band

A MONTH WITH FEVER CHARM: At The Rehearsal

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Today I took a couple busses from West LA through the westside, past Koreatown, through Skid Row, to the other side of the LA River east of DTLA to get to Fever Charm's practice space. I was there for just over an hour, hanging out in the tiny room, earplugs in, camera at the ready. When I walked in the lights were all off, all except for a couple red light bulbs that would have made the room feel eerie, except that the band was playing their single "Love Letters" which feels anything but sombre.

The guys have been practicing every day since Ari moved back to LA  last week, practicing their new songs off their upcoming EP and getting ready for their first show in over 8 months on Monday. I'm so excited for everyone to start getting to know these guys and their music! Their shows have always been a fun time, and now that they've added some synthesizer stylings, you can imagine how dance-worthy the new tunes are.

They play the Silverlake Lounge on Monday at 8:20pm sharp!! Come hang!

CONNECT WITH FEVER CHARM

FACEBOOK • TWITTER  INSTA

INTERVIEW w/ Me and My Dog

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Me and My Dog (MaMD) is band based in Dublin, Ireland. When I was there in November, making my way out of Ireland, singer/frontman Luke Healy was kind enough to host me on his couch for a couple nights. So naturally, we got the whole band together for an afternoon photoshoot and interview, which turned into a 9 hour hang with a movie night included. Needless to say it was one the most fun band shoots to date.

The boys of MaMD are originally from Westport, a town on the west coast of Ireland, and have been friends since their wee years of elementary school. There's clearly something magical about being in a band with your best friends, and hanging out with these guys for 9 hours only proved me that point. Their cohesiveness, their camaraderies, their genuine bond is not contrived, not forced, and so humble that it is easily transferred to their relationship as a band. 

The band is part of  the artist collective Popical Island, like Oh Boland who I met up with in Galway a few weeks prior. The collective-run space, the Pop Inn, houses a bunch of a rehearsal and recording rooms for the bands to use and hang out in, share gear, put on diy shows, and simply be a space for the community to interact within. Surrounding yourself with people who are doing exactly what you're doing, and being to help one another out, is so important in leading a creative life, and that's what's proven the collective an essential part of the band's life. 

Jam to them below, check out the photos from our hang, and stay tuned for more good stuff from these Dublin boys:

CONNECT WITH ME AND MY DOG

Facebook // Bandcamp

INTERVIEW w/ Little Animal

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Little Animal is a four piece band based in Paris, France, and led by Romain Blatter. When I was traveling through their city in October, we were able to meet up in Mont Martre for a photoshoot, then a chat over some beers. 

As most bands do, this one also started as Romain's solo project. Desiring a fuller, louder sound, he decided to hit the interwebs and put out a call for bandmates, and found his current band over the course of 2015. Basically, they're a very new band on the streets! The most important thing right now for them is become a more cohesive body, tightening their performance, becoming more in tune with one another. Then they can start working on the good stuff: recording another EP, touring, etc. 

Jam to them below, and follow them on Facebook! 

CONNECT WITH LITTLE ANIMAL on Facebook

 

Interview with WASI

words and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

WASI (an acronym for "we are / she is") is a band currently based in LA who makes punk-inspired  pop music and just released a new EP, "Bleed Pop". Last Friday they had their EP release show at the Smell (that I reviewed here), so we met up beforehand at a diner in Echo Park to chat. What followed was one of my favorite interviews I've ever had with a band, and the four members of WASI are now some of the most humble yet passionate people I know. 

Embracing the DIY music culture WASI is a band with a brand that's attempting to make real connections with its fans, and turn these connections into conversations that last beyond a show,  beyond just the purchase of their music. A couple weeks ago they headed to Tijuana to make a documentary about the local music scene, and shed some light on the many stereotypes the city has. During the short trip, they played a small show yet packed to the brim with more energy than an LA audience would normally rally. No frills, no pretention, just simply cool people and music connected together in one space. 

Here's a quick highlight from the interview, because our conversation was way too long, albeit inspiring, to possibly post here:

photo taken at The Smell 5/22/15 at the Bleed Pop EP release show

photo taken at The Smell 5/22/15 at the Bleed Pop EP release show

As a band you're very consistent and cohesive with your brand. How do you think you've come to this point where you know exactly what WASI looks like, sounds like and just is?

Jessie: Merilou and I have been playing together since high school, coming up on ten years now. When we first started neither of us knew how to play our instruments. She books a show and is like "Hey, wanna play in my band?" I'm like, "Sure"!" But the show was in two weeks, so we just learned to play our instruments writing songs together. [...] So over the years, being in different bands, playing all these shows, being boo'ed off stage... and for me, being bullied my whole life. All these things have fine-tuned our sound. This is the first time in my life where I feel completely comfortable in my own skin. And that's what WASI is for me.

