CINCO DE MARIO: The Countdown is on -One Month Until Cinco de Mayo, as MARIO LOPEZ Announces His Newest Endeavor

Mario Lopez expands his brand across the US, one weekend at a time.

LOS ANGELES (April 5, 2018) – As the Cinco de Mayo countdown begins, Entrepreneur, Emmy® Award-winning host of nationally syndicated “Extra” and the nationally syndicated iHeartMedia radio show “On with Mario Lopez”, will bring a new kind of fiesta, “Cinco de Mario” to a city near you.  Cinco de Mario will feature authentic Mexican food and drinks, margaritas, micheladas, craft beers and more.  Lopez is known for his fun-filled, contagious energy and it’s no secret that he loves his Mexican heritage.

Lopez has partnered with Rick Phillips of RND events to launch Cinco de Mario nationwide. “Rick is the best in the business and I know with Rick, these events will be stellar,” says Lopez.

Rick’s Arizona Taco Festival was the first taco festival ever organized. Today, the event has grown into a two-day spectacle with over 40,000 people attending, and over 60 restaurants competing.  It also includes a wildly popular tequila expo that’s viewed by tequila companies as a premier collection of 100 top brands. Out of the gate, this was the most successful inaugural event ever produced in Scottsdale, AZ. “People love a fiesta and Mario knows how to party.”  Said Rick.

Lopez loves his heritage and continues to seek out authentic products to bring to the market place.  Most recently he joined forces with Oscar de La Hoya to bring Casa Mexico Tequila to the forefront.  Cinco de Mario represents the best Lopez has to offer.  “I’m all about working hard and playing hard.  If you know me, you know that good food, drinks, music, friends and family are what I have always been about.  I’m just bringing them together in one spectacular traveling event.”

The Cinco de Mario Tour

Starting in Scottsdale, where the Lopez-branded event debuts, Cinco de Mario will take Lopez’s team and his brand nationwide, stopping at select cities along the way.  Lopez adds, “We plan on expanding the brand across the nation, in places from Los Angeles, California to various cities throughout Ohio, Texas, Florida and more to start.  Now is the perfect time to showcase the positivity and glory of Mexican heritage throughout the U.S. and the world.”

Fiesta time!

Come get your feast on!  Cinco De Mario will have culinary offerings that range from food trucks to resort chefs dishing out tacos, tamales, and other gourmet Mexican fare.  Other features include an authentic Mexican Mercado, fabulous Mexican bands, Mariachi, Ceviche Bars and more.

www.cincodemario.com

Mario Lopez

Mario Lopez continues as host of “Extra,” the Emmy® Award-winning entertainment news program, for the show’s 24th season. This will be Lopez’s tenth consecutive season as the show’s host, after co-hosting “Extra’s” weekend edition since January 2007.

A man of many trades, Mario Lopez has the overwhelming desire to always keep active. Mario is the two-time Emmy-winning host of “Extra” a nationally syndicated daily entertainment show. Concurrently, Lopez is the host of the nationwide iHeartMedia radio shows “On with Mario Lopez” and “iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez.” Lopez has also launched a YouTube channel called “The Lopez Family.” Created alongside Awestruck, the channel features his wife Courtney, their two children, and their two dogs. He can currently be seen as the host of the new CBS live-action game show “Candy Crush,” based on the popular mobile game.

Not only does Lopez have a proclivity for the entertainment industry, he is also an avid sports fan. He has taken his love of sports, specifically boxing, to the next level as a host of the iHeartRadio podcast “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” which is also featured on the FOX Sports Radio website.

In September 2014, Lopez released his first autobiography, “Just Between Us.” In his memoir, Lopez shares his successes and disappointments, never before-told stories and family values. Lopez became a New York Times best-selling author with his healthy eating guide “Extra Lean.” In May 2011, he released the follow-up to “Extra Lean,” entitled “Extra Lean Family.” This new book featured recipes and tips beneficial to the entire family. Additionally, Lopez penned “Mario Lopez’s Knockout Fitness,” a best-selling fitness book that offers readers a look into his impressive workout regime; “Mud Tacos,” a vibrant children’s book he co-authored with his sister Marissa; and “Mario & Baby Gia,” a children’s book he wrote for his daughter Gia. “Mario & Baby Gia” is currently being developed into an animated series.

