Jeff Caudill talks about his new EP “Reset the Sun”.

Former Gameface front man Jeff Caudill is back with a new EP titled “Reset the Sun”. The six track EP is a bit of a departure from Caudills emo/rock sound and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jeff recently about the new sound, the special Record Store Day release of the EP and his summer tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Tell us about the new EP set to release on Record Store Day?

Jeff Caudill: It’s a concept record, an alt-country road record. The story is about about guy who made some questionable life decisions and is struggling with forgiveness and starting over – and the idea that no matter how far away you go, you can always come back.

AL: Was this release originally designed to be for RSD?

JC: No, but I’m really happy that it worked out this way. I’m a total vinyl nerd and I love Record Store Day so this is kind of the best thing ever. I’m releasing this EP on my own label, Fortunate Son, but my friends at Revelation Records are helping with distribution. They submitted it for RSD and it seemed that the stars aligned.

AL: Being this project is quite different from your work with Gameface were you nervous about exploring new genres?

JC: Well, I’ve always loved this kind of music. Even in Gameface I kind of leaned into the ‘twang’. I put out a couple solo records before this that have a more singer-songwriter vibe so I’ve been working towards this. But yeah, if people are expecting Gameface, they might be wondering what’s going on.

AL: What was it that appealed to you to go the way of the singer/songwriter as opposed to starting a new band?

JC: I’m always writing songs. It’s what I do. I just don’t get paid to do it. The way my life is these days, it makes more sense to just keep going and let the band members come and go as they may. Keeping a band together is tough. I’m enjoying playing with new people, and I enjoy playing solo. I think the solo artist thing allows for more versatility and freedom.

AL: Are there plans to tour behind release?

JC: I hope so. I have some tentative summer plans for some solo acoustic shows on both coasts. I’m also getting a backing band up to speed now too so who knows? As long as I’m playing music in some capacity, I’m happy.

Guitarist Alex Grossi talks Maps to the Hollywood Scars and their new EP “Vol. 1”

Alex Grossi is one of the busiest guitarists in today’s music scene. Some of his projects include the bands Beautiful Creatures, Hookers and Blow, Hotel Diablo and most notably Quiet Riot which he joined in 2003. Alex’s newest project Maps to the Hollywood Scars” recently released a new EP titled “Vol. 1” featuring former American Idol contest James Durbin. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Alex recently about the new project and the recent addition of James to the Quiet Riot lineup.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new project Maps to the Hollywood Scars and, how you and James Durbin came together?

Alex Grossi: I had met James back in 2011 through a mutual business acquaintance when he was doing American Idol. We became friends during that time but lost touch for a few years. It wasn’t until James was doing a residency in Las Vegas recently that we reconnected and I started sending him demos. He was recording some great melodies and lyrics and the more we worked the better things kept getting. Eventually we have almost a dozen songs done. We decided to put out an EP to see how things would go and that led to us doing a second one and so on. Things happened very organically and we are very happy where things are at.

AL: What was the process like for working on the new EP titled “Vol.1”?

AG: I had been working on songs as they came to me for about a year prior. When I sent them to James he immediately got it and was inspired. There was really no set plan for anything but I had been demoing songs for about a year and finally found the right outlet for them. Having James come in has been great and also working with our producer AJ St James and Dizzy Reed who played piano and strings.

AL: How did Dizzy Reed become involved with the project?

AG: I have been playing in a cover band we do called Hookers and Blow for the past twelve or thirteen years. When we wrote the song “Death” I could just hear the string parts and piano parts. I sent him the song and asked him what he could add and what he sent back is what you hear on the record. He did a great job and nailed it.

AL: Are there any plans to tour behind this release?

AG: There have been some offers that have come in but with the both of us now being in Quiet Riot we have to work around that schedule and we would have to put a band together. Right now we are only going to do what makes sense for everyone as it’s hard to schedule something for spring and summer when we already have commitments with Quiet Riot. There has been talk of doing some late night television appearance but as far as a full blown tour we will probably only do a show here or there. It’s a side project and something that we want to keep special. We have plans but we just have to wait for the right time when everyone’s calendars line up.

AL: Can you give us an update on the recent Quiet Riot line-up change?

AG: We just announced James as our new singer and we are currently recording the new album with him titled “Road Rage”. We have bunch of new tour dates that just went up on the Quiet Riot website which will taking us all over the country and also to Canada. More shows keep getting added to it hard to keep up with them all. (Laughs) We are very grateful for the support which keeps us going.

AL: How instrumental were you in bringing James into the Quiet Riot fold?

AG: I was demoing the songs with James and during that time I was sending the tracks over to Frankie to check out. He has been very supportive of the project since I started it so when it came time make a singer change I offered to call James up and see if he would be interested. I called him up; he said he was interested and about two weeks later things were on their way. We did rehearsals and a photo shoot and that was it. It all happened very quickly. James is such a pro in that he came in prepared knowing all the songs and was ready to go. I am very blessed to play with such a great group of guys. We all get along great and I am really excited to get out there with this new lineup.

AL: What other projects are you currently working on?

AG: Back in 2002 I joined Beautiful Creatures replacing DJ Ashba. We recorded an album called “Deuce” which we just got the rights back to. We remixed and re-mastered that album along with adding a few new things. That is going to be released March 31st. We are calling it “Deuce Deluxe” it’s going to have a bunch of new stuff on it and it sounds really great. I also do a fun cover band with Dizzy Reed called Hookers and Blow which we will be doing some shows here and there. I also am working still with Steven Adler. Getting to see him play with Gn’R this summer was amazing.

