Friday, December 10, 2010

Shutting Down

I've decided that I'm going to shut down Underground Punk. It was simply a child project that lasted a few months. It's helped me learn a lot, and help me figure out what I really want to do. I'm going to make something much bigger and much better than Underground Punk. I want to create a full blown website, not just a blogspot. Something that is more than just interviews. Something with show reviews, interviews, album reviews, and content uploaded almost everyday. A true music empire, full of knowledge about the punk, pop, hardcore scene, and any sub genre in between. I really appreciate the few thousand of you unique visitors I've gotten in these short months. I'm also deciding to leave this page up, that way the bands can still get the promotion they deserve.  I want to learn more, and really improve my writing skills and my knowledge before I start something like this again. When I do though, I promise you it will be worth the wait. I'm sorry to everyone, and I thank you for your support.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November's Unsigned Band of the Month: By Summer's End

A sense of refreshing taste. A sense of interesting exposition. A Sense Of Change. That's new EP title by indie/alternative band, By Summer's End. Let me tell you one thing, these guys deserve the spot of November's Unsigned Band of the Month. Why? Because their something unique. When Nathan Riddle, their lead guitarist contacted me, I had never heard of By Summer's End. Now that I have, I'm glad to say I'm a fan of the band.

Hailing from Concord, North Carolina, the band began originally began in 2007 to play the members 8th grade dance. (Side note: Good lord 8th grade feels like an eternity ago). By Summer's End decided to keep it going. Through a few member changes a long the way, were left with some of the best of the unsigned alternative industry. The current lineup is pretty recent. Some of the members just joined as of August 2010, but don't let that steer you away from taking a listen. The band put together one hell of an EP that would make you think they've been playing together for quite some time. Members Nathan Riddle (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Alyssa Nelson (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Matthew Ensley (Bass/Vocals), and TJ Hurley (Drums & Percussion) talked with me about their band so that you guys could find out more about them. Without further a due, here is the November Unsigned Band of the Month, By Summer's End! 

Me: What gives you inspiration?

BSE: A huge part of our writing incorporates change. Lyrically, our songs are generally about change, whether it be wanting change, looking back on change, and so on. We see it as something that is in all aspects of life, so we embrace it. We're also inspired by challenges. Our music definitely reflects that. We challenge ourselves to make what we are doing better each time, and we like to go against the grain. We want our inspirations to shine so bright that it inspires the listener.

Me: How do you get pumped up for a show?

BSE: We always get together and hang out during the day of the show. We run through the set, work out the kinks, but make sure we have fun with it. We also watch a lot of Family Guy. Things like that ease our nerves and helps us focus on what needs to get done, rather than what can go wrong. 

Me: Where did you get the name By Summer's End?

BSE: We were going through a sort of segue during the time and we needed a new name. Nathan had posted a blog about being something completely new and fresh, with new material shows, and the whole shebang by summer's end. TJ read the blog and liked the way that phrase sounded as a name, and it kind of represented what we were trying to do. Unfortunately, being the perfectionists (or procrastinators) we are, we're just now finishing up our transformation. We wanted to make sure what we had was something special, and we didn't want to put a due date on it.

Me: How would you describe the way you are feeling during a live performance?

BSE: It's hard to put in words that feeling. It's just so unparalleled. That rush of nerves, anxiety, excitement, joy, adrenalin... it's just so overwhelming. We LOVE it. It's so incredible playing in front of people who came out to listen to what you have to offer, and be open to it. We take advantage of this and we make a show what it's truly meant to be, a performance. That feeling is simply nothing short of amazing.

Me: If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that food be?

BSE: Nathan- Pasta!
Mathew- Cajun Fillet Biscuit from Bojangles
TJ- McGangBang (for those of you who don't know what this is, you're probably quite confused so click here.)

Me: What is the best concert you have been to in the past year?

BSE: Nathan-Blink-182
TJ- Avenged Sevenfold

Me: Any shout-outs?

BSE: All of our families, significant others, friends, and fans! Thanks so much!

There you have it! My pick for Unsigned Band of the Month! If you want to take a listen to By Summer's End check out some of their links I have posted below! The entire EP A Sense Of Change is amazingly well put together. What's so great about it is that it takes influences from so many genres of music. Blues, Indie, pop/punk and more all form together to make one huge, badass alternative mash of music. Make sure to check these guys out, and keep an eye on them. I have a feeling this won't be the last time you hear the name By Summer's End!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No Mistakes About It

O (Disambiguation)
November 9, 2010

Disambiguation is the term used to differentiate the separate meanings from a word that is used more than once with the same pronunciation or spelling. But there is no mistaking the badass sound which is produced from post hardcore gods, Underoath in their new album O (Disambiguation). If you have enjoyed the past albums released by Underoath, then this is certainly another you will want to add to your collection. 