No stranger to rigorous routines, Lopez danced his way to the finals in the third season of ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” Shortly after, in summer 2009, Lopez successfully completed his first run on Broadway, starring in the long-running hit musical “A Chorus Line” as the beloved character Zach.

Mario was named the Alumni Ambassador of Fitness by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), joining the ranks of some 25 other prominent alumni, including Denzel Washington and former President Bill Clinton in the organization’s BE GREAT campaign. Via the campaign, Mario helps bring to light the major issues affecting today’s young people, including the importance of graduating from high school and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the key role community-based organizations like BGCA play in the positive development of children.

Even with all his other ventures, Mario is still in love with acting. Lopez appeared as Dr. Mike Hamoui on eight episodes of F/X network’s popular show “Nip/Tuck,” Lopez’s run on the series bringing an instant and well-deserved cult following. He previously starred in the highest-rated program in ABC Family history, “Holiday in Handcuffs.” He also starred opposite Mark Consuelos in the made-for-TV movie “Husband for Hire,” the most-watched program ever on the Oxygen Network.

Mario currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Courtney, their daughter Gia, and their son Dominic.

 

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Fall to June’s Ben Badger talks about newest album “

The rock group Fall to June is set to release their newest self titled album April 21st and they couldn’t be more ready for fans to hear it. The group which consists of former Cold bassists Jeremy Marshall, drummer Nate Yant, guitarist Dan Mickler, vocalist Ben Badger and former Shinedown guitarist Jasin Todd will be helping out the band during their live shows. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Ben Badger recently about the group’s formation, the upcoming album and the groups spring/summer tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us a little background on how things came together for the band?
Ben Badger: Back in the early 2000’s there were some guys playing around Orlando and they needed a singer. They had management already and were working with a producer so they needed to start the audition process. I was doing my own thing at the time and I got a call from their manager one day asking if I would be interested in auditioning for the guys. I said I would give it a try and they sent me a couple tracks to learn. I learned them just like they were on the copy I was given and went down to the studio one day to audition. I had asked them if we could try one of the songs a little differently as I had come with this idea. They ended up liking what I did and I got a call the next day telling me I go the gig. In 2005 we took a hiatus and it lasted 9 years. (Laughs) As the band stands now there are only two of us from that original line up. We started talking to some of our friends who also played to see if they would be interested in joining us and they were. We have a pretty solid line up now and were having a good time.

AL: What can you tell us about the new album?
BB: When we took the hiatus in 2005 I didn’t think of it as that. In my mind I was done. Almost 3 years ago Nate the drummer and our original guitarist showed up for my birthday and we ended up jamming. We started drinking and having fun during the day and hanging out playing music in my studio at night. During that time we wrote a new song. Nate for years had been bugging me to record and I kept turning him down. Finally I said yes as I was under the impression we were just going to record an EP of some of our old songs and this new track “Delta Breakdown”. Things turned out so good that Brad Stewart formerly of Shinedown and who is currently playing with Fuel asked if he could take them to some people. We ended up getting picked up and the EP turned into this full length album.

AL: What was it like working with Brad and Producer Stan Martell?
BB: I have been a fan of Brad for years. When I met Stan I knew there was something familiar about him but I couldn’t figure out just what it was. It ended up being that before I joined the band I was in the process of auditioning for another band in the area at that time. Stan was the bass player in that band and that’s where I knew him from. Stan does some amazing stuff and we call him our mad scientist because sometimes we just have to look at him and say “Really!?” Stan pushed us to where we would get a little bit mad at him but that’s what you need. I helped get the best out of us as musicians. He wouldn’t give up until he got what he wanted. I have nothing but respect for him.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands current single “Delta Breakdown” and are there any plans to put out another track prior to the album’s release?
BB: “Delta Breakdown” has been out a few weeks and is already on the charts. I think currently we are in the top 50 for rock. We are pretty happy for that and the song is getting a good strong push. As for another single we want to wait until the album is released so that we can sort of see what songs people are asking for. We have done test audiences and all that stuff but we want to see what the fans want.

AL: What type of tour plans do you have lined up?
BB: April 4th we are doing the “Rock for Kids” benefit show in Jacksonville. That is the first show we are doing before heading out on this southern leg tour. From there we go to North Carolina, Tennessee and New Orleans before we hit Texas which is where we will be when the album actually comes out. We are also working on something else but we can’t say too much right now about that.

