Interview with Robby J. Fonts of SICKSENSE

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Interview with Robby J. Fonts of SICKSENSE
By Stephanie Stevens

I have followed Robby J Fonts career in the music industry. He took to some of the biggest stages with his band Stuck Mojo, he has had numerous projects that have helped him grow and showcase some of his vocal capacities from one spectrum to another. He has followed his dreams in the wrestling world and married one of the baddest women in the metal scene, Vicky Psarakis of the band “The Agonist”! Now this duo is forging into the latter half of 2021 with a brand new band called SICKSENSE. A band that is ready to break down barriers with their touch of pissed off groove, hard hitting and melodic tones and a raw sense of reality given to you in the lyrics. The band’s first single, ‘MAKE BELIEVE’ is catchy as fuck, brutal in parts and an all-out addicting song that you will have on repeat for days to come.

The band is based out of Chicago, IL & Montreal, QC, and consist of Vicky Psarakis aka “Killer V” (Vocals/Synths), Robby J. Fonts aka “Rob The Ripper” (Vocals), Branislav Panic aka “Breakdown Bran” (Guitars), Samuel Bedard aka “Spot-On Sam/SOS” (Bass) and Cody Taylor aka “The Trve Cody Taylor” (Drums). Knowing the background of Robby and Vicky the rest of the band have had some quality time in the world of music as bassist, Sam is also in the metalcore band, “Day Of Change” and guitarist Bran is from the black metal band, “Bane [Serbia]”. Both Bran and drummer Cody are formerly from the rap rock band, “Keychain”.

So, this band has an alluring diversity in the music community which brings to life a whole new refreshing, exciting and vibrant atmosphere when you hit play to a SICKSENSE track. I can’t wait to hear more of what this band has to offer. But for now, get your ears all up into the newest single ‘MAKE BELIEV’. It is a very solid and intriguing Platform track and I think it’s going to solidify that this band is here to break the mould and show that diversity is something we all need in our music lives.

I had the pleasure chatting with Robby to find out about the new band, creating music from a distance with his bandmates, and what the future holds for SICKSENSE with touring and releases! Plus, a look into his life with Stuck Mojo and his love for wrestling.

Q: Since you guys are very new to the scene how can you describe the style you have put together for SICKSENSE?

A: I’d say we are a hard rock band, with hip-hop, R&B, heavy metal & hardcore influences. There’s something for everybody.

Q: I got to check out the song ‘MAKE BELIEVE’ and the first thing that came to mind is the diversity in the song, it seems like all your past chapters have been intertwined into this band. When you were putting this band together was that a goal you had for the music?

A: I think because I was always “joining” other bands, only after the music was already written and the instrumental songwriters already had their ideas and “vision” in mind,  including what they wanted the vocals to do and be. I was only able to add parts of what I was capable of doing vocally, but when I began working with Bran and Sicksense, we came up with all of our ideas from the “ground up”. I finally felt like I was actually part of the group and making the exact kind of music that I want to be doing.

Q: How are you guys taking the lyrical content, are you focusing on certain themes & elements or are you trying to diversify the topics like you are with the music?

A: Just as Sicksense creates the kind of music I want to be creating, I’m also free to write lyrics as I please as well. Topics may range from societal critiques and personal issues. Nothing is off the table here. Our lyrics are just as diverse as our music itself. In previous bands, I either had to write with certain guidelines in place or had to write about specific topics in mind. With Sicksense, I’m truly free to simply write as myself and how I see fit. I don’t feel like I’m being put into a box with this band.

Q: You’re working with your wife Vicky Psarakis, how is that going? Is it easier to work with a partner in that capacity and what are the struggles?

A: Working alongside my wife is awesome. I’ve been helping her behind the scenes with her work in other projects, including her features for other bands. When we work on her stuff, she takes charge of the lyrics and I simply provide suggestions or place minor input, at the end. In Sicksense however, I tend to take the lead for the majority of the lyrical direction on our songs. In general, I don’t mind working alongside other vocalists or lyricists though. I had a great time collaborating with Rich Ward for the record I did with Stuck Mojo as well.

Q: Other than Vicky, who else is working with you on SICKSENSE and why did you choose these particular people to take part in this project?

A: Sicksense is actually the successor band to our guitarist, Bran and our drummer, Cody’s previous project, “Keychain”. The duo were holding auditions online to find a new “singer” for their band back in late 2017. I hit them up and worked on three demos (one of those three ended up becoming ‘Make Believe’) for them. Bran liked what he heard from them and he introduced the idea of possibly working with a second “frontman”. Since Vicky had worked on the backing vocals for the demos I sent him, I suggested we get Vicky to join the band as this second “front-person” and we adjusted the demo songs to include what ended up becoming her main vocal parts for those songs. We wrote the remainder of our songs with both of our vocal abilities in mind. So, the band was started by Bran and Cody, Vicky and I ended up joining them, then Bran discovered our bassist, Sam from the local Quebec metal scene. Bran “tried him out” with his other band, “Bane”, got good vibes from him and asked him to join Sicksense, completing our line-up.

Q: For people who may be living under a rock Vicky is the front woman for “The Agonist”! Once this band gets off the ground have you thought ahead about touring and how will that unfold with her having that commitment also? And will other band members be in the same boat?

A: When touring and live show opportunities present themselves, we’ll fit in dates to work with everyone’s schedules and prior engagements. Every member in this band has something else going on outside of Sicksense, be it other bands, businesses or endeavours. Vicky’s in “The Agonist” and she does a bunch of solo work including her weekly Twitch stream segments. I’m in “Stuck Mojo” and I also do professional wrestling on the indie scene. Bran is in a black metal band called, “Bane”. Sam is in the metalcore band, “Day Of Change” and he’s also in “Bane” alongside Bran. When he’s not drumming for us, Cody does heating & cooling system repair work in his hometown. If things start picking up for the band, it might end up being the top priority for all involved, but we can’t compete against existing projects that have so much tenure over us. We’re still young and fresh as a project. Only time will tell where we end up.

Q: I’m sure it’s normal now to create and make music via the internet and I see your other band’s members live in other areas than you. What are the main struggles when putting music together and what is the positive about being able to create over internet world?

A:The biggest struggle is probably just the traveling distance and money spent in order to get everyone in the same place at the same time. But other than that, it’s awesome being able to create music over the internet. I personally prefer to receive tracks/demos online from the instrumental songwriters that I work with. It allows me to sit down on my own time and focus in my own world on what to write about and how to present my vocals. Long distance songwriting is no trouble at all. As long as everyone’s practicing their instruments and know their parts, we’d just need a few days of rehearsals and we would be good to start playing live shows. That’s how I’d do things with Stuck Mojo and it’s how Vicky does things with The Agonist.

However, we actually suffered delay after delay with this band. I’m actually an immigrant from Canada. Early during my immigration process is when I first joined Sicksense in late 2017. It took me until the end of 2018/early 2019 to actually get my Permanent Residency here in the States, allowing me to be able to travel outside of the country again and return to Canada (where the rest of our bandmates live). So, Vicky and I ended up going back to Canada to finally meet the rest of our band mates in person and we jammed our songs in person, fine-tuning the little details together, before we entered the studio with our producer, Christian Donaldson (who also works with The Agonist on their records). We recorded a full-album’s worth of material in early 2020, right before the pandemic happened…but because of the pandemic, that again delayed us once more by yet another year! We hadn’t had the easiest time putting ourselves out there, but here we are. Finally!

Q: You put together a very unique video for the song ‘MAKE BELIEVE’! In your own words what does the vibe of the video mean to you?

A: The concept of the video was to partly pay homage to Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ video (during our verses), but to also add our own spin to it, by including the two dancers who represented our clashing styles of sound that is found present in our music. There’s elements of calmness and serenity in our music, but then there’s also this “in-your-face”, loud and pissed off element to our sound as well. We wanted to portray an obvious clashing of styles through not only our sound, but with our visuals as well. It kind of symbolizes what we’re living through here in the States as well. I feel like there’s just so much division and a lack of understanding between different groups of people, so we’re trying to open up that discussion and bring people together here through our music. I’m not concerned about what people believe in or how they live their lives. I personally judge people by the content of their characters, after I’ve actually met them. Music’s an excellent way of bringing people together: 1) you find others who have the same tastes in music as you. 2) going to live concerts and festivals is one of the best social experiences you can have with others. It truly brings people together and allows everyone to forget about their troubles and just have an awesome time.

