Chris Catalyst – Life Is Often Brilliant

Chris Catalyst talks about his new record Life Is Often Brilliant.

Read and find out what he has to say about ‘fame and fortune’, recording drums, managers, guitar techs, Bowie and The Tubes.

But if you haven’t heard the record yet, you better do some listening first because it is just great.

Especially if you like Elvis Costello, XTC, Oasis … you will be in for a treat.

 

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

 

Finishing it. I loved every second of making it, but it was a long, laborious task, which got a little lonely at times due to it being a solo pursuit (along with my intrepid producer pal Andy Hawkins).

Recording the drums was pretty special, though – I’d always wanted to play drums on a record, and it was a great way to get out of my comfort zone, which (as we all know) is where the fun stuff happens.

 

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

 

Honestly? These days I just write, and record, and have faith that it’s going to turn out okay. I’ve never written a song that I’m not proud of in some way, and I feel if I continue to apply the same quality control and meticulous standards that I’ve always done, then it will prove to be good. Or, at least, good enough.

The special bit came later when a small but perfectly formed bunch of people shelled out to buy it, and seemed to enjoy it.

Actually, I tell a lie, there was a point when we were mixing the song ‘Far’. We were looking at the second verse, and producer Andy and I came across a bunch of sampled drum loops (which was how I’d always imagined the album having a load of). We distorted the shit out of it and cut all the vocals up in that section… that was a real ‘that was the sound in my head’ moment.

 

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

 

I’ve never been a part of any music industry… luckily. The closest I’ve got is being a guitar tech for a couple of name bands, and seeing the schmoozing and bollocks first hand is equal parts boring and sickening.

A band I know recently sacked their sound guy because the manager told them to.

I couldn’t work in a world like that. I’ve been lucky to never had to sign a contract, never owed anyone a penny, but still managed to be self-sufficient, due to a combination of hard work and good fortune.

Not to mention that small but perfectly formed bunch of people I mentioned earlier.

 

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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?

 

This would change day to day but today it would be:

Kids In America – Kim Wilde

Electricity – Spiritualized

White Punks On Dope – The Tubes

Boys Keep Swinging – David Bowie

I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times – Beach Boys

I always like finishing with a ballad.

 

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

Success is defined and measured very differently by different people – and it seems my definition is at odds with a lot of my peers. I am not interested fame or fortune. So as long as I can get to bend my creative elbow, write some songs and enjoy myself with a bunch of my goodest friends, then that’ll do for me.

 

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Sitcom Neighbor – Shag

Power Pop perfection! John Murphy’s Sitcom Neighbor just released Shag, 11 songs that sound as fresh as they sound familiar. What a joy!

Murphy explains about the how and the why!

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

The most fun I had was singing all the harmonies. There are a lot of lower harmonies so it was challenging. A close second would be watching Steve work on bass lines and the guitar solos. I’d put in my 2 cents of course but once it got going Steve was fun to watch!

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

I think once you’ve written a song that you feel good enough about that you want to record it, you think you have something special. Regardless I think we all go through the same 5 stages: This is great, I don’t know, this might be crap, this is ok I guess, and finally this is great (again)!

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

A lot of people talk about the money part of the music business, losing revenue to the free digital streams, etc. But for me it’s about the artist / producer shift. These days in the big leagues especially it’s all about the producers. They can take almost anybody and make a hit record. Back in the heyday of the sixties and seventies the artist was the focus. They had to come to the table with something to produce, which I think gave us a wider variety of music.

Producers tend to do the same thing over and over with different artists so there’s not as much variety, at least on traditional radio.

(Traditional radio, a whole other interview!l)

There is also the internet where, it could be argued, there’s too much variety!

Either way the music business hasn’t personally helped or hurt me as far as I know.

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?

With my current girl ( if I was a smart man and had been listening to her) it would have to be the following: 1.Q65- Get Out of My Life, Woman 2. Bob Dylan- Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat 3. Cramps- Goo Goo Muck 4. David Cassidy – Brown Eyes Your Beautiful 5. New York Dolls – Trash ( the new slower version to surprise her!)

