Interview with Howie Bentley of Briton Rites
April 26, 2021 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with musician, Howie Bently, of Briton Rites. During our discussion, we go through great detail of the band’s love for occult horror and how they integrate that passion into the music they make. In additio, we get into the band’s latest album, Occulte Fantastique. Read below to find out more about what makes this band tick.
Occulte Fantastique was released this past December. For those who have not heard the songs off this album, what should they expect?
HB: A demonic homage to early Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General, classic horror
literature and cinema.
What were your personal favorite tracks to work on off Occulte Fantastique?
HB: It is hard for me to choose. I love them all. This is the strongest album I’ve
done as far as consistency.
It is to my understanding that there was a hiatus taken before you started songwriting again. What was it like getting back into the groove of creating music?
HB: Music comes naturally to me. The biggest issue was my hands. I didn’t play
guitar at all for a few years. I’ve had hand problems for over twenty years and
it was frustrating limiting myself on playing guitar for short periods of time,
until my hands got used to playing again.
Briton Rites’ music is heavily influenced by occult classics. What was the inspiration to write music based around Carmilla and others?
HB: Reading Carmilla in 2006 or so is what inspired me to make this kind of music.
Up until then my main band had been Cauldron Born, which is technical US
heavy metal. But I turned to my early influences, Black Sabbath and
Witchfinder General, for a general sound wherein I could express how the
gothic horror of Carmilla and the Hammer films it inspired made me feel.
Which classics were your favorite to put into your own music?
HB: Along with Carmilla, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” made a
lasting impression on me. The song “A Meeting in the Woods” was inspired by
Hawthorne’s tale of a young man walking in the woods of Colonial New
England late at night and witnessing a witches' sabbat. I see this tale as a
precursor to what we call folk horror now in cinema. I added some H.P.
Lovecraft influence to the tale, and set it to music. Lovecraft is a huge influence
on me, and you will find references to his works all throughout the music of
Briton Rites, as well as Cauldron Born. Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan”
is also referenced in the Briton Rites song, “The Wizard’s Pipe.”
The band has a music video out that features horror film clips from “The Devil’s Rain,” “The Mephisto Waltz,” and “Alucarda.” What was the band’s decision making process to highlight these specific clips?
HB: I used to collect obscure horror films. “Alucarda,” “The Devil’s Rain,” and “The
Mephisto Waltz” are at the top of my list for occult horror films. One of my best
friends is a guy named Jon Zaremba. He makes the Briton Rites videos. Jon is
also a big horror fan and collector. We discussed which song would work best
with a montage of some of our favorite films.
Which other songs would you love to create horror-themed videos for?
HB: All of them, but it is tricky getting pre-existing footage to line up with the
narrative of the song.
Having been inspired by the occult and horror, what is your favorite novel or film?
HB: My favorite gothic horror piece is Carmilla. As far as novels, I like early Clive
Barker works such as The Books of Blood series, and the novels, Hellbound
Heart, The Damnation Game, and The Great and Secret Show.
What was that one song or band you listened to that changed your life forever?
HB: It was the Ozzy Osbourne album Blizzard of Ozz. I came to heavy metal
through hard rock like Kiss and Ted Nugent in the late ‘70s. I already had a
guitar and could play a few chords and riffs, but it was Randy Rhoads’ guitar
playing on that first Ozzy album that set me on fire to really learn to play the
guitar. This was a gateway to all these British metal bands such as Black
Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Witchfinder General, and Venom.
Having been a musician for many years, what is your fondest memory of making music?
HB: I guess it isn’t so distant of a memory, but the best recording experience was
recording Occulte Fantastique. Alex Parra brought his mobile to my house and
I recorded the guitar tracks while sitting on my couch, hanging out with my
dog. That is the most stress-free recording experience I’ve ever had.
What’s some advice you’d like to pass down to upcoming artists?
HB: Just play exactly what you want, because the mainstream music
industry is over with now.
Interview with Simone Schwarz of Dark Zodiak
March 29, 2021 | Haley Pearl
German-based death/thrash metal band, Dark Zodiak, lives to play on stage. Due to the pandemic and lockdown of the nation, they have had to resort to other ways to keep their fans excited. This past January, the band released their third album, Ophiuchus. The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to interview the band's vocalist, Simone Schwarz, to get the scoop on this particular album and its music.
With the release of Ophiuchus, Dark Zodiak brings one hell of an album to defy the odds in the metal scene. What was it like working on this album’s tracks?
SS: Due to the Corona crisis, we had a lot of time. So, we concentrated fully on the songwriting. Dieter, our drummer, is our all-round musician and composer. That's why everything often sounds like from one cast, very coherent and polished, and comes right in the face. He comes up with the complete songs, I do the lyrics and vocal line to the finished music. Every now and then I have a text idea in my head, describe it to Dieter and he implements it musically. That was the case with the title track "Ophiuchus," for example.
What songs were your favorite to create off this album?
SS: It's very hard to say! With "2020AD," of course, we have processed the fun-free time. The song stamps itself into the brain and mind like the year itself. But we have many highlights on the disc, had fun during the creation and are satisfied with the result. "Ophiuchus" is very varied and has a lot of dark atmosphere. I'm sure you'd like to listen to it more often on CD. A lot of the other songs are really powerful. With "Heaven, Earth and Beneath," "Invisible Apocalypse" and "Ignorance," you can certainly let off steam in the mosh pit. And "Humour' and "Destroy Destruction" are just something to sing along to and have fun with, we are already looking forward to the fan choruses from the audience.
Music has a great way of bringing people together, and we need that right now more than ever. With a pandemic, things have definitely been different. Did the band notice any differences the pandemic caused with the overall production and release of this album?
SS: To finish the songwriting, the record, the artwork and start promo work we had rather more time than in the times when we play a lot of concerts. But video shoots were very difficult, with "Ophiuchus." We were at least allowed to shoot alone as a band. "2020 AD," we shot separately and other ideas we discarded altogether. There were only two of us in the recording studio as well. We haven't been able to rehearse for a long time, we miss each other! But now it is enormously difficult to get the record out to the people. We are not allowed to play any concerts, we couldn't host a release party and the metal landscape is full of new releases as many have used the time. And the net is totally overrun... And sitting around at home and only being able to maintain social contacts from afar is now getting to the substance of every band member!
How has the band’s music evolved compared to 2013 to 2021?
SS: We have found our style over the years and have developed enormously musically and in songwriting. Dieter has always been the thrasher in composing. Overall, we probably got faster and darker with each album, my voice pushed the death metal part even further. With our latest record we all feel quite comfortable.
When it comes to the band’s music in general, what do you want to be remembered most for?
SS: Of course, we have an absolutely dark sound and really go full speed. So, we already want to pay homage to the world of thrash and death. But we don't take ourselves and our music deadly serious. We have an extreme joy in playing and at concerts the atmosphere, the interaction with the audience, the common celebration is very important to us. Besides, our lyrics are socially critical, but in the end they usually have an uplifting message. That's why we want to be remembered as a powerful, friendly band with whom you can have a lot of fun!
Dark Zodiak has shared the stage with bands such as Tankard, Debauchery, Stillbirth, and more. When touring becomes safe again, who else would you love to share the stage with?
SS: We don't really care! The main thing is to play. To be on stage with Slayer, Suicidal Angels,
Vader and Sepultura would be gigantic, haha. However, we now know so many cool underground bands. To play with all of them, that would be a long tour!
Do you have any fun or crazy tour stories?
SS: Well, there are anecdotes like the young girl from the front row...she had been throwing hand signals and eye bumps at me for half a concert and then finally climbed up to me on stage to tell me that I had my fly open...we laughed together all the way to the last row! Or after another concert we wanted to party a bit at night in the hotel and meet in Steffi's and Benni's room for that. By mistake I had given Dieter a wrong room number and this poor wretch knocked on a door at 2.30h in the night. There has opened him a very astonished old lady with flowered nightgown and sleeping cap...she almost took the homeless-appearing guy with her...delicious!
The music industry requires numerous hours of blood, sweat, and tear. What was the moment you realized you wanted to go on the journey of making music?
When I was three years old, my mother liked to listen to Boney M. while cooking. I turned up the volume, climbed up on the cupboard and danced like crazy on the kitchen shelf. I knew all the songs by heart. Now I'm just a little older and the music a little wilder and I've swapped the kitchen shelf for a stage!
Pick one: lose the ability to hear music or the ability to play music.
SS: Oh, would both be a disaster. Without music, life would be so much poorer. And if I hear good music, I just can't sit still.
What is one song or band you can always throw on, no matter what mood you are in?
SS: "Arise" by Sepultura
What's some advice you'd like to pass down to upcoming artists?
SS: Stay true to yourself, believe in yourself, remain vigilant and persistent!
Interview with This Is Undercroft
March 5, 2021 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the opportunity to interview another band local to the Atlanta music scene. This Is Undercroft takes a unique approach with their music, as they crossover progressive metal and rap genres to bring their listeners a thrilling experience. Not only that, but the content is based heavily on a novel series. We dive deep into that topic, so that listeners can learn all about this novel and how it relates to the songs This Is Undercroft produces. We also discuss other things, such as how the individual members met each other while attending university in Atlanta, GA, and more. If you're into music with a twist, and dig the progressive metal and rap genres, This Is Undercroft is for you.
