The new release from JC Townsend dubbed "GhOStS" is an almost angelic, acoustic drive singer songwriter track that keeps undertones of alternative rock beneath its skin.
Vocal harmonies fill the air and whirl around you as you listen like the ghosts for our pasts Townsend sings about.
At times the track feels like a drinking song passed down through the years. A group of men at a pub somewhere decades ago singing along in drunken embrace.
There is something very pure and fulfilling about the song as its progression and melodies begin to warm you. Almost like a story that comes to a close at the end, you feel satiated.
"GhOStS" is a wonderfully performed song that brings to mind Simon & Garfunkel or Elliot Smith at times as the track keeps you floating just above the ground.
There is something beautifully haunting about this song but I think that's part of the point of its existence.
With a powerful track like this one, we had to have a sit down with Townsend to talk shop.
Check out our interview with JC Townsend HERE.
Wildlife Moon has been releasing a string of singles throughout this year and the most recent and awe inspiring is "Mirrors Of Each Other".
The track brings a beautifully ambient neo-folk style with feels of Pink Floyd, Elliot Smith, and Nick Drake all thrown into a pot, boiled and seasoned, and damn does it taste good.
This single has dream-like vocals and scattered bending sounds flowing through its atmosphere at all times.
It's easy to see this as the soundtrack to a scene in a film and upon its first listen you feel like your walking alone in a forest. The sung peaking through the trees. Being taken back by the beauty of it all.
"Mirrors Of Each Other" is cinematic and has a way of surrounding you and letting you fall back into it fearlessly.
A perfect counterpart to other singles released in 2020 like "You Don't Have To Hide" and "Darkness", the new single is a wonderous time.
We wanted to sit down with Wildlife Moon to talk about where it all comes from. So we did just that.
Check out our interview with Wildlife Moon HERE.
An Interview With Occult Stereo
The new album coming from Occult Stereo is a masterfully woven display of audio visualizations and textures.
Plasma is a 6 song EP built on an array of sound bending cinematic landscapes.
The record feels like the place you get to as you wake up. Still in a fog and clinging to an alternate reality.
Utilizing synths, vocals, and stringed instruments along with live and digital percussion stirred and brewed to a strange perfection.
Fusing in rock and grunge with these elements creates something out of this world.
We had to sit down with Occult Stereo to find out more about this release.
TSWS" Okay let's start with the Plasma record. This album has a variety of genre bending sounds including pop, rock, acoustic, and more. Where did this come from?
OC: This album is like a sonic collage or weird alchemy. Occult Stereo (OS) initially started as a side/solo project focused on experimental guitar noise, ambient sound exploration, and live improv with guest musicians/friends.
Similar to my main band Impuritan (http://www.impuritan.net), specific genre isn't a direct consideration. "Genre-bending" emerges from a desire to capture different sounds, tones, and moods. I like the term "experimental rock" because it implies a freedom to defy conventional expectations. There are consistent psychedelic or drone-like elements throughout the album, some parts are guitar-driven noise rock, at other times vocals and electronics take the forefront. It all kind of blends together.
"Plasma" started as a collaborative recording idea in February 2019. I reached out to friends/musicians across the USA and Europe - some who I've had previous bands with, others whose music I enjoy. Many seemed excited about it, so I recorded core tracks on guitar, bass, vocals, synth, drum machines, and live loops that I then shared.
The remaining effort was largely improvised by all - some people recorded their tracks in my San Francisco studio, others contributed from their individual locations/studios. The last creative phase was me in "mad scientist" mode, editing and mixing to create finished songs.
TSWS: The record feels very ethereal and cinematic at times. Did it take you long to create this? Did it come out how you expected?
OC: I like your descriptions. It definitely took many months of recording & tracking, plus gathering others' contributions. "Plasma" ended up being 6 songs.
Mixing was split into pre- and post-COVID. Three songs were mixed by Donny Newenhouse & me at El Studio (where great bands have recorded & mixed - Trans Am, Feral Ohms, Carlton Melton, Terry Gross). Once COVID struck, I finished the final three mixes myself at Distant Spore Audio (my SF studio).
Mixing the final ingredients into something cohesive took longer than actually recording it. The album just released on Nov. 6, 2020 - so it feels like it took a while! So much has happened during that time...
I didn't have a specific result in mind for this album beyond having fun with the process. Some people are seasoned improvisers, others thrive more with structure in place - so I tried to ensure there here was an established song flow & vibe for sections before bringing others in. Beyond that, it's quite a unique album that I could not have made 100% myself.
TSWS: With such a wide array of sounds can you tell us what artists, or bands really influence you?
OC: My musical influences are too many to name (pick a decade...right?)
Ones I hear on this specific album: Amon Düül, Oneida, Sonic Youth, Coil, Dick Dale, My Bloody Valentine, Royal Trux
TSWS: This is quite an achievement musically. Is there any sort of advice you'd give to other aspiring artists out there trying to create and get heard?
OC: Practice music (or any art) a lot. Stay as prolific as possible. De-program your consciousness from mental pollution and social propaganda. Perform live frequently. Work hard at your creative goals but don't forget to enjoy yourself.
TSWS: What's next for you? Anything more in the works even now?
OC: Yes, always something in the works. My music projects & recording studio have a new home base in April 2021 - Athens, Greece. Time to be based out of Europe for a while, but will continue to visit & tour the US.
Solo-wise: definitely working on some new material that is much heavier/noisier and will be easier to replicate all-live organically (guitar, bass, vocals, synth, and live loops - with triggered bass samples + drum machines).
With COVID and no live shows currently, I've been improving a livestream setup to do more online shows, plus learning some video editing. I'm also taking on remote mixing projects for bands/artists' albums - I recently mixed Drumwolf's Free EP, a space-rock solo album from John Lee (Laytcomers, Impuritan).
TSWS: Is there ever a plan to perform live?
OC: Assuming you mean "Plasma" - it will probably never be heard live in its album form again. Too many people spread too far & wide were part of making it.
I've played stripped-down versions of these songs solo numerous times, which involves me playing live guitar, bass, vocals, and loops - but with sampled backing instruments (live drums, bass, and synth as on the album). It served a purpose to give the songs "live form", but pre-recorded backing tracks are honestly weird for me live. I much prefer live looping and triggering of bass or drum samples to thicken stuff up rather than performing with a "ghost band".
Both of my music projects - Impuritan and OS - have played many live shows & will continue to tour once a vaccine is out. More than anything, I look forward to playing music with others again - it's way more fun!
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
OC: Enjoy time with my wife, loved ones, and my turtle Cruz. Meditate 30 minutes (or longer) a day. Eat good food + work out. Play video games.
TSWS: What else influences you to create that's non-musical?
OC: Film has always been a big influence, particularly (good) horror, (good) sci-fi and underground, cult, or foreign stuff. Connection to nature and relationships with other living things. Astronomy. Cannabis and coffee have their place too.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to express to fans of the music?
OC: To current fans: we appreciate you and thanks for enjoying the music. Reach out on social media, email, whatever - we love hearing from people. Come see us live when that's a thing again.
To not-yet-fans - here is some headphone listening for you (let your ears decide if you like it):
- Occult Stereo "Plasma" is out on 12" vinyl, digital, and streaming platforms: http://occultstereo.bandcamp.
- Impuritan has released 5 albums since 2011: http://impuritan.bandcamp.com
An Interview With Warbler BC
Warlber BC just dropped a brand new single called "Just What I Wanted" and straight from the get go it kicks in with bendy guitars reminiscent of Iggy Pop and The Stooges and transforms into rock anthem of sorts as it breaks into a classic punk feel with a twist.
One of the key elements that makes this track different is the percussion and the time changes surprising you around each corner.
The song has a deep rooted soul and feels almost like an Native American chant but in classic rock form. The track builds and bellows as it plays on and the hooks get embedded in your head.
Warbler BC has no problem letting his guitar rip and having a good time doing it.
We had to sit down with Warbler and have a chat about where this all came from and what's next for the artist. Here's what happened.