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

Success? I can’t even spell that!

When I come up with a good song idea I feel successful, when I get a good recording of that song I feel successful, if I have enough songs that I can make a full record I feel successful and when I have the finished product in my hand, well lets be honest I’m exhausted and wiped out!!

Shag has felt successful to me do in large part to the response it has received from my fellow artists, many of whom I greatly admire. They’ve been very supportive and have helped me push this record a little bit, even setting up shows for me to play.

That support has led to more radio play and more reviews.

Of course everyone wants the traditional hit song and the money that comes with that.

Follow Sitcom Neighbor here

Buy here

Punch Punch Kick – Punch Punch Kick

Punch Punch Kick‘s debut is produced by Linus of Hollywood, released by Lolipop Records and contains 11 power pop punk anthems.

Phil McDonald explains what is happening.

 

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

 

Phil – Getting to record the songs live, together in one room, was the most fun part to me! Working with Linus of Hollywood is always so much fun — he keeps us on our game while making sure everyone has a great time during the process.

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

 

Phil – I never really thought about that until the songs started coming together in our rehearsals. They were so much fun to play — I think that’s when it started to hit me that we could make a really great record out of that material. It starts to take on a life of its own once we all begin to feel out our specific parts of the songs.

 

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

 

Phil – Everyday there’s a new streaming service or method of delivery. All I know is is that Lolipop Records has been the most supportive label, and I feel like our album has found a great home with them.

 


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?

 

Phil –

Prince “I Would Die 4 U”,

Ozma “Natalie Portman”,

The Darkness “Friday Night”,

Jamiroquai “Cosmic Girl”,

Daft Punk “Digital Love”
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The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

 

Phil – when “Hell Yeah” is the hype song for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Trip Wire – Cold Gas Giants

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This July San Francisco’s Trip Wire released Cold Gas Giants.
Powerpopaholic writes: ‘The band’s hybrid of jangle pop and rock dictates the album as it sways from one style to another, but it also manages to go in another direction on “Saturn V” with its space-themed indie fuzz pop.’ .
Founder member Marty Schneider talks to Sweet Sweet Music about adding harmony vocals, bringing Jeff Shelton on board, how new technology helps Indie bands to record and reach their audience and the need for drummers.
What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?
I really love to be in the studio, particularly during the overdub sessions.  We work with a really enthusiastic studio owner/engineer named George Rosenthal at The Complex SF and after the framework of the song is in place, and as you add each overdub of guitars, keys, vocals – you can start to hear the song coming together and it’s rewarding. George has a lot of great ideas that he will suggest during the whole process and that is valuable.  My favorite part, by far, is when the harmony vocals are added by our other guitar player Bill Hunt.  When we’re working on new material at rehearsal Bill will often sing harmony with me and I know that’s coming when we get to the studio but when we overdub, a bunch of other harmonies appear that I hadn’t heard before and are joyfully unexpected.
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
This record, Cold Gas Giants, was different, as far as the process goes, than any we’ve done.  Usually it’s pretty linear but not this time.  Two of the songs were slated for our last release Seizureville but as we put all the songs together for that album Long Days Gone and Winter Song just didn’t fit.  Seizureville was a darker, slower, kind of sinister record and those two songs are very much Power Pop songs.  I couldn’t find anywhere to put them in the running order so we kept them off and started writing a new record around those.  I was pleased with both of them and I wanted them to sit with a collection of songs that worked together more cohesively than they would have on the last record.  The first new song that came to me after making that decision was These Are the Days and when the band started nailing that arrangement at practice, I new we were on to something special.  Also, when we brought Jeff Shelton on board, I knew what a deep catalog of material he had so I asked him for some things he was working on and we ended up putting two on the record that really add a lot.
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
Yes, that’s true, but for me a lot of the changes have benefited my bands.  I have been doing this a long time and when I started recording we did it ourselves with cheap mics on a 4-track.  I had no access to money so real studio time was out of the question.  As a result, the fidelity was not good.  Luckily for me that was a bit of  a fad for awhile but I knew I wanted both the songwriting and the fidelity to improve.  Recording is so much easier now and if you put in just a tiny bit of effort, you can have a great sounding recording.  The other thing that has benefited me is the access to finding people who share the same tastes I have in music and connecting directly with them on social media – like you!  That was just not part of the equation when I started, you had to mount a tour and work really hard.  Now I just do a search for Power Pop and a whole world opens up at your fingertips.  More established artists would say that is exactly what’s wrong with the music business today but it’s working for me and I can’t complain.
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?
– Ain’t That Enough by Teenage Fanclub
– Chasing Heather Crazy by Guided by Voices
– Gold Soundz by Pavement
– Save it for Later by The English Beat
– No Expectations by The Rolling Stones
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
For me, success is the simple fact that I’ve been able to attract really talented musicians to play songs I’ve written and be really committed to making them sound the best they can.  We have three writers now and the same is true for the other two guys Bill Hunt and Jeff Shelton because they both write great stuff and I am committed to my part in making their material sound as good as possible.  This may sound obvious, but corralling four guys into a room to rehearse weekly for three years now is no small feat.  Drummers are the hardest, everybody needs a drummer and they often play in several bands, we’re very lucky to have Stu Shader playing the drums with us now.

