Borderline Natives

By:  Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

We caught up with Nashville punk band, Borderline Natives, to talk about their latest release, favorite gear, and musical influences.  Check out our exclusive interview!

Borderline Natives is:
Kevin Barry (vocals/rhythm guitar)
Colton Walker (lead guitar)
Jeremy Scott Thomas (bass guitar/backing vocals)

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For someone that has never heard of you before, tell us about Borderline Natives.  How did you get started as a band, and how would you describe your sound?

KB:  We are an experimental punk band from the Nashville area, we started about a year ago when I moved down here from our hometown in Michigan. Colton and I went to high school together, and we both wanted to start a band.  Five years later, and here we are. We met Jeremey about 8 months ago and got the whole band started up.

You released your EP in October, Indecisive, Indecision.  What’s the overall theme/message behind this album?

KB:  With that EP being our first, we really wanted to go for it and figure what we are and what we wanted to say as a band.  We recorded whole thing in five months and wrote the songs as we went on and we learned a lot along the way.
JS:  When I think about the EP, I always assumed that the theme was that there was no theme.  Every song is from a different place and tells a different story.
CW:  When we started, it was an EP to find ourselves.  Each time we made something, it felt more like “us.”  Looking back, each song has something different.  Now we have a more clear direction.

What’s your go-to gear (as far as recording or playing live)?

KB:  I use a vox valvetronix amp, a fender telecaster deluxe, and a epiphone es-333.  The tones go well together, along with my ocd pedal, and few other basic effect pedals.
JS:  I use an acoustic 136 amp with a squire bronco bass for standard tuning and drop D, also use a squire jaguar for half step.  I originally only used the jaguar for all tuning, but I started using the bronco because of the light weight and for its full sound.
CW:  Of the group, I have more gear being used that I have obtained over the years.
I have an epiphone les Paul traditional pro-II that I use for standard and drop tuning.  It has lower end compared to my fender pawn shop super sonic.  Guitars go through a vox AC30.
I like to have a variety of pedals, ones that can have the basic sound, but extra functions that can be manipulated.  My pedals that I used the most are the earthquaker Acapulco gold, boss DD-6, and Caroline kilobyte lo-fi delay.  While using two loopers, one being which a line-6 DL4.  On the first EP I used an Arturia microbrute for some looping parts. I recently bought a korg minilogue, which is going to have a good part in the next EP.  Both synths use a boss RC-30 for interludes and samples that goes through the PA.

If you could have any band cover a Borderline Natives song, who would it be?  I could see Tigers Jaw doing a pretty sick cover!

KB:  That’s good to hear, since Tigers Jaw is one of my favorites haha.  Foo Fighters covering "Find Me Anyway" would be crazy, or Moose Blood covering "Coming home."
CW: I can see The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die doing a great rendition of "Coming Home," or the Black Angels covering "Untitled Letter."
JS:  It would be cool to hear Nine Inch Nails do something with "Untitled Letter," or Pale Waves covering "Sweetie."

What has been your favorite song that you’ve written as a band so far?

All:  "Coming Home."  That’s our best song, hands down.
KB:  It was the song that I wanted to write to go along with "Sweetie," since they both are about two different parts of one bad relationship.

What does 2018 have in store for Borderline Natives?

All:  2018 is looking to be a big year for the band, we are focusing on planning tours out of our local music scene, and we are currently writing our second EP. which contrast to the first one, is more cohesive and thought out.  We are discovering what the band truly sounds like.

Indecisive, Indecision is available on all music services now.  Check it out!

Connect with Borderline Natives:
Facebook  .  Instagram  .  Spotify  .  YouTube

Dayshell

By: Mary Welch

Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Shayley Bourget and Zack Baker of the band Dayshell. Dayshell is a band which I have had endless respect and support for since 2013, so it was an honor to hang with the guys before the show. This was my first time seeing the band play after all these years, and they surely did not let anybody down. Out of all the bands opening for Dayshell, for me personally, it was very clear that they were the ones to really capture the crowd’s attention. I cannot recommend their music enough, including Shayley’s previous work in Of Mice & Men, and I have nothing but nice things to say about them. Their self-titled debut and most current album, “Nexus,” will be linked below.

 

Can you give your name(s) and role(s) in the band?

Zack: I’m Zack and I play drums in the band
Shayley: And I am Shayley, I sing and play other instruments when I want.

Zack, how did you join Dayshell and what did you previously do?

Zack: I joined back in 2016, but I’ve been playing with them since late 2015. Shay scooped me up off of Twitter and YouTube and it worked out.
Shayley: And the rest is history

Since you were in La Crosse, Wisconsin yesterday, did you get to do anything fun or experience anything Wisconsin has to offer?

Zack: It was super low-key.
Shayley: It was low key because it was a small town, and it was cold as fuck so we just played and left. There’s not too much fun we can do on tour.
Zack: People were having snowball fights out there too because it started snowing during our set, so it was cool to come outside and just see like a winter wonderland going on.

If you were trapped on an island and could only have 3 things with you, what would you want to have?

Shayley: Is food and shit already included?
Mary: Yes, food is already included.
Shayley: The things for sure… A girl just in case I’ve got to populate. A guitar, for sure, and probably a device to record.
Zack: I was going to say recording equipment and a drum kit… A then chica would be nice… Third thing- I’m going to steal Shay’s answer and go ahead and say a girl.

How would you describe your music as it has evolved since your first album to your most current?

