NOBLE KIDS- Exclusive interview with Matt Sohl
Matt: Hello this is Matt Sohl from Crowd Control Music and today I am speaking with Bryce and Michael of the band Noble Kids. How did you guys find out about Crowd Control Music?
Noble Kids: Good question, Alex e-mailed us the day after we released Fawn. Alex sent us a really nice email. He had found us on Bandcamp because we were on the front page for a while. It was actually when we released our first single, we hadn’t released the entire record. He was just really into it and talked to us about a radio campaign and then a couple months later we decided to move forward with it.
Matt: Awesome. Can you tell me a bit about the photo book that comes with the physical copy of your cd?
Noble Kids: Started as a limited run for the Cd’s, we knew that we weren’t going to be able to print like 1,000. So we wanted it to be something special for the couple hundred that we did do. We knew we wanted something physical, so we and other people that supported us would have something to hold. That’s why we went with a spread wallet case, we’ve always worked with friends who were in the art and design world. We wanted to do a lyrics book that included process photos that we have been compiling since probably the first week of recording. As well as other photographers that we are friends with that came in and shot photos for us too so its kinda like a collaboration and recording the whole process. So yeah we put that together and so only the first 300 people who support us are gonna get it.
Matt: Who did the album art?
Noble Kids: Our friend James Kwan, I studied with him at Pratt. When we were there, he was an animation major but he was always an insanely talented illustrator. His style was always for children and kinda had this childish feel to it. His first children book was just published a few days ago, and he’s working on a second one. His book’s called Dear Yeti. It kinda just made sense because our name is Noble Kids and the art has a very kid feel to it, but in a sophisticated way. It’s not like a crayon drawing. He obviously has an insane sense of color and design. He just has a really good eye so I think it fits really well for what we’re trying to do.
Matt: How long have you guys been around for?
Noble Kids: 2012. We both went to Pratt together, we meet my senior year, Bryce was a junior. He was actually my resident advisor, so he was in charge of the house that I was living in. When we moved in, he helped me move in my amps and instruments and we ended up playing that week and really since that first week of school we’ve been playing and writing. So I guess its been like 3 years. We played around Pratt the school in empty class rooms. We started in the basement of a townhouse we were both living in. We just played all around campus at odd hours in the morning. We would meet in the chapel at 3am to play the piano or the corner of the wood shop or something and just write and play. That was the fall of 2012, that next fall we recorded our EP. Now we’re in 2015 and we recorded this album in the winter and spring and released it in the fall again.
Matt: Do you have any merch online and where can people go to find it?
Noble Kids: I guess the only physical thing that we have are the cd packages that you can buy online through Bandcamp or at a show.
Matt: If you could tour with some established bands who would you like to tour with?
Noble Kids: This is a fun question. Justin Vernon or any project he’s involved with, The National, Father John Misty, Hiss Golden Messenger. We’re going to see them in November and it would be a dream to open for them. We get to play with a lot of friends and bands around Brooklyn but we definitely have hopes of one day looking at some of these bands that we idolize and meeting them as peers.
Matt: If you could say anything to your fans what would you like to say to them?
Noble Kids: THANK YOU! Since this release we’ve gotten a lot of support from close friends but also it’s reached further to people that we haven’t spoken to in a while. People that we speak to have told us how the music has affected them in certain emotional ways and we think that’s probably the most important aspect for us. I think that’s what music does for us so it nice to be able to give someone that. Its one thing for our friends and family to support us by buying the record but to share it with people and to have those people come to us and respond to it and keep that going is something that we’re really thankful for.
Matt: What’s the future have in store for you guys?
Noble Kids: We would really like to tour at some point but I mean we kind of have to start small. Probably this Spring. We’re pretty set on booking a small 1-2 week tour this Spring around the northeast. We have opportunities coming up and we’ve got a music video in the works. We want to have as many different mediums for people to grab onto the music, whether its a video or a live session. We’re definitely not bored with these songs yet and there’s a lot of potential for different arrangements that we’ve already done and so we’d like to keeping playing them in different ways.
Matt: What are your favorite songs to play out?
Noble Kids: One favorite song to play is “Never Let Me Down” simply because i love the way it builds. I like the connection between all of us when it builds and then this huge explosion happens. We don’t usually play it until the end of the set and it’s a really nice way to reach a peak in the show. “Ghosts” is probably another favorite. Its just has really heavy dynamics – kind of like an off and on type of feel. I think that the bigger songs are a lot of fun to play but the last song on the album, the title track “Fawn” has a ten part harmony and its fun to bring that to life.