Interview with Noxus
February 26, 2021 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Reese Furr (guitarist) and James Trogdon (vocalist) of Noxus. During our chat, we discuss the band's latest EP, Red Sun Horizon (2019), as well as the new music the band is currently working on. Mixing for the new project will begin this March, so be on the watch for new Noxus music coming your way soon. We also get into some fun topics, especially why Furr refers to Noxus as a "Craigslist band." If you're looking to get into some new heavy metal music, I highly consider checking out Noxus. Like Furr said during our discussion, "don't sleep on local scene, some are better than you think."
Interview with Gideon Waxman, Founder of Drum Helper
February 22, 2021 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the great opportunity to speak with the founder of Drum Helper, Gideon Waxman. He started this blog to bring something not only personal, but also helpful for beginner and aspiring drummers. Upon visiting drumhelper.com, one can read insightful articles, news, and watch tutorials, all created by Waxman. We not only discuss Drum Helper during our chat, but we also get into some interesting things-- like Waxman playing in the band Familiar Spirit. If you're a rising drummer, and you're looking to learn more helpful tips, listen to what Gideon Waxman has to say about Drum Helper. Trust me, you need to know about this.
Interview with Nine Mile Silence
February 8, 2021 | Haley Pearl
Get ready to fall in love with another progressive metal band with tonight's interview feature, Nine Mile Silence. The band is about to release their new project, 'The Quarantine Chronicles.,' which will be brought to the public by the end of February. As you wait for the release of 'The Quarantine Chronicles,' take a listen to this recent interview I had with the band below. During our discussion, we talk about the newest addition of Alex Bias (lead guitarist), their personality both on and off the stage, and more.
For more information regarding the band's new project and addition of Bias, read below. These answers were brought to me collectively by the rhythm and lead guitarists, R.J. Reitmire and Bias.
What can listeners expect or get excited for when it comes to the upcoming project, The Quarantine Chronicles?
Expect a heavy mix of dual guitar-based riffs, percussive and smooth bass lines, fast-paced, and hard-hitting drumming. There will be melodic singing, as well as screams and growls coming from the depths of Greg's soul. This album is a mix of the influences that shaped us as musicians. Expect to have these songs in your daily rotation.
Given the name of the project, I assume you've had a very busy quarantine or pandemic experience. What has this been like for you guys?
The name of the album will likely change, but quarantine has been full of ups and downs for the whole band. While we are all still working and spending time with our family and loves ones, some of us have experienced scares of quarantining due to possible exposure. Which is scary, to say the least. Luckily, none of use have caught the virus. We are spending time writing and playing music on our own. Sometimes it's just fun stuff we wanted to learn, and other times it's learning new techniques for song writing. It's been a unique opportunity to improve as musicians.
When do you expect the release for The Quarantine Chronicles?
We are expected to release the album in mid February, as long as nothing crazy happens to cause a delay. But as we all know, the last year has been full of crazy happenings.
Alex, you're the newest addition to Nine Mile Silence. This is exciting. How does being in this band feel for you?
Being invited to join the band is super exciting to say the least. It's like that moment when you're about to go down the first drop of a roller coaster, terrified and full of adrenaline. I really hope I can add my own style to their already solid sound.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered together to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned fo
Interview with Prison City Brigade
February 1, 2021 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with punk/hardcore band, Prison City Brigade. If you listen to this band's music, you might hear some influences from The Replacements, Teenage Bottlerocket, or even Billie Eilish. However, they like putting their own spin on the genre to make it unique for everyone to enjoy. During our chat, we talk about the band's projects which includes their recent album release, Rough Skeletons. We also dig deep into the band being signed with Misanthropik Records, and more. If you're looking to get into a new band, Prison City Brigade is the one to check out.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring our fans the metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for upcoming interviews or music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with Wolfstar
January 25, 2021 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and speak with another Misanthropik Records band. Please welcome Wolfstar to the stage. This metal band brings a unique sound and presence to this genre, as they do not let the restrictions of sub-genres define them. During our chat, we go over the band's current music, their upcoming album, and more. If you're looking to get into some new music or discover a new favorite band, listen to the interview above. You don't want to miss out on Wolfstar, I promise.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for upcoming interviews or music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with Ty Fox from Arrival Of Autumn
January 4, 2021 | Haley Pearl
Drummer from Arrival Of Autumn comments on his passion for creating music stating, "I enjoy the struggle of trying to get to the next level." Not only does Fox talk to me about his personal journey within the music industry, he tells some funny tour stories. Of course, if you are just now hearing about this Canadian metalcore band, we cover Arrival Of Autumn's recent releases, which include their cover of Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark At The Moon" and 'The Harbinger' album released back in 2019. Take a listen to the interview below and make sure to stream their music after, AOA is not a band you want to pass up.
Interview with The Boogie Pop Assassin
December 29, 2020 | Haley Pearl
If you enjoy bands such as KISS, Marilyn Manson, or Slipknot, you're in for a treat with this new interview. The SoundChick sat down with The Boogie Pop Assassin to discuss what the band has been up to recently. The Boogie Pop Assassin brings entertainment into the hard rock scene, similar to the bands mentioned. The goal is to be unique, edgy, and to stand out in the most obscene way. During our discussion, we talk about how this shifted from a solo project to a full band, the latest Tears Of Gasoline album, and more. Tune in below to experience this mania, I promise you won't regret it.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for upcoming interviews or music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with Memet Ødegaard Cataltepe of WAIL
December 27, 2020 | Haley Pearl
"If I heard somebody say, 'WAIL was an absolutely fantastic band and I really loved the energy they're bringing,' I would be really happy," stated Memet Ødegaard Cataltepe during our discussion. Cataltepe, WAIL's drummer, sits down to discuss with me all that the band has been up to recently. Included in our chat is the heavy metal band's latest project, Civilization Maximus, and what they hope to achieve in 2021. Not only that, but Cataltepe talks about some funny stories of him risking it all to see a live show. Tune in to the interview below to hear more. After the interview, make sure to check out Civilization Maximus, you won't want to miss out on this unique WAIL sound.
Interview with Cold Sin
December 23, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the great opportunity to sit down again with the guys from Cold Sin, and this time it's to discuss their upcoming debut EP. This project is to be released in a couple of days, Christmas Day, and it will be one to remember. During our talk, we take a look behind the scenes to the various tracks off their debut EP, and what makes them stand out in today's nu-metal scene. Take a listen below to hear more, and make sure to blast this EP loud when it becomes available to the general public. Trust me, you do not want to miss this new wave sound Cold Sin is bringing to the nu-metal community.
Interview with Trevor Goins of Cathedrals Fall
December 17, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick got the chance to sit down and speak with Trevor Goins about his project, Cathedrals Fall. During our discussion, we talk about how this solo project and recent album [Harmonic Dissonance] have been in the works for a while now. Eager to spread the word about his music, Goins takes me through an analysis of the various tracks off Harmonic Dissonance. We also cover other topics, such as his plans for 2021 and more. if you're into thrash or death metal, you're definitely going to want to tune in below.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for upcoming interviews or music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with KILJIN
December 14, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Please welcome KILJIN and their debut album, Master of Illusion, to the heavy metal scene. The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to interview this family band to get the scoop behind their music, and how these musicians formed several other bands. KILJIN members, Trevor Aumaugher, Tony Aumaugher, Bryant Aumaugher, and Scott Spencer, show that the true passion behind the music is having fun with people you love. Listen to the interview below to learn how this family band formed. In addition to KILJIN, these members have formed other bands, such as KISSTER, THE KIEFERS, and they discuss during our conversation about starting more. Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this excitement
Interview with Josh Freeman of There's Only One Elvis
December 10, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick interviewed another solo artist, Josh Freeman of There's Only One Elvis. During our discussion, we take a look behind the scenes to the tracks he has released currently. Freeman disclosed to me that an album is in the works, and he has aspirations of partnering/collaborating with different artists in 2021. In addition to looking at his solo project, we also cover topics such as MTV when it was in its prime. Take a listen to the interview below to hear more.
Interview with Pat Murphy of Bombscare
December 7, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Behold another band emerging from the underground metal scene, Bombscare. The SoundChick had the opportunity to speak with the band's vocalist/bassist, Pat Murphy. It's no secret that 2020 has considerably disrupted the music scene. However, Bombscare are using this to their advantage, and working on new material with a new lineup. Read below to learn more about what the band is up to amidst this crazy time.
Your most recent release is Bastions Of Blood EP. What can fans get excited for with this EP, how does it differ from past releases?
PM: We had one previous release, and it was pretty much done in house by ourselves. This time we were able to work with Bill Metoyer. He did our mixing and mastering. He’s worked with a bunch of legendary acts, you know what I mean? Having him a part of our project I think is super awesome. He did a killer job. So, audibly, it’s great. You know, I totally stand by it. Speaking for myself, if I release something, after a few months I’m already over it. You know what I mean? I still enjoy listening to this.
What are a couple of your favorite tracks off this EP?
PM: Every single one of them is really cool in their own way. I really like the self-titled “Bastions of Blood.” That was a super fun song. It’s got a little bit of everything, I guess. It’s got a groove, and it’s got a little bit of death metal in some parts. It’s got a little bit of everything, and I really like that. It’s not just five minutes of, "tuka tuka tuka," ya know?