Richard Turgeon – In Between The Spaces (interview)

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PowerPopNews.com writes about ‘In Between The Spaces’:

“THERE ISN’T A BAD SONG ON IN BETWEEN THE SPACES… DON’T BE SURPRISED IF IT ENDS UP ON THIS SITE’S BEST POWER POP ALBUMS LIST BY YEAR’S END.”

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Richard Turgeon about his new album, a power pop rock gem.

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

 

I think just deciding to set a goal and make a full-length record again after a long absence from music, and actually promoting it instead of just letting it exist for a few friends and family. I love writing, recording, and audio production, so I found great joy in having a dedicated space nearby and not running a live band. I’m lucky in that I can write, record and produce myself, play almost all the parts, and even mix and master. It affords an enormous amount of creative freedom. It’s the first time I consistently did this cycle of writing and recording for about a year-and-a-half, and that continues today. Honestly if I could write and record my music all day, I would. I’ve written books and screenplays, and I’ve been a professional full-time writer for close to two decades, but I’m feeling very creatively fertile these days with my music. And it’s never felt better or more rewarding and fulfilling than it has in making this record.

 

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

 

This whole album project began with the first song, “Bigfoot’s an Alien,” bubbling up after years spent working on a novel. I felt very out of practice and rusty on drums, guitars, and vocals (my main things), but I knew when I wrote this song, it was solid (this is rarely the case). Fortunately, I had enough experience to choose a local producer and studio that would be right for me—my friend Scott Llamas in San Rafael, CA. He basically took this song that was bottled up inside and, production-wise, turned it into the heaviest, most rocking song I’d put out to date. I was very grateful to have his guidance and experience on bringing that song to life. The result motivated me to put out an entire record building on where I was at musically, which was almost as if I’d never stopped. So I somehow progressed without doing anything haha.

 

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

 

Things are so different with promotion than it was when I was in my 20s, that I found more reward in that as well. The record continues to be very well received and I’ve loved connecting with all the DJs, bloggers (like yourself), and new fans so quickly. There’s no way I could grow a fanbase at this pace without the internet and social media. Even creating my website was much easier with the tools available today.

 

All that said, a part of me would like to get on a label, mostly to get my songs in movies and TV soundtracks, and basically just push the songs on the radio and any other channels to get more ears and increase my fanbase. In the old days, that meant regional touring and building fans with a live show, but I’m too old, busy (did I mention I have a full-time job and two young kids?), and solo-artist minded for that today. I’m fumbling my way through trying to make a dent with my music in today’s world with my particular approach to doing things (putting out recordings only, no live band, at least for now.) I guess a direct answer to the question is: The music industry hasn’t historically brought me jack-squat—I’ve always done everything myself: booking, promotion, and then eventually recording. I’ve actually been more rewarded by the indie press, bloggers, and DJs like you, who give indie artists like me a forum. So if the “indie” music industry counts, that has brought a lot to me over the years, even before the internet, and probably more so today than ever.