TSWS: So, let's begin with "Just What I Wanted". This track has a real deal classic rock riff and some different percussion, a blues feel and a genuine attitude. Where did this song come from?
Warbler BC: It comes from dead end jobs, methadone clinics, and correctional facilities. It comes from a system that is designed to break people. It comes from pushing people too far.
TSWS: This single feels like a step in a different direction from your other singles releases earlier this year. What made you start writing a harder rocking song?
Warbler BC: I have many harder songs that I have written. I am working on creating a strong and solid platform to release them from.
TSWS: How did this all really start for you?
Warbler BC: I lost everything I ever cared about. And the illusion of time and control becomes broken down. The field is laid bare, and there comes the realization that pain, suffering, and ones own fate are inescapable. Therefore, one must do what one was born to do.
TSWS: With the songs we've heard, there seems to be some different influences going on. What are your favorite bands? Who really influenced you musically?
Warbler BC: I like all music as long as it is well written and composed. My musical influences are too many to mention here, but the flame of love I carry for indie music has been fanned by artists such as Angel Olson, Phoebe Bridgers, Sharon Van Etten, and Kate Stables from This Is The Kit. I have also been very impressed by the work done by artists like Beck and Vampire Weekend.
TSWS: Do you perform most of the instrumentation on your own? Will you be putting anything together to perform live when the time comes?
Warbler BC: Yes. However, I am always looking for talented musicians to perform with, and to do collaborative works.
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're not working on music?
Warbler BC: Right now I am compiling a book of excerpts from poetry that I have written. I also paint and draw. I used to box, but now I practice sword fighting with HEMA. Apart from singing, it’s one of the few things that clears my head.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist? is there anything in the works even now?
Warbler BC: Something is always in the works. The next album is already being mapped out. And I am currently working on a song called Blood-born. It will be the next to be recorded in a studio.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to express to your fans?
Warbler: I will be at Herman’s Hideaway on Nov. 11th, and touring as much as possible during the current situation. If you find that the songs have meaning for you, and that they resonate with you, then follow me and we will continue on this journey together.
An Interview With The Agency...
The latest album release from The Agency... dubbed In The Haunted Woods gives you that warm feeling you get listening to bands like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds or Tom Waits.
Deep vocals and a dark undertone plays out super well with this record. As it unfolds it feels like you're listening to an old western concept album.
Touches of jazz and ambient rock fill the atmosphere and songs swell with intensity and whirlwinds of sound surround you.
Tremolo guitars and detailed storytelling creates somewhat of a different world as you listen on.
The Haunted Woods has a way of giving you the calm before the storm, and then the storm hits and you're thrashed.
The next track begins, and you get up and do it all again.
This is an absolutely astounding album to indulge in with headphones by yourself. Like a good film, the less interruptions the better. It's a massive piece of work to soak in but damn it's fun to do.
We wanted to sit down with The Agency... to find out where this came from. So that's what we did.
TSWS: Okay guys, let's start with In The Haunted Woods. This is a huge album and at times feels theatrical and ambient. Very cool genre bender of a record. Where did this come from?
The Agency...: Thank you. I like the term ‘genre bender’. It’s hard to say exactly where it comes from. Lyrically there is a lot of story-telling that maybe borrows from folk tradition. But sonically its even more ambiguous. We have such mixed influences and really want to explore them all and even try to get them all out on the same record. The other thing is that there’s four of us (Andy, Steven, Ben and me) that are the set line-up…but as a collective we can have as many as twelve on a recording or on the stage with us. We really try to encourage different people to leave their stamp. To create space for themselves on the songs. To start with I write the melody and lyrics but things bloom from there. It’s also taken us a long time to put this record together. We think its time that’s been well spent - to fuse all the layers of sound and introspection together that you hear on this album.
TSWS: Listening through the full album it almost feels like a concept record. Is that true?
The Agency...: We try to write albums around themes rather than concepts. So, ‘In the Haunted Woods’ is about being lost in all of its guises. In ‘To Fumble is Divine’ the narrator seems most literally lost, but the other tracks are more about feeling lost. There’s some pretty unscrupulous and misanthropic characters on the album, which is typical of our writing. I think one of the reasons people often feel lost is because they don’t take responsibility for themselves and their actions. ‘Affluent’ is a good example where the narrator seems to blame everyone but himself for the loss of one love while treating another in a pretty despicable manner. Sometimes people can’t see what’s in front of them. ‘Numb’ is the story of a banker going on the run, our ,mini-epic, and ‘Poor Robin’ is about a guy getting caught up in the middle of a political conspiracy. It tends not to end well for the characters on this album. That’s especially true of the last song ‘Two Strangers’ where an entire village is lead astray…it’s a meditation on human fallibility and mob mentality. Fitting given the current political landscape…
TSWS: You guys have been releasing music professionally since 2013 and have accomplished things most indie bands would love to. Is there any advice you'd give to aspiring bands or artists trying to get heard out there?
The Agency...: Well, we’ve listened to a lot of ‘industry advice’ over the last seven years, but have tended not to follow it. The old cliché about being true to yourself is really important. If you’re told to only write pop songs that last three minutes thirty seconds and to release as many tracks as you can to feed Spotify algorithms ignore it, unless you don’t really care about your art. Steve Lamacq just chose to play the track ‘Numb’ off ‘In the Haunted Woods’, which is a six-minute epic – if its good enough the music finds its reach. Also, consider that there is no easy money and that the whole shebang requires a lot of hard work. We always get PR type stuff ‘wrong’…it’s important to keep ‘stirring the pot’ with contacts and letting them know you’re there. We kind of disappeared while we wrote and recorded this album and are just super grateful that people seem to have picked back up from where they left off with us.
TSWS: How did all of this start for you?
The Agency...: We’ve all been in different bands for years before the Agency… Me and Steve were in our first band together as teenagers. We’re also of different generations…so I guess it started at different times to. The Agency… was actually an accident. I was working on songs for what I thought was a solo collection and got Andy, Garry (currently residing in Berlin) and Steve to help. Then it became apparent it wasn’t really a solo record but something more. I only started writing songs after I asked Garry to write with me. He said he wouldn’t write with me, but he would play if I wrote the songs. It was a bit of a challenge. By the time the second album, ‘Of Ghosts’ came around I was writing for a band and for ‘In the Haunted Woods’ we really seem to have found our sound. Hence, some pretty sonically different songs now sound like they belong to a collection.
TSWS: Did you used to play live? Will you get back to that when the time comes?
The Agency...: Yeah, we love to play a bustling live show and we were really looking forward to the album launch gig. We did a tour and played festivals in the summer after we released ‘Of Ghosts’. We’re planning to do something similar again to celebrate ‘In the Haunted Woods’. Obviously, the world is a bit changed at the moment, and all that is delayed for now – so we’re biding our time but plan to get back out there as soon as we can. In the meantime, its been livestreams on facebook and mosaic videos.
TSWS: So, there are a bunch of combined styles throughout your catalog. What bands or artists influenced you? ANy bands that really changed you?
The Agency...: I spoke to the others about this. For Andy the Beatles were a big influence and discovering them really changed the way he approached music. But Andy has dabbled and still dabbles in dance music and trance. Steve also digs the Beatles but mentioned Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd among his influences. He’s also a fan of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, which helps explain our occasional post rock tangents. Ben has been really getting into classic son g writers like Tom Waits, Elton John and Rufus Wainwright. My tastes are so varied. I used to DJ Jazz, Soul, Funk and House Music, but I also love good song writing. So I never stopped listening to Bob Dylan (I’d sneak Dylan songs into DJ sets at the end of the night) and at the minute I’m getting into Christian Kjellvander in a big way. Anyway, I guess you put all those influences together in the shaker and you get something like the Agency…
TSWS: What's next for you guys? Anything in the works even now?
The Agency...: Lockdown has been productive and I more or less have the sketches for another album. We’ve already been memoing back and forth…hopefully we won’t be quite so long between albums this time.
TSWS: What do you do when you're NOT working on music?
