Remember the Monsters Debut New Single “Romeo & Juliet”

ARIZONA ROCK BAND REMEMBER THE MONSTERS DEBUT
NEW SINGLE “ROMEO & JULIET” AT NEWNOISEMAGAZINE.COM
New Album, The Pieces Remain, Out March 16th!

January 19, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – Arizona’s next, breakout rock act Remember The Monsters have announced today plans to release their debut, full-length album, The Pieces Remain, on March 16th. Gearing up for the record’s unveiling, the band has partnered with NewNoiseMagazine.com to premiere the record’s first new track, “Romeo & Juliet.”

Stream “Romeo & Juliet” here

Commenting on the new song, the record’s producer Cameron Mizell (Sleeping With Sirens, Danny Worsnop) says, “This song makes me feel all of the feelings all at once, intensely, and when the song is over I feel as if I was just beaten senselessly in a masochistic fashion. It’s fucking bizarre in the best way.”

Remember The Monsters’ vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Ashten Banks add’s the song is “my sick and twisted take on a literary classic.”

Blending the wide range and dynamic sounds of their many influences, Remember the Monsters combines the sleazy glam and soaring melodic hooks of Rock N’ Roll (think Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses) with the hard-hitting edge and soulful introspection of their modern contemporaries. Genre defying and passionately driven, the band delivers a listening experience unlike any other.

Fans can also stream “Romeo & Juliet” at the locations below:
Spotify – http://spoti.fi/2FTUGZg
Apple Music – https://apple.co/2Ds3w2A
Google Play – http://bit.ly/2Be5JJb

Hardcore legend Harley Flanagan talks about his debut solo album “Cro-Mags”

Punk mainstay Harley Flanagan is often recognized as one of the most influential members of the NY hardcore/punk scene of the early 1980’s. His band the Cro-Mags set the early standard for hardcore which is still followed and recognized to this day. Harley recently released his first solo album titled “Cro-Mags” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with him recently about the album, his trials and tribulations with his former band and also about his upcoming book.

Ryan Albro: At what moment did you decided it was time to release your first solo album?

Harley Flanagan: I had some ideas in my head that I had been working on and at one point I was fortunate enough to have some studio time made available to me so I decided that I was going to use that time to start laying down some demos. From there one thing led to another and it wound up turning into this album.

RA: What was the writing process like working on a solo album versus previous albums?

HF: It was really the same process as I am the guy who came up with riffs. Back in the old days, I would have be recording them on a cassette player or when I was living with Squatch I used to call up Parris’s house and tell him not to pick up the phone so I could hum riffs on his answering machine. He’d learn the riffs and then we’d meet up later and we’d play them together. Now I sit around the house and record them on my phone. Whenever a riff comes I put it down and I work with it. I had a ton of riffs on my phone and when the studio time became available I went in and just waded through everything and picked out a bunch that I thought had an old school type of feel. I wanted to write a bunch of short songs that just come in, punch you in the face and walk right over you. I actually wrote everything believe it or not on an acoustic. I am actually thinking about releasing an acoustic version online just for fun because that’s how this whole album was originally recorded

RA: What made you decide to name the album Cro-Mags, considering the issues you have with the band?

HF: I basically felt like it was time for me to reclaim something that is rightfully mine. All bullshit aside, my hand has always been extended to those guys and even after all the shit went down at Webster Hall and along with everything else, my hand is still extended. The fact of the matter is that so called band is just John and occasionally Matthew. There’s nobody playing in that so-called band that has ever written a Cro-mags song and the Cro-mags have not written a song since I haven’t been involved. They are like a tribute band doing songs and other covers. This new record sounds more like Cro-Mags than anything anybody’s done since. I’m taking back the name. That magic is never going to be recaptured without everyone being involved. I believe that and I know that and that’s why I’m the sentimental fool that’s always fucking extending my hand to these guys, but obviously it doesn’t mean as much to those guys as it does to me. The good that game out of it far outweighs the bad, but unfortunately there has been a lot of bad. For me that whole interruption in 2012 and then putting out this album and really venting my feelings about that moment has been a real positive thing for me because it has helped me exorcise a lot of those demons.

RA: You also have a book coming out can you tell us about that?

HF: As far back as I can remember people have been telling me I should write a book, at least going back to like the 80’s but, I never really wanted to. Despite being told I have some really great stories it’s just never been something I had the desire to do. When I was going through some particularly tough times in my life I started thinking that in case anything happens I do want my side of the story to get out. I already knew that hardcore had made enough of an impact culturally where there would inevitably be books written and bullshit said and bullshit told. I was like I’m going to get my side of this out and I’m going to tell my story, the actual story. If I don’t I’m going to wind up with some asshole telling my life story the way they perceived it or the way they want it told to serve their purpose. I started writing everything down that I could remember going back as far as I could to my early childhood. Over the years of working on it I kept going back and fact checking and, double checking and, confirming facts with my family members. My mom was helpful with that before she passed away. I did a lot or research on everything. I wrote this book with the intention of it being something that people would want to read and them to see what it was like living in that time period through the eyes of a child, through the eyes of someone that was there growing up in it. There has been a lot of books about punk rock but there haven’t been any written by someone who was 10 years old when this happened. It goes through my whole life. It starts off with the day that Webster Hall went down and then right when that started to erupt it goes back to my early childhood and it retraces everything through as much as I could. Obviously I had to cut a lot of shit out or it would have been like a 10,000 page book but I wound up getting an editor and after everything was written and really narrowed down to the most powerful stuff. People can get a taste of what will be in the book if they check out www.harleyflanagan.com

RA: Lastly, What are your plans for touring in support of the new album?

HF: I have looked into doing some shows and some touring but so far the right show hasn’t come up. I work 6 days a week, I love my job, I love the people I work with and I love being home with my wife and spending as much time with my kids as I can. For me to get out there and tour it has to be the right shows. When the book comes out I will definitely be doing a book tour and, the idea is I would like to try and book shows that coincide with that so I can perhaps do a book thing during the day and maybe a show that same evening in the same city. That way you can kill two birds with one stone while having fun.

