Northlane's Marcus Bridges talks new touring plans, the 'Node' recording process and tour essentials!

Northlane is a band that has been dominating their home country of Australia as well as coming to the US consistently and Europe. At the beginning of this year, something was different though. Marcus Bridges took the lead vocalist position of the band and ever since, the band has absolutely dominated this year. Their new record ‘Node’ dropped in July, being the first record that Marcus is on. That record went number one in their home country and currently the band finds themselves on an insane tour for the record that brought them through the US and Canada. In about a month the band will continue to tour Europe and Australia. A few days after our interview, the band already announced their next US run co-headlining with Volumes that even brings them back to the same venue in Boston at Brighton Music Hall.

Marcus and I chatted about everything really that the band is doing right now as well as talking about his essentials and first musical experiences. Having Marcus as the mouthpiece for this interview was a great view into what it’s been like during his first album with the band. He talked about how the crowds have been and their reactions to him being the new vocalist. If the packed show a few hours after our interview is any indication of what the rest of their touring has been like, this is sure to be Northlane’s year for world domination.

You’ve been in the band for a little while now even though this was the first record that you are fully on. Maybe what are the three things you must have with you while on the road to survive?

Well I guess clean underwear. Some honey. I always want to sooth my throat I guess after a long week of touring or whatever. What else? If it’s cold, I put on these unique pants that I always bring with me. I think that’s about it. I don’t really bring too much with me that’s crazy. Just bring what I need.

Then correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first headlining run that you’ve been on with Northlane. How do you think it’s been going over so far considering how well ‘Node’ did?

It’s been going really, really well. This is the last show of the US bit of it so we got about a week in Canada. Yeah it’s been going really, really well. Everyone’s been responding to it. It’s been really surprising actually. It’s quite a lot of shift in the sound. People have been so responsive with it on the other side of the world. I think we kind of underestimated the US. We had a show in Philly the other day and it ended up selling out. Turned people away because there were too many people. So it sucks in that sense but it’s also really good to see that we can come over here and do the headlining stuff and people actually care. So it’s good.

Then I wanted to ask you, “Node” only came out in July but it was number one in Australia. You guys have been touring here a lot lately. You were just on the tour with August Burns Red this winter and now they’re opening for you in Australia. I love how that works. I know We Came As Romans opened for In Hearts Wake really recently when they headlined in Australia. Maybe obviously it’s been going over well, maybe for you it must be a great feeling considering it’s your first record with the band.

Totally!

How do you think it’s been going over? Obviously, well at home.

Yeah there’s always going to be a little bit of negative response just because of the old sound but yeah as we’ve been kind of going and the album’s been out for a big longer and people are listening to it, we’ve kind of seen the positive and negatives shift more in our favor. So yeah it’s all been going really well. Yeah I think we’re just really excited to I suppose see what we do next because I think this album is definitely something where we had to make a big change. We kind of have all of these elements in there that we really want to keep but we haven’t quite perfected what we want to be doing yet. But yet, it’s been going really, really well. All of this is just a dream for me really. All I can really do is play music so it’s been groovy to be over here. To have people be really passionate about what we’re doing. Yeah, I love it.

Perfect and then you obviously have played shows in the states and you’ve toured with the band before the record came out but maybe how did you guys go about the writing for this record? Was it one person, more collective?

Yeah well how it used to work was Jon would come into the studio and he would write all the music. Then everyone would come in and put their spin on it. For this one in terms of vocals and stuff, Josh wrote most of the lyrics and we’d kind of come together to just work on little things. Like pick out things that we wanted to change or whatever. Then I’d focus more on the melodic side of it. More of how I suppose it would be structured. Yeah I love doing that. With the short time period leading up to doing the album, it would have been rough to have offered to have it all on one plate. I’d love to work on the lyrical stuff on the next album. We’ve kind of gotten past this hurdle and kind of have gotten more comfortable to focus on the future but yeah I loved working like that with Josh. Josh is like really inspiring. It’s cool to see the ideas he pulls out of his head.

Then like you said, there was obviously a bit of a different sound with this record. Not just obviously your part of it but the whole vibe of it. Do you think for the next record, you’re going to expand on that, do you think it’s going to be pretty similar?

I’m not actually too sure.

It’s still so new.

Yeah.

Like maybe just over a month now.

Yeah we started testing the waters of what to play live. We have changed the set a couple of times just because some of the stuff is just too new. People aren’t quite there yet with it but as far as playing all of this stuff live and seeing how people react to it, it kind of gives us an idea of where we want to head. But it’s still so hard to tell. We don’t know what is going to happen in the next year or two musically or just us as artists, what we’ll do. Just because we pull a lot of influences from all over the place. I listen to a lot of pop rock stuff, Johnny listens to lots of electronic music. We’re all pretty varied in that sense. So yeah I’m not really sure.

Then like I said, I feel like a broken record, you do in Australia have August Burns Red as main support. From at least their show here, I know it was to like twenty five hundred kids. Maybe advice to Australian bands to kind of leave, I don’t want to say the safety net, but if you’ve already built this level of success like you have and In Hearts Wake has in Australia. Advice to kind of make that jump, like try to tour out of the country?

I suppose it just comes down to working hard. I’m still very new to it.

I know it’s very new to you but as someone coming out of their home country to come to the US and come on the road here.

Yeah it’s pretty weird. It all came down to working hard. When I was told I was going to be a part of Northlane, I was practicing every day. Was getting some lessons on what I wanted to work on. Learn to be able to maintain my voice on tour and stuff. It really just comes down to being passionate about working for it. I think as well to have the chance to do that is because of Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction and stuff. Parkway Drive especially was one of the first Australian bands that really showed that they can get out of Australia. They absolutely do really well. I did my first tour with Northlane opening for Parkway Drive in Europe. That was insane. It was my first time out of the country. I’ve been really lucky with the opportunity I’ve been given but I still had to work very hard. There were a lot of great vocalists who were trying out for my spot. So to take advantage of that and not work for it would be pretty rough. So just working hard really.

You seem to be really warmly received.

Yeah I get a lot of stuff after we play where it’s like ‘I was skeptical about it before I saw you live but I see now what they’ve done that’. It’s good to hear but it’s always the back handed compliments. Like ‘Yeah I didn’t like you at first but you showed me that you’re alright’. It’s fine.

Then maybe the first CD or first cassette that you can remember buying as a kid? Then maybe the first concert?

The first CD I bought myself was Underoath. It was “Define The Great Line”. Also the first like single was, have you ever heard of the boyband Five? It wasn’t them, it was just one of the guys from Five’s solo project, Abs. He had a single out. I was used to love Five. First concert was Jet from Australia if you know who they are. That song ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’.

They made it big in the US.

Yeah! Say them when I was about twelve or something. It was the first one that was in a big place. It was pretty cool. My first I suppose metal show was Disturbed which is pretty cool as well.

Those are pretty good ones! Then maybe, like you said, this is the last day of your US run but you’re on a massive touring schedule for this record. Back home and I believe in Europe.

Yeah we have like a month off back home after this, then off to Europe then we come back to do the Australian stuff. Then I’m pretty sure we’re announcing another American tour in the next week or two. So we’ll be back here by the end of the year again it’s pretty crazy.

Before the end of the year?

Yeah. It’s pretty weird actually now that I think about it. We’ll be back in America three times in one year.