The Agency...: We work. Andy is soundman on film and television productions. I’m busy working on a PhD at the moment. Otherwise we pick up what we can that allows us to keep making music.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
The Agency...: We’d like to thank everyone for their support. We supper appreciate every listener – we’re a bit of a niche sound. And also, we promise to get the next record out for you all sooner.
An Interview With Olivia Castriota
The brand new release from Olivia Castriota dubbed I Need A Minute is completely loaded with colorful pop songs with soulful and passionate R&B vocal stylings and endless hooks.
A polished combination of radio ready choruses and powerhouse tracks showcase the artists knack for songwriting and natural ability for performance.
Castriota ushers along some killer attitude and brings that edginess to shimmering pop songs and it all totally works.
Songs like "Leaving You" hits the way a country song does with a slight roughness and twang that sticks while others like "Damaged" is more of a building indie-pop ballad that gets her unique and alluring vocal touch.
That's the thing with this record. The songs are amazingly well produced but it's her vocals that keep you coming back. Incredibly feverish and intense at times, and sultry others. Sometimes both at once.
This is a genuine pop album that contends with those in the big leagues. Olivia Castriota has certainly put herself on the playing field with I Need A Minute.
We wanted to talk with her about this release, so we did just that.
Here's What Happened.
TSWS: So Olivia, let's start with your single "Fixed". This is a passionate track and very emotionally driven. Where did this song come from?
Olivia: The Story:
The phone call lasted longer than expected. Forty-five emotional minutes later, I hung up and couldn’t get it out of my head. Normally, I don’t talk to you about this kind of thing, but that day was different. I couldn’t mask my feelings any longer.
You’ve never known me to be anything but happy, but lately internal waves of sadness, fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness overwhelmed me. I finally told you. I went from airplane mode to my unfiltered truth. Bluntly you uttered ‘we need to get you fixed’ and the call was over.
February 2019 is when ‘Fixed’ all started. I had just gotten off of a phone call that was extremely emotional and honest and the best way for me to personally process things is by writing, so that’s what I did. I wrote about the phone call and then texted Regan McCroskey, my go-to writing partner, and told her all about it. We went back and forth with a few ideas and demos for about two weeks and then as soon as I got to LA in March to work on the album, it was ready for production.
I played the demo for Sean, we restructured things a bit and discussed how it should feel and off we went! Sean is kind of this master of all trades, musically. He’s hands down the best producer I’ve ever worked. He’s like a machine. A man of few words but he doesn’t have to say much because everything comes through in the music. In ‘Fixed’ we wanted to capture a modern electro pop sonic direction while incorporating unique sounds to keep the listener's attention. We wanted this track to begin feeling cold, spacious, distressed and sad to represent my feelings of depression and uncertainty but then move into something bright and dreamy with more feelings of inspiration, empowerment, and hopefulness.
TSWS: The video for "Fixed" is intense! Did this take a long time to create? Did it come out the way you'd hoped?
Olivia: I worked with Azur X Vibes Productions on this video. We shot everything in Rhode Island in three days but of course the preplanning / editing is much more time consuming.
Yeah, the song is heavy. The video is heavy. I think the whole point of art is to make you feel. So hearing this song and watching this video is either going to make you say “is she okay?” (sidenote: this is a personal favorite quote that my family likes to ask me after almost every release, haha) or “oh my god, that’s exactly how I feel too.” And my hope is for the people that fall into the latter category that they see they aren’t alone.
TSWS: You have some incredibly powerful vocals. What artists influenced you for this? What artist really changed you?
Olivia: For this song I was really just influenced by the creatives directly around me who worked on the song. In a short amount of time we made something really captivating and special.
In general, I'm musically obsessed with Ed Sheeran, D'Angelo, Jessie J, Etta James, Christina.... any super soulful powerful vocalists really.
TSWS: How did this all begin for you?
Olivia: I started singing when I was a little girl. I taped magazine pictures all over my walls from floor to ceiling and would sing albums back to back to my "audience." I just always wanted to sing ever since I can remember.
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
Olivia: Well, I almost never sit still that is for sure. So, it honestly might be easier to answer what don't I do! I love cooking, biking, running, drinking coffee, working on photoshoot sets, watching documentaries and trash reality TV, traveling. I like to keep busy!
TSWS: Will you be performing live when the time comes? Someday... when will that be?
Olivia: Nobody knows. But I have a killer show ready to go when concerts are back in action!
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Olivia: I'm going to release a Christmas cover song! And keep writing and feeling my feelings through music. Let's see where that takes me.
TSWS: You've gained a great fan base with almost 40k followers on Spotify alone! What advice would you give to other aspiring artists out there?
Olivia: Don't stop. As an independent artist, all the responsibilities fall on you. If you don't do it, no one else will. It's exhausting to self-promote all day but as soon as you connect with someone who actually digs your music and what's to be a real fan, it's amazing. So, I just keep trudging forward and hope for the moments to fuel me through all the bullshit.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to express to your fans?
Olivia: Gratitude. Thanks for listening and feeling with me. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for the support. Thanks for being part of the journey. I'm only getting better with age, so fasten your seat belts and get comfy because it's a long ride.
An Interview With 3am Tomorrow
The latest rom 3am Tomorrow brings on all the fun.
"Reaction" is a timless, boundless, and enduring pop song that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling when you hear it.
Addicting vocals and a real radio feel, "Reaction" is a tasteful track with slight alternative undertones and laden with hooks left and right.
The song is a step in a new direction for 3am Tomorrow and we wanted to have a sit down with the guys to find out all we could.
Here is what happened!
TSWS: Hey guys! let's start with "Reaction". This is outrageously poppy and feels good all the way through. Where did this song come from?
3am Tomorrow: “Reaction” initially came to our vocalist Mikael-Ja’Hon while on a bus ride home from collage classes. He showed the rest of us the song the following practice and we loved the chord progression and lyrics immediately. I think we spent almost an hour playing that first initial chord progression over and over and just brainstorming ideas. We still have a recording of the first writing session for “Reaction” and we constantly listened to it trying pick and pulled ideas before everything was set in stone at the studio.
TSWS: There are a few different styles of pop embedded in "Reaction:. What are your biggest musical influences? What bands made a real difference to you?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren bassist] I have different influences for different aspects of music. For 3AMT, I look up to bands like The Beatles for simplicity in songwriting, Queen, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and wolfmother for creativity and complexity, and artist groups with limited members like 21 pilots, the black keys, and the white stripes solely on their ability to create HUGE sounding songs with only 2 or 3 musicians present. It’s extremely difficult to sound like a full band live with only bass, drums, ukulele, and vocals, but I think with our mixing pot of various influences we manage to make it work.
TSWS: Are you guys going to be performing live again when the time comes? Seems like live shows were a big part of how you do things.
3am Tomorrow: The biggest bummer about releasing our debut single in middle of the pandemic is the fact that we will not be able play it live for quite sometime. As a band we realize that the live scene is on hold and will be on hold for while but that just gives us time to focus on music, further grow our fanbase, and hone our craft. As soon as the world opens back up and everyone is ready to go to concerts again, 3AMT will be ready to satisfy our listeners! For now we just have to do our part to get to that point.
TSWS: How did all this start anyway?
3am Tomorrow: Our Bassist Darren, and Drummer Victor met each other and immediately started a band together in high school before they even knew each other’s last names. Victor and Darren knew Mikael-Ja’Hon in high school too but didn’t ask him to join till after high school when other members of the band started getting busy with life. Mikael-Ja’Hon was a fantastic vocalist, musician, and songwriter so the band progressed dramatically after his addition. We started booking every gig we possibly could and landed on the name 3amTomorrow right before our first gig. Our guitarist eventually left for collage and we spent a good year or 2 looking for a replacement but eventually started going different directions musically while staying best friends. We eventually started writing short, catchy, simple songs again and figured we might as well use not having a guitarist as an advantage. Being an indie band with no guitarist is a cool gimmick that helps us stand out from the crowd.
TSWS: What's coming next for you guys? Is there anything in the works right now?
3am Tomorrow: Our main goal is to come out with our first EP “Am I Blind?” and a couple more singles in between. We go to the studio again early November so new music is on the horizon.
