wizzard in Vinyl Records and we can’t wait to go back to Japan!

9) You had some "guest singers" (Kurt Baker, Paul Collins, Morten Henriksen and Jorgen Westman to name a few) on the track " What is life". How did you manage to get all those guys? How were they recorded? I suppose they did not come specially to Italy to record that one track?

Yes we thought that What Is Life? Was the perfect song for a singalong chorus with some of our friends and favorite singers singing together. It’s like a Powerpop Hymn! The song has been recorded during the pandemic so everyone recorded in a different studio and then they sent us the vocals. We mixed them in Italy and we love how it sounds! Check the video too! Thanks a lot for your questions and talk soon!!!

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE: https://radiodays.bandcamp.com/album/rave-on

“Rave On!” is also available here:

Screaming Apple (Lp) www.screaming-apple-records.de

Rock Indiana (EU CD) www.rockindiana.com

Sounds Rad (US CD) www.soundsradical.com 

Wizzard in Vinyl (JAP CD) www.wizzard-in-vinyl.net




Monday, May 24, 2021

Rocket Bureau - Middle Angst


ROCKET BUREAU is a One-man studio band. Behind that moniker is KYLE URBAN, who can play pretty much every music instrument, and does so on this brilliant album. Pop hooks a plenty, crunchy guitars and pounding Keith Moon-esque drums. All recorded on his own in Kyle's Madison, Wisconsin basement studio. Analog, of course! Read all about it here!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about Rocket Bureau to introduce yourself? Do you feel more confortable to present yourself as a "band" rather that an solo artist?

Hello! I'm Kyle Urban, I'm a musician and recording engineer. Rocket Bureau is both a solo recording project for my songs, and a live band with my friends. I've been based in Madison, WI for almost 20 years. I've played different instruments in a bunch of bands (The Motorz, The August Teens, The Arkoffs, The God Damns, Earl Foss & The Brown Derby, etc), and I run an analog recording studio out of my basement. Besides locals, I've recorded a lot of bands from Milwaukee and elsewhere, including The Midwest Beat, Fox Face, Phylums, and Hughes Family Band. I had a great working relationship with The Midwest Beat for so long that I ended up playing keys with them for live shows, including a European tour.

I think I'm more comfortable presenting Rocket Bureau recordings as a band as opposed to a solo act. I write the songs, perform all the parts, and record & mix everything myself. In spite of that, one of my goals is to always make it sound like a full band is playing the songs, not just one guy overdubbing everything. It's how I'm comfortable working, but I love playing live as well. I happen to have some great friends who are also fantastic players, and they like the music I make. There's something great about playing with a group of close friends. Plus these guys share a similar energy to me when we're playing; we are loud and we let it rip. The live band is Dan Bornemann on bass (a friend since high-school, he convinced me to move here), Josh Labbus on guitar, and Paul Kennedy on drums. They rule.

photo David Kreisman.
2) About the newly released LP, what can you tell about the recording process? Please tell us about your working process? Do you start with the drums and the bass and then the guitars and finally the vocals?

I record the drums first, I've always worked that way. There's no click track or anything; that forces me to have the song arranged and as fully-realized as it can be before even thinking about recording it. I play the song on drums as I would on guitar or any other instrument, meaning it's a performance dependent on the dynamics of the song structure with fills and all, as opposed to just playing a beat and editing it later. After that I usually add guitars, bass, any other extra stuff (keys/percussion/etc), then vocals. Unless I have a vocal arrangement in mind that calls for a lot of voices, then I'll do vocals earlier with a guide guitar track, and bounce all the extra vocals down to one or two tracks, and add everything else afterward. I didn't do much of that on Middle Angst, as most of the songs didn't really call for big multi-part vocals, but that is something I love. I am a huge fan of The Everly Brothers, The Hollies, The Cowsills, and The Resonars.

3) Do you only work with analog machines in analog studios or might you, one day, consider using the nowadays digital recording technology?