When I first checked out the album, I noticed that the same sound I loved was on this album again. My favorite song from the whole album is probably "In Division", which happens to be the first song on the album. It's just so well put together. It really shows how well the whole band can synch together too. The drum beats flow perfectly between every guitar part, the vocals sound great, and the chorus is so damn catchy. My other favorites include "Driftwood", and "Who Will Guard The Guardian". "Driftwood" has an awesome intro, hands down. It combines so many peculiar sounds to combine a tranquil type feeling. It's a bit different from a lot of the things on the album, which makes it unique. It's more of a filler than an actual song though, none-the-less it's still pretty neat.  

All in all, if you are a previous fan of Underoath, you need to check out the album. I'm sure a lot of you already have. If you haven't heard of Underoath, then you are either new to the hardcore scene, or you have been living under a rock for most of your life. If either of those hold true then make sure to check out the album on their PureVolume here . Oh, and get a shower too. Comments always welcome!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good Luck Jane Interview featuring Danny Katz

Good Luck Jane is another great pop/punk/rock band rising from Chicago, Illinois. If you enjoy the music scene that involves bands like Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, The Academy Is, and The Rocket Summer then Good Luck Jane is right up your alley. Blended with great lyrics, killer vocals, and those signature pop/punk riff collaborations, Good Luck Jane is a heavy hitter to the music scene. They haven't been around too long, but they have already released quite a bit of music, which is a good thing. I love the usage of keyboard throughout some of their songs, and the simple but effective use of the drums. I got a chance to talk with Danny Katz, the bassist from Good Luck Jane, and this is some of what the band is about. Enjoy!

Me: How often do you practice?

Danny KatzSince we're all students at the University of Illinois we have to fit in practices around class. But we try to practice at least 3-4 times a week for about 2-3 hours.We practice in the basement of the house I live in so it's really nice to have a large space we can be loud in. That's hard to come by on a college campus. 

Me: What are your dreams for Good Luck Jane?

Danny Katz: Our dreams are to be able to make music our careers. We want to be able to make this our full time job so we can reach out to as many fans as possible. We also want to give people great music they enjoy listening to as well as putting on high energy, entertaining shows. In short term though we'd like to get on a summer tour with a national act and travel the country playing in different cities and gaining as many new fans as possible!

Me: What's your favorite movie of all time?

Danny Katz: My favorite movie would have to be School of Rock. I saw it back in seventh or eighth grade and afterward at school me and a couple of my friends would sneak into the music room after school and play guitar, piano, and drums together. It really was my first inspiration to start a band, plus Jack Black was awesome in it.

Me: What's your biggest fear?

Danny Katz: Personally my biggest fear is that I would somehow permanently injure one of my hands so I couldn't be able to play my instruments anymore. Not being able to do what you've put so many years of hard work into would just be devastating.

Me: What's the best way fans can stay in touch with what Good Luck Jane is doing?

Danny Katz: We're all over the internet. We've got a facebook fan page -, a facebook street team for the die hard fans -, our myspace -, and we're on twitter. You can follow the band (@GoodLuckJane) and all of our individual accounts (@GLJJoey, @GLJJake, @GLJDrew, @GLJDan, and @GLJDanny). You can also search Good Luck Jane on youtube and you'll find tons of videos of live shows, acoustic songs, recorded songs, and some behind the scenes footage!

There you are! If you are fans of the pop/punk or pop/rock music scene then I would give Good Luck Jane a shot. If you also think Bryce Avery is a god (like myself) then check these guys out. I heard a little The Rocket Summer in these guys, which is a good thing in my book. My favorite song has to be "Hollywood" off of their Word of the Week EP. It's got a fantastic keyboard part to it, as well as a great lyrical message. Make sure to check out some of their websites listed above. You can also listen to some of their stuff on PureVolume here. Feel free to leave comments!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Prettier Than You Interview featuring Rayce Harman

What would happen if you took 5 different influences and tastes from the music scene, and then ironed them out with the brand of "pop/punk"? You'd get I'm Prettier Than You. This one of the most diverse groups I have heard in the music scene lately. Their awesome EP titled Turning Pages is a massive blend of what the music scene has become today. Influences from all over the place are blended together, which creates for an interesting, unique experience. From Iowa hails the 5-piece band, I'm Prettier Than You, and they are definitely impressing quite a few people. Some of their songs have hardcore influences, others have a more pop/punk people. Some have a more pop feel to them, and some have an upbeat (and sometimes almost classic) rock taste to them. In the end, there is something for everyone, or if you are like me, you enjoy everything. I talked with the lead singer, and guitarist Rayce Harman about I'm Prettier Than You about the band and what they are doing!

Me: How do you get pumped up for a show?

Rayce Harman: There’s lots of different ways we get pumped up for shows and it all depends on the show. In practice is where most of it happens. We get our set list’s ready and that’s what we start practicing first. Then we add in all the changes we want and figure out what we plan on doing differently. Mainly, we just make sure our energy is up and we have all the tricks and treats ready to go by show day; since show day is usually all business and work to get equipment up. By that time were all stoked and ready to go crazy on stage.

Me: What is the best thing about playing music?

Rayce Harman: The best thing about playing music is collaborating and doing everything we can to create a song that gives something back to our listeners. We love providing people with an initial catchy hook or sound that draws you in from the beginning. After that we love adding “candy” is what I call it. Candy is all the little things that are sometimes hidden or not recognizable right away. Like sounds, different guitar parts, or special things that fit with the song. Really anything that we get excited about when we notice.  But in the end we create music we love so there is nothing that we don’t enjoy.