For more info on all of Alex’s projects visit: www.alexgrossimusic.com

Heath Fields of Shallow Side talks about the bands new EP “One”

Sarah Carmody Photography

Voted by Loudwire.com as “Best New Artist of the Year” Alabama rockers Shallow Side have just released a brand new six track EP titled “One”. The release not only showcases the group’s unique blend of high energy modern rock but is laying the ground work for the bands full-length release later this year. MediaMikes.com had the chance to talk with drummer Heath Fields about the release, the bands upcoming tour and their connection to rock legends STYX.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background info on the band such as how the band came together and its members?

Heath Fields: Shallow Side formed in November of 2010. Seth, Eric and I went to school together in a small town outside of Cullman, Alabama. Cody was introduced to the trio at a local rock show and the four of us began writing and touring nationally almost immediately. We still have yet to slow down.

AL: Tell us about the decision to release an EP ahead of your full length release which is slated for later this year?

HF: The writing process is a very tedious one. Coming out of the studio we had a very mixed bag of songs. Ultimately we decided it would be a better to release that material in our EP format for our future endeavors.

AL: Will the tracks which make up the EP also be included on the full length or will that feature a different group of songs?

HF: The full length release will be totally new material separate from the EP “ONE”. We are excited about our freshly released EP, but as you can imagine, we are also looking forward to getting back to the studio in the near future to prep for new material.

AL: How did the bands connection with Styx frontman Tommy Shaw come about?

HF: It started from our respect and appreciation for the band, and the decision to cover one of their classic smash hits, “Renegade”. Through mutual friends and cyber handshakes, we were privileged to introduce our cover of the song to Tommy, and the rest of the band. It is an honor for the guys to have given us the thumbs up and stamp of approval, as it is a band we have always taken inspiration from.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour in Feb and are there any plans to tour past these announced dates?

HF: We will be hitting the road with our friends in Seasons After and Guns Out At Sundown for the “Rebels & Renegades” tour which starts February 1st. We basically live on the road and consider it a luxury when we are home for short periods of time. We are going to be touring for the majority of 2017. All dates and future tour announcements can be found at www.shallowside.net

Shallow Side set to release 6 song EP titled “One” on Jan. 13 w/ Tour kicking of Feb. 1st

Rock is dead, they say? Hogwash. Don’t even bring up such an idea with the four-piece Cullman, Alabama-bred rockers Shallow Side, who have taken it to be their personal holy mission to spread the glory of modern rock & roll as far and as wide as they can to anyone who will listen. “The energy and excitement of rock & roll is missing nowadays, and we need it now more than ever,” believes Shallow Side’s frontman, vocalist Eric Boatright. “Our goal is that we want to revitalize that entire genre and remind the world how rock & roll can be such a strong force in everyone’s lives.”

The proof of Shallow Side’s pure rocking prowess can be found within the deep grooves of their new EP titled ONE, which is being released by Thermal Entertainment on January 13, 2017. ONE is one tight, ass-kicking affair from the get-go, from the wham-bam all-out jam of the opening track “We Roll” to the fist-waving defiance of “Rebel” to the put-up-or-shut-up manifesto of “Fight or Flight” to their all-guns-a-blazing modern-day take on a well-loved rock classic, Styx’s “Renegade.” (Oh, mama!)

Ultimately, Shallow Side is creating new music that fuses the best intentions of classic rock with modern crunch by planting their flag at the intersection of where Shinedown meets Styx and Journey meets Daughtry. One song Shallow Side fans will be grooving along with right from the start is the current single from ONE, “Fight or Flight,” which unifies the ideas set forth with the one-two punch of “Rebel” and “Renegade,” the EP’s initial radio hits songs. “That’s the heaviest song on this EP,” Boatright clarifies. “It tips the hat to the rock & roll market that exists today and also says, ‘If you guys want to run heavy, we’ll run heavy with you. We can do that — and we’re not scared of it, either. We’re very good at it.’”

Shallow Side’s main message is one of unity. “When we first started, rock & roll wasn’t for us,” Boatright concludes. “We wanted to go to a concert, enjoy the music, sing along, and be a part of the overall song and dance. We’re now looking to bridge that gap to bring the family together to where rock & roll was at one point. The mission since we began was to take the wheel and steer it back into a direction where everyone from all walks of life could enjoy a good rock show.”

Considering the band’s all-in philosophy, it appears that ONE is most definitely the best name for this raucous EP. Let’s all join together and revel in having Shallow Side show us the ONE true way to the future of great rock & roll.injuries while touring and it hasn’t slowed us down enough to lose momentum.”

The band just received their highest honor to date being selected Loudwire’s Best New Artist of the Year (past winners included Saint Asonia and Baby Metal).

The new 6 song EP is a prelude to a full length release to come out later this year.