VITAL Emcee discusses his newest mixtape ‘F.A.G.’ (Free of All Guilt)

From California to China to Australia, VITAL Emcee has been crossing oceans to bring literacy and integrity to the hip hop community. Having been putting out albums since the early 2000’s with various projects: Seekret Socyetee’s ‘The Il2 Word’ (2002), 2 Drunk’n Poets ‘Blurry Wisdom’ (2003), he dropped his first solo record in 2006 with ‘The Secrets of the Invisible Man’; followed by ‘Versus-Verses’ in 2010.

The Spring of 2015 has seen the release of his newest mixtape ‘F.A.G.’ (Free of All Guilt). VITAL recently spoke with me about the impetus of this album, and how he finds ways to mix samples of Elton John, Adele, and Pink Floyd with his unrelenting and raw lyrics about sex, strength, bigotry, and the boogeyman.

BCA: How long ago did you first conceive this project? And what was the one major element that was preventing you from starting it?
VE: ‘Free of All Guilt’ was a concept initially envisioned by the Optimist (my producer at the time) back in early 2010. He had said that if anyone can do it and make waves it would be me. He had offered me his full attention within writing and recording in order to put the project out. I jumped on it as I agreed with him, but therein started my own personal internal struggle. I was already out of the closet to my friends and family, but it started to worry me regarding how it would affect my professional life, i.e. VITAL Emcee. I neither wanted to alienate myself or my fan-base so it brought me to a creative stifle. I recorded a few songs for the project but they didn’t seem as genuine as they could be. Looking back on that time, the songs were genuine, I was just still unsure of myself in the position of “gay rapper.” It took blankets of time and experience to finally reconcile my own personal issues to get me back to my “I-don’t-give-a-fuck-punk-rock” mind-state. Everything in due time I guess.

BCA: When compared to your previous two releases, ‘The Secrets of the Invisible Man’, and ‘Versus-Verses’; ‘Free of All Guilt’ undoubtedly has the most pop appeal, and has the ability to reach a wider audience. Yet, the overall theme of ‘F.A.G.’ could be very shocking. Was this intentional? Or was it just a natural progression of your music?
VE: It definitely is an intentional thing. Given the subject matter, I wanted to make it more palatable by mainstream standards, while bridging it with my underground hip hop/punk rock type of mentality. I knew it would kick up a stink and I had to figure how best to present it as a professional artist. I do care about the listener at the end of the day, but I had to do for me. My tastes and convictions have grown since ‘Invisible Man’ and I think there is an adequate reflection of that inherent in this project. In the future, I’ll revisit some of my old themes that I still would like to reinvestigate, but the point being is I was angry during ‘Invisible Man’, searching in ‘VERSUS’ and now here I am full circle with a more solidified renewal of self. Plus, the part of myself that wants to be a star was satiated on this mix-tape. And it will be as the future becomes more tangible.

BCA: Religion, and especially religious imagery, has always been a constant reference in your writings. Is it just you being poetic, or has religion and faith been a big influence in your life?
VE: Religion is a big part of who I am. It’s not something I preach or even genuinely back, but it is a huge part of my foundation as a person. For the record, I despise religion or anything that would make certain “biases” law. Any side of religion has never done any good for anyone. I don’t judge those who find solace in it, I just ask them not to judge me either. We all have our own paths and are entitled to our own opinions. Matter of fact, I really don’t fault the deities in any given religion, it’s the zealots who refuse to study history and act on things with blind faith that I have issues with. There’s no such thing as a greater good, as labels like this strip humanity from the human race and place destiny in the clay palms of a myth. The imagery however has always piqued my interests, just in the way that horror films and certain other elements of pop culture does. I’ve always been intrigued with the dark side of human nature, and being raised as a devout Christian, it permeates my writing. These days, however, I am more into shining a light on those things which make me happy. Those things that make me feel human and make me fight for a lifetime worth living.

BCA: Have you found there to be a regular pattern as to how a track emerges? A lyric first, or a beat, a sample you want to use? Or does it change with each song?
VE: Each track is its own entity and so can come about in its own way. During the embryonic state, I could have an idea I want to explore, or I could just have a line I want to elaborate on and it evolves into a verse and an entire song thereafter. There can be a beat that I’m feeling and I write to that when the mood strikes. I know every artist has their own way about how they do things, but for my workflow, it’s just what approach is deemed best for each particular situation. Obviously with ‘F.A.G.’ the whole concept was decided on before the writing process began, but each song still remained important as a standalone while the skeletal structure for the mix-tape was being put together.

