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 - http://www.facebook.com/GoodLuckJane, a facebook street team for the die hard fans -http://www.facebook.com/pages/Good-Luck-Jane-Street-Team/172414852776214, our myspace -http://www.myspace.com/goodluckjane, 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!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

North of the City Interview featuring Chris Visconti

From Pennsylvania, the four piece band North of the City dominates. The pop/punk rock band recently produced their first EP titled Swear on the Stars. North of the City writes songs that blend great pop/rock with a more serious punk attitude. It's a wonder these guys have caught the eyes of a record deal yet. Yes, they are that entertaining. One thing that I love about this band, and it's just a matter of personal preference, but the bass lines are sick. Unlike a lot of music today where the bass is unheard, they make sure its exposed. Bass with some badass parts only furthers the awesome experience of Chris Visconti's voice and the overall great sound of North of the City. I got a chance to talk with Chris Visconti, and here's what was said.

Me: What is your biggest influence?

Chris Visconti: We have a ton of very different influences, so picking one would be really tough. My personal biggest influence right now would have to be The All American Rejects.

Me: What is the greatest and worst thing about being in a full-time band?

Chris Visconti: The greatest thing is making music you love and connecting with people that love it right back. I'd have to say the worst is how many other bands there are, but in reality, all that does is force us to work even harder. 

Me: What are your goals for North of the City?

Chris Visconti: Our goals? We want to bring our music to as many people as we can throughout the world! I'd also love to tour with some outrageously huge artist like Dave Matthews or Kiss. 

Me: If you were a color, what color would you be? Why?

Chris Visconti: That's a tough one, I'd have to say green. Only because we're from Pennsylvania and if you look outside that's all you see!

Me: Name the best concert/show you have been to in the past year.

Chris Visconti: I saw Ke$ha a few weeks ago and her performance really blew my mind. She's a real entertainer.

Me: Star Wars or Star Trek?

Chris Visconti: Star Wars, for sure! Jabba the Hut is the man!

If you like pop/punk or pop/rock then make sure to check out North of the City. The band is getting bigger and bigger everyday, so make sure to keep up with them on Twitter here. You can also check out their PureVolume here and listen to their Swear On The Stars EP as well as their highly loved single "Make Me Sick". In all seriousness this band has got a good thing going for them. Pennsylvania is not very far from where I live so hopefully I'll have the privilege of seeing them come to Ohio soon! Feel free to leave comments, and make sure to check out Pennsylvania's sensation North of the City!

Something For Everyone

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!
Something For Nothing
November 2, 2010

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! hails from Paris, France. I pre-ordered their new album Something For Nothing along with an awesome T-shirt from MerchNOW. I have to say that they really out did themselves with their debut album. I have been a fan since the Cum On EP, but this albums blows it away.

Immediately when listening to Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! it reminds you of bands like Set Your Goals and A Day To Remember. The pop/punk meets hardcore sound. Add a little twist of metal to the mix, and that describes Something For Nothing. The album features some awesome songs, each one better than the last. What I really like about Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! is their diversity. They have a few songs like "Captain Blood" and "Born for Adversity" that remind you of A Day To Remember or For The Fallen Dreams. Then on the other hand, they have songs like "Summer Heat" that remind you of bands like Hit The Lights.

All around the new album is awesome. I'd have to say my favorite songs would be "In Friends We Trust" and "We Fell Fast". They both just have an amazing blend of punk with hardcore influence. The intro to "In Friends We Trust" is killer too.

In reality, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! has to be experienced. If you are a fan of post-hardcore bands or pop/punk then definitely check them out. Oh, and by the way, if you are wondering where the band name came from, you either haven't seen "The Goonies" or you simply can't remember. Either way, this will explain everything. For those of you that want to check out the band, you can go to their PureVolume page here. Feel free to leave comments!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kickin' Ass Since 2000

Various Artists
Punk Goes Pop 3
November 2, 2010

Punk Goes Pop 3 is the tenth installment of the "Punk Goes.." series. It's hands down one of my favorites. Some absolutely amazing artists appear on the Punk Goes Pop 3 CD. However, there were a few disappointments. Let's talk about the negative first shall we?