Shallow Side are:

Eric Boatright (Vocals)

Cody Hampton (Bass/Guitar)

Seth Trimble (Guitar/Keyboard)

Heath Fields (Drums)

WEBSITES

http://shallowside.net/

http://www.facebook.com/ShallowSideBand/

http://twitter.com/ShallowSideBand/

http://www.youtube.com/user/shallowsidemusic

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

01-13-17 in Cullman, AL at Cullman Civic Center (CD Release Show & Kick Off)

02-01-17 in Knoxville, TN at The Open Chord

02-02-17 in Johnson City, TN at The Hideaway

02-03-17 in Spartanburg, SC at Ground Zero

02-04-17 in Jasper, AL at Jars 64

02-08-17 in St Louis, MO at The Firebird

02-10-17 in Junction City, KS at The Devils Tail

02-11-17 in Omaha, NE at Shamrocks Pub

02-12-17 in O’Neil, NE at The Chesterfield West

02-13-17 in Sioux Falls, SD at Bigs Bar

02-15-17 in Colorado Springs, CO at Sunshine Studios

02-17-17 in Las Vegas, NV at Radio Contraband Convention (performing awards night – private)

02-19-17 in Scottsdale, AZ at Rock Bar

04-29-17 in Las Vegas, NV at M Resort Spa Casino (Rock Into Spring)

05-27-17 in Madison, WI at Alliant Energy Center (Bratfest)

 

Save Ferris front-woman Monique Powell talks about the bands reformation and upcoming EP “New Sound”

    (photo by Piper Ferguson)

Monique Powell is the lead singer of the Orange County ska-punk band Save Ferris. After a 15 year break the band is set to release a new EP in February titled “New Sound” and embark on a US tour also starting in February. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Monique recently about the bands return, their pledge music campaign and about working with producer John Avila.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background info on the reformation of the group in 2013 and leading up to where the group is now in 2016?

Monique Powell: In 2012, I was diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition that had caused irreparable spinal cord damage in my neck. I was told by doctors that, without emergency surgery I could eventually lose my ability to walk. The catch was that, the surgery I needed was typically performed from the front of the neck, an issue that would have prevented me from ever singing again. I had one doctor say to me “Do you want to sing or do you want to walk?”. At that point, I became determined to find a doctor that could perform the surgery I needed through the back of my neck, a procedure considered far more dangerous, painful, and with far more required rehabilitation. The minute before I went under anesthesia for the difficult surgery, I decided I was going to bring Save Ferris back if I woke up from the procedure with my ability to walk and my voice intact. This is what led to the reincarnation of Save Ferris in 2013. I had to relearn how to hold my head up, how to do simple tasks with my arms, and through it all, I had Save Ferris and the fans to aim for. The response to the shows in 2013 was so positive, I decided to bring us back for good!

AL: What was it like heading back into the studio after being away from that process for so long?

MP: At first, scary. I didn’t eat for days prior due to nerves but then something happened and the magic of John Avila filled the studio, and, I settled in beautifully. It was as if a day hadn’t gone by.

AL: How did the relationship with producer John Avila come together?

MP: John produced the first Reel Big Fish album which was the first album I ever sang on when I was about 19 years old. We had a great time recording “She Has a Girlfriend Now” for Reel Big Fish and I never forget John’s kindness and calm demeanor. When I was shopping for producers for my new stuff, John’s name came up, and I thought, “how crazy would it be if this all came around full circle”. So I scheduled a meeting and here we are.

AL: Can you tell us about the pledge music campaign that is happening around the new EP?

MP: Well, being a band that was virtually inactive for so long, I had no idea how I would finance a new album. Thanks to Pledge and our fans, this new album has been made possible. It has been really fun, we had a studio party with our fans that donated to be on the record it was an epic night for all of us.

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming tour and what other plans you and the band have for 2017?

MP: The band and I are all so excited to be finally touring together. It really is a dream come true for us, and I cannot believe it is actually happening. I’ve worked so hard for 3 years to make this possible. As for 2017, after we release the EP early in the year, and the 6 week Fall tour of North America, we will continue working on a full length album. If all goes as planned, we will release the full length prior to our 2017 summer tour so fingers crossed!

For more info on Save Ferris and a complete list of tour dates visit http://www.saveferrisofficial.com/

Lamb of God to release “The Duke” EP on November 18

LAMB OF GOD to Release The Duke EP,

Featuring Two Never-Before-Heard Songs and Three Live Tracks

The Duke EP out November 18 | Vinyl out November 25

Internationally-renowned heavy rock band LAMB OF GOD will release a brand new EP, entitled The Duke, on November 18, 2016 via Epic Records. The EP will be released as a vinyl version the following week, on November 25. The Duke EP is titled after the new track “The Duke”, written in honor of the band’s late friend and fan, Wayne Ford, who was named after “The Duke” John Wayne.

“A little while ago I became friends with a fan named Wayne Ford – he was terminal – leukemia. I talked with him often, even video chatted him into the studio. He was very calm about his impending death, and we discussed it very openly. I learned a lot from him. This song is for him,” dedicates vocalist Randy Blythe.

You can stream the new track “The Duke” and read an in-depth, exclusive interview about The Duke EP with Randy Blythe now via Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/hear-lamb-of-god-honor-late-fan-on-new-song-the-duke-w445283

Exclusive pre-order bundles for The Duke EP, including CD and vinyl versions, are available via http://theduke.lnk.to/merch. Pre-orders on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and other digital retailers, plus Spotify streaming of “The Duke” single will beginning  Friday, October 21.

The Duke EP Track List:

1) The Duke

2) Culling

3) Still Echoes – live from Rock am Ring

4) 512 – live from Bonnaroo

5) Engage the Fear Machine – live from Bonnaroo

In conjunction with The Duke EP release, LAMB OF GOD will be offering the following items with all proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (WWW.LLS.ORG):

– Randy Blythe’s Ashes of the Wake gold record plaque

– Signed signature model guitars

– Signed copies of handwritten lyrics

– Signed copies of The Duke EP on CD

– Signed copies of The Duke EP on Vinyl

– Signed copies of Randy Blythe’s book

– Plus more

The charity campaign is being hosted via Propeller.la and will launch Friday. For more information, please visit www.lamb-of-god.com.