BCA: On ‘F.A.G.’ you use bits of Elton John, Adele, and Pink Floyd; and in previous albums you have made a reference to Iron Maiden. Your taste in music seems to be rather eclectic. Whom in your life do you credit for getting you first interested in music?
VE: Michael Jackson: plain and simple. I don’t think anyone in my generation would answer differently.

BCA: I understand the acknowledgement to Michael Jackson; but is there anyone in your family, or a childhood friend, that inspired you to follow your dreams of writing and making music, or perhaps turned you on to a certain genre of music?
VE: As far as my childhood goes, I was always naturally gravitated toward music. Instead of toys, I would ask my mom for records and tapes. This could have been anything from Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” to Wham! to the LA Dream Team. My older cousin Gary always turned me on to good stuff when I was 6-7 too. He put me onto things like Prince, Morris Day and the Time, Midnight Star and that funky shit that which I still love to this day. Hip-Hop came to me in the form of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. When I first heard “Parents Just Don’t Understand” it changed my life… ‘cuz at 7 years old, those were the truest words I had ever heard. I started paying more attention to Hip Hop music from then on getting into N.W.A. and 2 Live Crew and those things I wasn’t supposed to listen to. Digital Underground comes to mind. That being said though, I also loved the metal music that was introduced to me through my stepfather. That’s why I’m still a fan of guys like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. All of these different ingredients kept brewing into one whole recipe in my later years. As a teenager it was Pac, Quik, OutKast, and Bone Thugs along with countless Bay Area cats. It was Sublime, Pink Floyd and Wu-Tang with the more than occasional catchy pop tune thrown into the mix. Pantera and the Misfits entered the playlist as did bands like AFI and Soilwork. When I met Matt Embree (RX Bandits) and we did the Seekret Socyetee record back in 2002 that was the dude who made me see music as tangible and pursuable. Consequently, he is also the first person I ever came out to, aside from my mother.

BCA: Touching back, you said you were angry during ‘Invisible Man’, and searching during ‘VERSUS’? Where did your anger come from? Who were you angry at? Your own self? And what do you think you were searching for?
VE: Honestly my anger came from insecurity. I was gay and I felt out of place in Hip Hop because of it. No one ever put me on blast or anything like that as it became more and more known within the local scene, but just within my own shoes, I felt different. I had friends and family, but the part of me that had issues as a fledgeling gay man (even though I was out) felt isolated. I had no gay friends and thought I’d be seen as too effeminate in Hip Hop as well as too “straight” for a gay audience. That sounds funny in hindsight, but at the time it was my whole world. That’s why ‘Invisible Man’ was so dark in its exploration of the existence I lived. On top of it all, there was a situation of unrequited love (if you could call it that), and my drug use at the time had gotten out of hand. This all combined into a perfect storm of angst that went into making that record… and I still love that those moments were captured because it was one of the realest and most vivid moments to put that album together. I fancied myself as a modern day Arthur Rimbaud looking for his Verlaine. I wish someone would have told me then to be careful for that wish. When it came time to record ‘VERSUS’, I had found my counterpart and counterpoint and went through all the ups and downs of an unhealthy relationship, eventually ending up in jail for domestic abuse (which was bullshit to no end, but remember this is two men–not a man battering a woman) and ultimately ending the relationship. It tore me apart but I honestly was more complete in my self so I wasn’t as angry as I was with ‘Invisible Man.’ I was emancipated if you will and it made me free to approach ‘VERSUS’ from any angle. It was a renewal, hence the resurrection in the first track. I think I may have been a little too scattered with that record, even though I still think it is well made and well put together. The only direction I had was to assert myself even further as a Hip Hop heavyweight and lyrical legend… two concepts I could give a shit about now, as I’m just me and that’s all I’m able to give. The search brought me to this place inside…and now I’m stronger than ever.

BCA: Final question. Are the gloves off?
VE: The gloves are off and the knuckles are bleeding.

‘F.A.G.’ is available for free at: www.vitalemceeonline.com

 

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Product Feature: What’s the Smartest Newest Smartphone?