Matt: Do you have any shows coming up in New York?
Noble Kids: We’re playing at Pianos on the main stage on November 21st. And SoFar Sounds on the 17th at a secret location. If your familiar just go onto their website and sign-up and they have secret location shows for bands. Just search for ours which is in the Lower East side on the 17th and then we’re headed to Boston to support our good friends Minor Moon for their cd release show on the 12th at Out Of the Blue Gallery.
Matt: Thanks so much for taking some time to chat with me guys. On behalf of Crowd Control Music I am Matt Sohl and that concludes our interview today with Noble Kids.
NOBLE KIDS’ DEBUT ALBUM FAWN IS AVAILABLE NOW ON BANDCAMP
RABBIT WILDE – Live Interview on WFHU
Click on the link below to listen to the full interview at WFHU in Henderson, TN!
THE PETER ULRICH COLLABORATION – Drumming The River
Staff writer Jennifer Charoni chats with former Dead Can Dance percussionist/drummer Peter Ulrich about his inspirations, influences and talented collaborators on his new record Tempus Fugitives.
You’ve worked with a wide variety of musicians in various capacities, alone and as a part of bands. How does your work vary, for example, when you’re working with a band or doing your own thing?
When I was drummer/percussionist with Dead Can Dance I was essentially performing parts either created or ‘directed’ by Brendan [Perry] and Lisa [Gerrard]. They are both very powerful creative forces and have very definite ideas about what they want from all the instruments. It was an amazing experience to play with them, from which I learnt an enormous amount about composition and performance, and they also helped and encouraged me greatly to improve as a musician. But I did not have a creative role in DCD and so I started writing my own material as I always wanted to be a writer. Brendan knew I was writing stuff – and gave me a lot of encouragement, not to mention passing on various bits of equipment to me as he upgraded his studio – and while I was in Ireland back in 1995 doing some recording for DCD’s Spiritchaser album, he offered to record my first solo album at his studio if I could get sufficient material written. This gave me the incentive I needed and over the next couple of years (in and around the day job), I wrote the basic songs to do the recording. Brendan made a very significant contribution to the way the songs finally sounded, performing some of the parts for me, arranging and producing – but essentially they were my original songs and my principal performances, so that was very different from what went before. That became the album Pathways and Dawns that was released on the Projekt label in 1999. I followed that up with a second solo album, Enter The Mysterium, which was released in 2005 on the City Canyons label. Again I wrote all the songs, but with this album I performed most of the parts myself and also co-produced it with engineer Hill Briggs. It’s a more ‘makeshift’ album as a result, though I still love those songs and they’re very dear to me, and it gathered a good number of glowing reviews, so I’d proved I could do it. Solo writing and recording has the benefit that you can take a song in any direction you choose and you entirely control its final outcome, but it’s also by nature a lonely experience and does not have the potential to benefit from sparking ideas off other participants. Through the release on City Canyons I developed a relationship with the label’s CEO Trebor Lloyd and when we came to discuss my next project, he suggested we might work on something together. To start things off he sent me the bare elements of a song called “Hanging Man” which he had written together with one of his other artists, Sara Wendt. I added a string arrangement, percussion and some other parts and sent it back. Trebor fleshed out the arrangement further and Sara performed the lead vocal. We were thrilled with the result and decided to try a couple more songs with a similar approach, but bringing in different contributors each time. We called it ‘The Peter Ulrich Collaboration’ as I have remained the kind of ‘lynch pin’, with me being involved to a varying degree on every track. So this is another very different way of working, where I have a big creative input, but Trebor also has a huge input and other of our invited ‘collaborators’ help to shape the sounds, and we have a huge volume of ideas and influences flying around in the project.
How have you evolved as an artist over the course of your career, and what brought you to where you are now?
I think pretty much any artist will tell you that you are constantly learning, constantly absorbing more ideas and influences, and constantly developing what you do. I am always actively searching out new music to listen to, gathering more instruments, and keeping alert to anything that moves me and inspires new and interesting directions in my own creativity. Looking back, there have been some big moments. Discovering artists or bands that have been a really major influence – for me, early Pink Floyd, Gabriel-era Genesis, Joy Division as examples – first discovering African drums and rhythms, and later Arabic drums and rhythms, hearing an album of ‘Early Music’ for the first time, and, of course, joining Dead Can Dance – these are experiences that have had a sudden and dramatic effect on how I perceive music and on my personal development. But there are smaller, and sometimes entirely subliminal, influences taking effect constantly. It is the cumulative effect of all these elements that has brought me to where I am now, and which I have no doubt will continue.