Murder and Melody in America: “The Devil’s Carnival” Composers Debut Trailer for a Dark New Opus

 

Icons of cult cinema, Terrance Zdunich (Repo! The Genetic Opera) and Saar Hendelman (The Devil’s Carnival franchise) pull the trigger on a new, twisted musical world, American Murder Song. Combining stop motion animation and moving daguerreotype portraits, American Murder Song features a rogues gallery of original murder ballads set in early nineteenth century America. The genre-defying duo invite you to Follow The Mark, if’n you’re brave. For tunes and updates: http:///www.AmericanMurderSong.com.

Testament’s Alex Skolnick talks about new band Metal Allegiance and their debut album

Alex Skolnick is probably best known as the guitarist for the legendary thrash metal band Testament. When not performing with the group Alex keeps busy with numerous side projects such as The Alex Skolnick Trio and, his latest endeavor Metal Allegiance, The group which features a laundry list of some of today’s top heavy metal performers is set to release their debut self titled album on September 18th and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Alex recently about the album and the group’s formation.

Adam Lawton: How did you first get involved with the Metal Allegiance project?
Alex Skolnick: It all happened pretty fast. I was on the “MotorBoat Cruise” playing with Testament and that’s where the very first performance under that name happened there. There were a bunch of us guys hanging out during dinner one night and some of the guys were talking about set lists. They wanted to add in some classic Van Halen and I was the guy who was pretty up on that stuff. I wasn’t really planning on playing and Mike Portnoy sort of threw it out there as a joke and I went along with it and everyone went nuts. We ended up having this great jam and afterwards we were talking about more shows in the future and I said I would be for it any time. I get a call one day asking if I would be interested in doing an album. I had never worked with any of these guys before but I was willing to give it a shot. I went in thinking it was going to be mostly an album of covers with possibly two or three original songs. Up until this point all we had played together was covers. When we got together the writing process just took off. We started off with just a couple songs we felt great about and it just sky rocket from that point on.

AL: Being that you all had never worked together before what was the creative process like for the group?
AS: We all are fans of this music and we wanted to make an album that we would be excited about putting out. We all had ideas as to what makes great album and we wanted to make sure that we captured the performance of each player involved with the record. There’s a lot of great stuff being recorded these days digitally but we wanted to take a more analog approach and incorporate elements from areas that inspired us to become musicians.

AL: Was a majority of this album created separately and sent back and forth via email or was there a point where everyone got together and recorded as a group?
AS: We worked in a couple different phases. The first phase involved the three core guys of the project. Myself, Dave Ellefson and Mike Portnoy were brought together by our mutual friend Mark Menghi. The four of us got together during the holidays and did our first session. A few weeks later we got together again for a second session. Those sessions were all done in a traditional band type recording session. In February we went out and did the “ShipRocked” Cruise and after getting back we began the next phase of work which we did in Long Island at Mike Portnoy’s home studio. There was some stuff that got sent back and forth via email but a majority of the album was done the classic way with everyone being present in the same recording space.

AL: When it came time to bring in the various guests who appear on the album who was the person making those decisions?
AS: The four of us myself, Dave, Mike and Mark made all of those decisions together. We call ourselves “The Core Four”. There was a constant stream of text messaging that we all would reply to where we all made suggestions related to the music. We decided that we would all have to agree as to who was going to be asked to be a part of the project. There were some ideas that didn’t end up happening as ultimately we felt they just wouldn’t fit and some of those may have helped sell more records but this wasn’t about that. Everything was about the feel of the track and how each piece fit and worked together.

AL: With the project taking on almost a life of its own is this something you guys hope to continue to expand on or, is this album the closing piece for the group?
AS: I believe we would like to keep this going indefinitely. There is no reason not to. We don’t want to be limited to just performing on cruise ships or at large events. We do have plans to do those types of events but we also want to do more. We have the album release show in New York at the Best Buy Theater which is going to feature most of the personnel from the album. That’s something that is going to be hard to duplicate on a tour but we are figuring things out as we go. We just announced our first international show in Mexico City which will feature the core group along with Mark Osegueda from Death Angel on vocals. There are a number of different levels that this project can work on which I think is going to be really great.

AL: Outside of the Metal Allegiance project what else are you currently working on?
AS: I have a lot of stuff going on. I have my first acoustic album out which is called “Planetary Coalition”. This is a world album and is something that I always wanted to make. I have a bunch of great artists featured on there including Rodrigo y Gabriela. Last year the trio recorded a live concert and it came out really well. We also recently wrote a few new songs and I think we are going to release that as a live album. I’m going to be a part of the “Axes and Anchors” cruise which is a cruise for guitar enthusiasts. Zakk Wylde is going to be there along with Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker and a bunch of other great players as well. Testament has mostly one off shows booked as of right now and in between those we are writing new material with hopes of having a new album out next year.

Audiotopsy’s Greg Tribbett talks about debut album “Natural Causes”

Greg Tribbett is probably best known for his guitar work with Mudvayne and Hellyeah which featured former Mudvayne vocalist Chad Grey and former Pantera/Damage Plan drummer Vinnie Paul. Greg’s newest project Audiotopsy is set to release their debut album titled “Natural Causes” at the end of the summer and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Greg recently about the album, the group’s formation and the upcoming tour plans for this fall.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about how you guys came together to for Audiotopsy?
Greg Tribbett: Around July of 2014 I called up Matt McDonough and we got talking about putting something together as we both had nothing going on at the time. I ended up flying up to Matt’s house for a weekend and we wrote about seven songs in two days. We hadn’t played together for about 5 years by this point but things went really well. We decided we needed to get a singer and a bass player so we called Billy Keeton who we knew from the band Skrape. He had already been jamming with Perry Stern so those two sort of came as a package deal. We were really stoked at this point as we didn’t need to look for a bass player. We ended up going down to Florida to record those seven songs and we all gelled together great. It was a great time and things just came together really quickly.

AL: Was there ever any thoughts in your mind when you put the group together about how to distance it from your guys previous works with other bands?
GT: That was definitely on my mind. I didn’t want to sound like Mudvayne or Hellyeah as I have done all that. When I was writing I really tried to concentrate on originality and create things that were both new and fresh. I think we certainly accomplished that.