When the very first iPhone came out, I traded in my old flip phone for what at the time was the best smart phone on the market. It stood the best for quite a while in my opinion. After the iPhone 4, I lost interest in the future development of Apple and its product. I decided to cross over to the dark side as iPhone users says and go the Android route with the Samsung Galaxy S4. WOW! Was my world expanded! Convinced that I would never switch back to iPhone again, I decided to see what else is out there.

In this article, I will be discussing three new smartphones besides the Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone, which always thought to be the two strongest options in the market. Are phones even phones anymore…the phone part is the bonus with these devices. What is more important these days to be is the speed, the size and most importantly the apps! The first of the three is the LG G3, which I feel is no question the strongest of the bunch.

This is a phone, I would honestly switch over to if I had the option. The device comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display. I am a big picture guy, so the camera is very important. This phone is equipped with a 13MP ultra fast laser auto focus camera. This is a big improvement over the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera for sure! I felt that I always got blurry photos but this comes with Optical Image Stabilization, which reduces blurry photos that result from shaking.

The carrier we tested this phone on was with Verizon. With that the LG G3 comes XLTE Ready, which is a good feature and let’s you take advantage of the latest advancement to America’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. It is double the 4G LTE bandwidth in cities coast to coast, which allows you to do much more with your smart device. The device also comes with a Smart Keyboard as well as your own Virtual Personal Assistant. It’s not Siri, I mean what is, but it is quite snazzy.

Finally since I am an IT guy, I can’t help but to throw some tech specs in here. The OS come with Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat). The Chipset includes is a Qualcomm MSM8975AC Snapdragon 801 with a CPU of Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400. Th screen is made up of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Most important, and something an iPhone can not do at all is, expandable memory, this includes the option to expand with a microSD card, up to 128 GB, while the internal options are 16 GB, 2 GB RAM / 32 GB, 3 GB RAM. My only major complaint is the volume button and main button are located on the back. This is annoying at first but you get used to it. Overall a pretty rad phone!

Next up is the Nokia Lumia 1520, which last month was made available at AT&T in matte green! This phone is definitely big and quite bold, especially with that green back cover. The Lumia 1520 also offers the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software update. That is a great thing…if you like Windows. I use Windows 8 for work, so I know how to work it but it honestly fails to impress on the phone. The app store is also terrible. There is a big issue for me since I rely on all my apps to run my day and a bunch of them are MIA.

I see the Lumia 1520 working well with the trendy kids of today looking to have the biggest phone with all the good gadgets. It is a college phone. I wouldn’t recommend this phone for the general office environment for sure. The phone does come with Microsoft Office built in, so you are able to access Microsoft Word, Excel etc. I knew that this phone was going to be the biggest challenge to impress me and I really wasn’t blown away.

The Lumia 1520 does have a wicked camera, which is the best of the bunch. The 20MP camera is quite the powerhouse and using Zeiss optics, it is one of the most sensitive and powerful cameras included in recent smartphones. Though, with my smartphone I need more than just a strong camera to sell me.

Though camera aside when comes to technical it falls behind the top the LG G3. The screen is only Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for its six-inch HD display. It can only be upgraded to up to 64 GB with an additional of an microSD. The internal options are different also giving options of 16 GB (RM-940 only) and 32 GB, 2 GB RAM. Lastly, the chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 and the CPU is Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400. I would just expect more from such a big phone.

Last one of the bunch this time around is the HTC One (M8) from Sprint. This was a decent phone but not a fan of the service from Sprint at all when the other phones were sporting 4G LTE, this phone barely stayed at 3G, when it wasn’t saying it was roaming. Right away, I was turned off. It also features the worst camera, I have seen on the smart phone in today’s market. There is only a 5MP camera on the front camera, which is laughable in today’s market of 13MP and 20MP camera.

The screen has decent specs though coming wit Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It is expandable with a microSD, up to 128 GB and comes with an internal storage options of 16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM. The OS is Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat), upgradable to v4.4.3 (KitKat). It’s Chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 and the CPU is CPU Quad-core 2.3 GHz in the US but the Asia and China markets for this phone get a 2.5 GHz Krait 400, so that is a bummer if you are in the US.

So if you read all the above, you might agree with me that the LG G3 is the obvious winner of the trio of alternative smart phones. The Nokia Lumia 1520 has the best camera but suffers from its Windows OS and a terrible lack of apps in their store. The HTC One is a decent phone also but just lacks any wow features that really drew me in despite having terrible service from Sprint. Hopefully next time, we will be able to feature the new Amazon Fire Smartphone and the iPhone 6 in our next Smartphone comparison.