Q: Are you working on an album or EP to come out and if so when and, as of now, how many songs have you finished or are in the process of finishing off?

A: We actually recorded a full-length album’s worth of material back in early 2020. Because of the pandemic, all these delays and being completely independent with no record label, we have decided to split the recorded songs into two separate EP’s. So, we’ve launched the band with our ‘Make Believe’ single and we’re planning on releasing our debut EP in early 2022. We have plans to release the follow-up EP later in 2022 (around autumn time). We’ve noticed that people have such short attention spans and lack enough patience to pay attention for much time nowadays. So, we decided we’re going to slowly release music over time to help us maintain our hype and relevance. We’ll see how successful this release plan ends up being for us, and that will help us decide how to release more music in the future.

Q: Also, do you feel the way to go in the music world these days is the single release, what is your opinion on album releases vs going with numerous single releases?

A: To break into music nowadays, I believe it’s best to start off with a single release first. We’re going to try the EP release route for Sicksense, but new artists should definitely start off with a single to “test the waters”. Like I mentioned earlier, I just think fans of today are living through this “immediate gratification culture”, where they are swiping up and down so quickly, it’s becoming so difficult to catch people’s attention long enough for them to focus or actually sit down and listen through an entire 40+ minute album. I think more and more bands will stick to releasing singles or at the most EPs moving forward. I LOVE listening to full-length albums, but they’ve become somewhat archaic during today’s times and aren’t really getting the attention that they truly deserve.

Q: I think, way back in the day, the EAST COAST ROMPER interviewed you in the band STUCK MOJO! Now that we can look back on that era, what did it mean to be in a band like that and what is your best memory of those days?

A: Working with Stuck Mojo was awesome. Rich’s bands Fozzy and Stuck Mojo are two of the early bands that really got me into “my own music” and helped me figure out the kind of bands that I liked as a kid/teenager. My favourite memories were recording the “Here Come The Infidels” album at Rich’s buddy’s Chris Chandler’s farm, with legendary producer, Andy Sneap. Chris is unfortunately no longer with us as he passed away, due to cancer, in June 2016. I had a great time recording there. Chris was an amazing and humble human being who offered us his beautiful studio to record in with Andy. It was great taking breaks and hanging with the animals out in the fresh air in between song recordings. Chilling with cows and horses was sweet.

Most people don’t know this, but pretty much all my first ever live shows were with Stuck Mojo too. Most people’s first shows are at their high school talent shows, mine were headliner sets and international main stage festival appearances, doing vocals for one of my favourite bands! It was wild. I played on stage only twice prior to joining Stuck Mojo. I had truly been “thrown in the deep end” when I joined the band with such little live experience. No better way to learn than to open up on the main stage for “Twisted Sister” during your first time in the UK, right?!?

Q: What has it meant to you being able to perform, inspire, influence and really create your passions for the world to hear?

A: I believe that life is supposed to be about giving back and creating things for others to enjoy and appreciate. I’m just playing my part and it’s my pleasure to know that I’ve entertained someone or somehow got them thinking in a different way, thanks to my music. The work I’ve done so far in music hasn’t gotten too much attention or exposure, so I’m always humbled to hear someone else has heard and appreciates any of my work-past or present.

Q: I see you are also into wrestling, what is your background with that and will SICKSENSE dabble in possible projects with wrestling organizations?

A: I got trained by WWE Superstar Seth Rollins, Marek Brave and Krotch at Black & Brave Wrestling Academy in Davenport, Iowa back in early 2019. I made my in-ring debut and had my first match in August of that year and have been wrestling regularly on the independent circuit ever since. I mostly wrestle under my “Renegade” gimmick alongside my tag team partner, “Sabotage”, as the team, “Collateral Damage”.

I think our music fits really well for the wrestling world. I’d love for one of our songs to end up becoming the theme song for a major professional wrestling company’s PPV or have something featured in a video game or used as another wrestler’s theme song. You never know what can happen, so if an opportunity presents itself, I’d be open to weighing our options.

Q: Other than music, what is one thing that inspires you in this world to keep creating and why does that impact you so much?

A: I’m motivated to do my part and help out as much as I possibly can. I believe people should do what they can to keep themselves healthy and take care of themselves first, then work on getting the means to take care of the rest of their family, and if they’re lucky, put themselves in a position where they can comfortably help out others. You can’t truly help anyone if you keep yourself in the same boat that everyone else is in. I strive to be a person who creates opportunities for myself and the people around me. Simply being the best I can be and helping to build up my communities each day. These are the things that inspire me the most.

Q: If you could collaborate with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and what kind of song would you want to do with them or maybe even remake with them?

I would love to work on a straight-up hip-hop song alongside rapper, “Yelawolf”. To me he’s one of the mainstream rappers who has consistently released great songs over the years that are “true” to hop-hop as an artform and I respect him. There are so many great artists, groups and bands out there killing it though. I’d love to work with plenty of people out there. So many creative possibilities that can potentially come to life. We’re living through incredible times. So, we’ll see what happens.

Q: How long has it been since you fully toured and, with this band, are you looking into touring or waiting till you have a secured EP out? And what do you miss most about the road life?

A: I actually have yet to do a “proper” tour! Unfortunately, none of my prior projects ever picked up enough momentum for us to hit the road for a proper month-long tour.

The last time I had a “string of shows” in a row was over a period of 2 weeks, doing 4 shows with “Stuck Mojo”, shortly after our album release in the summer of 2016. We did 2 headline club shows in Georgia and North Carolina, respectively. Then the following week we had 2 festival dates on the main stages at “Bloodstock” in Derbyshire, UK and “Brutal Assault” in Czech Republic.

The last time I played music live, was with my former band, “Repentance” .We played an outdoor festival show, playing right before “Product Of Hate”, hit the stage at R’Noggin Fest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.

Once our Sicksense EP comes out in early 2022, we’ll definitely start looking to play live shows.

Realistically, with all these prior tours from other bands being postponed and happening in 2022 instead, I can only see Sicksense playing live shows in the fall time of 2022, the earliest.

I do enjoy and appreciate my time at home, so the only thing I really miss most about playing live shows is the opportunity to meet and hang with fans/friends who enjoy my music. Aside from that, traveling can be rough: we don’t get much sleep, food options aren’t the greatest and everything is constantly “go, go, go ” while we’re on the road.

Q: Anything I missed you want to let fans know and any parting words to the music world?

A: I’m super stoked for the future with Sicksense! Truly feels like I found my “home” here and it’s nice to be creating music alongside a group of people who are all 110% on the same page. We’re all friends and the band feels like a family. Can’t wait for our new music to come out. We’ll be working hard in the meanwhile and I promise it’ll be worth the wait for anyone excited to hear more.

Thanks for having me, Stephanie! Cheers.

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Make Believe’ (Official Video)

Sicksense Promo Pic (Credit Eric Sanchez Photography)
Photo by Eric Sanchez Photography

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with BRIAN DALTON

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EMQ’s with BRIAN DALTON

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Missouri, US based Rock Singer/Songwriter Brian Dalton. Huge thanks to Brian for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Brian Dalton. I’m a singer/songwriter. I play a little rhythm guitar as well, usually when I do acoustic sets. I’ve been singing/playing for about 20 years but it wasn’t until about 7 years ago that I started to take it seriously and start my solo career.

How did you come up with your band name?

My mother and father gave it to me when I was born. They named me after Harrison (my middle name) Ford as well and were supposedly sober when they decided this. I have my doubts.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m from Missouri. The metal/rock scene is actually pretty poppin’ around here. There are some really talented bands where I’m from with a variety of styles.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

My latest release is a stripped version of my song ‘Love These Scars’ written about anxiety and mental health.

‘Love These Scars’ Stripped (Official Video)

‘The Follower’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Over the years that list has changed quite a bit. It started out being bands like Metallica, KoRn, Breaking Benjamin, Trivium and has grown to include groups like Architects all the way to synth pop groups like Gunship.

What first got you into music?

