PASSPORT: RanDair Porter (Ransom and the Subset)

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What was the biggest fun during the making of the ALBUM?

Getting on an airplane once a month and flying to Boston to work with Brian King (Parks and OranJuly), and Duckie Carlisle (Grammy winning engineer) .

The three of us really had common goal of making a great new pop album.  Something fun and catchy but not cliché.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

As a songwriter I look for ideas and stories that people in some way can relate too. Things I’ve observed in life, sometimes ironic, sometimes humorous, sometimes sad – while each of those components exist in my own life I really don’t try to write about me (at least not on this album). If I write about someone/something else I can make up whatever I want to make the song interesting.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

The volume of really good music, (and really bad music) has increased so much, yet the investment and risk profile business is willing to make in artist has gotten so low its practically impossible for unrealized talent find its way to some type of commercial success.    However, making a record is much easier and cheaper these days, there are far more channels to get your music out there. Depending upon how much you work at it , there are many ways to get your music heard. It’s crazy my album is popular in places like Chile, Brazil and Japan. It’s quite satisfying to know people like your music all over the world.  That could not have happened a few years ago. While the audience has gotten larger, the money really hasn’t for musicians.  However, that isn’t just a problem for indie artist. It’s a problem for the whole industry.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

Brian King, my producer, and of the band Parks.  Parks new album will be great.  He’s a creative and meticulous musician and producer.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

So… its songs for “she” , so I’ll select random shuffle on my “smooth” playlist and see what 5 songs come up.

* Could you Lie –Alison Krause

* More than This – Roxy Music

* The things we do for love – 10cc

* Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan

* Virginia – The Nines

What’s up for the next couple of months?

I’ve been writing and collecting song ideas.  Toward the beginning of next year I’ll go into a focused writing mode and start making the sort list of songs I want on the new album.

In addition, there are a few of my songs that other artist will be recording. We also have the album on the desk of several producers for consideration for movie and TV.

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PASSPORT: Steve Deaton (The Steve Deaton Three)

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(Power) Pop, (Classic) Rock, Country, Blues … it’s all there and it’s great. Steve Deaton tells about the brand new album, The Steve Deaton Three.

 

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

The best thing about making this album for me was being able to record the core rhythm tracks live with two other super-talented musicians whom I respect and in general just like to hang out with. This was a nice change for me when it comes to recording a “solo” project (or at least one with my name on it) because in the past I’ve done a lot of Jeff Lynne-style production with me laying down one track at a time. And while I like the solitude sometimes of being a musical monk in my cave, I really prefer the energetic feel of a band interacting with one another, especially when recording straight ahead rock and power pop as is found on this record. Hence The Steve Deaton Three formula is one I plan to make my standard mode of operation. And my hope is that I can make the process fun enough to keep Denny Burkes playing his monster vintage Ludwigs and Adam Perry laying down some Fender Jazz bass with me for years to come.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

My personal and sentimental favorite is “Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped Up Model Ford.” This is our reworking of a Sun Records track by the late great 50’s rockabilly cat Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (who just happened to be my mother’s first cousin). The original recording of this song was never released and was partially destroyed. Decades later Brian Setzer heard a fragment of the tune on a Sun Records compilation and loved it. Setzer decided he wanted to cover the song on his Sun tribute album, so he contacted my second cousin Gene to see if he remembered the rest of the song. Gene told Setzer that the song was ancient history for him and that he couldn’t recollect even the verses that had survived, so Gene invited Setzer to write a third verse and complete the song and record it (which Setzer promptly did). Gene died a few years back, so our version is my tribute to him. I love the original fragment and Setzer’s cover version, but we decided we wanted to find a way to make our version ours, which I think we did. I’ll let you guys decide if we succeeded.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

Well, people bitch a lot about how the industry is going to pot, and for major label artists maybe this is so (meaning instead of selling 3 million units they now only sell 500,000—oh what a pity). But I am discovering that for independent artists, there are more and more avenues for getting your music heard (internet radio, blogs such as this fine blog, podcasts, social media ads). Some new fans are going to buy the music outright, some will decide to stream it on their subscription services, and other will simply listen once or a few times for free on YouTube and so forth. I’m happy with that—it is gratifying to know the music is being heard by people who are searching for new music.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

