VISTA BLUE – WONDERBAND

 

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To celebrate MLB’s Opening Day Vista Blue will release Wonderband, on April 2nd.

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Mike Patton about the baseball theme, saber-metrics, Nashville, releasing 8 (EIGHT) EPs last year and, of course, the new record.

Listen to Designated Hitter ( a Sweet Sweet Music Blog EXCLUSIVE!)

New album, release April 2nd, what can we expect?

For Wonderband we went back to our baseball theme, which seems to be something of a “home base” for us. Aside from music, my two main hobbies are baseball and horror, so I could probably write songs about that stuff all day.

On this baseball album, we also went back to more of a Ramones-core kind of sound, so I think it’s a lot like our 2015 debut, Good Eye. And Mark just got a new Fender Jazz bass that he was excited to debut here.

Overall, it’s still just Vista Blue, with songs that tell stories about normal stuff, this time related to baseball.

Songwriting seems easy to you? What’s the secret?

Haha! I don’t know that it’s any “easier” for me, but there is this thing where I constantly have new ideas and melodies popping into my head. Most are not any good, but every now and then I like one enough to put it into my “idea pile.”

Using themes for my songs and releases has completely changed my approach. When we started Vista Blue, we decided every release would have a theme. And like I said, baseball and horror seem to be the easiest for me. So we’re starting 2017 with another baseball album to celebrate MLB’s Opening Day.

One thing I’ve been doing lately is listening to Nashville’s Hippie Radio 94.5 and just having fun taking titles of classic songs and adjusting them for my themes. So that’s how we ended up with songs on this album like “My Best Friend’s Glove” and “WAR (What Is It Good For?),” which takes a look at the use of saber-metrics. And there’s the Ramones-inspired “I Wanna Be Your Shortstop.” Stupid stuff like that.

So we ended up with about 20 baseball ideas this time and decided to go with nine tracks.

Will there be some live gigs to promote the record?

You know, I don’t think so. We were hoping to do the International Pop Overthrow again this spring, but it isn’t coming to Nashville this year. We’re looking into a couple of possible shows this summer, but we’ll see if that works out. I’ve been very picky about playing shows with Vista Blue. I see it as more of a project where we can make lots of fun music, as opposed to playing live as much as possible. We’ve all done that already. Nashville just isn’t a great place for a band like Vista Blue, so it takes something special to get me to play live now. I’d really like to hit New Orleans or even Cincinnati soon though.

The definition of ‘success’ has changed the last couple of years. When would the new record be a success to you?

Everything we do from this point forward is just a bonus for me. Having podcasts and radio shows play our music, and having blogs like yours pay attention to us… this is totally success! We just enjoy knowing that we’re reaching people and making new friends.

Of course, playing with Weezer or Nerf Herder would also be success… Gotta keep some dreams alive.

Where can we hear, buy, see the music?

As always, Wonderband will be completely free to stream or download through our bandcamp  site as a digital release. We really like having all of the songs available for free. This hasn’t been about money for us for a long time. We just want people to hear the songs.

There are no plans for a physical release right now, but those projects seem to come after the digital release these days. So we’ll see.

What’s up next for Vista Blue?

Well, we have some other ideas for releases this year. Last year we released EIGHT EPs, so we definitely had to slow down a little. But we have a number of themes we’re considering, including football, covers, and a set of children’s songs.

Something fun that is coming out soon is our debut 12-inch, from Something To Do Records. It compiles a lot of the music we recorded the last two years. The title is Seasons, and the two sides represent Summer and Fall.

We’re also hoping to do a really cool split 7-inch with The Zambonis for the 2018 Winter Olympics, where we both record songs about curling. For those who may not know, The Zambonis only write songs about hockey, and they were a major influence on us when we started Vista Blue. The Olympic split would be a blast, and we’re hoping to find a label who might be interested in releasing it.

 

V SPARKS – New Sensation


V Sparks’ New Sensation is a six song ep. High Energy Glam Power Pop! Addictive!

That high energy attitude/controlled madness (please take that as a compliment) does that come naturally to you?