Shayley: I would describe it as more focused in a unit because the first album was more experimental into what the fuck Dayshell was going to even be. And coming from Of Mice & Men in the heavy world I really wanted to incorporate what I learned and what I pushed myself to write in that band with a more rocky djent. It’s kind of more all over the place on our first album just kind of showcasing what I can do versatility wise. But Nexus is more like a flowing album. There’s only very few songs that really separate from the entire flow, but I would just say it’s a lot more focused… And we’ve got a more kick-ass drummer that can handle the technicalities that I was writing so everything kind of just fell in place.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band, and how have you fought to overcome it?

Shayley: I think our biggest challenge as a band is happening right now…
Zack: Just being freezing cold in the middle of Barrington…
Shayley: That’s a given, but what’s happening internally with Dayshell and all the problems that we always continually have, and I think this year was like the ultimate hit with losing our bass player, which was also a good friend, and it sucked. Just where we’re at, we’re really trying to re-find ourselves and it’s scary. It’s a scary place but I think we’ll overcome it and if not, we’ll at least try to love the times that we did get to spend here doing this interview with you and such and such.
Zack: Hell yeah!

Favourite memory as a band?

Shayley: I don’t know my favourite memory as a band because he’s only been here for not even two years maybe.
Zack: It’s literally now just two years.
Shayley: With him in the band… It was on my birthday one year, I just remember that. I don’t know why, I was just having so much fun and we were out at Walmart. I think we were smoking weed, I wasn’t drinking that night thankfully, so I was sober as a ghost, but he was just making me crack the fuck up. This was when I first found his personality being goofy when he started to kind of open up because I believe that tour…
Zack: That was I the Mighty, that was the breakthrough one. That was the fun one, a really fun tour. My first tour with them, I was super, super quiet… Just to fill in. I didn’t want to upset anyone or be a goofball because I didn’t know what they were about either, so it wasn’t until Nexus where I started noticing what their sense of humor was and that’s when I started being myself. Then slowly, surely, here we are.

What can we expect from Dayshell in the future, and is there anything you can tell us about new music so far? I know you’ve been posting a lot of demos…

Shayley: I’m constantly writing and like I said there’s a lot that’s going on. This is one of the biggest things that we need to try to overcome so we don’t really know. All we do know is the guaranteed fact that we will continue to write badass music and whenever it does drop, it’s going to drop. No matter what, I’m not going to let Dayshell go without dropping a song even if I had to do it “accidentally leaked.” Like, I don’t give a fuck. I want the world to hear what I write and if I can’t make money doing that, I still at least want to express myself. Some people express themselves by fucking sticking carrots up their ass, I don’t do that. I express myself with my music and I want people to hear it and appreciate it and understand it.

Biggest musical and non-musical inspirations?

Shayley: I think my mom is a big inspiration for me in a lot of ways - Just how strong she is to be in so much pain she’s in everyday with her injury, and to still keep a smile on her face, and paint and be happy when she can barely walk. I’m like, “here I am bitching about my back and I can still walk, like it hurts really bad" but she’s definitely a good inspiration. Musically, the Deftones and Rush, stuff like that. And if there’s a celebrity that I looked up to probably The Rock because he’s just so successful and smart.
Zack: He’s a stud…
Shayley: And he’s handsome…
Zack: Musically, it’s definitely got to be my pops and Rush. My dad’s the one who really go me into drums because he’s a drummer. I grew up on Rush, I was a big Neil Peart / Mike Portnoy fan, Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater and played with Avenged Sevenfold. Non-musically, definitely my parents because they’re so kick-ass for sure. I love them.

What is your New Year’s resolution, since this is the New Year’s Resolution Tour?

Shayley: My new years resolution is to get healthy, continue to never drink again, to really figure out Dayshell… The problem that I’m having personally with myself is being content with wherever I’m at no matter what it is. A lot of people don’t get to do this, this is shitty right? It’s kind of shitty, we sleep in a van. But it’s really not that shitty if you think about it. I can be at home where everybody’s dreaming to do this. My new year’s resolution is to love the finer things in life, I guess. And be healthy, try to work out and stretch. I’m just so fucking lazy. That’s why our music video game is poop, that’s about it.
Zack: For me, it’s probably just to try and be like the best most hardworking person and drummer that I can be. I just want to be the best me that I can be, and be the best friend, be the best person, to be the best family member that I can be.

YOU CAN WATCH THE OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR DAYSHELL'S SINGLE, "NOT COMING IN" HERE.

YOU CAN WATCH DAYSHELL'S OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR "CAR SICK" HERE.

Connect with Dayshell:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

Pacifico

By:  Kate Myers

We sat down with Matt & Eva of Pacifico at Cobra before their show in Nashville. Check out our conversation below!

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Over the life of  the project, Pacifico has toured pretty extensively. Having so much experience with writing and touring, what is the most memorable collaboration or tour that comes to mind?

M: My memory is the worst, so a lot of it is a blur. So there were some really great tours back in the day with friends, but I mean the most memorable stuff comes from the crazy stories and dumb stuff we did like shooting fireworks from one van to the other van, things catching on fire, you know, crazy kinds of stuff. But collaborations- when Pacifico started it was like a band band and then at one point, those guys had to quit to do responsibilities and have wives and jobs and bills, so when that happened, they gave me the name and the songs since I wrote the songs and I ended up trying to make it more of a collective, and collaboration has been very important from that point forward.  Honestly, each record has been really great, being able to collaborate with different people and also live, its great to get to play with different people. But I think my favorite collaboration was the first album I did after that called Thin Skin And Open Heart and I went to California and worked with one of my heroes, Jason Martin, which was pretty cool and I'm happy with the result.