TSWS: What do you do when you're NOT working on music?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren Bassist] Aside from music we love traveling together. We try to go on at least one big trip together a year to just unwind from our busy schedules and have fun with each other without music being a factor. We go on a lot of day trips together to beautiful sights around the SF Bay Area whenever we all have free time. I know Victor is a bit of a home body so he likes stuff like cooking, reading, spending time with his dog and collecting art. Mikael is pretty active so likes going fishing, skating, and going on drives to get fresh air and inspiration. I really enjoy listening to podcasts, going to local shows, taking pictures, and watching anime. We all also try to go to local karaoke bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants at least once a week together but that has been a bit challenging since the pandemic.
TSWS: How do you guys write your stuff? Do you record with a home studio? Do you write songs together?
3am Tomorrow: Darren is a recording arts major in school and Victor’s dad is in a cover band that gigs frequently, so between them they have a good amount of decent equipment. We have a rehearsal studio Victor and his dad built in his garage so it’s a nice spot that gives us an enclosed environment to record our rehearsals and writing sessions. Usually we try to demo at home to give ourselves recordings to play along to and jot down good ideas, but we have a friend we work with that owns a studio when we record for public releases. As of songwriting a lot of the time Mikael will show up with a song structure in mind and Darren and Victor will build off it. Sometimes it starts with a bass line Darren noodles around with, or a chord progression Mikael starts but it’s never one person writing the whole song. We all contribute and play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
TSWS: Any other influences that aren't musical? Films? Life?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren bassist] I personally really like superhero team movies and a big reason why is because it relates to me and my outlook on music. At the end of the day my goal with this band is to make good music with my best friends, and to use the abilities I’ve learned to further my local music scene. Like any superhero team it’s not just spider-man or Captain America that can save the day, everyday, by themselves. They need their friends to help them make the world a better place. If I tried to make music alone there is a good chance of me failing not because I’m not talented, but because Mikael, Victor, our producer, and all our supporters cover my weaknesses and together we have a much better chance of accomplishing our goals. It’s never just one guy pulling the strings in any band or artists group. It’s the whole community supporting each other’s content that’s keeps the music alive.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to relay to your fans?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren bassist] I personally want to thank you all for sticking around. “Reaction” is doing extremely well and it’s because we have the best supporters we could ask for. 3amTomorrow isn’t just me, Mikael and Victor. It’s every single person that engages with us and together we will reach heights higher than any of us can imagine. Keep an eye out for our next single “It’s Everything.” The title says it all.
An Interview With Lochness Monster
Lochness Monster releases a brand new "Glass Jar" single and it's everything you could want from a damn good alternative rock song.
The single reaches into a late 90's radio rock sound bringing bands like Deftones, Far, and even some Pixies lurking beneath the surface of this theatrical and powerful romp.
Passionate vocals belt over anthemic riffs creating a different world to crawl into and explode with the swells of the songs' energy.
With such a great sound, we had to have a chat with Lochness Monster to find out where this came from.
TSWS: So "Glass Jar" is a very theatrical alternative rock track and comes through incredibly descriptive. I love the whole feel of it.Where did the track come from?
LM: This song is one of our darker ones lyrically, I’m not going to speak for our singer who wrote the lyrics on this one but to me there’s definitely an intense internal struggle going on. Our singer Bruce has experience singing opera and that theatrical quality to the music comes from his background in opera. Musically this track initially came from an interest in doing something in an odd time signature, we chose 5/4 for the versus, and then switching into 6/8 on the choruses. It was definitely a challenge for us all to sync up to 5/4 at first but once we all locked in it became much easier over time. I think we were also listening to Tool a lot while writing this one who are all over the place with their odd time signatures.
TSWS: I can hear some classic and newer influences on this song. I'd love to know your top 5 or 6 actual musical influences. Who really made a difference for you musically?
LM: It’s always tough for me just to name a handful since I have so many influences so I’m going to try to focus on just influences while writing this particular song. Deftones, Tool, Hum, My Bloody Valentine, Interpol.
TSWS: "Glass Jar" is an anthemic style of rock. Is the rest of the upcoming LP going to be more along these lines?
LM: We have one or two other songs that will be on the LP that are on the heavier/anthemic style side. I’d say there is an organic quality to the production of the new songs that really gives you a sense of what we’d sound like if you were sitting in the room with us while we’re playing.
TSWS: When is the LP due to drop and are you doing a physical release along with it?
LM: We are in talks with a label to handle the release and physical distribution so we don’t have a release date yet.
TSWS: Do you think Lochness Monster will be playing live shows when the time comes?
LM: We currently are playing live shows at clubs where people can safely social distance. Our manager is working on a 2021 tour for us in South America, we’ll release these tour dates and venues once everything is finalized.
TSWS: How do you actually write these songs? Is it lyrics first? Is it riffs and then you go with it from there?
LM: We almost always start with guitar riffs first or sometimes a combo of guitar, bass, and drums first after trying different things in our practice space. Many times I’m inspired to pick up my acoustic at my house and play whatever comes out while filming myself on my iPhone, so I can remember what I did if we choose to pursue any of the licks. There’s a period of time where we refine the song with our singer and after this usually comes the lyrics, after we are content with the song musically. By the point we get to the recording studio the song is mostly structured already except the 2nd guitar parts and any keyboards or extra effects. I like to be spontaneous with the 2nd guitar parts and some of the solos, usually writing them right at the recording studio.
TSWS: "Glass Jar" sounds like a video would be great for it. Are you planning on doing any videos for songs from this LP?
LM: Yes but not sure which song will be used for the music video yet.
TSWS: Will "Glass Jar" be available as a single before the full LP releases?
LM: Probably but not sure yet because we are in talks with a label about this.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to relay to your fans?
LM: Thank you for giving us a chance! Stay strong during this challenging time and don’t be afraid to ask for help, we all need it sometimes!
An Interview With Kristi Flagg
Bursting out with soulful vocals and an Americana rock sound, Kristi Flagg hits the ground running with her brand new album release Brave New View.
One thing is for sure, upon listening to this record you get the understanding that Flagg holds nothing back. There is a lot of love on this album and it's laden with radio friendly feel good songs that range in style without losing it's folk rock vibe.
Songs like "Heart Skips A Beat" sounds like something written in the 1950's with a doo-wop cross over feeland those passionate vocals.
One of the best on the album is a track dubbed "This Love"; a powerful and slightly 90's radio pop song that really feels inspirational.
With such a gorgeous album, we had to sit down with Kristi to talk about the record and more. Here's what happened.
TSWS: So Kristi, "This Love" is an incredibly uplifting song and is beautifullyladen with vocals. Where did this song come from?
Kristi: This Love was inspired by three things: coming back “home” to music after a long time away, celebrating a love affair I was newly wrapped up in and exalting the ever presence of Love. I had felt somewhat isolated for a long while, and as I moved back into writing and music I felt reunited with an ecstatic aspect of life: like falling in love with life’s possibilities. The musical expression and uplifting aspect of the arrangement is intended to be celebratory: shouting out loud the joyful aspects of life. The bridge lyric and shift in melody and feeling is when I am reminding myself about the trials of life’s ups and downs. All ofthese life events are part of the larger journey. In every apparent struggle is the opportunity for increased awareness. Awareness in turn offers peace of mind.
The mantra “Om Namah Shivaya" in the chorus is one of the mostfamiliar of Hindu mantras and means "O salutations to the auspiciousone!” In addition, when broken down into syllables, Na sound represents earth, Ma sound represents water, Śi sound represents fire, Vā sound represents Pranic air, Ya sound represents sky or ether,so it also refers to the five elements that make up all of life. Its total meaning is that "universal consciousness is one”. I was inspired by Jai Uttal’s writing on his album Thunder Love where he skillfully fuses aspects of the sacred and profane into divine love songs. Having Jai’s voice complete the song’s ending was a beautiful gift. The vocals I created were my version of a The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s
horn section but I decided to create the horn parts with vocals instead. As I sang them, I was picturing animated horn players bopping around
TSWS: "This Love " is just one song from your Brave New View album. What was the inspiration behind this album's creation?
