Guitarist Steve Dadaian Discusses His New Album “Follow the Light”

Steve Dadaian is an Armenian-American fusion guitarist based in the Tri-State NY,NJ,PA area. Steve’s latest album “Follow the Light” is a theatrical, symphonic soundscape packed full of razor-sharp guitar work that will leave listeners slack-jawed. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Steve fresh off his appearance at this year’s Winter NAMM convention where we discussed the albums creation, his work System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and Soilwork’s Bjorn Strid.

Adam Lawton: What was it that first got you started with music?

Steve Dadaian: I grew up in New Jersey and where I went to school they made you take a mandatory guitar class. That was really my first exposure to the instrument. I listened to a lot of classic rock artists like Jimi Hendrix and Randy Rhoads. Listening to music like that you get drawn to the guitar and as I got older I started listening to more progressive stuff like Rush and Dream Theater. Listening to all those bands helped me build my technique and was the foundation for where my playing is today.

AL: Your new album “Follow the Light” is a shift from your previous work. Can you tell us about that progression?

SD: With this record aside from one song there really aren’t any vocals. In order to fill that space I had to think about how I was going to write each piece and what I wanted to use on each track. With symphonic music there are so many different ways you can go. This was a lot of fun because I could use different chord structures and voicing’s that a traditional vocalist might not be able to do. As a guitar player I was really able to open up which I enjoyed.

AL: Where did you start when writing these pieces?

SD: That’s something I struggle with quite a bit. Sometimes I will come up with a melody other times it will be just a riff. For the title track of the album I started with the opening riff and then everything came after that. Generally the symphonic stuff comes last. The guitar is my base line as that is what I do. The chords, leads and riffs are the bulk of the song so once I have those I will go back and fill in the space to help each section sound more epic. Aside from that my process always seems to vary.

AL: Did you provide all the instrumentation on the album or did you work with other musicians?

SD: On three of the tracks I collaborated with other artists. I worked with Claudio Pietronik from Italy who does a lot of stuff for Jam Track Central. He is a great player with a lot of knowledge about cinematic music. We were able to collaborate on two tracks and another we co-wrote. For the most part the instrumentation all comes from me. I do love working with other artists but when you have a technical riff it can be hard to add things in order to make it sound bigger. I have a good sense of where I want things to be so for a majority of the album it’s just me.

AL: The track “Soul Connection” has a great back story behind it. Can you tell us about that?

SD: That was the only song on the album with vocals. I like to hear a track with vocals from time to time so I included “Soul Connection”. This was a song I originally wrote for a writing competition put on by Serj Tankian from System of a Down. This song meant a lot to me and I actually ended up being a finalist in the competition. I wanted to do more with the track and the chance to work with Bjorn Strid from Soilwork presented itself. I had told him the story of the song and it resonated with him the same way it had with me so I sent it to him and about three days later it came back perfect. Bjorn gave a brilliant performance. What’s really cool is the first seven notes of the song are the ones Serj came up with through what I submitted to the contest. I feel this song is a pivotal point in the concept record. One other thing that is really great about this song is that all proceeds from it are being donated to the Creative Armenia Foundation. They are an initiative to help fund artists world-wide who might not have resources available to them. They work with musicians, film makers and of other artistic formats. It’s a great cause that I am glad to help out with.

AL: Are there any plans in place to tour in support of the release?

SD: I just came back from a performance at NAMM which was really great. I currently have some guitar clinics lined up around the Tri-State area for this year and I have also been talking with some New York City venues about putting on a few different things. As the demand increases we will certainly look at expanding things. I just had a request to perform in Miami so there are quite a few things that are being put together

For more info on Steve you can follow him on Instagram @SteveDadaian and on Facebook at Stevedadaianguitar

3 Ways to taking care of your LED grow light

LED lights have become extremely popular in the recent years. Grow lights consist of artificial light that is designed in a unique way to support plant photosynthesis. It’s normally used by farmers to grow a variety of crops because they offer a light spectrum just like the sun. LED lights usually provide much needed energy and heat to crops. However, if not taken care of, grow lights could get damaged and lose their value. That’s why it is crucial to offer proper care and maintenance of your LED grow lights to ensure they continue offering proper service to your crops.

If you’re wondering how to grow crops using grow lights, check out ledgrowlightshq.com to get a wide assortment of insightful information about this issue. Remember to keep the appropriate distance between your plants and the grow lights to ensure they thrive.