AL: Was the ability to come up with new material quickly something you have always been able to do or was this something new for you?
GT: It comes pretty easy for me. Usually I will just sit down and start thinking up riffs in my head and play them out on guitar. From there I will start working on the actual song. Within about 20 or 30 minutes I will have a song laid out. When Matt and I got together he was familiar with my work style from all the time we had spent with each other over the years. When I got to his house I came with most of the songs structures already laid out. There may have been one or two songs that we worked on together but for the most part things were pretty much done. I just let Matt do his thing over the riffs that I brought. We did the albums first 7 songs that weekend at Matt’s. A short while later I ended up writing another three songs that we also did at Matt’s. We originally were just going to release an EP but ended up doing a full length release instead.

AL: What type of single release plans do you have for the album thus far?
GT: We have the song “Headshot” out right now but I don’t really consider that to be our single or anything like that. The actual single will be coming to radio soon and that is called “The Calling”. We actually have plans within the next few weeks to do videos for both of those songs.

AL: What types of tour plans are in place to support the album?
GT: Right now we are looking at late fall or early winter to get out on the road. We have a lot of feelers out right now as there are a bunch of tours going out at this time. We are looking at all those and we plan to go with the best offer that suits us. From there we will make all the plans and whatnot that goes along with booking a tour. We will definitely be out there through 2016 promoting the band and the record. We want to go worldwide with this.

Starset’s Dustin Bates talks about debut album “Transmissions”

Dustin Bates is the singer for the Columbus, Ohio based rock band Starset a band whose debut album “Transmissions” spawned the break out hit “My Demons” long before there was ever actually a real band. Media Mikes spoke with Dustin recently about the creation of the album, the formation of the band and the group’s current tour with the recently reformed Breaking Benjamin.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the band and “The Starset Society”
Dustin Bates: I actually created the “Transmissions” album before there was even a band. We had the song “My Demons” out on the radio before we ever had out first rehearsal. We did that because the record was done based upon the philosophy and the narrative of “The Starset Society”. I sort of incorporated their outlook into the record almost as a marketing device for their society. We are not the only tool being used to promote the society as they are using a variety of other media such as graphic novels and video. It’s cool to be a part of that and to be able to incorporate that into our record.

AL: Was then always the idea to adopt Starset as the band’s name?
DB: Exactly! The actually name itself sort of harkens back to the narrative. Starset is a non-rotating planet that is involved in all of this. The planet does rotate around the sun making a portion of the planet inhabital called the Starset region because there is always an eternal sunset there. The way that this plays into the narrative will be told in the first graphic novel.

AL: Does the band have any hand in writing the graphic novel?
DB: That is something separate. We mention the novel and the other forms of media being used so that people can dig more into what we as a band are a part of. We realize this can all be a bit confusing so we try to inform everyone of how things all go together.

AL: Can you tell us a little more about the album done prior to there actually being a band?
DB: I did the music based on the inspiration of the narrative. There is also another story line that is more of a love story so I tried to give the music a human element that people could relate to as there is a lot of science, technology and future type elements. I was very careful to not go too far. Once I had that done I reached out to various friends to help me record this. I was able to bring on Rob Graves to produce and he really helped me obtain the cinematic level of sound that I wanted to create. I knew early on that Starset needed to have a soundtrack to a sci-fi movie which was created by a rock band. Rob was the perfect guy for that. We sent the song “My Demons” to radio and it started to get really positive reactions. I knew very quickly that I needed a band and a record label. Since getting both of those things we have practically been on the road non-stop ever since. That was about a year and a half ago now.

AL: The album has quite a number of musical layers. Where did you start when you were writing the record?
DB: It was different for each song. Some started out more traditional with the melody and lyrics while some started with the music and after I had the lyrics I threw all the music away and rebuilt it so it had a cinematic vibe. I usually do write the melody of a song before the lyrics. I generally have ideas already for the other layers such as the strings and what not but until we get the actual players in there that’s when things come to life. We had an actual quartet come in and play all the orchestral parts on this record.

AL: Can you tell us about your current tour with Breaking Benjamin and what the band has planned for the rest of the year?
DB: It has been pretty busy for us with touring. We just recently got off of tour with Halestorm and the Pretty Reckless and now we are out with Breaking Benjamin through August. They are one of my favorite bands from when I was younger so it’s really great to be able to be out here with them. After this run wraps up there’s a possibility of going overseas and being out on the road for the rest of the year. Between all of that the Starset novel will be coming out this winter.

“Grease” Director Randal Kleiser talks about his stage debut

What do you do when, in a span of two years, you direct some of the best episodic television as well as one of the most popular television movies of all time? If you’re Randal Kleiser, you graduate to features, where you’re first film, “Grease,” remains, almost four decades later, the highest grossing movie musical of all time. Not a bad start!

Born in Philadelphia, Kleiser headed west to study his chosen craft at the University of Southern California. It was there he met a fellow student named George Lucas. He graduated USC in 1968 and, on the basis of his impressive Master’s thesis film, “Peege,” began his career. After directing episodes of such popular television shows as “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “The Rookies” and “Family,” he graduated to made-for-television films. His first, “Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway,” starred former “Brady Bunch” star Eve Plumb as a girl who, feeling her home life is tough, runs away to the big city where she’s soon selling her body. While this is almost happenstance on today’s television it was quite a shocker in 1976. His second film-for-television starred up and coming “Welcome Back, Kotter” star John Travolta as “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.” Based on a true story, the film earned three Emmy nominations, winning one. It also became a favorite of fans, thanks to Travolta’s performance and Paul Williams’ song, “What Would They Say,” which Travolta sang. Travolta and Kleiser would reunite the next year when the young star appeared opposite Olivia Newton-John in the musical smash “Grease.”