That’s a tough one. So I’m going to pick two. 1) The first guy actually quite a lot of people have heard of (especially people reading this blog) but who should be (in a just universe anyways) a megastar and household name after his recent release. That guy is Steve Eggers of The Nines. In the world of underground power pop, he is already a super star I believe. But the quality of his songcraft and pop production should rank him up there with Andy Partridge or Matthew Sweet, and, if I had my way, up there with Jeff Lynne and McCartney (that’s how blown away I am with his talent). The Nines’ recent album Night Surfer and The Cassette Kids is by far my favorite record of the year. 2) The guy that nobody has heard of is Jackson, Mississippi, jazz guitarist Barry Leach. He is a pillar of the local scene here, and if I’m just going to sit and listen to someone play guitar for a couple of hours, he’s as good as anyone I’ve come across—truly amazing! However, I don’t know that his obscurity will change any time soon because he has found a way to make a decent living without leaving the metro area. So for now at least, everyone will just have to come to Mississippi to hear this gem. But seriously, if you are ever in town on a weekend, he will usually be found somewhere playing solo or with The Barry Leach Group or with his jazz-funk outfit The Vamps. Do yourself a favor. He and these groups do have a few releases floating around out there in the cyberworld, too.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Well, the mixtape will be as much to decide if I want a second date as to find out if she wants to put up with me and my schizophrenic musical tastes. So my disaster of a mixtape might look something like this:

1. “Downed” by Cheap Trick

2. “Sam’s Place” by Buck Owens and The Buckaroos

3. “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” by Steely Dan

4. “Insanity (The Sanest Thing You’ve Got)” by The Nines

5. “Ghost of Perdition” by Opeth

Track 5 is where most women (including my wife) will leave the party. Thankfully my wife married me before I discovered Opeth, and thankfully she is sweet enough to politely excuse herself when they and other similar bands rotate through my playlist. Amazingly and fortunately for me, she comes back when it’s over! Note: I’m really not trying to seem cool or contrary by showing off my eclecticism. This is just the sweet and sad reality of my musical brain.

What’s up for the next couple of months?

The Steve Deaton Three are planning to release the current album on vinyl by mid-year (by Record Store Day if things go well) so we’ll be putting together a campaign to get the word out. We will play a few shows in the area, including (hopefully) a local indie music fest. Other than that, we’ll be busy being sweet husbands and super cool dads (we each have one child, all of them still young enough to think we are cool).

 

Passport: Ryan Allen

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What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

Making “Heart String Soul” was a pretty laid back affair. I made the record in my parent’s basement at my childhood home, and my dad engineered and co-produced the album with me. Needless to say, it was a pretty special experience making a record with my dad, and since the subject matter of the songs are so personal, it made perfect sense to do the record with him. We did the album in fits and spurts, whenever it worked out for our schedules, and the sessions usually resulted in some late nights, accompanied by some beers, with friends stopping by to play stuff on the record (guests include Sean Sommer on drums, my brother Scott Allen on keys, my bud Zach Curd on more keys, Nick Piunti on guest guitar on one track, and my dad playing some bass and a little guitar here and there). Once we finished up, we sent it off to Andy Reed and he mixed and mastered it (and also added a few harmonies and guitar stuff). Again, the process was pretty chill, with Andy sending me mixes over the Internet, me approving them or offering tweaks, and in basically no time it was done. All in all, it was awesome to make this record with so many good friends and family members supporting me along the way.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

Since the whole record is pretty autobiographical, lots of the songs on “Heart String Soul” would work as an “introduction” to my music. However, if forced to pick just one, I’d have to go with “Angela ‘97”. In terms of sound, it’s the kind of super charged power-pop that I guess I’m known for – down-stroked guitars, caffeinated tempos, harmonies galore… it’s basically what I do best distilled down to 2 ½ minutes of pure melodic adrenaline. Lyrically, the song is a clever – in my opinion, anyway – retelling of the love story between my wife and I. It’s self referential, and name drops bands and places that were important to us when we were younger. It’s hyper specific and auto biographical, but also relatable enough that people who weren’t there and didn’t live the story like I did can still connect with it. Everybody has a journey that leads him or her from one place to another, with specific events that happen along the way that become the building blocks towards pinnacle moments in your life. This song does a pretty good job of capturing that feeling.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