Which projects do you see as particularly defining moments for you?
The earliest defining moment I can recall – although not really classifiable as a ‘project’ – was when I was about nine years old and my maternal grandparents arrived back from an overseas holiday (quite an exotic thing in the 1960s!) with a pair of clay and calfskin bongo drums they had bought for me in Acapulco, Mexico. I had never seen anything like them before and I loved everything about them – not just the sound, but the look, the feel and even the earthy smell. At this stage in my life, I had given up on piano lessons after struggling with elementary quasi-classical pieces for a few years and had started writing songs but did not have ‘an instrument’ I could relate to, so this was the start of me becoming a percussionist. My first drum kit was acquired at about 14, and a year or so later I bought my first acoustic guitar – those were also important moments, but I still only really dabbled in writing and making music throughout my teenage years. It was only after I finished college, started work, and got my first apartment with my girlfriend (now wife) Nicki on the Isle of Dogs in East London, that I saw a small handwritten advert in a shop window for a drummer wanted to join a local band. I phoned the number and became drummer of a soul/blues covers band called Mischief, which played the local pub and club circuit. We rehearsed twice a week and gigged regularly, and when you do that the music soon becomes tight and you develop your technique, your style and your confidence. Had it not been for this experience, I certainly would not have been ready when the opportunity presented itself for me to join Dead Can Dance. Even so, when I went to my audition, I was blown away by the music Brendan and Lisa were creating, but I was completely out of my depth drumming to it. Fortunately, they persevered with me and in return I worked harder than ever to get to grips with what they wanted me to play. From that point, everything happened very quickly and within just a few months I went from being a club band drummer playing the circuit for fun and a few beers, to being in a band which was just signing to a record label, going into the studio to record our first album, being dispatched on a tour of the Netherlands supporting new label-mates the Cocteau Twins, and then returning to London to go into the BBC studios to record our first session for the legendary John Peel Show… that period in 1983 was one defining moment after another! Subsequently, having a track I wrote and performed included in 4AD’s This Mortal Coil project in 1986, doing DCD’s first tour of the US and having my first solo single released in 1990, and the release of my two solo albums have all been defining moments. Then, in the current Collaboration project, the release of out two albums to date – The Painted Caravan in 2014 and Tempus Fugitives earlier this year – have been defining moments, and most recently the amazing experience of doing the first live performance of The Peter Ulrich Collaboration in June at New York’s historic Webster Hall venue, performing with a 17-strong band of terrific musicians was a massive ‘moment’ for me – and if it ultimately proves to be the launch-pad for TPUC as a touring live act, it could prove to be the definitive defining moment!
What is unique about your most recent work Tempus Fugitives. Where did it come from as far as inspiration?
I’m not sure to what extent we can claim ‘uniqueness’, but I would say the elements that set Tempus Fugitives – and its predecessor The Painted Caravan – apart are the diversity of the musical styles covered, the range of musicians and instrumentation used, and the richness of the arrangements. The collaborative nature of the project has given us the freedom to inject endless variety into the compositions and, perhaps somewhat paradoxically, it is only now that we are looking at creating a manageable touring unit for future live shows that we are having to contemplate setting some boundaries and reining ourselves in somewhat. The songs themselves are also, of course, all original works composed for and within the project, and I believe we have a very creative group of writers. While Trebor and I take the lead in this, the nature of the project also enables any of our guest contributors to take a leading role in a particular song, as the wonderful Erin Hill has done on the song “Dark Daddy” which was released as our single from the Tempus Fugitives album. As regards where the inspiration comes from, it really goes back to what I was saying earlier about all the influences and ideas which are constantly absorbed and stored. The inspiration for lyrics and themes for the songs can come from literature, from films, from history, from culture, from contemporary news, from personal experiences, from emotions – just about anywhere – while the music can be inspired by the subject matter of the song, by the selection of instruments, and by all the different music we listen to and learn from.
Who did you listen to that sparked your interest in music, and who are your favorite new artists?