I saw that you guys are already teasing new material on your social media.
PM: Absolutely. So, we had a bit of a lineup change through this whole Covid thing. We were a 4-piece, we are back to a 3-piece. Which is how the band originally formed. We have a drummer that we’re now working with, and we’re not looking for a second guitar player. So, that’s how things originally were. You know, Covid really screwed things up for us. We intended to tour, we had a lot of things planned for this year, that obviously didn’t happen. So, we’re using this time to put stuff on deck and give you a taste for what we’ve got. Hopefully this thing lets up sooner or later, so that we can finally hit the road and do everything we want to do with it.
I know that the pandemic really tanked what you had planned, but are you already thinking about booking gigs or tours for the future?
PM: That’s a really good question. So, prior to the release, we were already playing these songs for a long time. So, we kind of made the decision of, “we have a new lineup, let’s just focus on these new songs.” So we can showcase the “new Bombscare,” instead of just playing off of songs we’ve been playing for almost two years. You know what I mean? Right this moment though, we’re working on writing. We’ve got three that have made it to the demo stages, and another two on deck. So, five “freshies.” How many we’re going to focus on before playing a show I’m not sure of. We want to keep one or two of the Bastions songs in rotation. We just haven’t made a formal decision as to which ones, or whatever. I don’t really have a definitive answer, but I’m a live guy. So, I’d rather be doing that. So, the sooner, the better. I just want to lock in a new and sick setlist first.
Here’s a fun one for you, which one of you is most likely to leave a show with an injury?
PM: Probably me. I’m double duty, I sing and I play bass. And this is just from past experience, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a mic kicked into my teeth. I’m not old, but I’m 30 right now. Things hurt more than they used to and I like to move around a lot. You know, when you’re playing live, you’re performing. I want to see people get into it. I’m a super active guy on stage, so if anyone’s going to get hurt, it’s probably going to be me.
What is your favorite piece of merchandise you’ve ever purchased at a live show?
PM: Ooh… that’s a tough one. It just depends. Like, I’ll buy something and rock the hell out of it for a long time. I saw Exodus and King Diamond once, and I did not take off my Exodus hoodie. Like, it was always by or on me. It’s like whenever I get something fresh, I’m super stoked about it.
Let’s shift gears a little bit, what do you want your band to be known for the most?
PM: I mean, I would rather be known for live than studio. Not that it’s not important to have good studio cuts, but… say you hear a record and go, “oh, that’s awesome.” Then you go to see it live and it doesn’t hold up. That really sucks. So, I’d rather live be the focus. I’d rather be the guy that puts on a good show. You know?
What would you say is the best live performance you’ve ever seen?
PM: That I’ve seen myself? That’s a coin toss for me between Exodus and Testament. They put on amazing live shows. With Testament, Chuck is such a good frontman the way he engages the crowd. It’s super professional, like, it’s perfect the way he talks to the crowd. I’m a super introverted guy. I’m not the best at talking to people, which is counterintuitive as a frontman. I just try my best. I wish I was more personable, which he totally is on stage. Exodus is the same, they crush it just as much. Again, they’re performers that put on such an amazing show.
Right. I talk with so many musicians, and a lot of them have very similar situations with being introverted. I’ve heard things like they’re typically more shy or reserved, but when it comes to being on stage, it’s a completely different story. Many have said it’s like flipping a switch… you just do it, and you don’t think about the anxiety that goes into doing it.
PM: It is, it’s 100 percent true. For example, there was a tour I was on. I was sick as a dog; I had a fever, I was shaking, I could barely stand up. I go on stage, and that’s all gone for 30 minutes. I’m good. Then the second you walk off, it all hits you back 100 fold. That is definitely 100 percent true, at least in my experience, that it’s like a flip of a switch.
Let’s go back to your band’s name for a second. “Bombscare” is a great name for a metal band. How did it come to be?
PM: It really isn’t even that cool of a story. I smoked a bowl and was laying on the couch, thinking of band names. Like, “this, this, this, Bombscare. This, this, this, Bombscare.” It just kept popping up in my head. You know what I mean? It just came onto me like that, so I just held onto it. I kept it to myself and didn’t tell anybody, so they wouldn’t take the name or whatever. Once we got started, it was done. The band was formed shortly after I picked the name, like the tail end of 2013. The idea of the band has been around for a while, and it just sort of happened how it has over the course of time.
What’s it like working and playing music with your brother [Tom Murphy] in a band?
PM: It’s amazing. We played instruments together forever, you know what I mean? Since we started, we were always jamming with each other. We just never had a band together, and it finally happened. It’s great.
Would you say you guys have pretty similar or different musical influences?
PM: I mean, there’s similarities and there’s differences. Everyone’s got their own. We came from the same background though, you know what I mean? My dad’s truck always had the classic rock station on. So, I’d say there’s more similarities than differences. Stylistically, we’re on board.
To close out, are there any tips or advice you’d like to pass down to upcoming artists?
PM: Do it for you. Don’t go out there and try to chase money. Go out and play music for yourself. I mean, if you’re happy with what you’re doing, eventually people will catch onto that. People can usually sift through BS. So, if you’re doing it to be big and make a lot of money, you probably won’t go very far. I mean, just do it because it makes you happy. If it doesn’t make you happy, then find what does.
Note from The SoundChick: As always, I hope you enjoyed this interview. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this band, and what to keep my eyes open for. In your free time, please go and check out Bombscare's EP, Bastions of Blood. There's several great tracks featured, my personal favorites are "Shadow Nocturne" and "Bastions Of Blood."
Interview with Slashers
December 3, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the opportunity to speak with some of the guys from Slashers: Paco O'Brien, Blake Charlton, and Shane Medanich. Slashers is a skate/punk crossover band. During our interview, we discuss their debut self-titled EP, their music video for "Five Mile Grind," and more. If you're into bands who love having a fun time, make sure to check out their music and the interview below.
Interview with Rambomesser
November 30, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with the German metal band, Rambomesser. Featured from the band during this interview are Markus Polzer [drummer] and Hannes Rau [guitarist]. We talk about their latest album, Krawall Am Kiosk, as well as what they hope to achieve come the new year. Rambomesser brings a unique sound to the metal scene, you're going to want to check them out after tuning into the broadcast below.
Interview with Erick Leviathan Scarlet
November 23, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoudChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Erick Leviathan Scarlet. This man has a significant passion to the metal scene, as he is working on Misanthropik Torment, Inherit Death, and he helps run Misanthropik Records. We need more driven people in this industry, and Scarlet is here to help leave a footprint for those to follow. Take a listen to the interview below to learn what his daily life entails living out the rock star dream.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for more interviews or music reviews featuring artists off this label.*
Interview with Victim Of Illusion
November 19, 2020 | Haley Pearl & Wes Everett
The SoundChick and Wes Everett of The Mosh Pit had the chance to interview the guys from Victim Of Illusion. This band consists of members Piero Giaccone [guitarist], Paolo Gurlino [vocalist], and Luca Imerito [bassist], and collectively they answered our questions. We cover some fun and interesting topics with this one. Read more below to learn about the band's music and what they're up to right now. Make sure to tune into their latest album, Invisible Light.
The state of the world is kind of hectic right now. What are some positives to being a band right now?
We think that being a band is always positive, regardless of the on duty misfortune. In this particular case, working together for a common goal and “cause,” is doubtless stimulating and lets us concentrate on something positive instead of worrying more than necessary.
Has the state of the world allowed for the band to get together and work on some new music?
We’ve always been used to working “at home” because of the full lives of each other, so the pandemic didn’t change our practice. In any case, we’ve been on hiatus for some time because our guitarist is committed to other projects and he’s the main composer for the band.
Can you take us through the process of how the band creates music together? Are there ever any disagreements?
All the songs are born in the guitarist’s studio, he composes and writes the instrumental structure. After getting a raw track done, he shares it with the rest of the band and they start to work on reviews and their parts. After some exchange of parts and versions, it’s time to meet in order to record the parts and fix a raw version of the song. Disagreements are really rare, we’re focused on the final result and open to song’s variations.
What are some of the band's biggest inspirations musically?
Our big inspirations come from the early prog bands like Pink Floyd, Rush, Genesis but also Porcupine Tree, Tool, Radiohead and Massive Attack.
Out of all of the songs the band has worked on together, what is the band's favorite song?
Probably the opening song of our latest album Invisible Light: A New Beginning. Most likely it sums up all the band’s peculiarities and, last but not least, it’s damn funny to play live!
On Spotify, fans can see an official soundtrack for the game Water Ride Express (2019). Did Victim Of Illusion really get to work on a game soundtrack?
Not really. Water Ride Express is a video game soundtrack, which our guitarist worked on. He wrote three new tracks and the other three were taken from already written ones. One of these is the instrumental version of “Dewdrop”, the 2nd song of the album Invisible Light.
What is the craziest thing you've done for music outside of the band?
Our guitarist climbed over a very high metal fence covered with oil to attend a Metallica concert in Turin. Luckily, he’s still able to tell this story.
Which member is most likely to be injured on stage?
Our singer Paolo has a really bad relationship with his in-ear monitors. Once he tripped over the little cable, almost falling down on the stage.
Pick one: circle pits or wall of deaths?