Despite the maintenance work involved with a vintage tape machine, I stick with mostly analog because I can record and mix with tape and a console much faster than with a computer. The drawback to that is no ability to save mixes for simple changes at a later date. That led to having a hybrid system. 90% of the work is done analog. I track to a 2” 16-track tape machine from the early 70s (before 2016 I only used 1/2” 8-track). I record everything to tape, then mix from tape through a big analog mixing console and outboard gear for compression/tape delay/etc. The direct outputs of the console are fed to their own tracks in the computer. I started doing that from recording other bands; they would often like my mixes but want minor tweaks here and there. I would have to start an entire mix over from scratch just to turn the bass guitar up a little bit or something but I might set another level differently in the process, so I put together this system where I could still work quickly & efficiently with analog tape, but have my mixes saved for easy adjustments in the computer. It's a workflow that I'm happy with. Tracking and mixing fully inside a computer is very slow for me, so I bypass most of that with the benefits of having saved mixes and easy adjustments. It has saved me hundreds of hours of work.

Sonically, I prefer analog tape. I grew up listening to all kinds of old music, and analog tape is a big part of those sounds. Digital recording technology has come a long way, it can sound fantastic now, I do not begrudge anyone for going that route. But analog tape gets the sounds that I really love, and it's a workflow I'm comfortable with. 

4) Who is responsible for the cover artwork of the L.P.? And can you also explain the meaning of the title of the LP?

Kyle Clemins, an old friend of mine from high school, made the cover art. I'm a control freak over the music and audio, but I know I have zero skills as a visual artist. When the recording was mostly done, I sent a rough mix to Mr. Clemins. I had him listen to the album a few times and come up with something. He nailed it in a way I did not expect. I liked it when he sent me his sketches, but when I got the LP jackets, WOW. It looked even better than I'd imagined. I especially love the mirrored-eagle on the back cover; if we make t-shirts, that's what will be on them.

I think I came up with the title Middle Angst after most of the songs were written. None of this was written to be a concept album, but I was writing more personally than I had before, and the songs all kind of fell into a loose narrative of aging, but not feeling like you're progressing with life. I'm 41 and I often feel as lost as I did as a teenager; the songs either reflect that, or look back a bit nostalgically. I felt really weird about it for a while because I didn't know if anyone else would relate to it. I'm getting older but I don't really feel like I am. I don't want to become an acoustic singer/songwriter. I don't want to make 'mature' music. I want to rock. It's the kind of music that I naturally play when picking up any instrument. Conversely, I know I don't want to make the same kind of rock songs I did in my 20s or younger. I want that same energy, but with lyrics that I won't feel absurd singing as I get older.

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

That's a tough question! I don't think I have a favorite or easy topic. My most satisfying writing comes from being struck by a melody and sound that evokes a strong emotion, then completing a song that maintains that initial spark. It doesn't happen often. Sometimes the spark gets lost and I abandon the song. More often than not I finish the song and it doesn't have the same spark, but it becomes something else that I like.

Lyrics are difficult and frustrating for me. I can rattle off music relatively easily, but words are hard. In my old band (The Motorz), I only wanted to make fun, hooky rock'n'roll songs. I didn't care about lyrics at all; as long as they weren't embarrassing (and sometimes they were), I was happy. I hear music first and lyrics second. In the interim between The Motorz and Rocket Bureau, I started to appreciate lyrics more and more. I got a couple of Sparks records and they blew my mind. Lyric-focused music previously struck me as pretentious at best and outright boring at worst, but I gradually realized you can get really creative lyrically without it weighing down the music. That opened my ears to things that I'd only half-listened to for years.

6) How would you described Rocket Bureau's type of music? Would you call it power pop or do you consider there is way more than that?

Great question! I have no idea. I love power-pop, but I think it's a really limited descriptor. What I think of as power-pop isn't what other people think (and that goes for virtually every genre to an extant). I've described my music as power-pop in the past, and it helped the music find its way to people who enjoy it, which is all I really want. However, just as often I've seen 'power-pop' used in a way that's almost dismissive or derogatory.