Kleiser, a director with an eye for young talent, followed up with “The Blue Lagoon,” starring Brooke Shields. He then featured Peter Gallagher and Daryl Hannah in “Summer Lovers” (which Kleiser also wrote) and then teamed up Jamie Lee Curtis and Patrick Swayze in “Grandview U.S.A.” Other films include “Big Top Pee Wee,” “Flight of the Navigator” and “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.” In 1996 Kleiser wrote and directed “It’s My Party,” one of the first major films to address the issue of AIDS (though, in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” Travolta’s character, Tod, was born with a deficient immune system, which is not unlike being born with AIDS). “It’s My Party” tells the story of Nick (Eric Roberts), whose most recent blood test reveals that he is HIV positive. Nick decides to go out on his own terms and throws himself a “going away” party.

This year, Kleiser turned to the stage, where his first production, “The Penis Chronicles,” currently plays four times weekly at the Coastal Playhouse, in West Hollywood, California through January 11, 2015. Mr. Kleiser took time out from his schedule to speak with me about working on the stage, the continued magic of “Grease” and a project near and dear to his heart: “The Nina Foch Project.”

Mike Smith: You’re about to finish your first foray onto the stage. How did you get involved with “The Penis Chronicles?”
Randal Kleiser: Tom Yewell was my assistant on “White Fang” and “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid”. He then became my director of development at Disney Studios. After that he moved back East for several years. Last year his friend Greg O’Connor sent me his play, “The Penis Chronicles” and I read it expecting to just give him my comments. I was extremely impressed and immediately wanted to help launch it.

MS: As someone who had worked primarily in television and film, does the role of the director change when it’s live theatre?
RK: The biggest difference is that the control is in the hands of the actors, rather than the director. I’m used to being able to fine tune movie performances, doing multiple takes until we achieve each moment perfectly. There is an excitement about live theater that I haven’t experienced in my movie career. You never know what’s going to happen. Last week we had a power outage during the play and used iPhone flashlight apps to light the actor.

MS: You were able to fund the initial 8-week run of the show through Indigogo. Any thoughts of extending the run?
RK: We are pleased to announce that we are extending until at least January 11th. After that, we aren’t sure. It depends on the public continuing to show up.

MS: What can you tell us about your upcoming film, “B.F.F.?”
RK: That is a project written and directed by young filmmaker Greg Carter. I’m overseeing it in an executive producer capacity.

MS: You went from directing one of the most popular television films of all time (“The Boy in the Plastic Bubble”) to helming the most popular movie musical as a first time feature film director. Why do you think “Grease” continues to find fans after all these years?
RK: I get asked that a lot. It must have been the perfect storm of cast chemistry, a hit Broadway play, the new music, and characters that everyone could identify with.

MS: It’s been almost 20 years since “It’s My Party” was released. These days in Hollywood it’s almost common-place to have major studios producing projects like “Angels in America” and “The Normal Heart.” How hard was it to get “It’s My Party” made?
RK: I wrote it while under a deal at Disney. They were not jumping at making it. Duh. Luckily, John Calley had just taken over United Artists and I went over to see him. I showed him pictures from the actual party that the script was based on and he greenlit the project that day.
I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

MS: Tell us a little about the “Nina Foch Project” and her influence on your career?
RK: Nina Foch was a vital presence in the entertainment industry, at home onstage, on screen, and in the classroom. Her acting career spanned seven decades, including starring roles on the Broadway stage and numerous television appearances from the golden era of live television drama through the most popular series and sitcoms of recent years. She was best known for her performances in classic films, such as “An American in Paris,” “Spartacus,” and “The Ten Commandments.” Her role as Erica Martin in “Executive Suite,” directed by Robert Wise, garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1955. Nina joined the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she taught for many years, offering the Advanced Seminar in Directing Actors for Film. She worked with – and inspired – many of today’s most successful actors, singers, directors, screenwriters, and producers. After studying with her, I hired her on several occasions to guide me in breaking down scripts I was about to shoot. She would drill me on each moment, each line, each piece of punctuation so that I was ready to shoot only what was necessary to forward the story and ready for any possible question from the actors. My classmate George Lucas put up some funds to shoot a whole semester of her class before her death in 2008. She instilled in me the same thing that motivated her: a desire to transfer the fascination. The Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers and Actors is available in DVD and online form at www.ninafochproject.com.

MS: What, if anything, do you have planned next?
RK: I have four films ready to go and am looking to complete funding on them. All my director friends are in the same boat. We have to become entrepreneurs and do our own projects, rather than wait for the studios to change from only doing sequels, comics and remakes.

Malek Akkad talks about about his directorial debut “Free Fall” and the “Halloween” franchise

Photo Credit: 2014 Stuck Film Group, LLC.

Malek Akkad is the son of Moustapha Akkad, who is know for producing all eight “Halloween” films in the original series up until his death in 2005. Malek took over the reign with the recent reboot of “Halloween” with Rob Zombie and is continuing his father’s legacy. Malek is making his directorial debut with the suspense thriller “Free Fall”, which stars Sarah Butler (“I Spit on Your Grave”) and Malcolm McDowell (“Rob Zombie’s Halloween”). Media Mikes had a chance to chat about the film with him, along with the recently released “Halloween: The Complete Collection” Blu-ray box set and the future of the franchise.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what made you take the jump from producer to director with “Free Fall”?
Malek Akkad: My intended focus when I came out of film school was to do direct. I was doing a lot of music videos, commercials and trying to get up and running in that career. I was a production manager on a couple of shows. My path just took me more on the side of producing and then I started working with my father. In this business, you have to take it where it comes from. So I did spend a few years working in the producing gig, which I do love. My passion is just being in production in general. But I did want to get back into directing, so this was a good opportunity and we had some time between other projects. We came across this script and it felt like it would be a run ride to take.

MG: What made you decide to tackle a suspense thriller instead of horror?
MA: For one thing, I thought the horror genre would be the obvious route to go and I wanted to tackle something that would be outside of the realm that I was comfortable in. Plus I didn’t want to get pigeonholed as “the horror guy”. I found this script and thought the writer was able to really flip the head on a few genre key elements, which I liked. It was also a script that I was able to use some themes that I wanted to address. So it worked on a lot of levels.

MG: You know you seriously just took elevators to a whole new level here, right?
MA: Oh great, awesome! I am great to hear that. Every time I get into an elevator now, I am thinking that karma is going to get me [laughs].

