Blessed By A Broken Heart

Summer time seems to be filled with millions of tours be it the Warped Tour in it'€™s sixteenth year of existence or the Bamboozle Roadshow to the Scream it Like You Mean it Tour to the one that is about to kick off on July 2nd with Scream the Prayer. Headlining it is Maylene and the Sons of Disaster along with For Friday and they'€™re bringing several bands along for the ride.

I'€™ll be giving you interviews with several of the bands on the tour in these next few days from A Plea for Purging, I the Breather, In The Midst of Lions, For Today and more but today I'€™m bringing you ours with Blessed By A Broken Heart. The band was actually on the first ever Scream the Prayer tour and these Montrealers seem to be incredibly excited to be hitting the tour again as I'm sure US fans are as well!

If you could tour with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be?
Definitely Journey, Stryper and Iron Maiden, this would be the most epic tour the world has ever seen!!

How did your band first come together?
Hmm, I have had lots of "sort of bands" but which one qualifies as the first? I guess when I was 16, me and a few dudes from church got together and started learning a bunch of punk songs. We never got to play any shows, but we sure tore up my moms living room. Haha!

How do you normally go about the songwriting process? Is it one person, more of a collective effort?
It usually just comes to us. No effort whatsoever. Nah, its a collective effort for sure. A lot of times we will even write each others parts.Slater writes vocals sometimes, and sometimes I will write drums. Tyler and Sean do a bunch too, and Sean also makes sandwiches for the band..

You'€™re about to start the Scream The Prayer tour. What are you most looking forward to from this experience?
Well we were on the very first STP tour. I can tell you that it was super uplifting and very chill. Looking forward to every aspect of it.

Are there any bands that you'€™re particulary excited to catch/meet on this tour?
I haven't really listened to a whole lot of the bands we are touring with, but I'm for sure pumped to rock the stage with them.

What would you say is your favorite part of the touring experience?
The best part about touring is seeing the faces on the fans when we pull up in our outrageous bus.I'm not going to go into detail, you just need to see it for yourself...haha!

What maybe is the craziest thing you have seen or experienced while on the road?
There is a bridge somewhere in Louisiana that is like 20 miles long with no exits or rest stops. About half way through, Tyler says "Pull over, I have to use the restroom." He expressed that there is NO WAY he can wait, "PULL OVER NOW" So we stopped, and with cars zooming by, he hung his butt over the edge and let out a roar. I look down only to see a couple of boats passing directly under. I don't have to go into detail, I'm sure you have a vivid imagination. After ruining a couple band shirts, we were back on the road.

What can fans look forward to when coming out to one of your live sets?
I'm not going to spoil it, but we have a pretty wild show. Over the top light show, gnarly ninja moves, sweet jams.You don't want to miss it, if you aren't stoked that you watched us, I will personally let you punch me in the face...

What can fans look forward to from your band the next few months? More tours, new music?
After the US tour we will be locking ourselves in the studio to finish up our next record. We are super pumped for everyone to hear the new stuff.

For updates keep checking back on our website.. www.blessed.mu
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El DeBarge

El DeBarge's triumphant return to the stage at the 2010 '€œBET Awards'€ on June 27th was only the beginning of life'€™s second chance for one of R&B Pop'€™s most distinctive and popular voices. On the star-studded show, DeBarge performed the title track from his forthcoming aptly titled album Second Chance, to be released this fall by Geffen Records, and a medley of his R&B smash hits "All This Love, "I Like It,'€ Time Will Reveal," and "Rhythm Of The Night." The soulful performance by the charismatic DeBarge opened an exciting new chapter for the man whose emotional, uplifting music has romanced one generation of fans and is set to do the same for another.

"I want the world to know that everybody deserves a second chance," says DeBarge. His long-awaited fifth solo album, Second Chance tells his story of redemption, which followed a period of personal turmoil for the immensely talented singer and songwriter. Earlier, his tender falsetto and smooth love songs resulted in 16 Top 10s both with his family group DeBarge, one of America'€™s most popular young R&B Pop acts of the '€˜80s, and as a solo artist. But El continued to be heard even after exiting the scene following 1994'€™s Heart Mind And Soul, a collaboration with Babyface. Everyone from The Notorious B.I.G. and Ashanti to Mariah Carey and Patti LaBelle has covered or sampled hits featuring him as lead singer, many of which he also wrote and produced. Now the original is back'€”refreshed, rededicated and ready to take his place once more among the genuine stars of R&B.

Songs on Second Chance were co-written and co-produced by some of music's most notable hitmakers, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface, Mike City, Michael Angelo, Mishka, the Avila Brothers and Ron Fair.

El DeBarge interview
Q: What do you want to tell us with this album? What is your message?
A: I want the world to know that tomorrow is full of second chances, and all your fears should be left behind you.

Q: Why did you write the song "Second Chance"?
A: I wrote "Second Chance" to commemorate all the struggles I went through, and I feel it speaks to struggles in the souls and the hearts of people who are going through what I went through and who want a second chance.

Q: How are you feeling being back?
A: I'm very grateful to be back. It's joyful, it's scary, it's all of that.

Q: Describe your connection to your fans.
A: I love my fans. I like being up close and personal with them, so I really like being on tour more than I like just being in the studio.

Q: Are you a spiritual person?
A: I have a close relationship with God. From the moment I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to get on my knees and pray. He's everything to me. He's my music. He's my source of creativity. He's my breath.

Q: What is the El DeBarge sound, and how has it changed and evolved over the years?
A: The El DeBarge sound is soulful, it's joyful, it's filled with intricate harmonies. It talks about life, it talks about love... it hasn't changed, though. It's the same.

Q: What's your songwriting process like? Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: I draw inspiration from walking down the street, from driving, from being in crowds and just vibing off people, but I like to begin my songwriting process with sitting at the piano. That way I can critique and develop what I'm hearing musically.

Q: You've overcome a lot in the past few years. What would be your message to fans?
A: I lost a lot of time, I lost a lot of good friends, but I'm back, though there were some serious consequences. You don't want to go down that road. You don't need to experiment with drugs. Some people say that experience is the best teacher, but you don't need to experience that. Just learn from my mistakes.

Q: You've said recently that self-denial was your first step toward drug abuse, and you lost touch with reality. What's the best way of staying true to yourself?
A: Keep people around you that were in your joy period of life. That's the most authentic period of your life, and that's mostly your childhood and your teens, rather than your "good times" or "bad times," and don't ever lose that. Don't succumb to the new "friendships" that just come out of nowhere. That's not going to do it. That will get you in trouble right there.

Q: What brings joy to your life?
A: A good song makes me feel joyful. I like hearing chords and pretty melodies; I brighten up if I hear something that sounds good. Simple things like that '€“ watching the sun come up, watching the sun set - and last, but definitely not least, a beautiful woman.

Q: Can you talk about some of your favorite tracks on the album?
A: One of my favorite tracks is "How Can You Love Me So Much, Girl?" produced by the Avila Brothers and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Another is "Serenading You." That's for lovers who really want to serenade their woman, and it's written by Mike City. I have quite a few of them.

Q: What can your fans expect from you?
A: Oh, we're going to have a good time when I get back on stage. It's going to be so joyful! We're going to sing some of the old songs, some of the new songs '€“ we're just going to have some fun.
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Jer Coons

Next up is another one of those internet success stories. No, it'€™s not Jeffree Star or Justin Bieber. It'€™s Jer Coons, another crooner who comes from in his own words,
'€˜a very remote town in the middle of nowhere in a town called Middlebury, Vermont.'€™ We'€™ve learned in these past few years the power of the internet and it'€™s ability for truly talented people to get their music in the hands of kids everywhere, and it'€™s helped Jer get to where he'€™s gotten today. It'€™s been a commonly talked about topic in my interviews over this past year, and Jer has one of the biggest success stories.
He'€™s released his debut full length record '€˜Speak'€™ to great acclaim and has brought these songs all over the country on multiple tours including headline dates and touring with reggae artist Trevor Hall to name a few. I recently got the chance to sit down with Jer prior to his recent stop in Allston and we talked about everything from his start in music to what kids can look forward to at his live shows. Be ready for awkward hand claps, out of line jokes and a possible cover of both Party In The USA and Tik tok. If you have the chance to see this talented boy, take it and let me know what you think. It'€™s a treat!