Wall of deaths. Of course, with us safe on stage.
What is one band you can listen to over and over again?
Porcupine Tree. We think that it was one of the best prog projects ever.
If you could collaborate with one artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Well, not to be repetitive but it would be awesome to collaborate with Steven Wilson. He’s a fucking genius who wrote a bunch of masterpieces [in our opinion]. He also collaborates with a lot of other artists with great results.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a band as of today?
Probably playing the music we loved to write and doing whatever makes us happy. Nowadays it’s not a trivial thing, the simplicity of being happy in doing some music together.
Do you have any advice for up and coming bands that are trying to make a name for themselves?
Put a huge effort on finding your own original sound, avoiding any noticeable imitation; work hard on your product: your song have to be the best version possible and the song you publish will speak for you; build a fanbase of friends or listeners getting the most out of the social media; play live as much as you can; be smart and accept suggestions and criticism: make them improve your band.
How does the music evolve from What Senses Blow Away in 2011 to Invisible Light in 2017?
What Senses Blow Away was just an experiment. A full self-produced EP with some initial ideas of the band, a sort of starting point. We started without any particular direction but we followed our instinct and we found each other working together on improving sounds and production in order to get better results. We learned to write better song structures and work on a unique sound following a sort of path. The second album, Oxideyes, was the darkest one while Invisible Light gained a more balanced overall sound, alternating a wider palette of colors. The production process was also a crescendo: we put more and more efforts in the recording, mixing and mastering stages and as a final result our songs gained more “credibility."
Were there any challenges for the Oxideyes album, Being the second album with more songs?
Not really. We published the first EP with a hard disk full of new ideas, so it was easy to end up with an album instead of an EP. Again, we worked a lot on the production process and this is why we took so much time before the release of our second work.
What does the future look like for Victim of Illusion? Is there a new album in the works?
At the moment we’re in a sort of long break because of many reasons, one above all the busy life of each member of the band. That said, we’ve big hopes in the next year and we think we’ll be able to find the time to put the band on the work again for something new. Not necessarily a full album, maybe another EP.
What's it like being in the studio recording the songs for a new album? Laying the tracks and that feeling that goes along with it?
It’s a huge experience, something we would recommend to everyone. You’ve crafted your songs, and now it’s time to print it, what a responsibility! Yes, because the final version will be the version that people will listen to, nothing could be changed after. It’s a sort of magical moment because, when recording, if you’re able to put all the emotions in, the emotions will be printed together with the song and this is something unique and magic.
Take us through your writing process. Do you guys get together and jam, or do you go in with an idea?
Usually, the first ideas come from our guitarist. He writes new raw tracks and sends them to us, then the reviewing process starts. With the contributions of the other band’s members, the song takes shape and more than often the final version is way different from the initial one. So, the different contributions influence each other and the final song is the result of a reiterated process of reviewing and arranging.
Are there any albums that resonate with you that you bring to your music? Can we hear your influences in the music you create?
Of course, yes. You can hear Porcupine Tree, Tool or A Perfect Circle in most of our songs. It’s almost impossible to write music without any influence even if you consciously try to avoid it. It’s something embedded in the DNA, so it’s perfectly normal. Since influences are so many, it’s easy to find multiple influences in our songs, and that’s what our listeners are telling us. So the same song could remind different “influencers,” because the listeners are in turn influenced by what they listen to.
Interview with Matthew Knight of Eternal Winter
November 16, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the opportunity to speak with Eternal Winter's vocalist, Matthew Knight. Throughout this interview, the listener can learn about Eternal Winter's music. Knight even goes in depth behind the influences of the music-- and they're not all music related. Tune in below to learn how Eternal Winter is the band you should check out next.
Interview with December Screams Embers
November 9, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with some of the guys from December Screams Embers to talk about some exciting news. Part of this news being the band's latest single release, "#SaveOurChildren," featuring Crag Mabbitt (Escape The Fate). Not only that, but we talk about other exciting news when it comes what else the band has in store for their fans. Listen to the interview below to learn more about December Screams Embers and what makes them stand out.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered together to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for upcoming interviews or music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with Cold Sin
November 2, 2020 | Haley Pearl
If you're into nu-metal, get ready to meet this fresh band, Cold Sin. This band was formed recently by Riley Kirkpatrick and Jason Harris. You might recognize their names if you're into their other bands, Seeking Solace and HeadTrip Trauma. During this interview, the listener gets to learn what it takes emotionally for the band to work on this band's music. In addition to that, we discuss the future EP and what it's like being signed to Misanthropik Records. If you're looking to get into a new band, definitely take a listen to the interview below.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered together to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for upcoming interviews or music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with Hyperia
October 29, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Get ready to meet your new favorite thrash metal band, Hyperia. This band likes to get a little crazy both within their music and on stage, so it's clear their dedication to this music scene is strong. During our conversation, we discuss the band's most recent album, Insanitorium. In addition to that, the band talks about their hopeful future when it comes to touring and a new album. Listen to the interview below to learn more about what makes Hyperia unique.
Interview with Robb Matthews of Ash To Dust
October 26, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the lovely opportunity to speak with Ash To Dust's vocalist, Robb Matthews. This discussion with Matthews hit a variety of emotions, as we took on both heavy and light-hearted topics. During the beginning of the interview, we talk about the loss of the beloved and legendary Eddie Van Halen. This was a hard loss for many people and a tribute here is necessary. Other topics covered within our talk will be exciting for fans to know. Ash To Dust recently added a permanent bassist, Ashley Ruscetta. Not only that, but Matthews discusses the new project they're working on. Tune in to the interview below to learn more about what this band is up to.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered together to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for more interviews and music reviews featuring the bands off this label.*
Interview with Away With The Seas
October 22, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Another day, another interview, and this time it's with the guys from Away With The Seas. This British metalcore band incorporates emotion, personal plights, and many more aspects into their music that allows for them to stand out in this music scene. Away With The Seas recently released their debut EP, The Odyssey, and already have a new album in the works. However, there's much more to learn about the band in this discussion. This interview is long, but the passion and dedication they have to this scene is bold.
Take me through some of the band’s background. When did you form as a band?
Adam Daniel: We formed in 2015 and the member landscape looked quite a bit different than it does now. Over the years people left and joined, Ryan was the first member besides me to be a constant and we realised the sort of musicians we wanted on this journey with us. Ollie and Zack joined before our first gig, and we finally had a 4-piece that could record the EP and gig, and here we are today.
Is there a unique story behind the band’s name “Away With The Seas?”
AD: The name is more of an idea of a place in life where you are truly at peace. The ocean is well known for being the most peaceful place you can go, so I like to think our music provides a sense of escape from real life. Our debut EP’s artwork is an illustrated idea of the name, and the name is somewhat of a reference to the journey it took to make it and the start of our musical journey.
Zack Robertson: I think the beauty of our band name is that it’s open to interpretation. Our music is very narrative based and we like to use nautical metaphors in our writing. In a way the “sea” is the perfect analogy for the topics we address in our lyrics, such as mental health and personal struggles.
Ryan Schippers: I personally like to think of the name as a metaphor for being on a personal journey. Life, for everyone, can be met with times of turbulence and calmness, much like the sea.
Ollie Whitecross: Make of it what you will. What it personally means to me is a profound journey to spread an important and meaningful message.
What core genres or bands have the most influence over AWTS’ music?
AD: Our influences have varied over the years, and especially how my interest in metal and music as a whole has evolved. I’ve always been a big fan of August Burns Red, and I think that definitely comes through in the EP and some of the earlier songs we wrote. I'm also into bands like Car Bomb and Vildhjarta, and artists who sound different in their respective genres. That has influenced my view on writing and what I want to achieve in a song.
ZR: Like most bands, we like to think we’re pretty unique and stand out from the crowd. But there are certain bands and albums that we all vibe to that influence us. Personally I’m greatly inspired by the bassist from Unprocessed. But I think we would describe ourselves as best for fans of August Burns Red or Parkway Drive.
RS: We have all been big fans of metalcore and its many variations; bands including August Burns Red, After The Burial and perhaps bands such as Erra. My personal influences are from more progressive outfits such as Meshuggah, Tesseract and Periphery.
OW: I would say that everyone in Away With The Seas has a very diverse taste in music which definitely takes influence on our music whether that’s being influenced in song writing or even performing live. I personally get influenced by a wide range of bands and artists which vary from August Burns Red, Counterparts, Heart In Hand, The Devil Wears Prada to artists like Drake, XXXTENTACION, and Daniel Caesar. The list is honestly so diverse and endless. We are definitely not influenced by one specific genre and I personally think you should take influence from all musical genres.
You recently released your debut EP titled The Odyssey. How did this release go?
AD: The Odyssey was a thorn in our side for about 4 years. It was the one thing I wanted to always get around to doing, but we had issues with members and money, and it felt like things would never fall into place. Once we finally got the EP back and released it, there was more of a feeling of relief than anything. We have always been people who look forward to the next thing; How can we do this better? How can we create better release strategies? What can we do to live for this record? I try to not get too caught up in what we are doing, because I’m always looking forward to the next; and the album that’s coming next is a banger.
ZR: I think when this lineup was finalized and we started playing shows, it clicked and just felt right. We were all in the same frame of mind, which made it such an enjoyable process.