Kristi: I returned to writing music after many years away from it. I began going to a weekly open mic where playing new songs felt safe. After getting my feet wet initially playing cover tunes, my hand reached for the pen and paper one day. I was messing around with the guitar and liked the progression I had stumbled upon. This started happening a lot. At times the words and melodies seemed more like downloads as the writing happened quite readily. In a years time I had penned 40 songs. This was not normal for me, by any stretch of the imagination. As I shared the songs at the open mic (sometimes the tunes were only hours old) the lyric content and melodies landed with people quite readily. I was inspired by my fellow songwriters and listeners alike and came to realize that the way I was musically digesting the last few decades of my life had a particular resonance: sharing my ups and downs through song was offering support to others. That truly was my inspiration to go to the next step, which was recording.
TSWS: Listening through the record in full, it almost feels like a concept album of sorts. Would You say that's true?
Kristi: I really appreciate that comment. Yes. I would agree. Brave New View’s collection of material is about shifting the moments where I had
felt blind sided by life. I looked at the lessons and the bumps without a filter. In doing so I was able to finally and truly process some of the pain I had experienced (Our Story) and also, on the flip side, some of the new unbridled joy I was becoming more familiar with (Shelter Me). This helped me to look at my life’s journey with a new lens, affording me a Brave New View with which to move forward. I also had a ring side seat to a few friends who were also going through big life changes. As I watched them get caught up in fear of the unknown it was like watching salmon trying to swim upstream to get home to a heart fully in love with life. Songs like “If You Return to Me” and “Lost in the Thought of You” contemplate what happens to the individual when they finally sense a union with unconditional love, be it with a partner or with a more divine sense of love, which comes in many shapes and sizes and spiritual flavors. The songs on Brave New View are about letting go, diving in, experiencing unbridled joy, and realizing
that it’s our birth right to find happiness. If there is one over riding theme it would be: do not shy away from change. It gets harder as we move into adult responsibilities to sometimes accept that we have made a “not so healthy” choice. To recognize that and change course is very brave. I ended a 20 year marriage, a choice that has afforded me an incredible new chapter in my life.
TSWS: I'm hearing lots of combined styles both musically and vocally. What bands or artists really influenced you? Who changed you?
Kristi: I grew up listening to my siblings LP’s so I was weaned on Carole King, James Taylor, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil
Young, CSN, The Hollies, The Turtles. The list goes on. As I headed through grade school and high school and college that singer songwriter / folk rock vibe continued to influence me. Add in Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Rickie Lee Jones, George Harrison, Bruce Cockburn, Jane Siberry, Fred Astaire, U2, Dean Martin, Bonnie Raitt, Valerie Carter. I would say the most influential singers to me over the years were Bonnie Raitt, Valerie Carter, Jane Siberry, David Crosby and Linda Ronstadt. The most influential musically were Jane Siberry, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin & John Leventhal, CSN, Brain Wilson, Neil Young, George Harrison, Lucinda Williams, Jai Uttal and Jeffrey Foucault.
TSWS: How did all of this begin for you?
Kristi: I guess I answered this question a bit before when I spoke of the open mic... But if you mean begin with a capital B I would say right in the
craddle. My Dad would sing to me, and I apparently responded to major and minor key changes. My Dad would test out his theory, and when he would shift from major to minor I would start to cry...Nice experiment, right? LOL. From early grade school and church choirs I landed leads and featured roles in musicals. In high school and college I studied classical voice. My interest eventually moved from musical theater to the singer songwriter scene in Boston when I was living there. I had recently bought my first guitar and was playing out at coffee houses doing opening acts for folks like Jonathon Edwards and Odetta.
TSWS: You are doing a series of live performances via YouTube which I think is a great idea. Do you think in the times we are in now, that focusing
on creating content is important for an artist?
Kristi: Definitely. It’s an odd time to “return” to this industry. When last I was truly active, I was driving a Honda civic up and down the coast playing
in coffee houses and bars and private house parties. My hope is the festival circuit will return next year, but in the meantime I will put on mini home concerts, and stay as engaged as possible through FaceBook and Instagram. I love performing live, and it’s an entirely different experience when folks are not in the room with you. Another avenue I plan to focus on is TV/Film. That’s a sure way to share with many listeners at one time and often an effective way to get people to really listen to song content, because they have a visual to connect it to. We opted to do 5 music videos to help promote this record for the same reason. Some folks connect more readily to a story when its presented through film. We often put music on in the background, but we are less inclined to put a film on and not engage by watching it. I think the videos help get the messages across.
TSWS: What advice would you have for other aspiring artists and songwriters out there trying to get heard?
Kristi: I’ll let you know in 6 months...LOL But one thing I will say, it’s never too late to return to music to express yourself. The boat only sails away if you let it. Often times it is docked, patiently waiting for us to step back on.
TSWS: It sounds like a lot of passion and love went into this record. Are you proud of this release?
Kristi: I so appreciate that. Yes. In a word, I am. Sometimes after a vocal take I would turn to Tracy at the mix console and nod my head: “That
felt true...” and we’d leave it at that. Overall my goal with both guitar and vocal takes was not to over do anything. Oftentimes it was the first take we would use for the record’s performance. It was important to me to work with a full take; performing the song top to bottom. Tracy said I was very “old school” that way. For me it’s about telling the story, and the best way for me to do that is to get inside of it and sing it to the listener. I wanted to offer an intimate connection so the listener could experience the lyric as personally as possible. I feel good that I held strong to that throughout the recording process.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to express or say to fans of your music out there?
Kristi: Thank you for listening, first of all. And for reading this interview! I guess I would like to remind folks if they dig what they hear, that it truly
takes a village to get music heard. Sometimes it’s who knows who knows who and then magic happens. I would like to thank folks for sharing via posts, and shares, and likes and forwards...In this era when we can’t grab concert tickets it’s even more important to ask for that support. So in advance I say: thank you. I’d love to hear what you think of the music. Please sign on to my mailing list and/or email me any thoughts you’d like to share. Deep bow of gratitude to you all for taking the time. And thank you for these groovy interview questions. Appreciate your time and efforts to help spread the news about the record...thank you.
An Interview With Odhran Murphy
Odhran Murphy recently dropped his newest single dubbed "Ous Tonight" and it's an outrageously cinematic and powerfully uplifting track with building musical swells and tons of soul.
This song is built on passion and hooks. Driving acoustic guitars, pianos, and massive orchestral string synths get you spinning in awe. The song feels like what you'd hear in your head once you've reached the top of a mountain you've climbed.
It's a love song that, when you close your eyes, you can see your person. You can feel the love that went into the song and the inspiration behind it comes through clearly.
With a track so heartfelt and moving, we sat down with Odhran and found out more about where he is coming from with hsi music, his influences, and much more.
TSWS: So "Ours Tonight" is a very heartfelt love song and comes through very passionately and
powerfully. Where did this track come from?
Odhran: When Lockdown began I wanted to use the time wisely with regards to music, I tend to put
myself in love story scenarios when I’m writing, not necessarily personal, but I like to create
an idea of a modern love story and take it from there. Ours Tonight for me however, is
personal in a sense as I had a realistic scenario to recreate through song. The song is basically
about meeting someone in a nightclub which in fact I funny enough, I did actually meet my
girlfriend in, so I guess you could say that was my inspiration for the song.
TSWS: It looks like you have been releasing singles throughout the last few years. "Lost" was also a
very deeptrack but totally different from "Ours Tonight". I love how your styles vary. Tell us
how you write your songs. Is it lyrics first? Do you come up with a melody? What's your
Odhran: So, I like to start off with a melody or chorus. I would always start by picking up the guitar
and playing a few chords, melodies and seeing which one suits best. I then would continue by
writing a chorus and usually find myself getting lost in the music and the flow comes natural
after a while. I listen back to the song several times and if there is something that I’m not
happy with I would perfect it and change it.
WSTS: With your different styles, I'd love to know, who are your biggest musical influences? Who
really changed you as an artist?