Merilou: Because we didn't look or sound like [ other] bands, we had to go all out with what we  would decide to do: that would include really understanding yourselves as people, and making that as vulnerable as we can make it. That way, the people listening and coming to your shows aren't just paying $5 to come to a show but to be a part of the community that you're creating as a band.

Jessie: To tail on to what Merilous's saying: it's not about us. It's about other people. To be able to use our experiences and to help other people is my number one goal. [...] What we're doing and saying means a lot, so if it means a lot to someone else, then mission accomplished. 

Garrett: There are these certain albums that bands put out that really get you through hard times, good times, whatever. Since a lot of the production on "Bleed Pop" happened before I came in and seeing it from the outside, It's by far the most cohesive package that WASI has had at any point. 

Make sure to catch WASI at the Slidebar in Fullerton on June 5th! 8pm 21+ FREE supported by our good friends in Kid Cadaver. 


CONNECT WITH WASI

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Interview with ARMORS

Who: ARMORS (Olen Kittelsen, Sam Beresford, Kody Buxton, Jacob Berger, Tyler Mathews)

Hometown and Current Location: Orange County, CA

Sounds Like: "Dark alternative infused with R&B sensibilities" 

ARMORS are a 5-piece band based out of the OC, formerly known as Breach the Summit. We met up this weekend for a quick shoot in Echo Park to chat about their new music, 2015 and their Godzilla lyric videos we've been so intrigued about.

What happened to Breach The Summit and what's inspired the new sound?

Jacob: We went to Firefly as Breach The Summit last year. Sam reached out to The Colourist because they're from the OC as well and asked if we could talk to them while we were out there at Firefly.They were super nice: we got to meet them, got to talk to Maya and Adam, then they came to our set..  So after that Adam actually offered to produce a few tracks for us, which ended up being "Old House" and "Parasite". That music was in a very new direction for us than when we  were Breach. So that and definitely Kody (Buxton, bass) coming in to the band helped shape the sound. 

Sam: It was also just a natural progression of our sound and us growing as musicians. It had been  a long time since we'd written any music, so by then we'd all progressed a lot. 

Are you doing anything differently now as ARMORS? Or do you want to be? 

Olen: One thing that's been really cool that Jacob and Katie (who has been working with us in a couple different capacities) have been working on is a street team they got up and going. It's a really cool space for people who have started out as fans but as they came to more and more shows have become super close with us and  very invested  in helping us out. It's funny because it's just people who heard of us randomly, like when we were Breach The Summit playing at a mall, and have stuck with us and really been there for us. 

So what's up with the Godzilla lyric videos?

Kody:  "Old House" is really about broken homes and finding the good in all the negative you have. And for me growing up, something that took me away from the negative in my home was literally Godzilla vs Mothra; I don't know why I used to watch that every day after school. So I was thinking it would be so rad to have the lyrics be the subtitles and try to awkwardly voice these things over. Then we kind of just fell in love with the concept after. 

What do the next six months look like for you guys?

We definitely have plans on releasing an album, but our biggest goal is getting back out on the road and tour. Currently Southern California, and North. Maybe out East.  So hopefully by next year we can be out on our own national tour. 

 

Make sure to buy their latest single  "Old House" on iTunes!

CONNECT WITH ARMORS:

Facebook // Twitter 

PREVIEW: My Double, My Brother @ The Satellite 1/12/15

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My Double, My Brother is an independent band based in LA who's  sound I was hooked on to instantly when I heard them for the first time last week. Perfect timing too, since they're playing a free show at The Satellite here in LA tomorrow 1/12/15!

To preview the show, I was able to ask the band a few questions about 2015 and their new album coming out next month. Hit play below and read on. 

For new ears, describe your music in  a few words:

Percussive indie alternative rock.

What's been your favorite show you've ever played so far?

We've played a few shows that have been really fun for us. One that sticks out is several months back we played at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa (before it was renovated into the Wayfarer) and a bunch of people came out who knew all the songs from our first album and were singing along super loud and acting out all the drum parts. It was a ton of fun to see everyone enjoying the music in a very honest and raw way. It made us feel like we were offering something really special to those people as it was a palpable example of people appreciating something that we care about so much.
 

What can you tell us about your upcoming album? 

We put a lot of work and effort into making it sound how we thought it should sound. It's pretty different from the last album, as I've learned a lot about song writing and poetry within the past few years, and we have all grown as musicians. The songs sound more refined and more honest, in some senses, and I think because of that, this album is a lot more effective in conveying a certain ethos. The album has a certain arc to it so that the songs, both in lyrical and musical content, function to play off of each other and contrast each other, not in the sense of telling a story, but more in a sense of creating a space where ideas and emotions become merged together; ideas and emotions that I hope people will be able to feel and think. 
 

How has your sound changed since the band formed? 