I tell people that Rocket Bureau is a rock'n'roll band. That's probably more troublesome than power-pop, but I can't think of a better description. There are a couple punk-ish songs on the album, but we're not a punk band. I try to give everything catchy melodies, but there may be too much classic rock influence for some power-pop fans. A lot of what I play on guitar is country-based, but it's through an old amp on 10.

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

Nope! I'm not opposed to videos, but I've never come up with a cool video idea. I hate being on camera as well. If there's ever a Rocket Bureau video, it'd have to be a collaboration with someone with a great sense of visuals, and little to none of me in it.

Photo:  David Kreisman.
8) Do you intend to take Rocket Bureau on the road one day soon and if this happens what can concert goers expect at a gig of Rocket Bureau? Will you be playing any famous cover songs during the gig?

I would love to do a tour! I would especially love to go to Europe again, I met a lot of wonderful friends while over there. The reality is we've all got day jobs, and there's one father and one father-to-be in the band. That said, we could find a way to make it work for the right opportunities.

Historically, our live shows have one constant: we are loud. We're loud when we're trying NOT to be loud. I love actually feeling the sound out of my guitar amp. Paul is a monster drummer so we could blame him, but honestly I think we all love cranking up the volume. We're a rock band, that's how we're supposed to sound! It kind of limits where we can play, but I think we'd rather have it that way than try to change how we sound and be frustrated. 

We've almost always thrown a cover or two into live sets. We can't deny ourselves the fun of playing covers of songs we love. We have a couple of Thin Lizzy songs we often play. I think collectively our favorite band of all time is Cheap Trick; we'll play entire chunks of Live At Budokan during practice (and sometimes live). I've collected records since I was a kid, and that's always given me fuel to bring all kinds of oddball songs to the guys. We do an obscure Badfinger song, a couple 60s bubblegum songs, a hair metal tune here and there; we even cover other locals that don't play anymore. Great songs are great songs, it doesn't matter if they're by The Beatles or some punk band playing a local basement.

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

The Resonars and Tenement. I don't think we're all that similar to either (or nearly as good), but both of those bands were integral to Rocket Bureau existing. I hadn't been writing or recording my own music for a long time; I was playing with a few bands and recording others. I still love doing both, but none of it was my own thing. I got into both of those bands around the same time and was inspired. Before that I had odd ideas that my own music wasn't worth doing, and I'd forgotten how much joy and satisfaction I got from writing and recording songs for myself. Both of those bands make incredible records, but they also put on great, loud, energetic live shows. They made me want to do my version of the same, just for enjoyment if nothing else.

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

I don't know how it is for other people, but I rarely outgrow any music I get into, I just get into more of it. As soon as I could walk I went for my dad's stereo. He was afraid I would break it, so he taught me how to play records. My earliest memories are of me playing anything I could find and pillaging my older siblings' records and tapes. I fell in love with Queen and ELO by the time I was 5. After that it was all Meat Loaf, 70s Kiss, hair metal, and Rush most of all. As a teenager in the 90s, I got into both pop-punk and oldies radio (50s/60s rock'n'roll). Eventually I got into British Invasion, psych, soul, vintage country, and so on. These days I'm really into collecting obscure old 45s that don't fit neatly into genres.

Three long-lasting influences are probably Cheap Trick, The Hollies, and The Who. This list could change every day.

11) What are the plans for 2021 as far as Rocket Bureau are concerned?

We just had our first fully-vaccinated band practice last weekend, which was something I missed very much in the past year. I don't know when we'll be able to play live yet, but we'll keep having practices and learning some new songs. I've got about a dozen written, and I've got some ideas for another album.

12) Anything you wanna add?

I play bass in The August Teens, and we put out a much-overdue album last year. You can check it out here: https://theaugustteens.bandcamp.com/

I also play drums in The Arkoffs, a weird garage band. There is no website or social media for The Arkoffs. We have an LP, but it's not available yet. It may be the only recording I've been a part of where the record we got was exactly what we were going for. I can't wait for unsuspecting souls to hear it.