My family first got me into music. They’re very gifted on my mom’s side and she has been singing locally for the majority of my life. She bought me my first guitar and her and my dad both have been very supportive along the way.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

That’s tough. I write in several different genres but speaking Metal/Rock? I’d have to say Architects. I love the way they blend metal with electronic elements.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Austin City Limits. I was there a few years back watching some amazing acts play live and just thought it would be a really fun festival to play.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I’ve been fortunate to not receive a weird gift. I’ve been told some weird things. Scary enough for me.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Get back up. No matter how hard you’re hit in life, always get back up. They help me do that on a daily basis and I’m forever grateful for every single one of them.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

My Stepfather. He was a rockstar to me.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love being able to create something beautiful (hopefully) out of nothing. It’s as healing as going to the gym for me. I don’t know that I hate any part of it but I don’t like how it’s so easy to be labelled one style or another.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Artist royalties. Without a doubt.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Metallica – “…And Justice For All”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I love the passion involved with vinyl the most.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Little Eddie’s bat mitzvah. It was liiiiiit.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

If I weren’t a musician, I would probably be flying planes or fighting pirates.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Hmm. That’s a good question. I’d say James Hetfield, Matt Heafy, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, and Betty White.

What’s next for the band?

I have a music documentary coming out this summer and will be back in the studio very soon recording my next EP.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

I have my website, my YouTube Channel, my Facebook music page and I have my Instagram. Outside of these, my music is available on every major streaming platform.
www.briandaltonmusic.com/
www.facebook.com/briandaltonmusic
www.instagram.com/brian_dalton_music/
www.soundcloud.com/user-410493292
www.open.spotify.com/artist/04zBcnoPvgI18ke2VEoFqr
www.youtube.com/channel/UCnmhlL933_1YE1uDcHt5gMg

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Using sound scientific reasoning, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve never heard of a Jaffa Cake. But it sure does look like a biscuit…

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I appreciate your time as well. Thank you so much for allowing me your platform and audience. It means a great deal to me. Keep rocking my friends and may it be Ever Metal!

Brian Dalton Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH RAESHWAN GREENE aka ‘AWESOME RAY RAY’

Awesome Ray Ray Promo Pic 1

INTERVIEW WITH RAESHWAN GREENE aka ‘AWESOME RAY RAY’
BY STEPHANIE STEVENS

Raeshwan Greene is an artist and a drummer I met years ago when he was drumming for a band called YEAR OF THE LOCUST. I was honoured and able to meet this gentleman and his band when they toured with Starset. A rock n roll band that captured and moved you on record and onstage. Greene’s drumming was so fun to watch and his humbleness to his craft was noteworthy when meeting the band.

As our friendship grew throughout the years and I learnt he was more than an artist, he was a father, a goal setter, he ran with his passions and he was so diverse in the music world as the world is finding out in 2021 as he is bringing forth his solo work as ‘AWESOME RAY RAY’. Not just a drummer he is a songwriter, a singer, a spoken word and rap influencer. He is bringing raw truth about himself and the world to the forefront of his new music. So many avenues in the music world that he has a talent in and that, right there, is going to bring a special diversity to his solo work! If I could sum up in one word what this new chapter of his life will bring it would be the word adventure: for the listeners and for himself.

Just go listen to a track like ‘ON THE RUN’ and then skip to a track like ‘THERAPY’ so different but such epicness in their own genres; and that is where he stands out! He is giving you all that is in his heart n soul and he is portraying it in music, in a raw authentic way which leads to him traveling down different genres. That just shows that he is a lover of music, he is not fearful of change and putting himself out there in a variety of elements to do the best he can and right now from what I have heard he is killing it! Right there is RESPECT for anyone that is giving their all for the passion they have!

I finally got to chat with Ray, one on one, to find out more about his chapter in Year Of The Locust, his background in music and what he hopes to do with the music he is making now.

Q: I met you when you were in a band called Year Of the Locust, can you talk about how being in that band made you grow as a musician, how being able to tour changed your life for the better or worse and what being in a band meant to you?

A: I love those guys so much. Being in Year Of The Locust taught me so much. They taught me the true grind and hustle of the music industry especially in the rock world as it relates to being in bands. I learned so much about being on the road; how to work on a bus, and how to make the best out of even the worst of situations. It Definitely made me a better musician and It took me from drumming in the gospel, hip-hop/ R&B world, to the rock world as a drummer. Which was a totally different world then I was accustomed to. So, all in all it really helped sharpen all of my skills musically and as a person in all areas. What it meant to me was a level of brotherhood and friendship, Unlike I’ve ever experienced before. Those fellas are still my brothers and we definitely still keep in touch and still work on music together.

Q: How did you get into drumming and do you still play?

A: I’ve always been a drummer. I started banging on pots and pans around three years old. Then joined bands in elementary school, middle school and then went on to be the drum major of my marching band in high school. I’ve also played for multiple churches and other community entities and functions. I absolutely still play drums. I did the drums on my songs ‘My Way Home’, ‘No Regrets’, and a new song that I’ll be releasing here shortly in about a month.

Q: If you could take one song you wrote with YOTL that means the most to you which one would it be and why?

A: I would definitely have to say ‘Movin On’. It’s such an amazing song and it means so much for so many different reasons. Things are always moving and changing in life. In fact, that’s the only constant, and it’s sad that focus on the song but it is life and it does move on. Be it relationships, friendships, bands or anything else, everything has a season. I also directed and filmed that music video so there’s really a special place there for me with that song. And I absolutely have to give credit to Scot when it comes down to his delivery in the vocals it just touches your soul in such an amazing way.

Q: You have taken vocal duties in a diverse way so when did you decide you wanted to make your voice known and tell the stories you have created?

A: Before Year Of The Locust, I actually rapped for a pop punk band out of Virginia called “Escape The Armada”. So, I had a little bit of experience with being on the microphone and upfront for sure. But honestly, I’ve always been writing songs and producing/writing my own stuff with all the bands I’ve been in. Ultimately, I knew there was going to come a point where I had to do something with it on a solo front. I just had to figure out my identity. It’s always been building in me even since I was a little kid.

Q: Earlier this year you went through a real hard time mentally and emotionally and tracked a song about it, I felt everything you wrote about and your story you told because I have the same thoughts, for people struggling how did you get through it and how do you deal with it on the daily and what would be your best advice?

A: My faith, music, and my daughters. I would definitely advise others to lean on your close inner circle and find your faith if you already don’t have it. There’s no possible way any of us can get through some of the worst times of our life alone. Even though I wanted to be alone, I had to recognize that I was not alone.

Q: Do you feel you found god then? I have come into contact with a lot of people who have had breakdowns and god came to them in the past year, do you feel this was what happened to you or have you been with him for a bit?

A: I wouldn’t say that I’ve been with him. He’s been with me. I’ve always had faith and God in my heart and life, but there are times where we all stray away and I believe during the last year and a half I was made heavily aware of that. I was reminded that he is the ultimate healer, and comforter no matter what we face. And that is the storms as I like to call them, or dark times calm, they don’t last forever and the sun will absolutely shine again.

Q: One of my favourites is ‘NO REGRETS’, did you do all the music and the lyrics etc and how is it being in control of everything these days?

A: I wrote the concept for ‘No Regrets’, and some of the generic guitar sounds then with help from my buddy Scot from Year Of The Locust he took the guitar sound to the next level and I’m so appreciative of his help. He also helped out on the vocals on the choruses and throws on some screams. I did pretty much everything else 😊. It’s a double edge sword being in control of everything as a solo artist because you get to reap all the benefits when things are going great, but when things aren’t going so great and you realize you’re responsible for everything it can be a little bit over bearing but I do love it. I trust the process.

Q: ‘ON THE RUN’ is totally a 180 of other stuff you write. How was putting this track together and did you have any help in getting the right vibe for this track and how do you feel about the overall finished product of this song?

A: ‘On The Run’ came out first. That is the first solo song that I’ve ever done as Awesome Ray Ray. But yes, it is totally different from most of my other stuff. Just like my other tracks, I wrote it and made demos then took it to a studio out in LA and had professionals clean it up for me a little bit. You know things that I’m not too great with, guitars and other production. I also took it down to Nashville and had a very good friend of mine Brian Bonds who is in the video, (formally of Florida Georgia Line and Tantric) help me out with additional production and sweet guitar riffs layered on top. I’m so in love with the final product. That song and video will always have a special place in my heart for more reasons than I have time to explain right now.

Q: What are your plans now with your music and the songs you have been promoting and tracking? do you want to take this on the road?

A: I absolutely want to take those songs on the road for sure. I did an audit the other day, I have 29 unfinished songs. Things are about to get real LOL.

Q: A lot of people are going the route of self-employment in the music world and no labels. Are you one of them also and what are your views about it and the near future?

