IN DEED – EVEREST (Q&A)

‘But, apart from the so-called classic power pop, In Deed, also,  is  influenced a lot by the British 90s indie/Manchester scene, and personally, when it comes to songwriting, I would say UK 1964-66.’, says Richard Öhrn.

In Deed’s newest release ‘Everest’ just received a five start review in Shindig Magazine, for very good reasons. Check it out!

 

 

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

Around 15 years had passed since we last released an album (2001), so when we started working on putting together ”Everest”, we were aware lots of things had changed and we made an attempt in trying to work a bit differently. At that early stage, it was mainly me and Marcus who worked on the recording and mix, and with the ambition to be able to work separately, we planned to set up a process where we could send files to each other back and forth…a new thing to us but the way it works these days. Anyway, the most fun thing about this was that we just couldn’t do it…Marcus even bought a little midi keyboard but he couldn’t figure it out properly so we ended up meeting Thursday afternoons in the small studio I have at my house, working on the songs the way we used to do 15 years earlier, and having lots of laughs and a few beers. Every time, Marcus brought that little midi in a plastic bag, it was ambitious but we just laughed about it, it was never used…

 

 

 

 

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

I think…the moment when we listened through our unreleased rough recordings for the first time in a long while –we truly felt that all of these songs are really good and that whatever time had passed didn’t make them out of date. That made us decide we should go for a sort of digital release of the songs, but as soon as we started working on the music seriously, we changed plans and it turned out as a vinyl album, and then came rehearsals and live gigs…now we’re back on track as a full working band again, which is just great.

 

Do you feel part of a community, the power pop community?

Yes! We were not aware of this until perhaps a couple of months after ”Everest” had been released…but the more our music was spread, the more we learned that there is such a community. There seem to be some key figures, that we’ve had the luck and pleasure to come across, such as David Bash, head of the IPO Festivals…just to mention one. Of course, a community like this wouldn’t have been accessible 15-20 years ago, pre-Facebook days…but we feel we are genuinely in there, having followed and been inspired by bands like The Posies and Teenage Fanclub since the 90s. But, apart from the so-called classic power pop, In Deed also is a lot influenced by the British 90s indie –the Manchester scene, and personally, when it comes to songwriting, I would say UK 1964-66.

 

Magic can happen when you are playing in front of a crowd. Can you recall such a moment?

Yes. Small pieces of magic always happen when you’re on stage. Last Saturday, we played on a location we’ve never been before, a bit off, almost country-side, small town area. There was not a huge crowd, but the ones who were there just danced and sang along with our songs, it was beautiful and magical, a great evening in a small place.

 

What would change if Disney would call and tell you they are going to use your song in their next movie?

I guess we would get a lot of new fans though perhaps not the ones we thought we would…I also think our publisher would love us even more. And when on tour, the whole band could afford to stay in nice hotels. It sure would be cool for us to attend the premiere of the film, whatever crap movie it would be.

 

 

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TIM JACKSON – Better Late Than Never (Q&A)

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‘I don’t really care how but I want it to be heard!’, says Tim Jackson. ‘Better Late Than Never’ is his first solo release.

A release Dopecausewesaid writes about as : ‘Absorbing his record collection of great singer-songwriters of the past 40+ years, you’ll hear shades of Paul Simon, Ben Folds, Tom Petty and yes, even Elton John in the title track’s piano break which could be the cheeky half-cousin of Crocodile Rock. The album is a musically intricate, sometimes sad but ultimately an uplifting story of fulfilling your dreams after being derailed by everyday life.‘.

 

Now go ahead and listen!

 

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

 

I was lucky enough to be able to record the record with some great musicians I have known for many years including Jon Green (producer/guitarist for James Bay, Linkin Park etc), Iain Hornal (Multi-instrumentalist for ELO) and Tom Meadows (Drummer for Kylie etc).

 

When we were playing the songs live in the studio it felt amazing as we were able to bring them to life together. The guys understood instinctively how to interpret my thoughts musically and the feeling of being totally in sync with one-another is one that anyone who has been lucky enough to play in a good band will be familiar with.