I was upset by the cover of "Blame It" by Of Mice & Men. I honestly can say, I don't care for the band much anymore after they kicked Austin Carlile. I dislike Jerry Roush being in the band. It's not that I don't think he's good, I just think he's better suited elsewhere. I'm about to make a bold statement so bear with me. Austin Carlile is the best screamer I have ever heard. There I said it. When I went to the OM&M show, his screams made me just about shit myself. That however, is another story. The other cover I don't care for is the one by Miss May I. The band originated very close to where I live now, so I seen them perform long before they were "famous". The band is nothing that it used to be. If you ask me, they got a bit cocky. They used to have a lot of heart for what they do, and now they seem like they don't care to me. I personally think this is because they think they have already "made it". The cover itself was simply OK. It just didn't impress me. Let's move on to the good before I piss off more people than I already have.

Breathe Carolina killed it. Woe, Is Me killed it. Artist Vs. Poet killed it. Mayday Parade, Asking Alexandria, This Century, The Word Alive, Family Force 5, The Ready Set, Cute Is What We Aim For, Sparks The Rescue, and We Came As Romans all killed it. I could make a novel long post of all the good things that Punk Goes Pop 3 brings to the table. My top three happen to be, The Ready Set, The Word Alive, and Artist Vs. Poet. Not in that order. Keep in mind though, that was very hard to narrow down. Another noteworthy one is Breathe Carolina.

The Ready Set managed to cover "Airplanes" by B.o.B amazingly. I was a bit skeptical at first before I heard the song, because Hayley Williams nails it so well. However, Jordan did it again, and created a hit song. I'd like to hear him pair up with Hayley Williams though. Now that would be awesome. The Word Alive covers "Heartless" by Kanye West. The beginning is my favorite, but the whole song is great, especially the dual vocals in the song, between clean singing and screaming. Artist Vs. Poet covered a hit song by Lady Gaga "Bad Romance". It's fantastic. They even manage to give it the "lady gaga" feel, while still retaining their pop/rock glory.

All-in-all Punk Goes Pop 3 is worth picking up. Especially if you are already a fan of the series. Feel free to comment and tell me what you favorites on the album are!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October's Unsigned Band of the Month: Vendetta Skies

Vendetta Skies. Hot damn. Why did I choose these guys to be my Unsigned Band of the Month? Well, they are refreshing to say the least. They don't sound like everyone else. Plain and simple. The band was formed in Canada in January of 2010. A lot of the guys had been in bands previously, but Vendetta Skies began when the guys were forming a band for a battle of the bands competition. All of the band mates attended the same university, and under a previous name (From Time Immemorial) they played their first show together in the competition. They achieved 2nd place (just 2 points from 1st place). When it was all said and done, they decided to keep the project going. After discussing their band with various Indie labels, they decided to change their name to Vendetta Skies. In the 9 short months the band has been together they have produced an awesome album called Lack of Color, which is available online virtually everywhere. The band has also played quite a few shows, including doing a tour of Western Canada.

When I first heard these guys, I was very impressed to say the least. I really wanted to get a chance to talk to them, and help to give further exposure to Vendetta Skies. Luckily, the band was stoked about doing an interview with me, and I got a chance to talk to all the members of the band. Ryan and James Motyer, Zac Forrest, and Evann Neumann. 

Me: Who influences your music the most?

Zac: Arif from Protest The Hero, Mike Portnoy, Joey Jordison, and Neal Peart.

Evann: Protest The Hero also. Matt Heffy from Trivium, Hetfield from the old Metallica and Rise Against.

Ryan: Everything from Motion City Soundtrack and Blink 182, to Underoath and As I Lay Dying.

James: Definitely Rancid and Anti-Flag. I get a lot of my creativity and playing style from those bass players.

Me: What are your short term goals for this band? (6 months - 1 year)

Vendetta Skies: We want to play as many shows as possible and promote the bands current album. We also are in the progress of writing for our next album, which potentially will be released through an indie label. We have 12-13 new songs right now. We want to write 20-25 songs and narrow the album down to the best 13-14. We believe in making every album better then the last, so the process is a little different when writing songs and contrasting them to previous songs.

Me: What are your long term goals? (5+ years)

Ryan: We have played lots of shows around town and western Canada. Now our shows are getting bigger and we are headlining some dates. Eventually we want to do longer tours cross Canada and branch out to the US. Maybe Zac can get a girlfriend too (extremely doubtful).