A: I totally understand that. For right now I’m independent and unsigned and definitely respect all the other underdogs out there. I also understand the function of a label and how it could absolutely be beneficial. For me? We will have to see. I’m not knocking it but I’m not exactly gunning for it. There’s a purpose and a plan for my music career even if I don’t know what all of it entails. I can say whatever happens I’m excited, thankful and blessed to be a part of the ride.

Q: Where do you find inspiration to write, it seems you look inside of yourself but there has to be more to this creativeness then just that?

A: I absolutely do look inward for inspiration. But I also look outward. I have a very overactive imagination, and I also have the ability to be able to listen to somebody else’s story and tell that story. So, I gather a bunch of different things when it comes down to songwriting, production and music videos.

Q: Who inspires you in the spoken word community and why do they, if you have someone that does?

A: There’s a lot of folks that inspire me. I would definitely say a lot of the southern hip-hop artist, and a few from out west. Rappers, singers and bands that I grew up on. To name a few, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, YelaWolf, jelly roll, Lecrae, Timbaland, Common, Jurassic 5, Cypress Hill, Black Thought (from the roots),Drake, Gary Clark Jr. Jill Scott, The entire Dc go-go scene. This list could go on for about another 20 or 30 pages.

Q: Vocally, what do you hope to improve on or learn throughout this new chapter in your life?

A: I hope to get better at my actual singing, and be able to increase my range, and harmonize better. I truly believe this is a journey not a destination, so there’s always room to improve and get better.

Q: Would you consider ever getting a band back into the works if the music called for it?

A: Absolutely. I have a very short tour and a major music festival coming up in the fall, and I definitely have a backing band for it.

Q: I feel like you’re a reader of books, if you are, do you have a go to book that you love if so, what is it and why do you love it?

A: Believe it or not, I’m actually not a big book person. I am intrigued though and would like to dive into some books. I’m more of a writer and watcher.

Q: What or who has inspired you to keep the passion you have for music and for people who give up on their dreams what would you want to tell them to stay the course and if they have given up do you feel they can get back on it and re build and re start?

A: My circle, my kids, my true friends, and the Fanbase that I’m building up. They love me and support me even on my darker days. I absolutely would encourage those who have quit to jump back into it. My biggest thing is following dreams. I whole heartedly believe when you give up on your dreams, you give up on life. it’s definitely not easy, but you got a hang in there. You have to keep pushing and believing. So, I wanna encourage others to follow their dreams, much as I can. Rather it be through my music or anything else that I can contribute.

Q:What does it mean to have people supporting you through all your music career paths and how it feels to know you have a special effect on people’s lives?

A: For me it means the absolute world. It’s the reason why I started, and why I keep going. Rather it be people in my DM‘s, telling me about their day, or people commenting about how cool my mohawk looks, or about how my music help them through a tough time. I’m thankful and grateful that I’m in a position to affect people’s lives in a positive way. I wasn’t always a positive person, and still have some negative moments of days. But I recognize that and I am ever trying to improve to be better today than I was yesterday, and hopefully that spreads.

Q: Anything else you want to add or I missed that you’re currently working on? Also, how people can keep up to date with your music?

A: I think you covered at all. I want to thank you and East Coast Romper so much for taking the time. I’m super thankful and grateful. I’m on all socials, and streaming on all music platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, Tidal and, most recently, I am now on iHeartRadio.

STAY CONNECTED:

‘On The Run’ (Official Video)

‘Therapy’ (Lyric Video)

Awesome Ray Ray Promo Pic 2

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH ZEBRAHEAD

Zebrahead Logo

INTERVIEW WITH ZEBRAHEAD
The New Chapter!!
By Stephanie Stevens

I am going to make this introduction a little personal because I feel like I have grown up and watched this Southern California band blossom and create so much insanely fun, quirky and amazing music since the bands start! ZEBRAHEAD started as a band when the explosion in the Orange County punk scene infected the music world. Signing with Columbia Records the band brought the world a piece of heaven with the debut album “WASTE OF MIND”, and the introduction that was given to me into the world that was ZEBRAHEAD. One listen to this album and I was hooked. The energy, the character in the music and just the overall fun & creative atmosphere made this disc an instant classic. It’s been 23 years and this album is still a go to listen when I am having an off day and need a bit of a pick me up. The bands whole discography could be used for that, who am I fooling, these guys just bring a light hearted, happy ambiance to the world of music.

With 2 million records sold to date, Grammy nominated and the survival of label and member changes the force that is ZEBRAHEAD is stronger than ever, which brings me to that next chapter of the band or as they love to call it ZEBRAHEAD 3.0! With new found excitement the guys, just recently, told the world about a new addition to the band in the name of Adrian Estrella. It took the guys not even a minute to realize who they needed when vocalist/guitarist Matty Lewis left the band. Estrella is no new comer when it comes to touring and recording and the band have known him for some time. Knowing how passionate and energized he was about music was a no brainer, but the inspiration infused into the atmosphere is what re ignited the band to create some of the best work in their arsenal to date, and that is going to be one gigantic amount of happiness all rolled up in one. Releasing a new single and Video at the end of the month the guys are ready to stimulate the diehard ZEBRAHEAD fans and make a ton of new ones throughout 2021.

I am honoured and so excited to watch these guys take the next chapter into this crazy and fun world they have created. I was able to catch up with Ben Ozz, bass player of the band, to ask him about his take on newest member Adrian, did he ever think in 1998 that the debut album would lead to the life they have, tour plans and if the live show will stay as fun and chaotic as ever?

Q: Tell The Zebrahead fans and the world what chapter 3 of the story of Zebrahead looks like from your vision and ideas that you have been making with the new music?

Ben: So far Chapter 3 has been really exciting. It has been kind of a whirlwind. We were caught a little off guard when Matty left but decided to try and pick ourselves up rather quickly once we had a band meeting about the future. Our first pick and only pick we came up with was Adrian. So, Dan reached out to him, and it is all history…a blurry one.

Q: Introduce us to your newest addition Mr. Adrian Estrella and how did you guys meet?

Ben: I met Adrian about 15 years ago when we were finishing up recording “Broadcast to the World”. At the time he was in a pop punk band and his voice blew me away…So, I introduced him to our management. They already had a manager but, Adrian was the kind of guy you just wanted to help out. Basically, wanted him to know if he ever needed anything we would try to help him out.

Q: What does he bring into the camp that you think had been missing or was never represented as much as it does now?

Ben: His excitement is completely infectious. When he walks into the studio, we could be recording any instrument and Adrian lights up with ideas. You see this excitement and it pulls everyone in…and reminds us how lucky we are to be doing this as a job…beyond lucky. And honestly his ideas are so new and fresh to us…such a different outlook on everything and it feels great.

Q: I’m sure when you are making new music with someone new, you learn things you never knew about each other! What do you feel you learned that surprised you about Adrian and also the rest of the members? What did Adrian learn about you?

Ben: Well, I can’t speak for him…but I know I have learned tons from him in the few short months we have been working together. He reminds me a lot of Dan with his ability to just keep throwing ideas out there. There aren’t many people that can spit out quality ideas that quickly and it is amazing.

Q: Can you describe what the new single is bringing to the latest chapter of Zebrahead and whether you could compare it to an older song in your arsenal? Also, when is it officially dropping and will there be an accompanying video?

Ben: The plan is for the single and the video to both drop on July 30th. We just finished mixing the song, so the next move is to start working on the video. This might be the first song in a really long time that kind of captures all sides of the band. It would be tough to classify it…it kind of goes all over the place and I love that about it.

Q: Who are you working with in regard to the production for the new full-length and when do you think that might be released?

Ben: We have been working with Paul Miner at Buzz Bomb studios for a while now. I have nothing but great things to say about him. He is very talented. His production work just keeps getting better and better.

Q: 23 years making music as Zebrahead (2 million records sold, Grammy nominated, survived label and band member changes)! Take a minute, if you can, to put into words how it feels to have been able to do this for so long?

Ben: Suprising! Honestly when we started it was a chance to see the world for a few years. None of us ever thought we would be lucky enough to still be doing this after all these years.

Q: I was introduced to the band way back in ’98 with your album “Waste Of Mind”, an album that, still to this day, is on regular rotation in my playlist! Looking back on that album, what are your thoughts about it now and, when you first finished it, did you think it would be the start of the special years to come?

