Friday, June 13, 2014

Kiss Concert (Kiss 108) Review

So, let me start by saying I pretty much haven't missed a Kiss Concert since I was 8. Back then, you could buy some of the artists CDs and get access to a meet and greet. It was a HUGE event that sold out instantly. Over the past couple of years, it has seemed to be taking a backseat to Jingle Ball. When this years' line up was announced, I got excited about two people. But the others were either artists I hadn't heard of or artists I only knew one song of. I didn't rush out to buy tickets. So when we won tickets for the second row, of course I got pumped up. What a great place to do a review from.

I'll admit, I walked into the first act late and didn't catch her name. It was an adorable little girl, probably around 8. She was full of personality from what I saw. She didn't seem scared at all.mi bet in a few years I'll be kicking myself for not knowing her name... But she did some covers and was just adorable. Have I mentioned she was adorable? I believe she did a bit of Iggy Azalea's "Fancy." How perfect can one child be?

Next up was Jill Jenson
You probably saw her on X-Factor a few years back with a story that brought tears to the eyes of many (including Demi Lovato). She was then, most recently, on American Idol. How she didn't go further, I will never understand. However this local lady can SING. Her first song was incredible. But what really made other people stop and stare (in a good way) was her cover of Ed Sheeran's "Lego House." Absolutely fantastic. Such an incredible voice. And she is stunning! Too bad she had to go to a wedding after or we would have tried to catch up with her. (S&Em Note: Stay tuned for an interview!)

Staying on the talent reality show trend, we had Kristen Merlin up next. (S&Em Note: We got her all on video, but it is sideways and won't rotate. We will upload it when we figure it out). This woman was on The Voice and was voted fan favorite. Another incredible local talent. Honestly, she should have won The Voicr, but my opinion is just that. She covered Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue." Wow. Such an incredible country voice from a person that pahks the cah in Hahvahd Yahd. She has a major homecoming shoe coming up in Brockton that you don't want to miss. But she was very comfortable on the stage. The audience went crazy seeing her. The reaction was priceless, I hope she felt the love coming from the Xfinity Center.

Aer comes out on stage (pronounced air).

Going in, I had absolutely no idea who they were, but I kept an open mind. Oh boy. They were very excited to be at the Kiss Concert. At first,mi thought it was a little much and that one of them was acting too much like a "hype man." But the more they performed, the better they got. They are also Mass natives. The woman next to me had turned to me and said "The attractive singers are their saving grace. I'm not sure how I would like them with my eyes closed."  That made me wonder. So I closed my eyes. They reminded me a bit of Emblem 3. The enthusiasm is very noticeable. The vocals weren't perfect, but it was fun! You don't see people enjoying music like that anymore. With a bit more experience in performing, I think they're definitely people to watch. I enjoyed them.

NKTOB MKTO performed next. 

 
So many people thought New Kids On The Block were performing when they heard the abbreviation, but this isn't an 80s/90s boy band. Another duo with very high energy. They interacted with the crowd and got people on their feet. The two balance each other out/compliment each other well. Side note: their drummer was fantastic, although I don't believe that he is a part of MKTO. It was nice to see the singers appreciate their band though. They made sure the crowd recognized the band. The song "American Dream" had to be downloaded to my iPod instantly. I really enjoyed the message and how it was performed. But what is their claim to fame? The song that is currently taking over the radio: "Classic." This is the song that references Michael Jackson and Prince. It's a fun song, but I feel like it was done in the 2000s. Plus, so many of the kids don't know who MJ and Prince are that the references go right over their heads. Are we really that old? Anyways, that performance definitely got the crowd into it since everyone could sing along.

Rixton was up next. 


I had no idea who they were until someone told me they sang that "Me and My Broken Heart" song. I'll get to that later. There are five guys in the British band. All of them play instruments (hallelujah!) Robin Thicke watch out. This lead singer has MUCH better falsetto! I'd love to hear him cover an old Robin a Thicker song. As a band, they performed very well together. They had some nice choreography with their instruments and one another. The song "Appreciated" may be my new favorite song. Again, this band was full of personality, but you can tell they take their craft seriously. They're starting their tour IN BOSTON in August, so definitely check that out. Learn some more of their music!

The beautiful Katy Tiz followed Rixton.

She opened with a "No Scrubs"/"Say My Name" medley. We must have been the only ones from "that" generation, as she kept looking at us and smiling since we were singing along. It was quite a clever mash up, and from what I've seen on YouTube, she's pretty awesome at mash ups. She was so bubbly and so humble, I enjoyed her presence. I think she may be a bit sassy based on her songs, which I love. For example, she performed "I Don't Give A" and it was fantastic. She ended her set with "The Big Bang," but she first thanked the crowd for loving the song and getting it on the charts, stating we will never love her as much as she loves us. I love her voice and her style of singing. It's intriguing. She's just a fun artist, I love it.

R5 came out next.


 Now, I know who Ross Lynch is because I have a bunch of little cousins that love the Disney Show "Austin and Ally." So I was waiting to see them to bring back awesome pictures and videos so I could be the best big cousin ever (especially since after the Radio Disney Music Awards my little cousin had been fangirling). They came out with crazy energy, jumping around and dancing like "rock stars." They covered an old song first and then did one of their well known songs called "Loud." Something just seemed off. Ross had been jumping around like crazy, and then he just stopped. I don't know if he hurt himself or if the fact that a sound tech had to come out and reattach some of his equipment to him ruined the vibe, but he seemed pretty standoffish. His siblings were much more personable. They interacted with the crowd while Ross ran his fingers through his hair. When they performed "(I Can't) Forget About You" the crowd went insane. It was very well performed. I was just very distracted by what seemed like an attitude from Ross. The little girl in front of me even seemed to notice and she was about 6. Everyone has bad days...