Haha! I think what you mean by that is our songs can at times seem chaotic with a lot of layers for example in “Death Of A Star”. It comes naturally in the form of song because we have a case of A.D.D. and cause we enjoy walking the line between pop and abstract. That being said, its not like we go around all day breaking shit and jumping in front of trains.

New Sensation has that ‘here is a band at work-feel’ is that hard to achieve with all those modern recording technologies?

We go into the studio having a very clear idea of what we need to accomplish. The modern recording technology in our case actually helps us achieve that. The technology allows us to plan ahead and pre produce demos and know exactly what we want to do on the final recording. 

‘Sebastian you are a bastard’, you knew you had something when you wrote that line?

That was actually the first thing that I sang when I wrote it. In a weird coincidence our drummer is a grade school teacher and the day after I wrote it he received a letter from an angry parent. The parent told him that their child was being bullied by a child named Sebastian and he was calling him a bastard. So after that we decided to just stick with it cause it must’ve been fate. 

Watch Sebastian

Is it hard to makes the lyrics fit to those glam rock, power pop, indie rock tunes? Or is that a stupid question?

Not particularly. We generally write our music/melodies first and have gibberish lyrics to work it all out. Then we come up with a concept and fit the lyrics to it. 


What are your expectations for New Sensation? How will you promote it? How many people do you want to reach? Or am I talking only marketing bullshit now?

We put it out there to be heard by as many people as possible. The fact that someone such as yourself in the Netherlands has heard it and is interested is really encouraging. We’re gonna push the shit out of it and then back it up with another record were hoping to release in July.

THE LUNAR LAUGH – Mama’s Boy

And then there were three … . A lot has changed for THE LUNAR LAUGH the last couple of months; a new member (the third), a new Spanish record deal and 11 beautiful new songs. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Jared Lekites about the new record, Mama’s Boy.

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A lot has changed since the last record?

That’s true. We expanded the core lineup from a duo to a trio by bringing in Campbell Young on bass and vocals halfway through recording the album. Also Connor was only on some of the first album but with Mama’s Boy he’s on every track.

Connor and I also co-wrote about half of the songs on the album together instead of just me. So those factors contribute to the overall change, I’m sure. But also we didn’t want to attempt to recreate the sound of our first album anyway. We wanted to just make a new album and avoid any sort of formula.

A bit more harmony vocals and some extra westcoast, ‘softer melodies’, violins and trumpets?

We had more voices to work with this time around. The first album was a lot of me overdubbing vocal parts all over the place but this album has a bit more organic feel. We had some friends singing along with us on some tunes and with the three voices we were able to create some really nice and thickened vocal beds.

I love to arrange background vocals so it was great to have all these great voices mixed in with my own. It definitely contributed to that John Phillips/Brian Wilson/Bee Gees type background vocal parts that pop up in some of the songs.

Since I spent a significant portion of my childhood in Southern California, that west coast vibe always creeps in. It’s a certain mellowness that colors the music a bit. I really like the idea of working with the players out there, too. Adam Marsland played on a track on the last album and on the new album, Jim Laspesa and Derrick Anderson are the rhythm section on “She Gets Stoned”. It’s an honor to have guys with those kind of chops playing our music.

Same for the strings and horns. It blows my mind how a little song we came up with in my living room (The Bedroom Door) now had charts for trumpet and cello. I think we all got goosebumps when we heard the final mix.

A very comfortable, warm record (please take that as a compliment, let’s put it differently I liked evey song straight away). Was that something you were looking for?

We didn’t set out for it to be that way, though I’m happy you think so. I think our voices have a warm quality and that informs what we do in instrumental terms. Plus we had the opportunity to road test a lot of the songs by getting to play them in concert throughout the making of the album.

So I think that helped us become pretty comfortable with the music itself. But I was also really trying to get out of the comfort zone so that’s why songs like “A Better Fool” and “Living A Lie” are a bit of an about-face compared to the other songs.

 

 

And a Spanish record deal! That would not be possible 25 years ago. That’s the new music industry, isn’t it?

We were just as surprised as anyone. I remember we had a band meeting at Freebirds World Burrito and we were talking about the album and how we all wished we could get some kind of deal so that the album would reach more people.

