Passport: Scott Warren

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

Getting my friends over to play on the record was the best part.  I write alone most of the time and that tends to be a pretty solitary and sometimes lonely process.  I love when things start to take shape during recording.  A lot of times, the songs end up in a completely different place than initially expected.  I’m fortunate to have a group of guys that I’m on the same page with and trust to give the tunes what they need.

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

I would check out “Good Love” (the title and lead off track).  The record, as a whole, is kinda fun and loose.  I think this track sets the tone for things to come and represents how I was feeling during the writing and recording of the album.  Sometimes I like to tone things down and get serious, but this time around, it was nice to just cut loose a bit.

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

It’s hard to say as I try not to think about the big machine much.  I know that the state of the industry made me much more open to trying new things, musically.  If someone would ask me to do something, I’d give it a shot.  This led to me doing the score for a Willie Nelson and Harry Connick Jr movie called “Angels Sing” a couple years back.  Also, I’m always trying to get better at my recording, mixing, and producing skills as I don’t really have the budget to hire anyone else.  The main thing I’ve realized over the years is that there isn’t one distinct path to being successful.  It’s kinda the wild west out there.  In some ways that’s frustrating, in others liberating.

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

I think Anna Calvi is an amazing artist.  I realize she’s relatively known, but think she will be a household name in the near future.

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

Ok, here we go..

The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year

Anna Calvi     –  Desire

The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Sister Surround

Wilco & Billy Bragg – California Stars

Nick Lowe – I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Next few months will be spent spreading the good word on the record.  Have some duo shows in the works with my buddy Dan Wistrom and will hopefully get a full band gig or two in as well.  Will continue to write in prep for the next record so hopefully things will have taken shape by the end of summer.  Heading to Spain in June for vacation so I’m much looking forward to that!

Check Scott’s website for updates & for the music

 

 

 

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Passport: Animal Daydream

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

Alexander Wahl: We haven’t released any albums yet but we are currently working on one, we have only released EPs, Easy Pleasures and our latest release Citrus.The fun part is to create and let things happen spontaneously without too much thought. This is kind of the concept of Animal Daydream, it’s like some kind of adult playground where we make all the rules and anti rules in a blend of social silliness, caffeine, beer and spicy food. The most fun is to destroy boring songs and remake them into fun songs.

Daniel Fridlund Brandt: Yep, and we always try to keep the recording process fresh by not using the same formula each time. If we get to comfortable it tends to be boring, so a lot of our songs contains first or second takes. If the feeling is right it´s not necessary to play every note perfect. The instrumental bits comes very easy for us but the singing and the lyrics is what takes more time.

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

A:Not a favorite question for me. I usually get hooked on a song and terrorize all my friends, telling them how awesome it is. Lately it has mostly been old songs like Take It To The Limit by The Eagles and Love and Mercy by Golden Smog and Talks We Used To Have by Fargo. A while ago I listened a lot to EZTV, the whole album is really great and Dust in the Sky is a super song.

D: I also find it hard to let a couple of songs define me as a person, but I can say that I still think The Byrds – Lady Friend is one of the best pop songs ever recorded, even though I heard it too many times during the years. Stuff I been listening to lately:

Doug Tuttle´s latest album It Calls On Me  (which deserves more attention for sure), Felt – Forever Breaths The Lonely Word, Melody´s Echo Chamber – s/t,  Goran Kajfes – The Reason Why Vol 2 and the latest Wild Nothing record Life Of Pause. The Morgan Delt record blew my mind some year ago and recently I have been rediscovering early The Posies albums and 70’s era Steely Dan.

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

A: I guess that it’s easier to spread your music and you don’t need lots of money to make records. We make music for fun and industry sounds like work and work is not fun.

D: Exactly, you can record an awesome record in your bedroom and you don´t need expensive studios and corporate label money to get it out there. The downside is that  there´s too much information and distractions everywhere so it´s kind of hard to cut through the noise. If people do not love the first 10 seconds of a song they skip to the next.

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

D: Hmmmm. This is a tough one. Our friend Tommy Lindström AKA Gondolen DIY-released a great record some years ago.I guess not that many people have heard it. It´s on Spotify so check it out!

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

A: I’d probably go for some classics and make some kind of vertical word of the letters like “Color” or “Pay my bills so I can play rock n roll”.