Cash Cash

Man that was a throw back. I loved their old song "Party in Your Bedroom" back in high school. But everything was completely different. 3 guys, all EDM. No one knew any of the songs and half the crowd sat down. It was really disappointing, I felt like I was on Jersey Shore (and I got soaked with water from water bottles they were squirting at the crowd). However, I did know "Take Me Home," which they brought out the woman that sings the song to perform with them.i hate to say this, but I truly dislike EDM. Maybe I'm biased, but this was the least impressive set of the night.

Karmin

 
I seriously love these two. I saw them a few years back and they were great, so I had high expectations. Amy now has blonde is hair which she was rocking. I believe they are still engaged, although I saw no ring (maybe because they were performing). These two are so captivating and energetic that I kept forgetting to take notes. I even forgot they are also from Boston! They put out their first full length album, Pulses, a month ago. So, how was their performance? They exceeded my expectations by far. Absolutely phenomenal and amazing crowd interaction (R5 take notes). If you can't think of what they sing, think back a few years to "Brokenheared." Singing, rapping, they have it all. This song got the crowd going! Plus seeing them interact with each other just makes me swoon. Ah, musician love. I would absolutely go see them in their own show. So incredible.

Before I hyperventilate, I have a confession to make. I am a huge Ariana Grande fan.

Such a huge voice comes out of such a tiny lady. It's strange to think she's only s few months younger then me and she's out their living the dream and being a triple threat while I just blog about it. Anyways. Her set seemed short, but at least it wasn't just one song like it was last year. Her dancers are always on point. I did feel really bad for her mom, who almost got trampled in the audience. Leave Joan alone guys! Anyways, again the woman next to me commented. She said "This is terrible lip syncing." Of course, she wasn't looking at Ariana, but the screen behind her which had a delay. Once she realized that, she was in awe. This girls stage presence is incredible. Being in "Thirteen" must have done wonders for her when she was younger. There wasn't a single note off. And you can't deny that "Problem" featuring Iggy Azalea is a contender for song of the summer. But she looked beautiful, her dancing has improved, and she sounded great. She seemed extremely nervous though, which interfered with her crowd interaction. But other thsn that, she was flawless. After she performed, most of the crowd left!

I spent the entire day trying to figure out how I knew Timeflies.

The singer/rapper looked incredibly familiar, but I couldn't figure it out. Before they went on, I believe it was one of their roadies (or maybe it was an Xfinity Center employee that wasn't wearing the uniform) but either way, this person FREAKED out saying their wasn't enough room on the stage. I was concerned this would set the tone for the whole set. But when they came out, there were no issues. I learned they were from Medford, MA which is fantastic, I love local talent. Everyone was singing eith them. Then they referenced a Twitter/YouTube series/trend called Timeflies Tuedays. Basically, you give them random words and they put them in a hat and the very attractive rapper/singer/frontman freestyles. They brought out radio and TV personality, Romeo, to give him a list of words that he could freestyle on stage. All of them were Boston based. Honestly, I was beyond impressed. I'm glad I got it all on video. (S&Em Note: Again, the video is sideways... we are figuring it out). Needless to say, I now am subscribed to their YouTube channel.

Jennifer Freaking Lopez was up next. 

 
Seriously. I was like 10 feet away from her. She looks absolutely incredible. She sounded absolutely amazing. And her performance was incredible. What else do you expect? It was perfection. I love that she brought so many dancers. She was definitely embracing her soon to be single life. Girl loves to show off that infamous butt. There was more dancing than singing, however it was such an amazing set that I almost don't care. Plus Napoleon and Tabitha are her choreographers. But seriously, what can't this woman do? But please JLo, stop with the papi thing. I can't handle people that call their boyfriends/husbands "daddy" or "papi." Plus I haven't "Luh'd" someone since 8th grade. I do, however, love people. Including Ms. Lopez. By the way, she didn't come off as a diva at all. She interacted with the crowd in a personal way and seemed invested.

Fifth Harmony, another Simon Cowell success, followed. 


 
They are from the same season of X Factor as Jill Jenson. I remember seeing them on the show. Oh my, they are just too adorable. My little cousin loves Camilla and her bow. However, Lauren has such a powerful voice. She seemed a little off and I believe I saw tears, so I hope everything is alright with her. I didn't know most of the songs, but they were great performers. There were a few technical issues, but nothing too bad. I believe they could be today's Spice Girls. I know kids, Tweens, and teens love them. "Miss Moving On" is their big song. It was hard to recognize at first, but once it got going, the crowd erupted (even more than before). They had a huge fan base at the show. Again, they seemed nervous, but they interacted with the crowd a lot. It was wicked cute. Made them much more likable.

Ending the show was Calvin Harris

Yes, he is a DJ. Yes it is EDM. However, it was an incredible set, although it seemed quite long. I knew more songs than I realized. He's adorable and got the crowd jumping and dancing. Confetti was everywhere, fog covered the stage, and fire erupted. It was an incredible shoe. I'm sensitive to strobe lights, so I had to sit with my eyes covered, but this is why you bring a friend. He was great. Please tell me someone else hears "sex with elephants" instead of "such sweet nothings." Listen to it, think about it, your life is changed.

Overall, I ended up really enjoying myself. I wouldn't have bought the tickets and I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed the show as much from my usual seat (the lawn). It definitely isn't the same as old shows, but it was a nice way of introducing new artists.

Have a show you want reviewed? Want to see how you compare? Contact us! We are happy to review.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adelitas Way


What you've heard is true, we got the chance to interview Rick from Adelitas Way! This amazing band native to Las Vegas will not disappoint you. Whether you're a die hard fan or you're just hearing about them for the first time now, you'll quickly learn what an incredible band this is. Check out everything we learned, including the unique story behind the band's name and who the song "Alive" is about to why we wish that all artists had the same mindset as them.

 
S&Em: Adelitas Way is a unique name. How did you create this name for the
band? Is the Mexico story on Wikipedia true?