As a child of the 1960s and a teenager of the 70s, I grew up with the Beatles and their journey from Merseybeat into psychedelia, with Atlantic Soul and Motown, with folk music as protest song, with the emergence of prog rock from heavy rock and the subsequent backlash of punk. It is arguably the most intensely tempestuous period musical development has ever been through, to which the contribution of the widespread consumption of exotic substances cannot be under-estimated. It would have been virtually impossible to have lived through this era and not have a strong interest in music sparked. Apart from the bands/artists I’ve already mentioned, my earliest influences would certainly include The Move, Donovan and Marc Bolan/T Rex, while names looming large in my teenage years included Nektar, Caravan, Man and Mahavishnu Orchestra. As for favorite new/current artists, we have presently in the UK an extraordinary conveyor belt of wonderful female folk singer/songwriters who are producing some absolutely beautiful albums – the likes of Martha Tilston, Maz O’Connor, Rachel Sermanni, Emily Portman, Bella Hardy, Lisa Knapp – the list goes on and on.
What do you look for in people you collaborate with in your music? Specifically Tempus Fugitives?
Most of the guest musicians who have worked with us on the Collaboration to date have been brought in by Trebor, partly because of City Canyon’s many established contacts and partly because he does the majority of the final arrangements at the studio he uses in New York and so it is practical to bring in most of the contributors from the local music scene there. I have introduced Catherine O’Grady, an Uilleann piper who played a part I wrote for “Hanging Man”, Saskia Dommisse, a Dutch singer and musician I know through DCD connections who was a member of our ‘choir’ for the song “Children of the Rain” and also played didgeridoo and bullroarer, and Evi Stergiou and Spyros Giasafakis from wonderful Greek band Daemonia Nymphe (who I guest with on percussion whenever I get the opportunity) who contributed vocals and pandoura respectively to the song “Icarus”. Essentially we look for a vocalist whose voice will suit a particular style of song or a player of an instrument we want to use for particular arrangements. They will usually be musicians whose work we have heard and admire, and who we feel will bring an additional dimension to the project. The band that Trebor put together, with Musical Director Mike Nolan, for our Webster Hall Show was truly incredible – not only exceptionally talented musicians, but also a lovely bunch of people who all got on really well, another vital factor!
When/why do you write music?
I write music because I simply love doing it and because I have ideas coming to me all the time that need to have an outlet. Instruments also make me want to write music – whenever I see an instrument it suggests an idea or a possibility that excites me and makes me want to pursue that. There is no particular time when I write – pretty much whenever I can!
Your music and videos are very ethereal. Do you associate the music you make with images when you’re creating it? How do you picture/hope people are listening to your work?
Sometimes I have a very specific image in advance of writing a song. An example from Tempus Fugitives would be the song “Drum The River” which was inspired by an East English folk tale set in a time and locality when and where it was the tradition if someone was feared drowned in the local river to row a boat slowly along its course beating a drum. Some believed that the drum beats could actually raise the body up out of the river if the boat passed over it, while others believed the waters would start to swirl and spit to indicate the location of the body below. So I was writing with a very specific scene in my mind. On other occasions I deliberately have no fixed idea in mind. I wrote and recorded all the initial instrumentation for the song which ultimately became “Migrators” without any concept or image in mind, and passed this on to Sara Wendt who wrote the vocals and lyrics and gave the song its identity. Trebor also does a lot of the writing, and he generally always starts from the lyrics, so the songs he initiates tend to be created with specific images in mind from the outset, and often with the deliberate intention to create a musical backdrop which supports the lyrics – the song “Mr. Johnson” is a good example, that grinding blues of the deep south in a song about Robert Johnson’s infamous pact with the devil.
I wouldn’t wish to be prescriptive in any way about how people listen to our music – my simple wish is that as many people as possible get to hear it and as high a percentage of those as possible enjoy it!
THE PETER ULRICH COLLABORATION’S TEMPUS FUGITIVES IS AVAILABLE NOW ON ITUNES
WILD SUN – Bright Frontier
Matt Sohl catches up with frontman Glenn Kendzia from Wild Sun as they discuss their favorite album artwork, Halloween costumes and making a record with famed producer Bryce Goggin.
Matt: Hello everybody you are listening to Crowd Control Music, I am Matt Sohl and today we are interviewing “Wild Sun”
Matt: How did you decide on the band name ?