 

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?

 

I would have to qualify that the tape is just my favorite songs to authentically share, not designed to impress her in any other way. I would also ask her to listen to both sides, since I couldn’t fit it all on one side (hence eight songs). I don’t think a girl has to like her guy’s music for it to work out, but it helps to have some common ground there (…he said as he types this next to his wife in bed.) Fortunately, my wife loves some of these songs, too. Or at least tolerates me playing them way too many times in her presence.

 

In no particular order…

 

  • The Police – “So Lonely”
  • The Eagles – “Take It Easy”
  • Foo Fighters – “The Pretender”
  • Weezer – “Island in the Sun’
  • Pavement – “Stereo”
  • Juliana Hatfield – “My Sister”
  • The Replacements – “Alex Chilton”
  • The Cure – “Just Like Heaven”

 

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

 

It already is in my view. I put up my website hoping some friends and definitely family would take a listen and tell me they liked it, which they’ve been doing most of my adult life, god bless ‘em. But it went beyond that when I started connecting with people I’d never met before, including the indie rock and power pop community (see the “Buzz” tab on my website for my wall of fame tribute to everyone who’s helped get the word out so far). Friends and family helped me make a goofy music video we’re all really proud of. New folks continue to reach out for interviews and airplay. I’m very grateful for what’s happening with the record, since it’s gone beyond my expectations. If I could share it with the whole world, I would. I’m not one of those shy, insecure bedroom auteurs that wants to be obscure. I write rock songs but at their core, they’re pop. It’s what I like, and I always want more listeners and to connect with more people.

 

To that end, the best thing anyone can do for an indie artist like me is to visit my website (richardturgeon.com), like my social media pages, and share the sh*t out of my songs and video, and tell their friends to do the same. Refer me to friends in the music business. Reach out for interviews and spin the songs on your shows.

 

I think the next levels of success for an indie artist like me—if it’s what they want—is to get on a decent label and start making some money for the effort. I don’t think my time and art should be free, but I’ll probably continue giving away music until I get to that next level. Sorry if all that sounds crass, but it’s an honest answer to the question.

 

To your readers: thank you for supporting indie music (particularly mine)! And thank you for listening to the record, and the interview, Patrick!
Learn more about and listen to Rich’s new LP, In Between the Spaces, at his website, Richardturgeon.com

THE JAMES CLARK INSTITUTE – Yesterday’s Misadventures

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The James Clark Institute’s new full-length recording, ‘Yesterday’s Misadventures’ (official release date: October 24, 2016) was produced by iconic Canadian musician/producer Moe Berg (The Pursuit Of Happiness).

Clark talks about bed tracks, a Tornado Bubble Machine, Moe Berg, the explosion of social media and frozen facial expressions.

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

This was the first James Clark Institute album to have the bed tracks recorded live off the floor with the live band (with the exception of me on drums). That was great fun indeed! Most of my acoustic guitar parts were played on a 1954 Gibson J-45…More fun! Also, the photo session for the album sleeve was super-duper fantastic, working with a Tornado Bubble Machine! Can it possibly get any more fun?

 

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

 

The band had been playing the majority of the songs live for a year or more before the recording began so I was really confident that we had a strong collection of songs. When Moe Berg signed on as producer, I knew that the record would be magical. He had some brilliant arrangement ideas. Everyone played and sang their hearts out on this album. I feel blessed to have worked with such talented people.

Buy here

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

The explosion of social media has certainly helped with having my songs heard by a much larger audience than ever before. “Yesterday’s Misadventures” is my fourth independent release. The growth of the platform between my last release and this new one has been gigantic. But with all of the positivity and opportunities that the new industry offers, I have to say that I truly miss the mystery of the music artist during the days before the internet. Back when you had to wait until the new issue of “Creem” magazine arrived to read about your favourite pop 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?