Ben: To be honest, we didn’t know what to think. It was our first experience in a huge studio, our first experience with a giant record label. We were a little intimidated to say the least. The hope was people would like the album as much as we did…and we could travel the world for a few years and see what was out there. We were super proud of even making it that far…

Q: Your stage show was always so energetic and fun. Do you feel it will always be that way, even thought we are all getting older and we cannot do all the crazy things like we used to 20 years ago?

Ben: Well, the live show is still the best part of being in a band. So, there is no plan to change the chaos. The idea is to make sure everyone gets to escape a bit from the realities of the world and just smile for a bit. Being part of the show, it definitely works for us…hopefully it translates over to the crowd.

Q: Do you have any tour plans, once the new single drops and if so, is there anything you can tell us now about that?

Ben: Once the single comes out, so far, the plan is to keep writing and keep trying to record new songs. Our real big tour plans start in the summer of 2022. I know we are trying to push a few things along before that, like Slam Dunk this September in England…but so is everyone else…all bands have been home so long, people are frantically trying to book up every available room in every town. We are kind of sitting back and deciding to work on music…the rest will fall into place.

Q: Is there anything else you want to add that I didn’t hit on in this interview or anything you want to tell your fans?

Ben: Thanks for coming along on the ride for Chapter 3. We are excited to see you all out on tour soon and thank you for all your support throughout the years!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Chapter 3 – Welcome to the MFZB family!’

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with DAYEATER

Dayeater Logo

EMQ’s with DAYEATER

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Austin, Texas based Heavy Psychedelic Rock band, Dayeater. Huge thanks to guitarist, Jesse Lee, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Jesse Lee, Best One Handed Guitarist.

DAYEATER formed in 2015 and have been bringing heavy psych riffs and 3 part harmony to Texas ever since.

How did you come up with your band name?

Our drummer Landry thought of the name after Jesse Lee played the riff to ‘Day Tripper’ by the Beatles and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson together at a jam…

What country/region are you from and what is the metal/rock scene like there?

DAYEATER is from Austin Texas USA and the metal scene is huge, open and inviting….eager to mix metal with different genres to create something completely new.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

In early March DAYEATER released our new single titled ‘Sweet Earth’…a powerful commentary on the perception of the damage we, as society, have caused on our precious, sweet earth.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Aside from the power house bands like Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix DAYEATER finds influence in our community of local musicians pushing each other to be better than we were.

What first got you into music?

I remember being a little child in the back seat of the family car and my dad was playing “Ride The Lightning” by Metallica everywhere we went…and I thought it was the heaviest, biggest thing I’d ever heard in my entire life…I wanted to be just like Kirk Hammett!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

We really like what the band Fuzz has been doing these days also we are fans of Jack White and Duel from Atx.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Ya know…I feel like there will be another LIVE AID soon seeing as the world might be falling apart sooner than we thought….a gig to help the would keep going would be top of the list.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

In the early day I received an Epiphone goth SG from someone who saw us play a back yard party…He went home grabbed the guitar and came back to the party to give it me.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thanks for hanging out with us so far and remember always eat your veggies and NEVER believe a word Eric Clapton tells you!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Oh, please give me back Dave Brockie. The world needs ODERUS URUNGUS now more than ever!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I really love the sense of accomplishment from learning a new piece or even understanding a new skill like marketing for social media advertising…at the same time sometimes all that work can be frustrating and seem like it’s not leading anywhere but in the long run it’s all worth it.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Well, that’s an easy one…Fair compensation for the artist, it’s too old of the story how the music industry takes advantage of artists and it needs to change…

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

One of my all-time go to albums is “Diary Of A Madman”, I can’t get enough of Randy Rhoads.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Ya know each one serves its purpose in a particular setting but for some reason I got to give it up to CD’s. I saw the transition from tapes to CD’s and they kind of stuck with me.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I think collectively the three of us agree that Eyores birthday in Austin, Texas summer of 2017 is probably one of our most fun gigs to date…

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

We talked about that amongst the three of us. We really can’t see ourselves doing anything different. Music would probably end up in our lives one way or another!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Let’s get Aleister Crowley, Kurt Vonnegut, King Buzzo, Ronnie James Dio and Abbie Hoffman…seems like we have plenty to talk about!

What’s next for the band?

Well, we’ve released our next single titled ‘Sweet Earth’ and we really hope to come out of this pandemic stronger and smarter… We’re hungrier than we have ever been to get in front of as many people as we can and put on a high energy rock show full of what the people have been wanting for longer than they know…

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

DAYEATER is all over the place. You can find us at.
www.dayeaterband.com/

Or on FB, IG, Twitter and Tick tock by simply searching for “dayeaterband”!

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

So, I’ve never heard of Jaffa Cakes till now but I’m gonna have to say…after checking them out online it looks like a biscuit… but that might change if I ever try one here in Texas.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Amy Angel And The HellRaisers – Do It Again

Do It Again Album Cover Art

Amy Angel And The HellRaisers – Do It Again
Die Laughing Records
Release Date 20/11/2020
Running Time: 29:24
Review by Tsarina Wilson
6.5/10

San Francisco based Amy Angel And The HellRaisers certainly deliver something new to me. A combination of country, and psychobilly, with a hint of punk, they’re definitely not a band to be ignored.

The band’s history stemmed from, of all things, a simple phone call between two friends, Don Lamb, who’s responsible for the lyrics, and Tony Louenco, for the music. Tony and his wife, Amy, then set about getting the band together, which consists of Amy on vocals, Tony (Sinsinatty) on guitar, Don Lamb and Arron Marsden sharing bass, and Mario Arelas on drums. They all have long musical histories, with a range of influences and experiences under their belts! For this new album, as well as vocal duties, Amy also plays guitar and keyboards, and Tony adds in extra vocals.

The first part of “Do It Again” has a cool, crisp country sound, very laid back with Amy’s clear vocals, and that typical old country drum beat to it. It’s almost like being on a train. You could picture, ‘Yesterday’s High’ being sung and played in an old-world saloon bar. Despite its cool country start, you know this isn’t just your run of the mill album, there is something very different about it. It takes a while to get into it as you’re not really sure what’s coming next. Is it going to bang into a rock track or stay country? It does keep you on your toes.

The album starts to come alive a bit more after ‘Yesterday’s High’, with a change of beat and tempo. Amy’s orotund vocals certainly suit the country genre, she sings with a lot of passion and depth. In many of the tracks Amy goes from singing to talking, then back again, which isn’t unusual, but it’s done so regularly that it can be a little off-putting. That said, it does add to the album’s variation from the norm, so there is merit in that.

I think “Do It Again” is certainly refreshing in today’s music world of many identikit bands, although it is definitely a Marmite album, you will either love it or hate it. I would just say, if you’re one of the ones who doesn’t like it, give it a few listens, because you may find it grows on you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Walking in the City
02. Who’s That Girl?
03. Yesterday’s High
04. I’d Do It Again
05. Lite One Up
06. She Likes It Fast
07. Party Night Across the USA
08. White Witch
09. Never Too Late
10. That Punk Rocker’s Me

LINE-UP:
Amy Angel – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Tony Sinsinatty – Guitars, Vocals
Danny Dangerous – Drums
Osgood Cain III – Bass
Donny Midnite – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with RONIN

Ronin Logo

EMQ’s with RONIN

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Long Island, New York based Rock band, Ronin. Huge thanks to guitarist, vocalist Chris Feldmann, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Chris Feldmann and I provide the rhythm guitar and vocals of Ronin. The band, initially, was just jam sessions between me and Andrew Vitale (bassist for Ronin) starting in late summer 2016. We’re a little bit late to the music/band party, starting in our mid 20’s. After a bachelor party weekend in Atlantic City, the jams started. I rode with Vitale, and we talked about music the entire ride and how I had been playing guitar for a couple of years, and wanted to take it further than just me alone in my room. He dropped me off at my house and went straight to Guitar Center and bought a bass. It stayed just us for most of 2017, until his buddy Jack Lenihan jumped on drums. Lenihan wanted to pursue more of his graphic design and art career, so he dropped out when we got more serious about forming an actual band. We got Justin Maas to jam with us a few times in early 2018 on drums and he got hooked in quite quickly. Vitale and I had a bunch of songs we were working/jamming on and Maas helped us flesh them out somewhat into a 6 track self-recorded demo and to finally get our band name in December of 2018. In Early 2019, shortly after we put the demo out, we enlisted our immensely musically talented friend Jack Mauro for lead guitar work, and we’ve been trucking along like that since. So, Ronin was officially founded in early 2019, but stems back to mid/late 2016.

How did you come up with your band name?