 

 

 

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

 

The record is already a success in the sense that when you listen to it back now, I feel it accurately represents my musicianship, feelings and it achieves what it set out to. I am proud of the songs and, for the first time in my life, I have been able to distill my ‘essence’ onto the record and listening to it tells you far more about me than I ever could be talking to you.

 

In terms of ‘commercial’ success, it won’t be a success in my eyes until everyone who I want to hear it is aware of it. They don’t have to like it but there is a demographic of music lovers who appreciate the craft of alternative singer-songwriting who I want to know about it. That can be from radio airplay, featuring in prominent steaming music playlists or having my song featured in a film or TV show – I don’t really care how but I want it to be heard!

 

 

Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?

 

There are many great songs that have the ability to seamlessly push artistic boundaries while being concise and catchy and that’s what really attracts me. For the past couple of years, I’ve been slightly obsessed with ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ by Paul Simon, so much so that the sound of it is clearly referenced on my own track ‘Calm Down’. It is both harmonically and melodically complex and ambitious but, at the same time, really memorable. The lyrics are simultaneously conversational, droll and emotional and it clocks in at almost exactly 3 minutes. It is a work of art.

 

Other songs that achieve this in my mind include ‘What A Fool Believes’ by Doobie Brothers and ‘Sir Duke’ by Stevie Wonder which has one of the most outrageous chord changes in its chorus in musical history!

 

 

 

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?

 

Haha – that’s a very dangerous question! Pop music history is littered with the corpses of bands and artists who were given too much time and money by their record labels to make their next album after having success on a limited time and budget. The best art always comes from limitations, whether that’s the Beatles creating magic with only 4-track recording, Bon Iver making an entire album with just and guitar in a log cabin or Bruce Springsteen making Nebraska with a home tape recorder.

 

That said, there are always exceptions to the rule and Wildflowers by Tom Petty was recorded over a couple of years and is one of the most immediate and tight records you could ever wish to hear. So, to answer your question, if I had an unlimited budget, firstly I would use it to spend time away from the distractions of everyday life and give myself the time to write 10 really good songs that stood on their own.

 

Then, I would get the best band together that I could – that would still be the same guys I have worked with for years as we have a shared intuition that you cannot buy. Then we would just spend weeks working on the songs and playing them before even thinking of recording them until they were as good as we could get them.

 

Finally, we would find a great studio with a great recording engineer and record them live as a band in a matter of a few days to capture the energy.

 

If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?

 

I would probably ask Billy Joel and Ben Folds Five. Three piano-playing singer-songwriters from three different eras the ’70s, ’90s and now all sharing a common instrument. I think it could be a great tour, the jazzy craft of classic period Billy Joel, the nerdy aggression of Ben Folds and the weary dad-rock of me. We could come together at the end in a triangle-shape of three huge grand pianos and play New York State Of Mind, Underground, and Better Late Than Never – well if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

 

 

The Thin Cherries on Moose Island

‘(…) we stumbled on a few synthesizer sounds that we would employ as countermelodies to jangly guitar & bass driven songs that otherwise sounded like nice nods to the Smiths or other influential bands.’, says Steven Delisi.

The Thin Cherries just released their second record “The Thin Cherries on Moose Island”.

And this is their story so far.

 

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I think you’ve alluded to what’s traditionally considered “success” …. recognition, financial gain of some sort, etc., as having evolved to something that fits more realistically into the current world we live in where there’s a sort of “democracy” now to producing & sharing music.  Everything happens so much faster these days and then it’s on to the next thing, but in the end, you have to write good songs and express something meaningful to people. Of course, we all want success, but it’s already been wonderful to have made two albums together and play shows, etc.

We tend to be realistic I guess, but we also have fun with the ‘fantasy’ too … which is funny sometimes, as most of us are over 45 yrs old … but not too sour yet 😊

I feel our new album is a success as far as artistic development as well. Our band started out as a project for two songwriters, Mark & I, wanting to collaborate with the help of a friend who plays many instruments …. & had access to a rehearsal space with limited recording gear. That’s Darren Shepherd, our lead guitarist who we brought demos to & eventually we recorded bass, guitars, & drums to start the record. Our goal was to “put out a record” and just see what happens. Personally, I worked all week & couldn’t wait for our Saturday afternoons to get back to “my real work” … what I love so much and want to do more full-time.