 

The Beach Boys – God Only Knows

Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

George Harrison – What Is Life

The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset

The Zombies – Care Of Cell 44

Bonus Track! Harry Nilsson – You’re Breaking My Heart

 

How will 2017 look like?

 

The year began with the release of the third music video from “Yesterday’s Misadventures”. “Charlie Schulz Was Always In Love” was shot mostly outside on the coldest day in January, as you may be able to tell from some of the band’s frozen facial expressions.

Since then it’s been a steady stream of both solo and full band live shows around Toronto. Due to a family member’s health crisis, the tour isn’t going to happen this year. Hopefully next year! I’m currently in song writing mode and conjuring up the next album. Meanwhile, a fourth music video from “Yesterday’s Misadventures” is being discussed.

THE TRAVOLTAS – Until We Hit the Shore

The Travoltas are BACK. Until We Hit the Shore will be the Pop Punk/Power Pop soundtrack to the summer of 2017. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Perry Leenhouts about the new record and how it came together.

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The music industry has changed a lot the last 10 years. What did it bring you? Now and then.

10, 15 years ago, once you hit a certain level you were really depending on the record labels. Nowadays, you have much more control over your releases and how you can promote it. With all these social media platforms, it’s much easier to reach a large, international audience that previously you would have needed a record company for to get that kind of exposure. That said, 10 to 15 years ago, the labels would bring in the big budgets to record albums and shoot videos, and get you on MTV. That’s basically gone, unless you belong to that select group of top artists. For us, it evens out. We always had a DIY approach, even when we were signed to CNR/Roadrunner. We’d still produce our own records. Now we do that on a much smaller budget, but luckily we have technology on our side, and a good set of ears!

Until We Hit The Shore, it seems you didn’t lose your craftsmanship for writing catchy tunes? How did the songs came together?

I never stopped writing songs, and after the 2014 reunion shows, I focused more on tracks for a potential new album.This time around, collaborating was a bit harder because the guys are in Holland, and I live in the States. So I’d work on demo tracks and send them to the band. Once we hit the studio, we had a clear picture of what we wanted, and how it should sound. We communicated on a daily basis throughout the process, something we do anyway, since we’ve remained good friends over the years.

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

I think very early on, when we started sharing ideas and demos, we knew we were on the right path. Since we’ve spent many, many years together, we have a good understanding of what we all dig, and we trust each other’s judgement. When everyone in the band reacts very positively from the get-go, you know you’re on to something good.

You are getting great reviews! What about that?

You’re always a bit nervous, because we may like the songs, but will our fans, and people who are just discovering The Travoltas? So far so good, and it’s great to see so many people are happy we are back with a new record. That means a lot. Above all, we hope people will use the record as the soundtrack of this summer.

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

Ramones: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run
The Ronettes: Be My Baby
Buddy Holly: Oh Boy
Elvis Presley: One Night With You
The Beach Boys: Don’t Worry Baby

How will 2017 look like?

We’ll be doing a few shows over the summer and fall, but most of our attention will be around the record. We may release another video as well. It’s hard for us to get together and go on tour, at this point in our lives and because of where we are located. But for the right show at the right time, we’ll team up and hit the stage. Like I said, I really hope people will associate this record with the summer of 2017, that’s the goal. Anything else is a big plus. In the meantime, I’ve started writing new tunes again, so I promise you won’t have to wait 13 years for the next album !

JAMES A.M. DOWNES – PRISON FONT


Bait My Soul is my new favorite song. James  A.M. Downes just released Prison Font. Read all about it.



When did you realize you could really, I mean REALLY, sing?

I didn’t like the way I sang until about 5 years ago. I’ve been singing for about 20 years, and three quarters of that time was spent cringing at my own recordings.

I’m not sure the shift to being able to tolerate (and eventually like) my voice was associated with an increase in skill. I think it had more to do with the fact that I was entering a time in my life where I placed more value in the motive of music than it’s perfection.