Is this your first tour back since Frozen Flame?

Yeah, the next tour will be a co-headliner with one of our friends but we can’t say it yet.
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Atlas Genius chats about their brand new record, "Inanimate Objects"!

Happy record release day to this next band, Atlas Genius! Their sophomore effort ‘Inanimate Objects’ dropped today and a few weeks ago, I spoke with lead vocalist Keith Jeffery. We spoke absolutely everything you need to know about their new record. Wanting to keep a lid on details about the record, I wanted to drop the interview the day the record came out. Fans have had a good glimpse of the record with ‘Molecules’, ‘Friends with Enemies’ and ‘Stockholm’ but as you’ll read in our interview they set a parameter for what else was to come on the record. Pick up the new album today and read below my new interview with Keith! As well, look for tour dates to come! While the band took a bit of a break from the road, there is plenty to come with the new album now out!

Obviously you have a lot going on with the record coming out this month, August 28th but maybe a soft one to start, you have been playing a few shows, the three things you must have with you while on tour to survive?

The three things I must have with me, great question! I always have to have my labtop on the road. I always got to have that with me. What else do I got? Good question. Let me have a look through my bag, we’re actually about to leave for one of those one off shows so I’m packing. Okay, a good book. I always like to have a book on the go. I wish mine were more exciting than that. Oh yeah do you know what I always need to have? I need to always have a protein bar. Like a Cliff bar or a Kind bar in my backpack because you don’t know what they’ll have at the airport because we’re all vegan. We normally can’t get anything like that so we always have a steady supply of Cliff bars or do you know those Kind bars?

I live off Kind bars. I love Kind bars.

Yeah either of those are like our staple. They get us through airports when all you have is like Burger King and stuff like that.

Then I said just before, you announced the sophomore record “Inanimate Objects”. Maybe considering the last one came out a few years ago now, how long has this record been in the making for Atlas Genius? Like when did you start the process?

One of the tunes that we have previously released was kind of written at the end of the last tour. That was kind of the first song done for the album. Everything else was written starting at the beginning of last year. We took a year off of touring to write the songs. We were finishing the songs right up to the finish line actually. I guess that doesn’t really answer your question. It was several months of writing and recording.

And it was pretty similar to the first record or like that long of a process?

Totally different. Completely different. Just geographically when we did the first album, we did it in our little studio that we built in Australia. Then for the second album, after spending so much time on the road and especially spending so much time in America. We grew a lot of friendships out here, we decided to move here. The other different from the first album was really the opportunity to have longer to write. Like four to six months. We had a lot more time to expand on everything. With too much time you can kind of, what’s the word? You can kind of meander a little bit but to have a year is pretty luxurious.

Then obviously for this one like you said, you had a lot more time so you can kind of try new things but do you think the songwriting itself has changed? Like one person bringing an idea, or really collaborating? I know it’s been the same two of you since the beginning. Do you think it still changes?

Yeah we’ve been collaborating a lot. We did that a lot on this album. For the first album it was really just in Australia. For this second one, we had a lot of options to possibly cowrite and it was great to actually explore that. I still wrote a large amount by myself, but it was nice to have the luxury of writing with other people. The majority of the songs were songs that had a little bit of efforts with other people.

Then I wanted to ask you, I know two tracks off come out so far from “Inanimate Objects”. ‘Molecules’ than obviously most recently yesterday ‘Friends With Enemies’.

Actually three!

Three!

Yeah there’s three now. ‘Molecules’, ‘Stockholm’ and ‘Friends with Enemies’ came out yesterday.

Sorry I missed that! So maybe for the newest one, ‘Friends with Enemies’. Can you maybe tell me a little bit of the story behind how that song came to be or what that song means to you? That kind of thing!

It’s I guess intimate and dark. It’s one of the darkest songs we’ve ever written for sure and it was me actually one night. I was kind of experimenting with flow. The majority of that song happened in sort of that night/early next morning. The core parts of that song happened while I was sitting in bed with a labtop. That’s part of the beauty of what our generation can do. Out of the blue, that song was me kind of dealing with the shit of a relationship and it was one of those things that just kept nagging me. The song was an outlet to me. It allowed me to process that.

Perfect and those three songs, that’s a good part of an album. Do you think they are a good indication of what is to still come on the record or do you think there will still be some surprises? Like something people wouldn’t expect from Atlas Genius?

There’s definitely a few surprises coming up on the album. I think the reason we chose to put out the three songs that are out now are a good representation of the album. I think they set the parameters. Like ‘Stockholm’ is really quite modular. Where ‘Molecules’ is sort of like a cumbersome love song, ‘Stockholm’ is a lot more rock. A lot more guitar on that track. Then ‘Friends With Enemies’ is very sort of stark and quite dark. I think they give a good representation but I think we’ve got a bunch of really different stuff. We really went for it on this album. Like for the first album, we just had a super tight vibe set. This album is really quite dynamic I think compared.

It sounds like it’s going to be great. Then I wanted to ask you, like you said, you’ve been playing these one offs. I was at the Boston one with you and New Politics and I know you played in Detroit as well. Like you said, you have another show tomorrow but once the record comes out, kind of what’s the plan? Are you going to try and get on the road pretty quickly? Is it something you already have planned? Kind of what’s in the plans.

Yeah we’ve been having a bunch of one off shows really over the next month or so. I think it looks like it’s going to be pretty busy touring wise for us the rest of this year and through the next year. It’s been a while since we’ve toured and there’s nothing like playing new songs to a crowd. Just changes the whole dynamic to be back on the road. There should be some touring announcements coming up.
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Meet Rayland Baxter, you won't regret it.

It’s not often that I post something like this but when you find someone as talented as Rayland Baxter, you just can’t not write about it. This is what a music writer does too. Rayland released his debut record, ‘Imaginary Man’, on the 14th of August and already, I have his tracks on repeat. Particular favorites on the record include Oh, My Captain and Yellow Eyes but every song on this record is candy to this writer’s ears. He reads like Augustana and Boston heroes The Ballroom Thieves. While this wasn’t his first release, it was his first major one and is quickly opening the door to domination for Rayland.

With a tour with Grace Potter under his belt, Rayland’s announced some US touring as well as a few international dates. While the record has just been born, it’s sure to be a grower and something you won’t regret giving a chance. Rayland’s lyrics and melodies are the perfect relaxation music and makes for a genius live show. I hope you fall for Rayland Baxter’s music like I did. Like I said again, I’m not one that normally puts an artist on blast in this way but when you come across someone as special as this artist, a writer just can’t help herself.
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Flagship chats 'I Want You', their new LP and tour essentials!

We’re getting a heavy vibe that this next band we spoke with is about to blow up. Currently at work on LP #2, the band just came off a tour with Good Old War and they just released their new EP. With a big highlight being their new single “I Want You”.

I caught up with Drake from the band on a rough morning on the road. We were both riding on fumes but we still were able to speak the new single as well as what they are currently working on. How they feel their direction is changing as well as the writing has been going for the new LP. Read on for our new one with Drake and find the band on the road this fall. They’ve just announced some new tour dates including being back in Boston where this little lady lives on November 4th!

So maybe a soft one to start. I know you’re out with Good Old War right now. How has that been going so far?

Oh it’s been great. Last night was really, really fun. We did our first show in Indianapolis. It’s been fun.

Then maybe the three things you must have with you while on tour to survive?