When you use the word collective, that is so interesting to me and it made me wonder, are you still creating with those original band members you first started Pacifico with, or has it moved more towards new collaborations and writing partners?

M: Mostly the latter, but on this new album, Everest,  the bass player is the bass player that was in the first incarnation of Pacifico. The collective thing is basically I write, produce, and arrange, and then everything else is a collective after that.

So Eva, you two are married and now you’re on the road, playing with the band, what is your favorite part about touring and being in Pacifico?

E: So for me, this is a new development. This is the first time I'm actually in the band. I know I have inspired some songs before I was in the band, good and bad I think, but this was an idea of ours that was perfectly timed. His album was coming out and I just graduated from grad school in May and when I graduated,we wanted to go see America and we’ve been married for a while, but never had a honeymoon, so this was kind of a perfect opportunity. So it's new for me, and this is my first time touring, but my favorite part is being part of his team and seeing everything from the inside. It was very awesome to see everything come together from the beginning. Also the tour is really great for us to spend time together, and I haven’t played since high school, so its been great for me as well to gain some more confidence and have this experience.

So largely, Pacifico is a one man operation. What would you say was the most important part of pulling this album and tour together? The album, Everest, came out in October. Did you know that you were going to tour to support the album or did the idea for a tour come after the album?

M: A lot of planning. From the very beginning, I told Eva, if we can make this work, it will be like the biggest heist in history. Trying to finish the album, trying to finish the Indiegogo campaign, trying to book the tour, trying to get all the PR set up right, and then trying to manufacture and release the album and having all of our merch set up correctly was very very stressful. Especially when we were in the middle of the Indiegogo, working jobs and handling all of that was very stressful. There were a couple things that fell by the wayside, like we were supposed to have vinyl before the tour started but we ended up having to pick it up a week into the tour in San Francisco. But it looks great and it wasn't that big of a deal, but there were definitely some hurdles.
E: I think one of the major Reasons Matt is still going as Pacifico and is able to deal with all of this stuff is that he has an incredible amount of positivity and hope. Without that, I don't know if we would be here. I’m generally a more negative person, and His positivity is really what kept us going when things came up.

When the band started out, you tried the traditional industry / label route, showcasing, demoing for labels, etc. What was the turning point that made you decide to do everything independently and to not rely on other people to make things happen?

M: Honestly, it was when most of the guys left the band and I was trying to figure out what to do. I had a label approach me about releasing the songs we never released, which ended up being the album Anthology, which had about 19 songs on it since that was how many songs we had written that were demoed and never ended up getting released because we were doing so much back and forth. And when that label folded, I knew that when you're demoing and showcasing, your life is kind of always on hold and I was just ready to move.  I thought “I have the songs, I know what I’m doing, I’m going to write & produce my own album, and have my friends play on it” and it worked out.

I think one of the most impressive thing things listening to both your earlier music through your most recent releases, “Beautiful” and “Go Alone” is that there is a clear, consistent musical influence, yet your last album was written over the span of 3 years or so.  Over that time, so much can change in 3 years, how do you stay consistent but creative while still making music your fans want to listen to?

M: We were actually discussing in the car what I wanted to do next creatively. I think that's how my mind works I'm always thinking about what I want to do next. Obviously what you're listening to at the time influences the sound of whatever you're writing and with this particular album, I was writing stuff and it sounded more “Top 40” and “Dancy” so  I had to think “What do I do to match this? What do I do to make this sound good, look good and put a pretty bow on top?” So It's a lot of trying to find the right people and pieces to fit together.

So what are the constant influences that no matter what happens, until the day you die, you will always be influenced by that music?

M: There seems to always be Beach Boys and the Beatles influences. A lot of sixties stuff, a lot of britpop from the 90s, Blur, Oasis those guys will always probably be there.

Along those lines, What is a song you wish you wrote that you didn't?

M: “God Only Knows” by Brian Wilson… that song is perfect.

How has it been touring with tracks instead of a full band? Any must have gear for when you’re writing or on the road?

M: So, the tracks or kind of out of necessity. The original idea was to do an acoustic tour, but we realized that acoustic, these songs just wouldn't translate. So we contacted a company called Presonus, and they sponsored our tour, and helped us set up everything. It's been super beneficial because it's just the two of us and we don't have to carry a ton of equipment, which is great. And the go-to gear? I’ve always played hollow-bodies, I love hollow-bodies. I've got a Gretsch and I love it,  I'll probably be playing it forever. For this particular album, I wanted a fuzz tone, so I got a fuzz tone pedal from Death By Audio that’s great. I’m not a big gear head, so everything else doesn’t matter all that much to me. I did have a guitar that was custom made for me which is awesome. I love it.

So though the tour is almost over, what is the best way for people to find you and get in touch with what you’re doing?

M: Probably our website, pacificorock.com . From there you can check out our other socials.

Any final thoughts you want to share?

M: We just hope people like the album. We are really proud of it. We’ve had a great time on the store and we just thank everybody for their love and support.

Connect with Pacifico:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

Best Behavior

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

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You recently released a catchy new single with a cool story behind it.  Can you tell us about “Catherine No Chaser.”

One of the best things about New York City is the people you get to meet. I was seeing a play in the city and had a chance encounter that ended at 6am dance party at one of our local hangouts. Never saw her again.