At first, it came from necessity. As in we just needed a band name after weeks and weeks of throwing ideas around, we had to just choose a name. This need came from the fact that we were going to a show for a band that we were potentially going to open for, and at that time, we didn’t have our name. We didn’t want to look like a bunch of idiots at the show, because undoubtedly, we’d be asked, “so, what’s your band name?” or “what band are you in?”. We decided to hunker down and choose a name. We wanted something short and to the point; nothing over the top or too much of a cliché. Ronin, by the definition, kind of fit our overall sound as well; not adhering to anyone else’s criteria or idea of what we should play, I.E., not having a master. Our overall approach is to not being too genre/subgenre specific and cornering ourselves musically.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Long Island, New York. Long Island, before Covid, had a pretty solid local music scene with a number of very cool venues. We hooked up with a number of cool people that showed us love and support through gig offers and what not. We were really rolling too before the lockdown. Had about 9 or 10 gigs lined up through May that all got cancelled, so that was a big bummer. Our sound is always funny at the shows too. Some of the rock shows we played at, we were a little too heavy for the collection of performers, and then at some of the harder metal shows, we were probably on the lighter side. So, we always seemed to get caught somewhere just off-brand of that particular event, but that helped us stand out, for better or for worse. I hope Long Island’s scene comes back stronger than ever but unfortunately a few of our favourite spots to play closed their doors, but we have hope they can reopen, even at a new spot if possible. Gotta support the local scene. We always make it a point to arrive early and stay late, even if only one of us can do so. We really pride ourselves in showing the other acts and promoters the proper respect, because we are still very new to this. Not that it’ll change the more seasoned we get, but just a point of importance for us.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

This is actually our self-titled, debut album. We put out a 6 song demo a couple of years back, but this is an actual full-length release that was professionally recorded. We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished on this debut, and people should listen to it to hear some good old-fashioned rock music. We recorded it at VuDu studios in Port Jefferson, New York. We self-produced the album along with Frank Mitaritonna. He engineered, recorded, and mastered the album. He also helped mix the album with Mike Watts.

‘Spider And Fly’ (Official Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

I’d say Metallica for sure is the most obvious from our sound. They’ve influenced me immensely from a very young age and they still do to this day. Hetfield is king in my book. Big part of my more aggressive vocal approach and playing style. Alice in Chains is also up there, I think. That sort of gritty, dirty rock sound mixed with the beautiful harmonies Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell created; I think there are definite shades of those elements in our sound. I also have to say Avenged Sevenfold. Maybe not the most noticeable right away, but I know that I can recognize it for sure. In some of the different experimental type-sections we throw into songs, like the tonal shifts in ‘Temptress’ and ‘Down’. Also, some of my vocal approaches at times are similar to that of M. Shadows; certain vowel sounds and expressions. Definitely one of my vocal/musical heroes.

What first got you into music?

My family has always been very musical and we always had music on when I was a kid. I sang in chorus and even Symphonic Choir in high school, but like an idiot, I never picked up a guitar until my mid-20’s. Ya live and learn though, and always better late than never, whatever cliches help me sleep at night. But it was really the bands like Creed and Metallica who were super important in my younger years in the mid/late 90’s. I always call them my first loves, because they introduced me to rock music and the heavier stuff. Really blew me away when I first heard those bands and would shape my life for years to come. Hetfield specifically. The absolute main reason behind the decision to finally pick up the guitar is, was, and always will be James Hetfield. He captured me from a young age when I first heard ‘Until It Sleeps’ as an 8-year-old gangly kid in elementary school. That fascination turned into obsession as the years rolled on and only took my dumb ass another 17 years to follow through.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

It would be Metallica for sure. Just to hear the roar of the crowd of probably tens/hundreds of thousands singing every single word and note of every single song they’d play in their set. To watch the masters at work alongside them. Can’t imagine how that must feel, but perhaps some-day I will.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Probably either of Rock am Ring or Rock im Park over in Europe. They always have such incredible line-ups with bands like Volbeat, Korn, Disturbed, Green Day, Gojira and tons of other great rock/metal bands. The crowds are always enormous and those people really appreciate rock music and are there to participate. So, I’d definitely go with either of those.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I don’t know if it classifies as a gift, but our band’s FB and IG occasionally gets some interesting and obviously super “legitimate” DM’s soliciting sexual favours and invites to “exclusive” chat rooms. Stuff like that.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

To the ones we have currently, our deepest and most sincere thank you for connecting with what we’re doing. To any potential fans: Aren’t you tired of hearing everyone say that rock is dead? Well, so are we! We’ve got some very different vibes and feelings across our 8-track debut and we strongly believe it’ll resonate with you and make a connection that you so desperately crave! So, come aboard and ride with Ronin!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Man, that’s tough. It’s between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Cliff Burton. I’ll go with Cliff because he was only 24 when he tragically died in that bus accident. He barely showed the world what he was made of and yet he’s influenced innumerable musicians for almost 40 years now. The real kicker is that his death wasn’t anything of his own doing and legitimately an accident. Was of no fault of his own. So, I’d bring him back if I could.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Playing live is everything to me. It fills me with so much joy and excitement that it’s hard to contain. Doesn’t matter if the place is packed to the gills, or there are 10 people scattered out. Being up on a stage and performing original music is unlike anything else. The part I hate is doing all the other stuff outside of actually making or playing the music. Like marketing, promoting, endlessly and painstakingly submitting to playlists and other people. I also hate the fact that I’m not just a musician, but that’s unavoidable at the moment.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Gatekeeper of streaming and playlisting. Drives me nuts. Sucks for artists’ wallets but helps with exposure if you can get on. It’s so hard to get on meaningful playlists where that exposure will amount to real change and you feel like a chump while doing so. Again, it’s really one of the only games in town, so you kinda have to just keep chugging along and work within the system, regardless of how frustrated you get. I wish there was less importance placed on what a few “influencers” think or promote to the world. Do I have a solution, no, but I’ll complain, nonetheless.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

I feel like talking about Avenged Sevenfold. So, I’d choose “City of Evil” by them. Is it my favourite? Probably not, but it’s in the top conversations for sure. Whether it’s the subjective personal impact or objective technical musical greatness, this album checks all the boxes. I had only discovered them about 10 months or so prior to this album being unleashed to the world and launching the band into the stratosphere, and when that happened, I was absolutely hooked. The riffs, the shredding, the vocals. I loved this album top to bottom. I lean more toward singing, instead of screaming, although I’m a fan of, and respect both, so Shadows changing up his style and approach was a plus in my book. All the different sounds and styles they covered on this album still astounds me and shaped my taste and own writing to this day.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s. I love CDs’ to death and it could be just a product of my generation. Riding to junior high school in 2001 with my Walkman in hand, Metallica’s “Load” being worn out like nobody’s business inside. ‘Until It Sleeps’ bombarding my ear drums in all its sonic glory. Call it nostalgia, but physical media like CD’s will always be more appealing to me than digital. Feels like you actually own something and you know you gave something back to the band by making the purchase.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Without a doubt, January 31st, 2020 at, depressingly, the now closed down Revolution Bar and Music Hall in Amityville, New York. That was such a great night, and one that we hold even more dear because it would become our 2nd to last show of that whole year because of the pandemic. The place was pretty packed out. We brought a decent amount of those people and so did a few of the other bands that played alongside us, so when we played our 30-minute set, the place really was full up. Not only was the place packed, but the crowd was also really responsive and active as well. We had a great time off the stage too with a few of the other bands before and after our sets. Met a lot of cool people and really just fired on all cylinders the whole night. All 4 of us were so locked in and the band was really rolling. Real damn shame that we only had 1 more gig after that and the other 10 or so gigs we had lined up got cancelled. Makes this gig that much more special, also considering that the venue had to close its doors.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Hopefully creating in some other way, shape or form. I work at a junior high school in the special ed department currently full time, so I’m sure I’d still be doing that too. The hope is for this band to eventually take over my occupational time completely however and with our debut release, I’m confident that could happen sooner rather than later.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’ll answer this one assuming you mean alive. Let’s go with Dave Chappelle, Jim Carrey, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stone Cold Steve Austin and James Hetfield. It’s an interesting crew of people, but we’d have a lot of laughs, deep and interesting conversations and hear a load of wonderful stories. Not to mention I’d have the chance to meet my childhood heroes in person. If only. Perhaps some-day.

What’s next for the band?

