Senor Roar Interview – Chris Brachelow

1. Where did your name come from?

Mike: At the time we were producing under a different alias and we wanted a name we could “hide behind” so to speak.

PK: Yeah we were looking for something that suited the styles of music we wanted to play. Mike happened to came up with Señor Roar and it stuck.

2. What are your musical backgrounds?

Mike: I grew up listening only to Punk, Metal, Indie and later Hip Hop, played guitar and drums and was only introduced to Dance music well after school. I think having a love for all types of music has really influenced this project as we are approaching it with no rules in regard to genre.

PK: I was similar, listened to punk, metal and rock with artists like Blink 182, Metallica, Slipknot and Muse. I dabbled with the guitar but never found a passion for music more than listening. That was until I fell in love with electronic music at 19 and then started learning to write when I was 20. My musical taste has broadened a lot since then, I used to hate hip-hop but now I really enjoy it. When you become a producer you learn to appreciate different aspects of all styles of music.

3. Do you guys have any main inspirations?

Mike: When I first got into this scene guys like DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist inspired me because it was such an innovative approach, In terms of this project my main inspiration are guys like Diplo, GTA, Skrillex, guys like this who are able to influence the direction of the culture with their music taste

PK: For what we’re doing at the moment I look up to guys like Diplo, not only from a writer’s perspective but the whole empire he has created. As a DJ I’ll always be a big fan of acts that like Ajax (RIP), A-trak, DJ Craze, Astronomar, I could go on. Guys that have their own unique style and it shows in the music they play.

4. Experience with EDM world so far?

Mike – So far so good I guess. We are lucky to have a good dance community here in Australia and lots of support.

5. Do you guys have any favourite venues or towns to play in?
Mike – In our home town our favourite event is ‘Trapped’ which is a sweaty underground bass music night that always produces the goods. In Australia we love playing Sydney & Perth because they have a great bass scene.

PK: Werd, we just enjoy playing venues that are open-minded. Clubbers that get more excited when they hear something they haven’t heard before rather than simply walking away and waiting for the next hit to come on.

6. What is your main motivation to keep pushing and making new tracks?

PK: I think I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to writing music. I always feel like I have to be working or finishing something in the attempt to do better than the last one. I also get a real high from writing something that people enjoy or acts I look up to vibe on.

Mike: Other music is my main inspiration, when I hear something that moves me, or gets me pumped up, no matter what style it is, the motivation is there to want to create something that is powerful like that.

7. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?

Mike – Hopefully on a tropical beach somewhere but the reality is probably still staring at a computer screen. If im still happy and still making music in 10 years that would be a win

PK: Hopefully just enjoying life, every day is a blessing.

8. How does it feel to get recognition from a DJ such as Diplo who is one of the most successful DJs to date?

Mike – Crazy, we are pretty modest about what we do but we definitely fan girl hard on diplo so to get approval from him really inspired us…we wrote a lot of music that week

PK: Probably my favourite moment of 2014. It was a ‘yes you’re doing the right thing’ type moment. A pat on the back from Diplo doesn’t get much better.

9. What do you guys have coming up for your fans in the upcoming months?

PK: We’re working our arses off in the studio. We finished a record with another aussie ‘LowParse’ and we’re wanting to finish music we’ve started with Kronic and Seany B

10. Are you guys coming out with an EP soon?
PK: At the moment we’re focussing on these collaborations we’ve started although putting out our first EP is high on the list. We want the tracks to be special, so we’re being patient.

Mike – Definitely in the next 6-9 months there will be a full EP…well that’s the plan anyways

11. Any special thanks to specific people or groups who helped you out?

Mike – Big thanks in general to anyone who has listened to our music or come to our shows and also to my family, girl and anyone who has had to live in my house and put up with constant noise and late nights.

PK: Yeah we appreciate anyone who has taken the time to listen to something we’ve written, we put a lot of work in and that’s always the best reward. Also big thanks to the guys at Main Course who took on our first record Jenga, those guys are legends and pushing so many good vibes.

12. Are you guys excited to play in the future music festival:

Mike – Future Music will be great. We are lucky enough to be sharing a stage with artists like The Prodigy, Yellowclaw, Tchami and Die Antwoord so we are just as excited to see them as we are to play.

PK: Can’t wait, we love playing the festival circuit.

Electric Suns Interview – Danny Saleem

1) Who are your main influences in the music industry?
A: I’m currently listening to Jose Gonzalez, Odesza, and Broods. But I grew up a huge Coldplay and John Mayer fan. So I’m a little all over the place.

B: Let’s see… I’m digging Half Moon Run, I’m re-listening to Foster the People’s first album (which is amazing), and anything titled ‘Uptown Funk’

2) What gave you the idea for the funny ‘Breathing Electricity’ music video?
A: Ben’s madness is what got it all started. That’s all I have. Ha.

B: I remember we were trying to come up with video ideas and I got bit by this strange vision of people in colored suits invading our lives. Who knows where that one came from.