As someone who grew up in New York, I thoroughly enjoyed the music video for “Say.”  How did  this video come about - the concept, getting all the people together for the dancing, etc.?

We really wanted to show the beachy, colorful side of NYC. What better place than Coney Island? A funny thing about the dance scene is that the speaker we brought stopped working and Marley Lubin, the dancer, was able to get everyone to clap along while I sang. It was a really cool moment.

Playing a wide range of shows, from sold out venues to festivals, you’ve played for all types and sizes of crowds.  What’s your favorite type of setting to play for?

There’s no denying a legit house party. Two floors, backyard, three bands. We played an amazing house show in Gainesville, FL, and it was one of best shows on the tour.

What are three must have items for touring?

Sleep Mask, Earplugs, Pedialite

Your music has such a cool vibe to it, kind of the Strokes meets the Kinks.  If you could have any artist cover one of your songs, who would it be?

That’s a tough one but I think it would the late, great Tom Petty. He’s incredible inspiring to the group.
 

What does 2018 have in store for Best Behavior?

We’re already in the studio working on a new record and we’ll be touring early spring.
 

"SAY"   -   BEST BEHAVIOR

Connect with Best Behavior:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

The Breaking Pattern

By: Alyssa Legato

Following the release of their new EP, "...and Suddenly Nothing Becomes Everything," we caught up with The Breaking Pattern's Derek Hackman for a Savvage exclusive interview.  

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Who is The Breaking Pattern comprised of and what are your roles in the band?

Derek Hackman (singer), Brandon Dillman (Drums), Jacob Beaver (bass), Nick Benzer (guitar)

Your EP has been out for just about 2 weeks, how have fans been reacting to the new music?

Overwhelmingly supportive. We had a strong turnout to our release show last week and have had fans messaging nonstop about their favorite songs since it’s been released.

What are each of your favorite tracks to listen to on the new EP? Do these differ from your favorite tracks to play live?

Hmm that’s like having to choose a favorite child. I think the most shocking song of all is True North. It is the only “heavy” song on the EP and not expected to go over as well with audiences in comparison to our poppier tracks. However, it is the closer to our set and has probably been the most popular song on the album so far.

What is your songwriting process like? Was it similar or different for this EP in comparison to previous material?

The EP was a lot more of a collaborative effort than the previous debut full length. When writing the full length, all the demos had already been completed with my previous band Ezer. I had lost band members during the final recording phases and was replacing them with members that would soon be TBP. With the EP, we recorded over 20+ demos at our drummers house, and the band collectively decided on which songs would make it to the EP. It was the first time I had ever had other people discuss the direction of the music and band. Ultimately, we double downed on a sound we thought uniquely defined us as a band.

For those of us who are just finding out about TBP, what are these Wine Wednesdays all about?

Originally, they started as a way for me to engage with fans on a more personal level through snapchat. I was sharing random stories and anecdotes. It was meant to be like a drunken fireside chat type of thing. I took a break for a few months and had a backlash from fans demanding I bring it back. Around that time, live streaming videos started becoming more and more popular. I decided why not bring back Wine Wednesday on a streaming platform and invite some guests over. It’s meant to still have that real talk kind of feel, and allow for engagement with fans. But it’s a little less focused on me, and more about interesting casual conversation in general.

Who are some of your biggest influences? Who are some artists you have been listening to lately?

Oh man, so the band and I get asked this question a lot so we decided to make specific spotify playlists for each band member. It has both new and old influences for all of us. You can check out the various playlists on our Spotify artist profile.
Derek      Nick      Jacob       Brandon

Describe your band/sound with an adjective, color, and food. (ex: Angry Purple Potato)

Soaring Teal Pizza (technically soaring is a verb, but I like it)

If you had to listen to one record for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

The Postal Service “Give Up”. If I could only listen to one album the rest of my life then I’d probably be pretty damn depressed. This is the album I listen to when I’m most sad. Also, it’s a work of freakin genius.

What advice would you have for anyone trying to start a band/musical endeavor?

My biggest advice is to not put out garbage recordings. I know it seems obvious, but I’ve seen killer live bands who hustle, but then try and cut a corner by doing all their own recordings instead of going to a professional producer. If you want people to listen, then put out amazing songs.   

What can we expect from TBP in the next few months? Any more music videos? Tour?

We are currently booking a tour for early Spring of 2018. We have plans to jump back in the studio in December, but it’s currently up to debate on whether it will be for an acoustic EP or a single. Either way, you’ll be hearing more music from us early next year!

CONNECT WITH THE BREAKING PATTERN:

Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Instagram  /  Official Site

Louise Warren

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

“Music is my morning coffee, therapist, and best friend.” - Louise Warren

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You are no stranger to songwriting, you have been doing this for several years.  When did you realize that this was something that you truly wanted to pursue?  What’s your typical songwriting process like?

My favorite thing to do as a child was to swing on the playground and write music.  I would sing other people's songs until I ran out of them and then would write one of my own.  My inner world was very much my version of play.
I'm usually a melody first person.  To me, it's the foundation of the song.  The lyrics are what make a house a home, but it cannot exist without the melody first.  I might sit down with my guitar and sing a few notes or sometimes even wake to an idea.  Once I have the idea, I almost always write it in the order that you hear it.  A goal of mine is to learn how to break that process, though, and start with lyrics first!

You just released a lyric video for “In The Dark.”  We love this song!  What was your inspiration behind writing this song?