Odhran: My biggest musical influences would be my parents. Growing up at a young age listening to
them singing and playing music really had a huge impact in my love for music. It was my
mother that got me into playing the guitar at the age of 13, ever since then the music really
kicked off for me. I would always have the urge to lift up an instrument and try and play it,
teaching myself the Piano has also benefitted me when it comes to recording, giving me a
much wider variety of instruments to use at my own leisure. My parents would always say to
me that no matter what you do in life, to “always be yourself” and that’s really what I’m
doing and my main goal in return is to make them proud.
TSWS: With almost 6k followers of Spotify, it looks like you've been able to gain some real deal
fans. Any advice you'd give to artists out there trying to get heard?
Odhran: My advice for anyone who is trying to get their music out in the industry would be, to be
yourself and focus on something you’re good at whether it is singing, playing guitar, piano,
whatever it is. There’s a massive following on all social platform, so maybe if you’re just
starting out as an artist you could create a page on Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc. I
remember when I started out I posted my first cover up in 2015, the response I got from it
was amazing, so it gave me that buzz when posting more music.
TSWS: How did this all start for you? Have you always been musically inclined?
Odhran: As I said it really started with my family, I always have had a huge love for music, my
passion for it has grown since I started playing it at a young age. It started for me more so
when I built up the confidence to post videos on the social platforms and also with my first
release on Spotify “By My Side”. Thankfully enough since my first post in 2015 on
Facebook, I have grown a much wider fan base and have improved as an artist.
TSWS: What do you think is next for you? Are you working on new material even now?
Odhran: I guess with the pandemic that we’re in, it is so hard for musicians as there are no live gigs
going on at the moment. So my main focus is to really use my time wisely and write as many
songs as I can. I am actually in the process of recording yet another single which I hope to
release within the next few months. I will also be started up a few Facebook live gigs which
you can keep up to date on my Music page @odhranmurphymusic.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to express or say to fans of your music?
Odhran: I would like to begin by saying, thank you so much for listening and streaming my music,
especially my latest release “Ours Tonight”. I am thrilled with the response I am getting so
far and I hope that it continues. Music is something that I hope to pursue a career in and
obviously with the continued support from everyone it is allowing me to edge closer and
closer to the goal that I hope to achieve. If you haven’t already, check out my latest track on
all platforms and also give my pages a like and share! It helps so much. You can find me on:
An Interview With MoSoule Hill
MoSoule Hill just released an honest and relentless track called "Womanizer".
The flow is flawless and the infused guitars and R&B feel of the music gets addicting.
It's easy to get pulled into this track right from the get go. Scattered with smooth backing vocals and hooks all over the track, this becomes incredibly addicting.
The chorus is everything and this is an absolute banger from start to finish with a tasteful fire and passion.
We had to have a chat with MoSoule Hill to get an idea from where this all came from.
TSWS: So, "Womanizer" has some great flow and style to it. I think this song has some radio appeal. Where did this track come from?
MoSoule Hill: It actually came from some past experiences. I'm not really proud of some of my past moments but it made me who I am today and I've learned from them. (Lol)
TSWS: When you write songs, does it start with a beat? Or is it lyrics first for you? How does your process work?
MoSoule Hill: Most of the time I hear the music first and write to it. If the lyrics come first it was probably a poem originally.
TSWS: Listening to this track, it's pretty clear this isn't your first time around the block so to speak. How long have you been writing?
MoSoule Hill: I started writing poetry in middle school. My father likes to write songs and my mother is a poet. I wrote my first song in high school titled, "Butterflies,".
TSWS: How did this all start for you?
MoSoule Hill: I've always loved music. I gave my first on stage music performance when I was two. I grew up in the 90s and that was a great time for R&B and Hip Hop. It didn't matter what people were doing music was involved. I wanted to be apart of what brought people together.
TSWS: There seems to be a mix of older and newer styles on this single. Can you tell me what artists really influenced you? Who changed you?
MoSoule Hill: My favorite artist is Jill Scott. I love the way that she grabs your attention and takes you on a very detailed ride with her . Other artists that influenced me are the late J Dilla (R.I.P king), Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Jay Z, Aaliyah, India Arie...etc
TSWS: Are you planning on performing live when the time comes?
MoSoule Hill: Definitely! I want to share that connection with other people. There's no greater feeling than seeing someone singing your song with you.
TSWS: What's next for you? Anything coming up release wise?
MoSoule Hill: I'm just getting started. I have a new single called, "They B on 1", that I'm about to release and also a project that I'm releasing with Sha Denali. Check her out!
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to your fans?
MoSoule Hill: I just want to say that I can't wait to begin this journey with y'all. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to growing with you. Follow me on instagram: @mosoulemusic or Facebook, Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube @MoSoule
An Interview With Mandolynne
New to the scene, Toronto native Mandolynne is already making waves with her fresh single "The Pines".
With a sultry and slightly brooding musical style, "The Pines" is an outstanding debut from the young artist and beautifully combines Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with Mazzy Star and sprinkles some PJ Harvey on top to boot.
This track gives off a visual aspect as it plays through and you become engulfed in her singing while guitars swim around her.
Then, suddenly, things pick right up and build into a dream-rock epic.
With a track so in depth and dripping with enticing sounds we had to have a chat with her to find out more and what's to come next.
TSWS: So Mandoylnne, "The Pines" has a great spaciness to it and even feels cinematic at
times. Where did this song come from?
Mandolynne: This song is about facing your demons, stepping into your power and learning to let
go. I wanted this song to be representative of my emotional journey, so I came up with
an arrangement and vibe that showcased that.
TSWS: This is a brand new single and you already have followers and fans growing by the
day! Is there advice you'd give to other aspiring artists out there?
Mandolynne: Yes! My biggest piece of advice is to do your research and reach out to people who are
doing it if you're stumped on something! This industry is ever-changing, and there is so
much to learn in terms of business, marketing, analytics, promo, etc. You can't possibly
know everything right off the hop, and there's no shame in that!
Secondly, and this is probably the most important. Surround yourself with positive,
encouraging and genuine people. A solid support system is essential and is going to
help you when things get real.
I'm at the very beginning stages of my career, and it's already been a ride!
That being said, I’ve been fortunate to have a really solid producer and some
incredible musicians in my corner to help me navigate this process. I've also had some
really amazing fellow artists reach out to me and offer advice. You know who you are
and know I appreciate you.
Lastly, put in the time, put in the time, put in the time. You will never regret this
because it will eventually be worthwhile. Oh, and be a good person! That's number
TSWS: How did all this start for you?
Mandolynne: Well, I've always loved to write. I've been writing since I could pick up a pen. I used it
throughout my childhood as a release but never really took it too seriously.
Truthfully, I've had a pretty coloured past and never really felt like pursuing music was
something I'd ever be capable of. Also, quite honestly, before the age of 24, I wouldn't
have been in a place mentally to pursue it anyway.
At 24, I made a conscious decision that I was going to try to get into music school. I
think my partner at the time thought I was insane, and hey, maybe I was. So, I took
some online songwriting classes, took a few months of vocal lessons and then
auditioned at a few schools. To my surprise, a couple of them actually accepted me. I
then settled on Metal Works Institute, where I spent the next 3 years. Boy, was that a
learning curve! I literally knew zip going in and left with a wealth of knowledge. I will,
however, forever be learning.
While in the program, I met some really amazing people and started a little Alt band
called Lady Indigo with some schoolmates. I will forever be grateful for that period of
my life, the music we created, and the time we shared. We're all off pursuing our own
creative projects now, and I'm really excited about my former bandmates' creative
TSWS: I'm hearing some different influences in this track.Tell us what your top 5 artists
are. Who changed your life musically?
Mandolynne: Ahhhhh, this is such a challenging question for me. I listen to everything. However, if I
have to pick, my top 5 artists who inspired me are as follows:
Radiohead, Cat Power, Metric, Placebo, and Arcade Fire.
I'm going to say Radiohead. I have to say that they were the first band that really
opened up my mind as a young listener. I remember listening to them and being taken
to another place. Their music was unlike anything I had heard before. It truthfully just
hit me differently than anything I had previously been exposed to. I actually had the
privilege of seeing them a few years ago and it was an absolute dream!