The only other thing I'd like to add is gratitude for sharing my music. Thank you very much!

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE: https://rocketbureau.bandcamp.com/

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Bruce Moody - Forever Fresh! The Anthology on Wizzard In Vinyl




Today, Bruce Moody consider himself one lucky power pop survivor from the original heydays of an era that has long since passed.

Over the years, his musical adventures have taken him on an amazing journey through the music maze to places he never dreamed of going and it allowed him to meet many of his musical heroes. Highlights include chatting with Paul McCartney on the phone, doing shows with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, A Flock of Seagulls, Sparks, and also bowling with members of The Go-Go's and Blondie. He also worked with Buddy Holly’s producer and manager Norman Petty at his studio in Clovis, New Mexico where Holly recorded his greatest songs. In fact, 
Norman Petty was the one who inspired him to write more songs and to release his first record which turned out to be the "Fresh Out!" EP.

This CD album "Forever Fresh!" is a collection of Bruce's power pop tracks from 1979 to 1986, many unreleased until now. This album has 23 songs, all of which have been meticulously digitally remixed and remastered exclusively for this release. The deluxe gatefold package contains liner notes and a website address for lyrics, the players on each song, recording dates and studio information.

01) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about you and your musical background to introduce yourself?

Although I actually started playing music in bands as far back as 1968, I seem to have had the good fortune of always finding really good musicians to play with and that’s always made me a better musician.  After playing in many copy bands for years in the clubs, I became interested in writing my own songs around 1977/1978.  

I started recording song ideas at home on a four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder in order to perfect the songs before going into an eight-track professional studio that costs money. In 1979, I recorded a group of five or six songs at Amphion Studios in Houston.  I didn’t really have a band at the that time so I asked some of the best musicians in town to help me record the songs.  Although Amphion was an eight-track studio, I still had lots of little ideas for guitar lines, harmonies and percussion things I wanted to include in the songs.  

I ended up playing and singing about nine different parts on every song, including my normal stage instrument of bass guitar.  Three of those six songs are on the Forever Fresh! album.  There’s a musical biography on my website BruceMoodyMusic.com, along with lots of photos, song lyrics and details of the players on each song.

02) Can you also introduce the other musicians who participated in the recordings? Are those the guys pictured on the inner sleeve of the CD? What instrument were they playing? Were they part of your usual touring band or were they guns for hire?

> Wow!  You have to remember that these songs range from 1979 to 1986 and I played in four different bands during that period.  The main players on the songs on the album are Rick Richards on drums and harmonies, Danny Kristensen on guitar and harmonies, Keith Lancaster on Keyboards, Doug Hines on keyboards, Terry Carolan on guitar and harmonies and Richard Morant on guitar and harmonies.  There’s a complete personnel listing of who played what on each song on my website.  Danny, Rick and I have always been the real nucleus of all my original music bands, which includes both in the studio and live shows.   The guys on the inner sleeve of the CD are Danny Kristensen, Keith Lancaster, Rick Richards and myself.

03) About this 23 songs collection "Forever fresh", 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?

All of the above, really.  On the recordings where time and money were big considerations, we’d try to only use two tracks, play the basic track together live in the studio, in a nice stereo spread and then use the remaining six tracks for overdubs.  I would sing the lead vocal, sometimes during the live take but on a separate track, just in case I screwed something up and had to fix it later without making us have to do another entire band take.  

On some of the earlier songs, I sang most of the harmonies, mainly because I already had the blend I wanted in my head and I knew the parts.  On those songs, we’d usually end up bouncing down four tracks of vocals down to two tracks, in stereo, and then there would be four more tracks left to put down a doubled lead vocal, each on their own tracks, and then two more tracks to do overdubs, like an extra rhythm guitar with a lead part on one track and either a keyboard part or percussion part, like a tambourine or something, on the last available track. If we’re rehearsed well, I like having the band play live together on the main tracks.  You can really feel the energy in the takes on this album where we do that!  That said, I’m playing all the instrument and doing all the vocals on “I Feel Strange”, “The Closer I Get” and “Missile Envy”.