Here are three ways to take care of your LED grow lights:

 

  • Clean the glass properly

 

A dirty glass will prevent light from penetrating and reaching your plants. Therefore, it would be a great idea to clean the glass regularly. It’s easy to forget about the dust and moisture that normally accumulates within the grow light. Ensure you clean the grow lights at least once every two months with an appropriate cleaner. This will guarantee that you get maximum light from the LED. Before you begin cleaning, unplug the light and use a soft cloth to remove dust and particles that might cause the glass to be scratched.

 

  • Ensure the fans are dusted

 

Grow light fans usually collect a lot of fibers, dust and particles when operating to cool the lights. These little particles should be removed using an efficient air spray duster similar to that used for electronics. Avoid disassembling the grow light when dusting the internal fan. After all, assembling it back together might prove to be a complicated affair. If you can’t clean the fan by yourself, it’s best to contact a professional to do this for you. Therefore, ensure your fans are dusted as often as possible.

 

  • Keep the grow lights away from water

 

Grow lights contain circuits that could short circuit when they come into contact with water. Therefore, it’s best to avoid water when operating them. In addition, it’s a terrible idea to place these lights in places that are filled with moisture. Power stabilizers help to reduce maintenance costs because they offer precise heat that enables your plants to grow. These stabilizers usually regulate voltage and wattage, thus reducing energy consumption and protecting your grow lights from damage that could result from power surges. Therefore, always ensure that your grow lights are kept far away from moisture.

A clean grow light will work very efficiently to ensure your crops grow well. Therefore, cleaning the glass regularly will ensure you don’t have to worry about stunted crop growth. Dusting your fans will keep your grow lights cool and functioning properly. Keep the LED light away from moisture.

A Light Divided Vocalist Jaycee Clark Talks About the Bands New Album “Choose Your Own Adventure”

Jaycee Clark is the vocalist for the Winston-Salem NC based rock band A Light Divided. The band is set to release a brand new album on October 5th titled “Choose Your Own Adventure”. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jaycee recently about the band, their new album and their latest single/video “Fear of Heights”.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some history on A Light Divided and how the band came together?

Jaycee Clark: About ten years ago I started the band with our drummer Adam Smith and a few other people who are no longer in the band. Adam and I have always had our eye on the prize and after a few years we found some other guys who had the same passion we have and who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the band to the next level. Staying out on the road and all that can be a lot to ask somebody so having a group of guys who are down for that just as much as I am is really awesome.

AL: The new album comes out Oct. 5. Can you give us some background on that?

JC: We have worked with producer Kile Odell on all of our releases. When we went in to start work on “Choose Your Own Adventure” things were a little bit different as we had some new members this time around. Things were much more collaborative between the five of us and it wasn’t just one person writing music and another writing lyrics. Everybody had their own say and influences reflected in the process which was great. Ultimately I think this record came out better because of all that. We bounced a lot of ideas off one another and if everyone thought it was cool we went with it. At the end of the day everyone was super stoked with what we had done.

AL: Aside from the collaboration aspect of this album was there anything else that happened differently this time around during the writing/recording process?

JC: I think this record is a lot different than our previous works. Prior to starting work on the record we were sort of feeling boxed in as to what A Light Divided was supposed to sound like. We decided to throw all of that out the window so that we could have a fresh start. We really took our time making something that all of us could be proud of.

AL: Can you tell us about the album’s title “Choose Your Own Adventure”?

JC: There was a little bit of nostalgia we wanted to capture from the book series we grew up reading. With those books you had decisions to make which resulted in different outcomes. I liked that sentiment and related it to real life. For me “Choose Your Own Adventure” means to not be afraid to just take life by the balls and go after the things that make you happy. Every song on this record is about making a choice from removing negative people in your life to stop fighting your inner self. We really took the ideas behind the book series and applied it to real life.

AL: You recently released a video for the song “Fear of Heights”. Can you tell us about that?

JC: It was really important for us to showcase our live performance and who we are as a band. We are very high energy basically all of the time. We love getting on stage and showing the emotion behind each of the songs. We also feel if we are not having fun on stage how will anyone else have fun? We wanted to showcase the type of band we are visually right off the bat. “Fear of Heights” is such an upbeat song that it was a no brainer for us to pick that song as our first single. It is a very guitar driven song with a super catchy chorus. The song gives me a very summer type vibe that makes me think of going to the beach and blasting songs with the windows down. “Fear of Heights” is perfect for that!