Bait My Soul, what a great great song! That one wasn’t written in a day, was it?

It was written in one day. The lyrics came spilling out while I was looking through a buddy’s illustration sketch book. There was an unfinished drawing of a beautiful woman wearing a knit hat that has “Satan” written on it. I was reading Dante’s Inferno that week, so the concept of Satan was on my mind. Of special interest was the fanaticism that Dante wrote about right and wrong, good and evil. It was all pretty comical to me. I started to think about a satyrical approach to my own version of the Robert Johnson story (selling your soul to the devil in exchange for your desires to come to fruition). The musical part followed suit. 

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

In one way, it already is a success for me. When the project started, my goal was to create an album where the creativity and inspiration was able to flow quickly, without getting bogged down by endless revisions. I was lucky to collaborate with three of my good friends (Greg Seltzer, Andrew Seltzer, Matt Cascella) in the writing and orchestration of this release- they helped insure that the momentum never slowed. It was a highly rewarding process. 

In another way, I’ll consider this record a success when I know that anyone who would appreciate it has the chance to hear it. I think that comes with wide distribution. I’d love for millions of music lovers to get a chance to decide whether they like my offering or not. I’m proud of what my friends and I created and I want the world to hear it.

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

“Every Man Needs a Companion” Father John Misty

“Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” The Beatles

“N.I.B.” Black Sabbath

“Sweet Judy Blue Eyes” Crosby Stills Nash

“Only In Dreams” Weezer

How will you promote Prison Font?

In addition to spreading the word via social media and blogs (like you!), I’ll be pushing the album through video content. I love live/takeaway videos. Playing stripped down versions of the songs in unique settings is very inspiring to me. I recently released a video of a performance in a subway hallway (“Rolling Stoned” ). Today, I filmed a performance in a overpass tunnel. The acoustics were incredible, people were walking by… it was all very real. I hope the uniqueness of these videos will capture the imagination of the people who see them and they’ll be curious to learn more about the project. 
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MOD HIPPIE – Big Wow

Discussions Magazine writes:
BIG WOW is like a time-travel album – it is very much of the here-and-now but it manages to incorporate bits of pieces of Alternative Rock’s history in ways that are inspiring. From Psych and Garage Rock through New Wave, Mod and Ska with some tinkly indie bits from the ‘90s, 

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Doug McGuire.

Big Wow has that larger than life sound. How did that came together?


I’m assuming you mean the song Big Wow, not the album as a whole. A little while back, a friends teenage daughter stricken with cancer asked if I would start writing songs again. It had been quite some time. 

When I agreed, she asked me if I could write a song like Madness would do. Big Wow was the first song I wrote in more than a decade. The “Big Wow” call, of course, mimics the opening of Madness’ “One Step Beyond.” 

After that came all the psychedelic nonsense “I am the Walrus” parts over lyrics that try to play with the word “economy.” 

This one became quite the popular number with friends and family.

Glam, Pop, Reggae, Psych, Rock … you are not afraid to use it all, are you?

Hmmm. I really don’t use the reggae thing that much, “Big Wow was kind of an aberration. 

We certainly play rock and psyche and producer/keyboard player/percussionist Adam Marsland has a very keen pop sensibility. 

Plus, you don’t want all the songs to sound the same, do you?

Glam? Me? Hahahaha

What makes a good Mod Hippie song?

Anything could make a good Mod Hippie song. My favorite part of it all is when the fabulous musicians I get to play with start tinkering with my skeleton of a song and I get to sit back and listen to them do their thing and make sound better than I really should. 

Tip of the hat and heartfelt thanks to Adam Marsland, Mike Schnee (Chissum Worthington), Teresa Cowles, DJ Bonebrake, David Marks, Jason Berk, Matt Zook, Connor Claxton

How will you promote the new record?



Oh I am so terrible at promotion. I really want to jump right back in the studio. Ok, I really have jumped back into the studio. DJ put down drums on Easter Sunday for 6 new songs. 

Anyway, back to promotion. We made videos for “Night Rally” and “Psycho Romeo” and they’ll go out in as many places as we can think of. 