04) If you were to record new material in 2021, would you use the nowadays digital recording
technology or would you keep working only with analog machines in analog studios?

That’s a great question.  Probably some combination of both digital and analog.  It really comes down to feel.  Sometime a digital drum part can sound so stiff and regimented that it dehumanizes the feel of the song.  When you play with a live drummer, there’s a slight ebb and flow to the song that’s more natural.  Of course, playing with Rick Richards for all those years really spoiled me!  The guy was always rock solid, unless you asked him to play a sloshy hi-hat on the back beat during the chorus or something.  Transferring basic analog tracks to a DAW works fine, though.  I also prefer to actually play keyboard parts in real time, all the way through with the track, verses looping or copy/pasting all the parts.  

Recording the overdubs in the digital world gives you so much instant flexibility as far as tones and effects go. It’s a very convenient medium and there are some great tools and plug-ins out there. In some instances, though, to my ears, what’s left of them anyway 😊, there can be a certain “warmth” missing sometimes that digital tools just cannot duplicate, especially in the guitars.  You just have to experiment and see what sounds best to you, I think.  Some of the digital plug-ins for vocals do nicely replicate that vintage warm tube sound you get from the old analog compressors.  Terry Carolan turned me on to the Abbey Road mixing console plug-in and we used it every song on the album during the mastering process. 

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

I like to start out with a nice melody and lead vocal so that I’m working with an actual song verses writing something off a digital drum beat with a repetitive guitar or keyboard riff or something like that.  There’s nothing wrong with that. I just like coming up with a nice lead vocal part with an interesting melody first and then adding some cool harmonies.  That’s what inspires me when I’m writing.  Although I don’t have an actual band right now I still like to work with song ideas as though I’m writing for a band. 

06) What is/was your favorite topic/topic that came easily when you wrote a new song?

There’s always to “go to” subject of relationships and other personal life experiences.  I like to write about different things, sometimes putting the real meaning or inspiration cloaked between the lines, so to speak. But sometimes not.  I do like to play with words and I take great pride in the lyrics. There’s a sort of different sounding song for me on the album called “Secret Place”, which is about me dealing with depression.  

I literally wrote the entire song in about 15 minutes; words and music.  It’s been cathartic for me to just lay that out there.  Maybe it’s helped someone else, too.  I don’t know. “Secret Place” was featured in an Australian independent movie a few years ago.  There’s also a song on the album called “Above Suspicion”.  I’d been to a classic movie double feature back in 1983 that showed both “Above Suspicion” and “Double Indemnity”, both starring Fred MacMurray.  I ended up using the title “Above Suspicion” for the song, but I used the subject matter is from “Double Indemnity”, which I thought was fun!   

07) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from this collection?

There’s a very simple still images only video for “At The Rock Club” on YouTube right now.  There’s also a video for “She’s A Liar & A Spy” out there somewhere, but I have one of those awful 1985 shag haircuts in it!  Thankfully, the copy I have isn’t very good, as it was probably saved from an old VHS tape.  It might be best to leave that one in the vault!

     

08) Way back in the days, what could concert goers expect at a Bruce Moody gig? Were you playin' any famous cover songs during the gig?

Our shows were always very high energy with lots of three and four-part harmonies.  Having played in so many bands over so many years, I’ve played a ton of copy songs ranging from The Beatles, of course, The Cars, The Police … There’s even a sound check song on YouTube somewhere of my shortly-lived band Artisan playing “Yours Is No Disgrace” by Yes!   

09) Are there any bands/artists in USA  you considered yourself close to musically speaking, back then or now?