We made a plan to release a really strong single and hoped that maybe something would happen locally with it. Well the single came out and within a few days, You Are The Cosmos was contacting us and asking if they could hear any rough mixes of the other new songs we were doing.

A fan of ours in Spain really liked the song and had passed it along to the label. I was so knocked out by it. It was right place, right time, and the right song. You hear the term “music industry” a lot but in my head it used to only apply to places like Nashville and LA that just keep churning out stuff like factories.

But then, I take a moment to think about it and realize “oh, I guess we are in the music industry now”. We are in the business of making records. Legitimate records too. We’re on a piece of vinyl! That’s a priceless feeling.

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Will you go on tour? Or any other plans for 2017?

Once summer rolls around, we hope to play a number of dates in the states. We don’t know if it’s just going to be us loading gear in a car and going it alone or if we are going to maybe plan on doing dates with another band. Naturally, we’ll do more in Oklahoma than anywhere.

We also got asked to contribute a song to a movie soundtrack which we did, but we have no idea if they will use it yet.

WYLDLIFE – Out on Your Block

WYLDLIFE recently released Out on Your Block.

In the words of http://www.jerseybeat.com ‘s Jim Testa:

They are young, loud, sweaty, snotty, irreverent, catchy, and clever. And maybe best of all, they’re almost the complete antithesis of the disengaged, Uber-ironic, overintellectualized, chillwave/chipcore/hipster scene currently dominating the lofts, basements, and alternative spaces of Bushwick. This is – proudly, unabashedly, unapologetically, and frequently shirtlessly – a rock ‘n’ roll band.

 

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Sweet Sweet Music talked to Dave Feldman about fuckboy bullshit, The Vapors, suck a T1000’s liquid metal dick, Little Steven and the French cult band Dogs.

And, of course, about that great great record they made.

 

Tonight, we are going to party like it’s 1978. How does a young band capture that sound?

We did our homework and really love those records and that era, and we’re frustrated with all of the mainstream fuckboy bullshit.

With all those modern day recording technologies a lot of bands do no sound like bands anymore. Doesn’t seem a problem for you?

Fuck robot rock, fuck auto tune. If you need a computer to help your band, go suck T1000’s liquid metal dick. Lucky for us, we work with people who don’t wanna change our sound. We sound like a real band because we are one.

Teenage Heart has it all. How did that one come together? Is it always like melody first, lyrics second?

I was listening to Vapors’ “New Clear Days” record A LOT at the time. I love that fucking record. I’m not talking about “Turning Japanese” I’m taking about the entire record. Anyway, I wanted to make a song with that type of new wave vibe, plus anything with “Teenage” in the title usually is a hit right? Everybody wants to be young, right?!

So anyway, I wrote the lyrics and had a melody in my mind that was almost exactly like “News at 10” or “Spring Collection” and Sam, brilliant sort, was like welllll lets do this instead. That’s how a lot of our songs come about. I will write the lyrics first with a melody in mind, I’ll kinda sing out to Sam since I don’t play any instruments and Sam will translate it to a WYLDLIFE song. Almost always it will turn out different and better than what I had originally. That’s Sam’s touch.

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How will you promote Out on Your Block?

I dunno, that’s really on Wicked Cool and Little Steven, isn’t it? We already got a couple tracks on the radio which is neat. We just gotta hit the road again. West Coast, Europe, your kid sister’s house, wherever. We’re trying to be smart about our shows, but let’s face it: we’re really dumb. We need as much help getting our shit together as far as playing out as possible. It’s a work in progress.

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?

That’s basically fucking impossible to pick! Let me see…

  • The Equals: “Diversion”
  • Stones version of “Mercy Mercy”
  • Dogs: “Maureen” , because that’s a fun song and almost everyone who listens to anything off of “Legendary Lovers” wants more.
  • BCR: “Rock & Roll Love Letter” and finish it off with
  • The Toms:  “Let’s Be Friends Again”

 

I would save Rubinoos “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” for the second mixtape because I don’t wanna come on too strong.

Alternate ending for this question: If this chick wants a mixtape after our first date she’s probably too needy and should take a fuckin’ hike.

If you could tour the world with two other bands, which ones would you chose?

