S&Em Music Reviews and Interviews gives you the dirty details of the bands you love. Everything is 100% legitimate.

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



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).

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!

Sound Tower Interview

We recently got the chance to catch up with a cover band with a twist from close to home. SoundTower 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:

The Parade Around Interview


We were just presented the opportunity to interview Brian, aka The Parade Around. This Illinois native is releasing his debut single on November 30th! From what we have heard so far, The Parade Around is definitely something you want in your music library so be on the look out! Check out what we learned during this interview about music, dedicated beard growers, and why he should be your new best friend!


S&Em: Your debut single is coming out November 30! Are you getting excited/anxious?

TPA: I am feeling so much of both. This is the first real representation of my music, I have no idea what everyone is going to think.


S&Em: Can you tell us about the single a bit?

TPA: This particular song I have been trying to write and rewrite for at least the past year since I have been out of a band. Since it’s a “debut” for me, I want it to be perfect. I finally realized that it can’t be perfect, I am merely human. With that realization, I had a bit of a writing spark and concluded writing on the track after one year of unsettled feelings about it.


S&Em: We noticed you have over 11, 000 followers on Twitter! That’s quite a number. How did that all start to happen?

TPA: I have been extremely adamant about following random people in hopes they will follow me back and be curious as to who I am and what my music will sound like. I guess I won’t know if it was a good waste of time or a bad waste of time until my EP comes out!

S&Em: You’re living the bearded life. Since it’s “No Shave November” do you do the opposite or just let the beard get crazy?

TPA: N.S.N is cool, but if you were really a dedicated beard grower, you would have a beard year round. Just saying, I let the beard reach levels of lumberjack and pirate throughout the year. I feel dumb without a beard. I don’t wanna feel dumb!

S&Em: Speaking of beards, are you a fan of hockey? Which team do you root for (when we aren’t in a lockout)?

TPA: Go Hawks!

S&Em: Listening to the preview of “Sell Us All for Broke,” we noticed you sound a bit like Gavin Rossdale (Bush frontman). How would you identify your sound?

TPA: Wow, that’s quite a compliment! I have been telling people it is this mix between The Horrible Crowes/Bon Iver/HalfNoise. It’s distant and darker imagery with the lyrics and a spacey delayed sound with the music. Once it is all said and done in the studio, there is no doubt that it could stray from those constraints. However, that is how I would best describe it right now!

S&Em: You recently Netflixed That 70s Show. Which character are you the most like and how are you like them?

TPA: Hyde. 100%. Hyde is insanely laid back and loves a good beer. Also, he has some cool sideburns. I think I am pretty laid back as well and Hyde and I would be good buddies.

S&Em: Where did the name The Parade Around come from?

TPA: I wrote lyrics with “parade around” in it and ended up scratching the song. That line stuck with me and I ended up loving that name for a band. When I decided to do some solo music, I had the name ready to go!

(S&Em note: We think it is an extremely creative name! Really hard to Google though because it kept leading us to our local parade’s site! Funny stuff.)

S&Em: You’re from Channanon, Illinois. What is there to do out there?

TPA: Not a whole lot. Lots of farms, cows, horses, etc. A lot of times I just have a bonfire with my closest friends and talk, play guitar, have some beers, jump in the pool/hot tub depending on what time of year it is. My friends and I are also huge NCAA Football for PS3 guys. We play that nonstop! It is pretty low key around here, but I am a low key guy so I don’t mind a bit.

S&Em: What are you hoping for people to get from your music?

TPA: A connection. I want listeners to have an image or situation or person pop into their mind when listening to my music. Everything about this EP’s content is real. Everyone can relate to real situations because they happen to everyone, everywhere.

S&Em: Where are you hoping this single takes you?

TPA: I have no plans to be honest. I am taking it day by day, whatever happens, I’ll be okay with. I would love to play a few shows, have some of my friends help me out and play the other instruments. I want to keep this music fun, and an outlet for me. I think the reaction to the EP will decide a lot on its own as far as the future of The Parade Around.