Random question to start but if you were to collaborate with another artist, who would they be and why?
Trevor Hall.
Trevor Hall?
Because he'€™s the man. Seriously, we got to sing together man at some point! Um, honestly it'€™s a privilege to open for Trevor and it is very cool to be sharing the stage with him. One of my biggest idols and I think because I love the idea of being completely humbled by virtuosos. There is this guy who'€™s name is Chris Thile, not to be confused with Chris Steele which sounds similar. He played with this band Nickle Creek, he was a mandolin player. He'€™s insane, I mean absolutely crazy and the best musician of all time so I would love to just, I don'€™t know if collaborating is the right word but I would just kind of want to watch his work process and see what someone like that works like.

And how did you first got started in music?
My dad played music and my mother sings and plays piano and my dad played guitar and um, I was lucky enough just to grow up in a very musical environment and had guitars hanging around the house and I listened to a lot of early Beatles when I was a little kid in my formative years. So I think the whole pop three and a half minute song structure was deeply ingrained in my head and I liked the aesthetics of the guitar. I liked the idea and I begged for one when I was six and my dad got me a little short scale guitar. I didn'€™t have the attention span because when you'€™re six, you sort of forget about everything. I'€™m more concerned with building things out of cardboard at this point but yeah so I got the guitar when I was six and I didn'€™t really have the ability to play it for about six more years after that point when I was in middle school and got a little more serious about it.

And how do you go about the writing process for your songs?
I can'€™t really manufacture it. A lot of people can, you know a lot of professional song writers or whoever have the ability to conjure up artificial subject matter for songs but I can only write about something if it just sort of lands in my consciousness, it sort of happens.

Recently, your full length came out '€œSpeak'€. How has that been doing for you so far?
It'€™s been cool! It'€™s been an independent release so it'€™s all about gradual momentum and the very grassroots effort of trying to get as many people to know about it as possible. So, I'€™ve been going around and preaching the Jer Coons gospel so hopefully people will listen. Doing a lot of support stuff, playing a lot of new markets and just in general being unabashedly you know, self promoting and telling as many people about what I'€™m doing as possible. It'€™s just been doing very well and definitely it'€™s something that I encourage people to tell their friends about and really just feel the music. Like I said, it'€™s independent so anything helps so it'€™s cool if you can support it . Really just getting the word out to as many people as possible and the internet has been a big help with that for sure.

So I know you started out with your big single as '€œLegs'€ I believe. That became insanely popular.Through being played in Hollister, through social media. How do you feel that has affected you today?
It'€™s the only way I could do what I'€™m able to do every day because I come from a very remote town in the middle of nowhere in a town called Middlebury, Vermont. It'€™s very small and with out the internet, I wouldn'€™t be able to reach the people that I'€™m able to and especially keeping in touch too. I have a lot of face book friends and twitter and tumblr and all those silly, geeky things. If it'€™s an internet thing where you can make an account, I probably have one so I just try my best to keep in touch with people and I recognize that in this digital age, it'€™s a matter of you know just keeping in touch with everyone and making them know that you appreciate that they'€™re listening to your music and sort of blows my mind when someone the other day friend requested me from the Phillipines. Like '€˜How did you find me?'€™ So certainly, I'€™m able to live in a place that is very beautiful and humble and very remote and definitely not a musical Mecca by any means in terms of the business but I'€™m still able to keep in touch with as many people as I hope to.

Good. What would you say is your favorite part of touring? I know you did a national tour before this one on your own.
I really enjoy meeting people and also singing songs especially but there'€™s just something really cool about touring because you meet a lot of people in generally very brief circumstances. One thing that'€™s a very interesting phenomena is as you get to know some one over a period of time, you obviously will know minor details about someone, all the little things that make up their quirks, etcetera. The first like ten minutes with any person are generally very indicative of what their entire thing is. Like you could find out that skiing is a huge thing for them in the first ten minutes of meeting them so that'€™s one thing about touring that makes it remarkable, something interesting even when you'€™re playing the same songs and it gets sort of tedious, I suppose. It'€™s definitely interesting to meet people and everyone has a very unique story.

Who would you say are some of your bigger musical influences?
I mentioned the Beatles before, definitely earlier Beatles. It was when I was younger, I was only exposed to the early Beatles stuff and so for me, when I listened to the older Beatles stuff, it opened up to a lot of different things and it'€™s funny because even if a band doesn'€™t cite the Beatles as an influence, it'€™s really through osmosis. Every single band and every person has been influenced by them. You know so something like that or something like Michael Jackson. He was a really really huge influence like I did a cover of a Jackson 5 song '€˜I Want You Back'€™ which is very difficult to do because I recognize that Michael Jackson at age eight is better then I will ever be in my entire life vocally. So, I really wanted to sort of pay tribute to him and do it in a way that in a perfect world was a song that I would have written you know! A genre that I could have worked in or recognized that I could potentially you know do a cover song of my own idiom, a pop idiom, the acoustic folk world and R&b. Definitely Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix. I'€™d be lying if I said John Mayer wasn'€™t a big influence as much as people want to discredit what he'€™s doing as not being authentic, I think he brings a lot to the table. He'€™s very talented. Obviously, Chris Thile from Nicklecreek.
Circle that.
Absolutely. Underline, double underline.

If you were to tour with any three bands, well you may have already named them but I mean alive doing the music thing now?
I'€™m going to have to limit it to bands that tour now because it'€™s way too difficult. I would love to tour with John Mayer for sure. Let'€™s see..who could be cool. That'€™s a very good question, no one'€™s ever asked me that before. I would love to tour with Chris Thile! He'€™s in a group called The Punch Brothers, they'€™re like a blue grass ensemble that plays everything from jazz to pop to rock to reggae with the most authenticity and their whole thing is playing entirely live with two microphones. Like with a banjo, acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and double bass and live they play in front of these two microphones and it'€™s like the most unreal thing you could ever imagine because they'€™re all virtuosos so I'€™d love to open for a band like that and then walk on stage and feel sort of good about myself and then have them blow me out of the water. There'€™s nothing like a group of total virtuosos that make you want to learn your instrument better.

For sure, and then what can fans look forward to when they go to a Jer Coons show?
What can they look forward to? A lot of awkward humor. I'€™m a very awkward guy and I think that I am probably more comfortable on stage then off but I like to laugh a couple times so typically from the reaction of the people, I'€™ll make an out of line comment at some point of some sort during the show and I'€™ll have to address it. Every show is a little different from the last even if I play similar songs. I like to switch it up every night, pretty much end up saying something that is so embarrassing that people feel bad for me and then in turn they get sort of motivated by it like a Tony Robbins motivational cassette tape so you can leave the show feeling really invigorated about yourself and glad that you'€™re not me.

Aw! If a fan was to take away one message after listening to your music, what would you want it to be?
Well, thank god that you aren'€™t me, that'€™s horribly pessimistic. Uh, have a good time all the time. Just sort of do what makes you happy, I guess. Coming back to the fourth grade class that I just spoke to. That was sort of the whole message of my thing. Value people over products and value and humble over the opposite. There'€™s a whole world out there so meet them and say hi!

Just a goofy question now, you used to have a bio where you go artist to artist?
What made you decide to do your bio that way?
I'€™m just in a world that is very over populated, the singer/songwriter world, especially in the straight pop acoustic niche where comparisons are very easy. I started to get some press and I started to get some CD reviews when I first started out. It almost seems like lazy journalism but at the same time, it could be warranted certainly but people make a lot of comparisons to people like John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Howie Day, that sort of world of things and it was my attempt at separating myself from the immediate comparisons. I mean, I definitely do have a lot of similarities, and really it'€™s very tongue in cheek. I'€™m sort of laughing with them about things but the biggest reason is just I don'€™t take myself seriously. A lot of people think it'€™s really easy, especially when you'€™re just starting out to write a bio that has a lot of fluff in it. A lot of accolades that aren'€™t necessarily true and starting out, I didn'€™t have much to brag about and I still don'€™t but I don'€™t really feel the need to so I just decided to make fun of myself. Hopefully some people will think it'€™s funny and some people will come see a show.
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Silverstein

Silverstein is normally seen as one of the biggest harder music forces in Canada and over time, I have had the chance to sit down with Shane the lead singer twice and luckily at an extremely historic time for a band. The band is currently celebrating ten years as a band and seem to be moving non stop just as they always have. They just finished a tour with A Day To Remember, headlined their own back in October with Madina Lake and Closure in Moscow to name a few and will be headlining one of the most exciting tours to see this summer along with releasing a live CD/DVD package!
They'€™ll be the headlining act on the Scream It Like You Mean It tour this summer that also plays temporary home to bands like Dance Gavin Dance, I Set My Friends On Fire, Story of the Year and We Came As Romans just to name a few! They also, as we talked about in this interview, released their brand new live CD/DVD that they filmed at a four night stand at El Mocambo that also includes interviews from people who have been on this journey with the band and the members themselves. Lots is going on for this band right now and lucky for me, I got the chance to talk about it all with Shane!

