Morning Parade

The other night I headed out to the Foundation Room at House of Blues to meet up with a familiar face to Music Remedy, Morning Parade! More specifically, I sat down with Steven Sparrow the lead vocalist of this British act who we've always interviewed on the past. On the eve of their insane performance as part of Earthfest here in Boston, we grabbed a few minutes in a booth before they played an acoustic performance for a private party.
We talked the new album as well as their tips for touring British bands when they come over on their first run of America! Read on for our interview and find the boys on their current US run with Brick & Mortar!

It's been several months since you've played in Boston and this part of the US but you're playing EarthFest tomorrow. Obviously huge. Maybe what are you most looking forward to tomorrow?
Looking forward to it not raining hopefully. It's just nice to get out. Have the sun out and be in a new environment. I hear it's going to be a lot of people there so it's a different challenge. It will be fun.
Just a little bit of people.
I mean well how many is it going to be?
I mean last year when it was like of Monsters & Men and Backstreet Boys, they stopped letting people in at one pm or so because it was so full of people.
We talking twenty thousand?
At least, yeah.
Okay, wow.

Then the new album came out last week?
Last Tuesday.
How do you think it's been going over so far? You've been on this US tour with Brick & Mortar.
Yeah, it's been good! The new album, I think it's a record that's going to take a little bit to really sink into people but that was kind of one of the aims of the game really. There's so many kinds of music that are so instantaneous. So dull, the shine kind of wears off quickly. We really wanted to make a record that had a bit more to discover about it. The more you listen, the more you look in between the lines of what it was talking about. There's far more meaning but it's been going quite swell. The fans have been really responsive. We've been playing a lot of new stuff on the new tour. Not doing as much old stuff. Sometimes a bit like digging your own grave really. Fans have been great. Really responsive and very forthcoming in their praise about the new songs and Brick & Mortar are a great, great band. They are hilariously funny to hang out with and their show is just crazy. So yeah it's good.
They're doing the rest of the tour with you as well, right? These are just one offs?
Yeah, I think they're doing promo.

Perfect then how did the songwriting change for this album if it did? Compared to the last one?
I think we're just doing different things. Some of the songs are a bit more conceptual then the first one. I wanted to try and test ourselves a bit more. Do things a bit more interesting. Like more cultural. Build more content. Taking all the mundanity of life and trying to make something interesting out of that but at the same time, I'm trying to figure out what that actually means. Yeah that was one of the things we did and I think we were just a bit more free in terms of structure. We weren't rigid to the pop radio format which our previous label was really keen on us doing.

Maybe how is it kind of having that bigger control? Having a label that isn't telling you what you have to be?
It's weird. I always say what they didn't do but there's a lot of good things they did for us. There was just a lot of whispering in our ears about what we should be doing and how we should be approaching it. This is what Coldplay did and that's what Coldplay did. I kind of got old of hearing about fucking Coldplay. I just don't want to hear it anymore. So yeah it's very different doing it this way around. It has it's pit falls, it has it's positives. Ultimately, there was lots of money behind the first one but the outcomes of what you get in exchange for being able to have your freedom and being allowed to be myself really. In a purest sense of the word.

Recently in these past few years, a lot of British bands have really broken here and been able to tour here when they haven't been able to do so in the past. Maybe advice to bands just doing their first tour in America?
Advice for the first time in America?
Considering it's become so much more feasible now. Bands are getting bigger faster and being able to tour successfully.
If you got loads of money, you'll get big fast. Just get a bus. It will make your life much easier. It's really, really hard to tour in the US because you just spend so much time driving. So yeah, take your vitamins, get plenty of B-12. Don't eat the service station food because it sucks. Don't party too much and be nice. Be genuine. Like I find that American people respond to people being genuine so much better. They see through the bullshit of the British bravado being a band. They see through it very quickly.

Perfect then what is coming up after this US run considering your album is so new here? Do you think you're going to come back pretty quickly or do you think you're going to focus on back home?
We're going to go back to the UK, well the boys are. I live here now but the boys are going back to the UK and the album is out in Europe pretty soon. So I'm going to go back over in June and do some promo for that in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, UK. Going to come back to America in August and July to do more touring. Then the album comes out in September in Europe so we'll tour there and we'll come back to America as well. Fall and the Winter as well.
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Sir Sly

Last Saturday night, I headed out to interview a new up and coming trio in Sir Sly. The band has already achieved massive success with two singles off their debut "Gold" EP. The tracks have already received well over one million plays each on Spotify as well as doing an headline tour. They opened for St. Lucia earlier this year and currently find themselves out opening for British sensations The 1975.

With their last tour being snowed out in Boston, I jumped on the opportunity to interview Landon, Hayden and Jason when they came back through Boston. We talked the music that's to come from the band as well as delving into their recording process. Read on for my new interview with the boys as well as catch them on this current tour because these boys are about to blow up.