During these initial meetings at the “Cali Space” … a rehearsal space building in Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, the drummer from Darren’s other projects happened to stop by & he liked songs we were working on & offered to play on “Oven Mitt” … the one song from our first album that has a non 4/4 time signature. Gabe Palomo turned out to be this amazing drummer who really understands the recording process & kept showing up to help us complete the remaining songs.

The four of us really formed a bond in the “studio” and became good friends. This was all during 2016. A bit later, Gabe’s wife Birdie joined us on Keyboards … completing the ‘sound’ we created for that first record … which has all the dominant synth parts that make the dream pop aspect of The Thin Cherries.

Initially, when Mark & I started to meet at his apartment studio to share song ideas and create demos; we stumbled on a few synthesizer sounds that we would employ as countermelodies to jangly guitar & bass driven songs that otherwise sounded like nice nods to the Smiths or other influential bands.

We realized how much we loved electronic keyboard sounds like with New Order, or old Gary Numan records … but we discovered an interesting hybrid of those with the traditional clean, twangy guitars. This felt like the perfect approach for our songs which were already very good to begin with.

At the end of 2017, we started to really develop as a band that could play out and play most of what we created in the studio LOL … it’s taking all this time to really discover how we play together.

Our goal became to make a really good album that has all of us participating in the songwriting process, more than the first album.   (new album, Oct 26th, 2018)  (The Thin Cherries on Moose Island)

 

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So, our rehearsals became more focused on issues like, how are we going to shape this or that song. Birdie would show up with these amazing keyboard melodies to complete songs that Mark & I had made demos for … but we left room for other instruments, etc.  And, Darren continued to do the same with guitar parts that both texture and lead voices … he really amazes me how versatile he is as a player.  And, we finally started to work on some of Darren’s songs which we ended up with “Steadfast Arranger“  on the new album, departure of sorts that’s more personal & emotional ….which is really beautiful!

And it was important for us to get our drummer Gabe more involved creatively, as he is a producer of dance and techno music.  Our current single “I Don’t Know You All”,  is the result a “drunk’en”  idea Mark came up with after rehearsal … late at night, in which Gabe quickly “threw down” beats and they went from that point shaping a dance track. The rest of us added instruments later & we sort of fulfilled our desire for a more organic approach to producing music, that starts from a melody idea & not some one’s already written song.  We wanna do more of this in the future.

Last year we asked our friend Mike Hagler to co-produce us at the studio, Kingsize.  He had done the mastering on our debut album and was familiar with what we like to do… and like the new song ideas, we had, etc.  Mike is a great engineer who really understands how to work with a group of musicians …where sometimes, there’s just too much expected or going on, and he quickly brings the group back to what’s needed for a good recording.  So, we came to him with some rehearsed songs and some ideas in draft form to work from.

(Our friend is engineer Mike Hagler … Mark & I have known for over 25 yrs. I had worked with him in the mid to late1990s when he recorded my first band, Phenomenal Cat.  And more recently, he has worked with The Luck of Eden Hall, which is Mark’s other band that’s been putting out records and touring since the late 1980’s. )   (Kingsize Soundlabs in Chicago, owner/engineer Mike Hagler)

During this past year while recording our album, “The Thin Cherries on Moose Island”, we solidified quite a bit as a band.

Figuring out how to play together was difficult at times. But the studio experience made it very rewarding.  Along the way, our friend Sophie Senard helped us with backing vocals on songs like “Moose Island” & I Don’t Know You All”.  Her amazing voice & ideas really made these songs & several others, more interesting. Then she contributed accordion on “Soviet” which added a super cool element to the scene that is this song.  So, now she is our newest member 😊

Going forward… finishing out this year, we are just trying to get our album in the hands of people who will play it on the radio and share on social media, etc.  Our goals for 2019, are to possibly find a label that will partner with us in printing and distributing our album as a CD release.  Then, of course, we need to stay focused on writing and recording at least an EP.  Part of this effort for new material will be to expand on the full band collaborative process that we only started recently.