MG: Was it always planned to reunite with “Halloween” star Malcolm McDowell?
MA: He was just perfect for this role. We had worked together twice before and he is just a joy to work with. He also fit the character perfectly actually, so it was an honor that he agreed to do this with me. It is also great to be able to work with actors that you are comfortable with. It was great to work with him once again.

MG: Let’s talks about the “Halloween: The Complete Collection”; how involved were you with this release?
MA: It was a hurdle of getting all the involved parties together. In this franchise, there has been so many different distribution companies and production entities. The first thing to tackle was getting everyone on the same page. Between Shout! Factory and Anchor Bay, they really did a great job in doing that. With the behind-the-scenes material, I think that Shout! Factory really did a great job in putting together a lot of new material. Then we had to go to Miramax and dig up the old elements for “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers”. So I definitely had an involvement but most of the credit needs to go to Shout! Factory for putting together a great package that the fans have really been responding to.

MG: Why do you think the idea of Michael Myers is still so effective after all these years?
MA: There are so many answers to that. With horror genre, going back to the great Universal Monsters, is filled with just such hardcore fans. People just love to go in and have that controlled sense of fear. There is enough fear in the world that people can’t control. So if you can spend two hours and you know you are somewhat safe, I think that is something cathartic in that. I think all that feeds into what this franchise has become. Of course, it all goes back to the amazing classic from John Carpenter.

MG: Any progress updates for the next “Halloween” film in the franchise?
MA: Yeah, we are working on one right now. We are due a new draft any day now. We are working really hard to take it to the next level and keep the fans as happy as we can. I think we have a really fun pick and getting everyone involved and on the same page and behind one storyline takes longer than you would think. I think we have finally cracked something that we really liked and we are going to have some announcements very soon!

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.

Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth talks about debut album “The Great and Secret Show” with Devilment

Dani Filth is best known as the founder and lead vocalist of the metal band Cradle of Filth. Filth’s newest musical endeavor goes by the name Devilment whose debut album title “The Great and Secret Show” will be released on October, 31st via Nuclear Blast Records. Media Mikes spoke recently with Dani about the new release, working with Bam Margera and the group’s upcoming tour with Motionless in White.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the formation of “Devilment”?
Dani Filth: A couple of years ago I met up with Daniel Finch and he asked me if I would be interested in working on a project with him. Over the course of those years the project has sort of grown and grown and flourished into a full blown band. All the members of the band live in pretty close proximity of one another and we are now set to release our first album. Scott Atkins who worked on the last Cradle of Filth album jumped on board helping with the recording process and we have been picked up by Nuclear Blast Records. Paul Ryan who was the original guitarist for Cradle of Filth is our manager/booking agent. He also is booking for Cradle of Filth now as well. We are keeping a lot of things in house with this project.

AL: What is it that you want to accomplish with this new album/band?
DF: It’s vastly different than Cradle of Filth. It’s a totally different entity in that’s its completely original. Each of the band members has their own unique perspective on metal and music in general. Our keyboardist Lauren doesn’t come from a metal background at all though she has come to appreciate it. Six of us have come together to create this unique thing. It is more riff driven and somewhat in the vein of Rammstein or White Zombie. The songs have more of a heavy groove to them. Lauren has brought this John Carpenter type vibe to the whole thing which is really great. The music is definitely in the realm of horror.

AL: With the music being different from your work with Cradle of Filth did you take a different creative path during the writing/recording process?
DF: Not overly. Cradle does a lot of stuff via the internet and then we all get together when needed for touring and such. With Devilment everyone lives locally unlike Cradle where members are literally spread across the world. Having everyone so close has made the experience different, as has writing in a lower key. Though I still write the same way as I always have I do approach the Devilment material a bit differently. I am a little more contemporary with the choruses and such. I don’t like to say it but the material has almost a pop sensibility.

AL: For the digi-pack release of the album you recorded a cover of Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning” can you tell us about that and, how Bam Margera ended up also on the track?
DF: That song comes wasn’t meant to be included on the 10 track version of the album. This song will be included on the special version along with two other songs. It sounds a little odd just because of the nature of the song. The original is a fucking awesome song and just very catchy. We have made it a bit heavier and added some keys to it as well. It has this “Exorcist”/”Tubular Bells” vibe to it. I chose Bam to sing on it because he actually owed me a favor. I sang at his wedding in Iceland last year so I thought I would return the favor. He went in to the studio with a producer in Philadelphia and his parts sound really great. The song has these kind of call and response portions to it. Bam sounds a lot like Pete Steele. It’s a very interesting and powerful track.

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming video for the song “Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me”?
DF: The video is black and white with a splash of red every now and then. We worked with a photographer/video director named Scott Hunter. The video has a very cool fashion shoot vibe to it. It looks very contemporary and fresh. There is a lot of performance based elements that look really great. The way everything came together makes it one of those videos you have to watch a couple times just to be able to see everything.

AL: What type of tour plans do you have in place thus far?
DF: Cradle of Filth is heading out on the road prior to heading in to the studio in December. We will be in Russia for about a month then I have a few days off before hitting the road with Devilment. We will be out supporting Motionless in White and Lacuna Coil. That’s going to be a fresh experience for me being that we are not the headlining act. It’s going to be a big tour. This is Motionless in Whites first time in Europe.

AL: You just did a track with Motionless in White for their new album correct?
DF: Yes. That was actually unrelated and happened prior to the tour being announced. I suppose it garnered some favor. The song is called “Puppets 3” and it’s quite brutal. I was quite surprised because I knew of Motionless however I hadn’t really heard them. When I heard the track I thought it was a cross between early Cradle and At the Gates.

AL: Do you find it hard balancing your two groups due to them being quite different from one another?
DF: At the moment yes. The time factor has made things a bit tricky as we will be heading to Russia with Cradle, then I go out with Devilment and then come back to work with Cradle in the studio. There’s a lot of hard work ahead. Nuclear Blast has done a great job keeping me busy with press for Devilment it’s really great. It’s a bit hectic but it’s better than sitting around being bored.