3) Who was your favorite artist or producer to collaborate with?
A: We have had a lot of fun writing for a few producers. One in particular, Lenno, is a super sweet dude with some killer tunes. We have high expectations for him in the coming years.

4) What artist or artists would be a dream collaboration for you?
B: I’d love to do some hip hop stuff at some point. Kendrick would be a dream, Shad or Mos Def.

A: I think we’re really itching at the opportunity to work with either Tycho or Odesza. We are huge fans of their production. As far a singers go, we both love Sia. She’s so powerful. If the day arose that we had the chance to work with her on a song I think we’d melt.

5) How old were you all when you started making music?
A: I think I was 12 or what ever the equivalent of a 5th grader would be. Ha. It’s been a long time since then.

B: Lifelong noodler.

6) Did you always aspire to be musicians?
A: Initially I thought I would play baseball, actually. I played through high school in briefly in college, but art and music wouldn’t have any of it. So instead I now draw pictures and make songs.

B: I’ve sort of fallen into it. It was a hobby that started taking up more and more of my time. I think music was always what I needed to pursue, but it’s really hard to be sure what you want to do sometimes.

7) What was the most memorable venue you performed at?
A: Hands down the Tabernacle here in Atlanta. We were asked to open for Capital Cities. I had wanted to play there since I could remember. So it was big moment for me to reach a life goal like that and in front of my closest friends, family, and fans.

B: Here, here.

Ain’t No Love Interview – Ian Zeitlin

1) Where do you derive your sound from?
1990 :
We have always prided our sound on being new. It’s contemporary music that keeps us pushing our boundaries and the boundaries of people around us, producing and engineering. Sonically, this happens from scouring the internet, being in the clubs and being friends with people who make music. When it comes to lyrics and composition, our stuff is inspired by endless things. Books, Art, Architecture, Streets, Life/Death, Relationships, Other music. Endless things.

2) I know peoples music gets quickly labeled into genres what would you call your music?
Beanz:
Our music has been called quite a few things. One that has followed us is ‘Renegade Pop’ which is cool, but we aren’t trying to fit into a box. We are trying to push boundaries and do whats natural for us. So if I was gonna call our music anything I would call it US. Slap a genre if you feel you need to cause I can’t…

Saidah:
Comprehensive and danceable. There are so many different elements sprinkled throughout our work that a label doesn’t really capture what it is that we are trying to do, which is make people dance and have fun

3) What is your least favorite question you get asked?
Saidah:
“Where did you get the name Ain’t No Love?”

Beanz’s answer to that question:
We knew that switching from a hiphop based sound to a more electronic pop sound would be met with some apprehension. Basically, we thought we were gonna get No Love from our peers and fans that had that hiphop expectation and we were ok with that. Bottom line is we are cool making music we wanna listen to even if we get No Love.

4) What did you listen to when you were younger?
1990:
All sorts. Mostly my dads music at a very early age, my favourites being Tricky, Brian Eno, Toy Planet, Cibo Matto, Lali Puna and others. When I was 13 my neighbour gave me a bunch of rap CDs, Outkast, Tribe, De La Soul, Madvillain, Biggie Smalls.

Saidah:
Spice Girls, No Doubt, R&B and House music

Beanz:
I loved Biggie when I was young but when that first Kanye drop that changed the game. Most definitely!

5) What did your parents play when you were kids?
1990:
Ah, didn’t realize this was next. I’d like to use this small portion to say how much I love my mom/dad’s music taste. It’s been a major factor in my life. Artists like: David Bowie, Portishead, Massive Attack, Peter Gabriel, Mos Def, Burial, Castles, Justice and so much more have been introduced to me by my dad. He is ahead of the curve!!

Beanz:
My mom had me listening to Tracy Chapman, Patti Labelle, Led Zepplin, The Isley Brothers and Portishead to name a few.

Saidah:
Nina Simone, James Brown, Neil Young, Yolanda Adams, Shania Twain

6) What kinds of music do you listen to now?
1990:
Mostly introspective, downtempo electronic music with meaningful vocals. Some deep house and garage. Some gangster rap. Hard to say nowadays..

Beanz:
Now I listen to whatever… right now I am listening to a bunch of Remixes, I love flips of tracks, brings a new identity to a joint.

Saidah:
Allison Wonderland, Fiona Apple, Rhianna, Local and underground artists.. Too many to list.

7) What are a few of your influences?
Saidah:
Life..

8) If you were to blow up overnight would you sign to a major label or try to go it independent?
1990:
All that matters are the people you sign with, not the label. Labels mean nothing. If you don’t have a proper internal team, you could be on the coolest, biggest, most popular WHATEVER label and fail. I stand behind this for all aspects of the music industry and life in general for that matter. There are good and bad label people everywhere.

9) Cats or dogs?
Saidah:
Cats and Dogs.

10) What do you wish you were asked more and can you answer it?
Beanz:
I wish people asked us more questions about our individualism because we are three people, three friends, that came together because of their love of performing and creating. I want people to have a chance to meet us.

Academy Interview

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Done by Hector Orgando

1)   Why name your band Academy?