The biggest fun I had … & I think we all feel this way, was going to Mike’s studio …. Kingsize, and recording the basic tracks for the first time.  It was amazing to get acclimated to the studio,  that is basically an old factory space with a loft where the mixing room is.  It’s tracking area is a huge space that felt almost too big to properly react to each others playing,  and for me, it became very uncertain when having to play under headphones since I’m not used to this method when playing & recording altogether.

 

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But then after a few takes, we went up to the loft to hear the tracks, and it was like,  “Oh my god, the sounds are so big!”  & the tones so rich and beautiful. We could then choose the best takes for these first songs … each sounded so promising!  So, we knew right away that we had the basis of a really special album. This was exciting and it propelled us along each time we worked at Kingsize.

I definitely feel part of a local music community in Chicago that stems from playing what’s more or less, accessible pop/rock music.  There are a lot of bands & venues here. So, it’s been pretty easy to make friends with other bands and connect with people who go out to shows frequently. In fact, we’ve become close friends with the folks who produce The Power Pop Shoppe radio show at WNUR here in Chicago.  They have had us on their show several times to play live, and we’ve participated in showcase gigs that they organize at different local venues.  Even though we are not a power pop band, they have been kind enough to include us in their wonderful programs.  In fact, we played a few Tommy Keene songs for a tribute show this year to honor his music. This was organized very well with several power pop bands involved. I had fun learning his songs and understanding better how influential he has been to pop/rock music over the years. There’s a power pop component to what we’re doing too … songs like “I and Julia” and “Dorian Gray” from our first album come to mind.  And, “Novato” on our current album.  So, we kind of fit in 😊

 


 

Chicago’s The Thin Cherries is the newest musical project founded by scene vets Steven Delisi and Mark Lofgren.

Delisi is a musician and songwriter with a background in theater and film production. His former band, Phenomenal Cat, blended his pop/punk sensibilities with experimental music and the Russian folk influences of his band mates. 

Songwriter/musician Lofgren is one of the founders of psychedelic pop/rock mainstays The Luck of Eden Hall, who have toured Europe and released music on a variety of independent labels, including Headspin Records and Fruits de Mer Records. In 2014 he released his solo debut, The Past Perfect.

In 2015, Delisi approached Lofgren, who shares his love for bands like Blur, the Replacements and the Smiths, to collaborate on a recorded project that emphasizes good songwriting

In the spring of 2016, The Thin Cherries emerged with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Darren Shepherd(Belmondos) and drummer Gabriel Palomo(The Streets on Fire). Later, they welcomed the addition of Birdie Soti on Keyboards & synths.

Collaboration at their California Station studio in Logan Square led to the initial recordings for The Thin Cherries’ debut album, that was released in spring of 2017. 

Currently, The Thin Cherries just released their 2nd album “The Thin Cherries on Moose Island”, at Kingsize Sound Labs, with engineer & producer Mike Hagler. 

DOING THE HURKY-JERK

‘Success will be achieved when we play a show on an actual beach, and the people are losing their shit, doing the hurky-jerk  (…) .’, says The Silo of Autogramm.

 

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‘What R U Waiting 4?’ is their new release and there is, at least, one instant Power Pop classic on it.

 

 

 

 

Autogramm is Jiffy Marx, CC Voltage and The Silo.

 

The original idea that guitarist Jiffy Marx and bassist C.C.Voltage had for this project was more about starting a band that would tour to sunny destinations than starting a new wave band, but it was their mutual admiration for punk and power pop that brought the two together. Along with drummer The Silo, the three had been connected through the Vancouver music scene, sharing stages, friends and even band members in seminal bands like Jerk With a Bomb, The Spitfires, Blood Meridian, Lightning Dust, Hard Drugs, Black Halos, Black Rice and Black Mountain.

 

If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?

 

Jiffy Marx: we would definitely have to ask Seattle’s Bread & Butter, who we did our first tour with and we are heading down to play with again as I type this! They are the sweetest dudes and the perfect vacation soundtrack! We just did 3 shows with our friends Comet Control from Toronto, also super sweet dudes. We also have some upcoming shows with Needles//Pins from Vancouver and Maniac of Los Angeles, also both totally sweet.. what can I say, that’s a tough one!