(Q):If you could collaborate with any other band on this tour, who would they be and what do you think the song would be about?
I think it would be cool to do like '€œTake Me Out To The Ball game'€ with August Burns Red. We'€™re all pretty big baseball fans and we got a chance to go to the Mets game in New York yesterday. None of us are Mets fans, but we just love baseball so it was fun to go to that. We'€™ll do '€œTake Me Out To The Ball Game'€, that would be pretty awesome.

(Q):Then how has the tour been going so far, you said before it'€™s been really crazy.
It'€™s been nuts! Like, we'€™ve done a lot of tours in our ten year career but this tour is definitely the most, the highest demand I'€™ve ever seen for a tour. I mean we'€™ve done like huge tours where like twenty thousand people would come an I'€™ve seen just like every show be sold out, but these are like extra sold out to the point where people are just like just wanting a ticket so bad, they'€™re doing anything to get into the show. I'€™ve never really seen that kind of hype or demand for a tour so it'€™s been crazy and people are coming out and lining up like all night. Just camping out and everything so it'€™s been pretty cool. Well, it was Florida so it'€™s not that hard to camp out in Florida but still sick.

(Q):Now, I never asked this question in our last one. What made you actually first start wanting to do music?
Well when I was a kid my family were always music fans. You know, like around the house my mom always would put on like Led Zeppelin records and we were just always listening to Kiss records. My dad'€™s into like the old fifties and sixties rock music and stuff and they always listened to music around the house and my dad plays a little bit of guitar so he played guitar and sings, so music was kind of always around. My whole family can play piano except me too but It wasn'€™t really until I was about, somewhere between 10 and 12 years old, and I heard the band Metallica for the first time with my sister and like right when I heard that, I was just like I'€™d heard it before. It was so familiar to me and like the sound and the music and I really just like wanted to create that somehow and that'€™s when I decided I wanted to play guitar and electric guitars. So, my parents'€™ got me one and I started taking guitar lessons. From then, like my interest in music grew and grew and I got into more and more different types of bands and stuff. Until you know, I got into like starting my own band and punk bands, hardcore bands and here I am today with Silverstein so it'€™s kind of ramped up and it was never like something that I wanted to do as a career per say because I never thought I was going to have an opportunity to. You know, I'€™m sure some bands are like '€™Yeah I always knew I was going to do this'€™, I didn'€™t feel that way at all. I just loved it as a hobby and now to have the chance to do it as a career is great.

(Q):Then your last record, it'€™s been out for just over a year now. How do you think that'€™s been doing through all of these tours and the kids reactions maybe?
Yeah, it'€™s doing awesome! So many people who have come out have told me it'€™s like their favorite Silverstein record and how awesome it is, their favorite record of the year. It'€™s cool because a lot of bands, they seem to start strong and every record, they get a little bit worse. For us to feel like we'€™ve made our best record ever on our fourth record and not only feel that way but actually have the fans agree is a really, really great thing. So, the record is doing well commercially and you know it'€™s kind of cool when people are yelling out your new songs and not your old songs at shows so it'€™s great!

(Q):Then how did that recording process differ for that album maybe because it was the last for Victory. Did it matter?
Well, the recording process was different but it wasn'€™t different because it was our last with Victory at all. You'€™re right about us being done with Victory. We signed for four records and we'€™re done but at the time of recording the record, we were still doing a record for Victory and like we were still on Victory until now basically. So, the recording process was different because we made the record in Canada at home which we hadn'€™t done since our first record. We did the entire record in one studio where as before we would do like drums in one studio, guitars in one studio, like we moved around. So, we did it all in one studio the whole record and we spent a lot more time on it. So we had, I don'€™t remember exactly how many weeks for tracking, but we had a lot more time. I guess there was a lot of pressure still like there always is to make a great record but I didn'€™t feel the time constraints like I did for '€œArrivals and Departures'€ where it was like looking at the schedule and I'€™m like '€˜Shit, we'€™re a day late and now we'€™re three days late and I still haven'€™t done any vocals. Like I don'€™t want to have to squeeze all my vocals into the last like four days'€™. That was a very big concern where as this record, we were so far ahead of schedule and we had so much time. I'€™d like roll in and I'€™d be like '€™Yeah, I don'€™t really feel like singing today'€™ and it would be like '€™alright, let'€™s go for lunch and let'€™s just work on something else. Let'€™s do like some guitar effect stuff today'€™. We had like this flexibility with this record recording which made it more fun, made it less seem like work and, I don'€™t know, by far the most fun I'€™ve had with recording anything in my life. So, it was great!

(Q):And then, you did a short residency at El Mocambo. How did that come about/how did it end up going for you? I believe it was pulling one full record every night along with some raritys/b-sides/requests.
Well, um we'€™ve been a band for ten years now, it'€™s our tenth year anniversary. We wanted to do something special for that and also with '€˜A Shipwreck In The Sand'€™ being a concept record, we always thought it would make sense to play it in its'€™ entirety. We hadn'€™t had a chance to do that so originally we wanted to do it and do a tenth year anniversary and play the record from start to finish and I was like, '€˜Well, why don'€™t we do all of our records from start to finish?'€™
It worked out! We found a great venue that, I actually when I was a kid, my first show ever in Toronto was at that venue (my first band) and you know a very special venue that I'€™ve seen so many great bands in over the years. It was really cool that it worked out and we were able to do it and then I'€™m sure you know about us filming it.

(Q):That was actually what I was going to ask next. Is that coming out as a live DVD of all the sets?
It'€™s not all of it, it'€™s sort of like. Well okay, we did four nights and each show was like an hour and a half. It would be like six hours or something of music, it would be a lot to mix and a lot for editing. So, what we did is we went through it and we picked like the best. We have like twenty two songs right now that we'€™re looking to put on it, like a compilation of the four shows a long with a whole bunch of other stuff about what we'€™re doing and interviews with some of our friends and fans and people that have been there for the ten years. So, we really wanted to put together like a full package. We didn'€™t want it just to be like a boring like live CD/DVD where it'€™s like one song after another. We wanted to kind of talk about and celebrate you know our career. We got Robby Starbuck, who'€™s an amazing music video director, to do it and his vision was more like he wants to make it as a music video style then like a concert dvd. So, we wanted to make it a little bit more like, I don'€™t want to say artsy because that kind of sounds like a bad word, but like we just want to make it a little bit more special so that'€™s what we did. So, I don'€™t know if it'€™s going to end up being a whole twenty two songs or just going to come back to you know sixteen or eighteen songs but we started with twenty two and we'€™ll see which ones make the cut. It will come out in June! It will be two discs with a DVD and CD.

(Q):Then, what can fans look forward to when coming out to a live show?
Well, I don'€™t know because like now, we'€™ve been a band for this long, we'€™ll kind of play anything. We'€™re not a like play the same set every night like some bands like every band on this tour no offense to them, they play the same set every day and like I could not do that. I would get bored, like I don'€™t want to be just like on a daily grind. It is enough anyways just to travel and play a show, but I don'€™t want it to be like that as much as possible so I want like, especially with a short set, the forty minutes we'€™re up there I want it to be like fun for me and exciting and if a kid comes up to me during the day and is like '€˜Would you play this song?'€™ I'€™m like '€˜Yeah, I'€™ll play that song'€™. You know because I remember being a kid, listening to bands and like they would never play the old songs I wanted to hear and I'€™d be like '€˜Hey could you play this?'€™ and they'€™d say '€˜No, we can'€™t play that song'€™ or '€˜That song sucks'€™. No, it doesn'€™t suck so we try to do that. We were doing some shows lately where we were just taking requests. We'€™d just go up there, we'€™d start the set with like two songs we wanted to play and then the rest of the time We'€™d be like '€˜Alright, what do you want to hear?'€™. It was cool, we would play any song so that'€™s something I think that kind of sets us apart and you know those shows are awesome.