Can’t Explain – The Who
One Way Ticket – The Breakaways
Looking The Magic – Dwight Twilley Band
Oh Babe – Van Duren
Round and Round – The Edgar Winter Group
(Hidden track My time – The Pretty Things)

D: Haha. Next question please.

What’s up for the next couple of months?

D: Hang out, make new music, release a super limited edition cassette containing both EPs, travel, welcome the Swedish summer, eat some Indian food (regular joint close to our studio The Zoo), have a couple of beers and release a new video.

A: Yes, all that.  Our latest release got some pretty awesome reviews and I guess I’ll be hovering on those for a while and continuing making songs.

School steals a lot of time but keeping the mind busy gives a lot of inspiration and I’m thinking that the songs we are working on right now are the most interesting so far.

D: Thank you for your interest and check out our stuff if you haven´t yet!

Check it out

animaldaydream.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIPEuPgA-h4
facebook.com/animaldaydream
instagram.com/animaldaydream
soundcloud.com/animaldaydream

 

Passport Cliff Hillis

 

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What was the biggest fun during the making of “love not war”?

For me it was to actually play drums on a couple of my own songs. I’m a terrible drummer but love to play, and thanks to the magic of the studio and editing I was able to play drums on two songs (Mayor Of Midnight, A Boy Downtown). “A Boy Downtown” is actually the first song I’ve ever sang & played all the instruments on. I have to say, it was also fun being able to get all the various amazing musician friends on there. Without their talents it wouldn’t be the same. One particular memory was getting Dan Bern, who I wrote “Too Many Songs” with, to record the harmony vocal in the dressing room of the Tin Angel in Philadelphia before a gig we played together there with my mobile setup.

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

I’d say the title track “Love Not War”. It’s as much a relationship song as it is political, but in these crazy times of violence and uncertainly I think choosing love over war is something more people should strive for.

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

I’d agree that the music industry has changed a lot. One thing the current situation has brought to me is the ability to record, release and promote a record on my own, and have a platform (mostly digital) for people anywhere in the world to hear it. The downside is of course that the streaming revenue for music is currently pretty terrible, so making a living playing & writing music is harder than ever.

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

I’m not sure if this will change very soon, but I’m a big fan of Walter Sear who people may know as a studio engineer/producer. He passed away a few years ago. One of the first things I listened to as a little kid was his “The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit” moog album. It was on the flipside of a cassette that my Uncle from Holland sent over. Took me many years to figure out who it actually was. Even though I’m mostly a guitar player that record inspired me greatly.

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

Wow, that is tough! But off the top of my head-

The La’s- There She Goes

Hans Rotenberry & Brad Jones- Back To Bristol

Kinks- Waterloo Sunset

Glen Campbell- Wichita Lineman

Wilco- Can’t Stand It

What’s up for the next couple of months?

I have a bunch of live shows in the area that I’ll be doing solo and with my band The Forward Thinkers to promote the new EP, and looking at a trip to California as well. Plus I’ll be putting out a 45 in April that will be available from my good friends at Tallboy Records (http://www.tallboyrecords.com).

Check it out

http://www.cliffhillis.com/
http://twitter.com/cliffhillis
http://www.facebook.com/cliffhillis

 

Repost Passport – Reno Bo

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

RB: This record was a “prove it” album for me. I had all these songs and I knew I wanted to produce and play everything on the album myself. I said, “Ok then, Reno, show me what you got.” There was a learning curve involved in figuring out how to do it all myself and it certainly didn’t come without its struggles. I scrapped a lot of stuff along the way and started over again. But ultimately, I made the record I wanted to make. Every note and sound is exactly the way I wanted it to be. The most fun I had was proving to myself that I could do it and now I know that. Will the next one sound the same? Probably not because this album made me a better producer. But I’m excited for what’s next.

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

RB: I think the song “Lessons From A Shooting Star” encapsulates where I was while making this album. It’s got a little bit of everything in it – love, angst, melody, not one but TWO guitar solos ha ha. It’s the most rock and roll thing on the album to me.

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

RB: I really tried to not think about that at all. I just wanted to focus on making the best album I possibly could and trusted that the rest would fall into place. The pro’s of having a large company behind you is the money for publicity, radio, the big push. Having that all go off at one time is ideal. However, doing it at the indie level like I am (with my little label Electric Western), folks discover you slower. And the ones that find you found you for a reason. So I know that the fans I do have were made organically and are genuinely into the music.

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

RB: One of my favorite bands in Nashville is filled with some of the best musicians in the world. They are called Steelism. The guys sit in with me on shows from time to time. Jon Radford is the best drummer I’ve ever played with. Jeremy Fetzer is one of the most precise and soulful young guitar players out there today. Spencer Cullum Jr does things with the pedal steel I’ve never heard before. And Jon Estes not only plays bass, but arranges horns and strings. Talented brood they are. Check them out. Their music is an instrumental amalgam of Booker T. And the MGs, Ennio Morricone and The Ventures.

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?

RB: Hands down . . .

“I’d Have You Anytime” by George Harrison

“Until You Came Along” by Golden Smog

“Forever” by The Beach Boys (with Dennis Wilson on lead vocal)

“I Saw The Light” by Todd Rundgren

“Summer Wind” by Sinatra

What’s up for the next couple of months?

RB: I just finished up an LA run of shows. I’m in NY now, then head back to Nashville to start writing for the next album. I’ll also be putting out some singles and one offs in the next few months. Stay tuned at www.renobo.com!

Read the other Passports

Repost: Passport Paul Collins

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

There is a point in almost every recording, usually when you are doing the over dubs and my work is mostly done and I get to hear the tracks blasting back in the control room and it sounds great and you are just so excited with how the songs are turning out. On this record  it was when Jim was laying down the guitars on “Baby I Want You”, I was on cloud nine. I had been living with that song for so many years and to finally hear it in a big studio was awesome!

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

I guess “I Need My Rock N Roll” because it talks about how I got into this whole thing of playing and writing rock n roll songs, been loving it since I was a kid!

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

Jeeze, the record business has changed a whole ton since I started (pre-internet!) Fortunately now I am totally DIY. That means I pretty much do everything myself. I like that because you get to do what you want and not what someone else tells you to do. I got a lot of benefits from the business when I was younger and we were signed to Sony Records and we had Bill Graham Management. They got my name out worldwide and that helped a lot but we weren’t really a major label kind of band, so in the end they didn’t know what to do with us! I had a lot of fun though being a young pop star!

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

I don’t know but he or she better get out and start playing!

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?

Twist & Shout – The Beatles

Just What I Needed – The Cars

Road Runner – Jonathan Richmond

In The City – The Jam

Come a Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Just put together a rocking new band here in NY so I am going to play shows all over the east coast! Playing The Cake Shop with The Mean Jeans (Portland), hopefully going to Boston to play with The Lyres, stuff like that! Also writing songs for the next record! Keep on rocking folks!

Check the current tour here

And buy your tickets for the Utrecht concert here

Read the other Passports

Repost – Passport: Jimmy Haber

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Photo: Michael Carpenter

What was the biggest fun during the making of Joy Acid Pact album?

JH: Without a question, the best part was Living on Bondi Beach during the recording of “Joy Acid Pact”, after coming back from the studio deep inside Sydney, early in the morning, then getting to the Beach! Incredible!!

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

JH: Good question, from the first album, “New Bondi Hippies”, “My Girls Random”, because all in all, I am power pop all the way, and this song soars, is intricate, and still rocks out, which is at the root of everything I do. I love my psychedelic tendencies, and even somber lyrical content now and then, but deep down as I express myself, I am a happy soul, and this song is a lifter.

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

JH: When I started out, the only way to get your music out was consignment in the record stores, or at live gigs. Now? I sell more records and merchandise via internet, then physical cd or vinyl product, 10 to 1. It amazes me, still. If there was a problem with this new frontier, it would be the near impossibility of standing out over the millions of other artists. So, I try to be a step ahead, but I’m always learning new tricks from younger artists coming up. Brilliant stuff!

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

JH: ‘Never heard of yet’ is doubtful, but the most amazing musician in my eyes is Mr. Michael Carpenter from Sydney Australia, a WORLD class drummer, a stylistic Bassist, a really fantastic Guitarist, and a hell of a piano player. I have never met anyone who can play EVERYTHING so well. MC blows me away, and…………..he’s a fantastic guy.

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?

JH: Shelter Song TEMPLES /// Anemone BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE /// Here Without You BYRDS /// I Got You STONE TEMPLE PILOTS /// Summertime ZOMBIES

What’s up for the next couple of months?

JH: I am going to be starting the third Album in Mexico City, and shooting a video for the same project over the next few months, with trips to Orlando, and Los Angeles for the same purposes, all in all ending up in Sydney once more, because I can’t live without that beach!!