Interview with Ocean Hope by Jayline Tapia

1) If you had to describe your sound in one word, what would it be? 

There’s a word in Greek that best describes what our sound might evoke “χαρμολύπη” which means sweet sorrow, it’s cool ‘cause it’s one word but has two emotions in it.

2) Your debut LP, ‘Chamber Dreams’ comes out this Friday, November 13. Is there any song, or group of songs that you are most excited for fans to hear?

(Correction:  it’s an EP)

3) What genre of music has the biggest influence on your sound? 

We like synth pop, lo-fi, progressive, electronica, Greek folk, almost everything influence us in different ways.

4) What artist do you hope to one day work with? 

Frank Ocean would be someone really interesting to work with and maybe Prince too, both wide open creative minds.

5) Where did you come up with such a creative band name? 

We like the ocean as much as hope.

6) Does the name have any influence on your sound? 

Nope! Unexpectedly, the sound has influence on the name.

7) Considering the fact that your band name has the word ocean in it, are you guys big fans/draw inspiration from the beach, or the serenity of the ocean? 

Our house/studio  is by the sea, we are surrounded by bright colors and water and this influence us firstly as persons.  We like to imagine that our sound is serene as the sea but with big wild waves in the very core of it.

8) What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in the studio? 

Riding our motorbikes.

9) Does the fact that you guys are related make your career easier to handle? 

This fact doesn’t really affect our work in any way. We are good in communicating through sounds and this is what works for us.

10) What else, besides music, do you guys like to do?

We like a lot ping pong and skating.

11) I understand that you guys are from Corinth, Greece. Are the people in your hometown big fans/supporters of your work? 

Well, a few people, our project is at the very beginning.

The place where our work took off happens to be far away from our hometown, Alex Ruder from Hush Hush Records, is the person that listened to our sounds and something moved him and then Chris from gorillavsbear was the first that supported our work…I mean, we are so grateful to both of them.

12) Is there a message that you want to give to your fans?


Be always kind and truthful to yourself and to others .. don’t believe what others say, most of the times people hardly know what they are talking about.

Interview with Benjamin Dollaz by Jayline Tapia

1) When did you first start writing songs?

I would say I made my first song at 16 going on 17. However, keep in mind that was just the first song that was recorded and put out there. Prior to that, I had found myself writing random verses and love songs for my middle school crushes.

2) What made you want to pursue this dream of yours?

So music wasn’t always my dream. In fact, I would say it’s one of my younger aspirations. Still, I find making it in the music industry to be the dream I am, hands down, the most passionate about. I inherited my love for making music from my brother, but it was my own personal accounts that made it a dream. Post my father’s death I found that the progression of time led to him being somewhat forgotten, especially by those who weren’t as close to him. So, with that said I told myself I was going to carve my name into history. My love for making music is what is going to make that possible.

3) Where your friends and family supportive about your decision to become a rapper?

My friends were and still are the people who push me to make this dream come true. They see my talent and remind me everyday that I got something others don’t. My family also believes in me, however I think they were a bit more skeptical at first. Growing up I always was an honor student and to be some doctor or lawyer is what they expected from me. It was over time that I grew into the rapper I am today in which they all now recognize and believe in.

4) Is Stage Fright your first EP?

Yes, StageFright is actually my first project in general.

5) What was your inspiration behind the lyric in your songs on the EP?

My lyrics are inspired and governed by my life. Nothing I write is fabricated. I honestly just sit down and vent to the blank lines that fill my notepad. Stage Fright’s lyrics spawn from my hunger to be remembered, my struggle with poverty and I touch upon various times and events in my life to help the audience understand who Benjamin Dollaz is.

6) I hear you’re actually sponsored by “Datpiff,” how did that happen?

What being sponsored on datpiff does is it allows listeners to download a project with out using one of his/her limited downloads. So I

understand that as of now I’m not this musical icon that everyone would be willing to use one his or her limited downloads for. With that in mind, my team and I knew that Stage Fright is an amazing project that we needed to get sponsored. We contacted datpiff and made that happen.

7) Who are your musical influences?

My biggest musical influence is definitely my brother. He has been rapping for as long as I can remember and I use to just watch in awe. I would absorb whatever techniques and skills I could from him. Other than him, there are many rappers and legends I respect but I feel the only other rapper who has an influence on my music is J. Cole. That man is a mastermind with his craft and I urge anyone who hasn’t heard him to give him a listen.

8) How many performances have you done so far and which has been?

I haven’t done many performances and I feel that’s my next stage to work on. I’ve only hit a couple open mics and little gigs. If I had to choose my favorite performance it would have to be the day of my listening party. Although it wasn’t a pure performance it was just euphoric knowing that 100+ people came out to just support me. That night was arguably one of the best nights of my life.