AW: Yes the Mexico story is 100% real haha it was a really crazy but also enlightening experience in Tijuana.

(S&Em Note: Check it out on Wikipedia, it’s one of the most interesting stories we’ve heard. It includes Mexican police and getting robbed).

S&Em: It seems as though Homeschool Valedictorian becomes even more popular each and every day, even though it was released in 2011. Did you ever anticipate this album, or even this band, getting to this point?

AW: We worked really hard on it so we definitely are blessed but we did believe it could get to this point, I still see the band getting bigger from here, I really feel like we can be the band headlining these big festivals.  We work really hard and we are constantly growing as artists and performers. The level of what we are doing will be even higher on the next release we have a vision and a goal, and I don’t plan on stopping until we are at the top of the chain.

S&Em: Will there be any more singles from Homeschool Valedictorian released before the new album?

AW: We have already been blessed with 4 hit singles off the record with Sick, The collapse, Criticize, and Alive, and we are very grateful, but we are ready to release more music. I see us as a band who is building a die hard following, we aren’t a band that is really too singles driven but we are honored to have success there. We like to do it the old fashioned way by rocking every city every night and building an army.  Rock has become somewhat underground outside of the amazing support we get from the G ass rock stations, because mass media really ignores most rock bands, not all but the majority. We don’t concern ourselves with anything but making great songs, and rocking as hard as we can every single night for every rock n roll fan that comes to see us.  We like to make great records, not just live song to song, and I’m ready for the world to hear what we have created next.


S&Em: People have been writing on Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media that they want to use “Alive” as their wedding song. What is it like to hear that from fans?
AW: I wrote the song about the most beautiful woman to change my life for the better, my beautiful wife, and I’m glad that people are connecting with the feelings I had about to the ones that they love so much.  The song is about love and passion, and someone giving you a feeling that makes life beautiful. It’s so amazing to be a part of such a special day in someone’s life, so for people to use that on their big day it’s such an honor

(S&Em Note: Awwww! Swooning!)

S&Em: The video for “Alive” featured a man in the hospital who looked like he was about to go in for a procedure , but was taken away by someone that we presume was his girlfriend and brought around for an adventure. At the end it seems like it may have been a dream, but
nevertheless it was a great concept. Where did the idea for this come from?

AW: Never take the ones you love for granted you never know how long you will have them for

S&Em: The song “The Collapse” got us pumped up when we were listening to it. What song gets fans most pumped up during shows?

AW: Our set is really high paced and energetic and the fans keep up from front to back, they love Sick, Invincible, Criticize it’s amazing to see and feed off of them.


S&Em: “Criticize” had a sound reminiscent of Seether and Shinedown combined(we hope you take that as a compliment). We loved the message of the song and we know we’ve had people in our lives similar to who you describe in the song. Have each of you had a person like that?

AW: Haha I think the whole world knows that person, they exist for each of us in our minds.

S&Em: With the success of Homeschool Valedictorian in mind, do you put more pressure on yourselves for your new album?

AW: Not too much, you always wanna be great, but I do this because I enjoy it, I like to make music, and use my influences from my life.  I just go with the flow and work hard to execute and make sure it’s real.  I have learned so much from the beginning of my musical journey, and I
feel we are the best we have ever been right now.  I take my music really seriously, and I work on it that way to.  I am very confident in what is coming next from us, it will separate us from the pack, and take us in the direction we have been focusing on which is being one of the best to do this in the time we are a part of in music.

S&Em: You’ve toured with some major artists (Seether, Shinedown, Creed, Three Days Grace, Theory of a Deadman, etc.)  Now you all are pretty major artists yourself. Have any of these artists mentored you or helped you along the way?

AW: Of course they have all been so amazing to us, and they have all become great friends.  When you are playing with great artists you strive to be a great artist, and we have never taken our eye off the prize.


S&Em: You are signed to Virgin Records. How did that come about?

AW: Lots of hard work, A great team, and an A&R guy who isn’t afraid to believe, Kim Stephens believed in us since day 1 and he has never stopped.  He understands our vision of what we can become, and we are becoming it.  We have been blessed, but we also put in above and
beyond the work to do it.

S&Em: How did each of you become inspired to become artists?
AW: We all just love music, and are influenced by so many amazing legends such as Metallica, Zeppelin, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Beatles, listening to all the great bands inspires you to send your messages to the people in the world.  I feel like a lot of people can close their
eyes listen to my words and connect with me on a level that if you think about it is really amazing.

S&Em: What was one of the most random times that inspiration for a song hit
one of you?

AW: I sometimes just get hit with the song, the chorus, the lyrics, I can feel it, it’s pretty crazy but I just go with the flow.  I also get inspired by jamming some things just have a vibe and u can feel it, the topic and song almost just comes to you.  Like I said I just follow the path, and work my ass off.  If a great idea comes to me my only focus is executing it the way i can hear it being.

S&Em: Where do most of the inspirations for songs come from?

AW: Life, sadness, happiness, anxiety, love, beauty so many things but it all stems from life

S&Em: For you guys, what is the process of putting a song together like?

AW: So many different ways, we usually start with a melody or lyrics, or we just jam out.  Music comes from so many places.  I walk around all day everyday with my mind racing, lyrics, melodies, ideas, and we jam that shit and try to execute the sounds I hear.  Rob inspires me a lot
with beautiful guitar licks or chords.  Our chemistry is fun.

S&Em: There is currently a contest to win a signed guitar from you! Tell us a little bit about that.

AW: We love connecting with our fans and showing them we love and appreciate them, we have a great energy with the fans and it’s important to let them know that  you wanna kick ass for them at all times.

S&Em: What can we expect from your album that is due out this year? Any major surprises?