The Raskins’ Logan Raskin talks about debut album and touring with Motley Crue

The retro-rock act known as The Raskins, are currently out on the road as part of Motley Crue’s final tour which also features veteran rocker Alice Cooper. The band consisting of twin brothers Logan and Roger Raskin perform a unique blend of rock that harkens back to the early days of CBGB’s but with a modern twist. Media Mikes spoke with Logan Raskin recently about the group’s formation, their debut album and how they landed one of the biggest tours of the summer.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the band and what made you want t pursue music?
Logan Raskin: Both my brother and I were born in raised in Chelsea, NY and our parents were in the music industry for many years. My father did lots of shows on Broadway and was the lead in shows like “West Side Story”, “Oklahoma” and bunch of others. I grew up going to those shows and watching him perform. He also would take a band with him out on the road and perform various songs from shows he appeared in and my brother and I would go out on the road with him. My mother was a pretty well known jazz singer around New York and also put a couple albums out as well. They taught us how to play music at a very young age and I think my brother and I wrote our first songs between the ages of 8 and 10. It was sort of inevitable that we would end up in the music business. Granted our parents taught us music our mother never really wanted us going in to the music business because the lifestyle was sort of tough for them and she didn’t want us to go through the same thing. Growing up on the Lower East side however music was tough to get away from. On any given night we could go to a club and see The Ramones, Patty Smith or The New York Dolls. We got bit by the bug and it was pretty much game over. We are very happy to be able to be doing music now full time.

AL: Have you and your brother always played together in bands?
LR: People always assume that we have played together our whole lives but to be honest this is the first time that we have really been in a band together. We certainly have played together over the years but never in a band. The Raskins have been together for about 3 years and it was something that started out as just a writing project. Roger and I had been composing music for television and movies for years and that’s what we were in to. We started getting a lot of fan mail from around the world from people who heard some of our work and really enjoyed it. They were always asking about where they could get our music and when they could see us live. We took about a year and recorded this first record on our own. We initially went in and recorded 60 songs. From there we took the best 12 that we thought represented us well and we put them on this record.  Next we put the band together and worked the New York area pretty heavily before making our way out to Los Angeles. We pushed the internet market really heavily as well and that’s where things really started for us.

AL: Did you have a clear cut vision of how you wanted the band to sound when you were first starting out or did your sound evolve more naturally?
LR: It was a combination of both. When we went in to the writing stage we wanted to just write as much as we could. We had an overwhelming amount of music written when we went in to do tracking and things just went from there. Our influences certainly came out and Roger and I both had a lot inside us. We wrote these songs for us as over the previous seven years we were composing music for other people. We had the opportunity to do this for ourselves and we were like kids in a candy store. The reason we did the recording of the album ourselves was that we didn’t want to have to work within a specific time frame as we both knew each other had a lot to say. What you get on the album are the influences we got from our parents along with what we were exposed to musically growing up in New York.

AL: When you are writing material do you and your brother generally work separately or collaboratively?
LR: It’s a combination of the two. We have a main studio that we work out of but we also have our own little separate studios at home. We both write music and lyrics but for this album I think I wrote more of lyrics. A lot of stuff we do completely on our own but it’s great to work together and bounce ideas off one another. Roger has given so many great songs. We work really well together. Sure we battle it out sometimes as we do a lot of hours in the studio but we have a process we go through that works well for us. We don’t try to force anything. We just try to be ourselves.

AL: What was it like taking your two piece band and developing it into a full group for touring purposes?
LR: We went through several ideas in our heads. Have both been in and out of bands over the years it’s a tough process. People sort of see us as this overnight success because all of a sudden we are out on the road with this big tour. That’s certainly not the case. We have been doing this for quite some time. We love everything about music and have had our share of struggles along the way but to have this opportunity to start off as a duo with my brother and then build a great band around us we feel that the bond of the band is extremely tight. We are surrounded by some really great musicians and even though people may see us as a duo we are a band. My brother and I felt that being in this band together with other musicians would just strengthen our bond.

AL: Can you tell us about being out on the road with Alice Cooper and Motley Crue?
LR: It has been an incredible year for us so far. When we finished the album we wanted to tour as much as possible and to really get the music out there any way we could. We started out doing a winter tour on our own and after that run ended we were asked to be a part of the Scott Wieland tour. We went out with Scott for about a month and while that was happening we were in talks for summer touring options. A few ideas were mentioned and being an optimist I mentioned some of the bigger tours going on this summer like Slash and Miles Kennedy, Kiss and Def Leppard, and Motley Crue and Alice Cooper. About 5 shows in to the run with Scott we got a call asking just how serious we were about the Motley Crue tour. We were serious as a heart attack and our booking agent thought we had a shot so we went for it. After a couple weeks we still hadn’t heard anything. We had initially submitted only for 17 shows so we weren’t sure what was going on. We ended up re-submitting for the entire tour and shortly thereafter we got a calling saying there was interest in having us. We had to wait for the guys in Motley Crue to make the final decision and luck for us they loved us and we were asked to be on for all 66 U.S. shows. It’s great being out here playing all these great venues that we always dreamed about. We played the Hollywood Bowl recently and will be playing Madison Square Garden also this year. As two kids growing up in New York City that is just going to be a dream come true.

AL: What are the bands plans after this tour run ends?
LR: We want to try and take a little time at the end of November to do some recording as we are always writing. We want to get what we have down in to demo form. Right now it likes like we will be out with HIM for 10 shows in December and we are also looking at some dates with Joan Jett, Blondie and The Cult. That will take us into next year with the possibility of going out with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and maybe AC/DC. I told them to put that at the top of the priority list! (Laughs) My dad always told us to shoot for the stars and maybe you will reach a tree top. That our philosophy with everything that we do. This year has been great so far and we are excited about the future.

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

“Bloody Birthday”, “Bloody Moon” and “The Baby” to debut on Blu-Ray From Severin Films 7/8/14


Three classic horror titles will get the HD treatment for the first time. Fans are encouraged to follow the Severin Facebook page, where fans will have the opportunity to win original 1982 Bloody Moon video posters. There is also a bundle of all three films available exclusively from the Severin webstore!