I’m not sure exactly how to address the “industry” part (though I have been in bands signed to labels) but if we’re just talking about music in general, it’s ultimately brought me great joy. I was just talking about this with my band mates in Destroy This Place the other day, and as much fun as it is to write songs and make records, music really is all about relationships. It’s given me the chance to meet amazing people and go to amazing places. It’s given me a chance to reconnect with people that I don’t get to see very often. It’s offered me the opportunity to connect with total strangers who may have found my music one way or another, and who have kind things to say and help keep me going. The Internet has of course helped with all this. It’s easier to book shows now, to stay in touch with people, to connect with fans, and to get your music out there to people on your own terms. Despite the fact that maybe music is less of a commodity as it once was, it’s still a great time to be playing, making, and putting out music.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

Man, this is a tough one for me to answer, because I listen to so much music and so many different varieties. I could easily name some obscure hardcore band from Flint, MI as I could somebody like my friend Nick Piunti – an amazing songwriter, singer and guitar player that has helped me a ton the last few years. I feel like a lot of people in the power pop world know him, though, and despite the fact that his records aren’t blowing up at Taylor Swift levels of popularity, he’s found a great niche in that world and has received a lot of well deserved praise for his last few albums.

One person that I feel like the whole world should really be more connected with is John Davis of Superdrag (and more recently the Less of Memory). It might seem like an odd choice, as lots of people still remember “Sucked Out” and Superdrag’s Buzz Bin success, but the records Superdrag made after “Regretfully Yours” are some of my favorite records ever. “Head Trip in Every Key” and “In The Valley of Dying Stars” are two of the best pop/rock/power-pop whatever-you –wanna-call-it records of the late 90s/early 2000s. His solo albums are also fantastic, and his work with the Lees of Memory so far has been outstanding. I loved “Sisyphus Says” and still listen to it all the time. He’s also been putting up demos, b-sides, one-off singles, and other stuff – all recorded at home on his four-track cassette player – on his Bandcamp page that is really worth checking out . He’s a huge inspiration to me and I wish everybody knew how amazing he is.

 

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Another impossible question for me to answer, so here’s a few jams off the top of my head.

1. “Same Old Flame” – Sloan
2. “September Gurls” – Big Star
3. “Dyslexic Heart” – Paul Westerberg
4. “Baby’s Waiting” – Superdrag
5. “The Concept” – Teenage Fanclub

What’s up for the next couple of months?

I just released an album with my other band Destroy This Place (called “Animal Rites”).

 

We played a bunch of really fun album release shows, and I’m sure we’ll be playing some more gigs into the new year. I’m also in the midst of demoing about 13 songs for another solo record that I hope to record sometime in early 2016. I’m really psyched on the songs, so I’m hoping to take the rest of the winter to hunker down and get something going on them.

PASSPORT: Drew Forsberg (The Persian Leaps)

 

 

What was the biggest fun during the making of High & Vibrate?

We’ve recorded and/or mixed all of our releases with Neil Weir at Old Blackberry Way. It’s always great working with him. This last time around was especially fun because it was the first time we’ve recorded with our current bassist, Adam. That went really well. Also, our drummer’s brother, Neil, who used to be in the band came by and recorded background vocals on a few songs. It was good to have him back, if temporarily.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

Only a handful of my songs are directly personal. Only two that I can think of: “Sleepless” and “Hard Feelings,” both from our first EP, “Praise Elephants.”  “Sleepless” is about these awful, vivid recurring dreams I kept having about my father a few years after he died from cancer. “Hard Feelings” is about a very difficult period of my life that I went through about 8-9 years ago. Sorry, no happy songs!