AW: We really want to separate ourselves but stay true to who we are, I never stray away from my influences in music or in life so it will be AW, but we see ourselves as a band, a real one, I wanna be Gangsters. We are going to do things that no one has heard in a long time, we are
gonna use our energy, and our passion, and our work ethic, and we will make a record that will be good for rock music.  We are going to execute, and our mission is to destroy every farce band out there, if you’re  not a real band you will get stomped out by us, that’s the mission, that’s the goal, I want people to look back when I’m gone and say they were one of the best bands I saw, or the songs they wrote inspired me, or helped me, or relieved me.  It’s on, we aren’t fucking
around.

S&Em: What is a band that you have not toured with yet that you would like to tour with?

AW: Soundgarden or Alice in chains

S&Em: One of our favorite things about Adelitas Way is that every song is powerful. The vocals and instrumentals are always strong. Sometimes, musicians let one or the other become weaker to put the focus on the opposite. How do you keep that balance?

AW: We just play, if you overplay you do take away from the vibe, but you can also be musical, and melodic together, it’s about the band connecting with each other and feeling where we all are, it’s a beautiful process.

S&Em: We all have artists that we think are going to be considered legendary. Who, out of musicians today, do you all think will be legendary?

AW: I think for today’s climate I expect us to be as legendary as we can be, there are obvious legends like Metallica, Soundgarden, AIC, Incubus, I think and believe we will be todays versions of what some of them bands became, we have the potential and skillet to make music
that can change people moods.

S&Em: As a band, what is one of the biggest goals you are striving for right now?

AW: We are striving for being the best we can be, and connecting with our audience on a level that is really personal, but in many different moods.  I just wanna rock faces, and connect with our fans, and be one of the best rock bands that’s come out in this time.

S&Em: On Twitter, we asked some of your fans what questions they wanted to ask you. The most frequent questions were about touring. First of all, will you be touring through the States in 2013?

AW: We will be touring in the summer again, and we will be better than we have ever been we promise
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

S&Em: If you come to Massachusetts, will you let us know? We’d love to see you live. And
of all the members of the band, who is the trickster? Has there ever been an epic band prank?

AW: Our live show is one of the things we pride most, ask our fans about it the AW experience is a fun one :) lots of energy, and madness, we aren’t [pranksters], we are really chill, we hang together and focus on domination.

(S&Em Note: With the mindset that Adelitas Way has, we are sure domination is in the near future).

S&Em: What is the best thing about being on tour?

AW: Playing shows for the people, I love it.

S&Em: What is the best thing about being off tour?

AW: Spending time with my family and recuperating my body

S&Em: Do you have any unique names for your fans?

AW: No we just think they rule :)

S&Em: What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

AW: Get ready to work really really really hard, the game has changed there’s not a ton of money, or fame, but if you want it for the right reasons you will be gratified, it’s about the music and the fans and your family.  There is no feeling like creating, or playing live that could fill a spot in my life like music does



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

These City Lights






We were recently rather stoked about interviewing this band, These City Lights. Oh you haven't heard of them? It's because they're from a land far, far away from here, Australia. Not only do they sound pretty great, but they each have a way better sense of humor/personality than most of us (which made this interview quite enjoyable). Check out the hilarious things they said and everything we learned about These City Lights. If you don't have a sense of humor, or are a little over sensitive, this may not be the interview for you to read.

S&Em: Female fronted bands are normally hard to find. You have had two lovely ladies in the band at one time, how do you feel that affects your fan base and your opportunities as a band?

TCL: I think it helps connect to the younger female audience. There aren't many female fronted bands in Melbourne OR Australia for that matter so it gives us a lot more of an opportunity.

S&Em: Since we aren't from Australia, we don't know much about the music scene there. Are there a lot of opportunities?

TCL:  The market is still growing out here and as a result there aren't nearly as many opportunities as there are in the USA or Europe. There is also unlimited support from venues so bands just have to get places on their own steam.

S&Em: You all seem to be extremely close and seem like you're always together. Were you band mates first or friends?

TCL: Band mates. We'd all met before but never really bothered with each other. Since being in the band, we've grown to hate everything about each other. It's honestly pretty excellent.

S&Em: With this level of closeness, we have to wonder, have there been any inter-band relationships?

TCL: Chris and Jesses' love has certainly blossomed over the past 2 years. It's developed into lust.

S&Em: You're currently working on an EP! That's very exciting news! How's it going and what can you tell us about it?

TCL: It's going to be a 6 track EP. It's all going smoothly so far. We've been working really hard over the last 12 months writing and demoing tracks to make sure it's the best it can possibly be.

S&Em: Patrick is relatively new to the band. How did you find him? Do you have any funny/silly ways of initiating a new band member?

TCL: Jesse and Pat were once in a band together, but the sexual tension between them just became too much. Luckily now they've grown up a little bit and Jesse has moved on to Chris. We don't have any funny or silly ways of initiating a new band member, but I think [being] forced to be around us is punishment enough.

(S&Em Note: Yes, they were the inspiration for Britney Spears' hit song "Three").

S&Em: When it comes to writing songs, who writes the lyrics? Where does the inspiration come from?

TCL: The inspiration doesn't always come from anything in particular. The ones that do are just about the typical things we all deal with. Falling in love and falling out of it, losing friends or gaining them, but sometimes I write about my friends and what they've gone through as well.

S&Em: What bands have inspired each of you to become musicians? What bands inspire you to continue to be musicians?

TCL:This is going to be interesting.
Chris- Dream Theater, Paramore, Led Zeppelin, Mayday Parade, Bayside, Deep Purple.
Patty- Hendrix, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Metallica, Guns 'n' Roses, Mayday Parade.
Jade- Jojo, Paramore, The Script, Taylor Swift, Mayday Parade, Demi Lovato.
Jesse- Brand New, Enter Shikari,, Usher, ya Boi Bang$, Cannibal Corpse.

S&Em: Being a female fronted band, who do you get compared to the most? (We suspect Paramore).