S&Em: Have certain events in particular in your life inspired you to create the songs you create or is it just collective life experience?

TPA: Usually, it’s whatever I am feeling that day and thinking about when writing. Past and present people who have been in my life are definitely mentioned and nothing’s sugar coated. As I said earlier, it’s all real. The content means so much to me. I hope it connects just as much with it’s listeners.

(S&Em note: We love real music, especially when it’s not sugarcoated! It’s the best kind of music. But we are glad we didn’t get on his bad side!)

S&Em: Will there be an EP or a full album after this single?

TPA: I am doing a 3-4 song EP as it stands right now. The single will release November 30 and then I will continue to record the final tracks. I have no release date as of yet, I don’t plan on rushing anything. Creativity suffers in time constraints when I write.

S&Em: Describe your personality in 3 words!

TPA: Bearded, decisive, quirky.

S&Em: What else can we expect from you in the future?

TPA: The single on November 30 followed by the EP! Also, a longer beard. That’s as much as I have determined so far.

We would like to thank The Parade Around for taking the time to do an interview with us. It was definitely a fun one! Everyone check out The Parade Around:

 On Twitter: @theparadearound


On the website (which will be live the same day the EP is released 11/30): Theparadearound.com


 


Ideal Zero- EP Review

Recently, we were presented with the opportunity to review Ideal Zero’s EP. Ideal Zero is a female-fronted band based out of Orlando, Florida. Fun fact: lead singer Irina is a New England girl like us!   Since S&Em are currently a few hours away from each other, we had to review separately. Sammie’s review is up first, Em’s will be up later. Both of us would like to thank Ideal Zero for giving us the opportunity to give a listen and an opinion to their EP. Here’s what Sammie had to say about each song.

Free Again- If you like Evanescence’s “Imaginary” you’d definitely like the sound of this song. The song screams girl power and freedom. Going through a break up? Blast this loud and proud. “Free Again” has a strong “can’t hold us down” message.  It speaks of no longer being oppressed but trying to fight it “When there’s no place left to go, there’s no escape, no way out that you can find, just free your mind. Even if my hands are bound behind my back, my thoughts won’t be tied down.” I feel like a lot of people would be able to relate to this song. Finding out more of the back story, I learned that this song is against the communist regime. Singer Irina was born in Romania during communism and she said she heard horrible stories from her parents and how “the only way they made it through was keeping their minds free even when nothing else was.” This is all just a new form of haunting. I LOVE a song with a powerful message. 4/5 stars
Surrender- Started off a little slow for me. Reminds me of 90s alternative though, which is a personal favorite of mine. It is a song of losing hope and losing sight of who you are. What is your purpose, why are things the way they are. We all have asked ourselves “why me” at some point in our lives, this song kind of highlights that. Definitely a bit of a switch since “Free Again.” The song ended abruptly for me, I was expecting it to go on, but definitely a good song to let you know you aren’t alone in these thoughts.  The abrupt ending is fitting for the message of the song, which lead singer Irina explains is about “that deciding moment before you commit suicide… because the way I see it, it is impulsive it’s a now or never moment. ” INTENSE! 3/5
Perfect Prey- The first line of this song got me right away “I used to think that you were authentic.” That is such a common trend with people. People think they know someone and then get stabbed right in the back/heart. This song kind of made me smile in a sick and twisted way. It’s kind of like “I can and will find out everything despite how sneaky you think you are.” Never underestimate the power of a pissed off girl. I liked the dynamics of the song. The lyrics were very in your face in a subtle way, if that even makes sense.  “Show go show yourself, for who you really are” Don’t you all wish you could just yell that in someone’s face? It was one of those songs that you start listen to, learn the words instantly, and then feel like the song is 30 seconds. It’s THAT good. 5/5
I Will Rise- This song had a totally different sound than the rest in the beginning. It’s amazing the impact one person can have on your life. Quite inspirational, acknowledging how life can get hard but how you have to keep on going and try to hold your head up high and conquer every obstacle.  As a person who has dealt with a lot of bullying due to being in and out of a wheelchair, this song hit close to home. Love the message behind this song and it definitely showcases her vocal abilities to the fullest. Just this one stanza has an amazing punch to it Who do you think you are? Who knew that you would take things so far, and try to deny me of my innocence, but I will rise and hold my head up high.”  I definitely have this song on repeat. 4/5
Beneath the Sun-This song had more of an electronic sound to it, which I must say isn’t my favorite. Again, the message behind this song was incredible and easy to relate to. I feel as though the instrumentals drowned out the vocals a bit in this song though. “I don’t care what people say” is a great message “I won’t let them have their way, they can’t stop me from living” is an even stronger sentiment. This song is definitely fighting against popular opinion and about being yourself, in which I have to say rock on. 2.5/5
Overall this EP is incredibly powerful. I was moved by the lyrics and could relate to them and know that others would be able to also. I sound like a broken record but this is the ultimate “I am woman hear me roar” type of EP (no the band is not all women). The lead singer, Irina, is reminiscent of Amy Lee mixed with a touch of Haley Williams, so overall an incredibly powerful and unique voice. There’s such a genuine rock vibe to this music and I love it! Definitely an EP I will keep on my iPod and would recommend it to all of my female friends and even my male friends that dig great music. Definitely be on the lookout for Ideal Zero! You can find their EP on iTunes!
Follow Ideal Zero on Twitter