LAMB OF GOD is:

Randy Blythe (vocals)

Mark Morton (guitar)

Willie Adler (guitar)

John Campbell (bass)

Chris Adler (drums)

LAMB OF GOD Online:

www.lamb-of-god.com

www.facebook.com/lambofgod

https://twitter.com/lambofgod

http://instagram.com/lambofgod

Jag 13 of Eat The Turnbuckle discusses the bands latest EP “The Great American Bash Your Head In”

Eat The Turnbuckle is a heavy metal band hailing from Philadelphia, PA. Despite being from “The City of Brotherly Love” the groups sound and stage show which features elements of extreme wrestling couldn’t be further from the cities well know moniker. The band recently released a new EP titled “The Great American Head Bash In” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with the bands vocalist Jag 13 to discuss the new EP, the group’s intense stage shows and their plans for the remainder of 2016.

Adam Lawton: Is Eat the Turnbuckle a band who wrestles or, wrestler that play in a band?

Jag 13: It’s kind of both honestly. Some of the older guys in the band used to wrestle and Shlak one of our guitarists wrestles now for CZW. For me personally I have always been into both wrestling and music. Philadelphia has always been a great town for wrestling and when I was younger I remember the WWF coming through a lot. I got to see the whole ECW thing come into play as well. With music I think that’s something almost everyone gets in to at a young age so I have been in to both for as long as I can remember.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands most recent EP?

Jag 13: We did “The Great American Bash Your Head In” for our most recent tour. We try and have new material out each time we go on the road. If we know we are going to be heading out at a certain time we start writing and putting things together. This EP has 5 new songs which have been going over really well so far. We only did one show here in the states on this run with the rest of the dates being over in Europe. We did about 22 shows over there and wrapped things up with our performance at this year’s Gwar B-Q inn Virginia. We were actually supposed to do one other show however we had to cancel due to our drummer having a broken ankle. He actually broke it the second day of tour and finally went to the hospital on the fourth day of the tour. He had a cast on but didn’t miss one show. Like a dummy he took the cast off when we got back home and things got messed up even worse.(Laughs)

AL: Speaking of the Gwar B-Q. This was the second time you guys have been asked to play. How did this year’s event differ from the previous year you performed?

Jag 13: The first time we played they had us going on pretty early. Something happened with the doors and we ended up playing to a small group as a lot of people were stuck at the gates. I think the reception from those who saw was really good and the fact that a lot of people who wanted to see us couldn’t helped with us getting asked back this year. This year was off the hook! We played the Slutman Pavilion which was a lot of fun. I think I would prefer playing that stage over one of the bigger stages. We have sort of gotten used to playing on smaller stages but even if we were on the bigger stage things would have definitely spilled over. (Laughs) A bigger stage means we have to do bigger gimmicks!

AL: With your show incorporating extreme/hardcore wrestling elements and references what was the European reception like being that type of wrestling isn’t as common there?

Jag 13: I think those things were why we have caught on so well over there. They don’t have the hardcore and extreme matches in their wrestling shows so this is something new for them. We had people coming up to us after the shows who weren’t fans of the music but they came out to check out the wrestling. We played a lot of smaller countries over there and those people just ate it up. They loved watching the shows. We did a festival in the Czech Republic where they actually got a wring for us. Shlak ended up wrestling the Champ from the league there in a death match. It was in front of about five thousand people and it was just crazy. Both the guys needed to get stitched up afterwards.

AL: What type of planning goes into one of your shows being that not only are you performing musically but you are also including wrestling elements as well?

Jag 13: We argue a lot. (Laughs) Right before the show we sort of get the lay of the land and plan out what we are going to do. At the same time we have work with the venue to make sure we know what we can and can’t do. Like when we did the Gwar B-Q you can’t have any glass. Every show is a little different so we have to just go with the flow. People have been really accommodating. We have all been in bands that have crazy stage shows. That’s how we all came together. Philadelphia has a history of violent shows so we sort of just fit in to that. When things started to get a little more PC within the scene myself and Shlak started gathering guys who still wanted something crazy.

AL: Do you ever feel that the graphic nature of your shows limits your audience?

Jag 13: We have had shows cancelled due to people finding out about our shows and in turn not wanting anything to do with it. At this point I have become so used to that type of thing that it doesn’t bother me. If they don’t want us, they don’t want us. We have a pretty good booking agent who lets all the places know what type of show we put on. Some of the show we have done in the past we just showed up and started going at it. (Laughs) That tended not to work out real well for any one.

AL: With your drumming being laid up with an injury does that end the year for you or do you still have things plans?

Jag 13: We don’t have anything planned until October then after that we don’t anything planned until spring time of next year. We have some bids in on tours that we think will work well for us here in the states so we have our fingers crossed.

For more info on Eat The Turnbuckle be sure to check out the bands official website at www.facebook.com/eattheturnbuckle

Murder! Murder! Fans Can Now Pre-Order the First EP from Cult Film Composers

The star of Repo! The Genetic Opera and Songwriters of The Devil’s Carnival explore early American killers in a rustic new concept album

After tackling industrial opera with 2008’s REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, sideshow cabaret with 2012’s THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, and celestial big band in 2015’s ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, hit cult film composers Terrance Zdunich and Saar Hendelman are reuniting for an edgy, new musical collaboration. This time, they’re taking on early American murder.