Let me think about that. My pillow and my blanket.

Pretty crucial!

And my phone! Those are the three things I have to have.

Then you have the EP out. How do you think that’s been going over so far with the fans?

So far, I think everybody is digging on it. The single ‘I Want You’ seems to be decent. I don’t know, we played it last night for the first time and people really responded well. So I think it’s going pretty good.

Then maybe can you tell me the story kind of behind the writing of that single and how it kind of fits into the album.

Yeah every song is different and that song in particular, ‘I Want You’, is actually a very old song. I wrote it about six years ago, five or six years ago. We just kind of brought it back and reworked it a little bit. I wish there was a better story for it. I mean there’s a story for the original but that happens all the time. It’s about my first girlfriend ever. Actually not my first but first real girlfriend.

Then you said all the songs are kind of different and written different. Is it a lot of like each of you bringing ideas to the other person? Is it more collective? Is it still changing from like the first record?

Yeah I think every song is different. Some songs, like that song, all the parts were written because that’s an old song. So we kind of redid all the parts that I had already made. Some I did all on my own and then there’s songs where Michael and I will write together. It just varies per song. We don’t have like this standard way of writing.

Perfect, then was there something new like sonically that you tried with this record or maybe something fans wouldn’t exactly expect from Flagship if they’ve already listened to the band before?

Well, yeah. We never really want to put the same album out twice but actually, this EP was meant to be for a different project. ‘I Want You’ was separate from it. If you listen to it, you’ll be able to tell that it’s a lot different but we just ended up saying we hadn’t put out music in a little bit. We didn’t want to wait for the second LP to put out new music so instead of making that what we were going to make it, we just decided to use it for Flagship and put ‘I Want You’ on there.

And do you think the second LP is still a while away or is that something you think may come out before the end of 2015?

Yeah we’ve started writing. We have most of the song ideas. We’re looking to record it in September. Then it will probably come out next year around this time I guess. Fall.

Then to end it off, what is coming up after you finish this short run with Good Old War who obviously took a break from the road too. I’m sure it’s been interesting shows. What is coming up for Flagship? Are you just going to be like doing this run and then focusing on getting that record done? Kind of what’s in the plans?

Yeah right after this tour, we’re going to go home. We’re going to get into the studio. We have all these ideas that we wrote out in LA. The producer we’re going to be working with is Joey Waronker. So three or four weeks ago, we went to LA and wrote a bunch of songs with him. So we have to take those ideas when we get home and kind of work to flesh them out a little more. Then we are going to demo them and send them back and forth. Kind of figure out what the record is going to be. Then finally take it to LA and actually produce it there.

Well thank you so much Drake for taking the time, I really appreciate it!
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REVIEW: Halsey's "Badlands"

‘Badlands’. The debut record we’ve been patiently waiting for is finally being dropped by Halsey this Friday and we at Music Remedy adore it. While some songs are familiar to us as well as Halsey fans like New Americana and Castle, the album is a conceptual album as well as being in chronological order of how the songs were written with the exception of Ghost. The album is straight goodness throughout the whole record and is very cohesive.

My favorite tracks on the record are Drive, Roman Holiday, Colors, Haunting and Control. All for very different reasons. With Drive, I like how it does seem to be a turning point for the album. Something I love about Halsey is her lyrics and the effects and kind of spoken word vibe she has in her tracks. Which always leads up to some great belting. Roman Holiday I see as the most radio-friendly. The track that could be her radio break but this girl already had her break. She already completely sold out her album release tour and is playing at minimum to two thousand kids a night. As well as adding extra nights in many of the cities. Colors stands out as one of my favorites because of the lyrics. I found myself constantly when listening to the record like writing down lyrics that I loved. For Colors, I found myself already singing the chorus the second time it came in the song. Her songs are just straight up catchy always.

With Haunting, I really loved this track since it was the first time I really noticed some strong belting from her and I loved it. This record is just dynamite through and through. Overall, this record is just A+. If I was one to give stars or numbers, it would be a ten but reviews for me are more of a step by step process through the record looking at the high points and if there are any, the low points. There isn’t any of the latter in this particular record.
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Crossfaith talks everything you need to know about their new record, Xeno!

Two years ago, I first met this next band on their first run of the US. The band isn’t anywhere near new though. Crossfaith first started in 2006 and finally the US got to have a glimpse of the talented band. Since then, they have completed two full summers on the Warped Tour as well as successfully touring the US in club tours. We are always gracious for our time with the band and during Warped this summer, we caught up with (Ken)Kenta, Kazuki and Hiroki!

We spoke about their new record, Xeno, that drops on September 18th. Really everything about the album process was fair game. We also talked about their upcoming touring plans as well as how this summer was going for them on the tour. Read our new one and look for an album review coming within the next week! If their lead single ‘Devil’s Party’ that just dropped last week is any indication of what is to come, this record will be fantastic.

This is your second full summer on Warped Tour, you did it two years ago last. What was different on this run from last time?

Ken: Like different? The stage is different. Like our first time, our first Warped Tour, we were on the Ernie Ball stage. That’s basically the smallest one. We still had a great time on that stage. It was like nobody knew about us. It was kind of challenging. It was our second US tour and this time, we are on the Monster stage. That’s like the heavy stage and there are tons of our friends bands. We are always hanging out with them. Now we are having a great time.

Then you just announced the new record, “Xeno”, coming out on the eighteenth of September here in the states and the fifteen in Japan I believe. How long has that record been in the making for you guys? How long has “Xeno” been in the making?

Kazuki: Almost two months maybe recording.

Ken: Writing was a little more. We always like taking a long time to write. Tracking and pre-production, that was in like two months. It was a great experience for us to walk in with Josh Wilbur. He was such a nice guy. He is talented.

Hiroki: Yeah we tried a different recording process this time. Usually, every band starts tracking from drums but this time we started tracking together. Like we worked together from the start to the end. Ken starts singing his melody, I can start to get out my bass line.

Ken: Yeah we tried so many times.

Kazuki: Yeah so we put so many elements on the same song every day. It was really good.

Then why Xeno for the title of this record? Is there a particular meaning behind using that for the record?

Kiroki: It’s a hard question.

Ken: I got my Xeno and he’s got Xeno and he’s got his own Xeno. Xeno means like the unknown. We are always trying to not be the same. We always like to making distance from the others. We chose it because this album, this story starts from the track on the record, “Xeno”. It’s going to be the second track and the first track is the intro. It’s the beginning of this album.

Perfect! Then you always put so much thought and so much care into your albums. Like the layout of the album and kind of the idea of the album. Was there something really new you tried with this new record? Maybe something you tried in the studio?

Kazuki: So many things.

So many things?

Kazuki: Yeah, like the recording process. That’s the biggest one for me. This time for like artwork and how we’re going to launch the videos. Like we talk about it a lot so that’s a difference for me.

Ken: Definitely like the singing style is very different. I tried so many ways of singing. Probably one of them is like the hip hop. I tried so many different ways of screaming. It was a great experience for me. Josh Wilbur, he worked with a lot of metal bands such as Lamb of God and he told me a lot of stories. He was great, it was a great experience.

Hiroki: So this time, we explored a lot of different things. Like EDM, Drum & Bass. Many types of things.

Then you obviously have been very busy over the past few years. You’ve really made a name for yourselves here as well as obviously at home and in Europe. What is coming up? Are you going to be touring a lot once the record comes out?