Well, we’re remaining optimistic about the state of gigs for the coming year. So, hopefully a slew of live shows and gigs for us. We really feel that our music will connect and resonate with a lot of people, so we want to get our debut album into the hands of as many people as we possibly can. Whether it’s through live shows or streaming, we just want people to hear what we have to offer. Will that lead to gathering a larger, sustainable fanbase? Getting a regional tour going? Getting a manager, and perhaps even getting signed by a label? It’s all within the realm of possibility for Ronin. The only certainty we have is that we’re here to play music that we love and have a damn good time while doing it. So, come aboard and get nutty with us!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.ronin-band.com
www.facebook.com/ronin.rockband
www.instagram.com/ronin.rockband/
www.youtube.com/channel/UC0t8cC2y5UtxhwXNiWZ-mBA
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0iRW3CW7iTqZKXPQyzpNSN
www.music.apple.com/us/artist/ronin/1449806541

Those are the main ones we use and you can access all of those and more through our main website.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’d classify them as a cookie if anything. And yes, I had to look these up.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Just want to give a sincere thanks for giving me and our band the chance to chat and get the word out about our debut album. I’ll just add, another time that you should all listen to our album! And turn it up LOUD! Cheers to you and yours! Here’s to many more years and successes for all of us! Much love and appreciation from the boys in Ronin! We are Ronin, and don’t you forget it!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Jefferson Starship – Mother Of The Sun EP

Mother Of The Sun EP Cover

Jefferson Starship – Mother Of The Sun EP
Golden Robot Records
Release Date: 21/8/2020
Running Time: 32:07
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

On what is a freezing day in a fresh new year (it is the UK, so technically a normal day!), after what was a hell of a 2020, I find myself sitting at my desk while trying to stay warm (which isn’t really happening)! But, even though the outside of me is feeling the cold, the inside of my body’s warming up nicely, listening to “Mother Of The Sun”, the most recent EP by legendary Rock and Roll band “Jefferson Starship”. I actually received this EP a few months back, but with everything I had going on, as well as COVID-19, I have only recently been able to get my head straight enough to write again. And listening to “Mother Of The Sun” has actually been really helpful to listen to, as it has nice soothing/relaxing songs that have picked me up little by little.

Jefferson Starship are an American Rock band, that were initially formed in the 1960’s as ‘Jefferson Airplane’. Under this name, they produced hits including both ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Somebody To Love’. In the 1970’s they became ‘Jefferson Starship’ and released 11 studio albums. But then it was all change again, and when I first encountered them, they were under the name ‘Starship’. I was born in 1988, and as I grew up, I enjoyed listening to their songs ‘Sara’, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ and ‘We Built This City’ (a personal favourite of mine). They stayed under this name until 1992, when they changed to ‘Starship feat. Mickey Thomas’. But now they’ve returned to ‘Jefferson Starship’ and released their first EP “Mother Of The Sun” 18 years after their last studio album was released.

I have been listening to this EP for a few months now as, during that time, life decided to kick my behind, and I’ve only recently been able to get my head down to review it. And, if there’s one thing I can say about “Mother Of The Sun”, it is that it gives off the feel of the band history, and with songs like ‘It’s About Time’ and ‘What Are We Waiting For’ it takes me back to being that little kid again, listening to their familiar sound on the radio! With the experience of David Freiberg who joined during the last year of ‘Jefferson Airplane’, Donny Baldwin who joined when the band was previously named ‘Jefferson Starship’, more recently Cathy Richardson, (who re-joined in 2016 after being with the band from 2008-2015), and Jude Gold in 2012, you have the best of the ‘old rock’, with beautiful instrumentals and guitar solos that remind me of yesteryear, blended with the new. This makes for a record that would fit right in with anyone’s playlist.

After listening to “Mother Of The Sun” as much as I have, I’ve concluded that my standout song from this amazing EP has to be, none other, than ‘What Are We Waiting For’. From the short guitar solo at the start, the really delicate, soft, vocals to the chorus of the song, it stands out so much, and is such a relaxing song to listen to. Whether it be at a time of happiness, or when feeling down, this song just hits the soul.

TRACKLISTING:
01. It’s About Time
02. What Are We Waiting For
03. Setting Sun
04. Runaway Again
05. Embryonic Journey
06. Don’t Be Sad Anymore
07. What Are We Waiting For (Extended)

LINE-UP:
David Freiberg – Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Donny Baldwin – Drums, Percussion & Backing Vocals
Chris Smith – Keyboards & Bass Guitar
Cathy Richardson – Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Jude Gold – Lead Guitar

LINKS:

Jefferson Starship

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with THE SIMPLE RADICALS

EMQ’s with THE SIMPLE RADICALS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Chicago, Illinois based Retro-Rock band, The Simple Radicals. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist, John Malkin, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m John Malkin, lead vocalist/guitarist for the band The Simple Radicals. We’re a retro-rock band that combines sounds and styles from some of our favourite classic/alt-rock bands, like Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Pink Floyd, and Cheap Trick. I developed the concept and wrote the songs for the “New Revolution” album (www.open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU) and began laying down the construct of the songs in the studio. I reached out to John Griffin, who I played in a band with a few years ago, to ask if he would listen to the tracks and consider laying down the leads. He loved the tracks, and laid down some incredible shreds, and the rest is history. We brought in James on bass, and Griff on drums, and The Simple Radicals were formed.

How did you come up with your band name?

The Simple Radicals more or less came out of the way my lead guitarist John Griffin, and I, look at life and music. We’re both non-conformists and non-conventional. We like to look at things differently. Stay simple. But think radical. Hence The Simple Radicals.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We’re based out of the United States in Chicago, Illinois. We’re so blessed to live in such a rich and vibrant city, with an incredible music scene. Rock, blues, reggae, metal, punk. The city is so versatile and filled with amazing musicians. Chicago produced rock icons like Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan, and blues legends such as Buddy Guy, and Muddy Waters. In fact, Chicago blues is what bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin modelled themselves on.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our album, “New Revolution”! It has the guitar-God, Vernon Reid, from the band Living Colour, playing lead on the track ‘Medicate’. The album is about the extremes of what people are going through today, and their efforts to instil a revolution of change. It’s about using the power of their voice to create the catalyst for change, to better their lives, and society as a whole.

Medicate (Official Video) – Featuring Lead Guitar by Vernon Reid

Who have been your greatest influences?

Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, Green Day and Cheap Trick.

What first got you into music?

As soon as I heard the power chords of bands like AC/DC, Pearl Jam, and UFO, I knew I wanted to play music. I was just blown away by the simplicity and complexity of their music, and how it brought me to another world. I actually started out as a drummer, and played in several bands, before moving to guitar.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Eddie Vedder is my musical hero. I’m mesmerized with his writing and try to capture the messaging, passion, and energy that he does in his songs. If I can even come within a million miles of that I’d consider it a success. Pearl Jam’s “Ten” album was life changing.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Coachella in California. It’s a great big melting pot of A-list music, art, and some of the coolest people in the world.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A guy wanted me to sign a black pick with a black marker.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

The Simple Radicals can’t thank you enough for all of your continued support of our band. We hope to see you playing live as soon as the apocalypse is over.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

So many! But if I had to choose one, I’d bring back Kurt Cobain. Just to thank him for all he did to help shape rock music.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Playing live. I feed off the energy and passion of the audience, and try to give it right back to them, in the way we play our music… There is nothing more rewarding than watching people lose themselves in your music. It’s intoxicating. And honestly, I haven’t found anything that I hate about being a musician…yet.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I wish there were more terrestrial and satellite radio stations that played music from new and up and coming rock bands. Stations used to have programs that were dedicated to discovering and providing exposure to new bands. Seems like that is few and far between these days.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Pearl Jam “Ten”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl by far. I love hearing the crackling of the stylus on an album. Plus holding the album and reading the liner notes. Nothing better.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We were so fortunate to play the iconic Cutting Room in New York City last December, which is owned by the actor Chris Noth. What an amazing place, with incredible sound, stage, and vibe. Other bands that have played there include John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Sting, Sheryl Crow, and David Bowie. And we rocked the house!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

If I didn’t have music, I’d probably be selling hats with Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

All of Pearl Jam. And I’d cook…nah…I’d order in.

What’s next for the band?

We have a lot going on and coming up. We continue to push our album, “New Revolution”. We just released a song and video called ‘Rich Man Wanna Be King’ which provides a scathing lampoon of President Trump. It was just released on YouTube and it’s already racked up 200,000 views and climbing.