I think our sound has had a sort of consistency to it since we started writing music several years ago, but I think throughout the years we've developed more of a sensitivity to pop sensibilities and writing music that is fun to listen to and easy to digest. We've always been very critical with our work and have tried to create music that is interesting and pleasing, but our roots are kind of in more esoteric forms of art and music. I think in the past we really praised more avant-garde forms of art and our music was an attempt to flesh out those ideals, but recently we've attempted to primarily operate under the notion of writing for accessibility and for enjoyability, then expanding on that in the most creative and interesting ways that we see fit.

What else can we look forward to from My Double, My Brother in 2015?

Well, first and foremost, the album comes out February 10th, but then after that we plan to do a series of mini-tours up the coast and what not, and possibly a tour in the summer.


CONNECT WITH MY DOuBLE MY BROTHER

Website // Facebook // Twitter

 

 

NEW MUSIC: The Hammers- Hammer City EP

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I wasn't around in the 80's, and I'm pretty sure the members of the The Hammers weren't either, but there's something undeniably cool about a band that can make you feel like you're walking down the Sunset Strip 25 years ago (at least, how we imagine it must have been to walk down the Sunset Strip 25 years ago).

"Hammer City" might as well be the band's theme song (probably is, right?). The repeating chorus line, "Hammer City, let's have fun tonight" sounds like a pretty good description of the band's live performance, and generally how they're approaching their music. The guitar solos are on point and Nick Belcher's vocals fit the bill perfectly for the intense, head-banging rock track.

Take a listen to the full EP here!

http://youtu.be/zneqFSPAGzs

CONNECT WITH THE HAMMERS on FACEBOOK

Artist Spotlight: DownBeat Keys

photo: Shabnam Ferdowsi

Where: Brooklyn, NY

Who:  Kadahj Bennet (vocals), Baldwin Tang (keys), Andrew Root (bass), Ryan Calabrese (drums), Jared Schneider (guitar)

Sounds Like: Hip Hop with a pop groove.

 “We started out as a groove band, and then we went into pop songs, then we kind of came back into groove song [with the EP Memory Chrome]”

Beginnings

“’Wouldn’t it be crazy and revolutionary if we did hip-hop, with a live band’… Then we didn’t talk about it for four year”

The DownBeat Keys formed at Day Hamilton College their senior year to create a live, hip-hop band.  

Why DBK

“The sound of it, the syllables, and to be able to use letters, DBK.”

                                      _________________

Connect with The DownBeat Keys!

Website // Facebook // Twitter

DISCOVER: Fever Charm- Moonshine

 

Fever Charm is a four-piece band based in Oakland, CA, blending those East Bay rock sounds with that San Francisco indie. 

Check them out!

Website // Facebook

WATCH: The Moderates- Strange Town [Official]

Alt/Rock band from Long Beach, CA, The Moderates, just released their official video  for their track “Strange Town”. The video is super fun, aesthetically beautiful and captures the spirit of the band  and their California tour quite perfectly. 

Check out their newest album ‘Color’ on iTunes now!

An Interview w/ Andrew Barrack

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What inspires your songwriting?

Writing songs is always interesting for me, I really never know when inspiration will strike. Sometimes I get inspired by an interesting lyric I hear from a song and create a song off how I interpreted that lyric or sometimes right when I’m trying to go to an idea will pop into my head. I remember the first song I wrote was at a super random time, I was in the grocery store with my family and I had an idea for a song so I just started typing it down on my phone. I can never predict when inspiration will find me, but when it does I’ll find an instrument or start writing before the idea escapes me.

How were you able to hone in on your own distinct style?

Somehow my songs always end up having a lot of ‘7’ chords, so I guess I like to incorporate jazz chords as the start of whatever song I’m writing, but I think it’s the music that I listen to that rubs off on me stylistically. Listening to Artists like Andy Grammer, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer has really shaped my sound to what it is. I do think that my recently released EP, High Off of Love, is a little random in terms of what style every song is, but as I’m writing songs for my next release I’m still trying to find my own unique sound that is something new and refreshing. I think that’s something that can take some time for artists to figure out, so for now I’ll stick with this Jazzy-Pop feel I have going on now and see where that takes me.

 If you get collaborate with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

This is always a tough question to answer. I think I’ll have to go with Jason Mraz on this one. He has amazing skill both on instruments and vocally and he also got his start from my hometown of San Diego. It would be quite an experience to collaborate with him and find out how he got to where he is today.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I’m looking forward to the unexpected. With the new EP, I finally have something people can listen to, which they like; so now it’s just a matter of what can I do to get me to the next level. Playing shows is something that I always look forward too so be prepared for a lot of those.

Who are you listening to right now?

Young the Giant just came out with a new album so that’s been getting played here and there. I currently rediscovered my liking of Sugar Ray’s music, so that’s been a nice throwback and I’ve also been listening to a lot of Gary Clark Jr. due to a recent discovery of his music…he’s crazy good.