 

The Silo: Maybe Streetheart is still together?

 

Can you still recall the moment music became important to you? What happened?

 

Cc Voltage: Yes! My cousin Bart told me that this band called Van Halen was going to be on the radio at noon playing a song called “Runnin’ with the Devil”. I was only 5 years old and both excited and terrified as we headed home to listen to CFOX radio in Vancouver. It was the coolest thing I’d ever heard.

 

My parents had only played ABBA and The Village People for me up until then. It was the moment I got into music and it was a few more years until punk was introduced to me.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

The Silo:

Credit in the Straight World by Young Marble Giants

This is the Day by The The

Happy House by Siouxie and the Banshees

Two Step by Low

Plateau by Meat Puppets

 

(Pretty weird mixtape but I would require anyone I was dating to be down with such diverse shit!)

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?

 

 

Jiffy Marx: It would have to be near a beach and a skate park and it would have to have a pool. Maybe in Puerto Escondido (Oaxaca Mexico) since that’s where we were when I asked The Silo to join the band. But in that case, it would have to have air conditioning as well because it’s hella hot there.

 

The Silo: Is that Compass Point place in the Bahamas still open??

 

 

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

 

 

The Silo: Success will be achieved when we play a show on an actual beach, and the people are losing their shit, doing the hurky-jerk and running man in the water. Even the goths will get in the water. Also probably one of us should jump a shark on a surfboard at some point during the melee. Then when people refer to Autogramm “jumping the shark”, they’ll just be talking about how rad that party was.

 

LOVE AT FIRST RIFF

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‘When this group got together it FELT good. It was the universe saying “Make a band called Bread & Butter. Do you have something better to do? You don’t. I’m the Universe and I know these things.” It was love at first riff.’, says drummer Mason Lowe.

Bread & Butter self titled release is not brand new but it is one of those records I still play, A LOT!

 

This is a power pop group that doesn’t skimp on the pop or the power. Each song is carefully arranged, but still sounds like it’s in danger of flying out of control. Like a good party!

 

 

 
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

First practice, first five minutes. We had all known each other and been pals for years. We’d even played together in different combinations – but not this exact formulation. When this group got together it FELT good. It was the universe saying “Make a band called Bread & Butter. Do you have something better to do? You don’t. I’m the Universe and I know these things.” It was love at first riff.

We wrote the songs for the first album in a summer. We’d all contribute parts, we’d pass around a notepad to write lyrics. It was the most idyllic musical situation I’d ever been in. I loved Ryan’s fun guitar sound and Lars’ nasty leads. Shane is the most purely talented musician I know – he’s such a good rock singer it’s annoying. I honestly think it’s easy for him. He’s a turd.

When we’d be working on a new song, I’d wake up in the middle of the night with like the riff from “Desperation” ringing in my head. That still happens when we’re writing. It’s not good for your sleep, but that’s the price you pay for this musical obsession!

 

 

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?*

We try to walk the line between being uncompromising and accessible. I think we’d love for thousands of people to hear our tunes and be like, “Yep, this is my Saturday night soundtrack! Can’t wait for their next arena show.”

But it’s hard to break through these days. Our style of music is kinda niche. We take success one listener at a time. If a friend who has SUPERB taste says, “Hey, your record spends a lot of time on my turntable,” then I’m gonna be happy for the rest of the week. Truly.

Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?*

Dwight Twilley Band – Looking for the Magic

This song is so simple and effective. We’re all looking for a little magic, right? We know it’s out there. We’ve felt it before. But damn if it isn’t hard to pin down. This song sounds like the search for that magic. It’s unsettled and unresolved. It’s got a witchy, desperate vibe but it’s still a cool little groover with a chorus you can sing along to.

 

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?*

There is a great tradition in Seattle of recording really transcendent, beautiful music in gross, moldy basements. I’d love to take that to the extreme. Get in the van, get a mobile recording rig and go record a batch of songs in a cold cabin in the darkest, dankest, moldiest part of Washington State – like Hoquiam, Queets, Humptulips. We’d really challenge ourselves to lay down that good fun vibe despite the darkness. I think we’d frickin’ nail it, too.