Glenn: So the band name “Wild Sun” came from a lyric from one of the first we had together “where are you my wild sun”. We just thought it was cool, image wise and lyric wise, wild sun is this bright frontier kinda thing and at the time we just felt it fit our ideas and what we wanted.
Matt: Who plays what in your band/ how long have you been a group for ?
Glenn: We got together in early summer/ late spring of 2013. We played our first show in June of 2013 and we had been play for about a month before that. My name is Glen I sing and play guitar, Paul plays bass and Cam is our drummer and sings backup vocals.
Matt: Has it been the same line up consistently?
Glenn: Yep, same since the beginning.
Matt: Nice, that’s good to hear.
Glenn: Yeah, we’ve all been good friends and that’s been a huge part of the band. Our friendship and hanging out. Were on the same page and all that.
Matt: You just put out a new record, who produced/ recorded it for you?
Glenn: A guy named Bryce Goggin produced and recorded it and he’s recorded a lot of albums we love, “Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” But I’m also a Phish fan and he did a lot of their studio albums. They have a certain sound to them. We don’t sound like a Phish band by any stretch of the imagination but the studio albums have this real natural warmth to them and as big of a band as Phish was it still just sounded like four guys in a studio just playing and it was just true and honest sound. And when it came time for us to record we wanted that same kind of sound out of the record. We just e-mailed him and he was down to record.
Matt: The way that it was recorded sounds a little more old school.
Glenn: Yeah! Exactly, it was. It was just the three of us exactly that. I didn’t know what it would be like going in. The way his records sound, very tight and like everyone is playing in a small room together. And when we got to the studio, sure enough he’s recording 5 feet away from me where were playing. Its very tight and intimate, everyone’s right there.
Matt: What are some goals you would like to achieve with this latest release ?
Glenn: We would love to just keep playing for more and more people. Bigger shows. I think that’s definitely the goal, get it into more hands and more ears.
Matt: I think that will happen.
Glenn: Yeah, we started out doing that every weekend, we’d play Saturday/ Friday night, both nights we kinda skipped venues for the first year of playing. We just played bars, so that’s a big part of what we do, just play live for a very long time.
Matt: Who are some of the artists that influenced your song writing ?
Glenn: I’m a big Elliott Smith fan, in terms in the way I write he’s a big influence.
Matt: If you could have anyone dead or alive create your next album cover who would you want it to be ?
Glenn: Oh man, haha whoever did Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell” cover.
Matt: Hahah that’s the correct answer.
Glenn: haha yeah that’s that right answer. I think that if you didn’t know them or what they sounded like your like “Alright I gotta listen to that” even though it didn’t sound what it looked like
Matt: Do you have any merchandise ?
Glenn: We do, we have some cool shirts, we do some embroidery, stickers, patches and all that on our website www.wildsunusa.com. I actually do screen printing for work so we make all our merch our self.
Matt: That’s awesome, its good to be self contained like that!
Glenn: Yeah, we always tried to figure out how to do everything as much as possible ourselves and if we don’t know how to do it, learn how or take a class or whatever.
Matt: Where are you from, and how is the music scene there?
Glenn: We are from Westerly Rhode Island which is a small town in obviously a very small state that is not an island. It’s kinda worked many ways in our advantage being so small because whatever is going on pretty much everyone knows about it, so if you are getting a band going in a small town than if it’s something that people like it speaks a lot quicker than maybe in a city where theres a lot of cool things going on. It’s one of those things that gave us a lot of confidence coming out of the gates, because we would play bars and people would say “oh this is awesome!” then see us a week later because we just kept playing and playing and there wasn’t a lot going on because of the small town small vibe. Even going out RI and New England we’ve been able to carry that because I guess New England is pretty similar within each state.
Matt: I grew up in Maine so I know all about the tiny music scene.
Glenn: Yeah, nice man! There’s something great about New England for music. Whereas if you live down in Nashville, which is considered a musical mecca for most people, touring is a lot tougher down there.
Matt: Are there any good venues or local bands in your area that we should know about?
Glenn: Well in Western Rhode Island we have this venue called Knickerbocker, which is a really famous blues club that tons of blues artists have played at. It’s been going under a big change – they’re just getting a lot more national acts and moving out of the blues genre per se.
Matt: If any sponsors are listening, what brands should endorse you guys?