1960's Top 40 radio in the US was very cool!  Back then, The Beach Boys harmonies were, and still are, fantastic!  I’ve always liked The Association, Chicago; bands who wrote great melodies with lots of vocals.  These days, I love Elbow, especially their song “Lippy Kids”.  The way they approach their song arrangements and instrument parts is fantastic!  There are a bunch of bands whose songs I really like these days. But the tunes stream by so fast that I forget to look and see who it was!  From a pure songwriting aspect, I really like Fountains of Wayne.  When their bassist and chief songwriter Adam Schlesinger died last year from Covid, I did a video tribute to him and the band with massive help from Terry Carolan, Suzu Highmarts from The Highmarts and Atsushi from the band Gorilla.  The video is on my website.

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

The Beatles were probably the cornerstone of my early musical influences.  I instantly fell in love with The Who, in particular Pete Townshend’s writing and John Entwistle’s bass playing.  I also loved listening to Cream, Chicago, The Byrds and Hendrix when I was a teenager.  I actually saw Jimi Hendrix in concert on May 9, 1969.  I even met him before the show!  There was something about that guy that was quite other worldly.  I remember watching him play live and hearing notes coming out of his guitar that he didn’t physically seem to be playing!  Beyond him using a fuzz effect or a wha-wha pedal, sometimes there would be a few extra notes ringing out from those Marshall amps, almost like an overdub!  He covered a lot of ground on his guitar. The lead in “Waterfall” is an example of that. 

But I still love Pete Townshend’s writing to this day.  There’s such a great body of work to listen to. I got to correspond with John Wicks from The Records over the years and ask him things about how certain songs were recorded, how they did the harmonies, etc.  I also got to tell him how much I loved his songs before he died.  That was really special for me.  Elvis Costello is another one of those writers whose songs are great to listen to and dissect. For pure power pop pleasure, The Outfield’s Biggest Innings album is hard to beat.  

11) What are the plans for 2021 as far as Bruce Moody are concerned?

Later this year, Meanbean Records is releasing “At The Rock Club” on a vinyl compilation album
called Standing In The Shadows - Volume One.  Also, Terry Carolan and I will be recording some new stuff together, remotely of course due to Covid, probably starting this spring.  There are those who’ve been wanting me to come play in Japan for the past few years.  I would LOVE to do that!

12) Anything you wanna add?

Just to say thanks, Eric, for keeping us aging power popper’s music alive!

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE https://www.wizzard-in-vinyl.net/products/detail/73

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Tummies - 9.30 Girl


The Tummies is a five piece rock'n'roll band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, whose members have toured and /or recorded with people as different as Peter Wolf, Ace Frehley & Gene Simmons of KISS, Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, David Lee Murphy or Rodney Atkins. 

Their debut full length record, "9.30 Girl", mixed and produced by Caleb Sherman, is featuring some of the finest 60's influenced pop songs. And they even had one of their tracks featured on the SHAMELESS TV Show.

Time for this blog to talk to bass player and vocalist Judd Fuller.


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

My wife Dana and I started writing these powerpop / Beatlesque tunes just for the sheer joy of it…a nice change from writing the usual Nashville “formula” country songs. Many of the songs took about five minutes to write! We had compiled so many songs, and we were having so much fun doing it, we decided we had to get a band together and play out live. There was only one line-up we had in mind, and that was our dear friends Philip Shouse & Jeremy Asbrock on guitars, and Sandy Gennaro on drums. I play bass, and Dana and I both sing lead vocals. We “recruited” these guys because we all share a love of Mersey Beat Britpop, The Beatles, etc., and are all musically influenced by that style. These guys know this style like the back of their hand. There was no other choice for players! Plus we love them as people. The seeds were planted about six years ago, and though we played live shows, it took us a while to get in the studio to complete our first record. This was because we are all on the road with other bands as our “day jobs”, so sometimes time is at a premium. You can find all our resumes on thetummies.com, but here’s a list of acts we’ve all toured / recorded with or are currently touring with (when the world gets back to normal!): The Monkees, Gene Simmons from KISS, Ace Frehley from KISS, Accept, Bo Diddley, Joan Jett, Pat Travers, Peter Wolf from The J. Geils Band, Carly Simon, Maggie Rose, Rodney Atkins; the list goes on! So not only are the band a great bunch of folks, but I like to think we have some serious pedigree, hahaha! 