There is obviously a lot going on for the band right now and has been for the past few months. Maybe a soft one to start, the three things that you think you must have with you while on tour?
Landon: Three things I must have with me while on tour. Clothes, computer and the other guys in the band? I don't know. Those are the things that I must have.
Jason: Are we talking outside musical stuff?
Landon: I don't really carry much.
Jason: Probably my phone. When you're away from home, you feel so disconnected.
Landon: My phone. Pictures of my dog.
Jason: Labtops.
Landon: We're pretty bare bones. We don't bring alot.
Jason: We tour in like a stretcher so there's not alot of space. We're not on a bus or anything.
Landon: I bring like five pairs of shoes. That's about it. That's the most excessive thing I bring, I feel.
Jason: Everything else is like computer, phone.
Landon: Tea. Put tea!
And then how has this tour been going with The 1975? I know you've been touring playing these big rooms. You've headlined in Boston even but how has this tour been?
Landon: It's been amazing! I think touring with The 1975 has been the best touring experience we've had. I would say. Just all things considered. Like our first headlining tour was really fun and exciting and stuff but it feels like we're making good strides as a band right now. Because we've toured before and we feel pretty confident about the live show, we feel it's translating well to people and they're coming out. The fans of the 1975 are really great music fans so they come out. Hopefully put on a good show because I think they respond well. It seems we're getting new fans every night.

Then I know the "Gold" EP came out in 2013. Obviously it's been going over well radio wise or performance wise but how do you think it's been going over personally? Like as a band perspective and maybe not the numbers and everything?
Landon: No, I mean we get the numbers. Some of us pay attention a lot less then others. I probably pay attention the least maybe because it affects me the most. It's been going well. I think we're excited about the fact that radio's playing us. People still go to radio to hear new music so it's great. We've seen response from that. Coming to cities and playing before the 1975 and seeing people sing the words to both usually is an amazing thing. Yeah I think we're excited to release new music as well but for right now, we're coasting on four songs. Building it really well which is pretty exciting for us. When you start making music, you just want to make more music. Somewhere along the line though, you do need help from radio or blogs because we don't distribute our own music. Like we don't have our own soapbox on which to stand on. Yeah you do rely on people to play your music.

Then I know you guys have a really hands on approach to your music. I believe you do it all yourselves. Maybe how do you think that helps you in the songwriting process? Because you control all the elements of the recording process? How do you think that kind of helps you as a band?
Landon: In every way.
Hayden: Yeah, honestly that has shaped who we are as a band. Like our mission as a band. Our attitude as a band. It's relying on yourself. It's about trusting in yourself. It's what makes you unique. Trusting in yourself. We're the barometer. We can set the tone. We can record our own music. Like we have Jason who's brilliant.
Landon: We can't record our own music. Jason can. Jason has lent us his skills and allows us to say that we record our own music. In our studio. Even though it's Jason's studio but it's fun.
Jason: It's definitely way less pressure I think. You don't feel like you have this time constraint. We don't need a producer. It's like where are the songs at? We have a week to do this.
Landon: We've had a year and a half to keep writing our first record and we released an EP. We'll hopefully release another one. We have an album that we're really excited about. We get as much time as we want to do that and we trust that it sounds good. Label is really supportive of how it sounds. Management was really supportive of our sound. Jason is able to mix, master, produce all of our stuff. We originally made all our own videos as well. So it's been really cool. I think it shapes everything about the way we make music. It is the way we make music. It's really hard when there's no outside perspective. I mean I've recorded music other ways before but we've been doing this so much for the past year and a half that it's really hard to get out of that mentality. How has it shaped our music? I don't know, it's just the way we do it.

Then how do you go about the writing process itself? Is it one person, more collective? Does it change?
Landon: Different pieces start in different places. Since Jason has a studio and stuff, a lot of times he'll start with like a trial track or like I used to have a piano in my old place that I would write with. I don't anymore so I'll start with like a chorus or a few lyrics here and there. Then we write the whole song in a day and record it.
In one day? It goes that fast?
Hayden: I don't know if we've ever really had a two day song.
Landon: We've never had a two day song.
Jason: If it's a two day song, it's not happening. It's not a song.
Landon: There are times where we'll go back and re-do vocals but for the most part, I'd say probably ninety percent of the vocals are done the day that we've written the song. We won't go back and change anything. The things that we add maybe are things that Jason will add in here or there when he's mixing later. Like texture pieces and stuff but most of the song itself is done the day of writing it. We get pickier as we go though. There have been more times when we start songs and we shut it down much quicker.