Our video “New Revolution” has already racked up over 60,000 views and climbing.

We’re about to release a wicked cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, where we collaborated with an incredible husband/wife team called Che-Val. We’ll be releasing a quarantine video to our song “The Optimist”. And we’re about to release a podcast called “Music & A Brew”, where we crack open a cold one with musical artists including Kenny Aronoff (drummer for John Mellencamp and tons of others), Todd Sucherman (Styx), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick), and Jackie “the Joke Man” Martling, from the Howard Stern Show.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can check us out on Spotify:
www.open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU

and YouTube:
www.youtube.com/channel/UC2rmuHn02XI1CIphHvmh-Vg

and follow us on:
www.facebook.com/thesimpleradicals
www.twitter.com/simpleradicals
www.instagram.com/simpleradicals

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Um…what’s a Jaffa Cake?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Radical.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH AWAKEN

INTERVIEW WITH AWAKEN
Waking up the rock world with MONSTERS & MACHINES
By Stephanie Stevens

The Tennessee band AWAKEN brings you a solid plethora of rock n roll ambiance with the music they have created since the band’s formation. An Alternative/Hard Rock destiny for music fans where powerful melodies intercept with hard hitting moments and emotionally enlighten you with provoking lyrical material.

The band: Chad Griffin – vocals, Dustin Simpson – guitar, Chase “Sludge” Reagan – bass and Jimi Wilkins – drums are gearing to make 2021 their year with the release of the newest album “MONSTERS & MACHINES”. Joining up with INgrooves and TLG Entertainment the band is focusing on music diversity and have made an album that is fresh and manoeuvres you down different paths of Rock n Roll throughout the disc. The singles that have been a platform for this album show the ability the band has to shine with difference but always embracing the signature sound that is AWAKEN.

From my favourites ‘BEHEMOTH’ and ‘STAINED GLASS’ to ‘THE VEIL’ the guys engage you with melody driven power and hard-hitting jolts of guitar driven atmospheres but also slide in modern hits of synthy dark ambiance and beautifully electrifying vocal moments.

AWAKEN is ready to set the rock world on fire with “MONSTERS & MACHINES”.

I had a chance to ask vocalist Chad Griffin a few questions about the new music, self-producing, working with Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch and three fun facts about the band.

Q: AWAKEN has been around for some time now and has really become a staple in the rock community, as I’ll get into in this interview, but when and how did you guys all come together and what is the biggest asset each member brings to the band?

Chad Griffin: Thank you, yes it has been quite a while. Longer for some of us than others. Dustin and I have been writing together for years with different people before running into Jimmy then Chase. Both playing in different bands themselves. We hooked up with Jimmy in 2012 before the recording of our first record and went straight into the studio for “Broken Circle”. The writing for that record was basically a compilation of songs we had written for a previous band. We became Awaken, put out that album, then hit the road. We ended up touring with The Protest many times which Chase was a part of. That’s how we met him. Through a domino effect of things that took place, he ended up parting ways with them to take care of his new baby. We later ended up calling him when we lost our bass player. The connection was instant.

Q: Your new album MONSTERS & MACHINES is coming. Did you push the release to 2021 because of the chaos of 2020 or was this just a set thing and how was it preparing and finishing a product during a year like this?

Chad Griffin: Yes, the record was pushed back due to our new connection with The Label Group and INgrooves. It was a mutual decision with everyone involved to start fresh in the new year after some chaos clears. It also gave us some time to add in a few tweaks and actually add a new track that wouldn’t have made the record in time. It will be a 12-track record. The whole process was quick and fun. Covid closed down a lot of things so it helped us get in the studio and focus on what we wanted to do.

Q: You released ‘STAINED GLASS’ and with this song you found clarity in the band’s sound. What was the turning point that you had, Was it a missing piece in creation?

Chad Griffin: We feel that song is a good reflection of our sound. That is more along the lines of songs that we like to write, that we feel is kind of the foundation of our sound…with the calmer verses and heavy driving choruses and hooks. That was actually a remake of a song we had back with our original group, so it has a sort of sentimental feel to it that brings us back to our roots.

Q: A newer track you dropped was ‘THE VEIL’ can you tell us your lyrical approach to this song and what inspires you as a lyric writer?

Chad Griffin: Honestly, that one is kind of a take on a lot of what is going on today. It’s hard to tell what is real anymore. You can hardly trust anything you hear, and people have trouble being real. It seems sometimes like people walk around living a front or a facade instead of being themselves. I actually have had those lyrics for over a decade, ha. I just took it and modernized it, and changed it up a bit. It was one of the newest songs added to the record, music-wise.

Q: One song off the new album that really brought focus to the band was ‘BEHEMOTH’. I really loved how it was a diverse sound more so than other tracks you guys released. How much do you strive to have complete diversity when going into writing a full-length?

Chad Griffin: That was always the track I wanted to be the first impression of this record. It was one of the first 4 tracks we had in the demo sessions and we knew it was a standout. We do put a lot of focus on the tracks being different than each other. We don’t ever want to put out an album that sounds like one long track. We like to have a little bit of everything. This is actually the most diverse record I think we have done. That’s one reason we are so happy with it. There is a lot of both worlds on this album when it comes to heavy and melodic.

Q: Back in the day, with your debut album, you had the ability to work with Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch on the song ‘FATHOM’. How did you get that collab worked out and what was the biggest thing you walked away with after working with him?

Chad Griffin: We were playing a venue near where he lived, and he came in to check out the bands and just enjoy his time off. We spotted him in the crowd and he came out back when we were loading. We just let him listen to some of our songs and he loved it. Said he’d love to help us out and collaborate. He was honestly an inspiration. Always full of talent and positive energy. He was honestly one of the coolest people still that we have ever run into since doing this.

Q: You guys seem very at home writing music do you ever get roadblocks and what would be your best advice for when that happens?

Chad Griffin: We are so used to each other from writing together for so long. It honestly just comes naturally. I have to say we are pretty blessed with that end of it and can’t complain. I’m sure the blocks have come a few times, just like with anyone, but they really don’t stick around long. We are always able to work through it and make it happen.

Q: Taking songs you have written and bringing them to an acoustic setting. Is it an easy process or is it like re-writing a song? And how much emotional value changes for you to perform it?

Chad Griffin: I’m a huge fan of the chilled out acoustic stuff. It really lets us play around with different arrangements of the songs. I love getting to go in wondering how it will turn out and hearing some of our heavier music have different versions like that. It does naturally feel more passionate at times. I do love rocking out and singing over the louder music, but it is honestly cool to get to sit down and make it something different.

Q: Being from Tennessee I am sure you are always finding people who inspire and help you learn more in the music community. How do you view your community and what do you believe your band has given to others in the community?

Chad Griffin: We are a split band as far as where we are all from. I love my community and we have a really cool regional radio show and awesome DJ that really helps get exposure for bands around the area. We have festivals and a few good venues. It is cool being so close to Nashville as well. I hope to be an inspiration to younger bands in the area and show them if they can stick it out and just keep writing together some cool things can happen. There are many different styles and forms of rock music played around our town, regardless of it being stereotyped as such a country stronghold.

Q: What is the biggest difference between self-producing your work vs finding someone to do it and what do you honestly prefer?

Chad Griffin: We loved our time going to Travis Wyrick for our first record and the experience we had there. We learned a lot and loved how it turned out. We would love to eventually get to work with another producer in the future but honestly, we prefer doing our own thing. We love getting together during our own time and have the freedom we’ve been able to have. We learn new things each record on how to perfect certain elements and have fun with it. We don’t really know what we will do or where we will go for the next, but we’ve enjoyed doing these last 3 ourselves.

Q: If you can get out and tour in 2021 is there one band you would be honoured to go out with?

Chad Griffin: We would love to reconnect with The Protest. It would be like hanging out with our brothers again and let Chase get to hang with old bandmates. There are several bands we wouldn’t mind playing with, but as far as staying around on the road…they stay at the top of the list for us.

Q: What venue do you miss playing at most and why?

Chad Griffin: To keep it short and sweet…any ha. We aren’t picky at this point. We just miss playing. We miss them all.

Q: 3 facts about your band that have nothing to do with music?

Chad Griffin: -We love God, we are far from perfect, but strive to be better for him and closer to him each day, we love discussing current events, politics, and sending memes back and forth on a daily in group message and we love Mexican food!

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘The Veil’ (Official Lyric Video)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.