Kazuki: Of course.

Of course! Are you going to be coming back here, trying to come back pretty quickly? Kind of what’s in the plans for Crossfaith?

Ken: Right now after this tour, right after we release our new album, we will do our headlining tour in Japan. That’s going to be like 2,500 capacity rooms. It’s going to be the biggest one for our entire career. After that, we will be in the UK touring with Skindred who our best friends in the UK and can’t wait for the tour.
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Born Cages chats new record, Warped Tour and upcoming plans!

This next interview was conducted somewhere most probably wouldn’t expect. It went down in the hot, hot sun at the Vans Warped Tour in Mansfield with a band that normally wouldn’t be expected to be found there, Born Cages. The boys made a great following for themselves at Warped Tour this summer despite a pretty different audience than they may been used to.

With this debut record just coming out in early June, I talked new record with the boys where I learned about the title from Vlad to how long the record has been in the making. They talked new bands you should be giving a try as well as what they hope to be doing later this year/early next year. These plans include announced touring with Family Force 5 as well as Lighthouse and The Whalers. Read on for our new one and pick up the record if you like what you hear!

Considering you guys are something a little bit different on this year’s Warped Tour, how has it been going so far? Considering the record is so new and it’s your first full Warped Tour.

Vlad: Yeah it’s been going great. We haven’t played in front of these people yet so we’ve been making a lot of new fans. The past few shows have been really great actually. The East coast here. It’s been cool.

Dave: It’s been great.

Matt: Agreed. All around.

Then your debut record came out on June 2nd so it’s still obviously very, very new but you guys have been a band for a little while now. How long has this record been in the making considering it is your debut full length?

Vlad: Long time.

Long time?

Vlad: Before the band. Five years, six years. It’s been nuts, seriously.

Dave: Vlad’s been having these things going on in his head for a while. He was like ‘Hey man, do you want to drum for my head things?

Vlad: Wanna drum for my head things.

Then maybe considering you know that album was such a labor of love and kind of working on these songs for five or six years, are you going to kind of ride it out, see how it goes before you record new material?

Vlad: No, we’re already starting to jump into it, yeah. It’s going to be different in that it’s not going to be written for five or six years but I think I like that. I like knowing that we’ll record and write some music and it’s not going to come out in six years. Maybe a little bit earlier. Maybe five.

Dave: We want to start something. We want to start with a bang. We want to take the time on it but then after that if it picks up, we want to get to work.

Vlad: And we’ve grown into ourselves a little more. It was a lot of experiments for this first album. There was a lot of songs that didn’t make it on. There were a lot of weird, different directions until something clicked. So now we have more of a cohesive thought, direction.

Then I wanted to ask, why ‘I’m Glad I’m Not Me’. Was that kind of always the title that you guys had in mind or was it something that kind of popped in your head?

Vlad: Yeah I watched this Bob Dylan documentary a while ago called ‘Don’t Look Back’ which is also the name of one of our songs. I think that is a coincidence though. Yeah there was like this great scene where he was reading the newspaper and it was just like the british tabloids where they made stuff up obviously. He was like oh I’m glad I’m not me. That’s it. I thought that was clever. It does relate to the songs in a subtle way.

Then like I said, you are something very unique on this year’s Warped Tour but are there maybe one or two bands that either you met on this tour or bands that you’ve really seen do good things that people should also be looking for on this run?

Dave: Sure, that band you were just talking to Night Fevers, I mean Night Riots.

Vlad: Jeez, yeah I’m going to talk from now on. Night Riots are great people. Great friends now, actually. We love watching their set. We hope to tour together soon. Yeah, what else?

Matt: There’s always a great band called Pvris. Knuckle Puck. We’ve been a fan of Knuckle Puck.

Vlad: There’s a bunch of really cool people and cool bands but for the most part, there’s definitely a lot of things that aren’t what we are. Like the screamier, the more emo stuff. A lot of screams in this band.

Then maybe considering the album is so new and you have been on tour. This is one of your first few national tours. Kind of what’s coming up for Born Cages considering the album is so new?

Vlad: Yeah, well we’re trying to do another one. This fall. We’re going to be out on the road. We’ll probably be at SXSW again next year. Hopefully we’ll be on the festival circuit with the bands that are a little more musically appropriate  like the Coachellas, Bonaroos, Governor’s Ball. Stuff like that. So I imagine us doing some of that stuff early next year.
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Andrew McMahon chats new record, his writing process for the new album and tour essentials!

This next interview is with an inspiration for many of the other bands I interview for Music Remedy. His name? Andrew McMahon. Known for being the front man for Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin yet at the moment and for the future, he is playing as Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. I was able to grab a few minutes with him directly after his sound check for his show he played on Thursday in Copley Square. You can next find him on the Wilderness Politics tour this fall with New Politics!

While some bands like to stray from questions about songwriting obviously more so if they aren’t involved in the process, I knew it should be the central focus of an interview with Andrew McMahon. Despite only being thirty two, Andrew has always been the main songwriter in his projects. If not the main which is what he has been for the majority of his music, he has been a major component of it. In our new interview, we spoke about his upcoming fall tour plans, his essentials for touring as well as a full look at his writing process in the past as well as his present. If you’ve been following Andrew’s career, you’d know how much of a role music plays in Andrew’s life. From the highs to the lows, which include him writing his first solo record i.e the first Jack’s Mannequin record to then right after he finished, be diagnosed with leukemia which he beat in his very early twenties. He also wrote his current single ‘Cecilia and the Satellite’ as kind of a road map to the point he got to meet his daughter. His music is ingrained in him. Find his new song ‘Cecilia and the Satellite” on the radio now and look for possible new music in the new year!

You have the Wilderness Politics tour coming up later this fall with New Politics, the record just came out a few months ago but maybe a soft one to start. The three things you must have with you while on tour?

Three things I must have with me when I travel? I mean I hate to say my iPhone, it’s kind of a no brainer thing. It plugs me back into the world. It makes it possible for me to see my daughter when I’m not with her. A combination of either a black notebook or I’ve been carrying these hotel pads. Like the ones that are on the side of the hotel bed and that’s where I’ve been kind of like doing all my girly notes and writing to get ready to write more music. Then I have a backpack that literally is attached to me almost everywhere I am and rarely is gone from my person.

Then obviously you have a lot of records under your belt but this is your first full length record for the project that you’re doing now. How do you think it’s been going over? I know you have this song that you wrote for your wife and your daughter, ‘Cecilia and the Sattelite’ that’s hitting radio right now. How do you think it’s all been going over so far for you?

I mean you know it’s hard to be objective about that. I mean from the objective standpoint, especially since it came out last year to now, it seems like it’s going really well. This is definitely the best any of my records have done on radio which is after fifteen years of releasing music. To see that happening I mean is huge so on some fronts, it’s doing better than ever. Then yeah with the shows especially, since we started this festival season with Coachella in April to now, it just seems like people are finally connecting all the dots. It’s been a mission to get people to even realize hey this is Andrew from Jack’s, Something Corporate. There is new music and I’m glad it happened the way it did because I think a lot of people found Cecilia and they were like wait a minute, I know that voice from somewhere. Now you see it sort of circling back at these shows. You have people who just discovered the music blended in with people who have been diehard fans from the early days. I think it’s brought a lot of people back around to the Jack’s and Something Corporate catalogues which is kind of why I put my name on the project. It was so that I could get on stage and sort of play my life’s music. Not just one project as opposed to another which is kind of what happened when I was with Jack’s. We just did Jack’s Mannequin songs. We didn’t do Something Corporate songs. Now with my name, we can do everything which has been a lot of fun.