Then you've been obviously talking about the full length. Is that something that's like already done? Are you still working on it?
Landon: It's done. It's quote unquote done but it's not ever done. I mean we have our own studio. Yeah you tour a little bit and you go back in and you're like well maybe there's room for more songs on there.
Hayden: I really think the live show informs the writing process too in some ways. Not usually but in this tail end of the album, when we've had it pretty much done. There are things that happen live where you go, well that really worked. You kind of inject that into the studio.
Landon: Like I was listening to the record the other day on headphones as we were driving. I leaned over to Jason to talk about it. Like we've been listening to it when we play it live but I haven't listened to the songs we've recorded for a couple of months now. So listening to them again, I was like I kind of like the way that sounds live better then the way it sounds recorded. We should go and transplant a little of that stuff back into what we recorded. A little bit of the Frankenstein makeover but yeah I think we're excited. It's good because originally, we liked writing and recording music way more then we liked playing live. I think now that we have a new batch of songs that we're really proud of, I think playing live for me has become a lot more fun. It's very different. It's become a lot more fun to do.

Then maybe to end it off, what is coming up after this run with The 1975? I know you talked about how the album is kind of done quote unquote or being finished.
Landon: Hibernation.
Hibernation, yeah? Taking a break from the road?
Landon: No, no, no!
Hayden: Some headlining stuff.
Jason: Festivals.
Landon: Things like that.
Hayden: Writing a lot more.
Landon: Yeah, just trying to listen to new music. Seeing movies and stuff. Getting inspired and just finding where we're going to pick up after this tour winds up. I'm trying to think beyond shows. More shows! Oh, releasing an EP like I said! Maybe trying to write more songs for that, I'm not sure!
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Bad Suns

Saturday night, I ventured out to interview a great new band called Bad Suns! On their second tour ever of the US, they were already touring as main support for British darlings The 1975. Their debut album "Language & Perspective" drops June 24th so with a little over a month to go, we talked in depth about the album. From where they got their title of the record to their songwriting process for the album.
With their first single "Cardiac Arrest" already at over 1.5 million plays on Spotify, the band isn't going anywhere but up. I was lucky enough to catch up with the whole band about an hour before they took the stage where they killed it to a crowd singing along to the words. Read on for our new interview and catch them out on the road in the US now!

A soft one to start because obviously you guys are still kind of new to the touring thing, at least at this level. Maybe the three things you've realized you must have with you while on tour?
Christo: Must have with us on tour? I feel like it's really boring. Stuff like tooth brush, deodorant, things like that but we do have some bizarre artifacts with us as well. We have a six foot reggae banana that I've been trying to vote out of the van for the past couple months.
Gavin: He's the only one who's not down. It's like a Six Flags banana. Like one you win, one of those huge ones. Yeah, it's great.
Christo: It's in there right now. We also have a little naked Tarzan doll which is the preferable mascot in my opinion. It only takes up like a foot of space compared to six.
Gavin: I mean those are essentials.
Christo: So I think those are our two essentials for sure.

Then how has this tour been going? Obviously you guys have hit radio with your new single and obviously 1975 is on the radio. Sold out shows. How has it been going, like touring and opening for them?
Christo: How's touring been? It's been incredible. We've done one tour in the past and those were all much smaller rooms obviously. That was right before this genre even began to pick up a little bit but it's been cool to see the gradual jump. Well, not so gradual actually because we got on this tour with The 1975. We're experiencing so much good stuff. It's just been kind of cool to jump in front of their audiences now that they've been kind of hearing the song on the radio and there is some familiarity there. It's been really nice and it's been kind of shocking and we're just sort of getting used to the whole thing.

Then I know the debut album, you announced it, "Language & Perspective" is coming out June 24th. Maybe for a soft one, how did you choose that title? Why that for your first album?
Christo: The title is pulled from the first song called "Matthew James". Grammatically, that song kind of set the stage for the rest of the album lyrically. That theme of language and perspective, maybe language being a little more black and white. These are the words that help you with the perspective. Like being your own take on that and being your own take on the world. That teaches you the decisions you make and things you rebel against or whatever. Yeah that's very complicated and I think that's how a lot of the songs flow.

Then maybe how did you guys go about the writing? Obviously, there's not just one of you in this band. Maybe is it one person, more collaborative? Do you bring your own parts to the songs?
Ray: It depends.
Christo: The cool thing about being a band is that it's really about the unique sound. Not trying to sound like another band. I think that's kind of where the four components really come into play. That's where it really shines, I suppose. The unique pairing of these four individuals musically and the dynamic that the group has is kind of where the uniqueness of the sound comes from. Then, songwriting wise it can come from anywhere. I'm like the main songwriter of the band per say but it just feels like a band. It's a good equal process.