RS: We were blown away, we did not expect the reception we got to our first ever release. Adam and I have been enjoying these songs for the past 4 years, we finally found a lineup that clicked -- this was the push that made us move. This pandemic has, for the band speaking, been both a blessing and a curse. We were able to put a lot of resources into the marketing of this release, but in a less conventional way as we did not have the opportunity to gig at all.
OW: The release went very well, much better than I expected. Especially during this crazy time we are all going through.
The tracks featured within The Odyssey have the theme of exploring the journey of mental health. What made you want to write about this particular topic?
AD: Mental health has always been an important thing to me, and I’ve struggled with depression for most of life. So, I wanted our music to be an escape for those who suffer from similar things. When I was in the darkest part, I always found music to be my outlet and I really wanted to return the favor [in some sense], and write lyrics and music that would mean more than banging your head to. I find stories are a great way to connect, we created a character that is very much all of us, and his journey through mental health is also similar, just told more in a more artistic fashion. We see him in “With No Hope” at the start, and with “Rescuing The Light” inside him at the end.
ZR: It's something that every member of the band has in common and is outspoken about. When I joined the band, it was really cool to have not just a musical outlet, but support and understanding from the other members. Mental health is so overlooked by so many people and has this negative stigma that doesn’t help anyone. It’s important that these things get challenged and what better way than through music? Something that brings people together. We’re not the only band that thinks like this and slowly but surely, the music industry is breaking down the walls. In a way we want our music to be a refuge for people in their darkest moments. If you’re struggling, put your headphones in, tune out the world and let the waves wash over you. Before you know it you’ll be away with the seas.
RS: Everyone in the band has very strong views about mental health, the seriousness of the symptoms and the lack of understanding of wider society. We have all had our bouts with mental turmoil in the past and present, we want to continue to be a part of society that takes it above just an “understanding.”
OW: I want people to interpret the lyrics in whatever way they wan,t but it needs to come from a vulnerable and meaningful place in my opinion. I’m very passionate about mental health awareness, so it’s hard not to get super carried away on this answer, but our main goal is to spread our message of hope to as many people as possible. As cliche as it sounds, to truly let people know that it’s okay to not feel mentally and physically okay sometimes, and that you really are not alone. There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.
Do you feel it is easier as a band or your “job” to cover themes, such as mental health within your music?
AD: I think it's just natural for us. I'd hate to make empty songs that just don't mean anything. At the very least, I think you could read our lyrics and maybe find some solace or connect with the words. Even if you don't like the music. I guess talking about mental health in our music is the best way for us to express who we are, and the emotional music fits the vibe to a tee.
ZR: I feel like music is a great platform to cover these issues in front of a large audience. In my opinion, those with influence over a group of people should use it to change things for the better, no matter what issue it is you want to tackle.
RS: Personally I wouldn’t be happy creating music with empty, soulless meaning. The idea that someone could read our lyrics and feel a connection is what we all strive for.
OW: Great question. Music is a huge outlet for every member of the band and I think touching on specific mental health issues within our music, and in a way turning all those negative feelings into a positive outlet, is a very cathartic experience.
Out of all the tracks on this EP, which one was your favorite to work on and why?
AD: “With No Hope.” When Zack and Ollie joined I went back to the EP and rewrote whole songs, and “With No Hope” was the first victim. At that point i’d already written an album and made headway on the second, so I was more comfortable with trying things and writing music as a whole. When me and Ollie wrote lyrics for that song, we went overboard with easter eggs and encompassed many interesting references that will make sense one day. I remember us picturing that song live and how certain lyrics would sound, how riffs and breakdowns would hit. We originally planned to do a music video for this song, but the UK went into lockdown the weekend we booked the video shoot for. It's definitely my favourite song on the EP, we all love playing it in practice and can see ourselves keeping it on setlists well into the future.
ZR: I would have to say “Held Captive In Paradise” was my favorite to work on. For me that song is almost a performance of poetry instead of a song. Ollie did a killer job on the vocals and the spoken word section really stands out for me. It was also a massive stepping stone for me, as I was able to track some clean vocals underneath it for the first time in our music. The Odyssey as a whole has made me a better musician, but that is a stand out song for me.
RS: Although my favorite song to perform live would be “Through The Storm,” the song “I Sail” will always stand out to me from the recording sessions. The guitar intro of that song will forever be immortalized within me, the bass line accenting the melody and the faded vocals is something that reminds me of how far we’ve come as a band, despite our journey only just having begun.
OW: Such a hard question! I’d say “Held Captive In Paradise” purely because the emotion of the song is very up and down. I specifically remember recording vocals in Adam’s house and it getting very emotional at certain times due to the lyrical content that I was recording. I think it was that realization of how much emotion and effort we are putting into the EP, and just truly living in the moment and creating music we truly believe in.
The band also released a music video for one of the tracks off this EP, “I Sail.” What was it like working on this music video? Was it your first experience doing this?
AD: This was one of the best parts of the EP. Most of us had done elements of releasing music before, but this was the first experience we all shared for the first time together. We worked with Charlie from Mind Art Visual, who was really great to work with and made our life very easy. We just performed the song a bunch of times and voila. There is a whole story with the original video location that involves the police, but we're saving that for a podcast we've got planned.
What do you want to be known for the most when people think about your band’s music?
AD: I’d love for us to be thought of as something more than music. On The Odyssey, we made a massive effort to tell a story with the artwork and vocal interludes at the end. Yes, we are a metalcore band, but I feel that’s one side of us. I see us as storytellers looking to make Away With The Seas something bigger than just music. We are using music as our vehicle to connect to people all over the world who may suffer from the same mental health issues as we do. It gives us a chance to offer a safe space at shows, or just listening to our music to escape.
ZR: That’s a pretty mad thing to think about. I guess I’d like people to think about the amount of detail that goes into our material. The more you look into our band, the more hidden details you will find. I think that's how we stand out, not many bands link things together the way we do.
Does the band have any upcoming projects or shows in the works?
AD: Our main focus is our debut album, which we are planning to release late next year. We’ve already written all of it, it’s just a matter of pre-pro’s being made and vocals being recorded. It doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but the concept we have planned is much bigger than The Odyssey. It will take a massive amount of effort, so if you’re reading this in the future and it’s out, I hope we pulled it off! As for shows, we are taking a backseat with booking. We have a lot of stuff penciled in, but until we know for sure what's happening with the music industry and gigs being allowed back, we'll just sit patiently.
If you could pick your own tour lineup, who else would be on the ticket?
AD: Oh, tough one. Saying bands like Killswitch Engage is just not realistic at this point. I’d have to say Thecityisours and Aviations. Both are a great size with a fanbase I think we would appeal to. Plus the music they make is awesome. I can see us on that lineup.
ZR: I’d have to say Motionless In White and Periphery would be the ultimate for me.
RS: Not being realistic at all, an absolute dream would be Meshuggah and Periphery. These two bands are absolute titans of progressive metal, it would be a fanboy dream.
OW: Love this question! I’m going to be really annoying and do a line up with bands that aren’t or are together currently. My dream lineup that I would love to be on [that will never happen] is August Burns red, Heart in Hand, The Devil Wears Prada, Being As An Ocean, Crooks, Counterparts and Napoleon.
Which member is most likely to end up injured on stage?
AD: I’m not sure I’ve actually practiced or performed with Ryan, and not seen him get injured in some facilitation. His thumbs are always bleeding, haha!
ZR: Without a doubt, that would be Ollie. That guy is an animal on stage. But having said that, Ryan likes to throw drumsticks at all of us mid song, so it's down to luck.
RS: I’d say all three of the guys would do well to come off a gig unscathed. I reckon Ollie is the most likely of the lot though. The man headbangs as if he’s trying to get rid of his skull.
OW: I’d say the most likely person to get injured on stage would probably be Ryan. He is an absolute monster when he plays. I could say myself, because I do like to get kind of weird and mad on stage and will most likely injure myself in the future.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of music?
AD: It has to be when we finished filming the music video, and we tried to do something nostalgic and symbolic and settled on setting off a lantern in the middle of an industrial estate. Wasn’t the greatest idea, as it flew straight into a tree. We were panicking trying to put it out, and thankfully nothing set on fire because of it. Lesson learned.
ZR: Probably loading up my tiny car with so much gear and so many band members on the way to a show, that it looked like I had it lowered and it had 2 extra seats.
RS: Getting embarrassingly drunk the night before a very important festival. It was not my proudest moment… I’m fairly sure I was still hearing the echoes of my drums in my hungover head for hours after the gig had ended.
OW: This is my favourite question. I had a bit of a breakdown in 2017 to 2018, because of the direction of my life, and what passions I wanted to try and pursue. I’ve always had a passion for metal music since I was younger, and I always wanted to be a frontman in a band... but the opportunity never arose, and I found other passions I wanted to pursue. Long story short, half way through my British Army application process, I decided I’m going to stop my application that I previously worked very hard on, to go work full time and pursue music on the side. I essentially left a path to a great career that I prepared very hard for, because I couldn’t hack the thought of not being able to fulfill my passion of being in a band and creating music. I ended up joining Away With The Seas shortly after that experience. That’s pretty crazy to me.
What’s some advice you’d pass down to upcoming artists?