I’d love to tour with our friends Dirty Fences because they’re our buddies but also they’re so fucking sick. But I’d also be really scared to play with them night after night because they’re so good on stage it’s intimidating! For the same reasons (minus the friend part) I would also say the Hives.

If it’s defunct or dead bands, I’d say Thin Lizzy or Bon Scott fronted AC/DC because, shit, why not shoot for the stars right? Get to see them every single night. That’d rule.

 

Et Tu Brucé (interview)

“West London meets West Coast”. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Jamie White about the new self titled record, the sound, Split Enz, adding a middle 8 quickly and being in between albums.

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How did you record ETB?

We had recorded our debut album ‘Suburban Sunshine’ at Bonafide Studios in London, and felt very much at home there, returning to record the new album either side of our American tours.

There was a wealth of material to pick from, but we took a little longer finishing up. Unlike previous studio sessions, we were a little more sought-after and suddenly aware of the expectations and demands on time.

Some songs we started recording were held back as they didn’t appear true to the album. It’s important that a collection means something, has some connection to the collaborative feel, rather than being forced into consideration.

It’s easy to do, new always sounds better when you’ve lived with songs for a long time, but we took our time and tried to deliver without prejudice.

 

A song like The Light sounds like it has been around for ages (that’s a compliment). Did you know you had something during writing and recording?

Thanks! From both sides, writing and recording, we knew we had a single in the making. It was an attention grabbing, high tempo upbeat song, which made us all smile. Once recording was finished it became the firm favorite for the album opener and set-closer. I felt it was going to excite when I started writing it.

The music flowed easily, and everything aside from the middle eight came out in one parcel, from the intro to the end section. Having the lyrical hook, title and music was encouragement enough, and within a day I played it to Mattie (O’Toole, former guitarist) and we finished writing the lyrics and added a middle 8 very quickly.

Through recording it sounded great. It didn’t grab any more attention than other tracks, but that was probably because we were so committed to creating an album instead of hammering out a group of songs.

 

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Naming the new record ETB. Does that mean you have found your sound? What changed since Sub Sun.?

We have never knowingly searched for a “sound”. Our individual influences and varied musical backgrounds can be heard through the music, and comes together organically to create the ETB personality.

The self-titled album was something we always wanted to do, a ‘this is us’ statement hopefully without the pomposity sometimes attached to it. The main changes of note from the 1st album were the personnel, with Siôn joining to replace Mattie.

Many of the same engineers worked on the album, although Elliot (Boothe, ‘Suburban’ cohort) had moved on by then, and Peter (Keeble, who mixed ‘Suburban’) took a job outside music .

The experience gained from recording the 1st album helped polish our techniques and create a finer 2nd

 

 

She tells you she will decide on a 5 song mix tape if there’s going to be a 2nd  date or not. Which 5 songs?

Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield ,

I Got You – Split Enz,

Always the Sun – The Stranglers,

Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones,

Sweet Is The Night – ELO.

I think I’d keep the tape myself, and spend the evening in.

 

If you could tour the world with two other bands, who would they be?

 

Iron Maiden (because they fly their own Boeing 747) and ELO (because it’s Jeff Lynne). However, we’d be open to offers from anyone.

 

What will 2017 look like ? How will you promote ETB?

2017 is hopefully going to be the year of the festival for us, and playing over the UK and Europe.

There are still two singles to come (including The Light) but we are close to being ‘between albums’ that period of time where the new material starts to become too electrifying to ignore. T

here is a stack of demos for the 3rd album, being added to regularly. The only question is whether to make it a double album or not?

BUY here

 

THE SQUIDS – Oh Shrek Yes

Lolipop relased The Squids’ Oh Shrek Yes recently. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Tony Infante about their ‘foggy sparkly buzz/ heavy bass sunshine sound’, songwriting and John Fogerty.

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In an era of noise and anger its a treat to hear an album so craftily put together and well-arranged, wrote Daniel Sweetland @larecordmagazine.

You weren’t aware of that during recording or were you?

We weren’t intentionally making something as a response to other bands or a popular current sound, we just wrote songs and recorded what came out naturally! 🙂 Also, I would argue that stuff can be noisy and angry and still be craftily put together/ well-arranged!