BLOODY BIRTHDAY- Get ready for the rarely seen slasher classic from the ’80s that may also be the most disturbing ‘killer kids’ movies in grindhouse history: Three babies are simultaneously born in the same hospital at the peak of a full solar eclipse. Ten years later, these adorable youngsters suddenly begin a kiddie killing spree of stranglings, shootings, stabbings, beatings and beyond. Can the town’s grown-ups stop these pint-sized serial killers before their blood-soaked birthday bash? K.C. Martel (E.T., Growing Pains), Joe Penny (Jake And The Fat Man), Michael Dudikoff (American Ninja), screen legends Susan Strasberg and Jose Ferrer, and MTV vixen Julie Brown – whose nude bedroom dance remains a landmark of celebrity skin – star in this still-controversial shocker from director Ed Hunt (The Brain, Diary Of A Sinner), now featuring an all-new HD transfer from the original vault elements.

THE BABY- An A-list director. A jaw-dropping storyline. And depraved depictions of suburban violence, 70s fashions and ‘sick love’. The result remains one of the most disturbing movies in Hollywood history: Anjanette Comer (The Loved One) stars as an idealistic L.A. County social worker who investigates the case of Mrs. Wadsworth (former ’50s starlet Ruth Roman of Strangers On A Train fame), her two buxom daughters, and son ‘Baby’, a mentally-disabled man who sleeps in a crib, eats in a high-chair, crawls, bawls and wears diapers. But what secrets of unnatural attachment – and sexual obsession – are all of these women hiding? Marianna Hill (The Godfather Part II) and Michael Pataki (Grave Of The Vampire) co-star in this psychotic stunner from director Ted Post (Magnum Force, Beneath The Planet Of The Apes), now fully restored from the original film negative for the first time on Blu-ray.

BLOODY MOON- As the ‘body-count’ genre stabbed its way into audiences’ hearts in the early ’80s, EuroTrash auteur Jess Franco (Sadomania, Mansion Of The Living Dead) was asked to create his own saga of slaughtered schoolgirls complete with gratuitous nudity, graphic violence, and gory set pieces. But just when you thought you’d seen it all, Franco shocked the world by delivering surprising style, genuine suspense and a cavalcade of depravity that includes incest, voyeurism and roller disco. The luscious Olivia Pascal ofVanessa fame stars in this twisted thriller that was banned in England yet is now presented uncut and uncensored – including the complete ‘stone mill power saw’ sequence – for the first time ever on Blu-ray!

The Revenant’s Trevor Jackson talks about band’s self-titled debut album

Trevor Jackson is the guitarist for the punk rock band The Revenant. The band which also includes former Unwritten Law members Derik Envy and Kevin Besignano along with Lit drummer Nathan Walker has just released their self titled debut album to rave reviews. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Trevor recently about the album, what it was like balancing multiple projects and the bands upcoming tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what led to you guys forming the band?
Trevor Jackson: We had all known each other from touring and we all had a common ground in that we wanted to do something that was our own. We have all had some great opportunities in the past but at the end of the day we wanted to see what could happen if we got together and wrote some songs. Derik and Kevin knew each other from playing together in Unwritten Law and I had toured with Nate so it really was probably the easiest way a band could come together. We never really did any auditioning or things like that just started writing music together. Things just worked.

AL: How did you go about deciding which direction to take the band in stylistically?
TJ: We all came from playing in other people’s band so we weren’t too sure which direction to go. When you get together with 4 new guys you have no idea what things will sound like. We pretty much went in completely open. We just started writing together and let things develop throughout the pre-production process. We all come from different music backgrounds and everybody in the band has a specific strong point. Writing wise we would all sit down together and work through the different ideas. No one really had any egos. An idea would get thrown out and we would all just start working on it together. A lot of times Kevin or Derik would come in with a song and we could hammer it out in 45 minutes or so. We all just worked really well together.

AL: Was it hard for you guys to balance your time between multiple projects?
TJ: Making the transition from one project to another came with some difficulty however it was something that we all really wanted to do. We really believed in what we were doing so anytime we had down time we went right in to the garage to demo songs or rehearse.

AL: Can you tell us about the first 4 songs you guys released?
TJ: The full album came out June 17th but to get people familiar with who we are prior to that we decided to release 4 songs from the album. These were songs that we really liked but it was a little weird only picking the 4. Our whole record is 10 songs that run just over 20 minutes. Those first few songs sort of showcase the albums variety.

AL: Have you guys started discussing tour plans yet?
TJ: That’s all we talk about. (Laughs) We have been putting the word out and talking about some different things but I think the biggest thing we wanted to do first was to get the record out. We want fans of music and punk rock to get the album and decide for themselves what they think of it. If we get a phone call today I am sure we would have the van packed and be on the road but right now we are shooting for towards the end of summer to back out on the road. This project was something that we have been pretty quiet about thus far. We wanted to get everything recorded and done before we really started telling anyone about it. This is something we are having great time doing it and we can’t wait for people to hear the album.

K.Flay talks about debut album “Life as a Dog”

Constantly changing, constantly evolving and constantly honing their craft is the sign of a good musician and K. Flay, is one of them. While in college, K.Flay found she had the chops to rap with some of the best and began to experiment, musically and lyrically. Since 2004, she has put out a myriad of music with everything from singles and EPs to collaborating with other aspiring up-and-comers like MC Lars. Her continuous, hard work has finally paid off as she releases her debut album, “Life as a Dog”. She’s also about to embark on the Warped Tour, a staple of the summer touring circuit. Media Mikes recently caught up with K.Flay about how she’s handling and preparing for these high marks of her career.

Jeremy Werner: When I was getting ready for this interview…I was a bit surprised how much music you had, in terms of singles, EPs, guest vocals, and other things spanning over half a decade. To me it’s crazy because you’re now just able to release your debut album. I’m sure all your fans, die-hard and new, who’ve recognized your hard work and talent over the years are seeing and wondering the same thing I was, which is why has it taken so long to be able to release your debut album?
K.Flay: I was actually just having this conversation with my drummer because we’re working on setlist stuff for Warped Tour this summer. But basically the reason is…I signed to a major label a little over two years ago and while I was on there, I put out a mixtape and a couple of EPs and singles and things of that nature. But I was never able to release an album. I was working on a lot of stuff, but I think they didn’t necessarily feel like anything was single worthy or ready to be part of an album, so I was kind of in this weird limbo while I was there. Which on some level was a really interesting experience in that I was able to do a ton of experimentation and really kind of take time to figure out more about the kind of music I like making and think about the music I was better at making than other kinds. It was sort of a weird process because I signed and wasn’t able to put out enough to show for a debut album, but I left the label in the fall and then worked on this.