I don’t play live much, but we are doing a release party gig with Karma Frog label mates Rob Martinez and Pacific Soul Limited –plus Adam is reviving a different era Cockeyed Ghost to round out the evening!

A completely different cover. Were there many changes since Tomorrow Then?


There were some big changes. When Connor stopped playing, I began to feel that this is more of a solo record than a band record. 

Enlisting pros like Marks and Bonebrake really lifted the bar. There are big similarities between “Big Wow” and “Tomorrow Then” as well. The main vocal sound is still Teresa and Me. Teresa still holds down the bass notes. Songs are by Mike Schnee and me etc. 

Overall, I think Big Wow is more poppy and accessible. Tomorrow then has more of a fun with lunatics feel. Leastaways, that’s how I see it.

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COLMAN GOTA – Fear the Summer

Fear_the_summer
Fear the Summer will be one of the big surprises this year. Colman Gota’s new record was produced by John Pfiffner. And Mitch Easter plays a mighty solo. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Gota about fuzz guitar arrangements, raising the game, The Replacements and a soul-searching kind of thing.
Let’s make the first seconds count! What about the Fear the Summer intro? Wake-up call or anxiety attack !?

That is the genius of John Pfiffner and his love for fuzz pedals (Mastodon style). If it was up to John Pfiffner there would be only fuzz guitar arrangements. I´d say it´s more of an anxiety attack than a wake up call.
If Mitch Easter is involved everybody always seems to hear exactly what het brought to table. What did he bring to your table?
This time Mitch Easter was less involved than on other occasions, but the mighty solo on “Already Dead” can only be played by him (Don´t try it at home). Another North Carolinian, by the name of John Pfiffner, took care of the guitar solos department and Alvaro Escribano contributed some.
 
Somewhere between The Replacements and Tom Petty. Would you take that as compliment?
 
Absolutely, The Replacements are an all-time favorite and I love Tom Petty too.

For A Reason, what a song! Is the sound a little different compared to the other songs or am I hearing things that aren’t there?

 
“For a Reason” is the kind of song that you don´t know where it comes from. It´s good that sometimes you surprise yourself. I started with a guitar riff, but I soon realized that It made much more sense with the piano. It took sometime to figure out the bass line and the rhythm pattern but once we did, all the pieces seemed to fall in place. It has some original arrangements and a melódica, which is an odd instrument for my trade.

3 records in 3 years. Your bio says you are ‘at the peak of powers’. Is there an explanation? Did you write all those songs in one emotional outburst or do new ones keep coming at you as well?
I started writing as soon as I got back home from the “Tape” sessions. I had a good bunch of songs and I toyed around with the idea of recording on December 2016, but I had only four songs that I really liked. Suddenly I wrote “Already Dead”, “Fear the Summer” and “Someday I´ll Get it Right” in one go, and then I had 7 songs and an album seemed more likely to happen.


Now I´ve raised my game, so the new stuff has to be at least as good as the songs on “Fear the Summer”. The songs keep coming but it seems I´ll have to write a good bunch of them to have quality material. When it comes to songwriting you can´t take anything for granted. I have developed my own craft, but anything could happen, from writer´s block to even better songs. Let´s hope for the better, it´s a soul-searching kind of thing.

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When would Fear the Summer be a success to you?

It definitely has. For me success sums up in the concept of “something happens”, meaning that you don´t have to push everything, that things start happening by themselves. Shows start to get packed, people beyond your radar start to become interested in your work, girls tattoo your name…

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

 


You mean from “Fear the Summer” or generally speaking? If it´s from “Fear the Summer”: “Never lie”, “What goes on in my head”, “For a Reason”, “Fear the Summer” and “Make a Stand”.

 


How will you promote Fear of Summer? Will you do some touring as well?

I´ll try to get to as many places as I can, but I can´t afford to put more money out of my pocket, so we´ll see. Being a solo artist is quite a trip, you get all the credit (and deservedly so) but you have to pay all the bills.

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