Glenn: We drink a lot of beer, so that would be right up our ally. There’s a brewery in Rhode Island that’s been around for a long time, Narragansett. They seem to be the new PBR – at least, the last few times we’ve played in New York, the $4 beer is no longer PBR, it’s Narragansett.
Matt: If you guys could tour with any three bands, dead or alive, who would they be?
Glenn: Kiss…because it would rule…and we could borrow their costumes and shit, and have fun. Probably Aerosmith because it would be entertaining to see the whole Joe Perry/Steven Tyler arguments every day. I like those guys. I don’t know…
Matt: It’s a tough question!
Glenn: Yeah. I think we would have fun playing on the road with the partiers.
Matt: Absolutely. So hypothetically, Wild Sun has a Halloween show. What are you guys wearing/what’s your costumes?
Glenn: Our costumes are probably going to be really over the top – animal costumes. Maybe someone would be a bear, or a wolf. We’ve dressed up at shows before. Paul had a big wolf hat and wore this fur coat…I had a cowboy hat and this crazy cow mask and a horse shirt. I did a creepy farm theme. People responded well.
Matt: (Laughs) If you could say anything directly to your fans, what would you like to say to them?
Glenn: I’d say check out Wild Sun and dig into the tracks because we try to leave something beyond just a first listen-through.
Matt: Alright man! That’s our interview. I’d like to thank Wild Sun for lending us the time, and we hope to hear more from them in the future. This is Matt Sohl on behalf of Crowd Control Music. Thank you for listening.
STRINGS OF ATLAS- GoGo Dancers, Flamethrowers, and Extraterrestrials
Matt Sohl chats with Atlas Cage and bassist Ed C. (aka BASS) about what to expect at a SOA show, their favorite artists, and what it means to have a Hennessy guitar tone. Check it out below!
Q:) How long has SOA been making music ?
A:) Atlas: I started this project back in 2007 with the first full length release entitled “Cosmosis” coming out in 2008. For several years SOA has been a one man band, then a band of several vagabond musicians coming and going, leaving their mark of greatness on the name. As of late it has been my roommate Ed and I running the show, the band being the barrage of sound waves liquefying PA’s around the states. In between albums, I’ve worked on a few indie films like “The Edison Bomb”, “Odd Jobs” and “Dead Dead Overkill”.
Q:) Do you have any merchandise, if so where may people purchase it?
A:) Yes, we have shirts, music, art, mugs and more that you can find at www.stringsofatlas.com!
Q:) What’s your craziest experience during a live show?
A:) Atlas: The very first Strings of Atlas show was played in the back of a tattoo parlor on top of a 1984 Pontiac Firebird with fire dancers, belly dancers and BBQ. It was an amazing blur of a night.
Ed: Blowing out the whole PA two songs into the set, we were the first band to play. so everyone else wasn’t to happy about it.
Q:) Do you have any upcoming releases ?
A:) Atlas: Our latest album came out in May of 2015 and has been very nicely promoted/accepted by folks so far, to include Crowd Control. I’m in the process of writing some symphonic tracks for film submissions before getting back into that sick slick rock and roll groove.
Ed: I’m always releasing new pieces of art, you can take a look at them on our store.
Q:) Why do you want your music featured on college radio?
A:) Atlas: College radio and those who follow it have always had a rep of being more open minded and understanding of musical endeavors. We like to rock, sometimes we’re strange, its just who we are and college radio is our way of getting that to those who can appreciate a strong desire to entertain. You can feel that, right?
Ed: It allows us to reach a larger audience without the need of having a label.
Q:) Who is your target audience?
A:) Atlas: Those who have seen a bit more than they would like to admit. Salty old rockers, rebellious punks, vagrants and Ronin of the cosmic life style persuasion. Old enough to feel it, young enough to do something with it.
Ed: Our target audience is any one who likes that dirty rock sounds, with raw lyrics
Q:) If you could have anybody direct your next music video who would it be?
Atlas: Neveldine / Taylor. I love their films, from Crank to Gamer to Pathology.
Ed: Ryan Reynolds
Q:) What could I expect to see if I showed up to a SOA house show?
A:) Atlas: GoGo Dancers, flame throwers, kegs, Hennessy, tequila, vodka, rum, kool-aid, extraterrestrials, maybe a friendly game of pai gow. It’s a family event really.
Q:) What gear are you using to get your guitar tone ?
A:) Atlas: Mostly Hennessy. That counts as gear right?