AMERICAN MURDER SONG is a collection of original murder ballads by the genre-defying duo, set in 1816 America. The first EP of killer songs, I. DAWN, was produced by BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY’s Scotty Morris and is now available for pre-order. And as a way to thank their fans for their support thus far, as well as a way to welcome new travelers into the fold, AMS’ first single “Murder! Murder!” will be available as a free download for the next two weeks, exclusively on the AMERICAN MURDER SONG website (www.AmericanMurderSong.com).

Between now and May, 10th, Terrance and Saar are also presenting fans with an exclusive pay-what-you-want opportunity for all EP pre-orders for I. DAWN. All proceeds will go towards funding the next EP and upcoming AMS Tour, which is tentatively slated for Fall 2016. Prior to the upcoming tour, AMERICAN MURDER SONG will also be celebrating its debut performance at the 2016 Steampunk World’s Fair on Friday, May 13th in Piscataway, New Jersey.

To download your free song, pre-order the first EP, or find out more about the project, visit AMERICAN MURDER SONG‘s official website at http://www.AmericanMurderSong.com. New videos and music are released every Tuesday.

AMERICAN MURDER SONG

  1. DAWN

Official American Murder Song trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYtvW5etwGw

Official EP trailer:                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTlRgURpr78                          

 

Official Site:                                                        http://www.americanmurdersong.com

Like us on Facebook:                                      http://www.facebook.com/thekillingplace

Follow us on Twitter:                                     http://www.twitter.com/thekillingplace

Follow us on Instagram:                                               http://www.instagram.com/thekillingplace

Subscribe to us on Youtube:                        https://www.youtube.com/AmericanMurderSong

Explicit:                                                                               No

Genre:                                                                  Soundtrack, Murder Ballads

EP Pre-Order Date:                                         April 26, 2016

EP Release Date:                                                              May 10, 2016

 

Music and Lyrics by:                                       Terrance Zdunich and Saar Hendelman

Music Produced by:                                        Scotty Morris

Music Arranged by:                                         Saar Hendelman

 

Track Names:

1.) Murder! Murder!

2.) Johnny

3.) Mary

4.) Edward

5.) Lullaby

 

Album Liner Notes:

AMERICAN MURDER SONG: I. DAWN is the first chapter in the hybrid film/concept-album project by Terrance Zdunich (Repo! The Genetic Opera) and Saar Hendelman (The Devil’s Carnival franchise). Produced by Scotty Morris of BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY, the EP is a collection of original murder ballads set in 1816 America. AMERICAN MURDER SONG features not only music, but stop motion animation, moving daguerreotype portraits and a rogues gallery of cutthroats and murderesses. As Messrs. Storm & Tender, Saar and Terrance invite audiences to Follow The Mark: http://www.AmericanMurderSong.com

Spero’s Jesse Hofstee talks about new EP “Pride”

Jesse Hofstee is the guitarist and vocalist for the band Spero. Based out of San Diego, CA Spero plays a blend of rock, folk and blues and have been compared to the Black Keys and Jack White. The groups newest EP titled “Pride” is set for a mid November release and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jesse recently about the group and their new release.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the formation of the band?
Jesse Hofstee: I think everything started in or around 2011. I had known Hillary Laughery the keyboard player from high school and had just gotten out of another band I was in while in college. I wasn’t really playing at the time but would jam and work on some songs. Hillary and I got together to play some songs and we connected almost instantly. We spent the whole summer just playing and writing songs. We would play for 8 hours at a time. Things just went together really easy. After that we decided we were going to try and make it and set out to put a band together. I got Nick Hankins to come play bass and then Ryan Malette to play drums. I had actually played in a heavy metal band with both of them in high school.

AL: How would you describe the band’s sound as it is quite unique?
JH: We have elements of blues, rock and roll and at time indie rock. It’s really just a mix of blues and rock. Some of our songs have more blues elements while others are more rock. We sort of cross a number genres but I think if I had to pick one to put us in it would be more of the blues/rock genre.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands new EP?
JH: For most of the songs it’s either I or Hillary writing the foundation or structure of the songs. We then work on them as a band and change things around as we want everyone input and style to be a part of the process. One of the first songs we did for this EP was the title track “Pride”. I think that song was sort of a theme over the others that were written. It’s about taking pride in your work and who you are while not giving up. That’s really the overlying theme on the EP. I wrote 4 of the songs and Hillary wrote 2. We really were refining our sound as we went along and were happy with how things went. The release has a lot of variety and doesn’t really stick us into a specific genre.

AL: How would you describe the progression from your previous release to where you are now?
JH: With the last album we were still sort of figuring out what we wanted to do. We sort of just went straight through with things on that record. With the new EP we were able to expand more and spend more time on each of the tracks. Some of the songs came quickly while other took a little longer. We did some demoing and then sent them over to a producer. We wanted a more complete release and push things a bit further this time.

AL: What was it about doing an EP that was more appealing rather than doing another full length album?
JH: Where we are at right now we are still just trying to get our sound out to new people. I felt we had a handful of songs that went together well and followed the same theme. I wanted to get new music out there and wasn’t really concerned with doing a full length. We are still trying to attract new people and I think giving people a full album can be a bit overwhelming. With an EP it’s a little easier to digest and it’s a less expensive process.