TSWS: So how do you record your songs? Is it a home set up? Did you go to a studio or
have a producer work with you?
Mandolynne: Yeah! I worked with a really incredible producer, Alfio Annibalini! We worked together,
pre-pandemic, and then I recorded at home. My home set up is as follows; KRK
Speakers, Rhode Mic (taped to the stand), a Universal Audio Apollo Twin interface, and
TSWS: What's next for you? Working on anything new?
I am! Expect music soon!
TSWS: Your look is rad! Was this always a part of your aesthetic as an artist?
Mandolynn: Oh, wow, thank you!
I've always had a dark/wild streak, and I've always loved to play with different looks. I'm
also continually reinventing myself. Lately, I've definitely been stepping more into my
power, and I've been exploring looks that make me feel badass, haha. Is badass a
style? Anyway, I think we all deserve to feel badass; life is too short not to.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to say to fans of your music?
Mandolynne: Well, I don't know how many of you exist out there! But, for those of you who are
diggin' the music, thank you. Whenever I receive a message letting me know that the
song has resonated with them, it fills me with so much freakin' joy I can't even begin to
tell you. Please keep listening, and please keep reaching out. I love hearing from you!
An Interview With The Boos
The Boos released a split EP with Under Ego dubbed The Rune The Iron and the EP has a virtual ear full of twangy punk rock and blistering alternative rock styles rolled into one super fun record.
One of the songs from The Boos is called "August Winds" and plays out like a heavy metal old western standoff.
Deep and shattering, the riff sounds like something Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) would write while the vocals give off a raspy and theatrical performance.
A driving song with outstanding musicianship all played with lots of heart. You can hear the fun these guys had making this song. But what's better is you can see it too.
The video for "August Winds"just dropped and it is indeed an old western.
With all this action, we had to have a chat with The Boos to talk shop.
TSWS: Hey guys! So, I wanted to start with "August Winds". The song when listening (even before watching the video) feels like a dark heavy western film. Was this always the concept? Where did this song come from?
The Boos: I’d have to say overall that yes a ‘dark heavy western’ was always the concept for the song once it had started. ‘August Winds’ started off as a few notes that turned into a riff and a feeling, slowly turning into the tale it became. A lot of my songwriting is storytelling or writing songs about stories I’ve read or movies I’ve watched. But once the tone is set the rest is usually pretty easy for us to put together. There were a few slight differences between the recorded version and our live version, such as the acoustic guitar tracks which are normally played on a cleaner guitar tone, but for the most part it was recorded as it was written.
TSWS: So the video for the single plays out even cooler than it did in my head! Very well shot. Feels like a lot was put into this project. How long did this video take to shoot? And did it come out the way you wanted it to?
The Boos: First of all thank you, but actually however not nearly as much as you’d think haha. My sister’s boyfriend shoots and edits footage and I took a couple film classes in high school so I figured we could pull it off. Making the shot list was probably the hardest part which took about a week. My sister did the special effects with makeup we’d made the night before, and it took about a day to shoot. As with a lot of things that start off as an idea and then becomes a reality there are always a few things that change along the way. Certain shots got left out or changed and there were a lot of things we learned while making this video that we’ll apply to the next one, but over all we’re definitely happy with the way it came out.
TSWS: There are so many cool influences coming through on this track. Can you tell us what bands you guys are really influenced by? What bands changed you?
The Boos: We draw from a very wide variety of influences and try to never really pin ourselves down as one thing or another. D’s influences swing from 50’s /60’s pop to 80’s hardcore. Taking heavy inspiration from bands like Motorhead, The White Stripes, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath.
For Jordan’s influences, inspiration comes from an equally broad range and it shows in his playing style. From Elvis to Zep, from Pantera to Mars Volta, with John Paul Jones and Flea sitting comfortably at the top in regards to bass. As for me a lot of my earlier playing and writing style is based in folk and punk rock taking inspiration from bands like Simon and Garfunkel to The Cramps. Preferring a simple and more emotionally driven approach to music. However my love for heavier music has begun to show a lot more in the newer music as our skills as musicians continue to grow. Drawing inspiration from players like John D. Cronise of The Sword as well as many other great guitar riff masters.
TSWS: Listening to the epicness of "August Winds" makes me want to see you live/ Did you used to perform live a lot? Are you planning to play shows when the time comes?
The Boos: Yes, yes we were playing a lot of shows. Since we came back from hiatus in early 2019 and released our first album we’ve been steadily playing shows around the bay area. Right up to the beginning of the shutdown, our last real show was on march 7th. We even had to cancel a small west coast tour we booked for July because of covid. August 29th we played a small ‘live stream’ show for our split with Under Ego at a DIY event. Right now we’re slowing down and laying low for a while though while we keep working on what our next moves are.
TSWS: How did you guys get together and start this whole thing?
The Boos: How we started being a band usually comes down to two main stories. The first one being that back in the early 2000s I used to play folk punk music and party a lot, all three of us used to party a lot. One night however me and my friend Dima were drunk on a friend's couch and he said to me that he’d been thinking about buying a drum set, to which I replied you totally should. Shortly after that he bought his drums and we started jamming as a two piece. The second main story is one day I was longboarding across town on a particularly hot day to jam with D. Jordan, our soon to be bassist was working as a sign waver for a pizza joint at the time. I ended up skating by him and stopped to talk, he asked what I was up to since he was getting off soon. I told him I was going over to Ds to jam and that he should come. After hearing us play a few of our songs we asked him what he thought, to which he said ‘I think yall could use some bass’ and we haven’t looked back since.
TSWS: What's coming up next for you guys? Anything new in the works?
The Boos: We actually have quite a bit in the works right now. Our main focus is completing the second album which is almost done being written but we also have other things planned out for along the way. Later this month we’ll be dropping a collaboration track with Edgar Blood, as well as some other cool stuff. Maybe we'll do a live video, who knows haha
TSWS: The Boos are accomplishing things a lot of bands aspire to do. Any words of advice you'd give an up and coming band?
The Boos: This is definitely the easiest question. Dont. Give. Up. on your dreams or your passions. If it doesn’t work one way try another, things will work out in the long run. It just takes a lot of drive and determination. Another thing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You're not gonna know everything, reaching out to people and getting yourself out there is one of the best ways to get yourself exposure with people.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to say to fans?
The Boos: All we have to say to new fans is thank you. Thank you for giving us the time of day to listen to a song, watch a video or any other way you choose to interact with us. If it wasn't for fans or people who believed in us, we’d still be a garage band dreaming of taking that next level of playing shows and recording. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And keep your eyes peeled, we’re not done yet.
An Interview With Keith Tryfle Hudson
Keith Tryfle Hudson released a very unique tell all from chapters in his life entitled "Lost Rebel".
Combining music and spoken word to tell his stories, this is more than a concept album.
We had to ask a few questions to the man behind this peice of work.
TSWS: Welcome! Thanks for chatting with us today! Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?
Keith: Hi, thank you for having me. My next project is the soundtrack for a fantasy novel that I'm writing called "City Of Monsters" . I take the whole artistic nerd thing very far.It's about some city kids who get way in over their heads and change forever. I'm writing the music from all of their personal perspectives.
TSWS: What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?
Keith: 80's music all the way. I'm currently listening to the Cobra Kai soundtrack on repeat.Music in the '80s was made with nothing but heart and drugs.
TSWS: Who was your first celebrity crush?
Keith: "Topanga" from boy meets world. followed closely based "Ashley" from the fresh prince
TSWS: You’re so stylish! Who is your fashion inspiration?
Keith: It's a cross between how old is Will Smith now and will my partner Staci like it.All jokes aside I think of hip hop fashion as a whole and age it respectfully.
TSWS: How do you unwind after a busy day in the studio?
Keith: The ID channel crime shows because I don't care about baseball since the Yankees lost again and totally over it.
TSWS: Where can we listen to your music and connect with you on Social media?