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

The music industry hasn’t really brought us much yet. It’s very hard to stand out these days. It’s never been easier to record and distribute your music around the world, but since it’s so easy, everyone’s doing it.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

I’m a big fan of the Minneapolis band, Deleter. They have a few EPs out and are releasing their full-length debut in early December. The record label I formed, Land Ski Records, will be releasing the album, which is called “Oblique Seasons.” If you’re a fan of post-punk bands like Wire, The Fall, and Gang of Four, you should really check it out.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Well, this mix would tell her a lot about me and my musical influences. No guarantee she’d like it, but maybe she’d appreciate the honesty:

Teenage Fanclub – The Concept
House of Love – Christine
Guided By Voices – I Am A Scientist
My Bloody Valentine – Honey Power
The Smiths – Hand in Glove

What’s up for the next couple of months?

We’ll be playing around our home town (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN) occasionally but the main focus will be on recording next fall’s 5-song EP. We already have the songs picked and a few recording dates booked this winter, with more to follow.

PASSPORT: Tommy Lorente

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Tommy Lorente = French PowerPop for the Now People!

 

What was the biggest fun during the making of Un Cruel Manque de Tendresse ?

I would say the funniest moment was when I was cogitating about an idea for the album artwork. We tried many concepts, then I went to my bathroom, all suited-up, and instinctively took the shower head to my ear. and looked at myself in the mirror. Now you know.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

They all reflect my personality but I think “La Page aux Sentiments” is a good overview of what I want my music to be, and what I am.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

As I often say, times are changing. Even if the music business is really crowded today, Recording music and broadcast it all over the “internet-world” feels easier than before, and anyone can basically release an album all by itself, which is a priceless fact for creativity independence.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

To me there’s no best-musician, because, fortunately, there’s no Music-World-Cup !

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

– Clarence Carter – Soul Deep

– Eels – The Only Thing I Care About

– Alain Souchon – l’Horrible Bye Bye

– Nick Lowe – Mess Around with Love

– Denim – Best Song in the World

And if she’s Dutch, here are two “Hey, I know songs from your country you know”-Bonus-Tracks :

– Gruppo Sportivo – Girls Never Know

– The Nits – Tutti Ragazzi

What’s up for the next couple of months?

After having released some singles as « Trop de Questions » or « B.B (tu me plais tant) », I’m now working on a full album for 2016, and guess what ?…. Get prepared to hear some pure Powerpop for now people again !

PASSPORT: Herb Eimerman

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What was the biggest fun during the making of Five Dimensional Man?

Well my band is The Britannicas…Joe Algeri in Perth, Australia…Magnus Karlsson and Stefan Johannson in Stockholm, Sweden and me here in Lake Villa, Illinois… we released High Tea in 2014 and Joe was busy with some production of other projects and Stefan and Magnus were rehearsing to play gigs in Sweden… I hadn’t done a solo cd since 2006 and Joe always said he wanted to produce my next solo project so he kind of prompted me to do a digital 2 song single…so I started writing and recording and sending my individual tracks to Joe in Perth…by the time we finished the 2 songs I had written a 3rd and 4th and 5th…just working with Joe was the fun part…I can be pretty isolated by myself in my home studio and Joe really relates to what I’m trying to do and helps steer me in a good direction…I did all of the instruments and vocals except for the drums which were done by Stefan…so I guess working with Joe and Stefan on Five Dimensional Man was the fun part for me.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

Well I don’t know if I can pick a song…i have 6 solo cd’s…The Nerk Twins “Either Way” cd, which I did with Jeff Murphy of Shoes …and The Britannicas…., so there are so many songs …but really when I finished the 5 songs for Five Dimensional Man the title came from the fact that Joe felt the 5 songs were so different from one another that it really showed the width of my songwriting…so I would have to say I would like you to hear that entire cd to know what I’m all about…

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

Well in 2005 Joe Algeri contacted me and asked if i’d like to help him record a christmas song…from 11,000 miles away…iI had my home studio but I didn’t really understand how we could do that remotely…but he told me how we could do it and thanks to DLS lines at the time we could transfer full wav files via the internet…before that time there was no way you could transfer big files like that…so in 2010 and 2014 our band The Britannicas were able to write and record from our home studios on 3 different continents and have our music produced in Australia..I never imagined being able to do that…and I guess the only thing that I feel badly about in the music now a days is the fact that people are listening and buying downloads and not full cd’s anymore…they are missing out on the sequencing of the songs the way the artist intended for them to be heard…and they are listening to downloaded mp3 files thru earbuds…people forgot what hi fidelity great sounding recording are supposed to sound like.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