You recorded at Lolipop studios. Lolipop’s own Wyatt Blair was producing. What did he bring to your sound?

Wyatt helped us get that sparkly buzz/ heavy bass sound on the album, we used his fender champ for the lead guitars and the jazz chorus 120 for the organ, it sounds insane and I love it!

 

These songs weren’t written on an acoustic guitar, were they? How do your sings come together? How / when does that foggy, fuzzy sunshine sound appear?

Some of them were written on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, organ, it happens in different ways! Usually I have chords/ melody/ arrangement in mind and we fine tune it with the band. The foggy sunshine sound is just how we sound when we play, then accentuated by Wyatt’s magic fingers!

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. “I Love Twins” The Coors Light Band
2. “Temporary Secretary” – Paul McCartney
3. “Zombie Jamboree”- Rockapella
4. “Centerfield” – John Fogerty
5. “America” – Uncle Greg

These songs are all really important to me and if she didn’t like the mixtape she can go die.

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How will you promote O Shrek Yes?

Playing shows! Getting blogs to write about us! We still have no idea how to do either so please help us!

Buy here

SUNSHINE BLOOM – Power Pop is Dead

Sweet Sweet Music is blown away by Sunshine Bloom’s Power Pop is Dead ep. Do we hear Boston covering The Knack? We talked to this young band from Birmingham (UK) to find out what is happening.

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Listening to The Spark and I am wondering if I hear Boston covering The Knack. Will you take that as compliment?

We certainly will. For that song we wanted something edgier and a bit more angular like The Knack but with the same strong pop melodies that you would find in say a Boston song. We love both bands and used to cover The Knack occasionally in our live shows. This song works really well as a set opener and gets people up and dancing from the get go!

Or ELO covering an old Nick Lowe song. Or … is that what you with Progressive Power Pop?

I love that idea!!! Two great bands and massive influences on us. Rob (our guitarist) in particular is a big Nick Lowe fan. He’ll be pleased to hear that. I think it’s great that you can hear the eclectic mix of genres in our music. This was always our aim…we never set out to be a particular type of band, we just want to write good melodic music that we would like to hear. The progressive element is key too, we like to push a few boundaries!

The quality of the song, the quality of the sound. For me, it is hard to image this isn’t produced by a band that has been around for ages and/or has been in touch with world fame … where does this all come from?

We have played a lot of gigs which I think is key. You hone your craft at live shows and learn what works well and what works less well. The audience let you know there and then which songs work and which don’t. Being in touch with your fans is really important, they have to come along for the ride! Some of the songs on this EP have been a long time in the making, we wanted to ensure that we were super proud of what we released which we are. We took our time. Given also that we did the whole thing ourselves and didn’t spend any money on creating this EP, it’s great to hear that you think it sounds so professional. It has been a labour of love.

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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?

OK, so we have put this to a band vote, each member can pick one song and we can have 1 whole band choice.

We decided on the following:

  1. New Mistake by Jellyfish (James – Vocals / Bass)
  2. She’s Gone by Hall and Oates (Shaun – Keys / Guitars / Vocals)
  3. My song is Take Me Down To The Hospital by The Replacements (Rob – Guitars / Vocals)
  4. Gone is Gone by Gift (Jack – Drums)
  5. Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey by Wings (Everyone)

How will you promote Power Pop is Dead?

We launched the EP at the end of last year to a packed out show in Birmingham (UK) which was a huge success. We are now busy pulling together dates around the UK for the first half of this year including a slot at the prestigious IPO Liverpool at The Cavern Club. Hopefully this means that as many people as possible get to hear our music. The EP will be for sale at the shows and can be downloaded / streamed now from all the usual places. We are also working hard to get exposure in blogs like this where we can get our music out there to an audience who share the same passion we have for great Power Pop.

Is it ‘dead’ like Rock and Punk and Blues ?

Ha! I think the name of the EP was meant to be tongue in cheek, releasing the most Power Pop style EP under a title saying that Power Pop is Dead. For me it’s less of a question around a genre being dead as asking was it ever really alive. Things ebb and flow, one thing morphs into another and that’s gotta be a good thing right?