TCL: Paramore, definitely. Being in Australia, we would get compared to Tonight Alive a fair bit as well.

S&Em: We know that people from other countries aren't normally all that fond of Americans. what's the worst thing about us?

TCL: Chris- I think there's a small amount of you who ruin it for the rest, we like you though!

S&Em: Who are the biggest musicians in Australia right now?

TCL: Gotye, Temper Trap, Guy Sebastian, Sia, Parkway Drive, Northlane, Tonight Alive.

S&Em: We found out about you guys after Jesse found Sammie's organization (Rock for RSD) since your drummer, Chris, has RSD. How do all of you deal when Chris has flares? As a band, do you try to help educate others about RSD?

TCL: Jesse likes to tease 'cause he's a prick, but the rest of us try to help as much as we can. Chris doesn't really like to let us know when he's in pain because he doesn't want to worry us that much, but we try to educate as many people we can because it needs to be known about how crap of a disease it is.

( S&Em Note: Chris, you and I are going to have some words about things we should probably tell our bandmates...)

S&Em: We saw you dressed as zombies for Halloween. If there was an actual zombie apocalypse, who would... Be the first one down? The most prepared? The one kicking ass? The one hiding? The one completely oblivious?

TCL: Chris- First one down because he can't run with his RSD. He would also try to be the one that would hide from everything to survive.
Jesse- The most prepared only because his girlfriend would make sure of it. What a good egg.
Patty- The one kicking ass, purely because he's Asian. He thinks he's a ninja, OR because he's a black belt. Whatever.
Jade- The completely oblivious one, for sure. Stupidest person ever.

S&Em: We saw that while in the studio, you all were working on your "artistic abilities." Which of your band members is the most inappropriate?

TCL: Definitely either Jesse or Chris. Sometimes they scare even themselves.

S&Em: How would you describe your band's personality? How would you describe your sound?

TCL: Upbeat and fun, which reflects in our sound.

S&Em: Normally, bands have a member that draws in people. Who is that in These City Lights?

TCL: It's less of a person and more a part of a person. Jade's boobs.

S&Em: What do you hope 2013 will bring?

TCL: Patty- Bigger and better things.
Chris- Patty's bigger penis.
Jade- A new band.
Jesse- A good harvest.
 

S&Em: If you could be signed with any record label, which label would it be, if any, and why?

TCL: Fearless, Hopeless, Fueled by Ramen. The bands we look up to are on these labels.

S&Em: In one word, tell us each of your thoughts on each of the following: Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Blink 182, Three Days Grace, The Twilight Saga, and Glee.

TCL: Chris- Taylor Swift, promiscuous. Justin Timberlake, sexy. Justin Bieber, pothead. Blink 182, overrated. Three Days Grace, devastated. Twilight, boring. Glee, boring.
Patty: Taylor Swift, alright. Justin Timberlake, sexyback. Justin Bieber, #cutfor. Blink 182, nostalgic. Three Days Grace, shattered. Twilight, no. Glee, auto tune.
Jesse- Swift, elf. Timberlake, Nsync. Bieber, jail-bait. Blink, yoice. TDG, eh. Twilight, Edward. Glee, dinosaurs.
Jade- Swift, love. Timberlake, perfection. Bieber, baby. Blink, nothing. TDG, eh. Twilight, decode. Glee, love.

S&Em: Do you have any quirky names for your fans?

TCL: We have fans?!

S&Em: What are your preshow rituals?

TCL: Mighty ducks, hands in.


S&Em would like to thank These City Lights for giving us our most entertaining interview ever. Yes, this made us want to be all of their best friends.To download a few of their songs click here. Their EP should arrive sometime this Spring/Summer (for us in the US).

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Picture Perfect

 







S&Em got the wonderful opportunity to speak with Kyle of The Picture Perfect, a band from Wisconsin that if you don't know, you should fix that!  This was one of the most fun interviews  we have done. Hopefully we will have a follow up interview for you all and maybe an exclusive video! For now, take a look at what we learned about them!





S&Em:  First off, how did you all meet and unite as a band?

TPP: It all started when I began playing solo acoustic music in my senior year of high school.
After plenty of failed attempts at forming bands (one of which Colin and I were both in
together) I decided to give the solo run a try as it’s much easier to do. After getting fed
up the lack of fun and inability to play with friends, I decided to try and get another
band together. Colin and I had been friends since 2nd grade, so naturally he was my
first choice. Brandon and Adam were both from the Eau Claire area; I met Brandon
through a fellow acquaintance, and Adam actually responded to a Craigslist ad I had
put up looking for a guitarist (best Craigslist find ever haha). Josh came to us through a
fellow brother band (The Role Call). He was their merch guy, and after going on tour
with him, we all fell in love with his quirky attitude. So after trouble arose in the
guitarist realm, he was our first choice.

S&Em: Watching the video for “Lovestruck” a few things caught our eyes. We saw
at least one person with a tattoo. How many of you have tattoos?

TPP:Currently, we all have tattoos haha. Adam by far has the most. He actually used to
work at a tattoo parlor doing piercings and whatnot (he pierced mine and Josh’s noses
and Jared (our merch guys) and colin’s ears haha). He has stuff all over. Arms, legs,
side, face, you name it. Next is probably me: I’ve got seven - all sort of tiny simple
ones, then Josh, Colin, and Brandon. Brandon actually just got his first one about two
weeks ago in Eau Claire from the artist who did a few of All Time Low’s (Alex and Zack)
tattoos actually! I think that’s pretty neat.

S&Em: To those of you with tattoos, which one is your favorite and why?

TPP: I know that my favorite is the compass rose I have on my forearm. It’s just the most
well done artistically, and has the most meaning to me.

S&Em: Another thing we noticed in the video was the drummer, Colin, actually
sings. That isn’t something that happens all that often. Does it get difficult
to sing while drumming? We know a lot of drummers and most of them
tend to get extremely winded while playing.