Then is that something you try to do in your sets? You do a blend of all your projects, do you focus mostly on the new?

I mean I focus on the new stuff in the sense that you have a brand new record. I think a lot of writers that have pivoted in different projects over the years, while the nostalgia is built into my music and built into my soul, I never wanted to become a heritage act. In my thirties. Do you know what I mean?

Yeah, you’re still so young.

Yeah and I think there’s this thing that happens for bands. They carve out a sound and a scene then they never grow past that. That’s great if you’ve already sold a bazillion records and you have radio and you have all those things in place and you’re a big artist. But when you’re like a niche artist as I’ve been for so long, I have kind of a more cult fan base, you have to sort of keep pushing your sound. Keep pushing your sort of comfort zone so that it doesn’t become that. With that in mind though, these are still the songs that I’ve written. This is my life in these songs so the idea of not digging into those songs and sharing them with people is crazy. So usually about half the show is the new record and the other half is bits plucked out from the Something Corporate catalogue and the Jack’s catalogue. It’s all blended together.

Speaking of all that, I know you’ve always been a main songwriter in all of your projects. For this album in particular, was it something where you wrote the songs particularly for this album or were some of the songs previously written that maybe you didn’t fit the other projects? How did you go about the writing for this record in particular?

It was all written, like I started the project in I guess it was probably September of 2013, and I finished the project in May of 2014 I want to say. Every song other than one was written in that time period. The song “All Our Lives” was written the year before but it was after I had already said goodbye to Jack’s Mannequin. So all the material is fresh. I wanted it to be. I wanted the album to reflect where I was at the moment that it came out. There’s a danger if you write for three years for a record. Then all of the sudden, the narrative becomes a little disjointed you know. I really wanted it to be very current.

Then I wanted to ask you. When it comes to your writing, do you think even though you’ve been doing it for so long, you’re only in your early thirties.

32.

So even though you’ve been writing for so long, do you think you still change it up or do you think it’s become like a steady rhythm?

No I actually turned my entire process upside down. Jack’s kind of wound down around the beginning of 2012. We did our last tour just before the summer of 2012. I took that year more or less as a stop gap between those two things. Leading up to that, even on the last Jack’s Mannequin record, I had done some co-writing for that record and I also had sort of started writing for other artists and other projects. I found myself really inspired by the process of collaboration in a writing room. It was something that I had been terrified of almost my whole career. It was sort of a last frontier for me. A last frontier but a new frontier for me. To say like what happens if I get into the writing room and we’ve done work that I’m really impressed with? Try to make a song in that space and what I found was this additional element of visceral. I don’t know the right way to explain it other than this kind of kinetic energy that happened when we were in the room. When you’re spit balling production ideas and chords and writing on the spot in this frenzy. I kind of dug into that right away for other artists and writing for tv, for Smash, and so when I started this record, I wanted to experiment with going to these productions and showing up with maybe a lyric or an idea or a thought or nothing at all and see what happens when I get in a room with one or two people. Just try and create a song from scratch and that’s how I approached most of this record and that was a huge evolution for me. A huge change. I think there are all different roads to the same conclusion, to the same end. I have to feel super connected to the song. I write almost every word to the songs that I can. Singing someone else’s words doesn’t feel as easy but the collaborative element of the process is much heavier on this record that any other record I’ve ever done.

Then considering, I know you’re coming back to play House of Blues during your co-headliner with New Politics and you have already headlined House of Blues with this project. You’ve really been touring a lot with it. You’ve done support touring as the act. Do you think a new record is even on the horizon or maybe are you going to see how these songs go? I know you’re probably always writing in some sense.

Yeah I’m writing a ton. I already have a handful of songs that are in process. Some that I’m really excited about. I feel like the next record you’re going to make is always going to be your favorite one. I didn’t stop writing after this record was released which is something that I’ve done historically. I usually kind of just purge myself. You get into the promotion aspects and everything. I was dead set on not losing the sharpness of the writing tool so I just kept going with it. Yeah there’s a bunch of songs that are in various stages of writing. Certainly, it will be strategically released. The song, ‘Cecilia and the Satellite’, after forty six weeks at alternative just now is finding this whole new life at other formats of radio. We’ve sold the most singles last week out of any other week. So I’m going to follow it to the end of the earth. It’s important to me to do that. Obviously it’s not my biggest hit yet but to have it be even bigger, I’m going to chase that as far as I can. We’re preparing to release the second single in the fall. Yeah we do all of that but certainly if I get more music under my belt between then and the beginning of next year, I’m going to get it out as quickly as I can.
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Andrew W.K. chats everything Andrew W.K.!

I’ve spoken to this next guy before but this interview stands out as my favorite so far. Andrew W.K. is an icon. Not only as a musician but as an inspiration to many. He does a weekly radio show as well as touring the country playing shows as well as speaking at seminars, spreading his untouchable energy. I was able to grab a few minutes with him post performance in Cambridge where he had just played a sold out keyboard set. It was a pleasure to just watch Andrew’s contagious energy during the interview and I think it’s one of my favorites I’ve done as yet. Read on!

I know it’s been a while since you’ve played Boston in a headlining position from what I believe, correct me if I’m wrong.

I mean, I don’t know how long. I’m not actually really sure.

Well you said this show was really good, a good vibe. How did the show go?

I had a very fun time! I mean I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed playing keyboard. I’ve always loved playing these songs more and more as time goes by. Tried some different dance moves tonight which is always challenging but usually rewarding. Tonight was definitely on the rewarding side. There was fatigue. There was adrenaline. It was a dynamic experience for me personally. There was moments of failure. I had sort of a moment of I’d say mental failure at one point. I just sort of couldn’t think. I could only exist but it only lasted for maybe five, six seconds so that was good but it felt strange. There were moments of fear when I was watching Blake over there doing some of his moves. It was also inspiring and most of all, I was just very moved and very pleased at the other people that came to be here. I mean they wanted to be in that room and gave of themselves. So all that really matters to me is if they enjoyed themselves. I mean I could enjoy myself very much and it could still not necessarily be a very good evening for someone else. Or I could have a nice time doing some dance moves with someone else maybe thinking it was of very poor quality. So that’s always the risk. You hope that people enjoy themselves and felt like they had a memorable, invigorating time. What I would like more than anything is people to leave with some kind of feeling of inner power. That they actually can retain so maybe even tomorrow when they get up, assuming they go to sleep, that it stays with them. They can refer to it and hold onto it. Then it’s not something necessarily that we made or created together here tonight but maybe reinvigorated what was already in them. In each other. Reminded ourselves of that good feeling and maybe it won’t be as difficult going forward to keep close to it.

I know you play the Mixtape Festival tomorrow as well.

Yes, that’s correct! It’s an after party related to the festival.

Related to the festival and you have a lot of solo dates coming up in September and October. Is it going to be the same set up as the show you played tonight?