Oh gosh…I don’t even know how to answer this…i know so many unheard of great musicians but to be the best in the world…what does that even mean…I am much more about great songs as opposed to great musicians…lots of great musicians don’t have a clue how to write a great song…

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Let’s answer it this way…instead of 5 songs it would be 5 cd’s…Matthew Sweet 100% fun…Lindsay Buckingham Out of the Cradle…The Beatles Rubber Soul…Teenage Fanclub Songs from Northern Britain…Courtney Barnett Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes i just sit…

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Joe Algeri and I, along with the christmas crew, have just written and are in the process of recording a brand new christmas song and after that I’ve already started writing new songs and demoing them for my next solo cd and the 3rd cd for The Britannicas

PASSPORT: Paul Healy (The Toi)

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What was the biggest fun during the making of Water into Wine?

It was hard work but we had one day off and it was messy. We found a pub with a jukebox, pool table and the resident recreational drug user. The Griffin … if those walls could talk! All in it was just a great experience and it was funny to have a multi platinum awarded rock star (Dan Hawkins of the Darkness) cutting about in our drummers work van (he works in construction).

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

Down By The River … Get On It … they have all our trademarks – HUGE choruses, HUGE harmonies, HUGE guitars … and they tell stories. We’re all about songwriting and reaching out to people through our lyrics.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

It brought us a lot of con artists promising us the world but we rode that time out and went our own way. We gained some amazing friends – our producer Nick is like a fifth Beatle to us now. A great pal. Andy also got the chance to tour with GUN. It’s now a waiting game to see if anything filters through for us, fingers crossed.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

Me.

I dunno if it will change. Oh and my sister Martha L Healy is a great folk/country/Americana artist. She just needs a rub of the green. She has enormous talent!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Well I’m already married so the mix-tape worked haha!

What did I put on for her….it’s so long ago…..

Richie Sambora – All that really matters

Michael Jackson – Get on the floor

The Eagles – Love will keep us alive

Cher – You Wouldn’t Know Love

Whitesnake – Give Me All Your Love Tonight

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Writing, rehearsing, demoing with a view to recording a new EP. We’re onto the next level of songwriting … we learnt a lot last time round and are ready to up the stakes!

PASSPORT: Jett Pace (Old Man Canyon)

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Songs from the 2013 Phantom and Friends EP appeared on all kind of tv series and films. Now Old Man Canyon is ready to release their debut and they just unveiled the first taste of it, Back to the Start.

Jett Pace is already sharing some details about Delirium with us.

What was the biggest fun during the making of the new album?

The whole process of making the new album was surprisingly smooth and relaxed, we really didn’t hold back at all in experimenting with sounds and ideas which made the experience very freeing in the sense that we weren’t confined to creating something specific but rather let ourselves get back to the playfulness of making music which is often lost along the way.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

I’m not sure there’s any one song that will make you suddenly know the intricacies that make up ‘Me’ but there’s a lot of great songs out there that have been inspirational to who I am and how I see music. Pretty much every person that has really pushed what it means to be an artist and that created something in their art that allowed people to see things in a new way.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

I think the changes in the music industry reflect a larger shift that’s going in all industries across the board. There’s a desire for change and people are realizing that the ways things are currently, aren’t working. Artists now have tools that allow them to be in control of their own artistic expression. We no longer need to go through these massive soul-less record labels to get our art into the world because we have these social media platforms that have given us the resources that once only record labels possessed. I think it’s a really exciting time to be in this industry because there is a clear shift happening and I think it’s our job as artists to continue exploring new ways for the business side to function in a way that is cohesive and complimentary to the artists vision.

Who is the best musician in the world has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

I’m not sure I would ever consider any artist as the best musician in the world, just because the nature of the word ‘best’ and the way it quantizes the value of something. But I’ve been really digging this producer Nombe from Los Angeles. He’s still quite unknown by most people but I think it’s just a matter of time till everyone gets on board with it. Its rad stuff.

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Were getting everything in place for the release of our full length LP ‘Delirium’. We’ll heading out on tour in November across the U.S. and Canada with The Paper Kites and will be playing the new album for the first time in a live setting. We are super excited to finally get some new tunes out into the world and to get to play them for people.  After the tour I’m sure more touring will follow, I also hope to put time aside to collaborate with friends on other projects.