Evann: I agree with Ryan, Zac is destined to be alone. We would like to go and play in Europe sometime, maybe in Australia too.

James: If a bigger label picks us up hopefully play around Germany or somewhere.

Me: How do you go about promoting your music?

Zac: MySpace, PureVolume, Facebook and posters.

Evann: I have figured out that I can get other people to do all my bidding, because of this; I have Ian and Sam (manager/band slave) totally to do my portion of promotion.

James: Playing shows and interacting with the crowd is awesome. Our manager really helps with booking shows and distributing our new album. Our friends and fans also help to bring new people to our shows, so every show is important to play the best we possibly can.

Me: What's the coolest thing Vendetta Skies has ever done?

Evann: Getting our song “All My Life” put on the Calgary’s radio station X92.9 was pretty awesome

Ryan: During our western Canada tour, after one of our shows, everyone got really drunk. That night we got a call to our hotel room at 6 or 7am telling us to come wipe our drunken manager’s face off the hotel lobby floor directly beside the front desk. Not really cool so much as funny, and a sign of a good night.

James: Recording our first album. Just the coolest experience laying down the tracks to finally have our own music professionally recorded for people to listen to. I’m sure as the band progresses and grows cooler things will happen.

Me: Any shout outs?

Zac: I want to give a shout out to Taylor Swift. Just to say hello, and wow you have an amazing voice. I would like to meet you one day. Maybe play a show with you and get to know you better.

Evann: I totally disagree; she looks too much like my cousin… I give a shout out to all our fans and say “hey what’s up?” Come and have a drink with us and PARTY!!!

Ryan: A huge shout out to you for doing this for us!!! Thanks for taking time out of your day to do this for Vendetta Skies!

James: To friends, fans and family! Thanks for the support!

So there you have it. What have we learned? Zac is single (there ya go ladies), Evann has a hot cousin, and that Vendetta Skies is one of the best bands in Canada. However, competing with bands/artists like Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Neil Young, and Sum 41 among others, they have a lot to live up to. I'm pretty confident in their abilities though. Make sure to check out their Myspace, Facebook, and etc (links are listed below). Pick up Lack of Color too. My favorite song of the album is probably "All My Life". The bass line in that song is the definition of badass. But you will just have to see for yourselves. Feel free to comment, and visit the links below!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Phone Calls From Home Interview featuring Danny Stockman

Pop/rock band, Phone Calls From Home, rises from Boston Massachusetts. The band is signed to Red Blue Records, and is similar to bands like Boys Will Be Boys, Red Car Wire, and Runner Runner. The band was first formed in 2008, and since then has produced a self-titled EP and their debut album Connected. They also can write some pretty badass acoustic songs. I'd watch out for these guys, because they sure know what they are doing when it comes to writing music. I talked to their drummer Danny Stockman about Phone Calls From Home in a short interview, and here's what was said.

Me: Describe Phone Calls From Home in one sentence.

Danny Stockman: Phone Calls From Home is a pop/rock band that wants to influence people in a positive way.

Me: How did Phone Calls From Home get started?

Danny Stockman: Dave and Zack started the band together out of high school. 

Me: What inspires you to keep playing music?

Danny Stockman: What inspires me personally is the fact that music gives you a way to touch so many peoples lives.

Me: What's the best performance you have ever given?

Danny Stockman: I don't think I've really had a "best performance" yet. I'm learning more about music and performing everyday, so I think my best performance is still to come!

Me: Favorite Superhero?

Danny Stockman: My favorite superhero is definitely Spiderman! I've always loved him since I was a little kid.

Me: Best band of all time?

Danny Stockman: Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

Awesome! I love when bands still respect the classics. It's how music formed into what it is today. I would reccomend Phone Calls From Home to just about anyone. Especially those that like the pop, pop/rock scene. If you would like to check out the bands music, you can listen to almost all of their songs on iLike here or on PureVolume here . I'd also suggest you go to Itunes and pick up Connected. The album features some awesome songs, my personal favorite being "Keep This Dream Alive." A very catchy song. Anyway, make sure to check these guys out, and feel free to comment!