9) What’s your fan base like?

In all honesty my fan base is growing but is still relatively small. What I would like to say about my fan base is that they are extremely loyal and connect with me on a personal level. I can feel the love they have for me and I just want to let them know that it is reciprocated.

10) Do you have any big plans in motion for the near future?

Everything I plan to do is big. I don’t want to mention too much because I have yet to have a set date on what’s to come, but what I will

say is that me and my brother are already working on a collaboration EP and that it is definitely something to look forward to. On a personal account I also want to say it is an absolute honor to finally make music with him.

11) Anything you want to say to people who haven’t heard your music and don’t really know what you’re about yet?

To those who haven’t heard my music I want to tell you what I’m about. As humans we more or less go through the same things at one point or another. My music touches upon these things we go through. I know what it is to be in love, I know what it is to have your heart broken. I understand how it feels to have a dream and to be overlooked every time. I am a working man who has dealt with death, poverty, betrayal, school, you name it I’ve most likely gone through it in one way shape or form and it is these things I rap about. I put my heart and soul into my music and I know if you give me a listen you will see that. I can’t guarantee you will like every song but I can promise that you will find one song of mine that will make you a fan and make you say “damn this guy is the truth.”


Check out Benjamin Dollaz at:

IG: @BenjaminDollaz



Dragonforce Interview

By Cullen Ronan

Ryan Scott Graham Interview by Cullen Ronan

Ryan Scott Graham is the vocalist for an emo/indie group that goes by Speak Low If You Speak Love and the bass guitarist for a pop-punk band that named the State Champs.

1) How did you come up with the name “Speak Low If You Speak Love” for your solo project?

It’s sort of a combination of 2 interests I had in High School. My freshman year I took a brief liking to Shakespeare and “speak low if you speak love” is a quote of his. My sophomore year I got really into a band called My American Heart and coincidentally they had a song based on that very quote. I felt as though it was TOO much of a coincidence and I decided to adopt it as my moniker. At this point, SLIYSL is such a long, annoying name that I just go by Speak Low. But that’s how it came about!

2) How did your relationship with Pure Noise Records begin?

I started talking to Pure Noise shortly after I joined State Champs. They knew I had a solo project and believed that the songs had potential, so they asked me if I’d be interested in re-releasing my previously independently released full length. Obviously I was stoked to work with a label that I believed would breathe new life into the record that never had a proper release. The rest is history. Incredibly hospitable individuals who gave my solo endeavor a chance. Very, very grateful for the opportunity they’ve provided for me.

3) At what moment in your career did you decide to fully commit to your music?

I’ve always known I wanted to do music as a full time thing. I originally didn’t even apply for college because I wanted to tour. Eventually I did go, but I wasn’t invested because I had my mind on music. Between taking classes and working part-time jobs, I was touring relentlessly with my previous band, Good Luck Varsity. It has been my number one priority since high school and it’s awesome to finally see it blossoming.

4) What was the inspiration behind your debut SLIYSL album: “Everything But What You Need”?

The album covers a massive spectrum, but its main idea is dealing with the idea that you’re not good enough or just not enough in general. I write songs that are personal but still leave a lot up for interpretation. It’s fun for me to hear what listeners have to say about certain songs and lyrics. I try not to divulge too much about the ideas behind each song unless I’m having a conversation with someone. They’re emotional!

5) What was it like creating the music video for “Knots”, considering it’s the first one you’ve made for Speak Low If You Speak Love? How did you come up with the idea for the video?

The video process was awesome. I had been watching a ton of colorful films before I left for a short tour in Japan, and knew I wanted to create something that was visually stunning. Choosing to do it in a country like Japan was a no brainier. Once the tour finished, we stayed 7 extra days to write and plan for the shoot. The conceptual process was just Elliott and I sitting across from each other at a table bouncing ideas. I took a lot of ideas from movies such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Lost in Translation. Movies that don’t necessarily have a happy ending, rather one that you can develop for yourself. It was fun to sort of leave the audience hanging.

 6) How is the creative process different for SLIYSL and State Champs?

Very similar, actually. Just a lot of sitting around with acoustic guitars and fiddling  with chords and melodies. The main difference is that Speak Low is just me locked away in a room, rather than being a collaborative effort.

7) What venue on your upcoming tour with Aaron Gillespie and Nathan Hussey are you most excited for?

Very excited to play Anaheim’s Chain Reaction. I’ve been there a few times with State Champs and it’s always been an amazing experience, so I’m ready to see what it will be like for an acoustic show.

8) What was the experience like playing on Warped Tour 2015?

Warped was great, but just too short! Unfortunately I was only able to play for a week of the tour, dude to State Champs touring duties, but each show was special. I haven’t done a ton of touring with Speak Low, so some of those places I hit for the first time. It was really incredible to see the reaction in the tent. Some days there were a lot of people singing along with me, and truthfully I wasn’t really expecting that.