(Q):And then, the new live DVD is going to come out in June. Are you going to keep touring this year? Are there plans around?
Yeah, we have another tour we'€™re going to do in July which I'€™m not sure I can talk about yet unfortunately but I'€™ll give you as much details as I think I can. It'€™s going to be like a package tour. We'€™ll be headlining it and it'€™s going to be a big, almost like a indoor festival kind of line up so it'€™s going to be about a month long and it'€™s going to be playing all the major cities. We have a great line up and it'€™s going to be something we haven'€™t really done before. It'€™s going to be cool!
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Cimer Amor

Just released his first single "Another Classic" (a MR-favorite for no reason) and his debut album "Taking Nowhere Somewhere" is right around the corner. Cimer Amor is a Philly producer and one-half of CAEN Project. He has worked with artists as Sabac Red, Sha Stimuli, etc... I talked to Cimer about his new album, side-projects he is doing, Poynt Blanc-album, and his history.

Cimer Amor Interview
** note: I had the opportunity to talk to him using MSN. So expect a couple of grammar mistakes but heey, it's 'live' so you, as a fan, won't miss a thing. **

Jermy Leeuwis / MusicRemedy: first off, pleasure talking to you - thanks for taking the time
Jermy Leeuwis / MusicRemedy: okido, please introduce us to Cimer Amor: the producer...
Cimer Amor: What would you like to know? Just a graff head - turned my energy to making music.

Jermy Leeuwis / MusicRemedy [Q]: ok - how you did manage to get into the game? education, hobby, etc...?
Cimer Amor: like I said. I grew up a writing graffiti in philly. when I decided to give emcees a try. I didn't really get into producing until one of my people who slipt a mpc with. all he was suspose to do is make beats. when he really didn't, I started to make them myself. before you knew it I realized I was a 10x better producer then emcee. gave up rapping and the rest is history.

[Q]: ok - so you learned all by doing it yourself?

Cimer Amor: My people showed me the basics then I just kept doing myself. Kept opening up windows till I learned the machine (mpc) inside and out.

[Q]: ok - so the new album - when is it going to be released?
Cimer Amor: June 29th. Through Coalmine Records digitally, on every major online music outlet...itunes, amazon, etc as well as fat beats and ughh accesshiphop.com.

[Q]: First single 'Another Classic' is a tight song, will the album bring the same kind of songs?
Cimer Amor: Pretty much. With a little bit of variety in sound. I have introspective tracks like overtime ft rockie reyes, bounce tracks, like chose me ft caen project and hard hitters like Step Aside ft Jakk Frost, Side Effect, Baby Blak, and Daniela Romeo.

[Q]: How can a track on your album featuring CAEN Project in which you play a part?
Cimer Amor: Any track with me and equinox is a CAEN Project song. Since this is my solo album, every track with Equinox on it as a emcee his naturally caen project...even though we are doing separate stuff right now. We are still one in the same.

[Q]: ok, its better recognizable for the fans/consumers?
Cimer Amor: Yes, keeping the brand moving.

[Q]: Any secret stories behind the new album 'Taking Nowhere Somewhere' we'd have to know?
Cimer Amor: No, just kept collecting songs till I felt like I had a solid album.

[Q]: c'mon, no juicy stories?
Cimer Amor: No, just professinal emcees doing their thing. I reached out to the snowgoons for cuts before waxwork left the Snowgoons. Thats why I have waxwork featured on the album and I was already sending my album out...so no time to redo it. but he laced the track anyways.

[Q]: ahh, ok good to know - is reaching out easier since internet?
Cimer Amor: Yes, Snowgoons are peoples with my peoples so it was only natural...I cool with krush unit. Side Effect, Equinox was featured on blacksnow. So it was only natural to connect when they came to the states. Its all mutual respect.

[Q]: aight, is the first single also the best song?
Cimer Amor: I let the fans judge that. The second single ft Jakk, Side, and Black is equally as powerful but in its own right.
[Q]: ok very political answer :-)

[Q]: What's the difference between producing your own album and somebody else?
Cimer Amor: You look to fit the mold of what other people are doing for their albums, what their signature sounds is...for my album is like if you like this beat drop a verse. jakk frost probably would never have picked the beat for step aside for his album but he kills it and flips it none the less. Same for side and blak.

[Q]: Understandable, do you sometimes have to 'teach' artists that another beat fits them better?
Cimer Amor: I wouldn't say teach. Everyone one the album are dope emcees. when I name the song before they get on it like another classic...it guides them to write to the song in that manner.

[Q]: You recently twittered about an article on Huffington Post about music & money. How is that going for you?
Cimer Amor: Being a struggling artists is no joke out here. You have to be willing to pay for good quality music. You have to demand better. There are alot of people with home studio set ups that are putting so called albums out but the sound quality is a little lacking, or you put out 10 millions freestyle over industry beats instead of creating new songs. If you pay for good professional music... it will force people to make more professional music. thee old supply and demand. The easly accessable music now a days is a blessing and a curse.

[Q]: Isnot it no difference then the old days when trading tapes? only difference thats the internet made it easy-accessible and worldwide.
Cimer Amor: Yea, but people were still going into professional studio. Techonology as made independent music more accessable to make but in some ways not all ways its bring the quality down.

[Q]: Yes but that shouldnot be a problem since majority of the consumers seem to dont mind.
Cimer Amor: All I know is I give 110% everytime I do a track...from arranging the beat to selecting emcees to recording it with the one of the industries top engineers. I can't give a half ass effort. hopfully the consumers see that and reward me for that.

[Q]: Yeah, a few years ago South Park has an episode about this topic. A couple of the biggest stars (ie., Britney Spears, Will Smith, Metallica, Jay-Z, etc...) were protesting against file-sharing while earning massive amounts of money. How do you feel about the contradiction?
Cimer Amor: There is always gonna be file sharing you can't stop that, just like people back in the day people were dubbing tapes. life is abou trying to find the middle ground. I just hope people buy my music to support at the end of the day. its the old cause and effect.

[Q]: CAEN project is a classic hiphop duo, i.e., GangStarr, and the recent PaceWon & Mr Green. In what way do you separate yourselves from them?
Cimer Amor: We let the music dictate that. The music sets us a part. Just like metalica and megadeath were both power metal bands, but their personalities shown through in their music which is was separated them apart. simular in aproach but different.

[Q]: What is your main goal to reach as a producer?
Cimer Amor: To make quality music...not to be afraid to take chances...not to stay in one lane. have different styles of expression. and to quit my nite job to and make a living off this.

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?
Cimer Amor: I let my personal mood guide me. it will tell me what sample to chop or what notes to play. If I have to force a certain idea sometime it takes me awhile to get in the zone. sometimes its like second nature.

[Q]: For quality music, you follow your heart?
Cimer Amor: yes sir

[Q]: You've done some amazing dope collabo's. Sabac being one of the latest which I think was extremely tight. What collaborations could your fans look out for in the future?
Cimer Amor: Well, I am finishing up and album with side effect at the present moment, and starting to work on a poynt blanc album which is CAEN Project, Rellik, and fellow producer Maddwon. I have to finish up projects with my peoples graff master enem the great, and daniela romeo...each project shows a different side of me.

[Q]: Wow, a lot of things going on - isnot it hard to do so many projects at the same time?
Cimer Amor: Each project is a different aproach... a slightly different sound....allows me to keep coming up with different sounds and stay fresh. although there is an order of priorities to keep me in check. For example, finish up this side effect album is my next priority, but sometimes the beats I come up with really don't fit him but are still as dope I use it for the next project.
[Q]: Ahhh ok, working effectively

[Q]: What is a typical day like for you so close to the release date? Hectic?
Cimer Amor: Yea, pushing to get videos made and making sure your on the internet to promote yourself in the fb twitter worlds. can get hetic...but its what keeps me going... So its welcomed... So I get up around 2pm make a beat, till I have to go to work...i work nite work, so I work in a warehouse, useing my droid whenever possible to keep my self visiable, come home in the morning check my email respond to the people I need to respond to. and start the cycle over again. if i'm able to lose that nite job, it will make things alot easier.

[Q]: same ol, same ol' - like every other person - hassle of life.
Cimer Amor: yes sir.

[Q]: hehe, closing up, last question: any final words?
Cimer Amor: yea look out for my album TAKING NOWHERE SOMEWHERE available on june 29th, on itunes and other digital stores. and give a shout to my cousin locked up doing 30 yrs fed time. FREE EXTRA!