AL: Are there plans in place for the band to tour behind the albums release?

JC: We are going to be doing a south east run called the “Chapter 1” tour (laughs). We are very excited about this new album and want to hit the ground running once it is released. This first run is going to be just us headlining the shows as we felt it was important for us to go out alone to show who we are and then let things grow from there. This tour is going to be a game changer for us as before when we toured we could only go out for about ten days or so before we had to get back. With this upcoming run we are going to be out a bit longer and most of us will probably lose our jobs (laughs). We are choosing our own adventure on this run and it is do or die so we are going out there to really do this.

For more info on A Light Divided you can find them on facebook.com/alightdivided and check out the video for “A Fear of Heights” here.

Linkin Park Announce One More Light World Tour w/ Special Guest Machine Gun Kelly.

LINKIN PARK ANNOUNCE ONE MORE LIGHT WORLD TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUEST MACHINE GUN KELLY
FANS GET FIRST ACCESS TO TICKETS THROUGH GROUNDBREAKING
FAN-FIRST TECHNOLOGY

One More Light Album Available Everywhere May 19

North American Tour Begins July 27. Tickets On-Sale May 12.

Photo credit: James Minchin

May 2, 2017 (Los Angeles, CA) – Linkin Park announced their One More Light World Tour today via Genius HERE, a first for both the genre-defying band and the lyric annotation platform.

Produced by Live Nation, the One More Light World Tour with special guest, Machine Gun Kelly, kicks off July 27 in Boston, MA at the Xfinity Center. See itinerary below.

In an effort to put tickets into the hands of real fans, first access to tickets for the One More Light World Tour will be reserved exclusively for fans – not scalpers or bots. The Linkin Park Presale – powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan, will utilize unique fan-first technology to level the playing field and ensure fans compete against other fans for tickets – not software. The more you participate, the higher your spot in line and the better your access to tickets. Linkin Park Fan Club (LPU) members will get priority, but anyone can work their way to the top.

Pre-sale begins May 9. Fans and LPU members can register for the tour pre-sale right now at https://presale.linkinpark.com/. General on-sale is set for May 12 – for more information visit livenation.com.

Linkin Park will release their highly anticipated seventh studio album, One More Light, May 19 via Warner Bros. Records. The band’s risky creative choices – swinging wildly from song to song, album to album – are a hallmark of their career, and One More Light is no exception. Their most personal to date, the album is built on the stories of six voices coming clean about their lives and struggles, as if it were the first time. OML isn’t bigger, louder, or more avant-garde, it’s more human.

The One More Light World Tour set list will combine the biggest hits of Linkin’s Park expansive career, as well as material from the new album, with all the intense high energy and passion the band is known for. “Our fans know how much love we put into our live show,” says guitarist, Brad Delson. “They know how much we enjoy the connection when we play a fan favorite on stage. The emotional and sonic content of this new batch of songs is going to bring a whole new dimension to the show.”

Every single full-priced ticket purchased for the tour includes a choice of a standard CD or standard digital copy of the One More Light album (a $10.99 value).

Special guest on the tour is EST 19XX/Bad Boy/Interscope recording artist, Machine Gun Kelly. He is set to release his third studio album, bloom, the same day tickets go on sale for the tour – Friday, May 12. The inspiring debut single, “At My Best” featuring Hailee Steinfeld, was the number one most added song at Rhythmic radio, and has received 20.3+ Spotify streams to date. His “Bad Things” single earned Machine Gun Kelly his first #1 song on Pop Radio, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The One More Light World Tour won’t be the first time Linkin Park and Machine Gun Kelly shared the stage. In 2014, Machine Gun Kelly joined LP for a rendition of “Bleed It Out” on the band’s surprise appearance at the Van’s Warped Tour.

Also joining the tour in Boston, Philadelphia and Uncasville, is one of Japan’s most popular and electrifying live rock bands, ONE OK ROCK.

$1.00 from every full-priced ticket sold on the tour will benefit Music For Relief, the charity foundation Linkin Park founded in 2005 to aid survivors of natural disasters and environmental protection. For further info go to www.musicforrelief.org.