Monte Pittman talks about newest solo album “The Power of Three”

Monte Pittman is an accomplished solo artist/guitarist who has played with everyone from Adam Lambert and Prong to being a part of Madonna’s touring band since 2001. Monte’s newest solo titled “The Power of Three” is melding of styles which were produced by legendary heavy metal producer Flemming Rasmussen. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Monte recently about the new album and how he diversifies his playing style.

Adam Lawton: What was it that first inspired you to pick up the guitar?
Monte Pittman: The first thing that sparked it all was being 3 years old and discovering my sister’s Kiss records. I’ve wanted to play music since I can remember. I don’t recall ever wanting to do anything else. When I was 13, I finally got my first guitar. A year later I started taking lessons with the best guitar teacher in the area, started my first band, and played my first gig.

AL: Can you give us some background on your new album “Power of Three”
MP: It combines some of the styles that I grew up listening to and that I still listen to today. Sometimes as the years pass by you can fall out of touch with a band you grew up listening to but there are also albums that are just as good as the first time you heard them when listening today. I looked at the kind of songs I was missing in my live set and wrote them.

AL: Your previous solo release was also titled “Power of Three” Are there any links other than the name between the two?
MP: Originally, it was going to be 3 EP’s and that would be my third album. A couple things changed all of that. One was when Flemming Rasmussen pushed me to focus on the heavy material I was writing. Another was playing when Flemming and I recorded for Brian Slagel and him signing me to Metal Blade. If I had to do it all over again, I would have called it “Another Lesson I’ve Learned” which is the first acoustic song on that EP. Also, retailers don’t want you to call a recording a title that is a music format. “M.P.3: The Power of Three, Pt. 1” meant “Monte Pittman 3”. Now I look at it as that EP ends the chapter, or Part 1, of my previous releases and Metal Blade’s “The Power of Three” begins a new dawn.

AL: Can you tell us about the video for “Before the Mourning Son” and what made you choose that song to release as a single
MP: When I played the album for Brian Slagel, he wanted to play “A Dark Horse” & “Before The Mourning Son” for the rest of the Metal Blade staff. That’s why I chose those as the first two singles. We had done an “artwork / order now” video for “A Dark Horse” so when it came time to make a “performance” video, I went with “Before the Mourning Son”. The song showcases a lot of different things too so it was the perfect choice.

AL: Being a metal guitarist what types of steps to do you take to adjust your sound/style when working with acts like Adam Lambert and Madonna?
MP: Madonna has just about every style you can play with well over 30 years of an outstanding career. I just approach each song with a fresh outlook on what it needs for the time we are doing it. We rarely repeat ourselves. For Adam, I wanted his band to have as much balls as I could bring to the table. I was concerned with other singers from that show having bands that almost reminded you of karaoke and I thought he should have a strong band that worked for the venues he was playing. It has to have attitude and passion behind the music because that’s what translates to the audience. Just playing the overproduced multi tracks and trying to pass that off to the audience doesn’t cut it. I wanted the band to be a “band”. Not some people way back there in the dark. That came back to bite me in the end but it is essential to play to your crowd and be one with your audience.

AL: Are there plans to tour behind the release and what other plans do you have for 2014?
MP: I’m playing March 12 in Austin for SXSW. I’m playing March 14th in Dallas and March 16th in Longview. Now I’m connecting the dots there and back. On April 5th at The Whisky, it’s me, Holy Grail & Gypsyhawk. Keep checking in at www.montepittman.com for all of the latest news.

Milo Ventimiglia talks about Executive Producing and Starring in Crackle's Newest Original Series "Chosen"

Milo Ventimiglia is the executive producer and star of Crackle’s newest original series “Chosen”. Milo is know for his work in TV with his playing Peter Petrelli on the NBC television series “Heroes”. In “Chosen”, Milo plays Ian Mitchell, a husband, father and lawyer who awakens one morning to discover a mysterious box on his doorstep containing a loaded gun and a photo of a stranger he must kill within the next three days. Ian quickly learns that if he doesn’t kill this man he will be killed himself along with his daughter who is being held hostage. A heart pounding thriller, Chosen features six 30 minute episodes which premiered on Crackle.com and all Crackle platforms Thursday, January 17. Media Mikes had a chace to chat with Milo about this new series and what we can expect with his character.