Thank you so much! The song was inspired by the role 'the unknown' played in my life during my early twenties, particularly in love.  I had reached a point, like most people do in dating, where I was fed up.  What I wanted was to know what would happen, not even just with the person I was speaking to in the song but on a greater scale - that I would live the life I wanted to.  This song was my way of coming to terms with not knowing and looking my fears dead in the eye.

In July, you released your debut album, Lavender Sound.  What is the overall concept/theme of this album?

Scent is a huge trigger for memory, and so is music. When I wrote Lavender Sound, I was making peace with the broken pieces of my past and choosing to use those pieces to form a more beautiful present- like a mosaic.  It was me processing what I didn't receive from a situation - that partner or opportunity- and choosing to look at my life for the lessons learned.  I found intense joy in who I was becoming and what I was creating.  Lavender essential oils have always been wonderfully calming to me.  It was the best way, alongside songwriting, to self soothe during a period of tremendous transformation!  Now, both these songs and that scent, hold so much more meaning.

As a young artist, you have already shared the stage with some very astonishing artists (Chuck Leavell or Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hall, Shawn Mullins).  If you could tour with any artist, who would you tour with?

Arctic Monkeys! They have been one of my favorite bands since I was 16 years old for the sheer poetry of Alex Turner's lyrics and for not taking the easy way out, musically.  They are all really creative!  I would probably bug them with how many songwriting questions I asked.

What is something that you want your audience to know about you as an artist?  When people leave your show, what message do you want them to go away with knowing?

I think more than anything I want to create a safe space to bear my soul and to allow them to bear theirs.  Life can be lived walking around with the weight of what we feel, but there is lightness in expressing and releasing it.  Sharing that experience reminds us that we are all human and in this together.

You will be part of the Women with Purpose Festival.  Can you tell us more about this? 

I was approached by a fellow female musician in Macon, SaVana Cameron.  She wanted to create a show that put a spotlight on all the music-making women in our area, while also doing something good to benefit our local Crisis Line and Safe house that helps victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.  I was ALL on board for this.  I know so many people who have experienced abuse, and have not known where to turn to.
Now in its second year, Wesleyan College, where SaVana is a student, has decided to take it under its wing and hold the performance at the school.  Tickets are $10 general admission and can be purchased the day of the performance.

What will 2018 have in store for you?

I have a few shows planned in the Macon and Atlanta areas.  A huge chunk of my energy is going to be put into working on my upcoming album and booking tour dates for 2018.  It's an exciting and busy time!
I also love spending time, especially while not so busy, at the Children's Hospital singing with Songs For Kids. It's one of my favorite things to be a part of!

"IN THE DARK" OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO

Connect with Louise Warren:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

Mainland

by: Kate Myers

We caught up with Corey Mullee to talk about the upcoming Mainland tour with The Wrecks, their inspiration, and new music.  Check out our exclusive interview and be sure to catch Mainland on tour this Fall!

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Hey guys! So great to chat with you!  Can you tell our readers a bit about you and your sound? Give us a little insight into who you guys are as a band and what's important to you.  

Hey! Great to chat with you as well. We are Mainland. We’re three California natives who met each other in New York City and formed a band. We played a lot of dive bars in the city and wrote a lot of songs before we figured out our sound, but our shared tastes kept us together. Early on we realized that honesty was very important to our songs. The lyrics in our songs speak to real experiences in our lives and we know that listeners have felt many of the same things. Music is how we can connect with those people, and maybe let them see their own experiences in a new light.

I've been listening to your music all day.  I love how every song vibes together, but I still can hear very different and distinct styles/musical choices in each track that separates it from the others. One song reminded me of Hot Hot Heat in the early 2000's, while another made me think of Twenty One Pilots and the Arctic Monkeys. Is this intentional, or do you just pull inspiration from a lot of different sources?

We have really diverse musical tastes. We grew up on a lot of 2000’s music like The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, and Cold War Kids, but we also draw from a lot of modern music that’s playing on the radio today. Artists like Bishop Briggs, you can’t help but jam out to when she comes on. We also have a soft spot for classics, like Bruce Springsteen, especially the way his songs tell stories and paint a world for the listener.  

I really enjoyed your take on Don't You (Forget About Me). You could really tell you took it and made it your own. What inspired you to cover it? Are there any specific new wave/ 80's acts that you guys really like/are inspired by?

Glad you liked that one! Jordan Topf (lead voals/guitar) recorded that one himself. The idea was to cover a 80's song, but to give it the production of a Mazzy Star track. It was a total experiment.

After listening to your Outcast EP, I can't decide which track is my favorite! Whats your favorite one to play live vs. listen to?

Wait till you hear the new single “I Found God”. It’s available everywhere digitally and we’re pressing 7” vinyl for all the record collectors out there. The b-side is going to be a new song called “Hometown”

What about favorite gear? Anything you absolutely can't live without when you record/play live?

In the studio we are always adapting gear according to the setting. But live? We really rely on our Fender Twin Reverb Amps. They can be a bit on the hefty side but they are guaranteed to fill almost any room. Their clean tone is a great place to start from.

You posted recently about some new music coming. Any chance we'll get to hear some new tracks at your show in November at the End?

Yes, absolutely. We have a few new songs that no one has heard up until this point. And we’ll definitely be playing “I Found God.”

Well, thanks for taking time to answer our questions! Any last things you want to share with our readers before they go to see you at your next live show?

We put together a music video for “I Found God” that we’re really proud of. Our friends shot it using all real couples and if you love the song, you have to see the video. Can’t wait to be the in Nashville in just a few weeks!
 