 

Listen on Spotify

 

 

Follow here

 

 

Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip

The B-Leaguers and Hooligan Crooners met up…over a pint or two … and decided to do a split mini album. It’s called Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip (release end of March 2017).

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Barry Phillips (Hooligan Crooners) and Jim Styring (B-Leaguers).


What can we expect?

Jim: ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ Good, honest punk rock and roll!

Barry: ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ pretty much builds on our first two EPs “Hell Yeah! It’s Hooligan Crooners” and “From Paradise To Halfway”. People said we’d found “our sound” with the second (From Paradise…) and I think this is more in the same vein…hopefully as good or better!

A split mini album, how did this came together?

Jim: We’re good friends with the guys from Hooligan Crooners and both bands share similar influences and sound. We knocked a few ideas around, but knew from early on that we’d like to do something together. A split mini LP was suggested, and we all agreed it was a great idea. ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ is the result, and we’re all very excited for people to hear it!

Barry:  It started as a social-media love-story…Internet dating! We run PWVA Records and were looking for other bands we could release on the label. The initial idea was that we would sign bands from mainland Europe but I heard Rock’n’Roller Tunes (via Facebook and YouTube) and was blown away. The guys from B-Leaguers sent me the first LP, we met up…over a pint or two and it was a done deal. We share the same philosophies and values.

Did you try to create a whole or do these songs just easily connect, without trying too much?

Jim: We wrote the songs separately, but there’s a natural connection there, as we listen to, and are influenced by, the same kind of bands. Big singalong choruses, with the punk rock DIY ethic.

Barry: It’s all organic and nobody is trying to force an issue or create a “concept” album. It just seems that the bands have similar influences and approaches both to song-writing and recording. Actually, it’s difficult to say how much is due to “influences”. Hooligan Crooners rarely “deliberately” write something in the vein of [x]. We just write things on an acoustic guitar and then we play them in the way we enjoy playing and would like to hear. That said, there are some very obvious nods in the direction of quite a few bands…that usually manifests itself in arrangements, particularly in the recording studio. And we have absolutely NO problem when a reviewer says “sounds like The Boys, Generation X, The Clash, Social Distortion etc etc”. That’s a huge compliment.

How will you promote the album?

Jim: We play a couple of shows with Hooligan Crooners in March/April, while the guys are over here in the UK. The official launch of ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ will be at the Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield, on Friday 31st March. The following night, Saturday 1st April, we both play the Punk & Disorderly Festival, Salisbury. And there’ll be a new song and video out from both bands very soon.

Barry:  A short tour (4 dates) of the UK at the end of March and beginning of April. A couple of those dates are with B-Leaguers (The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield for the official album launch on March 31st and Salisbury Punk & Disorderly Festival on April 1st) and we are really looking forward to those. Then we have some dates in France in early April. In September and October we will be playing in France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and perhaps even returning to the UK. We’ve been lucky and had quite a lot of radio play with the first two EPs so we’re hopeful that both bands will get our fair share with “Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip”.

Watch here and here

HURRY – Guided Meditation 

Hurry released the best record of 2016 according to The Power Pop Show. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Matt Scottoline about the need to be mildly psychotic, sensing a strong melody and Teenage Fanclub.


Sweet Sweet Music discovered Guided Meditation this week. (Blown away by it). It has been out for quite some time now. There even is a new ep. Is that the way the music industry works nowadays? How do you look at the music business? 



I don’t know if it’s specifically how the industry works now, but I do think there’s a feeling of urgency if you’re a musician sometimes, where you want to share the music as quickly as you can. Unless that’s just me. The band is named Hurry after all. The music business is very strange. It isn’t really designed for a naturalistic approach these days. If you want to make it happen, you have to be mildly psychotic, or very lucky. That’s pretty much the only way. I try and ignore it as best I can. But it can be difficult. 

Nothing to Say is such a beautiful song. How did it come together? Do you recognize early on during the writing process that you are on to something?



Thank you. I think whenever I’m writing a song, and can immediately sense if the melody is strong, and I knew that song had a strong melody. I know if I go back to listen to a demo multiple times, there’s probably something there. I remember that song specifically, I kept telling my band mates how I felt like it was going to be very good — and kind of had to make the case. Admittedly, the demo sounded terrible. But the song was there. I once heard an interview with Nick Lowe where he said he knows a song he’s writing is good if it sounds like something that already existed but he’d never heard before. Something like that. I felt that with Nothing To Say.