JW: I’ve actually talked to quite a few artists as of late who’ve used online fundraising for their music and just like them, yours was very successful.
K.Flay: Yes.

JW: So I’m wondering…with no problems reaching your target goal, do you feel like this is your way of telling potential record labels, “I can sell music if give me a chance,” or is this your way of saying, “Fuck you guys. My music speaks for yourself and I don’t need you”?
K.Flay: You know, I think for me in large part, this is just about a personal goal as a human/artist in the sense of making a statement. And even if albums are becoming outdated in some capacity or whatever, I think having a statement and a body of work that has cohesive quality, to me, is really important on a fundamental level. But on the flip side of it, the experience on the label was at times, kind of frustrating and it felt like I was a little bit stuck. So it feels really good to return to how I began with music which is independently releasing things and having control over all aspects of the creative process. It just feels really empowering, really good and really natural.

JW: Is there anything with “Life as a Dog”, musically, that you’re doing different or for the first time on this album?
K.Flay: Ya know, I think this album is a little bit of shift in that it’s less like rap and it’s a little more…I don’t know…I try to be more conscious of melody a little bit. One of the things I discovered over the last two-three years it that I really do like singing and I like incorporating melodic components into the music. It’s definitely less electronic, less rap, but I don’t think in a super drastic way. It felt kind of like the natural, next step.

JW: Lyrically, when I listen to your music, it feels like there’s a lot of deep personal emotions attached to the music and it’s kind of a dumb, broad statement to say that because yeah…all music is personal. But while some bands like to play with words and allude to different ideas without completely giving themselves away, I feel like you’re more blunt and honest with what you say. What are some of things you draw from when writing lyrics?
K.Flay: Obviously there’s a lot of myself in the music and there’s always gonna be that component, but I think more than ever, especially with this record, I really tried to embody, even just for a few moments in a song, people in my life and people that I’ve met along the way. I think one of the compelling parts of being a full-time musician is the cast of characters, both bad and good, that you run into on a daily basis. I still use the first person pronoun so they feel like they’re about me, but some of them are really about people that I’ve met and experiences that I’ve kind of witnessed second hand. Which is really cool. I think it taught to expand my ideas of how to start a song. Usually for me, it starts with some kind of emotion I’m feeling at that moment. Which is interesting conceptually to experiment from a different perspective a little bit.

JW: Anything you’ve wanted to sing about, but you’re hesitant to?
K.Flay: Umm…not really. I guess there’s nothing in my life that I wouldn’t want to share. Obviously very specific details, but songwriting and performing is such a liberating thing in general and so I think that’s why I feel comfortable talking about a lot of stuff in that
capacity.

JW: Let’s switch gears. You are on Warped Tour this summer. Is this the largest tour you’ve had to tackle yet?
K.Flay: It is, definitely. I’ve done festivals before, but never anything of this kind of length or consistency. I’m really excited. I have a lot of friends who’ve done Warped in the past and literally everyone has great things to say about it. I know it’s gonna be a challenge…*laughs*…not to be covered in sweat constantly, but I’m really looking forward to it.

JW: Besides being stupid hot, Warped Tour is also known for jamming nearly every act they can on to stages. Will it be hard trying to condense what you want to express into a limited setlist?
K.Flay: I think it is gonna be a really interesting challenge. There is such a large catalog and I want to represent the new album and I also wanna represent some of the old stuff. And obviously play music that is emblematic of where I’m at, but also music that will appeal to people. I think it’s gonna be a little bit of messing around once we get started. The live shows have always been a real focus for me and touring is a place where I feel really comfortable and I’m really comfortable with experimenting. I think the first week, we’ll probably test about a bunch of different stuff. More than anything, not like anybody else wants me to, but I kind of wanna play for two hours and go through everything. It’ll be an interesting little experiment.

JW: Have you factored in fans? I mean obviously you have…but the typical Warped Tour attendee is traditionally, a punk rock enthusiast and it’s definitely changed over the past decade.
K.Flay: Totally. The show has always had a punk spirit to it. There’s headbanging and a lot of jumping around and kind of more archetypal rock moments in it. So obviously something within that spirit. I’m kind of excited to try some new stuff.

JW: Big tour…debut album…with all this success…do you see yourself being a music artist for the long haul or is there something you still wanna do or try?
K.Flay: Ya know…I don’t really know. I get asked this sometimes and I kind of have no fucking clue. Which is strange because you’d think it’d be good to have a back-up plan, but I just decide on something and I just do it. So I think I’m still in that mode of perspective where this is what I’m doing and I think if I really started to consider other viable options, it would probably be a bad sign. So I don’t know. I read a lot…so maybe something with books. That’s all I can think of at the moment.

JW: My last question, a bit random, and you don’t have to answer this, but I’ve noticed a couple of other female artists, entertainers and others have said it’s bothersome when they’re told by fans, “Oh you’re my favorite female comedian…artist…”. Things like that.
K.Flay: Right.

JW: I think this boils down to where we’re at in a society right now and how we’re starting to mold how we view gender. But I’m curious, does it bother you if a fan tells you that you’re their favorite female rapper instead of just simply saying you’re their favorite rapper.
K.Flay: I know there’s like something I got sent earlier about Neko Case talking about this, but I wouldn’t say it happens all the time. Usually people say I like you’re stuff or whatever, but I think any time you’re a little bit in the minority, I think that that’s an unfortunate byproduct. Although I am a woman and have a gendered perspective to a certain extent, just like anybody else, when I write, I’ve always just sort of naturally wanted to create music that didn’t feel super gendered, if that makes any sense. But I think it can certainly undermine what you’re doing a little bit. I’m honestly happy anyone listens to it (laughs) I’m just always stoked if anybody’s checked it out and trying to find out about what I’m doing.