TPP:Yeah, that’s something we really take pride in and like that it sets us apart. I know
Colin has secret aspirations to be a frontman like Adam Lazzarra from TBS or
something haha so I always make an effort to write parts in for him. Not to mention, he
can sing a little higher than me, so It’s really helpful to have him for harmonies. And
it’s certainly not easy to do. I know Colin can get winded often, especially when he’s
doing difficult drum fills and rocking out. I have no idea how Aaron Gillespie does it.

(S&Em Note: To our readers, if you didn't know drumming while singing is one of the most difficult things, try singing well while jumping up and down, in circles, alternating feet. That still isn't as hard.)

S&Em: Do you all have say in the casting of the video or do you go in blind?

TPP: Nobody really had any idea what was going on for the video. I had brainstormed the
concept with a friend and had briefly mentioned it to a few of the guys, but I went out
and got a bunch of my theater friends from the University to come and help out. We
did ask a couple random girls to come help out, so Colin just randomly asked a few at
one of the dorms who we had never met before haha so that was interesting.

S&Em: Who are the songwriters of the group?

TPP: I am the primary songwriter of the group. Most songs are ideas I’ve had that I’ve taken
the time to sit down and shape out a bit. Josh has started helping out more now that
he just joined, and some of the other guys will randomly add their two-cents in here
and there, but it’s mostly my ideas.

S&Em: Where do you pull inspiration from for your songs?

TPP: A lot of my inspiration comes from what I’m listening to at the time. Then I’ll try and
twist that into the general style that I have to help sculpt it into our “sound.” I mainly
get most of my personal inspiration from a lot of other pop and rock pianists such as
Chris Martin, Bryce Avary, Andrew McMahon, etc. but each member has their own
inspirations.

S&Em: Being from Wisconsin, do you find it difficult to get noticed by labels or by
people outside of Wisconsin?

TPP: Oh absolutely. The twin cities has a great music scene, so it’s really beneficial that
we’re so close to that, but the Midwest as a whole is really dead for pop music. People
don’t care so much and aren’t willing to go out and check out unheard music. I’d like
to think we could do a lot more damage to the scene on the east or west coast.

(S&Em Note: Come to the East coast!)







S&Em:  It seems you all have extremely dirty senses of humor. Whose mind is in the gutter the most?

TPP: I’d definitely have to say Adam or Colin; each in their own respective ways. Just watch a
few of our shenanigan videos and you might get an idea hahaha.

S&Em: .How many fans try to use your merch, the “Let’s Get Sexual tank tops as a
type of pick up line?

TPP: Hahaha it’s funny that you say that. Normally I wouldn’t really think that many do, but
people have really just started to incorporate that into that sort of thing. Adam’s
current girlfriend actually used that exact line to him the first time they ever talked
haha and look where they are now.

(S&Em Note: Smart girl! That's what first came to our minds!)

S&Em: Of all of your songs, which is the most fun to perform?

TPP:I really enjoy playing Crunk Love. It’s just got a bunch of fun stuff all over and the
crowd really seems to get into it.

S&Em: Which song hits home the most for you?

TPP: I think “You, Me, & 88 Keys” is probably the most meaningful for me. I wrote it in a
really serious time in my life and I think it’s a little more accurate representation of
what my personal music is really like. It’s too bad we don’t play it live enough.

S&Em: Tell us the last three artists/bands you listened to.

TPP: Marianas Trench, The Icarus Account, The Cab

S&Em: We saw you’re trying to play with The All American Rejects. Tell us more
about that!

TPP: That was a competition that we were trying to move on with, which unfortunately
didn’t end up working out. It was one of those “get the most votes” type of thing,
which I always feel is sort of a ratty display of ability and too much cheating goes on.

S&Em: Are you guys trying to get signed or are you intending to stay unsigned for
a while?

TPP: It really depends on what’s going on. We’ve had a few really small offers, but for the
time being, you really can do it yourself for quite a while. I would never be opposed to
signing onto some of my favorite labels like Fueled by Ramen or Hopeless, but I don’t
think that’s going to happen anytime soon haha

S&Em: What is one of your greatest challenges as a band?

TPP: I know that we all really struggle with being on the same page. It takes a lot of work to
be in a band, and it can all be pointless if everyone isn’t in it to win it together, and I
think we struggle with that sometimes. Sometimes dedication can falter and we get set
back a few steps and have to remind our selves to get back on our game and do some
serious work.

S&Em: How do you work out your differences?

TPP: We try to have band meetings a lot to talk about things going on, and I’m a huge
proponent of communication and talking about any issues. It’s pretty basic stuff, but
something that I think a lot of bands might forget about.

S&Em: What musicians (of today) do you think will be considered legendary?

TPP: It’s really hard to define what legendary will be. It can be something different for each
person. As far as pop or alternative bands go though, I don’t see a lot of them
becoming “legendary” but I think a lot more big name people like Justin Bieber, Usher,
or Adam Levine will definitely go down in history.

S&Em: On recent award shows, most of the “artists” decided to lip synch their
songs. What is your opinion on lip synching in general?

TPP: I really frown upon faking vocals or instrumentation on stage. In my opinion, if you are
an artist that claims to sound a specific way on a record, it is your job to recreate that
live in as many ways as you can. I think that’s a lot more characteristic of talent, and
something that a lot of people just don’t seem to care as much about now days.

(Amen)




S&Em:The Show “Opening Act” has been opening doors for a lot of “unknown”
musicians. If you were to be put on this show, who would you hope to be
opening for?

TPP: I would seriously die if I got to open for Jack’s Mannequin or All Time Low. Both of
these bands have played their respective roles in my life and really shaped me into who
I am today. Playing a show with them would really seal my happiness in a big way.

S&Em:What is the most important aspect of the band for you all?