"I Found God" - Mainland

Catch Mainland on tour this fall.  Tickets are on sale now!
*with The Score
**with The Wrecks  

10/23 Phoenix, AZ - The Rebel Lounge *

10/24 San Diego, CA - Soda Bar *

10/26 San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord *

10/29 Anaheim, CA - The Parish House @ HOB *

11/5 Columbus OH - Big Room Bar **

11/7 Nashville TN - The End **

11/8 Atlanta GA - Aisle 5 **

11/9 Tampa FL - The Crowbar **

11/10 Orlando FL - Backbooth **

11/11 Chapel Hill NC - Local 506 **

11/12 Baltimore MD - Metro Gallery **

11/14 Washington, DC - Songbyrd **

11/15 New York NY - Mercury Lounge **

11/16 Cambridge MA - Middle East Upstairs **

11/17 Philadelphia PA - The Voltage Lounge **

11/18 Buffalo NY - Studio at Waiting Room **

11/19 Pittsburgh, PA - Funhouse **

Connect With Mainland:
Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Instagram  /  Website

Pure October

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

We caught up with Pure October to talk about their debut full length album, the Gullible Guide to Getting By. We all know that high school, and life in general, has struggles and ups and downs, so follow "Charlie" through his adventure on this album.  You'll want to get to know Pure October early on, this pop-punk band from St. Louis is one to look out for! 

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You originally formed after a school talent show, and have evolved into an energetic, pop-punk band.  How this this come about?!  Were you planning on starting a band prior?

SP:  The band has kind of a wacky history.  To start, I’m the only standing original member of the band. The original lineup comprised of my best friend Roman (now in St. Louis based metal band, Arkangela) invited me to join Pure October as their original rhythm guitarist.  After a lengthy and dramatic falling out, I met Alex for the first time in between sets during our high school’s talent show.  While we were chatting he casually brought up how he wanted to be in a band.  A few weeks later we brought him to practice, and in turn he introduced us to Tom and we’ve all been best friends ever since.

Your debut full length, “The Gullible Guide to Getting By” was released just a few days ago (September 15th).  Can you tell us how “Charlie” came about, and his overall journey that takes place on this album?

AE:  I don’t exactly remember when the idea came to me, but I think it was around the time I was graduating high school and going to college.  I had learned a lot in my senior year about how things tend to work when you grow up and just life lessons overall.  That’s basically how the story of Charlie and the Gullible Guide came about.  It’s a full translation of life lessons that kids learn in high school and how they translate as you get older.

Who designed the album cover?  It’s so awesome, and definitely ties the themes together.  Did the different images come from different songs/ the idea of school in general?

SP:  Thank you!  It took a long time to sort out the album art.  We wanted to make sure that we captured a real ‘school-doodle’ type of vibe.  Everything on the cover is what we imagined Charlie would be doodling on his desk while he was waiting for the bell to ring.  Every doodle on the front cover has some sort of tie-in to either the overall theme of the album or to an individual song.  We decided as a band that we’re going to let the listeners decide how to piece everything together.  The art was created by our really talented friend, artist and fellow musician Echo Morse from the band Creature Illicit.  

Which bands were some of you biggest musical influences while working on your latest recordings? (I can definitely sense some Neck Deep and ADTR vibes!).

TG:  For sure!  Neck Deep and A Day To Remember are definitely some of our biggest influences.  I think we all have a ton of different bands that influence us from metalcore, to pop punk, to even just things you’d find on top 40 radio.  I think it’s pretty evident throughout the album that we didn’t stick too much to just one style of music because we have tracks that are pretty radio friendly like “Disappear” and “Something Special,” but then we also have the very heavy leaning tracks like “I am an Island”.  You’re totally right.  We all listen to that type of music and we all agree that Alex has that kind of ‘Pop-Punk’ voice, which really adds to the overall feel.

You’ve already shared the stage with some incredible bands (Dangerkids, Vanna, etc.).  If you could set-up a dream tour with two other bands, who would it be?

AE:  Ooo that’s a hard one.  I guess if we had to set up a dream tour it would probably be with Neck Deep and/or A Day to Remember.  Honestly a tour with any band that we’ve admired and looked up to would be awesome!
TG:  It would be sick to tour with the guys from Pierce the Veil.  We were lucky enough to see them play at the Firebird, after their date at Pointfest got cancelled.  That might have been the last time anyone will see them play a no guard/no barrier show in a club.  Being able to jam with those guys would be a dream come true.
SP:  Oh and the nerds in Waterparks.

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?

TG:  The main event that we’re trying to promote right now is our upcoming album release party. It’s here in our hometown of St. Louis at the Firebird right off Locust Street.  It’s September 30th and the show starts at 7pm!  We’re trying to have a mixed-genre show to bring a more diverse crowd to the show.  We have our buddies Noah Fence and Lou McDon rapping to start off the night, followed by some emo pop-punk tunes from our good friends in Old State.  Tickets are only $5, and if you’re from the St. Louis area, we’ll hand deliver you a ticket and sing a song or two, just for you (don’t worry, they’re available through the Firebird’s website too)!
Beyond that, we’re excited to play with As We Are on November 25th at the Way Out Club. There’s a rumor going around that a pretty big band is going to be hopping on the bill; however, it’s under wraps for the time being…
Obviously we have a few secret shows that’ll be coming up throughout the month of October too, so keep your eyes peeled. :)

Connect with Pure October:
Facebook /  Twitter  /  Instagram  /  Website

Stages and Stereos

by:  Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

Some musicians make music for fame, fortune, and many of the wrong reasons.  However, there are still artists out there who are making music because it is their passion and because they truly care about music and the music community.  Stages and Stereos falls into that second category.  I’ve chatted with the guys a few times for interviews over the past 6 years, and I can 100% tell you that they are the most humble, genuine, authentic guys I have ever met.  They are busting their asses constantly writing new music and playing shows because they want to.  Their love for music is infectious and they are so driven.  They are also some of the most talented and hilarious guys I have ever met!  We caught up before their show in Nashville (at The End, on tour with Rookie of the Year) to talk about band member changes, new music, and… machetes?