Then "Cardiac Arrest" has already broken into alternative radio in the top 20. Maybe how does that feel considering you are only on your second tour and you already have a song on the radio?
Christo: I feel like we kind of just stumble around all that stuff in a very aloof manner.
Ray: I don't know (laughs).
Yeah you're not the ones like working it all out.
Ray: Yeah we usually aren't listening to the radio in our van at home or anything like that so we're not very aware of things like that.
Christo: We just hear from people like you that say that to us. We're not really sure how to react. It's amazing but we feel like it's important, especially for the creative process when we were making the album, not to heavily concern ourselves with number like that. We like to base it off from like when we show up to a place and we start playing a song and people react. That's how we measure the success I would say.

Then the first CD or first cassette each of you remember buying as a kid and the first concert you ever went to?
Gavin: First concert I ever went to. I saw Rush. They shred. It was impressive.
Do you remember your first CD?
Gavin: My first CD? Yeah the first CD I bought was "Demon Days" by the Gorillaz.
Miles: That's good!
Gavin: Yeah, it's a good CD. Stoked on it.
Ray: You have to keep in mind. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. So my first CD was NSYNC's "No Strings Attached".
Nice.
Ray: And my first concert was Weird Al Yankovic.
Christo: That's all you need to know about Ray.
Yeah, I love it.
Christo: Miles, what was your first concert and first CD?
Miles: I don't know my first concert. I remember my first CD I ever bought. I went to Sam Goody and bought Blink 182's "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" record. That was the first CD I ever purchased. I had several that my parents had around growing up. I think about that often but I don't know the first concert I went to.
Christo: Yeah, my answer's a bit complicated because it involves a couple of these answers where I loved NSYNC so my parents got me "No Strings Attached" but the first album that I ever went out and I loved it. The first album I ever went out to get, I actually have two copies in my house of NSYNC's album, was the self titled Blink 182 album. That was at the time where I didn't realize, I didn't really understand how albums worked. I just figured, oh it says Blink 182 on it, that will have all my favorite songs . That's kind of how I figured it worked. So I remember putting it in and being like I don't even really know any of these because I knew 'All the Small Things' and stuff like that. The songs that I had heard on the radio a bunch. I was kind of surprised when I put the CD in and that became probably my favorite work of theirs. It still remains a pretty great album. It's timeless and that was also my first concert shortly after that, Blink 182 and No Doubt. It was awesome. No Doubt for sure. Gwen Stefani is one of my favorite front persons of all time.
Gavin: That's how you roll.
Christo: That's just how I roll.

Then maybe to end it off, like we said the album is a little over a month away. Really close to it coming out. What is coming up like with the album coming out after this tour with 1975? Just a lot of touring?
Christo: Yeah, doing a lot of touring and just promotion surrounding that. We're making our first trip overseas right after this tour ends. We fly out to London. We'll spend a week there. We play a show and we're going to be doing various other activities out there. Come back and we play a hometown show at the Troubadour. Just a bunch of stuff to hype up the album and to make more people aware of it. Hopefully. So we're really excited. It's a really exciting time for the band. To actually have an agenda of some sort and have a record that we can hold in our hands. Especially being fans of albums since we were little kids. There's going to be one of ours in a store that people can actually listen to. We're still trying to process that. I think we'll be spending the most of our next year still trying to process that.
Having that album out and being able to go get it in the store?
Ray: It will feel like we're a real band now. It's awesome. It's really awesome.
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X Ambassadors

One of the greatest things about being a "veteran" journalist is seeing bands you interview opening in tiny rooms then grow over the years to the point of selling out their own headlining tours. Being on the radio, playing ten thousand capacity venues, signing to major labels and much more. One of these bands that I've seen grow so much is Brooklyn based X Ambassadors!
These four have been touring together for several years and with two EP's under their belt on Interscope as well great collaborations coming out including their new one with "Jungle" with Jamie N Commons. Which is even being featured as the track for the new trailer of "Orange Is The New Black" as well as being used in the promo for "Supernatural". The track was produced by Alex Da Kid and a little birdie told me the band is even making a video for the track! Stoked to see this band just continue to get bigger over their journey! The boys are making a swift return to Boston May 21st! Hope to see you there! Read on for our exclusive with lead vocalist Sam Miller!