TPP:To me, I really enjoy meeting people and getting the feeling that what I am doing
matters to them. All I’d ever really want in this life is to know that what I am doing now
with writing music has managed to affect and inspire somebody else in the way that it
has for me. Because I know what an amazing feeling that is.


S&Em would like to thank Kyle for taking the time to do this interview with us. We all have been playing email tag for the past few months and we were definitely looking forward to this interview.
Go check out The Picture Perfect on Twitter and definitely be on the lookout for them!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sound Tower






We recently got the chance to catch up with a cover band with a twist from close to home. Sound Tower can fill your every musical need, from Cee Lo to Buckcherry. No matter who you like, you're sure to find it when you go and see Sound Tower. Take a look at what we found out about them and the Sound Tower Faithful in this interview with George from the band!

S&Em:We know that you’re a local cover band that is taking over Massachusetts by storm. How did you get your start? 

ST: The early seeds of Sound Tower were planted in 2009.  Back then we were a heavy metal cover band and only played a handful of gigs at bars not even operating today.  We lost our bass player and guitarist within the next year.  It wasn't until the summer of 2010 that the band really began to take off.  We switched our cover song selection from metal to pop-rock and dance favorites, added guitarist Jack Crowley, and it was onward and upward from there.  At first it was tough to get bookings being virtually unknown, so we played every little bar that would have us.  We built up our name in the Wareham and outer Cape Cod region, and from their got bookings at bigger clubs and bars.

S&Em: You seem to play a lot of holiday events (Halloween bashes, Thanksgiving Eve events), what time of year is your favorite to have a gig? Why? 

ST:  Believe it or not, summer is the best time of year for us.  There seems to be endless opportunities available and of course the Cape Cod area is loaded with extra vacationing tourists.  A packed room is always a great time.  That's not to say a small room sucks.  We play the same show to a packed house as we do to a room with a handful of people.  There's just something about the crowds energy that the whole band can feed off of.  Needless to say when the fall and winter brings the slower times, it's good to have a holiday show because people are more likely to go out. 

S&Em: From all the pictures on your site, it looks like you have a good following and some pretty awesome fans. How involved do your fans/followers get? 

ST:  Let's face it, a band is nothing without its fans and our fans really surprised me from the get go.  We have a good handful of people that follow us to 90% of our gigs, even ones far from where they live.  That's not easy when your fan base aren't young kids with lots of free time.  Our core fans love to dance and sing along with their favorite songs and of course we encourage it.  Those that really move on the dance floor get the coveted "Sound Tower Dance Beads."  When the 3rd set rolls around a couple of our fans come on stage to sing backup vocals.  It's usually the same people, but we allow for newbies to come up too.  We focus on being interactive and being part of the show is part of the fun.

S&Em: We see that you call your fans the Sound Tower Faithful. Who came up with that

ST:  After seeing the same people coming to shows again and again, even people that weren't already our friends, I got to thinking these guys are really faithful to us.  I thought the Sound Tower Faithful was kind of catchy, but I had a few other choices and also asked our fans what they thought they should be referred to.  I let the fans choose which name they liked best on our Facebook page and the STF was born. 

S&Em: These Sound Tower Dance Beads sound like they can lead to some interesting stories. What is the most interesting thing someone has done for beads (anything like Jerry Beads?). 

ST:   Well, there intention was to get people up on the dance floor, but there have been a few ladies that confused them with MardiGra beads.  Not that the band minded at all.

S&Em: Looking at your current set list, you seem to have a very diverse style! You cover bands and artists from Lady Gaga and Taio Cruz to Buckcherry and Def Leppard. How would you describe your bands style? 

ST:  I would describe our style as a "live iPod."  Most people have and iPod or similar device that contains all the music they like from every genre.  You throw it on shuffle and you hear, rock, pop, hip-hop, R & B, country, and more one after the other.  That's us.  We also try to focus on the most recognizable song by that artist.

 (S&Em Note: Live iPod sounds like fun to us!)

S&Em: What is your favorite song from your set to play? What gets people up and moving the most? 

ST: Overall, anything 80s gets the crowd going, but there are two songs they go absolutely crazy for; Fuck You by Cee-Lo and Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry.  Go figure.  We close the night with Buckcherry and it's by far our favorite.  

(S&Em Note: We saw Buckcherry over the summer. You can't go wrong with Buckcherry!)

S&Em: Is there a song that you just dread playing because you’ve played it so many times? 

ST: For me personally it's Down Under by Men At Work.  I've been singing that song since my first band back in 2002.  Every night we usually have a cut some songs, but Down Under never seems to be one of them. 

S&Em: August was your two year anniversary as a band. How have things changed from 2010 to now? 

ST: In 2010 we were four guys just getting to know each other.  It wasn't like we were close friends since high school that put a band together.  Just getting to know each other personally and musically was a huge advancement.  Everyone knows what to expect from everyone else.  We are so much tighter and in synch as a group today.  No one is nervous.  Everyone knows their part.  In addition we're booking new and bigger clubs, have a better grasp on how to book clubs, and our fan base has grown bigger than we ever expected in just two years.  And we went through three bass players. 

S&Em: Of all the members of the band, who do you think has grown the most? 

ST: I'd have to say it's me.  Jack, Greg, Brandon, and Tim (former bassist) had all been playing in bands for decades, since they were kids.  I had only been playing for 7 years when Sound Tower started, and in the beginning I was a guitar player.  I had to not only learn my songs, but create a stage presence, keep the crowd involved, and manage my sound equipment.  I was quite green when it came to all of that.  In addition I book the majority of the shows and I can't tell you how much of a hassle that was in the beginning with no experience.  It can still be a hassle today, but now I know what to expect.  

S&Em: We see that you do have an original song out. Can you tell us a bit about it? What inspired it? How has it gone over with the STF?