That wouldn’t be super expensive so I guess we should have a gold toilet installed to eat up some of that budget.

 

What’s up for the rest of the year?*

We are most of the way through recording our second album and we’ll probably be done in the next couple of months. It’s a weirder album than the last one, probably due to the shitty politics that have taken over in the US. We’re not a political band, but we’re human and we react to our environment.

(Here’s a taste of the trip we’re on: here). In November, we’re gonna play a bunch of shows around Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia with our friends in Autogramm and wrap it up with a big New Year’s Eve party at the Sunset Tavern in Seattle. Tickets are still available! (here)

SIMON LOVE – Sincerely, S. Love x (Q&A)

‘Imagine hearing something like “Motherfuckers” or “I Fucking Love You” in “Toy Story 4”?’, says Simon Love.

But who knows?! As far as I am concerned, these songs are ‘only a couple of steps away’ from a Randy Newman composition (or a Van Dyke Parks production).

A couple of odd steps though. What a walk this could be!

 

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“Sincerely, S. Love x” (the kiss is meant to be pronounced) is Simon’s sophomore solo album and it features at least ten hits. Proper pop hits, with ELO harmonies, Spectoresque production, strings and trumpets, the whole shebang. All recorded over the last two years in London, England. Big city pop!

 

And read John Borack’s review for Goldmine here.

 

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

 

Apart from one awful day in a very expensive recording studio everything else was a dream. It’s the first record since the last Loves LP where it’s been (mostly) recorded as a “band” record with people playing live and contributing ideas and things in the studio. One big thrill was hearing A Little Orchestra adding their bits to the songs after the backing was done. Violins and things always make my nasty little numbers sound very sweet.

 

 

Do you feel part of a community, the power pop community?

 

I’ve never felt a part of a community within music. From when I was living in Cardiff and playing with The Loves to now in London. It’s not like I’m doing that much different from other bands but I’m not allowed in their gangs. Maybe I’m a really awful person? Or I smell bad? Or I’m just not very good?

 

Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?

“Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles. Every time I hear it I’m instantly transported back to being a 7-year-old watching the single spinning around on my new record player and being terrified by the sounds coming out of the speakers. Then, just as it fades out it comes back sounding weirder! It still blows my mind.

 

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?

I’d really love to go away for a week (or two) somewhere in the middle of nowhere and record the whole thing in one go. I’ve never done that and I think it’d make for a different sounding record. With an unlimited budget, I’d go to La Frette near Paris or Chateau d’Herouville where Elton John recorded “Honky Chateau”. Or Abbey Road of course.

What would change if Disney would call and tell you they are going to use your song in their next movie?

 

Imagine hearing something like “Motherfuckers” or “I Fucking Love You” in “Toy Story 4”? Har! I could do with the money from something like that so if you know anyone at Pixar please put them in touch.

THE YEARLINGS – Skywriting (Q&A)

‘So in my world Skywriting is a “ridiculous success” (to quote a famous Dutch tv celebrity).’, says Olaf Koeneman.

 

The Yearlings regrouped and are about to release their new record, an alt.country & Power Pop love affair.

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The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?


It already is. Since we are obviously not in this for the extravagant influx of money but for the music itself, a record is a success for me when I am happy with it. That means that I should have a good feeling about the new batch of songs and the way they have been recorded and that I should have the impression that I have improved myself as a songwriter and that we have generally grown as a band. In every aspect, this last record exceeded my expectations, certainly after the time gap of around eleven years since the previous record. So in my world Skywriting is a “ridiculous success” (to quote a famous Dutch tv celebrity). This does not mean that it would not be very nice if other people appreciate what we do, and we certainly have an outgoing attitude now that the record is done, but for me appreciation by others is secondary. I am pretty sure the other band members feel the same way about this.