So this isn't our first rodeo, we've done this before. Since we've last interviewed though, obviously things have really picked up. You did the Panic at the Disco tour to start off your year and the new EP came out. Maybe how has this been going considering how long you've worked for this?
It's really awesome. It still feels like we're still at the bottom and working our way to the top. It always does but it's in the little things. Little things like not having guitar or drum techs to set your stuff up. For this tour, we're headlining and we're still lugging our stuff out on stage. Plugging in cables and doing all that so it doesn't quite feel like Alright! We're smooth sailing but it's exciting and it's really cool. I think that people are responding well to the new EP. The truth of the matter is a lot of people still are just hearing the last one for the first time.
Oh, really?
So you know that's just the way things generally go but the response to the new stuff has been really cool. The label's really excited about it. We're really excited about it. We're putting out some video content soon for "Free & Lonely" and "Unsteady" which are the two tracks that we're kind of putting most of our attention on but yeah it's really cool. It's mainly cool to see kids coming out to these shows that we're doing on our own. We've spent so much time again on the road with all these other bands. Opening for them and we win people over. To be able to get onstage, it takes a minute. I still haven't quite registered that you don't have to work so hard to try and win these people over because they've already been won over.
Yeah, they're coming for you.
So, there's that.
Then this is the first like real headlining tour.
Yeah, this is the first real X Ambassadors headlining tour. We have our own opening band, Parade of Lights. They kick ass.
Then you were talking about the EP's. Maybe how did you go about the writing for the newest one?
The writing for the new one was all done on the road. It was very kind of in the moment. We didn't even go into a studio. We recorded everything on our own labtops. On our own personal portable recording devices and sent it off to get mixed and mastered. It was really cool. It was really, really cool. It was recorded in hotel rooms, our apartments, backstage and in our van. Did some vocals in our van. It's actually kind of a concept EP about this guy looking back on his life and kind of assessing where he is now and how he got where he is now. It was inspired by a lot of my friends who I went to college with. We're all in our mid twenties now and everyone's been out of school for a while. A lot of people I know who went to school for something like music or theater or writing or the classical arts are realizing that their dreams of becoming these artists, their dreams in general, might not work out. Things may not happen the way that they thought they would and that's a really scary prospect but it's something that a lot of people battle. I know so many of my parents' friends always talk to me about the fact that when I was younger I had these big dreams of doing blah blah blah or blah blah blah. I ended up here and I'm actually happy now. So that was kind of why I wanted to write about that because what comes next, it is scary but it also can be really exciting. Refreshing and you can discover things about yourself that you didn't know before. Again, I talk to so many people about starting fresh. Actually, I had dreams about being a dancer but I am teaching yoga now. It's amazing and I love it and I'm obsessed with it. Or whatever. You think you're going to be the next great novelist and you become a journalist for like Teen Vogue or People magazine and it's actually kind of fun. You're still doing what you love to do. You never know what life has in store. A big reason for me writing this is because at the time, we had just got signed to a major and now the stakes are high as fuck, dude! They're high as fuck! It's scary dude. Shit is real!
I mean it's KidInAKorner/Interscope, it's like one of the biggest ones.
Yeah! We were on the road. You never know! We were expecting things to move like so fast and I guess they are, you know? From an outside perspective, they are. You just don't know. It's such a fickle industry that we're in so I kind of wrote it for that. To help myself out too.
Do you think you're going to stick to the EP route for now or are you even thinking full length?
We are going to start doing full length stuff in upcoming months. We are going to pre- production soon. This is the festival time. We only have a couple festivals this summer and we're going to take the rest of the time to keep writing. We have a couple other exciting things going on. Some co-writes and collaborations that are in the works. One of them is already out actually. This song we did with Jamie N Commons called 'Jungle'. Which has been doing pretty well actually. It's been charting on iTunes. We've gotten a couple big placements with it. Couple other ones that are coming up. Fingers crossed talking about them because they haven't happened yet. So a lot of that kind of stuff. Alex keeps us really busy. He keeps me really busy too with writing for other people. Working our stuff and he's having me work on stuff for other people too!
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Escape The Fate

Last night, I ventured out to the current Pop Evil and Escape The Fate headlining run in Boston! Through out years of interviewing bands, I've seen the latter been through some definite ups as well as big downs but lucky for me, the band in it's current incarnation is going strong! I sat down with lead vocalist Craig Mabbitt and guitarist TJ Bell for some album conversation as well as a Mortal Kombat bout. We talked their current album "Ungrateful" as well as their already in progress next album. The band gave some advice to bands trying to stick it out that are just getting started as well as breaking the news that they will be on a summer festival run this summer!
Allstars, Scream It? Up for you to figure that out! For now though, read on for my new one with the boys and catch them out on the road for the next two weeks with besides Pop Evil, their buddies in Glamour of the Kill and swedish Avatar!