Connect with Andrew!

Facebook // Twitter // Soundcloud // Bandcamp 

An Interview w/ The Shilohs

How’s your next album different than So Wild?

Let’s see…

Mushroom Studios, reverb chambers, violins, ladies singing. Dan wrote two songs for this one. We’re also four years older…but not wiser or anything like that. 

What inspires your songwriting? How do you collaborate together?

Inspiration is difficult. I don’t know where it comes from. People in my life I suppose. Extreme emotions. Highs and lows. Dan and Mike will have different answers maybe. These days the three of us write by ourselves and collaborate with Ben when we bring the song in to practice. It really grows legs when we develop it together.

If you could play at any venue in the world, where would that be and why?

The superbowl halftime show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers joining in would be something. Heh. There are dozens of clubs and settings we’d love to play I’m sure. hard to pick just one. When I was younger I used to always want to play one of Neil Young’s Bridge School concerts because I went every year.

 What are you looking forward to about going on tour?

Warm weather, live grateful dead albums on the highway, California, fish tacos, playing with a great band like Real Estate and hanging with them. Oh, and Miller High Life. 

Who are you listening to right now?

 At this precise moment I’m listening to Nat King Cole sing Route 66. Last time I saw Dan he was playing “It’s only Rock and Roll” by The Rolling Stones and Kendrick Lamar. Mike told me he heard Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line” on the radio the other day and had a moment. Ben may or may not be listening to the book on tape of Tom Clancy’s “Threat Vector” but I hope he’s saving it for the tour.

CONNECT with The Shilohs!

Website

 // 

Facebook

Interview w/ The Royal Concept

 Just in time for their concert in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 12, I was lucky enough to get in a few questions with the Stockholm-based band, The Royal Concept.

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Answers by Filip Bekic

How did you hone in on your own distinct stye?

All four of us came from different corners of music, Magnus grew up with

lots of Jazz, Povel lots of Electronica and David and I came from a more

singer/songwriter direction, so when we all got together we mixed and

shared all these experiences and that’s what became The Royal Concept.

Like any band there were a few detours but after a while everything just

clicked.

What’s your songwriting process like?

In the beginning David, the singer, did most of the groundwork and then

showed it to Filip and Filip wrote the lyrics. Then we arranged and

produced it all together.

But things have changed recently in a good way. Everyone is writing more

on their own and it feels great.

So the song writing process will definitely develop in the future and the

next record.

What inspires you?

Love and Life. People we meet on the road and stories, articles and books

we read. We lived crazier lives a few years ago with lots of partying and

decadent shit. Now we mostly sit in a tour bus having anxiety over

turning 30 soon so the next album might be a melancholic one. Love and

misery is always our main subjects.

What’s your favorite part about touring?

Playing shows!

If you could play at any venue in the world, where would that be?

Every venue has its own charm. We’d love to play Hollywood Bowl but then

it’s gotta be packed. Otherwise we’d feel pretty alone :)

So it all depends on the circumstances. For now a packed, sold out

Grammercy Theatre in New York was a dream come true!

If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it that be?

David always says that if Joni Mitchell is up for a duet his life would

be complete.

What are you currently working on?

We’re touring North America right now and then we’re going back to Europe

to do some shows. We’ll have a couple of weeks off in February when we’ll

probably go to Filips home country Croatia and try to write and record

some new stuff. We’ve kind of grown tired of our own songs so we need new

stuff.

What can we except from The Royal Concept in the near future?

Shows, passion, cannonballs, fireworks and albums!

Connect with The Royal Concept

Website // Facebook //  Twitter

Spotlight: Feral Conservatives

I love the sound of the mandolin, and i love indie rock. 

Feral Conservatives have brought these two sounds together in perfect harmony all the way from Virginia Beach.

Check them out! :)

WATCH: Dog is Dead- Teenage Daughter // Mahogany Sessions

The Mahogany Sessions are a London-based team who bring beautiful videos with amazing new music to our ears and eyes. You HAVE to check them out!!

Dog is Dead is a young, UK- based indie rock band who I’ve fallen in love with and want to share with you! They’re not on Spotify OR ITunes, but check them out here!

PHOTOS: Hunter Hunted @ The Echo- 8/22/13

Last night (8/22) I saw Hunter Hunted at The Echo here in Los Angeles. They headlined the show and  KILLED it. It was my third time seeing them this summer, and in the past two months they’ve gotten even better than the last time!  I’ve officially decided they’re my favorite band to see live. When they’re up there, they’re so obviously happy to be playing, their joy is contagious. Their chemistry together, their smiles, their harmonies, their riffs: pure bliss. I’m so excited to see where they go, and hopefully one day we’ll be able to catch an interview with them!

Connect with Hunter Hunted!

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