Daniel Lancaster - vocals/bass
Randall Karriker - guitar
Stephen Elwell - guitar
Delorean Fullington - bass
Longineu W. Parsons - drums

After a three year break, you’re back.  Band changes, an evolving sound.  What happened in the three years and where are you at now?

DL:  With the last line-up, where we toured with Set It Off and Our Last NIght, we got money from the label to go record some demos.  We hit a weird direction with it, and the label ended up passing on it.  Things fizzled a bit after that.  It was hard to get everyone together, we all lived hours away.  I got sick of relying on other people to make music, so I learned how to do it myself.  I’m not tech savvy, I am more of the outdoors type.  It took two years just to figure out how to demo.  I wrote a bunch of R&B songs, or half songs.  It was more of a challenge than I expected.  I reached out to some of the old members from back in the day.  We started recording our own stuff and it got the attention of Randall, who has a studio in Orlando called Red Oak Collective.  He recorded us for free since he believed in the band.  
RK: I had been friends and fans of them, and I really believed in them.  I wanted to help them out, and everything seemed legitimate.  
DL:  Randall ended up joining the band, but we didn’t have a drummer yet.  It initially started with Randall just tracking what myself and Stephen had done.  We clicked instantly and kept on moving.

Your latest single, “We’re Fucked, Boys,” is the fourth track you’ve released since February and definitely has the most kick.  It also features LP (formerly of Yellowcard) on drums.  How did this collaboration come about?

DL:  Longineu plays drums on the two newest singles.
LP:  Yeah, I play on “Julia Gulia” and “We’re Fucked Boys.”  The tempo is a bit faster on them. People seemed to like the changes, it came naturally.
DL:  Everything came so organically.  We haven’t had to force anything, except for the logistics.  
LP:  As far as creatively, we have added new elements and it has been smooth.  I have learned with the last group that I was with that it can be musical chairs with members.  When a new member comes in, it changes the dynamics and everyone’s point of view.  The first three shows also had Daniel singing while playing the bass.
DL:  It was definitely a bigger challenge than I expected.  It’s not that I couldn’t do it, it’s just that I couldn’t focus as much on singing, which is why I am here.
LP:  What I’ve noticed from being new into it, from “the inside out” is that Daniel is a great frontman. He is theatrical and knows how to speak the words so that you get the emotion.  Now that we’ve relieved that part so that he can be himself on stage, it’s gone to another level.  Delorean and I have been playing together for 17 years; funk, fusion, jazz..  Him and I had been vibing together for years and were able to “put a little soul to it.”  Between my background with Yellowcard, pop, and jazz, and what Delorean had, we were able to contribute a bunch of different styles.  This is just the start of it, we have a long way to go!
NH:  If you listen to “Anchorless,” “1990,” “Julia Gulia,” I feel like you can still hear “Stages and Stereos” in every single song.  Your sound is definitely evolving, but you have always stayed true to yourselves.
DF:  I really appreciate you saying that, that was the goal.  
DL:  We are using the same chord progressions we always have, and I write a lot of the hooks and melodies.  I hope that it has gotten better, it’s still in the same pocket that I have always enjoyed.  Adding these new members has helped to evolve the band quite a bit, and I love how much faster it has gotten.  I like how much more technical we can get without sounding technical, it’s refreshing.  
LP:  It has been a refreshing change to be in a band where we all get along.  Randy approached me with the gig in Orlando where his studio is.  He asked me to check out the project, and it went from recording to where we are now.  This is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to see what we are able to do.  
DL:  The three of them are classically trained, plus the two of them (Delorean and Longineu) are trained in jazz, so they are very seasoned.  I feel like they challenge me as a musician.  They are on a different caliber, I love the challenge.  When I wasn’t able to get to LP, he came to me, and I gained a lot of respect for him.  He helped me assess my performance as a frontman.
LP:  I think it added 200%.
RK:  When you have a singer that is so natural with a crowd, you want to work with that.  Let them do what they are doing.  
DL:  I enjoy connecting with the band, the instrument was more of a prop.
LP:  As a drummer, I get to see everything from the back, from a different perspective.  The last singer I had that was theatrical was Adam Lambert, and he is a performer.  You can feel him connect with both the crowd and the band.  We all vibe off of that energy.

What are three must have items for tour?