 

 

 

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

 

For me, it was the recording of the electric guitars, which I did using an amp profiler called Kemper. This machine makes it possible for you to record guitars at home with sufficient quality and still be friends with your neighbors. It means that you have a big range of amps at your disposal, and I had quite a few guitars as well, some borrowed. I would do one song a day: look for the right sound in the morning and then record the parts in the afternoon. The outcome is that I am much happier with the way the guitars sound on our last record compared to our previous efforts. In the past, it was more like “This is the amount of time we booked the studio for. Let’s try to get the best result within this time frame”. It was never satisfactory.

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?


By doing less work in a real studio. This would basically entail that we would do the drums, bass, acoustic instruments and perhaps even vocals ourselves. The quality would definitely suffer because I do not underestimate one bit what Jordi Langelaan and Martijn Groeneveld have done for us in terms of engineering. But when push comes to shove you have to make a choice: wait for another, say, five years until you have financially recovered from your previous release (which involves way more than just recording costs, by the way) or compromise the sound quality and put out the next record sooner. I have no idea what our situation is going to be in two years, but I start to believe that perhaps the sound quality should not be leading. First of all, you need to keep the flow in the band alive. Second, I recently fell in love with Pinegrove’s latest record, Skylight. It has a strange production. You can see on youtube how they recorded it. It is certainly low budget, and I am not sure whether this was because of their financial situation at the time or for artistic reasons. The thing is, I love that record anyway, and the strange production is part of the appreciation.

If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?


At the moment I would say The Maureens and Reiger, two Utrecht-based bands with very sweet and interesting people. I appreciate their work a lot and I think I would have a great time with them on the road.

 

What’s up for the rest of the year?

 

We’re still waiting for the record to officially come out, so that will certainly be a big moment for us. Then we will go out and play. First the release show in Ekko, on December 9th. There are some in stores planned, which I am looking forward to, and club/café gigs are coming in as we speak. We have some left-over songs that for some reason did not make it to the record and we may decide to put them out as an ep. And the songwriting needs to happen again because ultimately that is the biggest joy of all: going into a rehearsal room with a new song, and see what it does.

 

yearlings

 

The Yearlings are:
Herman Gaaff: bass, definitely no vocals
Leon Geuyen: drums, backing vocals
Niels Goudswaard: vocals, acoustic guitars, harmonica, percussion
Olaf Koeneman: vocals, guitars, mandolin, keyboard
Bertram Mourits: slide guitar, dobro, keyboard
With René van Barneveld on pedal steel

The Cherry Bluestorms – Whirligig! (Q&A)

‘We hired an Uileann pipes player with stellar credits for ‘Sleep’ and L.A. Phil string and French horn players for the coda to ‘Roy Wood’.’, say Glen Laughlin and Deborah Gee.  Whirligig! is The Cherry Bluestorms’ new record.

 

Photo-by-Megan-J-Carroll

Photo-by-Megan-J-Carroll

 

 

Pure Pop Radio/Alan Haber writes:

The Los Angeles-based pop-rockers Deborah Gee and Glen Laughlin take the world stage with their most assured and accessible long player yet.

Mixing Rolling Stones affects from the Brian Jones era with other mid-sixties sounds, the Bluestorms deliver a smashing collection of songs sure to please. The rolling rocker “Heel to Toe,” sporting a most melodic, very catchy chorus is one such pearl; the flattering, rocky, Gee-sung portrait “Roy Wood,” which quotes the Stones rather cleverly and takes an unexpected turn at the end with a comforting, orchestrated coda is another.

 

Let’s add some Jefferson Airplane to that mix as well.

Check it out!

 

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you know you were on to something special?

After Bad Penny Opera, we knew we wanted to release a collection of songs that were more representative of the band, particularly what we do live, and not a concept album.  Once we figured out what songs we had that suited, we knew it would be a good collection that fitted the bill.

 

 

 

 

 

Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?

 

Deborah:  ‘By This River’ by Brian Eno.  I love it so much, I am recording a version for my forthcoming solo album.  Glen: There are so many!  ‘Waterloo Sunset’ comes to mind, but I’m going to say ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ by Oasis, cause it’s perfect!

 

 

Magic can happen when you are playing in front of a crowd. Can you recall such a moment?