Yeah, largely. I mean we have a variety of shows coming up. Some full band shows. Some shows like tonight’s, a solo show. Also some lecture events. Just speaking with no music. So yeah a good blend of different events. Different nights, different days. I mean I think some of the events are daytime. Should be fun. It’s always sort of a variety of contrasting qualities. Hopefully it all one way or another, my goal and I don’t always meet it, is to get to that feeling. Even in what we’re doing right now. It’s to try to get to that feeling of pure energy.

And obviously you’ve been keeping very active over the years. You know, you do the inspirational speaking, you play your music but do you have maybe something coming out soon? Like maybe a spoken word kind of thing or maybe even a music album or do you think that’s something you’re going to hold off on doing?

I would like to do a new album for sure. I’m familiar with people who do spoken word and I feel like that’s a much more artistic, almost poetic skill. Talent. That I don’t possess. I just do more like talking. Like a seminar or something or like an interview but I do my radio show every week. That’s kind of how I think about it. I do my advice column writing but I’d love to do a new album. I’d love to do all kinds of things but I have to wait until I’m assigned those next events. Not events, the next undertaking. It will be presented to me and I’ll do my best to execute it at a high level.

Perfect then I wanted to ask you, obviously you do have a lot of fan interaction. Kind of giving advice on your Facebook and you have the radio show. You’ve kind of always been really present to these kids. How do you think that’s maybe helped you keep your longevity as an artist?

Well with all due respect to young people, a lot of these folks are not even kids. They’re like older than me. They teach me a lot of things. It’s more of just a team effort. I feel like it’s a constant pep rally and if you go to a pep rally, there could be a ring leader of sorts. There could be a rabble rouser. A master of ceremonies but even that person in their effort to conjure up pep is getting a lot of energy back and they’re being pepped up as much as they’re doing the pepping. So I feel it’s like a very mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship where we are cheering each other on in life and I am learning from people that are my elders and from people that are younger than me. So I’m not really here to teach. I have no authority that way. I’m only here to encourage and be encouraged because it feels great to go out there in the world and have those impulses and maybe those very quiet small and potentially fragile parts of yourself bolstered by other people that share those same qualities in themselves. To have those parts brought out and exposed and then empowered and strengthened so they don’t have to be as fragile. To bring out the best in each other. That’s my hope.

Okay then maybe to end it off, you have announced a lot of dates. You have lectures, you have full band shows, you have solo shows. You’re keeping very busy. You have your radio show every week but what can fans be looking forward to?

Yeah the shows! I mean there’s a lot of different things but I usually just let them happen instead of announcing things too much in advance. There’s good stuff in store though. I really feel like it’s not in my control and I’m happy about that. It’s just surprising to me as to anyone else. I just try to follow the will of the larger forces at work and live up to their expectations of me. Which usually are far beyond my own expectations of myself but that’s again bringing out things in each other that we didn’t even know we were capable of. That’s when things get really exciting. So I’m just another element in a much larger scheme. Not leading the way and not even being so bold as to chart it but just to follow the path as it unfolds.
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COIN chats 'Run', new record and future touring plans!

These last few days, so many new fall tours have been announced! One in particular that peaked this writer’s interest is featuring this next band we were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with this summer, COIN. They announced today that they’ll be touring the states on a co-headlining run with Colony House! Both of these bands have spent the better part of 2016 constantly on the road always in the opening capacity so it’s going to be great to see them in a headlining position!

We were able to speak to Chase before the craziness of this summer truly hit. Their debut full length came out right at the beginning of the summer and their lead single ‘Run’ has been breaking big for the band. In our new interview, we speak pretty much exclusively their record. From the writing of the record to how the band goes about it. To how ‘Run’ truly formed to what’s coming up for the band. Read on for our introduction to the band and be sure to catch them in Boston on October 1st! The band is playing one of my favorite venues in this city, Great Scott. It’s an intimate spot and will create a perfect vibe for these two bands and their fans. Catch them now before they quickly move their way to the top of the charts!

Perfect, so obviously you have a really busy summer coming up right now. Maybe the three things you must have with you while on tour to survive?

Okay I have this jean jacket that I always have to have with me. Let’s see. Oh this is a good question. I should start looking my backpack right now. No, yeah my backpack that’s kind of a dumb answer. Okay I’ll say my computer actually. The jean jacket, my computer and oh these white converse shoes. I do feel bad I should have said toothbrush actually. That’s a really obvious one. Yeah these white converse shoes. I even bring two pairs since that’s how much I need them.

I love it and then the album only came out a month ago now. I think a month tomorrow actually.

A month tomorrow!

A month tomorrow, scary thing. Even though it’s still so early, how do you think it’s been going over. Playing these shows with Betty Who obviously, you have a big summer ahead of you. Kind of with all the touring. Neon Trees, that kind of thing but how do you think it’s going over so far?

I think it’s good. I was talking about this the other night. It didn’t even seem real til the night it came out. We were all like oh no one’s going to like this. I’ve grown to love it in a different way. I was very sick of it when it came out because I’ve listened to it so many times but it’s really growing on me. I’m just really proud of it. I think that people are really liking it. They’re latching on to it. It’s like accessible but the first time you listen to it, unfortunately it’s not like oh this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard in that one instant. But we kind of wrote a record in a way that it like definitely grows with time. After you listen to it a couple of times, you understand it and I’m really, really happy with it. So I think the response has been really great. Our old fans to our new fans that we’re making, they’re tweeting us like every day telling us how much they like the record. People seem to really, really enjoy it. We’ve been getting some comparisons to records I really like. I’m really happy that we did something special for the first album.

Then maybe how long was this first album in the making for the band? Was it something where these were all new songs that were written specifically for this record or were they songs that kind of dated back a while? How did you go about the writing or how long was the album in the making?

How long was the album in the making?

Yeah like when did you start the process of knowing you were going to make this record?

Oh okay. Well the band formed to kind of make a full length album. I guess that was kind of the goal. We never had enough time or money. So Zach and I finished school last May I guess. We started writing for this album specifically and like were re-working old songs and coming up with new ideas last January. Every day Joe and I would meet up. Joe is the guitarist. We’d meet up every day after school. Every night we would just meet up and we started to get a sound together. We were at something where we would like okay this is cohesive. Then we started re-working old ideas. We were working at making it all fit cohesively with the other songs. I’d say probably by January, we started to make the record. Started recording the record in August. So we were like finishing lyrics in the studio. So January to August, we were really working out those ten songs and there were some other songs that didn’t make the album.

Then from listening to what you said, it kind of answers my next question. It does seem like it was a pretty collective process but were there songs that maybe a person would work on by himself and kind of bring to the table or were they all songs that you kind of wrote together?

Ooh, that’s a good question. Joe specifically sent me the voice memo for ‘Run’. He sent me like ‘Woaoaoh’. He sent me that and then he sent me like ‘dadahadah’. Like without any lyrics and I just like got it. I think that was in like May of last year. I was in Florida which is super random on like a family vacation and that was the last song we wrote for the album. I got the memos and I was like this sounds like something. So we just started to work on it and it was the last song that we turned in. We were like they’re going to hate it and stuff and they were like this is the song we’ve been waiting for. We were like oh, oh, okay. So that song specifically was definitely Joe’s brain then we cooperated but most of the songs came from voice memos on my phone and then I would send them back and forth with the guys. Joe and I would like cultivate them into a structure then we’d bring it to the band. It really is a collaborative process. It usually starts with an idea from like me or from Joe.