AL: What are the bands current tour plans?
JH: We are hoping to do another coastal tour once the EP is out. We did a run of shows up the west coast a little bit ago and that went really well so we definitely want to do something like that again. We are looking to find a team to help get us out to more people as its hard to focus on both that and the writing aspect of things.

Butcher Babies’ Carla Harvey talks about new EP “Uncovered”

Carla Harvey is the lead singer of the heavy metal band, Butcher Babies. The band recently released a new EP called “Uncovered” and is planning the upcoming “No One Can Hear You Scream” Tour across North America. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Carla about the EP and what we can expect from the tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us a little background on the new EP?
Carla Harvey: Well, “Goliath”, our debut album came out in July of 2013 and our new album doesn’t come out until early summer 2015 so we wanted to give our fans a little appetizer in between.  Not to mention we wanted to play some new songs to spice things up for ourselves! Believe it or not we get tired of playing the same set over and over again.  Making this EP of cover songs seemed like the perfect solution. Growing up I was a huge fan of my favorite bands like Guns N Roses and Metallica doing albums of covers…they introduced me to songs I might never have heard if they hadn’t been reinvented on the “Spaghetti Incident” or “Garage Days”.

AL: What was the process like for choosing the songs and were there any others chosen which didn’t make the EP?
CH: For the EP we didn’t want to go with obvious song choices.  People expected a Plasmatics cover or a Pantera cover and what ended up with on our album was very different. In the end we chose the Osmonds, Napolean 14, Suicidal Tendencies, SOD and ZZ TOP. Some of the songs we considered that didn’t end up making the cut were songs by Fishbone, Living Colour, 45 Grave and Agent Orange.

AL: The songs you guys chose are quite different. Was that something that happened naturally or was it the plan to choose songs that hadn’t been done before?
CH: We wanted each song to have a special meaning for us. We each made a short list of songs that had struck a chord with us when we were young and narrowed it down from there.  For instance, they’re coming to take me away was my pick because I have a vivid memory of my stepdad playing it over and over again in the car. My stepdad was a bit off his rocker and the song is about being taken away to a mental institution so I always found it ironic that he loved that song so much.  Heidi chose “Crazy Horses” because it was the heaviest song she heard as a kid and she was really drawn to it.

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming tour run the band has planned?
CH: We just started our first headlining tour, the No One Can Hear You Scream Tour across North America. We have been extremely lucky to garner a huge fan base the last couple of years by hitting the road with likes of Marilyn Manson, Danzig, Black Label Society and of course the Mayhem Festival, so the time was right for us to see what we can do on our own.  We are only on show three but the response has been incredible. After this tour, we hit the road with BLS and Hatebreed for a winter tour.

AL: What are the band’s plans so far for the next full length release?
CH: We are working on our second album right now. We finish recording when we get home from our headlining tour and the album will be released early summer 2015. We are pumped for it and hope that you all are as well!

Aliya Hashemi talks about Zeta Wave’s debut EP “Over”

Zeta Wave is the musical alias of Aliya Hashemi an up and coming singer-songwriter from Seattle, WA. Her unique sound draws influences from a variety of genres ranging from A Tribe Called Quest to The Beatles and Fiona Apple. Zeta Wave’s debut EP “Over” was released in mid October of this year and Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Aliya recently about the new EP, her first exposure to music and the benefits of being an independent artist.

Adam Lawton: How did you get started in music?
Aliya Hashemi: That is something that goes way, way back. I had gotten a little red piano for Christmas when I was about 4 and from there I just loved anything that made noise. I learned piano when I was 8 and then moved on to flute when I was 12. I wrote my first song around that same time. It was actually an answering machine recording sung to the tune of the “Addams Family” theme song. (Laughs) Also during this time I began to be really drawn to the electric guitar. I don’t know why but it was something I had to do. From there I just started writing more and more songs.

AL: Tell me how you came up with name Zeta Wave?
AH: I have always had some reservations about going by just my name. I think sometimes when that is the case you can easily get billed as a singer/songwriter. I never really wanted to go the Folk route as I feel I have a little more of an edge. I was talking with a friend one night and we threw out the name “Zeta Wave”. I thought it was kind of interesting and spacey. Space is something I have always been interested in so I think it works.

AL: What can you tell us about the new EP?
AH: I have wanted to record now for some time. As I mentioned before I have been writing songs for quite some time. It really a big endeavor when you are putting everything together on your own. It’s pretty amazing now that it’s all done. I am excited to finally have an EP that’s done to the quality and standard that I want. There’s a song on the EP titled “Waltz” that is very dear to me. I lived in Seattle for a long time and the weather especially the winters are very depressing. This song is about being a part of something bigger than you despite what might be going on at a specific moment. It’s basically a love song.

AL: Can you tell us about the first single “Strange Heart Beat”?
AH: That song was one of a bunch that was written during a breakup I was going through. This was one of my favorite from those songs. It has a really catchy chorus and goes over well live. It actually features Zach Nicita from MSMR on drums.

AL: Can you tell how you ended up working with Zach?
AH: Well that song wasn’t originally going to be on the EP but we had some extra time so we added it to the release. A friend of mine turned me on to Zach’s YouTube videos and I thought he was just amazing. I sent him a message through Facebook asking if he would play on the track and he actually responded. It took a little while to get the track done as he was on tour with MSMR but I was patient and that track turned out really great. Zach is a guy who you can tell really loves music so getting to work with him was great.