PASSPORT: Tom Rich

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What was the biggest fun during the making of American Fantasy? 

I always have the most fun when I’m creating and recording my bass parts because bass is my favourite instrument to play. I like to go into a song without planning the bass; I plug in and see what happens on take one. I usually have to go back and refine it, pick out what I do and don’t like and record a new one, but in some cases I get exactly what I’m looking for on that first take. On American Fantasy, six of the ten songs are take number one on the bass (Songs 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 – if you’re curious).

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why? 

Probably the last song, “T-Shirt”. It’s slightly romantic, and mostly optimistic.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not? 

I started gigging when I was 16 years old playing bass in my older brother’s band. The scene was on the cusp of transforming into what it is today, so it was an awkward time to start a career. It was significantly easier to make money on the bar scene back then. The new era has brought some great advantages to independent artists, such as the ability to distribute music easily online, but what is lacking today is the live audience in that bar scene. Festivals are alive and well but audiences don’t seem as interested in what’s going on outside of those limits.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon? 

I’m going to change this to best band: The Dang Danglers. Because Rock N Roll, that’s why.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

I tend to get stuck on entire albums and right now would probably just give the girl Spoon “They Want My Soul” but here’s five songs:

Spoon – Inside Out

Radiohead – Everything In Its Right Place

The Strokes – Machu Picchu

Sloan – People Of The Sky

Bob Marley – One Love

What’s up for the next couple of months?

When I wrote the songs for “American Fantasy”, half were power pop and the other half were of a folky, acoustic vibe, so my plan was to record the folky acoustic-based songs as a kind of part 2 during the coming winter months. But I might be too busy. Right now I’m working on a video for the song “American Girl” and playing some local shows in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada); in the new year I will do a tour of eastern Canada to Toronto and back. I also have a band called The Dang Danglers and I just finished mixing our debut album, due to be released this Christmas. On top of that, I work as a freelance bassist, which will bring me to Nova Scotia Music Week this November playing a showcase with singer-songwriter Laura Merrimen.

PASSPORT: Andy Reed

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Listening to Relay Vol 1 feels like slipping into something comfortable. That’s because Reed is singing his stories with an amiable voice and because he uses a clever and well-known mix of pop, westcoast and country elements. Nice!

What was the biggest fun during the making Relay Vol 1?

The most fun part for me was getting back to making music for myself. I haven’t released a solo record since 2011 and it’s a great feeling of accomplishment to have finished this new chapter. Being in the studio by yourself takes a lot of discipline and restraint. I am very proud of the music that came out of that.

 If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

I don’t think I have a song like that but the closest on this new EP is Dreaming Of The West Coast. It has a little bit of everything that I love in it. It’s orchestral and a little gritty at the same time. I’m a huge fan of melodic pop music (Beatles, Beach Boys, ELO). That song has a little bit of that classic mojo to it.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

The music industry has such a constant evolution. Getting music out there is so much easier than it used to be. I’m not a huge fan of playing live so this works well to my advantage. I just love making records. I really love the vinyl resurgence. Pretty much everything I release will be available in that format. This EP is actually side A to an LP that will be released in the spring.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

The best musician in the world is a really really tough question for me. I am lucky enough to know a ton of amazing artists that have very respectable careers.  Guys like Mike Viola and Steve Eggers are two fellas that come to mind instantly. These guys are incredible musicians and songwriters. Elliott Smith was always a huge favorite of mine as well. He has reached a wide audience with his catalog. I wish he were still around to make more great music.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Mixtape (I was never good on first or second dates)

I’m Waiting For The Day – The Beach Boys

Waltz #2 – Elliott Smith

She Goes To Bed – Jason Falkner

Virginia – The Nines

Oh Darlin – The Beatles

What’s up for the next couple of months?

The next couple of months I will be releasing the new EP on December 11 along with a release show in Bay City, MI. I am finishing up the new Legal Matters record which is slated for an early 2016 release. Then I will be finishing up side B to the Relay record. It feels great to be putting some new music out into the world again.