Art of Dying Interview

S&Em Music Reviews and Interviews got the amazing opportunity to speak with Greg Bradley, the guitarist from the band Art of Dying. This man shows that musicians everywhere can still have a great personality while being successful! Die Hards get ready! Everyone else, go buy their album “Vices & Virtues" on iTunes now! You won’t regret it! Learn some more about him and the band!

S&Em: Art of Dying started out in the early 2000’s, what was the catalyst in starting the band up?

GB: Jonny and I have been playing music together for years and we had a different band before Art of Dying called “Sunlikestar.” The music was rock infused with electronic elements. You can still get it on CD baby! After that album cycle, we decided to take a creative change and that meant getting rid of the electronics and changing the name. It was a fresh start to what we now  know as the music of Art of Dying!

S&Em: In 2008, it says you lost three of the original members. What happened there? Creative differences?

GB: We had gone through a few members since we started creating the music for Art of Dying. All of our former members are great players and great people, but it wasn’t the lineup that we needed to push the band into where we are now. When Jeffy came on board and then Tavis and Cale, we knew we had the magical element to leap forward.

S&Em: A lot of up and coming and even already established rock bands are starting in Canada more than the US. Do you think Canada has more of a “rock scene” compared to the US?

GB: I wouldn’t say that Canada has more of a rock scene. I think we all think of Seattle as a “scene,” but even in that scenario, I think there just happened to be some great bands that came to the forefront at the same time. The same goes for the current bands that happen to be from Canada. They were all able to make a big splash and it’s pretty cool!!

S&Em: You have toured with great acts like Seether, Three Days Grace, and Disturbed. Of all the acts you’ve toured with, who was the most fun to tour with?

GB: You put me on the spot!! They’re all great bands and good friends of ours! LOL! Disturbed signed us to their imprint label through Warner Bros. after touring with them the first time. We toured with them twice after that and had a blast! We first toured with Seether in England and formed a great bond with them and their crew during that tour. Then, we toured with Seether and 3DG on the Uproar Tour last year. It was great to be on the road again with Seether and it was the first time we toured with 3DG. Adam Gontier is Cale’s cousin, so obviously we’re very tight with those guys and it was great fun to finally tour with them!

S&Em: The YouTube lyric video page for the song “Sorry” has become a public apology forum for some of your fans. How do you feel about that? Did you expect something like this to happen?