You only have about two weeks left on this run co-headlining with Pop Evil. How has it been going over so far?
Craig: Well, we've only been out for about a week.
Short run?
Craig: Pretty short run, yeah. We haven't really gotten a chance to really hang out, bro down, with the other bands.
TJ: Besides Glamour.
Craig: Yeah, besides Glamour of the Kill because we have a long touring history with them. I think that's strictly because one, the tour is so short and two, we have such a past and a history with Glamour. We've just been going out with those guys all the time. So haven't really gotten to know the other guys yet but they put on good shows so it's been a good tour.
Perfect! Then I know your video just came out for "Picture Perfect". Maybe a little bit behind the video, story behind the song?
Craig: Yeah, that video came out yesterday. The story from the video is just inspired by real life events and our band member's personal life. He had a best friend that died in a motorcycle accident. So that's basically what we based the video off of.
TJ: And we wrote the song with Patrick Stump. It was basically to cope the loss.
Then obviously Patrick Stump is a little bit different from your guys' musical history. Maybe how did that come about working with someone very pop oriented?
Craig: Working with someone like that just brings another element to the band. It just worked.
TJ: Yeah, and what better song to do it on then a slow ballad?
Then, "Ungrateful", last time we talked the album had been out for really like only two days. It was on the tour with Glamour of the Kill last year around this time? It was awhile ago, it's been about a year. Now that you are going to be at the one year point next week, how do you think it's been going over? Maybe in comparison to past records?
Craig: Well, it's tricky to say. Our band has been trying to transition into a different world when it comes to where we came from beforehand. So as far as getting out there and then member changes have really restricted this album. As far as success, I'd say radio play. This album has given us our highest charting songs on radio and it sold the first year so we'll see if it picks up within this next year. We're already getting together in the summer and we're starting to write some songs right now. We're already talking about putting together this next record.
That was actually my next question because I know the album is at the year point. So you guys are you just writing the record, recording anything yet or is it purely writing right now?
TJ: Yeah, just writing at the minute. Kevin and I got together. We're both living in North Hollywood so we wrote a little bit of material and then we're going to go May and June and hopefully do some cowrites. I don't know if I'm allowed to say with who yet but it's going to be exciting. It's definitely going to be way heavier. We're still going to do the radio thing but we wanted to be a bit heavier then the last record.
Craig: We haven't done a record where it's a full band record before.
Oh really?
Craig: Yeah till we've been in this lineup where we all want to feed off each other and be a band. So TJ's been writing riffs non stop. Kevin's been writing. Putting together songs. Our bass player Max apparently has a crap ton of songs on his own so I'm excited for the whole band to get together and pull those all into a record.
Then you both have extensive musical histories through different bands. How do you think that experience is going to be considering you came from different pasts/writing styles?
Craig: I think it's going to end up being really good for us. Especially because now our history with our other band, The Dead Rabbits now together. Some of those songs we put together with just a vocal melody I had. I think it's both of ours' favorite songs from the project. It's the first time I've ever sent my guitar player just little melodies I thought of while I'm taking a pooper on the toilet. I would send him a melody and he's like 'This is awesome, man. I'm going to build a song around this'. So for me artistically, that's really exciting.
TJ: And the only reason why we didn't do this before is because we don't have a person in the band anymore who wasn't only worrying about their personal gain, not us.
Craig: Not a band thing.
TJ: So it's going to be great to have everybody involved.
Craig: Working on the same page. Doing a band (laughs)!
TJ: Working as a band for once!
Then like we talked about a little bit, obviously this band's been through a lot of ups as well as a lot of downs. Maybe advice to bands just getting started? It's obviously rough but advice to get through it.
TJ: If you're dedicated enough then you'll get through it.
Craig: My advice to bands that are just getting started is just make sure you like the guys in your band before you start having to live with them. If you have any doubts in your mind about the other person's dedication or their feelings towards you, maybe you shouldn't be starting a serious relationship like that. I mean you're not going to say, oh I guess I'll get married to this girl. You know like I don't really like her. You got to be sure about it. I mean, a band's got to be a band with common interests. I think we're one of the few lucky ones that through all of it, our fans are still sticking by us. I think that's the only thing that keeps us growing.
They stand by you despite everything that happens! Then for each of you guys, taking it back a little bit, the first CD or first cassette that you ever remember buying as a kid and the first concert you remember going to?
TJ: Well, my first concert was River City Rebels at the Cafe Metropolis in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Growing up, I was a punk rock kid. Yours was Linkin Park?
Craig: Yeah, my first concert was Linkin Park but the first one my parents let me go to was Linkin Park, Mudvayne, Hoobastank, Adema, Cypress Hill. It was like their first Project Revolution tour when they started doing those runs so that was pretty cool. First record/first tape I bought. I don't know, I just always got into my parents CD collections but the first memory I have of purchasing anything. It was actually a tape. I remember, I was moving cross country and I was traveling with my dad. I got some allowance money. I think I got conned by my dad actually. It was like this Kid Rock tape.
TJ: I'm not sure!
You don't remember? Then what is coming up for you guys after this tour. Like you said, it's a short run. You have two weeks left but what is coming up? Festival season coming up. Are you guys going to be focusing on getting the record done, playing in the summer a lot?
Craig: I think our main focus is getting the record at least pre pro'd. We are on a big summer festival but it hasn't been announced yet. Once they announce what bands are actually going to be on that, we'll all know. Because I know less then anybody else knows.
TJ: There's some rumored bands.
Craig: Yeah there's some rumors but I don't even know the dates. So we're still on the dark in that one.
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Glamour Of The Kill