[Q]: ouch!!
[Q]: shout out to your cousin!
[Q]: thanks for the interview, I appreciate it taking the time, hopefully I didnot take too much off your time
Cimer Amor: mos definatly. no problems at all
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This Providence

Lately it seems like punk rock with a pop tinge has been taking over the world but one act that is making their own name for themselves are the Seattle based This Providence. They most recently did their first headlining tour ever but over the past years they'€™ve released the incredibly successful '€œWho Are You Now?'€ and have steadily toured across the country.
Recently, I sat down with David Blaise and Dan Young of the band and we talked about everything from their possible gospel connections to what they would be doing if they weren'€™t in the band to their writing process. The boys told me that after the tour, they would be taking a break to sit down and write/record their next record, but to watch for the band on the online radar. Hopefully the boys will be back on the road soon and we'€™ll be able to watch for the new record but for now read on for our interview!

If you could collaborate with any other band on this tour, who would it be and what do you think the song would be about?
Dan: We'€™ll probably mess around with something. Who knows what will come of it.
David: We would be happy to do that with any band though on this tour. We all respect their music.

Then, this is your first time headlining a tour. How has it been different from the past tours? Like being the center of the show.
Dan: Well, exactly that. We are the center, we have everyones'€™ attention and that'€™s strange like it feels weird to us but awesome.
David: Yeah, seeing the kids every night and knowing that that'€™s pretty much you doing that is kind of un real and so it'€™s been obviously different because you know we never had that. We can kind of see in other tours you know clumps of our kids and little areas sing along but this time it'€™s like just a giant group of kids enjoying themselves to our music.
Dan: Yeah, it'€™s good to know when you'€™re on stage that every one, you don'€™t have to win people over. They'€™re already there to see you so you know that'€™s really comforting. I guess it allows us to be ourselves a little more too.

Then, you'€™ve toured with a lot of big names like just coming off with Motion City Soundtrack and Hey Monday in the past. If you could go on a dream tour with any three bands, who would they be?
Dan: Jimmy Eat World.
David: Oasis.
Dan : Oasis. (starts laughing). Dead or alive?
David: I mean obviously the Beatles.
Dan: Well, yeah clearly The Beatles but that'€™s a boring answer. The thing too is we would look like idiots on that tour.
David: But yeah, I think that'€™s a solid answer. Those are all big influences.

What'€™s the craziest thing you'€™ve seen while on the road?
Dan: Well, I was going to say we'€™ve seen a lot of male genitalia because (laughs) bands love to flash each other for some reason.
David: Nothing really too crazy. Oddly enough.
Dan: I think the craziest thing that we'€™ve seen is people on the streets like everyone else sees. Just the weirdos like playing with boxes. We'€™re always in urban areas you know.
David: I mean on this tour, we got stuck in traffic for about two hours and we were with The Bigger Lights. There was this oil tanker.
Dan: Dead still in traffic.
David: This oil tanker like exploded. You could see the fire from a little bit back but we like drove past it and it just like was engulfed in flames. It'€™s ridiculous and then you know there was a green man that came out and danced around too which was a little weird.
Like full on green?
Dan: Yeah, well because we were stuck in this traffic so we decided we would hang out so we set up some lawn chairs and had some snacks, sang some songs on the freeway.
David: It was kind of more the craziest thing everyone around us saw.
Dan: Yeah, who does that in the middle of traffic?
David: Have a barbecue.
Acoustic set.
Dan: Yeah, exactly!

What can fans look forward to if they'€™ve never been to one of your shows?
Dan: Um, I think what we do differently from a lot of bands, especially american bands, is we just are very relaxed on stage. You know we kind of just take our time and do what we want. We don'€™t want to have any like gimmick or anything like that. Try and be shoving everything in everyone'€™s faces.
David: It'€™s just a little more rock and roll. We don'€™t use any tracks or anything. We just play everything how it is and if it doesn'€™t sound like the CD, it'€™s for a reason you know.
Dan: We just like it to be real.
David: And it'€™s just a fun time. I mean every one seems to enjoy it and everyone'€™s dancing.

What'€™s your favorite part of touring?
David: Hang outs.
Dan: I just love playing music.
David: That'€™s true I mean.
Dan: Hangouts are on a par with it almost though.
David: Yeah. I guess it'€™s about the same. I mean, to me it'€™s amazing to be able to do what we want to do and be playing music for a living and we'€™re able to do that now and especially doing a headliner. You know, seeing the support that we'€™re getting for doing what we love to do. It'€™s un real but also the hang outs. Getting to meet everyone and meeting all these new people, even fans. Being able to meet new fans and just seeing like how awesome people are.
Dan: We'€™re constantly making new friends.
David: It'€™s kind of the, I guess the boost, in the career you like know you'€™re doing well I guess when you see all these new people. Kind of helps you to continue playing music.
I mean you already have people in line. Like a lot of them too. You must be doing something well!
Dan: Well, part of that is that we have a meet and greet for the first twenty people in line.
You shouldn'€™t have told me that!
David: We should have just gone along with it!
Dan: It'€™s like a big thing. Just blowing up right now! No (laughs along with David).
David: I mean it'€™s cool that kids are out that early. In Portland, there were people out at two in the morning.
Dan: Yeah, it'€™s not uncommon for people to be here at like seven or eight in the morning.

Now, this is kind of random but how did you choose This Providence for your name?
Dan: Well, we had an old band name that conflicted with another band that was more developed then us. So we with the small fan base that we had at the time, we kind of sent out a email blast that said '€˜Look guys if you got any names, we'€™d love to hear some ideas'€™ and some one sent in the name, with just the word Providence. We looked up the word and really liked its'€™ meaning which is you know divine intervention or kind of the concept of fate and destiny and that sort of thing. So, Providence was already a gospel group (starts laughing) from the nineties or something.
David: Very similar styles.
Dan: So we decided we'€™d try to be poetic and throw a This on the front of it. So, there you go! This Providence.

And then the last album came out just over a year ago or so. How has it been doing so far? I mean you guys have done a whole lot of touring since then, how have the kids reactions been now that it'€™s been out for a while?
Dan: Um, awesome.
David: I don'€™t think we can ask for anything better. All the kids have been really supportive and the singles off the record have done really well with MTV and even the radio in Seattle. So, it'€™s been really cool. I mean every kid'€™s known like every word to every song at the shows.
Dan: I think the only thing that'€™s lacking is that it didn'€™t get the exposure I think that we really wanted it to see. So, I don'€™t know. I feel like we win a lot of people over at our shows as well. We'€™re not doing absolutely massive tours or anything where we could do that. We'€™re super proud of it and how well it'€™s done.

Then, how do you go about the writing process? Is it one person, more of a collective effort?
Dan: Kind of different every time. Usually, I'€™ll sit down with a guitar and write a verse or a chorus or something and show it to the guys. See if I should continue working it , sometimes Gavin will write like a good portion of a song to the music side of it and I'€™ll come and slap some lyrics and melodies over it and it works really well.
David: I think we just get a different sound and feel on this record. There are some that are very, you know simple and that'€™s obviously Dan'€™s writing and Gavin has a lot of little things going on you know.
Dan: I think this next record will be a little bit more of a collaborative thing where I really want to like have the songs translate well again in like the live setting. So I really want to like write a song and jam it and just take it the direction that the jam takes us down.
David: A little more organic then the last record.
So have you started working on that album yet?
Dan: We'€™re writing you know. We don'€™t know when we'€™ll record but we just want to write a shit ton of songs and take you know ten or eleven of the best songs and make an awesome record. However long that takes to get to that point.

You worked with Matt Squire on that record. He'€™s worked with a lot of big names in the scene like Panic! At The Disco and All Time Low and a bunch of guys. How was that experience working with him?
Dan: Yeah, working with Squire was awesome, don'€™t get me wrong but that whole thing like other bands he worked with didn'€™t affect our decision so much as how well we got a long with him and how much easier it was to work with him. He just was the right fit for the record I think.
David: He was the most passionate about the record and that'€™s really what made it you know the deciding factor, not necessarily the bands he had worked with.
Dan: Having someone produce your record you know sometimes the producers can just record it and it sounds okay. If there'€™s some passion behind it you know, Matt Squire was just stoked.