GB: Warner Bros. made the lyric video before we knew about it. LOL! When they sent the original version to us, we were all impressed and thought the director did a great job. Jonny had the idea to have fans take a picture of them holding up a sign saying “Sorry” and posting on their Facebook and Twitter pages. That’s how it became what it is today. We didn’t expect it…it just evolved and we’re stoked on how it all turned out.

S&Em: The video for “Sorry” has 776,012 views after 7 months of being out. Buckcherry’s song “Sorry” has been out for two years on YouTube and only has about a million more views. Do you think your “Sorry” could become even bigger than Buckcherry’s song of the same title?

GB: Hope so! LOL! Buckcherry’s song is great and they deserve that recognition. As a band you always strive to have your songs reach as many people as possible.

S&Em: You call your fans “Die Hards.” Did you ever imagine having a fan base that was so dedicated?

GB: I’ve always imagined a dedicated fan base when we put the band together. Our “Die Hard” fans are amazing and we’re proud and surprised at how devoted they are to the band.

S&Em: You seem to really care for your fans, how important are they to you?

GB: The fans are extremely important to us. Without them, we would not have a platform to release our music. We believe it’s important to meet the fans at every show and stay in touch via Facebook and Twitter daily.

S&Em: What has been the most unreal experience you have experienced (as a band)?

GB: For me, playing big arenas was a dream I had growing up. So when I finally started playing them especially some of the NHL arenas in Canada, I had to pinch myself to know it was real!

S&Em: You are signed to Reprise Records/Intoxication Records, which is Disturbed’s record label. How did that deal come about?

GB: We released our debut album called “Art of Dying” independently and used all our old connections we built when we were playing as Sunlikestar to shop the album for label interest. Jonny met a radio promoter based out of Boston in those days and sent him the debut Art of Dying album when we had it completed. This promoter passed it on to Dan Donegan from Disturbed while they were looking for bands for Intoxication Records. Dan liked what he heard and called us to offer a tour with Disturbed. Dan watched us perform every night on that tour and they offered us a deal a few months after the tour. Surreal moments for us indeed!

S&Em: Of all the songs that you have created, which s your favorite to perform and why?

GB: I personally like to play “Die Trying.” It’s the first single off “Vices & Virtues” and one of our heaviest songs. The single did really well at active rock radio in North America, so everyone at the shows knows the words to it and sings along. “Die Trying” seems to be our biggest song at our shows and it’s awesome to perform it!

S&Em: What song do you believe is on that most people can relate to?

GB: "Get Thru This" has been huge for us in terms of connecting deeply with our fans. We get messages on Facebook and Twitter all the time from fans saying how that song had helped them get through whatever challenges they are facing. It’s amazing to hear these stories and how people are empowered to rise above their personal challenges. It’s also song that initially drew Dan Donegan to the band! "Best I Can" also has the same appeal to our fans.

S&Em: Who does most of the song writing?

GB: Writing for us is a collaborative effort. We all write songs and riffs and make the music together. We share all our ideas with each other and pick the strongest ones to complete for our albums.

S&Em: "Get Thru This" is a beautiful song. We saw that Jonny Hetherington wrote it after his father was diagnosed with cancer. Does that make performing this song more difficult or does it  help relieve some of the pain from that?

GB: Jonny thinks of his father every time we perform that song live. His father beat cancer so the song is not difficult to perform… it’s more fuel for his fire!

S&Em: You have Rock Vegas Fest coming up. It sounds like it is going to be an amazing show! How do you prepare for shows individually and then as a band?

GB: We’ve toured a lot over the past 2 years, so we have dialed our show in really tight. The five of us get together for at least an hour before the show to get into the vibe of giving our best performance and then go out there and give it up!

S&Em: What is one sow that is unforgettable to you and why?

GB: One of my favorite bands of all time is Alice in Chains and we played Rock on the Range in Winnipeg last year with them. We also filmed our video for “Get Thru This” during that show. It was great to share the same stage with Alice in Chains and I’ll never forget that one!

S&Em: Where is your favorite place to perform?