LINKIN PARK ONE MORE LIGHT WORLD TOUR
w/ special guest MACHINE GUN KELLY:
July 27 Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center *
Aug 1 Philadelphia, PA @ BB&T Pavilion *
Aug 2 Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live *
Aug 5 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena *
Aug 7 Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug 8 Toronto, ONT @ Budweiser Stage
Aug 10 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
Aug 12 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
Aug 14 Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Aug 15 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
Aug 17 Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
Aug 19 Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Ampitheatre
Aug 20 West Palm Beach, FL @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
Aug 22 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
Aug 23 San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
Aug 25 Dallas, TX @ Starplex Pavilion
Aug 26 Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
Aug 28 Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Arena
Aug 30 Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
Sept 1 Lake Tahoe, NV @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
Sept 2 Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct 14 Seattle, WA @ KeyArena **
Oct 15 Vancouver, BC Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena **
Oct 17 Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center at Fresno State **
Oct 18 San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose **
Oct 20 San Diego, CA @Mattress Firm Amphitheatre **
Oct 22 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl **

* Dates also with ONE OK ROCK
** Support To Be Announced

NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA TO BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DAT FOR TOUR NEWS AND LATEST UPDATES GO TO www.linkinpark.com

Pre-order the album One More Light at www.linkinpark.com and receive 3 instant grat tracks: “Heavy,” “Battle Symphony” and “Good Goodbye” featuring Pusha T and Stormzy.

One More Light album cover art

Blu-ray Review “The Light Between Oceans”

Actors: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson
Directors: Derek Cianfrance
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Run Time: 133 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

It’s hard to imagine that a film with the talent of “The Light Between Oceans” can be a failure but this film is hard to finish. Michael Fassbender (“X-Men” franchise), Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) are two of the hottest actors in the business. The film just runs so long and the story goes here, there and everywhere. I was lost a few times and nearly sleeping the next. So despite the talent included, skip this!

Official Premise: Lighthouse keeper Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and radiant, spirited Isabel (Alicia Vikander) live together in married bliss on a remote, rugged island off the coast of Australia. But their windswept world is turned upside down when Isabel learns that she’s unable to bear a child. One day, a drifting lifeboat washes ashore with a crying baby in it. The dilemma the couple now face will echo far beyond the island, engulfing and irrevocably impacting their world — and that of a stranger (Rachel Weisz) — in a passionate story about love, hope, and a fateful choice. Get swept away by this stunning film, with an exclusive bonus Audio Commentary that will pull you deeper in.

The special features included are decent and worth checking out. “Bringing The Light to Life” features cast and crew talking about the film. There is a super in-depth audio commentary with director Derek Cianfrance and his film studies professor Phil Solomon. The last one is “Lighthouse Keeper” looks into the history of the lighthouse with the filmmakers, cast and Cape Campbell Lighthouse inspector/maintainer Rob Sword.

SyFy Promises Quality SF, Gives Us Light Space Opera Instead

SyFy, the infamous TV channel that gave us the monumental TV adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune / Dune Messiah / Children of Dune and the best SF series of all time, Battlestar Galactica, has failed to live up to our expectations ever since. Sanctuary and Warehouse 13 were nice shows to watch, albeit not as memorable as they should have been, and Eureka also had its ups and downs, although it was a good show at the end of the day. But while other channels gave us Fringe, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, SyFy was stuck at a much lower level.

The channel has promised five shows to lure back science fiction hungry audiences. Helix was a good one in the first season, but the second one was by far not as memorable. I haven’t even seen the last two episodes, choosing to play royal vegas online casino games instead. 12 Monkeys was a nice idea, but lacking the “wow” factor Terry Gilliam’s original had. The Expanse looks like something of value, but it will be a mini-series (just like Galactica was at the beginning), and it has to be very (I mean VERY) good to be picked up as a series. Childhood’s End may end up to be a treat for lovers of classic science fiction, but judging by the trailer it will only be “inspired by” the original, making it a more entertaining and possibly less philosophical than the book.

Until these two major pieces of work will be released, the channel is trying to fill the gap with two TV series which might sometime in the future become great works, but right now they are just a handful of space operas perfect for munching popcorn and downing cold ones in the evening: Dark Matter and Killjoys.

Having seen the first three episodes of Dark Matter, the only thing I have to say is “been there, done that” countless times in the past. The show has two big names behind it – Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who gave us Stargate and Stargate: Atlantis – so it might become something of value later on. But right now it is just a collection of cliches that fail to engage, presenting its viewers with mysteries that they might not even be curious to uncover.