It'€™s kind of crazy but if you weren'€™t in this band, in music in general, what do you think you would be doing? I did Hello goodbye a long time ago and they picked graphic design for example because that'€™s what they were doing before the band.
David: (laughing) That'€™s kind of perfect actually.
Dan: Yeah, I don'€™t know. I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid.
David: I wanted to be a football player.
Dan: Yeah, see that'€™s a way better answer then graphic designer.
David: But I mean I'€™m not going to be a football player. Look at these arms!
Dan: Yeah I didn'€™t think I was actually going to be a pilot, I wanted to be in a band but I didn'€™t think it was actually going to happen.
David: That'€™s true. I was like in eighth grade when I was like '€˜I want to be in a band!'€™ or seventh grade. I think I would probably be doing, I would be trying to do sports and graphic design because I was into all that early on and I'€™m not a athlete at all. I would fail miserably, I was in track and I did football and I was, you know, not good at either of those but I'€™d probably be one of those guys that always- I was like Rudy maybe. You know, where he'€™s like a little too skinny, little too short for his game. I'€™m not short but you know, he just had the heart at least. I hope that I had the heart to at least play maybe a little game.
Dan: I mean that'€™s kind of how we do music, it'€™s not like we'€™re the best musicians in the world.
David: Yeah, we got the heart you know!

Then after this tour, what can kids look forward to this year?
Dan: I don'€™t know. We'€™re just going to be like taking some time off. We'€™ve been so busy with this last record.
David: With all the touring.
Dan: I think the record was out a year, and before that we were on tour. We toured like nine months in 2009. It'€™s just time for some time off and work on some songs.
David: Do some writing. Just making sure we have a perfect record this time around and hopefully that doesn'€™t take too long but you know. We don'€™t want to promise anything so we'€™ll be active still if not touring. At least doing random things like video updates. Twitter and blogs, this and that.
Dan: So there you go. Some online entertainment (laughs). For the short answer.
David: There you go!
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Anarbor

One of the hardest working bands today in this journalists'€™ eye is this next pop punk band Anarbor. I'€™ve known about this band for years, hearing their name every where I go and the tours that they have gotten on, but never sitting down with the band. I finally had that opportunity at a recent tour stop in Boston where I talked to Mike and Slade from the band.

The band originally started back in high school in Arizona and since then have quickly made a name for themselves with most members either barely legal or under age still today after all these years of success. With their debut record dropping just in April, and plans to hit all of Warped this summer, the band is sure to not slow down any time soon and that'€™s lucky for us. Their psychedelic flavored tunes are quickly making some fans wherever they go and are sure to fit in well with the rest of the Warped line up this summer.

Read on for our interview where we talked everything from their expectations for the new record to their plans for the next few months, what they are most excited for from Warped and how some things that happen in their real life may be wild and crazy to others but to them it'€™s just a day in the life!

If you could collaborate with any other band on this tour say on one song, who would they be? Would it be This Providence, The Bigger Lights or The Audition?
Slade: That'€™s a good question! Depends what type of collaboration we'€™re making.
Mike: Because if it was writing a song, I would want to do it with This Providence.
Slade: Yeah, this providence!
Mike: But like Seth does all the recording and he wants to do a remix of our song '€˜Let The Games Begin'€™ so for something like that, we would collab with The Audition.
Slade: Yeah, The Audition would be cool too.

And how has the tour been going so far for you guys coming up to the new record?
Slade: It'€™s been awesome like this is probably one of my favorite tours we'€™ve ever been on to tell you the truth. It'€™s lot of friends and good promotion for the record so it'€™s going really good.
Mike: Everybody'€™s hanging out, everybody'€™s good friends.

Good. What'€™s the craziest thing you'€™ve seen. Maybe not necessarily on this tour?
Slade: We see a lot of crazy stuff but like sometimes the crazy that we think is crazy is not that crazy to us because like it'€™s so normal.
Mike: Yeah, I get what you'€™re saying. Like car accidents and things like that, or even things like we'€™ve done fifty one hour drives. You tell that to a normal person and they'€™re like '€˜Oh my god! How many times did you pull over and stop and sleep'€™ and we'€™re like '€™we drove the whole f***ing way'€™. You know, its like that type of thing.

What can fans look forward to when coming out to one of your live shows?
Slade: High energy and rock and roll.
Mike: Just in your face I mean. Really we try to get a lot of crowd participation and we really like to get everybody involved. We have a good time! Come out, drink at the bar, do whatever you do (laughs).

What would you say is your favorite part of touring?
Slade: Favorite part of touring. Well I mean, traveling but hands down I love to play music so playing live. We love to play shows, it'€™s what we love to do.
Mike: It'€™s the best part! We get to play in a different state every night.
Mike: We'€™re actually going out of the country, so a different country. The UK and Japan all in the next month.
Exciting!
Mike: Yeah, we'€™re kind of nervous.
Slade: Definitely nervous but pumped at the same time.

And then you come back and play Warped Tour all this summer? You'€™ve played in the past as well I believe!
Slade: Yeah, we played like you know a couple of weeks here and there last two years but this is actually the first year that we'€™re playing the whole thing so we'€™re really excited.

What are you most excited for?
Mike: (laughs)'€¦The Catering!
Slade: Catering! The food yeah!
Mike: I heard you eat better on Warped then like anywhere else so I'€™m like stoked for the catering.
Slade: Good meals yeah. We also have like a lot of friends that are going to be on this one so it will be a lot of fun. Lot of partying.

If you could tour with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be and why?
Mike: Any type of bands we'€™d like to tour with.
Slade: The Beatles.
Mike: There you go!
Slade: Umm, Bob Marley.
Mike: Yeah. Jimmy Eat World. There you go!
Slade: Pretty sweet tour!

How did Anarbor first come together?
Mike: We started when we were thirteen years old. We'€™ve been the same exact band, we lost a member but we'€™re same group, same four of us. No member changes or anything like that. Yeah been together (laughs) played a lot of f***ing shows.
Slade: (Laughs) We'€™ve been together forever. Yeah too many shows.

And how did you come up with the name?
Mike: Um, it'€™s a name we picked. I threw it out there. My family is from Michigan and stuff and we kind of just wanted to pick something that like represents kind of where we come from and like who we are so that'€™s why we went with it.

Who would you say, well I know the new album comes out soon so obviously you have some influences maybe going into that album. Who would you say are your bigger ones?
Slade: Maybe not like musically, but definitely like friends definitely influenced this record. Family, I mean just life experiences we'€™ve gone through. I mean, stuff we do every day, just basically.
Mike: Yeah, everybody experiences different things. I mean we'€™re all going through temptations. There are all sorts of different things like whether it be with drugs, whether it be with girls, whether it be with drinking. Whatever it is, you'€™re growing up, you'€™re going to experience it. So it'€™s kind of about, it'€™s our life.

And that comes out a week from today. What can fans look forward to. This is your first real full length.
Slade: Yeah exactly a week from today.
Mike: 4/20. First record ever. We'€™re stoked. What can they expect? They can expect a lot of diversity amongst the songs. We had a lot of room to work with. Before, we only had six songs so we kind of put out like what we felt were almost like aggressive type songs or whatnot and this gives it a lot more room to see the different sides of Anarbor.

And how did that recording process maybe differ from the last EP'€™s and the writing process?
Slade: It actually, if anything, it just got better because we worked with Mike with all of our stuff so when we were going in with our full record, it was just so comfortable. It was like hanging out with our friend writing songs. It was awesome.

I know you'€™ve been in this band for years and years but maybe if you weren'€™t, in a crazy life, doing music, what would you be doing?
Slade: Well, I played soccer for a really long time so if I wasn'€™t in a band, I'€™d probably be playing soccer. I mean, I wasn'€™t bad not to brag but (laughs) yeah.
Mike: I would probably be-
Slade: Chess?
Mike: Yeah I'€™d be like probably a rocket scientist.
Slade: Yeah, that too.
Mike: Final answer (laughs).

And then, like I said, there'€™s a whole lot of touring. Right when you leave this tour, you go right to the UK.
Mike: Correct, we literally drop off this tour four days early to go to the UK. We fly from Chicago to go to the United Kingdom, we land in London and we don'€™t know what the fuck we'€™re going to do.
Slade: We have a lot. I mean we go to London, we come back. We do like a eight day run with Automatic Loveletter and then, um, we'€™re home for like five days and we go straight to Japan.
Mike: Five day break woo! Then we go to Japan.
Slade: Then we come home for a like a week then we go to Warped Tour so we'€™re busy!

And do you think that'€™s going to continue for the rest of year?
Slade: Oh yeah!
Mike: That'€™s all we do. We tour. That'€™s how you keep your band going. I mean, we want to be playing to kids every night. Trying to create that draw. Um, a lot of bands these days kind of just expect to be on these big tours and kind of expect for all of this shit to fall in their laps and for them to become big overnight because of f***ing myspace but we think you really need to get out there and be touring in order to kind of earn like your keep, if you know what I mean.