DL:  Weed. Stages rolls.
LP:  It’s 2017, weed is a necessity.  Protection.  I don’t mean condoms. (laughter).
DL:  We all believe in the second amendment.
LP:  As far as smoking, it’s been sheltered for so long.  Yellowcard started by smoking weed.  Years before Ryan Key even joined the band, ‘93-’94, that group was formed on marijuana.  Randy was there, we all sat and smoked, and we were called Purgatory and Embellish, all sorts of names before we picked Yellowcard.  It brought us together.  Once the weed went away, you see what happens..
RK:  Everyone stops smoking, and then they all want to kill eachother.
DL:  We’re not reckless with it.
LP:  This is an issue throughout the world, and I feel like it needs to be more openly addressed.  It can cure cancer.  Showers would also be great.
DL:  Alright we need another item.. I would bring clothing. My toothbrush.
LP:  Music.  Guns.
DL:  Definitely weed.  Actually, I would bring a machete.
RK:  No one is going to come to any of our shows anymore!!
DL:  We explore some cool places, and maybe I would want or need a machete?!
(laughter from everyone, and a good detailed conversation on why we need weed and machetes at all times…)
Final answer:  Machete, weed, and guns.  What other band would bring this shit?!  #Trendsetter
DL:  People care so much of what others think.  If we can’t be ourselves, then why are we here?  Stop caring so much, be yourself and have some fun!
RK:  That has been one of the best things with this tour.  Everyone is legitimately cool.  
DL:  We don’t bring egos with us! If you have an ego, check it at the door.  One ego is enough to ruin a band, so we stay clear of that.  No one “one-ups” another, we challenge each other instead.  No one tells us what we should be doing, we are in control.

What can we expect for the rest of 2017?

DL:  We are releasing a full length record (you’re hearing this first, exclusively through Savvage Media)!  After being on and off for ten years, it’ll be our debut full length.  It’s crazy.  We waited long enough, a lot of people rush into something like that.  Stages almost caught that wave, the “Mayday Parade wave” the “All Time Low wave” but we didn’t.  That’s just the cycle of the music industry.  This style of music will never die, we just need to ride our own wave.  We aren’t really bringing machetes to our shows!  I met Delorean at practice with Longineu, and we had a great conversation.  Their jazz music with their dad is on a whole new level.  We also have a festival coming up in Tallahassee (more information to be announced).  Buckle down, make the record, play some shows.  The record is first, then become the biggest band in the world.
LP:  New record, protection, and satisfaction.  

Connect with Stages and Stereos:
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Blessing a Curse

by:  Mary Welch

Blessing A Curse followed me on twitter one day and I thought to myself, "okay, just another rock band wanting me to check out their music or a follow back." Usually I would just ignore the direct message like I have with a hundred other bands, but something about them was telling me to give them a chance.  For most bands I would have heard the first thirty seconds of a song and totally deleted them from my mind, but after hearing one song of Blessing A Curse, I was looking up more and more.  You'll remember them for their theatrical, elaborate themes in story-telling throughout songs and catchy melodies.  Vocalist Joshy was willing to do an interview with us, so check it out below!

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Explain to us about your passion for cartoon voices, is there anything you've worked on that we can check out?

None yet! To be honest I don't know the first thing about breaking into that industry, but it's definitely something I’m passionate about and have always wanted to do. Voicing a cartoon character is definitely a big bucket list item of mine.

Your debut full length album Satisfaction for the Vengeful was released nearly a year ago, how has the response been so far?

The response has been amazing!  We have people from all over the world reach out to us saying they dig our songs, and that's exactly what we hoped for.

Do you have favourite songs from it?

"Cocoon," "Caving In," and "Your Disguise" are my favorites.

What is the overall theme of the album and what are its influences?

The album is actually a concept album about a boy named Jack who makes a deal with a witch named Alice to save his dying father.  She gives him a cursed mask and a voodoo doll, and while he's wearing the mask he's able to see the souls of the people whom he’s supposed to kill.  If he kills 100 impure souls and traps them in the voodoo doll, the witch says she will heal his sick father.  But she tricks him, because the 100th soul he's supposed to kill is his mother’s, and in the end he can't do it.  He renounces the witch and calls off the deal, only to find that his father already passed away during his quest.  I guess you could say the overall theme is that “there is no satisfaction for the vengeful,” and that some of the greatest battles we can hope to overcome in this life are fought from within.

In your music video for "Down the Rabbit Hole," you wear cool masks, kill a few people, and sing about people closest to you.  Can you explain the story line of the video and how it relates to the song?

The video is kind of a sequel to our first music video “Coffin City” from our old EP, and a loose adaptation of the storyline of the album, so it diverges from a few things I said about the storyline above solely for the sake of looking cool and keeping the music video short and to-the-point. But the premise is pretty much the same, you see Jackie with his mask on, killing people and turning them into his henchmen, then eventually Alice the witch appears and takes the mask back, leaving him to deal with his demons all alone. It’s like a summary of the song itself rather than the story of the whole album.

You have really great covers of "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar and "Applause" by Lady Gaga. What made you choose those songs and will we ever hear another cover?

Thanks! I fucking love female pop artists, especially Gaga.  I also don't have the manliest sounding voice in the world, I think puberty kind of skipped over me, so whenever we do covers we tend to look at all the dope female top 40s artists killing it on the charts and pick the catchiest track that we feel can be best executed as a metal song. We’ve been pretty thoroughly involved in writing our second album so I can't promise when we’ll be doing another cover, but when we do, I’d love to do something by Ariana Grande or Rihanna. I think that’d be a lot of fun.

What can Blessing A Curse fans expect for the rest of 2017? Any tours soon?

Unfortunately no, I wish, but a lot of complications and setbacks have happened this year that we didn't foresee. So I think we’re gonna be staying in FL for the rest of the year writing new material and hopefully going into the studio early 2018.

Mary: Closing thoughts/comments?

Follow us on twitter @BlessingACurse for updates on the next album!

Connect with Blessing a Curse:
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