 

The first time we ever played in London we played the Dublin Castle.  We arranged to share gear with the other bands on the bill and had no idea what we would end up with.  Some were great, some not so great.  But, we soundchecked after the other bands with ‘Daisy Chain’ from our first album, Transit of Venus.  The club was mostly empty except for the people working, the other bands and a few others.  They erupted into applause when we finished the song and it was very encouraging.  We had a great night and the audience demanded an encore.  The band had played all the songs we knew, so Deborah and I did an impromptu duet of ‘Sunday Driving South’ and the audience all got out their lighters like we were at the Concertgebouw or something.  We were overwhelmed!

 

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?

 

Fortunately for us, we have a very well-equipped recording studio and essentially have no limits. We hired an Uileann pipes player with stellar credits for ‘Sleep’ and L.A. Phil string and French horn players for the coda to ‘Roy Wood’.  I wouldn’t mind enhancing my orchestral modeling suite, though.

 

What’s up for the rest of the year? 

 

The first thing on the agenda is that we are moving our studio and living space.  We are still working on where we’ll land.  We are looking into a great commercial space to share.  It has plenty of space and if we go that route our vintage keyboard collection will have its own separate room.  After we get that sorted we’ll be rehearsing the new band and finishing Deborah’s solo album.  The fourth Cherry Bluestorms album is already written and demoed so we’ll be starting on that as well.  We are hoping to put some shows together, in and out of town once the band is ready and we have a window.  I am also starting to think about releasing my own solo album.  Lastly, we are working on a book of Cherry Bluestorms lyrics called ‘Wordstorms’.

 

 

STONER CONTROL – Alone in the City (Q&A)

stonerheader

Photo – Hutch Harris

‘I try just to think of us as a rock band without any limitations that come along with certain genre tags.’, says Charley Williams about Stoner Control. The band just released ‘Alone in the City’.

Talkhouse writes: Stoner Control is an alternative rock band based out of Portland, Oregon. They grew out of a temporary side-project to become a powerhouse trio that has been making music since 2013. Taking inspiration from the rich sonic history of the Pacific Northwest, Stoner Control fuses a high-energy pop-punk sound with the unfiltered, lo-fi aesthetic of Portland’s thriving underground indie rock scene. Lead singer and guitarist Charley Williams infuses his lyrics with an honesty that is both playful and raw, creating driving melodies that echo the ThermalsBuilt to SpillSuperchunk, and Death Cab for Cutie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

 

I don’t know if I ever really thought it was special. The recording process was definitely a lot of fun but now that some time has passed I don’t think it was the best batch of songs I could have presented to the band. I still think it’s a fun record but I’m excited to record new songs that I feel are a better representation of what we are all about.

 

stoner2

Photo – Jason Quigley

 

 

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

 

I guess it’s easier than ever to reach your target audience which is pretty awesome. I can post something on social media and have it go directly to the people who care about what we are doing. I guess the one downside to the change is that we don’t really get money out of this thing that we invested a lot of time, effort and money into, which is kinda a downer. Still, the overall goal is to be heard and in a lot of ways that aspect is the best it has ever been for musicians.

 

Do you feel part of a community, the power pop community?

 

I definitely feel a part of a very specific community within the Portland music scene. There’s a lot of bands I love and do my best to support. But as far as breaking through to a wider audience in Portland, that hasn’t really been achieved yet. I don’t think of us as a power pop band necessarily so I don’t think we are a part of that community. I try just to think of us as a rock band without any limitations that come along with certain genre tags. I also often find myself confused with what power pop exactly means. It feels kinda vague.

 

Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?

 

So many songs. I guess a big one would be Carry the Zero by Built to Spill. It has been one of my favorites songs since high school and I still get blown away by it. It gets better with every new part which is a pretty amazing feat. A lot of songs I love I’m just waiting for the one part I like to happen again, but with this one, the whole song just keeps getting better and better until it ends.

 

What’s up for the rest of the year?

 

We are waiting to hear back on a few shows that I’m hoping will work out. I really want to start playing at venues that I haven’t played at yet. I’m getting a little worn out on playing the same places with the same bands. Other than that we are just gonna keep practicing and writing until I know we have a great group of songs. I already have more songs written than the last record, but I’m not gonna rush it because I really want to make sure I’m 100% confident in them before we release them.