AL: What is your creative process like?
AH: It has changed over the years. It seems as times goes on I tend to start with the melody. It might be just something I hear in my head and then leave myself a voice memo on my phone. Other times I might be playing guitar and I work out a phrasing and build a melody off of that.

AL: What do you enjoy most about being an independent artist?
AH: Being an independent artist gives you a lot of freedom. You are able to do want you want without any added pressure. There are certainly benefits to being on a major label as they are able to do a lot more but they also have a lot more control over the artists.

AL: Do you have any live shows coming up in the near future and, what do you enjoy most about performing for a live audience?
AH: I hope to do a little more recording, possibly shoot some videos and then start touring in the spring. I did a solo tour a couple winters ago as I figured it would fairly easy to put together since it was just going to be me and my guitar. One of the shows I did was in Washington near my home town and the weather wasn’t the greatest out so I figured the show probably wasn’t going to be overly crowded. There happened to be some older men there that stayed for show and listened to me sing all these songs about break ups and whatever else. They were probably the most intent listeners. It felt like I was singing to my grandfather which was just so great. I love the direct and honest connection you have with the audiences.

Introducing Canadian Singer-Songwriter Tara Beier with her new Music Video for “This Innocence” off debut EP “Purple Trees”

Introducing Canadian Singer-Songwriter Tara Beier

Re: Online Release of “This Innocence” Music Video off debut EP “Purple Trees”

This Innocence Music Video

PURPLE TREES mixes folk, pop and rock, and is gaining momentum, with three singles featured on Tunecore Weekly Artist spotlights and an international fan base that continues to grow online, currently in tens of thousands.

Tara recently spent a year becoming intimate with the life and music of legendary folk singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie in preparation to play Native American folk singer in the short, “COVERED”, a true gem among indie film buffs. Capturing the spirit and mind of Buffy in COVERED, Tara became intimate with her character. The creation of PURPLE TREES is the culmination of her artistic shift into a focus on music.

Like Tara’s experience, PURPLE TREES is a truly eclectic compilation, pumped out of Vapor Music Studio in Toronto, each song features a flavour unlike the other: earthy rock beats in “Guns Road”; spicy and acoustic soul in “Mayan Sun”; candy cotton sweet political in “Freedom Island”; smooth cool beats in “Give It Up”; ending with the bluegrass pop of “This Innocence”.

Background
Diversity her trademark, coming from a very mixed heritage, her mother Scottish/British/Austrian/Cree and father, Filipino/Hawaiian and Spanish.

Creating music has been a life long process for Tara beginning at the age of six when she first started intensive training in classical piano. Since then she has dedicated her life to the arts, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts degree, from the stage to the screen as an actor to filmmaker to musician, she has always remained true to her voice as an artist. In combination with her poetry and writing that developed over the years, as well to Buffy’s influence, she found herself on the same journey as her musical inspirations, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Rodriguez, Bob Marley and Johnny Cash.

Sample Lyrics from her single “Freedom Island”.

“Like specks of dust sparkled in the skies

We fly on high and watch the centuries keep burning by

Its quiet now, we can live with peace in our hearts

While the poor man will always suffer from human greed

Let’s dance till the end in the sand

While man counts his pennies in hand

One day will go to Freedom Island and take our love all the way to the end

Nothing has changed yet everything is different”

 

PURPLE TREES can be heard live as Tara visits various venues in Toronto with her band; Juno-nominated drummer, Tony Nestbitt-Larking; New Zealand bassist George Chenery and renowned classical guitarist, Michael Savona.

Freedom Island Music Video

Upcoming single “GUNS ROAD”

 Website: http://www.tarabeier.blogspot.ca

CD Review: Thomas Nicholas Band “Security [EP]”

Thomas Nicholas Band
Security [EP]
Tracks: 4
Length: 13 minutes
Produced by Thomas Nicholas & Matt Kennedy

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Last summer, I caught a concert with Thomas Ian Nicholas here in Orlando, FL and being a fan of his earlier four albums, I remember hearing a few amazing new songs that were not yet released. During the show, Thom discussed exploring a more “indie rock” sound with these new songs and I have to admit, they are probably some of his best songs. Along with Thom on this album are three of the original members of The Graduate including Matt Kennedy, Tim Moore & Jared Wuestenberg. I hope Thom continues to explore this genre because these songs are absolutely amazing.

These songs were written by Thom and Caleb Turman (from the band TEAM*) and produced by Thom and Matt (from The Graduate). There are four tracks on this EP and each song is better than the one before it. “Security” is one hell of a catchy, powerful and all around fun as hell song. I can see this being a huge hit on the radio! I challenge you to listen to this song and not have it stuck in your head for days (especially the chorus). “Don’t Stop” has this real indie feel and features some great guitar work. Having heard these songs a few times live, they are quite different (but not in a bad way at all).

“Terrified” is my wife’s favorite track. This was the song that stuck out the most when we heard it live last summer. This track sounds the most different live than the produced studio version, in my opinion. I personally prefer it live but I still really dig this song since it is jam packed with energy. The last track “It’s Over” is a track that has really grown on me since first hearing it. After listening to it a few times, I love the constant beat behind it and the overall tone of the track. My main issue with this EP overall is the fact that it is an EP, I want more songs and I can’t wait to see what Thom and his band comes up with next.