I'm a sucker for what I consistently call the British Invasion. I think any girl is? What I'm even more of a sucker for is breakdowns, tattoos and well written lyrics. So the perfect band to cover would be Glamour of the Kill and luckily I've been able to speak to lead vocalist Davey Richmond three times over his band's journey of touring in America.
Over the past year and a half, we've seen the band release two albums in the US (okay the new one comes out Tuesday) and talked everything from their roots to their time with Escape The Fate to why "Savages" is their top album so far. Read on for our new one and catch them the next two weeks in the US!

You've toured the US multiple times and with Escape The Fate as well. How has this tour been going so far? I know it's a short run but you still have two weeks to go. How has it been going so far?
Awesome. Really good. We're always excited to go out with Escape The Fate. They're amazing friends of ours so it's always quite the party time with those guys.
Then "Savages" is coming out here in the US next week on Tuesday. Maybe based on the reaction you've gotten in the UK with it, what are you most looking forward to? Like having this album out in the US?
For us, I think it's just a breathe of fresh air to finally get to play these songs live. It actually came out in the UK in September.
Always a bit of a delay, yeah.
Yeah just excited to play these songs live and super proud of "Savages". 'The Summoning' we wrote years ago so "Savages" is so new and fresh. It's nice to come to these places and people are knowing the words to those songs already.
It's crazy! Then how did you go about the writing process for this album? Maybe how did you see it change being the singer?
It just completely steps up. "The Summoning" was written when we were kids. We actually recorded that in 2009 and then we released it in 2011. So, I think "Savages" is just an example of the band that's kind of grown up. Matured through touring and experiences we've had as a band. The thing between Savages and The Summoning is that Savages is good.
You don't think Summoning was good?
No, The Summoning is good. I mean, we've been playing those songs for what seems like an eternity.
Then considering these albums are always delayed because you don't live here and it's always delayed when from different countries, are you even working on the next album? Considering it has been out in the UK for a few months.
Yeah, we're going to the studio in August. At least for an EP. We've got loads of songs written for that already. So August-time, we'll go into the studio.
Then I wanted to ask you. I believe it was this album that you did with Joey Sturgis.
That's correct, yeah.
Obviously he's helped a lot of bands get to a huge level like Asking Alexandria and We Came As Romans. Maybe how was that experience?
It was amazing working with such a big name, you know? The fact that he wanted to work with us was a big deal. We wrote a bunch of songs and we took them to him and he helped us kind of make them a lot better. Cooked them up with us, changed parts for the good. Changed parts for the better and you can definitely hear that. We're super proud. Really get involved with that.
Then the first time we talked, it was your first time I think ever in the US. How is it now that you've been touring for well over a year in the states? Maybe advice you would give to bands just starting too, like Avatar for example?
I mean America is awesome. I think it's pretty much my favorite place except for Britain. Everyone's so kind so I think any advice I'd give is just to embrace it. I mean it is a lot harder. Some of the drives are big. It is a lot harder because there's so much to cover but I think the best advice to give is just to embrace it and have the best time you can, I think. You'll see the fun of America.
What is coming within the next few months for the band? Are you just going to keep on touring now that the album is about to come out?
Yeah, we've got quite a bit of writing to do when we go back to the Uk after this tour to record the EP like I told you. Then we've got a few UK festivals to do and then we're going to be announcing another UK tour in October.
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James Blunt

Tomorrow, James Blunt will be making his self-anticipated return to the city of Boston. A show that he told me in our new interview is the highlight of his current eighteen month run. Looking at his facebook, he's constantly referencing the show and I'm sure his loyal fans are on the same level of excitement.
I got the chance to pick James's brain about his current world tour that at the minimal level will be a eighteen month run that luckily his several years in the army prepared him for. He walked me through the four records that he has put out thus far in his career and even gave me a few reasons why Boston is just so special to him. I'll be checking out his live set tomorrow night in Boston with another recent interview we've done, Oh Honey. Hope to see you there!