AD: I don’t think we are at a place yet to give advice, as we are very much upcoming and eager to listen to advice. But I will say that music is a part of all of us and it’s just about finding what you want to achieve, and what you want your project to be seen as. We’ve always been concentrating on branding. For us, music is our product and not our whole story. We want to be a lifestyle brand and break the mold, selling products and creating collaborations that aren't typical of a metal band.
ZR: The best piece of advice I can give is to invest time and money early and get everything to look as professional as possible. The rewards will come later.
RS: Work together and communicate. Especially if you are working in a band, it is unbelievable how easy it is to get seemingly impossible tasks done with the help of two or three other people.
OW: What I’d say is that everything is a learning experience at the beginning. Learn from everyone in your band. Learn to take criticism. Speak your opinion within the band. In terms of trying to get some exposure, definitely concentrate on your social media presence and remaining professional. I would definitely say you have to have great patience. Believing in your goals as a band and staying consistent.
Interview with Dying Oath
October 19, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Mindy Jackson and Jeb Baxley from Dying Oath. The members to this band eat, sleep, breathe metal music. Their sole purpose is to connect to their fans through the music they create. During this interview, the listener can learn more about the band's future album to be released and how Dying Oath blended their music with the horror lifestyle. Make sure to check out Dying Oath's latest tracks "Insomniac" and "Modern Testament" after.
Interview with Jason Harris of HeadTrip Trauma
October 12, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick sat down to speak with another band signed under Misanthropik Records, and this time it's with HeadTrip Trauma. Representing the band during this interview is the band's guitarist, Jason Harris. HeadTrip Trauma is an extreme nu-metal band, and if you like Korn or Slipknot, you're definitely going to want to check out their music. During this interview, listeners can learn more about HeadTrip Trauma, their new album, and hear some great stories from Harris. Take a listen to this interview to fall in love with your new favorite band.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring their fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for more interviews and music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with Prince Charman of Chariot Arcana
October 8, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to interview Chariot Arcana's vocalist, Prince Charman. Chariot Arcana's music blends rock, metal, punk, and psychedelic sounds to give their listeners a unique and hard-hitting experience. With this band covering some deep themes throughout their music, Chariot Arcana is one you need to listen to. During this interview, fans can get a sneak peak about the band before the full interview is released on The Mosh Pit Podcast soon.
Take me through the start of the band. When did you guys form?
PC: The band formed after our old bass player and his partner introduced Chris and Tim to me. I had already written and recorded a demo album and fully produced EP with producer extraordinaire, Mike Trubetskov. The first rehearsal was in August 2019, and there were two gigs before Covid 19 ceased our live activity. Funky Christos joined as bass player in March 2020 and has already added considerable energy to our playing.
Is there a unique story behind the band’s name?
PC: We were after a mixture of might and power, and occult mystery. Experimental avant garde crossover music.
Who are some of the core influences on Chariot Arcana’s music?
PC: We all have our own favorite bands. Motorhead, Sex Pistols, Rush, Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Ozzy Osbourne would be our common denominator.
I know Chariot Arcana are advocates to mental health. Are there any other themes you advocate for through your music?
PC: I have a strong social justice agenda, so there is a focus on human rights over corporate greed and achieving one’s potential through consciousness expansion.
Which one of your songs showcases this the most?
PC: Morning Star [covers human rights] and Circle Crescent Cross and Fire [covers consciousness expansion]. The music stands tall, but the enmeshing lyrics tie everything together.
As a band, do you feel it’s easier to have a voice & stage to sing about these topics?
PC: Yes, it’s a great privilege and not to be taken lightly.
Out of all the songs the band has worked on together, which one has been your favorite?
PC: Because we are playing older material to begin with, it’s mainly a stepping stone to recording as a full band. We enjoy "White Sugar" the most, I would say. The ability to write fluidly with freedom and open mindedness is something we are certainly proud of. We are huge music fans, especially in its history-- it becomes a cerebral experience when you see it fully, historically that is.
Do you have any updates you’d like to share with fans?
PC: Yes, we are just about to release a new single, "Spiritual Decree." It delves into the mystery of Mayan myths and legends surrounding their god, Kukulkan. Our fanbase has been growing rapidly in the last month, but we are always grateful for more fans on Spotify, YouTube, Instagram and our other websites. We would love for you to go onto these and click follow and subscribe.
Interview with Sanity/Switch
October 5, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick speaks with another band signed under Misanthropik Records, and this time it's with Sanity/Switch. Listen to the interview below to learn more about the band's history, future projects, and what it's like being signed with Misanthropik Records. Sanity/Switch is for fans of the nu metal genre and are interested in bands like Slipknot, Disturbed, or Faith No More.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered to bring our fans the best metal has to offer. Please stay tuned for more interviews and music reviews featuring bands off this label.*
Interview with NeoNera
September 28, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with the trio that makes up the hard rock band, NeoNera. During the interview, we take a closer look into the band's latest single, "Saviour." This is a track that I recently reviewed, and loved getting to know more about -- especially learning that it was in the works 10 years ago. Not only did we discuss this track, I was informed of some interesting future projects. I highly recommend you listen to this interview if you favor bands that blend styles of hard rock and grunge within their music.
Interview with Matthew Eanes from A Vessel Of Honor
September 21, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the opportunity to speak with Matthew Eanes to get the latest news on the Christian-based metal band, A Vessel Of Honor. During this interview, Eanes discloses with The SoundChick some background on the band, music and show updates, as well as the band's experience working with a new record label. For fans of August Burns Red or Memphis May Fire, this interview is for you.
*DISCLAIMER: The SoundChick and Misanthropik Records have partnered together to bring their fans the best metal has to offer. Stay tuned for more interviews and reviews featuring some of their bands.*
Interview with Margarita Monet & Dave Bates from Edge of Paradise
September 17, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Wes Everett and The SoundChick take on another interview on The Mosh Pit podcast, and it features two lovely members from Edge of Paradise: Margarita Monet and Dave Bates. Edge of Paradise is a female-fronted band that channels hard rock and space metal sounds, sending their listeners a thrilling track with each album they release. During this interview The Mosh Pit crew get an exclusive look into what life is life for this band, and we even get news that a new album is in the works. If you're interested in a chat with some cool people, definitely check out our interview with Edge of Paradise. A preview of the interview is below, however, you can listen to the full podcast episode here.
What’s it like being a band right now?
MM: On the bright side, we’re working on a new album right now. It’s probably the best music we’ve ever written. So, we’re super excited about that and just trying to bring some positive into peoples’ lives any way we can. It’s a crazy world right now.
Interview with NATE The Martian
September 14, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick followed up with NATE The Martian to discuss his latest album release, Heartbreak Radio. Nate discloses in this interview the meaning behind HBR, and what it took to work on such a project. Not only that, but we take a closer look at three core songs off this album: "Dirty Balloons," "Wheels," and "Peach Addiction." If you enjoy rap or concept albums, definitely take a listen to this second interview with NATE The Martian.
Interview with The Guillotines
September 3, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick tackles another interview solo on this latest episode on The Mosh Pit podcast. This interview features John Clark, Colin Thomas, and Steve Scouller of The Guillotines. This band is a Scotland-based punk back that is sure to bring out the angst in you. During this interview, The SoundChick gets an exclusive listen into the background of the band and what they're working on to bring to their listeners. Make sure to check out this interview if you're into bands such as Green Day, Rancid, or Antiflag. A sneak-peak of the interview is featured below, but you can listen to the full interview here.
Let’s go through the process of how the band was formed and how you picked the name.
JC: If you want to go right back to the start, I bought too many guitars over the past couple of years. My wife said, “you better use them or get rid of some.” So, I tried to get my old band together, and that wasn’t going to happen… Steve and I got to talking. We tried to find a drummer and another guitarist. It didn’t happen for a while. We found one guitarist, and then they had to leave. We brought in Dave, who we found on Facebook just through advertising on music groups. And then Colin messaged Steve through Gumtree I think it was.
CT: Right, Gumtree.
JC: I think Steve is the better one to tell you the name of the band.
SS: As a music photographer, I was getting very frustrated. As I’m shooting these gigs I’m thinking, “I want to be on that side of the stage.” You know, I’ve played in bands for almost 30 years. I’ve always been scattered around the music scene… and I thought, “you know what, I want to give one last crack at it before I get too old.” So, that led to what John said earlier, us getting in touch… but coming up with the band name was so difficult. You know, there’s already a band called that, there’s always going to be some other band with a similar name. We were just pecking away at a few different names, and “Madame Guillotine” sounded quite good. But there was already someone called that. I started thinking, you know, in the political climate there’s a lot of fake news going about… and from there I went, “maybe just ‘The Guillotines’ will work.” I can have a good name idea for the band that sums up a feeling that we’re sick of or political leaders taking advantage [of us], and maybe these peoples’ heads should be on the chopping block instead of all of ours. So, that’s how it came about.
Interview with Council
August 31, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with the alt-rock band Council. This band is made up of three brothers: Pat, Andy, and Doug Reeves. They have picked up quite the recognition lately. Their music has been featured in the 2018 Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and they've even been on the Elvis Duran Show. Council is for anyone who enjoys listening to bands like Imagine Dragons, U2, or Coldplay. Take a listen to the interview below to learn how the Reeves brothers were born ready to be musicians. Who knows, you might pick up a new favorite band.