2) About the latest released full length record "9:30 Girl",  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? 

  As far as the recording of “9:30 Girl” went, we all play down the tracks live in the studio, with Dana and I doing “scratch” (reference) vocals to map out the arrangement. Minimal guitar overdubs, as we like to have that “live” feel. Part of the fun is that we go into the studio unrehearsed! We just send the guys work tapes that we record on my iPhone, just singing and playing acoustic guitar. This gets everyone’s wheels turning regarding creativity. We hand them a blank slate, basically, and there is minimal production or directing….these guys are so in tune that they “get” what we are looking for in the songs, and come up with really cool parts and ideas for the song! So it’s a fun, exciting, at times beleaguering, process….and it makes for a fresh, exciting product in my opinion! Sandy will add some extra percussion to the tracks such as tambourine, shaker, etc…then Dana and I will go in and overdub the final vocals, singing together “live” to the tracks…but even the vocal ideas are a work in progress right up to the finishing line! It’s a blast.

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

 We do use more modern technology for recording….but our engineer / producer Caleb Sherman of Cygnus Sound Studio here in Nashville is a wizard. Also because it’s less expensive. We are all involved in groups that have labels, management, etc., but because The Tummies are independent we do have to keep an eye on the wallet. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on Caleb’s production! If it were up to me, I’d want to produce an almost “slavish” imitation of the 60s vintage sound, but Caleb talked us out of it, and he was right. He believes there should be a touch of modern pop in our “vintage” style songs. So we like to think it’s a balance between old and new. We like his approach. 

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

Dana and myself write all the songs. The boys help with arrangements of already written songs; and as I mentioned earlier, they always come up with great ideas!

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

This is a fun question! Anything and everything can trigger a song idea. For instance, “9:30 Girl” came about because I remarked to my wife Dana how she consistently wakes up every morning at 9:30. She replied, “yup, I’m a 9:30 Girl”! I grabbed the guitar, the song was written within a half-hour. The song “Other Side Of The World” happened because Dana and I were having some wine on our back porch one warm, beautiful, breeze-less summer night, and she remarked, “look how still the night is, baby…” I grabbed the guitar, the song was written within a half-hour! “20 After 10” happened because one night we were hanging out, a little too buzzed on wine, and Dana said, “It’s 20 after 10! We must go to bed!” Do you sense a theme? Hahaha. So it could be a word, a sentence, the sound of a car horn; anything. Our antennae are always up and looking for song ideas!

6) The Tummies are sometimes described as a 60's influenced band. Do you agree with this? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that? 

 We DO agree with this assessment. And are proud of it. After all, this is the music that influenced all of our young lives. I think what naturally happens, though, is that inevitably the songs will carry our own unique stamp on them. We have all played with so many musicians, and so many different styles, I like to think that helps weave all the ideas into something fairly unique, and not just carbon-copying the 60s style.

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

Yes, we have two videos out on YouTube! You can find all the links on thetummies.com More videos coming soon! 

 

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

 Concert goers can expect a fun night of Rock ’N Roll, and some pretty darn good musicianship as well! And a touch of humor. Music IS fun, right? We have not played any cover songs yet….we do have one in mind, but I don’t wanna give that away yet (wink, wink).

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

 Honestly we haven’t heard one yet from the USA…but that could also be a function of the fact that we all play with so many other folks, that if we’re not working on Tummies tunes, we are learning songs from other artists to play on their gigs! So our ears and practice time are usually full getting to work. Good question, though. When I get a break from being busy, I’m gonna see what’s out there!

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

 Obviously, The Beatles! That was both mine and Dana’s favorite band as kids. But also The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin…even stuff as far afield as Bob Marley, Little Feat, The Grateful Dead, Judas Priest, etc…we all listened to such a variety of stuff, it’s hard to pin down! But regarding The Tummies, specifically, the biggest influences are The Beatles, and even The Monkees. And again, while we wear those influences proudly, I like to think we don’t simply “imitate” them!