To start soft, the three things you must have with you while on the road to survive?
Three things I must have? I need my band! To play with me on stage. That's what I'm going to be bringing for the Boston show!
Oh yeah?
Yeah, there's about five of us on stage. The other things I need? Well, we're on the "Moon Landing" world tour and we started in Shanghai on New Year's Eve. The production that we are taking around the world reflects that (the title of the album). In our arena shows, we have lunary modules on the stage. With the most incredible lights and lasers. A show that goes with the concept of the album. House of Blues is quite a bit of a smaller event. The Boston show will be about the music. I think production wise for that, we'll bring our flight suits so that's the equipment that we'll be bringing.
Like you said, you've been doing these huge arena shows and tomorrow is a bit smaller of a venue in Boston. Maybe how has the tour been so far and maybe what are you most looking forward to tomorrow?
Well I think what's amazing about this tour is the length of time we're playing. In Europe and the Uk and Canada. Of course coming to the states, what I'm looking forward to is actually that they're much smaller shows. That for me as a musician is really exciting because I can actually see the audience rather then look out and just see darkness. Just have that spotlight in my face. At a venue like House of Blues, I can really see what's going on and it will be much more intense as a result. So that's something that I'm really looking forward to.
I suppose the third thing I'd need on tour to survive that you had asked me is my tour bus because it's my home at the moment and it will be for many months.
Perfect, very needed! Then I know your new album "Moon Landing", your fourth album, only came out in October. It had been a while between records. How do you think it's been going over so far in your eyes?
Well, I suppose. My first album was just an innocent album that I put out and wasn't thinking about anything but the music. Then I had a song on it that exploded and it took me to the mainstream. The response to it was great but I wasn't enjoying it very much. So my second album is called "All The Lost Souls" and it was quite a dark unhappy album as a result. You could tell that by the title alone. For my third album, when I was embracing it and I was enjoying it and writing songs for my World Tour. Writing songs to fill the arenas that I was playing in. The album is called "Some Kind of Trouble" and it was great, great fun but I was definitely writing it with an audience in mind. I thought perhaps for this fourth album instead of writing it with an audience in mind, I'd write more personal songs. Not treating it as a job. Not treating it as being a pop star but treating myself as musician I started out being. So I took a trip back to where I was on this album. I went back to find the producer who recorded my first album, Tom Rothrock . From ten years ago. I went to Los Angeles, found him and he's the man who made this new album "Moon Landing" with me. I suppose what's funny is that because we haven't thought about trying to please the audience. We haven't thought about making it to suit these shows or fit the world tour, I think people can hear that it's more genuine. People connect with it more.
Then I know on Facebook, that "Moon Landing" is possibly the last record you'll make. It may just be a light hearted remark that you wrote but are there certain things that you want to happen during this tour for you to make a new album?
Do you know what? I spent a year making this album. A year locked away in a studio. That journey of making it with Tom and now I'm heading out on a tour which is at least eighteen months long. At this stage. Who knows what I'm going to do afterwards.
How do you prepare for such a lengthy tour, like maybe mentally?
Well I suppose you prepare for a tour by doing the army for six years beforehand (laughs).
Then I was reading your Twitter. I know that you call out the people who maybe try to diss you on twitter. How do you think that helps you as an artist? Like your image?
I don't really know how it helps me. You know with what people think of me. What I do know is I enjoy it. You know because Twitter is this amazing thing for like amusement stuff but the moment you start taking it a serious platform for people's opinions I think it gets its' meaning clouded. I saw people taking their opinions so seriously and my record label they want me to be on it. If they didn't, I probably wouldn't be on it. So what I'm doing is I'm just kind of laughing at the fact that some people think that their opinions hurt. Often thinking it's important. It's not important so I'm just messing around for fun. I don't know what it does for anyone else but I know that for me it's something I find doing entertaining.
Perfect then I wanted to ask you, obviously you're been doing this for so long. The first album for you came out ten years ago. Maybe advice to people just starting, maybe even your openers Oh Honey who are on their first true large room tour.
I mean it's been great fun having Oh Honey out. This is their first kind of tour. I think having been in the job for awhile, I understand kind of the ups and the downs of going to different places and different cities and different countries. We've just been up in Canada playing the Bell Centre in Montreal and The Coliseum in Quebec City and now it's time to come down to the US and playing in much, much smaller rooms. The change in size, the change in audience, the change in energy, the change in character from city to city. It's what keeps it going really because getting up on stage and playing the same songs every night is tiring. Boston has it's own character and is a really exciting place for us to come to. So that's probably what I'm looking forward to most. It's where I recorded my single off this album. The song called "Bonfire Heart". I wrote and recorded it with Ryan Tedder who is the lead singer of OneRepublic. We recorded it in Boston!
Then to end it off, I wanted to ask you the first concert that you yourself can remember going to?
The first concert I ever went to, I think it was probably an Elton John concert actually. I haven't really been to that many concerts. Really didn't have the time or the money to go to many concerts. I went to that Elton John concert very early on when my management picked me up because that management firm is owned by Elton John. He's a great supporter of music. They picked me up and supported me and even after that, I found myself touring with him as his support act for Europe, through the UK and to South America.
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