GB: Tough to say since we play all over the place! I enjoy playing the arenas. They’re always great shows. But we have great shows in theaters and clubs as well.

S&Em: What musicians have had the most influence on the band as a whole and you individually?

GB: I personally have been influenced by guitar players like Jimmy Page, Jerry Cantrell, and Randy Rhoads. I think the bands as a whole have been largely influenced by the big grunge era bands. Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains specifically. Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and GNR are also some of the bands that inspire us.

S&Em: What is something you hope that people that hear your songs get out of them?

GB: If our songs move you or have a lasting impact then we’ve done our job as musicians and artists! I hope that people can be inspired to do be whoever they want and accomplish whatever they want to do through our music.

S&Em: What is the most difficult part of being in a band?

GB: I think being away from your loved ones at home is the hardest part of being in a touring band. It is definitely a sacrifice that comes with the territory.

S&Em: What musician (s) from the present day do you feel will be considered legends in the future?

GB: Disturbed are metal gods in my opinion. 3DG and Seether are modern rock heroes that write incredible songs and are the bands that I feel are legends of the future. Even though we are tight with all 3 bands, I genuinely feel they are great long lasting bands!

S&Em: If you were to put together your ideal tour, who would be on it?

GB: Alice in Chains, Disturbed, Metallica, 3DG, Seether, and of course Art of Dying!

S&Em Note: We would be front and center at that show!

S&Em: We are all about bands that do their own singing and play their own instruments. What do you think about artists that lip sync and/or use auto tune and yet still get to be so successful?

GB: I personally think it’s better to not use tape in performances. It has a much more organic and real feeling when you’re the spectator. As a performer, you’re restricted to the tape machine. I hope using tape is something that artists use less of in the future. I think that it’s really only necessary for pop artists that use a lot of dancing in their performance so you don’t hear them huffing and puffing!

S&Em: We noticed you don’t have any stops in Massachusetts coming up, are there any in the works?

GB: Hope so, we have two shows in Phoenix and Las Vegas coming up in September, then we’ll see what’s next after that! 

S& Em Note: We will keep our blog readers updated, as we are anxious ourselves!

S&Em: How do you make time on the road more enjoyable?

GB: We’re all good friends, both band and crew so we always make the best of where ever we are at the moment. If we’re on the coast, we’ll try to spend a day off at the beach or find a great local pub and have to tasty pints.

S&Em: What is up next for Art of Dying?

GB: We still have “Sorry” as an active single right now and we hope to release more songs on “Vices & Virtues” as singles in the near future. In the meantime, we’re working on new material so we can release a new record just as we are done with V&V.


S&Em would like to thank Mr. Bradley for taking the time to do an interview with us! It was an amazing opportunity and we are forever grateful. 

Check out their website for all things Art of Dying at http://www.artofdying.com/news.php

Find them on Facebook and Twitter too!

DBeez Interview

S&Em Music Reviews and Interviews interviewed DBeez, a rapper native to Massachusetts. His new single, “July Nights” drops July 23rd and his mixtape will be dropping August 18th! See what we learned when we interviewed him!

S&Em: While doing some research we saw you thanked Moufy, have you worked with him?

DBeez: Yes I thanked Moufy. We haven’t worked together yet but we will. He is [a] very close childhood friend of mine. We still hang out from time to time. Even though we haven’t worked together yet his presence is crazy to be around. Very funny guy indeed laughs.

S&Em: Your Twitter lists your locations as Boston, London, New York, and LA, why is that?

DBeez: I have those locations to symbolize the Worldwide Buzz I aim to create in my future. I am originally from Boston, but in order to be successful, you need to conquer 1 of these locations

S&Em:Growing up, were you always into rap? Did you think you would be a rapper?

DBeez: I always loved rap growing up. I had no clue I would actually be one myself. It just kind of happened. My friends motivated me to build my talent and I’m still building every day.

S&Em: When did you begin discovering and developing your talent?