ST: "Do You Feel Alright?"  is about a night out with Sound Tower and the STF.  Our fans inspired it.  It seemed only natural to have sort of an STF anthem.  Jack wrote the music and hook, I wrote the lyrics.  The chorus has a call and response element to it in which we ask the crowd "do you feel alright" and they respond "hell yeah!"  At our local shows the fans quickly picked up on their part in the song.  For away gigs it's a little more challenging.  We released the single to radio and PIXY 103 plays it on their Homegrown program.  It can be streamed for free on our website.

S&Em: Should we expect more originals soon? 

ST: We are working on another original, maybe two.  We're not looking to be an original band, but you're not going to get any radio publicity with a cover tune.

S&Em: You say that Wareham is “always a great show.” Is it your favorite location to play? 

ST:  I grew up in Wareham.  I also work in Wareham.  A lot of the people I grew up with are still there.  In the beginning I actually avoided Wareham.  I have a rather prominent job in town and I really didn't want to mix work with play.  When we were having trouble getting bookings I said we'll it might be time to go where you know people.  I grew up playing pool at The Fan Club so I knew the owner.  They usually had bands once or twice a year.  Once we played they loved us so much we got a monthly gig.  A new bar had just opened up in town around the same time called Piper's Restaurant & Bar.  They crowd was an entirely different kind of beast.  It was about energy, having a good time, dancing, and just no worries.  Piper's is where Sound Tower really made a name for ourselves.  Piper's is where the Sound Tower Faithful was born.  What's really interesting is that Piper's and the Fan Club have their own crowds.  It doesn't matter that we play one this week and the next two weeks later.  Each venue is packed with it's own crowd, and very few cross over.  Sometimes we'll play a show at a new venue and the crowd will be dead or non-existent, but we know that when we return to Piper's or the Fan Club, it will always be packed and on fire. 

S&Em: How did each of you start off as musicians? Who inspired each of you the most? 

ST: Guitarist Jack Crowley started off as a kid and was inspired by Queen, Kiss, and Led Zeppelin.  He went on to play in different bands and released 5 indie releases under his own name.  Drummer Greg Humberd played drums as a kid and played in numerous rock bands over the years, even opening up for the 80s hair metal band Trixter.  Greg is influenced by Neil Pert. Bassist Brandon Brothwell played air guitar for 4 years as a kid before his mother finally bought him one. He played in different bands growing up and his major influence is Led Zeppelin.  Growing up I was the kid who sang along to the radio, sang in church choir, and school chorus, but never pursued playing in a band until I was older.  I took up the guitar when I was 27 and joined a band a year later.  We lost our singer so I filled in.  That fill-in turned into a permanent position.  I sold my guitars to form Sound Tower as I had no PA gear, and remained on vocals from there.  My influences are quite diverse; Rick Springfield, Joe Lynn Turner, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, and Styx.

S&Em: Where do you get your song ideas from now? Is it a band decision or based on how many people request a song? (Maybe both?) 

ST: It's a mixture of both.  We try to incorporate as many fan requests as possible, but sometimes they don't understand how complicated the song is, that it's out of my vocal range, or that no one else would know the song but them if we played it.  We get ideas from the radio and what's hot on the charts or on iTunes.

S&Em: What is your favorite part of being a band? 

ST: For me it's the stress relief for all involved.  Music is very therapeutic for the listener and the performer.  Let's face it, Monday through Friday can be quite the stressful days at work.  When Friday night rolls around you want to relax, have a good time, listen to your favorite music, and forget about your worries for a while.  If Sound Tower can help you do that, there's nothing greater. 

S&Em: Have you done shows with any other local bands? If so, who? If not, would you like to in the future? With what bands? 

ST: There are some places where playing with other bands can be helpful and other times where it is a hindrance.  When you’re on a bill with 12 other cover bands, which can be the case in the Cape Cod region, it's tough to get noticed.  We try to avoid these situations.  If it's just you and someone else, it can be quite fun.  For Halloween local metal act Whisley Throttle opened up for us.  I even sang a song with them.  Dave and Scott have also sang a song with us at past shows.  We split a charity show with Groove Juice last year and sang a couple of songs together.  I like when two bands can come together for a good jam.

(S&Em Note: Sammie's uncle is the drummer for Groove Juice, now known as China Shop Bulls, and she grew up with most of the people in that band. Small world!

S&Em: What is one of your biggest challenges as a band? 

ST: Booking new clubs are always a challenge.  Some give you a few gigs to try and build a crowd for them.  Others give you one shot and that's it.  Their mentality is that you and only you have to bring them a huge crowd right out of the gate.  What they don't understand is that takes time and it's a combined effort.  Both the bar and the band need to share in the promotion of the show and both should be expected to bring people into the club.  Honestly, the more you book a good band, the more the word is going to get out. 

S&Em: Do you find that people are more or less receptive to the fact that you’re a cover band? 

ST: I have found that in South Eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, people only want to hear cover bands.  They want to hear material they know and love. There is a place for original music I suppose, but the consumer ultimately decides.

S&Em: What is up and coming next from Sound Tower? 

ST: In two years we have logged more than 150 shows, so we're hoping to keep the momentum going into 2013.  We look forward to expanding our reach to new clubs, adding more songs that you know and love to our set list, film a video for our first single "Do You Feel Alright?", and getting our first EP of original music released. 

S&Em: If a band/artist was to approach you and ask you to exclusively cover their songs, what band/artist would you hope that would be? Why? 

ST: I bet each member of the band would have a different answer and it would be based on their influences.  Jack and Brandon would say Led Zeppelin, Greg would say Rush (or Kiss), and I would say Rick Springfield.  I know, nobody wants to see a Rick Springfield tribute band. 


S&Em would like to thank Sound Tower for this great interview and for their extreme patience with all of our delays/technical difficulties. Everyone be on the lookout for Sound Tower and (if you're old enough) go check them out when they play near you!


You can find more information out about them on all of their sites: