Sweet Sweet Music’s Top 13 of 2016

Complete mayhem at Sweet Sweet Music’s HQ. But, hey for the love of music, it was worth fighting for. This is our Top 13 of 2016.


01. Ed Ryan – Roadmap

02. Berwanger – Exorcism Rock

03. Bryan Estepa & The Tempe Two – Every Little Thing

04. Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are

05. Public Access TV – Never Enough

06. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms – Basement Punks

07. Nick Piunti – Trust Your Instincts

08. Family Fold – Lustre Go

09. The Forty Nineteens – Rebooted

10. La Panther Happens – For The Night Crawlers

11. The Legal Matters – Conrad

12. Sweden – Oh, Dusty

13. The Well Wishers – Comes and Goes

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SWEDEN – Oh, Dusty (interview)

The band Sweden is from Norway. Of course. Fredrik Gretland explains why. 

Their new album, Oh, Dusty, is filled with 10 power pop, Indie Rock gems.


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


I always enjoy the recording process. This time we went to a studio on a remote island in the west of Norway. We recorded everything but vocals there in one week. The studio, ocean sound recordings is so amazing so just being there is fun. Then we went to Stockholm to record the vocals with Pär Wiksten, (the singer in The Wannadies). And that was super fun. One day we went out to get lunch an Pärs local hang out, we ended up trying all the new aquavits and weren’t able to record anything else that day, but it was great fun!

How often do you have to explain about the band name?



Haha, every time! But it’s ok, I guess we asked for it. When we grew up in the nineties, the music scene was a lot better in Sweden than in Norway, and growing up close to the Swedish border we were heavily influenced by Swedish bands. So it is our little homage to them.

How will you promote Oh, Dusty?




We have had two singles play-listed on Norwegian radio and we have played club shows and festivals over here.

What about the outro of For Everest (Forever rest)?




Yeah, our little noise rock moment. Well that song has sort of a duality in it. Between the verses and the choruses. We thought it would be cool to accentuate that by freaking out on the last half. Let that mellow-ish chorus turn into chaos.

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



We have been in bands forever and none of us have made a lot of money on record sales. It has always been touring the has made some revenue. I guess the biggest change is that we see that the record industry itself has a lot less money to spend.
And there are a lot more bands/artists now, which kind of turns the industry people into the rock stars.

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



Oooh, that’s hard. I will make a much better mix tape when she tells me there won’t be a third date. I tend to gravitate toward the melancholy stuff, but here goes:

Descendents – Silly Girl

Janne Kask – Summer is Here 

Sleeper – Statuesque

Nada Surf – Always Love

Ryan Adams – Oh My Sweet Carolina

What’s  coming up for the next couple of months?

We still have a few shows left this year, and we continue touring next year. We are trying to get a few shows together in Germany, and we would love to visit The Netherlands too. If anyone want us to come and play get in touch!

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LILLIPUT – Midnight Daydream (interview)

Sweet Sweet Music talked to James Gilling about Midnight Daydream, the new release by his band Lilliput.

File under: west coast, power pop, mellow, beautiful!

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

David Bowie passed away halfway during recording, and the bar next to the studio had a full on Bowie listening party. We listened to the whole of Blackstar and the room burst into applause. Was an amazing thing to be part of. It affected the overall recording too.

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



To be honest, the music industry hasn’t done much for us. We’ve funded everything ourselves, recording, sourced merchandise, printing, vinyl pressing and artwork ourselves. If anything we’ve learned to operate without a lot of help. We can control everything we do.

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

Low Flyin Bird – Cass McCooms
Sooth Lady Wine – Matt Corby
Jóga – Björk
Breathe – The Cinematic Orchestra / Fontella Bass
As Time Goes By – Dooley Wilson

What’s up for the next couple of months? 


We’re rehearsing the new album and playing around with it a little at the minute as well as writing some new stuff. Working toward our annual christmas show also. There’s a couple little projects in the works also!

How will you promote Midnight Dreamer?


The next few months we’ll be promoting the album. It’s available to stream online currently, so keep an eye out for the physical copies!

You have a Autumn/mellow/melodic/harmony …. beautiful sound. How would you describe it?



Thanks! I don’t know about beautiful, but we’ve been listening to a lot of west coast singer songwriter stuff recently, which is a lot more laid back. I think you’ve described it better than I ever could!

BERWANGER – Exorcism Rock (interview)

A huge HUGE album! 

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Josh Berwanger.



Watch here

The bio says you recorded Exorcism Rock in 7 days. So it is possible to create a million dollar sound in a week?

Thanks for the kind words. We really worked our butts off in those 7 days. We would get to the studio around 11am and go until we were all zombies which sometimes meant 1-2am. Then we’d all go back to my place and unwind by watching Apocalypse Now or playing Tecmo Bowl and partying pretty hard. Then wake up and do the same. 

All killers no fillers. You must have had a zillion songs to chose from or … ?  


I had about 20 songs that I teally felt great about, some of them were just a little more out there. We recorded 11 songs, one didn’t make it on the album.

How will you promote Exorcism Rock?



We will tour on it, made 3 videos, college radio.

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

I look at this as what more can we bring to ourselves. I don’t care about the music industry and it doesn’t care about me. I really just focus on making great music and working hard, so if at the end of the day I tour, only sell a few albums and am broke I at least know I did what I set out to do, make music I love and work hard. If people buy it and come to shows that’s just icing on the cake.

It should bring you packed Arenas as far as I am concerned!


Thank you, could you set that up please 😀

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


1. Ned Doheny “Get It Up For Love”

2. ABBA “Take A Chance On Me”

3. Little Walter “You’re So Fine”

4. Bobby Fuller Four “Only When I Dream”

5. Don Covay “You’re Good For Me”

If you could pick two bands (any) to tour the world with. Who?



Wilco

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

You just finished touring. What kind of tour was it? Type of venues? Is touring still a good way to promote your music or make some money? 

We toured the midwest and east coast. I would say it was a pretty bad time to be touring. We had a few great shows but we also had some bad shows when we were competing with the World Series and the election. Small club venues (cap 150-350). I have no idea what the best way to promote music is these days. I assume every little thing you do helps. 

DAN RICO – Endless Love (interview)

Half the songs on Endless Love are snappy punk numbers… That’s what I grew up playing and I consider it my roots.


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

The most fun thing about recording this album was just taking my time with it. Working from my studio at my home I was able to relax and hone these songs over the course of almost two years. I’m a little superstitious about showing my work before it’s completed. I’ve also kept very busy the last couple years with other projects in the role as producer and as a musician. So when the album was finally done I showed it to my peers, bandmates, etc and they were like “wow, when did this happen?” I think that laid-back approach really came across in the final product and I’m very happy with it. 



Were the late 70s the best? Or just a huge inspiration? 


I love all eras of music and all sorts of styles. I do find the production style of the late 70’s particularly provocative. There’s a gratifying mixture of cutting edge and nostalgia that was popping up around that time. My two favorite producers are Prince and David Bowie (its a sad coincidence they both died this year). I take a lot of cues from their vocal arrangements along with the songwriting styles from the likes of T Rex and the Stones who were most active in that same era. There’s something about that time in music that just feels like home.

You cover a lot of different styles. I like that a lot. Did that happen or did you chose to do that?

Throughout my career I’ve often been complemented on jumping between genres… but it’s something I struggle with as well. Someone may like one of my songs but be repelled by another in a different style. Half the songs on Endless Love are snappy punk numbers… That’s what I grew up playing and I consider it my roots. At this point my challenge artistically is to use my favorite elements from many of the genres I like and put them together into something new, cohesive, and stimulating. Endless Love is a collection of songs that were written over the course of many years. So this album was an exercise in trying to collect all these pieces from disparate times and influences and place them in the same sonic universe. (For a foray into tons of genre jumping and criss cross, check out my collaborative project Ego, which released 13 albums in 2015.) 

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


One thing I’ve learned is that it’s a lot of hard work. Beyond just writing, recording, rehearsing, performing, etc, promotion for an artist or an album is a full time job if done correctly. Many of these roles are now directly in the hands of the artists themselves. It’s empowering but also a lot of responsibility, time, and pressure. A long time ago I realized I’ll never be a platinum-selling arena-packer. My goal is to be as good as I can be at what I do. I am an artist and an entertainer and take pleasure in creating work that balances my vision with something that’s enjoyable for the audience at hand. In today’s music industry climate it’s unlikely for anyone to land a multi-billion dollar record deal. But as long as I’m capable of writing and recording music and getting by modestly I’m very happy.

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

Hmm…

Try Me- James Brown

There was a Time/Raw Ramp- T Rex

Wanna Be Your Lover- Prince

Let me try– MC5

Very First Lie- Material Issue

What’s up for the next couple of months?


I’m on tour playing guitar with hard rock band MAMA from Chicago through November, then getting to work on a new album through December and January. Expect a tour in the spring!

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