Perfect, and then I know like you just said ‘Run’ was kind of the last song you put on this record but it was also kind of the lead single for this record. Maybe can you tell us a little about the story behind the song, like what is ‘Run’ about to you?

On different days, it means different things. It’s come to be the diamond in the rough. We did so many demo’s that were sent to the label. So many things where we were like yeah that’s a good summer song but like, that song specifically is like a metaphor for where we were in life. I had just graduated from college. Just trying to figure out if this actually is a career or if we’re like just delusional for thinking that we can pursue art and music as a career. So that song is like just about us really just grappling. Taking whatever we can get. Obviously it’s a pretty deep metaphor but it’s just like us taking what we can get and starting over as adults. It’s such a funny thing to be called an adult actually. We all travel in a van together. That’s not very adult like. It’s just really us starting on our own. Not taking our parents money anymore and getting what we think is actually ours. So that’s what that song means to us at the moment. I think it may mean different things to other people but that’s what that song means to COIN.

Then I know you’re doing the tour with Betty Who. You have the tour coming up with Neon Trees. You’re playing shows on the Walk The Moon tour. Maybe basically you obviously have a really busy summer. Maybe what are you most looking forward to this summer?

Good question! I’m really excited about Lollapalooza because we’ve never played like a proper festival before. Yeah that will be really cool. I’m really excited to play with Walk The Moon because those guys have been like mentors to us. They’ve been super kind to us. When we were like barely a band. The first time I was ever in a bar, well my first concert ever, was Walk The Moon in Cincinnati a few years ago. So that’s kind of sentimental to me a little bit. So it’s definitely full circle to be on tour with guys that played such an integral role in us even starting this band. So I’m definitely looking forward to those shows. It’s a really big full circle for me.

Then you talked about how that was your first real concert. Maybe the first CD or first cassette for you that remember buying? Also, the first concert you can remember going to?

The first concert I went to was probably Coldplay, well the first big show I ever went to but the first like bar show was Walk The Moon. That’s what I call my first concert really. I guess Coldplay was the first show I ever went to but the first one that was like fifteen dollars was Walk The Moon. The first CD I ever bought I think actually was POD. Are you talking about the first CD I bought with my own money? I think the first one I bought with my own was Drake. I think, I think! I could be wrong. I was definitely as a child being like mom can I please buy this POD cd? I love this song, ‘Satelitte’! That was me at like ten.

Then to end it off, like I’ve been saying, you have a lot announced right now for this summer. Your first big festival, a ton of shows. Are you just going to keep this going, keep on touring in the fall maybe. Maybe even headline a few shows, headline a tour? Kind of what’s in the plans for COIN?

Yeah I think we’re going to have August off and most of September off. So I’m going to start writing the next record I think. Maybe I shouldn’t disclose that but I think I’m going to start writing the next record but we are going to start headlining in September. Yeah September and October we’re doing a co-headlining run with this other band.
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Highly Suspect talks songwriting, Mister Asylum and first records!

The other night, I headed out to a packed Great Scott to speak with    Brooklyn via Cape Cod transplants Highly Suspect! I was able to grab a few minutes with the band just an hour or so before they played where we talked everything you need to know about the band. They just released their debut full length to an impressive #56 on the Billboard 200 charts as well as finishing up two full runs of the US. As well as two straight tours, the band played Rock on the Range, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. All of this happening before the band even dropped their debut record! Catch the guys on their current headlining run before the band blows up and read our interview below!

So maybe a soft one to start, obviously you guys have been really busy. You just did two full US tours with Scott Weiland and Catfish and the Bottlemen. You played Bonnaroo, Rock on the Range. Three things you must have while on tour to survive?

Rich: Underwear.

Ryan: Deodorant and instruments!

Then you guys have had quite a wild year. The record just came out two weeks ago, you debuted at #56 on Billboard 200 but you’ve been touring non stop. Maybe how do you feel it’s been going over? How have the kids been?

Ryan: It’s been amazing. Yeah, it’s been a great response. We just played Philly the night before last and we had no idea what that turnout would be. The people that came in were excited and they were happy and positive.

Johnny: I think it’s weird now knowing that people know the words to our songs. That’s really cool. To watch people singing because they’ve heard the album and that’s something different for us. Usually we’re an opening band and opening is great and you get to play in front of a ton of people but they don’t know who you are. They might know one song. Now these people who are coming to see us, they know all our songs so that’s wild. It’s been going amazing.

Rich: People have started to do like little mosh pits.

Ryan: Yeah mosh pits! We get mosh pits at all our shows.

Rich: Yeah that’s the new thing.

Ryan: It’s incredible!

Then speaking of this record, “Mister Asylum”. How long has it been in the making for you guys. I know it is the debut record but when did you kind of start the process? Were they songs you already had from a while ago?

Johnny: Some of them are. Some of them are brand new. A couple of songs were written specifically for this album and a few of them were just songs that we had written over the years and we kind of just took the best of the best and put it together but also with a theme. The theme being “Mister Asylum”. Every one of these songs is very personal. Very, very personal. So we put together an album that you can play start to finish. It can take you somewhere.

Then maybe are they all songs you write together? Do you bring your own ideas?

Johnny: It’s different every time, you know? Like I think most of the time, I’ll write something and bring it to these guys. Then they’ll flesh it out. Rich wrote “Lost” on this album and brought it to us and we fleshed it out. “Bath Salts” started with a drum beat but I had a lot to talk about so I was able to easily paint over that drum beat but there’s no set formula. For writing songs. Always different.

Then considering how much you’ve done in the past few months, are you even thinking about maybe an EP or maybe releasing another song? Or are you kind of ride this out and see how it goes?

Johnny: Eighteen months! Then we’ll get back to it. I mean there is some other stuff that we recorded that didn’t make the album that perhaps we’ll release but I’m certainly not going to tell you that now. Those are surprises. If that happens.

Then maybe a soft one! The first cassette or first CD you all ever bought as a kid then the first concert you ever went to?

Ryan: First CD I ever bought was “Super Unknown” Soundgarden and the first concert was Lollapalooza. Which actually coincidentally was the first festival we ever played. The first massive festival we ever played. So that was cool!

Do you two remember yours?

Rich: Yeah my first album was Silverchair’s “Frogstomp” and the first concert, I was with Ryan, at Lollapalooza. That was both of ours first concert.

Johnny: Is it CD and cassette or CD or cassette?

The latter but if you want to do both, that’s fine!

Johnny: The first one that I bought I think was Busta Rhymes but I forget the name of it. “Genesis” maybe. It was a Busta Rhymes cassette tape that I bought.

Then just to end it off, what is coming up? Obviously this is your first big headlining run especially with the record being out but kind of what’s in the plans for Highly Suspect? Are you going to be touring more, are you going to be taking a break from the road?

Johnny: Hell no, we’re going to be on this road until we get back into the studio so we’re just going to try and hit like the world. We’re going to do a world tour. Somehow, some way. I know that we’re headed to Europe in January or the UK predominantly. Scotland and then England. The Carnival of Madness and that’s going to be really exciting. Then I know that we also are like #1 on Rock Radio right now in New Zealand so I’m hoping we get over there. Australia and all that but yeah we’re going to go play this album for people the next eighteen months and the first concert I ever went to, I don’t remember but I forgot to tell you that. I have no idea!
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MC Lars talks rapping robots, "Zombie Dinosaur" and Game of Thrones!