Interview with Logan Grailer & Jack Faught of Actus Reus
August 26, 2020 | Haley Pearl
"I want to do that, I want to make people feel like that. I want to be the one on stage giving people that crazy adrenaline rush I get whenever I see a band," Logan Grailer explained during an exclusive interview with The SoundChick. Take a listen to the interview featuring Grailer and Jack Faught of Actus Reus below. The SoundChick and the guys discuss inspirations, a little bit more about Actus Reus, and what fans can expect moving forward. We even discuss a time-sensitive topic-- the petition to Save Our Stages. I would definitely check out this interview if you're local to Atlanta and are in need of some new music.
Interview with Corey Ravens of Hire The Puppets
August 20, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The Mosh Pit and The SoundChick sit down and spoke with Corey Ravens of Hire The Puppets, and got an exclusive scoop on the band's music. Hire The Puppets gives their listeners everything from thrilling punk music to comedy skits. This interview takes the listener through a journey discussing all aspects of the band. Ravens even gets a little personal during this interview and discusses how music helped him to cope after losing his leg. Take a listen to this interview to have some great laughs with us as we learn more about Hire The Puppets' new music and what to expect in their comedy skits. You can access this episode here. Keep reading for a preview of what the interview holds.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for music?
CR: For music? I don’t know if it’s for music… well, I don’t know. After I lost my leg, I really wanted to try and drum. I was fresh out of surgery, so I spent about a year in bed. Going back and forth to the hospital, and all that. After trying for a year to save my leg, we opted to just have it removed. It was not even a month afterwards, I hopped up to this church. They had a drum set there, and they had stairs going up to the drumset. So, I used my crutches, because I really wanted to try it out. I crutched up one-legged to this drum set. It had this big plastic barrier around it, so I had to hop around that and sit down. I did pretty good. I mean, first time back on the drum set in almost two years. I was still able to rock it for the most part. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. Fresh out of surgery, and I’m trying to hop up these stairs. I shouldn’t have done it, but I had fun.
Interview with Alexander Black & Megalojon of Half Past Dead
August 17, 2020 | Haley Pearl
"Don't live your life like you're half past dead, stop living your life for other people," Alexander Black exclaimed during an interview with The SoundChick. Not only does this interview with Black and Megalojon cover some deep topics, we also discuss lighthearted subjects. Take a listen to the interview below to learn about the band's history, new music, upcoming shows, and much more. This is one you're going to want to check out if you're into Black Veil Brides, Trivium, or Of Mice & Men.
Interview with Words Like Wildfire
August 13, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The Mosh Pit and The SoundChick interview the awesome guys of Words Like Wildfire. Take a listen to this interview to get to know A.J. Chmilar, Ian Archer, Brandon Lee, and Avery Mocha more. This dynamic group takes us through the journey of how this band came to be, their collaborations with other artists, and what more we can expect from the band in the future. Not only that, it's just a great time with some good laughs. Tune into this episode of The Mosh Pit podcast here. Before you click, keep reading to get a preview of the interview.
On the latest EP, Classic Tragedy, there are a couple of feature artists. What was the process like getting to work on songs with Kellin Quinn and Luke Snider?
BL: Oh, they actually asked to be on our songs.
[band members join in laughter]
AC: No, but I appreciate how you said that with a straight face.
AM: The Luke feature is really cool, because Luke is from the Toronto area. The Parallel band, as we said, were to us homies and people that we knew. They put out a phenomenal record, blew up, started touring all over, and they got that fire beneath them. Luke would always share our EP, like the original Quarter Life Crisis EP. He would always message us like, “dude, I love this song.” So, he would actually be listening to it. They were on the up and up, and this guy was messaging us. I was like, you know we have this heavier part in this upcoming song. He’s a beast at screaming [his gutturals and lows].
AC: I almost ruined one of his takes in the studio. I forget which line it was, but he was doing a pretty abrasive low. In the other room I just yelled, “Oh, come on!”
[band members join in laughter]
AM: I have that on video actually. So, yeah... The dude came down to the studio on his own time, and just did the part. On his own volition, like he wanted to do it. I thank Luke for that, because it was kind of like a respect thing.
Interview with Geoff Saavedra of The Raygun Girls
August 9, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Geoff Saavedra of The Raygun Girls truly brings to life the meaning of a one-man band. Once formed as a group, but now separated, Saavedra takes the lead in writing and composing the songs for The Raygun Girls. Throughout this interview fans can learn an array of facts about The Raygun Girls and what more to expect in the future. There are also some interesting stories, like how Saavedra has interviewed Gwar and Marilyn Manson. Take a listen to the interview below for more, this is one you're going to want to listen to.
Interview with Mixer Mike of Descent Of The Archangel
August 6, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick and Wes Everett of The Mosh Pit tackle another interview together, and this time it's with Mixer Mike of Descent Of The Archangel. During the interview, Mixer Mike informs fans about quarantine life, a little history of the band, and new music. This is one you're not going to want to miss. You can access the episode featuring the interview with Mixer Mike here. In the meantime, continue reading to get a preview of what you'll hear on the episode.
What cool ways is the band staying musically active from a distance?
Well, we are based out of the United States, specifically the state of Missouri. From around mid March until mid May, everyone here was pretty much on lockdown. Unless you were an essential worker, you couldn’t really go anywhere except maybe the grocery store or maybe the pharmacy, or places like that. Fortunately, we had three or four singles completed around December of last year. We had all the release dates set and everything, so luckily we were mostly prepared for the release dates of our singles before the pandemic hit. During the lockdown, we pretty much had to bounce ideas off each other through emails, text messages, and Messenger. However, recently, most of the restrictions were lifted where we reside. We were able to get back to recording music while taking the appropriate precautions, of course. There’s been a lot of talk with everything locking back down again, so we’re trying to get everything done as fast as we can in case this happens. We’ve been working on some new stuff and hoping to get it done as soon as we can, and get it out there so people can listen to it.
The band has covered songs such as "Stick Stickly" by the beloved Attack Attack! What song will the band cover next?
Oh, wow. That is a good question. We ended up covering “Stick Stickly,” simply as a tribute to the band Attack Attack! Everybody in the band liked a bunch of their songs. With “Stick Stickly” being on the top of the list, it was easy to come together with an agreement to cover that particular song. When we were brainstorming about the creation of Descent Of The Archangel in 2013, we were discussing a wide array of sounds, and one of those happened to be trying to replicate the sound of Attack Attack! Getting back to the original question, we have been discussing doing another cover on and off for a while now. Most likely it’ll be something, where we attempt to turn a song from another genre into something like metalcore, deathcore, hardcore, something like that. We’ve discussed everything ranging from covering Enya to Gary Numan. I guess we will have to see what ends up happening.
Interview with Adam Loback of HIGHFRONT
July 30, 2020 | Haley Pearl
"We're just waiting for that moment to get out there and play live, and any opportunity to crank it up," Adam Loback mentioned to The SoundChick during an interview. After interviewing Loback, it is obvious HIGHFRONT is the band you want to listen to next. Hear interview below to get to know more about this hard-hitting Canadian rock band, and to learn the process of making their high-energy music.
To read the review for HIGHFRONT's "Through Pain We Dine," click here.
Interview with James Orez of Escape To What
July 24, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick had the wonderful opportunity to speak with James Orez of Escape To What. This fresh and eager artist has what it takes to top the charts. During the interview, Orez discusses Escape To What and what fans can expect from the new album, Apophenia. Take a listen to get to know Orez and Escape To What.
To view a full artist spotlight including the Apophenia album review, click here.
Interview with Ford Wesson of LittleDEATH
July 21, 2020 | Haley Pearl & Wes Everett
LittleDEATH proves that good things are coming out of this pandemic. In an exclusive interview with Ford Wesson, The SoundChick and Wes Everett introduce fans to this Richmond, Virginia band, and review some little-known facts about its members.
Is there a unique story behind the band's name?
FW: Yes! The band name comes from the French phrase "le petit mort." It has sort of a dirty meaning. So, I'll let you look that one up on your own. The band name means a lot to us. I think it's perfect for our group, because it looks very dark and sad when you read it. But it actually has a sort of joke meaning behind it which matches our music pretty well I think.
Who is the band's biggest inspiration?
FW: That's a hard question to answer. I think each of us have a lot of big inspirations. I would say one of my biggest inspirations is Bring Me the Horizon. I would say that Riley's biggest inspiration could possibly be Kanye West, and I think it would be safe to say that Jimmy Eat World is one of Thomas's biggest inspirations.
What's the craziest thing you've done for music in general?
FW: We've all ended relationships and lived in near poverty. We never sleep, and just about every other unhealthy thing you could think of in order to make music work.
If the band could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
FW: I think it would be awesome to make a song with Marshmello, or collaborate with Travis Barker. That's such a hard question to answer, because we would love to collaborate with so many people.
When you first started as a band, did you ever think you would make it to where you are now?
FW: No we really didn't. To be honest, I was really worried that all of our songs would have under 1,000 plays on Spotify months after they released. Fortunately for us, we made it onto some great Spotify playlists right from the start. That really gave us a good confidence boost and fueled us to keep going.
Hitting milestones like 500,000 + streams on Spotify is huge for any band. What was it like for you guys to be able to experience that?