“SECURITY EP” is now available on iTunes (for ONLY $3.96)
You can also order a CD directly from the band’s webstore.

Justine Dorsey talks about her EP “Under Construction”

Justine Dorsey is an award winning singer/songwriter who has had her music featured recently on the new MTV series “Big Tips Texas”. Justine also released a new EP in October of last year titled and MediaMikes.com had the chance to speak with her about the creation of the EP, how she got in to music and about her popular YouTube channel.

Adam Lawton: What was it that interested you in pursuing a career in music?
Justine Dorsey: I actually became an actor first. That was something that I really loved and one day my mom took me to a musical theater audition and I think by doing musical theater that’s really where my love for music came from. I started singing first and then learned guitar and piano in my early teens. I paired those things up and began writing music which has been my love ever since.

AL: Can you tell us about your recent EP release and why you chose to cover the song “Put on a Happy Face”?
JD: In October I released a new EP titled “Under Construction”. I am excited for people to hear this as it is all original music that I wrote except for “Put on a Happy Face”. I am really proud of how the EP turned out and I finally feel like I am in the right place for my music. I ended up choosing “Put on a Happy Face” because I had been working with a licensing company who had the rights to that catalog. They gave me some options of songs to work on with “Happy Face” being one of them. This was actually how I met my label. I was paired up with producer Bruce Witkan and we ended up working really well together. Bruce became a big fan of my music and that’s how I subsequently ended up with my label.

AL: What types of steps do you take personally when creating a song?
JD: I don’t stick to one particular formula when I am writing. Things can be very unpredictable as to when and how they come out. A song might start with a simple phrase or I have a basic chord progression that I start with. I love that it’s never the same way every time.

AL: You have a song featured on MTV’s “Big Tips Texas”. How did that opportunity come about?
JD: I work with several licensing companies that send out my songs for consideration to be used in commercials and television. This was the first one that we had gotten back asking to use the song. I had never heard of the show but once I was able to see it I loved it. This ended up being a really great feature for my music and I am very happy about that.

AL: You are very involved with your YouTube channel. Can you tell us about that?
JD: I started out doing videos for some friends of mines YouTube channel and that sort of opened my eyes to some new ways of making videos for the site. I want everything that goes on there to look and sound good. I think when you take things to a higher level of production it makes things just that much more exciting. I have started to film my own videos for the channel and it’s a way for me to explore the visual side of music. I have a video on the channel for my song “Under Construction” and that’s probably one of my favorite. Working on that was such a great process. I didn’t come up with the idea but I really love it and recommend people going to check out.

AL: Have you started planning to tour in support of the release at all?
JD: I have a lot of shows planned in the Los Angeles area however nothing really has been set up outside of California. Right now I am focusing on local shows but am definitely looking forward to the day where I can travel around playing my music.

Nekrogoblikon’s Alex Alereza talks about new EP “Power”

Alex “Goldberg” Alereza is the guitarist for the extreme metal band Nekrogoblikon. The band which also consists of Nicholas Von Doom – Vocals, Keyboards Tim Lyakhovetskiy – Guitars, Brandon “Fingers” Frenzel- Bass, Eddie “Drifty” Trager- Drums and Aaron “Raptor” Minich- Keyboards hails from Santa Barbara, California and performs a unique blend of goblin theme heavy metal unlike anything you have ever heard before. The group has just released a new 5 song EP titled “Power” and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Alex about the release and the formation of the band.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the formation of the band?
Alex Alereza: Yes. It all started at a Chuck-E-Cheese’s in Northern California. None of us knew one another at the time, but as the only grown men at the establishment, we soon became friends. At the exact moment in time that this friendship was fully conceived, a horde of goblins captured us all in one giant net and dragged us into the trunk of their Dodge Sprinter Van. They drove for hours until they reached a strange wasteland that they referred to as “Los Angeles”. Upon arrival, they threw us out of the van and held us at gunpoint. They screamed in unison, “you will create a metal band honoring us or we will shoot you….to death.” Not wanting to die, we quickly nodded and agreed to write these metal songs. A couple months later we released an album called “Goblin Island” under the name Nekrogoblikon and instantly became billionaires who were sought after by women young and old. The rest is history.

AL: How did you first meet John Goblikon and what’s his role in the band?
AA: John Goblikon was one of the goblins that were supposed to aid in the kidnapping, but his anxiety got in the way and he was unable to carry out his duties (he soiled himself instead). The other goblins mocked him and eventually they just stopped associating with him entirely. Having just lost his job in addition to this, he had hit rock bottom and thus decided to start hanging out with us and joining us on stage. His role in the band is bringing a great energy to our live performances, but the main reason we allow him to do it is to boost his self-esteem. So far it hasn’t worked, but we keep trying anyways.

AL: Can you tell us why you feel Goblins are better than Trolls?
AA: Goblins are overall better at most things including casting nets, driving vans, making threats, and solving crossword puzzles. The only thing trolls are better at is sitting under bridges in Scandinavia while listening to black metal.

AL: What can we expect from the bands upcoming release “power” and is the band planning to shoot any videos for any of the songs from the EP?
AA: The “Power” EP contains five songs that sound like a mixture between crutch step, vomit rock, and laugh core. As far as filming video go we have already completed one and have plans to film another later this year.

AL: Will the band be out on tour in support of the release?
AA: Yes. The plan for us is to tour the greater Los Angeles area for about two months first. After that we plan to be out on the road hitting everywhere else.