Ed: I got a B4 Cort with Bartolini pickups and a crate BT220
Q:) What is the best way to stay up to date with your band on social media ?
A:) Atlas: We have individual Instagram accounts for lifestyle insight, as well as our websites www.stringsofatlas.com, www.facebook.com/stringsofatlas, youtube.com/stringsofatlas and on www.reverbnation.com as Strings of Atlas.
Ed: Follow us on Instagram, twitter: @stringsofatlas, and of course we got a Facebook just like all the other cool kids out there.
Q: Who were some musical influences that encouraged you to write songs?
A:) Atlas: Strings of Atlas started as a way to express the feelings of things in life that pulled at the heart “Strings”. Mainly influenced by the likes of Monster Magnet and Dave Wyndorf, my personal musical hero that I hope to work with some day, as well as Tom Waits from a percussion standpoint, Clutch with its gravelly vocals, AudioSlave because Chris Cornell is awesome and Hip Hop because lets face it, we all love a good beat.
Ed: My personal influences would have to be Ryan Martinie, Steve Harris, and Les Claypool.
Q:) Do you have an upcoming shows?
A:) Atlas: At the moment we are in the writing and exploring phase. Check out that aforementioned Instagram account in a month or two, it’s going to get really interesting. Follow @Atlascage
Q:) What’s the last record/cd/tape/MP3 you bought
Atlas: Bus Driver – Perfect Hair
Ed: The Flying Balalaika Bros.- Panorama
Strings of Atlas’ In a Better World EP is available now on iTunes
MAD KINGS- Young, Aggressive, and Having Fun!
Staff writer Matt Sohl caught up with Mad Kings on their first tour of Europe. The boys discuss their new EP Throne Room, their influences, and their favorite city to play.
Q: If you could have 1 celebrity (dead or alive) be your roadie who would it be?
A: Andre the Giant cause I bet you he can carry a lot of my stuff with ease.
Q: When you’re not playing music, what would you be doing ?
A: Honestly it depends on the year. I still go to college, so there’s that. But dealing with other stuff I have to do or just relaxing is the best answer I’d say.
Q: If you were the opener, who are the 3 bands that would be on your dream tour?
A: Bands that still exist? I would say Foo Fighters just because I feel we’re kinda similar to them. Even if our music doesn’t blend in a concert or tour, if Nirvana or Jimi Hendrix were still around, that would be just awesome.
Q: What’s on your concert rider ?
A: At the moment, probably just cigarettes and a place to smoke pot if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. Maybe also some food, like some diet drinks and chicken. I do like my protein.
Q: What is the bands biggest accomplishment ?
A: I’d say the making of our EP. The writing of the music, the rehearsing, the recording and the producing.
Q: Why did you choose to have your music promoted on College radio ?
A: We just want to have as many people as we can just to listen to our stuff. Figure it’s best to start with kids our age.
Q: Who was the first band/ musician to inspire you to pick up an instrument ?
A: When I first picked up an instrument I was about 8 years old, so I don’t remember. But what kept me playing honestly was the great Blues Rock guitar players like Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaugham, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter. The list can go on.
Q: What are some hard lessons you have learned while being on the road ?
A: Money could just fly out of your pocket, so just being cautious of that.
Q: Favorite town/ venue to play at?
A: I love NYC. I’m from there, so I just love playing there.
Q: Who are some unsigned bands we should know about ?
A: Check out the Dolly Spartans or Caverns. The leaders of both bands are friends of mine and we went to high school together. They’re also actually pretty good too, which is why mention them.
Q: Rig rundown. How do you get your sound? (Amp-Guitar-Pedals/Bass/
A: I use a Fender American made Stratocaster. I took the paint off it to pronounce its tone, and it’s also pretty cool. I even draw on it at times. At the moment, I use a blackface Fender Super Reverb with also an old blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb. Right now, I’m just using a tuner, a Big Muff Pie and a Cry Baby Wah as my pedals. Nice and primal.
Q: What are your favorite songs on the album ?
A: I love “Purest Ecstasy”. The whole thing; the dynamics, the riffs, even what each member does is awesome. It’s always in my head. But don’t get me wrong, I do love all the music on the record.
Q: What can we expect to see from Mad Kings in the future ?
A: Hopefully more of us! We always have shows, so we’re continuing that. Once September comes around we’ll probably be putting together more original music. We’re also gonna put together a music video here shortly to one of our singles.