Me: Where do you get your inspiration from to write music?

Rayce Harman:  Inspiration is everywhere. We are most often inspired by everyday ideas or ideas that other band’s have tried and that we might think we can do better. We do our best to “step out of the scene” in a way though. We try to have the passion and goal that music used to have back when bands were all trying to sound different. While at the same time still creating music with a style that is somewhat recognizable to the scene that’s around now. So it becomes a combination of feeding off of each other for part of writing and going home where I can lock myself away from anything else that would influence me so I can try to write something original.

Me: Who do you someday hope to share the stage with?

Rayce Harman: That’s a hard one because there are so many different musicians and bands that are amazing in different way. Probably the one right now that would be the most enjoyable for all of us would be Paramore. That’s just one band that made it huge and is still in the light right now. They have everything going for them. Anywhere from lyrics, melody, performance, guitar sounds , song layouts, and so much more. I feel like we could learn the most from them right now and it would be helpful to be compared to the best that’s around today.

Me: Have you heard the new Punk Goes Pop 3? If so, what's your favorite song off the album?

Rayce Harman: From what I have heard Sparks the Rescue seems like they did the best at creating their own version of the song they had. They did the most with their song and I feel like they pulled it off better than the original. I wanted to keep listening to it.

Me: Do you have any advice for musicians looking for inspiration?

Rayce Harman: Yeah, I would say to try your best to be original. I feel like too many bands try too hard to sound like something else. Inspiration shouldn’t be stolen from someone else. Inspiration should be something that drives you. If you're going to create something make sure you create something no one else has yet, and make sure your trying to give something to the world even if you don’t think it will make it far.

You can check out I'm Prettier Than You on PureVolume here and listen to their EP Turning Pages. You can also check out their Facebook and find out more about the band here. Anyone that is into today's music scene should definitely check out I'm Prettier Than You. They appeal to fans of pop/punk, pop, alternative and nearly anything in-between. Feel free to leave comments and make sure to check out I'm Prettier Than You!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Interview with Carson

What's that you say? You don't know who Carson is? You should. They kick a lot of ass. The pop/alternative band from Concord, North Carolina is blowing up in popularity. Right now they have only released a few songs, but they plan on recording in January. That's right, January. So make sure to watch out for them. The band takes influences from some of the other greats in the pop/alternative scene like Paramore, Flyleaf, Versaemerge, and others. Taisha's voice is absolutely stunning to boot. I'd even be willing to say she is better than some of the other signed bands that have female vocalists. Carson stands out from other pop bands though, in their sense of style. They have an in-your-face approach, but its backed with amazing riffs, solos, and etc that are not so usual in the pop scene. I was given the oppurtunity to talk with the guys (and gals) from Carson, and here's what went on.

Me: How did the name "Carson" come about?

Carson: Taisha's friend's little brother is named Carson. He asks her to sing all the time. It was thrown into the pot when we were brainstorming names and we all thought it sounded the coolest. Short, and easy to remember.

Me: What is the biggest challenge that Carson has faced so far?

Carson: 1. Finding our sound, and satisfying ourselves. We are our biggest critics. 2. Developing solid practice schedule. It's hard with 5 people with different things going on. Jobs, school, etc.

Me: How do you go about getting booked for shows?

Carson: We have a lot of "friend bands" that we keep in touch with. We hop on their shows, and they hop on ours. We also just keep our ears open for shows/events, and check venue listings regularly. There are a lot of music fans in Charlotte, it isn't very tough.

Me: What is you biggest fear? Why?

Carson: Not being able to play/perform music anymore. There's no better way to spend time. Nothing's cooler than creating something that nobody has heard before and playing it live. We love it.

Me: What is the coolest concert/show you have ever been to?

Carson: G love and Special sauce. Local natives. No Doubt. Mutemath. You've been to Motley Crue. Mine would be Mutemath or G love.

Me: Biggest celebrity crush?

Carson: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Anniston, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson. 

If you want to hear some of Caron's work you can check out their PureVolume here. Any fans of the pop/alternative or modern pop scene should definitely check these guys out. I can't wait for their new music coming in January. You should also follow them on Twitter and keep up to date with what these guys are doing here. These guys are definitely something you should watch out for. A perfect blend of pop, and music at its finest.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Interview with Forget Tomorrow

Forget Tomorrow is unforgettable. The post-hardcore six piece band is from Wolcott, Connecticut. Fans of For The Fallen Dreams, We Came As Romans, Silverstein, and etc, embrace yourselves. The band has released an EP titled In Search of Salvation, a remarkable show-and-tell of their extreme talent. Forget Tomorrow has also  put together a cover of Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love". I got a chance to talk with these guys about their music, and they took the extra mile and sent a video response! So here are the guys from Forget Tomorrow. Enjoy!

If you want to check out more of Forget Tomorrow you can go to any of the websites they listed in the video. For those of you who are lazy, here are a list of links! Feel free to comment!