Keith: My music is on Spotify, Bandcamp, Itunes, and all streaming services.Instagram is my most active social media account. You'll see all of my drawings and quotes because I write too much. Don't worry you'll hear my music as well https://open.spotify.com/
Press Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
An Interview With Jordan Massey
We recently sat down with Jordan Massey for an interview. His latest single "3AM" is a smooth R&B dance cross over that just hit Spotify.
We wanted to find out more about the man behind this track.
TSWS: Welcome! Thanks for chatting with us today! Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?
Jordan: So right now my latest EP “Heartless” is not available for pre-order and I’m also working on 3 projects that’s soon to be released and I’m very excited to announce them soon!
TSWS: What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?
Jordan: Hmm, I'm really a sucker for a good beat and harmony. It hypnotizes me everytime!
TSWS: Who was your first celebrity crush?
Jordan: Hands Down, Mariah Carey! I watched the “We belong together” video a thousand times when it came out and was just in awe of her and her talent!
TSWS: You’re so stylish! Who is your fashion inspiration?
Jordan: Aw thank you! I’m not sure if I have one in particular, I’m usually a “ what am I feeling “ type of person . I feel like a lot of the time you could tell how I felt by looking at how I dressed that day, you know?
TSWS: How do you unwind after a busy day in the studio?
Jordan: This is tough because I’m usually so excited about being done with a song so I’m immediately in the mindset of “ I’m about to go straight home and listen to this like a million times! “ haha but food and a good Netflix show doesn’t hurt!
TSWS: Where can we listen to your music and connect with you on Social media?
Press Inquiries: email@example.com
An Interview With Sarah Sunday
The latest single from Sarah Sunday is a completely refreshing pop song with alt-edginess sprinkled on top.
"INK" is an outstanding song that shows Sunday's ferociously bubbly side without being afraid to really rock.
Think Avril Lavigne but more colorful. Much more colorful. The video for "INK" is an excellent example of what we mean.
It's hard not to fall in love with Sunday's shining personality after watching it.
"INK" has a radio friendly feel to it and almost sounds familiar even. A strong and boisterous release from Sarah Sunday. So much so, that we wanted to have a talk with her about the single and video.
TSWS: So Sarah, "INK" has a killer pop-rock style and a ton of youthful energy. Where did this song come from? What's it about?
Sarah: Ink is a Anthem dealing with Teenage Angst!.. From a somewhat innocent era where the height of rebellion was threatening to “Ink My Skin” ah, Get a Tattoo lol!
TSWS: There are some great influences in this track, can you tell us what bands or artists really inspired you? Who changed you?
Sarah: I love 80’s bands, The standards and some not so standard, The Smith, The Go Go’s, Blondie, PIL, the entire 80’s Vibe.. A kind of Character/Creature type Vocalist…ah Remember Adam Ant..Boy George...
TSWS: How did all of this begin for you?
Sarah: I always loved music and the potential to perform, I love style, makeup and music but really never merged all three in together until I met my Producer Mbj, between the both of us we tried to develop a unique Combo of Pop Punk, Electro Pop, Dream Pop..We started just with an idea of Him writing a Song, kick it back to me, I listen, make some notes, go back and forth and hence, the next thing .. we are recording vocals in his Studio. That was the real beginning.
TSWS: Did "INK" come out how you expected? Do you have some help on the production side?
Sarah: Ink came out better than expected..and the response has been all too good,,,we recorded the vocals right before the Virus and the tracks was slated to be #3 in line. Since there was a quarantine, Mbj mixed and masted the final version at His location so we could release something really, just to keep busy, stay visible. I still need to record vocals on #1 and #2 slated for the next singles!
TSWS: I love that you've been releasing singles. In today's world that's the smart way to go. With each single you release it seems you gain more fans. With over 10k followers on Spotify alone! did you expect this much of a fanbase when you started?
Sarah: Truthfully I really did not expect anything, I knew my 1st single “Come and Find Me” was good, catchy…and really caught on….”Mental Zoo” My 2nd Single really took off and I had a Blast working on the video.After 3 Successful Singles, all # hitting #1 on Starfleetmusic’s Record Pool charts INK, My latest Single, solidified a real strong following as seen with the growth of my presence on Spotify and the general Scene...
TSWS: Is there any advice you'd give other aspiring artists out there?
Sarah: Yes, 1,Find the right Producer..Def. most important…2, Write Catchy Hook…and never Stop.!
TSWS: Do you think you'll end up putting together a full band for live performances? Is that something you plan on?
Sarah: If times were different I would have had a band already..IF there was a show tomorrow, or ideally on a Sunday,,! I could have a cool little set up ready to play live consisting of me on vocals, a Guitarist, and a drum/synth player, all set..!
TSWS: Before we go, what would you say to your fans right now?
Sarah: Appreciate all the listens, stay well and be safe, Visit my facebook and instagram page for my latest adventures..!!
An Interview With Kendra Muecke
Sometimes we're all in need of some indie folk-rock with a little extra flare. Enter Kendra & The Bunnies.
The new release ofThank You is littered with harmoneous guitars and a beautifully lo-fi sound.
The songs feel like you just put on a vinyl record and hit play. Smooth and slightly mysterious, Kendra gets descriptive and joyously edgy at times. Almost like a cross between PJ Harvey and The Pixies but with female vocals the songwriter has her sound nailed down.
The coolest thing about this record is that she holds nothing back. You can feel the level of fun that went into this peice of work.
We took some time with Kendra to talk about whats going on with her now.
TSWS: Great to have you here today, Kendra. Please tell us more about your latest album.
Kendra: Thank you for inviting me to interview! My most recent album is very near and dear to my heart. It marks a phase of my life where I was honing in my expression as a strong singer with wisdom to share. This album is somewhat of a concept album that developed over the span of several years.
I had this particular idea on my mind for a psychedelic Americana sound, and since the album is centered around the feeling of freedom, I let these particular ideas for songs blossom on their own timeframe. Luckily, that was still pretty quick, I think.
TSWS: Was this album written during Covid times? How do you feel the current situation has affected your music and creativity?
Kendra: A few of the songs were written during the beginning of Covid times. However, a few of the songs are from before... Like "Buffalo Walk" and "Whoooo Are You?"-- these started as poems that I wrote in 2017. On the other hand, songs like "Thank You" and "A Tall Order" are from March 2020. "Well Toiled Routine” is from September 2019. I feel like 2020 has given me time to open up my music vocabulary. It's delightful, the inspiration.
TSWS: You live in LA, but are originally from Texas. Please tell us about that journey.
Kendra: Growing up in Texas was pretty great. I love the Lone Star state so much. There is a sense of belonging and family that I feel like Texans bring to one another. It always makes me think of what's best for a community because it was so great growing up there. On the flip-side, I have always wanted to live in Los Angeles for the entertainment industry. I moved out here when I was 18 to start college at Pepperdine University to study Theatre Arts.
I really do like California. It's a tremendous state.
TSWS: Do you have a favorite song from the new record?
Kendra: I am currently listening to "Daisy" and "Well Toiled Routine" a lot.
I also really like "Requiem for a Night Sky" and "1776 to 1976".
I like them all!! ... "Buffalo Walk" is closed to my heart.
TSWS: Tell us about your recent tour dates in Denver, CO!
Kendra: It's been so much fun. Last night I played at Quixote's True Blue. It's a rock 'n roll Grateful Dead themed venue. I truly rocked the show. It was a great time. I got to see a lot of friends. Such great vibes. Tonight, I played at Black and Blues Music and Brews in Loveland, CO. Wonderful venue.
The acoustics in the place were legit awesome. There was a warmth to the place from the exposed brick, and get this... the section where I was playing was behind plexiglass, but to be honest. It caused my sound to swell in such a beautiful way with natural reverb from the walls reflecting sound. The silver lining of performing live in somewhat post Covid times. On Sunday, I am playing at Herman's Hideaway with a few great artists, including Ten o Two band and Chris Ruiz.
TSWS: Where can our readers stay best in touch with you?
Kendra: I have music streaming on all platforms. Follow me on Instagram, I'm @kenbunny. Like me on Facebook as "Kendra & the Bunnies Music".
Subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.
For Press Inquiries: https://www.