My favorite people to cover on Warped Tour aren’t always the hot shot in demand bands. Instead I choose the people that are playing the Acoustic Basement tour because I’m a sucker for a guitar and a well written song. I also dive into the hip hop realm and a guy I always make a point to sit down with is the incredibly personable MC Lars. In our new one we talked this summer’s experience, his upcoming puppet show and his great fan base! Look for the new album, "Zombie Dinosaur” this fall as well as a new tour and his puppet show. MC Lars is one of the hardest working guys in the game and you should be listening to him stat if you aren’t already!

You are a veteran of Warped Tour. Maybe how is it now? The community has started to grow where you’re not the only hip hop act anymore. You have a lot out here but you all kind of have your own niche. Mod Sun has his own niche, you have your own niche. How has it been so far this summer?

This summer has been great because I kind of know what I’m doing more. It’s interesting seeing how younger people have responded to my literary rap. My Edgar Allen Poe rap. Seeing that that has grown is cool. It’s cool to see that hip hop has always had a strong presence on Warped Tour and I think Kevin makes the hip hop roster very diverse this year. So it’s been good. We haven’t had one bad show which is awesome.

Then obviously like you said, it does have its’ history. Eminem did the tour while getting bottles of piss thrown at him every day, Ice T. It does have its’ history but advice to people just coming out for the first time on this tour that are in that genre?

I think Warped Tour is like a battle of nutrition. Like if you can survive the whole thing, it’s going to help your career. Just don’t let one show affect how you feel your career is going because not every show is the best in the world. Even if you get a bottle of pee thrown at you, at least people care. You’re being evocative, you feel me.

I feel you. Then ”Zombie Dinosaur” is about to come out.

It comes out in October. One single came out, our Game of Thrones song. It’s called “Dragon Blood”.

How has that been going over so far?

It’s good. We’ve been playing it this summer and we have a Dragon Blood shirt that people love and it’s been fun. I mean it’s very topical. I wanted to do something topical but I also found a lot of the young kids are too young to watch Game of Thrones. It’s the parents who like it.

The parents come out!

No, I feel like we have a lot of parents watch our set. I’ve been touring for thirteen years so it’s a lot of parents who are like oh yeah I saw you in college. These are my seven children which is crazy.

That’s nuts!

Yeah it’s nuts!

That must be a good feeling though considering how long you’ve been doing this and how many years of your life you’ve put into this. To have people come out.

I mean, it’s crazy. Like I see a new generation of fans now. Or kids that like have a giant beard and they’re like seven feet tall and they’re like yeah I was listening to you when I was five. It’s like what? What is happening but I don’t feel any different. I still feel as good now and I feel like the show has gotten better. I love performing more and more every year so I’m blessed. Like a lot of bands I used to tour with aren’t bands anymore but being a solo rapper with no label, that’s like a good way to have a long career. I’m lucky.

Then for this album, was there something different you tried or maybe something that may surprise kids or have you kind of fallen into a steady rhythm?

Well, this album is more pop culture and it’s got a theme of just surviving as the underdog. I do this song with Cool Keith, I did a song with Watsky, I have a song with Roger from Less Than Jake so it’s very eclectic but I think it’s my best album. I’m really excited to put it out. We’re doing five videos for it and it was funded by Kickstarter. So I was really thankful that that was able to come together. I’m just stoked it’s finally coming out because people have been waiting like a year and a half for it. So it’s finally dropping, yeah!

And you’ve kind of always been a DIY artist. Staying really in touch with your fans. Having Horris Records. Doing this really a lot on your own and kind of having that fan interaction. How do you think that’s helped you to get to where you are at this point?

Thank you for saying that. That’s sweet that you said that. I always write everyone back. I’m not the biggest artist in the world and I’m still very underground but I think having friendships with each person and remembering each person, that means a lot. I always write everyone back and tweet everyone back. I think having an indie label means I’m doing it all myself. So I know all the people I do business with and everyone at the merch table. It’s not like I outsource to people who are apathetic. I think that’s been really helpful and also being solo is helpful too because people recognize the brand when I’m out there with my Nintendo thing. It’s kind of like keeping it small helps me keep the longevity. Do you know what I’m saying?

I know exactly what you’re saying.

And it’s joyful.

Then what is coming up? You are halfway through the Warped Tour now, pretty much right at that half way mark. Kind of what is coming up from MC Lars? Are you just going to be focusing on getting the record out, are you going to be trying to tour a little bit, what’s going to be going on?

In the fall, I have a headlining tour that I’m doing and the record will be out. I’ve been working on it for a while but I’ve been working on a kids puppet show with rapping robots. So that’s coming out next year. So all this Warped Tour and the album is planned so we can be promoting that. It’s called “Yes, Yes, Y’all” and I’m very excited about it. I’m really glad to see people on Warped Tour I recognize from the past that have always been so supportive and thank you for having time to meet me. That’s joyful.
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PVRIS speaks White Noise, Warped Tour and fall plans!

Perfect timing for this next interview to go up! Two years in a row now at Warped Tour, we’ve spoken to Lynn Gunn of Lowell locals Pvris. During the time in between our interviews, they’ve had an insane year. The band is poised to be massive. With insane vocals from Lynn and a great group of musicians, there’s nothing stopping this insanely talented group. They just won the APMA’s Breakout Band award as well as winning Best International Newcomers award at the Kerrang Awards. They are about to finish out their second summer on Warped Tour and just announced they’ll be going out with Bring Me The Horizon this fall!

When talking to any other band on Warped Tour about other bands they think kids should be checking out, Pvris is always on their lips and I got the same response from the founder of AP, Mike Shea! So proud to say this talented trio is from the MA scene and we at Music Remedy are looking forward to another great year from the band!

This is your hometown show of the tour but you’ve had a crazy year. You’ve been going overseas, you won at the Kerrang! Awards. What’s been like the biggest stand out moment for you this past year?

I think the biggest highlight of the year was probably putting the record out because I mean without the record being out, nothing else that’s followed it would be happening. So I think it’s the biggest thing for us at least. That was a very big moment for us.

And how long was “White Noise” kind of in the making?

We had it ready for at least six months. We recorded it and it was just kind of waiting to get released. So it felt good to finally get it out but it took us about two or three months to record and write and get it all squared away.

And considering maybe how long the process was, are you even considering writing new music, are you writing new music now?

Oh yeah! We’re always writing new music. Got some right now but I can’t say anything.

Perfect then I wanted to talk to you. I interviewed Mike Shea really recently and he said you were like one of his stand out bands of this year. You guys and Set It Off. Kind of the two bands he thinks are really going to blow up. Bands that are completely out of your genre also saying you’re the one to watch for. Maybe how is that considering you’re still very new to the touring life.

Very crazy, very cool and I’m super grateful for that. Yeah all the support is super awesome.

Then we did interview you last year so I’m not going to ask you the same questions so my last question for you is what is coming up? Obviously this has been an insane year for you since your last Warped Tour experience.

We’ve got Reading and Leeds in August which is over in the UK which is a crazy big festival over there. We’ve got Australia with Circa Survive in September. Everything after that, I can’t say but we have a really cool US tour we’re doing. Can’t say who it’s with or when but that’s going to be awesome. Then we have a lot more writing and recording and scheming and working planned so it’s going to be a very, very, very busy year but it will be fun.
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