Well thank you so much guys.
Slade: Oh, you'€™re welcome!
Mike: Thank you!
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The Spill Canvas

It'€™s been a while since we'€™ve heard new music from Dakota raised The Spill Canvas but this is definitely their year and return musically. They dropped two dynamite EP'€™s in Abnormalties and Realties this year along with a highly successful spring headlining tour, having several completely sold out dates and making for some incredibly energetic shows.

The band has been together for a long time now and ever since the beginning, they have been writing lyrically driven songs that have been grabbing hearts across the country and I think some of their best work comes from these last two EP'€™s which were present through out their headlining set the night my interview took place with Joe who plays drums in the band. In my exclusive interview with Joe prior to the set, we talked about everything from why they decided to go the direction of EP'€™s over an album this year to some of their bigger musical influences to their plans for this year.

If you could tour with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be?
That'€™s a tough question. I mean current and past? I would probably say Fleetwood Mac is probably one of our all time favorites. We'€™re big like classic rock fans so maybe Peter Gabriel or something. Nick'€™s a big Eminem fan so he'€™d probably say Eminem.
Same tour, Eminem and Peter Gabriel.
(laughing) Yeah. Right? Perfect for us. Uh, I don'€™t know, other than that maybe Jimmy Eat World or something like that.

How has the tour been going so far as the headliner? How are the shows like are kids singing along with the new EP'€™s?
Oh yeah it'€™s been great like taking such a long break, we didn'€™t really know what to expect but there have been a lot of sell outs. Kids have been coming out singing every new word and we'€™ve just been really impressed so we'€™re very pleased.
And this date is sold out yeah?
Yeah, sold out like a month ago.
Oh wow, that'€™s awesome!
Yeah, we'€™ll take it!

Then you came out with two Ep'€™s this year. Is there a reason you chose to put out these two EP'€™s in comparison to a record?
I think the music industry is changing to a more single and EP driven industry where as like it was in the forties and fifties when the Temptations would release a collection of four or five songs every six months or so. In the eighties and nineties, it transitioned into full albums and now with iTunes and everything, it'€™s just so much easier to buy a three or four buck compilation as opposed to you know ten to twelve bucks so we'€™re kind of trying it out and seeing how it goes.

Then who would you say are some of maybe your bigger musical influences today, maybe if they were different from the past?
Um, let'€™s see. I listen to a lot more folk music then I ever have before like I listen to a lot of singer songwriters or like Nashville stuff. Obviously, I don'€™t think Nick listened to Eminem much when we first started but now he'€™s a big hip hop fan and then we always are exploring a lot of older stuff too and kind of seeing what else is out there. We never want to stop listening to new music.

The Spill Canvas used to tour a bunch and so maybe with this tour now with Am Taxi, Tyler Hilton and New Politics, if you could collaborate with any band you'€™ve toured with, who would they be and what do you think the songs would be about?
I think it would be really cool to do some stuff with OneRepublic. We had a good run with them and they'€™re just really good pop writers and they have really kind of epic anthemesque songs and I think it would actually, with their kind of pop sound and our more rock and kind of underground sense, I feel like it would be a really good collaboration.

What made you personally start getting interested in doing music?
Um, It was just kind of one of those things where I saw somebody playing drums. Feel like when I went to church for a while when I was super young a guy was playing drums and I was like '€™oh that'€™s kind of cool, I can do that'€™. Then, I went to like one of my first concerts which was a Blink 182 concert and I saw Travis Barker drumming and I was like '€œI got to do that,'€ and so I started getting into the underground music scene a little bit with like Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day and that really kind of just made me want to be in a band. Like '€œI could write songs like that and I could play like that'€.

Then what would you say is your favorite part of being on the road?
Um, obviously aside from the shows, I mean nothing would be better than actually playing shows but aside from that, gosh I love eating the good food around the country. You know you get different kinds of food all over the place and you know you got to soak it up!

Maybe what'€™s one of the crazier things that you'€™ve seen while on the road?
Any time we see a Spill Canvas tattoo is kind of very surreal. It'€™s kind of like '€œYou know that lasts forever, right,'€ but no it means a lot to us and it shows that they'€™re really truly dedicated fans so that'€™s very touching to us.

What can kids look forward to when coming out to one of your live shows?
You know we pour our hearts and souls out in every show and just pour all of our energy into it and we hope that the fans kind of get the emotion and the raw energy that we experience. At shows, people just have a blast and let loose and have fun and dance and all that stuff. So yeah that'€™s kind of what they can come to expect.

Maybe you personally or as a band, how do you think you'€™ve all grown as musicians since this all started?
Yeah I mean as we listen to all sorts of different kinds of music and as we tour with all sorts of different bands, you kind of pick up little mannerisms, little tiny tips here and there from different musicians and they kind of help you like '€œoh I'€™m going to pick up this little bit of information'€ or '€œI learned this trick on like a guitar that I'€™m going to start using'€. You kind of morph it into your own style so the more bands you listen to and the more artists you tour with, you kind of really develop a whole new style in the process.

Then, what can fans look forward to this year? More touring, new music?
Well, we are going to be touring a lot. Just we'€™re going to be on the road a lot, we'€™re doing this tour, a Canadian tour then we'€™re doing a Goo Goo dolls tour, a Switchfoot tour in July and August. Then, yeah we have some more music recorded too so maybe another EP down the line as well. So yeah we'€™ll kind of see how it goes but that'€™s where we'€™re thinking.
And it seems to be working for you.
Yeah so far!

Then two little goofy ones. What was the first concert, you may already said with Blink 182?
Yeah Blink 182, Green Day and Saves The Day. It was a great show. Saves The Day is one of my favorite bands of all time for sure.

What was the first record you bought then for the last one?
Green Day '€œDookie'€. You know what? I was probably bigger of a fan then than I am now but Dookie was phenomenal and just kind of a great pop punk record. It got me into playing drums a little bit and that was the kind of stuff I listened to back then.
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Hey Monday

In the beginning, Alternative Press may have rated their first album just two stars, but in their short time since their 2008 debut record they have grown to be one of the headliners on the spring AP tour along with gracing the cover. Hey Monday, or Cassadee, Jersey, Alex and Mike, from West Palm Beach will be dropping their sophomore record later this month and after writing sessions with such musical legends as Butch Walker, it is sure to be a hit!

From our interview, Casadee, who does a lot of the writing lyrically as the lead vocalist, told me about how it has matured sound wise from their first record, '€™just a little more mature but at the same time, you know they still have that fun pop punk kind of vibe. Still very Hey Monday but you know with a little more dynamic. '€™

After relentless touring for the last two years, opening for bands like Cobra Starship, All Time Low and Fall Out Boy and even headlining their own tour this past summer, they are sure to be just starting their path into the alternative music scene, and they gave us a little view into the steps to success, be it in their music videos to their time on Warped tour this summer. They'€™ll be playing the whole thing!

Hey Monday Interview
[Q]: If you could tour with any three dream bands, who would they be?

Mike: I think collectively we'€™d all say Blink 182.
Cassadee: I'€™d like to tour with All Time Low again .Oh, Fall Out Boy if they get back together ever. Tear.
Mike: It'€™s hard to just pick a couple because we'€™ve been so lucky just to tour with really, really awesome bands that like we would tour with any of those bands again in a heart beat but there are also plenty of bands that we haven'€™t had the opportunity to tour with that we'€™ve heard are like awesome people and we love their music and stuff so we'€™d like to tour with them too. Personally JT for me.
Cassadee: Oh yeah! Huge. Openers right here. We'€™ll take it!

[Q]: Then you'€™ve been on this tour for a while, I think it'€™s almost over. How has it been going?
Cassadee: It'€™s been awesome. The shows have been crazy, kids are just coming to have a good time. They'€™re pumped and it'€™s cool because it'€™s a mix between fans of the bands and then like AP magazine fans. It'€™s a very family oriented kind of tour, a lot of kids coming with their parents and stuff. The bands are great, hang outs have been fun. Everyone'€™s cool so yeah everyone gets along pretty well. It'€™s been a good one.
It'€™s been really good for us as a band. Like any tour that we'€™re not like headlining, we'€™ve only headlined once but we always get new fans from not headlining so that'€™s always a good feeling.