LISTEN/BUY

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) Teenage Fanclub – “What You Do To Me”

2) David Kilgour – “Fall Away”

3) The Explorer’s Club – “Forever”

4) Matthew Sweet – “Sick Of Myself”

5) Paul Westerberg – “As Far As I Know”




If you could tour the world with two other bands, which two would you chose?

Teenage Fanclub

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

How will 2017 look like?


We are going to record and hopefully release a new record. And play more. It should be a good year.

Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – Casino Drone (read/listen/watch/buy)

 

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Sweet Sweet Music talked to Mike Adams about Casino Drone, the favorite song of his 3 year old son, tension in a catchy tune, Glen Campbell and trying to remain super cool.

Casino Drone is a power/indie pop gem. GEM!

Diem Be seems to be everybody’s favorite track. Is that a surprise to you or did you know you had something special right from the start?

It’s a bit of a surprise. We actually recorded a version of that song for a split 7″ with our pals Sleeping Bag a few years before Casino Drone came out. I wasn’t really planning on including it on the album, since it’d already been released, in a way.

But, when I was trying to decide what songs to put on the record I was listening to the recordings a lot in my car, and my son (who was 3 at the time) would often request “Diem Be” by name. It was his favorite one.

That’s when I started to think that maybe that song had a little more to it than I initially realized. If a kid likes it, it has to be kind of good, right? 

Sounds like that track  grew up in the studio. Or doesn’t that make any sense?

No, you totally got me. That song started out with that opening riff, I was just playing it over and over again in my studio at home until the rest of it started to unlock for me. It felt like a real Frankenstein for a while in the demo stages until we started playing it live and got comfortable with the transitions. It came a long way before we got to Casino Drone.

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The Razorcake review says: “Diem Be” sounds like it might’ve been taken from a hardcore song. But that’s the feeling I have with more of the songs. The “it can explode now any minute”-feeling. That kind of tension, is that what you are looking for in a song?

I love tension in a catchy tune. It’s a comfortable and effective contrast for me. I grew up attending loads of hardcore shows in my hometown, so even though it’s mostly subconscious, it’s no surprise to me that that stuff leaks out once in a while.

I think Kurt (who wrote the review for Razorcake) and I come from a very similar background, so it’s cool that he recognizes that stuff in what I’m doing now.

Another side to that is that my entire life is about trying to remain super cool in the face of unspeakable tension and anxiety, ha! So, I’m happy that the music I’m making can effectively communicate that.   

There was a day when a review like the AllMusic one would be bring stardom. The music industry changed, didn’t it?

I suppose it has, though I’m admittedly fairly ignorant of the industry. I’ve been making music in my various bedrooms with no money since I was a teenager. I loved doing it then, and I love doing it now. I take a certain amount of pride in what I’ve been able to accomplish just from curiosity and amassing years of experience and making mistakes.

I’d love to be a big fat rich guy with no worries, chowing on a turkey leg with my foot propped up on a gout stool someday thanks to my record-breaking album sales, but I also tend to think of music as this really primitive human thing that’s going to go on existing whether there’s an industry or not.

I’m baffled and content just to exist in some strange space between those two extremes. 

 

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?

“All Done Wrong” – Starflyer 59
“Like A Diamond” – Glass Ghost
“Tender When I Want To Be” – Mary Chapin Carpenter
“Wishing Now” – Glen Campbell
“Under Your Spell” – The Range of Light Wilderness
…this question is entirely too hard.

If you could tour the world with two other bands, which two would you chose?

Electric Light Orchestra, and Sound of Ceres

What will 2017 look like? How will you promote Casino Drone?

We’re doing some touring and playing a lot of shows around the midwest and the east coast of the USA this spring. I’d like to start recording again by the summer.

Although, we’ve yet to play abroad, so if anyone reading this wants to make that happen, I’m all ears!

BUY/LISTEN

Mike Adams at His Honest Weight @ Daytrotter