9) What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever been a part of, on stage or in the audience?

The Australian arena tour with 5 Seconds of Summer was probably the most surreal show experience I’ve ever had. Playing for upwards of 15,000 people a night was something I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams. It was strange and scary at first, but as soon as we settled into it, I felt like we nailed it. It was fun and interesting and hopefully something we get to do again down the road.

10) What do you consider to be the best album of 2015 so far?

My favorite record of 2015 is Kintsugi by Death Cab For Cutie. Bleak and beautiful. Ben Gibbard is a brilliant songwriter – one I strive to emulate. Really pleased with their latest effort. Nostalgically brings me back to younger days.

11) Do you prefer performing the Emo/Indie Rock style connected with SLIYSL, or the Pop Punk style of State Champs?

It’s really not comparable. Both projects are so different in a live setting. The intimacy of Speak Low shows are something I look forward to, whereas the energy of a State Champs show really shines. You’ll have to come out to one of each and let me know what you think.

12) Has the extremely positive response to your new State Champs record “Around the World and Back” surprised you?

It hasn’t necessarily surprised me, but it’s been a great affirmation of the idea that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m so happy people are enjoying it and buying it and sharing it with their friends. Really hoping that this record will be able to take us to the next level!

13) If you could collaborate on a song with any artist, who would you choose?

I’d really love to write a song with David Bazan. He and I have similar upbringings and his honesty is something I admire. There are times where I want to just come out and say something, but instead I retreat to skirting around it with a metaphor. He’s someone who can bring a simple idea or concept to life with his candor. It’s really special.

Little White Things Interview by Mercedes Silva

1. Where did the inspiration behind your band name come from?

The band name is taken from a section of a science-fiction book from the 90s written by Michael Marshall Smith. It was a toughie making music was the easier part.

2. How did you guys decide you wanted to start a career in music?

Max – We both took a risk and moved to London from other countries to pursue our musical dreams and to do what we loved doing. It’s hard to plan for these things, you just sort of dive in head first and work as hard as you can.

Dave – We both have been playing music for a long time, I made the choice when I was about 12.. It probably wasn’t the best choice till a few months ago ;)

3. How has the band affected your lives?

Dave – Wake up calls from management are a pleasure as well as hearing Step back on the radio. It’s been positive so far.. Even the relatively early mornings…

4. What was your favorite part about recording ‘Step Back’?

Max – Half of the song was recorded in our producers bedroom, the other half in his living room. We had so much fun throughout the recording. Stomping around making animal noises and shouting was fun, it gave the last chorus its character and sound.

Dave – Our producer Ben Jackson would make these delicious vege lunches for us most days, this paired with stomping and animal noises made our days worthwhile!

5. Speaking of ‘Step Back’, where did you draw the inspiration to write the song?

Dave – I had just moved to London and wrote the lyrics and demo in the first week, I don’t ever have a start, end or a plan of any sort where lyrics or riffs are concerned.. Anything can be inspiring, cold London can inspire me to be in-doors with the guitar.

6. Is there any place in particular that you want to tour in the future?

Max – Everywhere! Going back to Ireland or Sweden will of course be special, but we want to go to every corner of the world.

7. What’s the recording process like for you guys?

Max – One of us usually come up with an idea, and the other one completes it. It’s often Dave with a catchy chorus, or a great vocal melody, and we then work on the arrangement and the verses together. Or I have an idea for a guitar riff and Dave works out a nice melody to go with it. Since we come from such different musical backgrounds it’s an interesting clash when our different genres and ideas come together.

8. Has there been anyone in particular in your lives that have had a positive affect on your decision to start a music career?

Dave – I picked up my dad’s un-used acoustic guitar (I believe he received it for Christmas one year), it was gathering dust and I started playing it from that day. So my dad’s lack of interest or time for playing was very positive! ;)

9. What is the best part about making music?

Dave – Hearing it very loud.

10. On your Facebook page, you describe your music as “indie”. What made you choose this genre of music over other genres?

Max – We love all sort of music, but making music that attracts a large audience yet still in an interesting, fresh way appealed to us.

Dave – We were slightly more independent when that was written. It will probably be updated soon. ;)

11. What can fans expect from your future music/albums?

Dave – The songs are getting bigger and bolder, so expect more instruments and primal screams.

12. What do you want your shows to be like? (i.e. what do you want fans to leave saying?)

Dave – The shows have some major lighting, so if people leave the shows slightly blind with their ears ringing and humming the songs we’ll be happy.


Find LWT on social media using these links:


Twitter: @LWTOfficial

Instagram: @LWTOfficial

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