Evan – Academy refers to a place in the town I grew up

2)   What musician first introduced you to music and led you to become a musician?

Evan – My parents

John – My Grandmother

3)    When writing music do you like to first get a beat or write the lyrics? And why do you use this order?

Evan – Goes both ways… I’m constantly writing words/phrases/ideas & we’re constantly making/hearing new music so those two things come together in different ways

John – Both & Because

4)   If you can meet any artist either dead or alive who would you want to meet and why?

Evan – Frank Sinatra. One of the coolest guys of all time.

John - John Lennon – legend. Would love to get his take on music these days. Would he be writing hooks for Kanye?

5)   Your song Seventeen is composed very nicely. The inspiration for the songs beat was from Lorde’s song Love club. Do you guys like taking beats from other artist and add your own lyrics to them? What is the process when doing this?

John – I like writing lyrics and melodies over any song I like.  When I heard that Lorde cut I wanted to jack her style with the vocal harmonies for a beat.  I figured I’d do one better.

6)   What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you during a show?

John – Half the crowd on the stage with us

7)   How was it like doing your first gig?

Evan - First gig we probably sucked… At the same time, it was the most fun/epic shit I’d ever done in my life, and I knew it was something I’d wanna keep doing for a long time.

John -We all had to pee so bad rolling into NYC’s Chinatown at rush hour.  Shit was crazy.

8)   What is the first instrument you played?

Evan – Alto Saxophone. No one believes me when I tell them that –don’t know why.. RI All-State jazz band in ’08, and I still have the tee shirt to prove it!

John – Piano but wanted to play guitar like my mom from the get go

9)   Where do you see your band heading in the next ten years?

Evan – 10 years from now I’ll be 31. I don’t even want to think about that

John – South Pacific

10)   What is a hidden talent that you can do that no one else knows about?

Evan – Damn, I wish I had a hidden talent!!

John – I Lucid Dream

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“Love Stuff” by Elle King

I recently listened to the album Love Stuff, by artist Elle King. This twelve-track CD was an interesting one, to say the least. However, “interesting” isn’t the best way to describe my feelings about it. Overall, I feel that the album is just okay. There are good points and there are bad points, but not enough of one to outweigh the other.

Let’s being with the negatives. The biggest problem with this album for me is King’s voice. She is forcing it too much when she sings, which creates a raspy tone, much like a chain-smoker, that is cringe-worthy at times. When I first put this album on, and was greeted by the track “Where the Devil Don’t Go”, I almost turned the CD off because of how much I was put off by King’s voice. It honestly made me wince when she hit some of the notes. When she forces her voice, and she gets loud, her intonation is poor, which creates difficult to listen to, off-color notes. One of the songs that was supposed to be the “big feature”, if you will, was her single “Ex’s and Oh’s”. Because of her raspy voice, I was less than impressed by the track.

Another problem with King is that some of her tracks are the kind anyone can hear from a generic, angsty female artist. The best comparison I have is that King is like Christina Perri, just with a deeper, less full voice. Two tracks that stand out in this regard are “Song of Sorrow” and “Ain’t Gonna Drown”. It’s simply typical for an angst-style singer, with the whole sort of “the-world-is-against-me” lyricism. These two negatives are heavy hitters when looking at this album on the whole.

Now, I would be lying if I said I hated everything about this album. I want to start by saying that there are three songs that are standout diamonds-in-the-rough on this album. The first is “Kocaine Karolina”, which is a sadder song that talks about a woman who has lived a hard life because of her fire-brand spirit, but encouraging her to keep on going, and not waste away before she dies. This is a standout due to the gentle nature of the song, and the simple melody behind it. Because it’s a gentle piece, King doesn’t have the rasp in her voice like in other tracks from her essential shouting. The next track that stands out is “America’s Sweetheart”, which, despite the title, is about a girl who is a genuine country girl, and not a prim-and-proper doll that people want to see as the “American sweetheart”. This is one of the tracks that King’s raspy voice actually works for the song. The track itself has a sort of Mumford and Sons country-rock feel to it, where King actually does some impressive work. The last of the three is “Make You Smile”. This track to me is slightly reminiscent of Christina Perri’s song “Miles” in its themes, just as a reference point. Once again, its King’s gentler side that makes this track a good one.

The other thing that actually makes this album good is the music in every song. Every song has a different musical style associated with it. This can go from a 70’s rock style, like the song “Under the Influence”, to a hard rock feel with “Last Damn Night”, and may other styles in between. This actually impresses me a great deal, because many artists are not as diverse as King in that regard, and stick to one style of song. This album is twelve tracks with twelve different music styles.

So, overall, I can’t say I’m overly-impressed with the Love Stuff album, but I can’t say I totally hate this album. It has its things that make it something worth while, while there are other things that cause it to drag along the ground. I can’t say I would recommend this album personally, however, just because of how indecisive I am over it. To me, it just leaves a sort of “Oh…” feeling after listening to it, and frankly, that’s how I’m ending this review, because I have no real strong, conclusive way to sum up Elle King’s album.