Mike Gencarelli: How you got involved in this project?
Milo Ventimiglia: I got a script from Ben Ketai and it was great. It was awesome. And I was a huge fan of his and I worked with Crackle before developing stuff and I was just like, these guys are great. And I kind of – into the digital space and what it affords creative types and what we get to do and play around with space and then enjoy its reach. So cool story, cool release, great character, yes, I’m in.

MG: What do you love about the viability in potential shows on the internet like Chosen and how that differs from TV or film?
MV: Man, I love the reach, you know, I’m just so excited about digital because of the reach. The actual releases sometimes some countries don’t get movies. Sometimes, they’re in and out of theaters, TV — maybe you don’t have the channel, maybe you don’t have pay cable. Maybe, you live in a remote part of the world that just doesn’t have what the network is showing or studio is putting out. Digital I kind of feel like anybody can access it, anybody can get to it. And for me being a part of projects like Chose, you know, working with Crackle and just being a guy who’s been in the digital space for kind of a long time now. I know it’s something that I’m going to continue to do and hopefully as it builds and the profile builds and people understand that, look, you’re going to get the same quality on digital as you can in a movie theater if you actually have a bandwidth for it then great, you know. So I love digital, I’m in to digital.

MG: What were some of the initial acting challenges steeping into the Ian role?”
MV: Wow. The initial challenges? I mean, first being a father. Like I’m not a dad myself yet, you know, I’ve got a lot of good friends with kids and a nephew and, you know, that’s all cool and exciting but I think that kind of real life – that weight of real life of having a daughter, having somebody you care about so much like they’re you’re blood. You and a woman created them and that fear of if they are gone, if they are taken, if they are missing. I think that was kind of the – the very first and foremost in my mind was Ian’s connection to his daughter and how strong that is and how much that propels him through the situation that – of the game of what he has to go through. As well as, you know, here’s a guy who works in a an office and he’s told to kill someone for sport, for a game. And it’s like how do you – you know, it’s a question that kind of comes up throughout the course of the show, I know Deidrch’s character asks it, Ian asks it. It’s like how can someone expect you to do that. So I think that – really connecting to that idea of the reality of it, just how much human beings really don’t have that instinct or want to do. That was something that I was trying to tap into like the reality of the situation and believe it and live it as much as I can.

MG: How Ian changes or evolves as the story progresses?
MV: Ian starts out a bit mild mannered. He’s a guy that works in a law office. He holds a pen. He wears a suit and tie and he kind of devolves and evolves into this man who has to act a little bit more on physical instinct given situations that come his way. If a guys coming at him with the silenced gun he’s got to run. If he gets shot he has to kind of fight back. As well as he still has to play that chess game with the people that are involved with the watchers — these watchers that are in control the game. I think it’s kind of a testament to who Ian is a human being where he is a rational, functioning in society man but at the same time he’s able to switch to an instinct that is maybe a little unnatural for people that are, you know, living in a world of suits and ties and writing with pens all the time and legal society. So I think for me it was an awesome arch that Ben gave me as an actor to turn into – to become this man who is really wholly trying to just protect his family by any means possible, you know. It’s like his discomfort at the contents of the box when you first meet him and then kind of throw a little comedy slant at how comfortable he is with the contents of the box, you know, a little later on in the show, so. Yes, I think for me it’s the evolution of who he becomes.

MG: How you go into the mindset of the paranoia?
MV: Wow. You know, a few years ago my mother asked me – I did this movie where I played a really, really deplorable person. The movie’s called The Divide. And afterwards my mother asked me if something happened to me as a kid that she didn’t know about. I said, “What do you mean Mom?” She said, “Well you were such an evil, horrible person, how – did something happen to you that we don’t know about?” I’m like, no, not at all Mom, I’m an actor, like that’s what we do. We just act. So I think the paranoia is it’s just kind of a like a matching your worst fears and playing to them. You know, I like to say let the wheels come off, see what happens, just go for it. I think at times actors are standing a bit naked with our emotions and we have to. We have to be able to stand there and deliver anything, you know, happiness, sadness, paranoia, fear, victory, you have to be able to allow those things to just kind of flow out of you. For me it was no different. The paranoia, I think is just like, all right, I don’t want to act paranoid. I’m just going to be paranoid, how’s that?

PHOTO CREDIT: Sony Pictures Television