DBeez: I was 14 when I first discovered I can rap. I used to write lyrics in class and rap them as my favorite rappers in their voice. At 18, I really noticed my ability to create a vision through music, so now I’m taking advantage.

S&Em: Your music video for “Winner” looks like it was shot in Boston and has several plays on YouTube. What was it like filming this?

DBeez: It was amazing. My man Frank was awesome through the whole process. People came out and showed support that didn’t even know me. It was fun and I will have a ton of videos coming in the next 2 months. (Note: Check the end of this interview for links and details!)

S&Em: What/who are some of your greatest inspirations for songs?

DBeez: Moufy, Big Sean, Drake, and Wayne inspire me with their passion and creativity in each of their songs. Also, my fans inspire me. I make music based on everyday situations that most can relate to.

S&Em: Is there a specific message you want your listeners/fans to get from your music?

DBeez: I want people to know dreams can come true if you work hard. “Winner” means work hard and never quit, in my book it’s deeper than just self accomplishment.

S&Em: If you could go back and tell your 13 year old self something, what would it be?

DBeez: I would tell myself to do more homework. Laughs. I could’ve been at Harvard or something. Laughs

S&Em:What is some advice you’d give to aspiring artists?

DBeez: Success is just an option. You need to work hard to open it. Also, keep writing music and never get discouraged when you hear a bad review- it’s life. Also take pride in everything you do.

S&Em: If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be and why?

DBeez: Lil Wayne. That would [be] a high energy song and music video and also a good time.

S&Em: Listening to music today, who do you think will be considered legendary?

DBeez: Drake, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, and Chris Brown. They all transform music and [are] making amazing music all the time.

S&Em: If you had to describe your music with three words, what words would they be?

DBeez: Unique, clever, and uplifting. Also I’m so Beez. Laughs

S&Em: What do you want people to remember about you?

DBeez: That I’m a hard working, fun loving artist who lived out a dream and an inspiration to all young artists.

S&Em: What is your biggest goal in the music industry?

DBeez: To get my voice heard and to gain the hearts of music lovers.

S&Em Music Review and Interviews would like to thank DBeez for taking time out of his schedule to do an interview with us.


Follow him on Twitter @imsobeez
Find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/617DBeez
Check him out on YouTube, user name Nonametags

He loves feedback of any kind (negative or positive) and is looking to do some fan interaction so don’t be shy!

Also check this out:



Meet Sammie

Hey everyone!

I’m Sammie, one half of S&Em Music Reviews and Interviews! We felt it would be good to give a little background on ourselves before we started posting our reviews and interviews.

So here I go!

I am a student majoring in sport/entertainment management. My diploma will say only sport management, but the school is altering the program to include entertainment management since they dropped my major this year. I have an absolute passion for music and helping bands and artists get the recognition they deserve. I am a small time concert booking “agent” and promoter. It is one of the best things I ever could have started doing.

When I do something, I like to know every aspect of it. From sound engineering to how the bands get inspired, I want to know it all. S&Em Music Reviews and Interviews will help me gain that insight to bands and artists and how they work. It will give me that extra edge and also help the band or artist out a little bit.

As far as actual music goes, I really do love a vast majority of it. Most people are surprised when they hear about the bands and artists I listen to. As an old ballerina, I am calmed by classical music. I love my alternative and rock music too, but find guilty pleasure in 90s/early 2000s pop music.

Just a VERY short list of bands/artists on my list of favorites include:

Nickelback

Blink 182

Insane Clown Posse

Bush

Backstreet Boys

Twiztid

Creed

My Darkest Days

Boys Like Girls

Jason Mraz

Katy Perry

Evanescence

And of course MANY MORE.

But I try to be as diverse as I can. I’ve grown up in a family of musicians. I dabbled in the clarinet for a little while, but I gave that up. I am much better in the business side of music.

I hope that S&Em Music Reviews and Interviews can help expand my knowledge, help bands get more publicity, and allow me to have a little bit of fun with it!

So I hope you all enjoy our interviews and reviews once we get going!

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