Killjoys has an interesting background, and has the potential to become the next Farscape, but until now it lacks that certain “je ne sais quois” that would pin me in front of the screen. It has quite a bit of action and suspense, and dark secrets in the past of one of the lead characters’ past, but so far nothing that I would truly call original. It’s like the fifth season of Andromeda mixed with a dash of Firefly (not enough by far), and has a lot of “low budget” written all over its visuals. It might become a great show if it lives long enough, but right now it’s just another lightweight summer space opera.

Hopefully this is not the best SyFy can do, otherwise us, in search of quality science fiction on TV, are doomed.

Product Review “Cracker Barrel: Animated Singing Light Up Snowman”

My two year old daughter saw this “Animated Singing Light Up Snowman” at the Cracker Barrel store and she couldn’t take her eyes and hands off it. She loved the way that it felt, that it lighted up and that it played music and danced, which also caused her to dance. There is nothing cuter than a little girl dancing next to an animate snowman, let me tell you 😉 It plays the song, “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas”, which is a great choice. I would have loved a few songs if possible but my daughter doesn’t seem to care at all.

The voice for the song is not annoying and sounds great. The volume is nice and loud but not too loud. The inside of the snowman lights up as well. The design in nice and I love the material that snowman is made of. It is very sort and squishy. My daughter called it him “warming up”, which is too darn cute. I am sure that this item is going to be a big seller this year. It is priced right and definitely gets a smile on your face.

Official Product Description: Dressed in a black top hat and bright red scarf, the Animated Singing Light Up Snowman will cheerfully decorate your home or office this holiday season. He holds a bell and poses in a friendly wave as he smiles with rosy cheeks. The singing Snowman also plays a favorite holiday tune as he lights up and spreads the Christmas spirit. Place this snowman figurine on your office desk, breakfast table or any nook in your home to spread holiday joy.

Book Review “This Darkness Light” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Paperback: 430 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: August 4, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Collings does it again!! Another winner! I started reading Michaelbrent’s work by chance one day when I came across it after reviewing a film that he wrote called “Barricade” for WWE. Since then I have read probably about a dozen of his books and funny enough each one is better than the next…if that is even possible. I call this guy a machine because by the time I finally finish one of his books…BOOM, there is a another one is ready to be released. Here is the thing though, the mass of quantity never affects the quality. I have said it once before this he is definitely my favorite author right now. Move over Stephen King. We have a new king of horror!

Official Premise: A man with no past, but who holds the future of the world in his hands. A woman who has sworn to protect him, for reasons she does not understand. A killer who must destroy them, or lose all he holds dear. They are running—from each other, from the plague that is killing all around them, from the dark forces beyond their understanding. Running from shadow to shadow. From dark to dark. Hoping to find light. Hoping that this darkness is not all there is. Hoping…because hope is all they have in This Darkness Light

“This Darkness Light” is the latest and honestly greatest work that this crazy dude has released. It is a ton of fun to read. I literally found my heart racing as I zoomed through each chapter to get to the next page. The book follows it’s main characters in a mad race against time to try and stop an outbreak from occurring. Like I said, this is edge of your chair stuff. I am not sure what it is about Michaelbrent’s writing but it literally just so easy to read. Before I was introduced to his work, I was really not a big reader. As long as he keeps releasing books like this one I am sure that I am going to be kept very busy. Keep them going dude!

 

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Product Review “Godzilla with Light and Sound”

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Running Press Miniature Editions
Act Nov St edition
Release Date: May 6, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Godzilla is back and better than ever! Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures are teaming up with the goal to make Godzilla cool again. Eat it Matthew Brodwick! Running Press is getting on the fast track to release some cool new merchandise. This kit includes a figurine of the monster that is not only bad ass but also comes with light and sound. When you press his spine spikes you get the light from his mouth getting ready to unleash his atomic ray and of course you also hear his iconic roar.

Besides the figurine, there is also a small sticker book included with Godzilla illustration. I think Warner Bros, did an awesome design with the new design of Godzilla and the figurine pays a great homage to the character. My only issue is that the roar is not so powerful as it should be. I wish they cranked up the volume a bit. If you are a Godzilla junkie like myself I would recommend picking this up since it is the first in the tons of planned merchandise for this film.