11) What are the plans for 2021 as far as The Tummies are concerned?

 We are trying to figure out everyone’s tour schedule with our other bands, as the world gradually opens up….we’ll probably start by playing an album release gig / party here in Nashville, and take it from there. We would LOVE to tour Europe. Got any connections over there? ;) :)

12) Anything you wanna add?

 I’ll add this: buy our record!!!! You’ll LOVE it. Just visit thetummies.com to order! Thanks, Eric! Cheers. 

PURCHASE THE GOODIES HERE: https://thetummies.com/music

Saturday, May 1, 2021

13 YEARS of this BLOG


Today is a VERY special day, not only because it's the birthday of yours truly but also because we celebrate 13 YEARS of this BLOG.



Matthew Sweet's fourth album Altered Beast and, in essence, his followup to the smashing success of the "Girlfriend" album. The recording featured a generous handful of performances from noteworthy musicians Sweet looked up to, including Jody Stephens of Big Star, Richard Lloyd of Television, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, well-known UK pianist/organist Nicky Hopkins, Robert Quine and Ivan Julian of Richard Hell & The Voidoids, and Pete Thomas, the longtime drummer for Elvis Costello. 

Tracks 1&2 from the album, Altered Beast
Tracks 3&4 Bonus Tracks


1.Time Capsule
Bass, Guitar, Vocals – Matthew Sweet
Drums – Pete Thomas
Guitar – Robert Quine

2.Knowing People
Bass [12 String], Electric Guitar, Vocals – Matthew Sweet
Drums – Ron Pangbborn*
Lead Guitar – Richard Lloyd

3.Speed Of Light
Bass, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Matthew Sweet
Drums – Fred Maher
Fiddle – Byron Berline
Lead Guitar – Robert Quine
Steel Guitar [National Duolian] – Greg Leisz

4.Thing
Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals – Matthew Sweet
Drums – Jody Stephens
Lead Guitar – Ivan Julian




Friday, April 30, 2021

Randells - Kicks available on WATERSLIDE Records


RANDELLS is a pop punkin’ trio hailing from Blekinge County, Sweden.
Their sophomore full length, aptly titled "Kicks", has just been released on CD by Japanese label WATERSLIDE. And in this blog's opinion this is probably one of the best releases of this label. Kicks is filled to the rafters with catchy and powerful tunes that will keep you humming this the sun goes down. A MUST BUY!


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

Obba (Vocal, guitar) and Daniel (bass) started the band in 2014. Raz (drums) joined the band in 2020. A lot of the songs on the first album ”At the beach” go all the way back to mid 90’s. 

2) About the latest released full length record "Kicks",  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 album was recorded in 2 different  studios. The drums where recorded in NLP Studio and the rest in TWIC Studios.

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

We use modern stuff when We record.

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

Obba has been the main composer but everyone is involved building the songs. Daniel is a graphic designer so he handels all the Photos, videos and stuff like that. A very good combination to have in a band 🙂 

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

Love is always a low hanging fruit. I think We managed to mix the topics in a good way on the new album. 

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. 

We all listen to a lot of different artists, genres and bands, not only punk rock. We all love punk rock in the band but very often We don’t like the same bands or songs. We all have different influences, from Belle and Sebastian to Youth of today. 

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

We have a couple of videos on Youtube. Daniel has made them all. You can find them under the user name Randells the band on YT.

   

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

We actually haven’t done alot of gigs since We started the band in 2014. You can expect it to be around 30 min long. No talking, just music 😉 

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

No not really. 

10) What are the plans for the rest of 2021 as far as Randells is concerned?

Promote the new album and hopefully get some gigs. We are working on new songs and the plan is to release another album in 2022. 

11) Anything you wanna add?

Thank you for the interview, cheers!



A vinyl version of KICKS will be out later this year on an European label.