[Q]: This one'€™s a little goofy but if you could collaborate with any other band on this tour, what would the song be about?
Cassadee: I'€™d like to collaborate with Christofer Drew . I would love to work with him because his music is way different then ours. I would love to just write like a kumba ya kind of song with him like a campfire song, I think that would be kind of sweet. Harmony, a duet. Boy girl duet.
Mike: All about poppin bottles and Cristal.

I believe the new album is finished.
Cassadee: Oh it'€™s almost finished. All the recording is finished. It'€™s just a matter of mixing the thing and mastering and all that fun stuff but we'€™re going back and forth about every day but yeah it'€™s going to be awesome. It'€™s going to be really good.

[Q]: So what can kids look forward to? Is it going to be different then the first one? I know you worked with Butch Walker a bit I believe.
Cassadee: Yeah, I actually wrote a song with him and recorded with him and it was just us two. We did a song together and then the rest of the record was with Sam and Dave, the ones that produced the last record. There are more cowrites on this one which was so much fun. I got to write with Rob and Eric who are in a band called the Hooters and they wrote songs like Time After Time and One of Us and then another song with Matt Scannell, the lead singer of Vertical Horizon and yeah it was a really, really good experience and the songs are just a little more mature but at the same time, you know they still have that fun pop punk kind of vibe. Still very Hey Monday but you know with a little more dynamic. The songs aren'€™t so you know go,go,go, there is just like ups and downs and everything. It'€™s going to be great.

[Q]: Then you'€™re playing all of Warped Tour this summer. What are you most looking forward to now that you'€™re playing the whole of it.
Alex: I'€™m looking forward to making new friends. There'€™s going to be so many people on the tour that I feel like we'€™re all going to come out of that tour with quite a few new people that we know each. Supposedly, it'€™s like a rock and roll summer camp. Everyone that you meet is during like the time of your life so you'€™ll always remember those people.
Cassadee: I'€™m excited to see how our crowds are because we'€™ve never played Warped Tour. We played Bamboozles and stuff but never Warped tour so I'€™m really excited to see how the crowds are and they'€™re always pumped. They'€™re hot and sweaty and they'€™re not worrying about getting hot and more hot and sweaty because they already are so they are just going to go crazy hopefully. It will be great.
Jersey: Same stage every day, that'€™s cool too. We'€™ll get used to it like that'€™s going to be so sick.
Cassadee: Yeah we'€™re on Hurley.

[Q]: What'€™s your favorite part of touring? You guys do so much of it.
Jersey: Favorite thing about touring? New cities every day. I mean honestly, I have friends at home that did four or five years of college, are in hundreds of thousands of college debt right now. They wake up at seven o'€™clock every morning, go to work until five, come home and you know they have their weekends off to party and all that and they make the best of it. They have fun but I get to hang out with like some really cool people, play music every night and wake up in a different city the next day, every day. I'€™m seeing things that I never ever thought I'€™d get to see ever in my life so that'€™s just incredible to me.

[Q]: Then what can kids look forward to if they haven'€™t seen you play live before?
Cassadee: Um, we have fun up there. A lot of people come up us to after our shows and are like '€˜Oh you guys look like you were having so much fun'€™ and we really do have fun, It'€™s not our job. I mean it'€™s obvious we have to treat it like it is a business at the end of the day but at the same time we have to have fun for it to work and we have so much fun up there. Be ready for, if you'€™re not moving around, someone to say '€˜What are you guys doing? Wake up! Have fun here!'€™ and we just love when kids get into it so we try our best to really get them pumped up and it'€™s very energetic. A good time.

[Q]: Then, how did you all personally get interested in starting music yourselves?
Cassadee: My whole family, they'€™re really into music but there'€™s not really any one that like sings and plays an instrument so my sister just takes voice lessons and she had to go get her adnoids removed so I kind of like took her place and took lessons while she was out and then I just fell in love when I was four years old. Ever since then, I'€™ve just wanted to sing.
Jersey: My first musical instrument was a little muppet babies keyboard that I had when I was like five years old and I learned how to play '€˜Mary had a little lamb'€™ on it. As soon as I did that, my parents were like '€˜Oh, that'€™s cool.'€™ so they bought me this bigger keyboard and it kind of just went from there. I started playing guitar in seventh grade, I was big into like Hanson and pop stuff. I mean, I tried to do that kind of thing in sixth grade and seventh grade, I was just always really serious into it then finally in eighth grade I got into bands like Blink 182 and like those pop punk bands that got me all super hyped on music where I would go to the concerts and it would just be like '€˜Go, that is great you know!'€™ and that'€™s what made me really want to be in like my first real band and stuff. >From there, it just kind of snowballed and I got more and more serious about it and then by the time I got to high school, it was just time to do it.
Mike: It was kind of like the same thing. I can always remember before when I was starting to walk and being in a car with my mom and dad, they always had the radio on. We'€™d stay up at night and listen to songs, but like the eighties and nineties and stuff that you can subconsciously remember hearing as a little kid like always being into music then you know I got older and more into like hearing Dammit by Blink 182 on the radio for the first time. That was in like third or fourth grade, being like Whoa this song is awesome! Then I was on this baseball tournament, and was in New York hanging out with my cousin and he took me to his basement and he had a bunch of equipment and I asked him to play a song on guitar and he did and that was when I was like in fifth grade. Then I was like wow, I want to play guitar and I got one for Christmas and just learned and then started playing in bands and like getting more and more into music then it all just kind of snowballed.
Alex: Like from my family, you know pushing music on me. I think all of us had like musical families somewhat but I started playing music when I was in elementary school like playing guitar and piano and then I got really serious about playing music when I was like twelve or thirteen and I loved it. I knew that'€™s what I wanted to do and then I joined this band when I was eighteen.

[Q]: You'€™ve released multiple videos so far, if you could pick another track off the first album, what would you choose and what would be the craziest concept you could think of?
Cassadee: I think '€˜Should have tried harder'€™ would have been really cool because there'€™s a lot that you could do with that. Like someone trying to get you back by going to outrageous measures like, I don'€™t know. Have you ever seen '€˜My Best Friend'€™s Girl'€™? Like what Jason Biggs does, like sending her flowers and all that stuff. Making faces out of donuts and weird stuff like that, that would be kind of a cool concept. We could do a spin off of '€˜My Best Friend'€™s Girl'€™. That would be cool!

[Q]: A few goofy ones now. What was the first show you went to?
Cassadee: Oh Hanson! It was definitely Hanson. I don'€™t remember who opened but it was definitely Hanson.
Jersey: Backstreet Boys. No joke!
Mike: I don'€™t remember exactly who it was but I was young and I went with my family down to the Jersey Shore sometime over the summer like spring, it might have been like the Jersey Boys, I don'€™t remember. It was just like an older group that was playing on the beach and that was my first show or concert. Then my first real one was I think Blink 182, Green Day and Jimmy Eat world, the Pop Disaster tour.
Alex: The first concert that I ever went to that was my choice was that one. The Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182 and Green Day show in West Palm Beach.

[Q]: Then the first record you bought?
Cassadee: Oh,'€œBlack and Blue'€ by the Backstreet Boys.
Jersey: Donna Lewis.
Mike: I think the first CD I ever bought was, might have been Weird Al Yankovic like '€œRunning With Scissors'€ or something like that then Barenaked Ladies.
Alex: I usually just take a guess at this, but I think I'€™m almost positive that it was like a Led Zeppelin cd like a Best Hits record or something like that.

[Q]: Then, if you weren'€™t doing music, what do you think you would be doing?
Cassadee: Oh man. Um, I'€™d be in college trying to do this but if it never worked out for a job, I'€™d either want to be at a record label or like a recording studio.
Jersey: I was working at a Apple store, so probably still be there.
Mike: I would be graduating college two days ago and having no idea what the heck I would be doing. Probably obviously trying to be in a band or something with music.
Alex: I would probably be flying planes or something. I would probably go to school to fly planes.

[Q]: Then it'€™s kind of goofy, but what would you say is your favorite treat?
Cassadee: I'€™m just going to say food, popcorn and m&m'€™s? With lots of hot butter, yum!
Jersey: Popcorn is definitely one of my favorites. Ramen probably. I even add salt.
Mike: Funny television shows that just kill time. Stuff like that.
Alex: I think my favorite thing is time off.
Jersey: No, it'€™s not! You call me after three days and you'€™re like '€˜Jersey, I'€™m bored!'€™
Alex: Not like three months, like a few days.
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