FW: So crazy. It's just cool to know that even without playing the very first show with this band, there are thousands of people who have heard and enjoyed the music that you made in a room with your friends. The internet is wild!
What do you feel like is the band's biggest accomplishment?
FW: Honestly, I still count finding the group of guys that we have in this band, and the team of people that we've built around us as our biggest accomplishment. I've been in so many bands where there was just one guy or maybe two guys that really pulled their weight and contributed. This band is nothing like that. Every person in this band is totally essential and we've built a family of talented, creative individuals around us. I wouldn't trade that for the world, whether we are successful eventually or not.
What are three new goals for the band?
FW: I would say the main goal for me is to write the best songs that we can. We have been writing like crazy during the quarantine. Maybe the second goal would be to achieve some collaborations with artists that we've really wanted to work with. We've talked about that a lot lately. The third would be just to put out as much content as we can over the back half of this year and reach a larger audience!
We saw that you've been into doing livestream acoustic sets during the pandemic. How has that gone for the band?
FW: It's super fun to do those! We sort of took a break from it, but we're going to start doing them again in a few weeks when we start dropping content again.
Have you noticed any effects the pandemic (either positive or negative) has had on your fan engagement to your music?
FW: Not really. Our monthly Spotify streams have gone up a bit, but I don't know if that has anything to do with the pandemic or not. Maybe it does. Our release schedule for this year was drastically held back by what we were able to get done during quarantine. So for that reason, we were unable to deliver a lot of what we wanted to deliver to the people that like our band so far this year. Which is super lame. We're working hard to make up for that, now that we've learned how to work remotely.
What is your quarantine lifestyle?
FW: Riley and I live together. So, most of the time we've just been binge watching shows like Attack on Titan, hanging with our cat, and making music.
We noticed that you have been teasing new music on social media, what can we look forward to from the band?
FW: We have been working on music probably five days a week, every week during the quarantine. So, there is a lot of music that we are sitting on and working on. We are going to start dropping some of it in less than a month. We are hoping to make up for a quiet first half of 2020 by being very loud on the back half.
What is the band most excited to do after the pandemic lifts?
FW: It would be great to finally play some live shows with this band. So, we are excited to be able to do that when shows come back.
How do you feel the music industry will fare after the pandemic?
FW: I think everyone has their idea of what they think it's going to be like after the pandemic, but no one really knows. I'm sure it's going to be a mess. All we can all really do is focus on what we're doing and try to find creative ways to keep doing it, and hope for the best!
Interview with Clint Spain of Kamikaze Zombie
July 14, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick takes on an interview solo on The Mosh Pit podcast, and it's with Clint Spain of Kamikaze Zombie. This band is a great band to get into if you enjoy thrash metal and horror films. During this interview, listeners can learn more about the band's background and what they can expect in the future regarding new music and shows. To listen to this episode, click here. In the meantime, get psyched for the interview by reading to preview questions below.
Going back to the roots of Kamikaze Zombie, can you take me through the process of deciding on that name?
CP: I wanted something that was kind of weird and just kind of stuck out, you know? I was at work, and me and this co-worker [my friend Ragen] were just bouncing names off each other. She actually came up with it. She was like, “what about ‘Kamikaze Zombie?’” I was like, “that’s great!” It’s ridiculous; the idea of a zombie being suicidal. I liked the name, I thought it was perfect for our band.
What does “horror crossover” mean to Kamikaze Zombie?
CP: When I was trying to book us for festivals, you know, they were asking us for descriptives. You know, “how do you describe your band?” and “what genre do you fit in?” I was trying to come up with a way to describe what we’re about. We have a punky kind of sound to us, but we also have very much a metal sound. So, we have that crossover kind of sound. We’re also a horror movie band. All of our lyrics and imagery, and all that stuff, are horror movies… all the macabre stuff. It’s not just horror movies, we also touch on serial killers, comics, and stuff like that.
Interview with Nick Holmes of Bloodbath
July 2, 2020 | Haley Pearl
Wes Everett and The SoundChick collaborated on another interview, and this time it's with Nick Holmes of Bloodbath. Holmes has been in the music scene for over 30 years. Two bands Holmes has commonly been known to work in are Paradise Lost and Bloodbath. He has been with Bloodbath for five years now, and we have to say, we hope he stays. The music is that good. You can listen to the full interview on the latest episode of The Mosh Pit podcast here. In the meantime, get excited to listen to the interview with a preview below.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an artist?
NH: Uh, personally, I would say just being able to do it for this long. You know, and still make a career from it. I’ve been doing it for 30… 33 years now. Something like that. That itself; being able to keep going, doing something that I’m very passionate about, and I enjoy doing it, and I make a living from. You know, I’m pleased that I’m able to do that.
Did Bloodbath rekindle your love and passion for death metal?
NH: Yeah, totally. I mean, the old school particularly. It was something I was always very massively into as a teenager. Going into my early 20’s... I just didn’t have the same passion about it really. I guess I just kind of shelved it for a long time. But it’s something… I think the music you like as a teenager will stay with you all of your life. It didn’t take me long to really get back into the old sound.
Interview with Nate The Martian
July 1, 2020 | Haley Pearl
A debut album announcement and a little freestyle, that's what you get when you speak with Nate The Martian. Never underestimate an outcast, because people like Nate will show you up. Listen to this interview to take a journey into the process of how this rap artist finds inspiration to create music through imagery and synesthesia. Who knows, you might add Nate The Martian to your daily rotation.
Interview with Nick Burks of Stonecutters
June 25, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick teamed up with The Mosh Pit podcast to interview Nick Burks of Stonecutters. You can listen to the interview in full here. Burks, a man who is typically on the road playing his soul out with a band, had to find new ways to stay musically active. Below you will see a portion of the interview, where Burks discusses band life, quarantine life, and what else we can expect in the future. To listen to the interview in full, click here.
"The Living Dead" single the band released this past halloween expresses a new sound and style than previous songs from Carved in Time. What was the process for writing and producing this single?
NB: Great question. “The Living Dead” is off of The Living Dead EP, that would be Side A of it. Side B would be “Outside The presence of God.” We wrote those two songs while kind of on the road all of 2019, because we put out Carved in Time in 2018 and The Living Dead EP was in 2019. Those songs were just a product of being on the road and writing what we felt. The process for writing “The Living Dead,” that song in particular… Brian Omer wrote the tune, and it’s a tribute to the city of Louisville, KY, where we all grew up. It’s a tribute to Return of the Living Dead, one of our favorite horror movies. We love that movie a lot. They blow up Louisville, KY in the movie. So, if you listen to the lyrics, it kind of describes what happens in the movie.
Stylistically, it’s kind of like somewhat traditional thrash, some Testament vibe in there. I don’t think the band has ever been conscious about writing to a certain style. We’ve kind of just been labeled as genre-bending death metal. I’ve heard anything from the Ramones to Obituary. So, this one is definitely in the style of traditional thrash… death thrash, I guess. We just write what we feel. We don’t… there’s nobody holding a gun to our heads saying, “you have to write a song like Morbid Angel.”
Producing it, it was done in Nashville, TN, by Zack Denim. He also helped record and produce Carved in Time. We love working with him, and it was a lot of fun recording with him down in Nashville at the Tracking Room, which is no longer in existence. The Tracking Room recorded heroes such as Bonnie Raitt, Beach Boys, Steely Dan, George Jones, Megadeth, Deep Purple… It’s just a legendary room. It sounds incredible and we love the final product of that song, or that EP.
What was it like being on tour and having to cancel for a pandemic?
NB: That was terrifying. It would be one of us always checking social media, and the others hovering around just speculating. Which doesn’t really help, because then you’re just creating an atmosphere of worry, while someone was driving wondering what the hell was going on. The President closed down… you know, the nation-wide shutdown began on March 13th.
We played a show on March 12th in Wista, MA at Ralph’s… It was a weird vibe, because the entire time we were on tour. It started off really strong. People were really excited we were on tour with Toxic Ruin and Lich King, two amazing metal bands from different parts of the U.S… it was just a nightmare though.
I remember Thursday [March 12th], that day we played in Lich King’s hometown. The vibe was just creepy. No one was really sure what was going to happen, and then the next day we woke up was the day the President shut everything down. It was terrible, it was just a nightmare. We were far from home. It was kind of like… we didn’t know what to do, and the whole world was going through it. You know, it was pretty insane.
Do you have another tour or future shows already planned out?
NB: I play in a couple metal bands and I book a lot of tours, too, for other bands... the general consensus right now is I still see some people try to book for December and November now. But from my point of view, I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for like, “when is it going to end?” I’ve just walked back so many tours since this has happened. We just aren’t trying to really book anything. It’s kind of like we might be the test band to get everything out there. So, it’s kind of up in the air. You know, it’s just kind of a weird time right now. So, I’ve had to cancel everything and we’re just kind of sitting here writing music.
We did have a fest in Newport, KY, called Transplant Festival Limb Splitter, Malignancy, Midnight, Obscene, all of these awesome punk, metal, death metal bands. That was July and it was rescheduled to December. So, we’ll see. But, yeah, we’ve had to cancel all of the tours for the rest of the year so far.
Have you noticed any effects (either positive or negative) that the pandemic has had with fan engagement to your music?
NB: I’ve noticed that since Bandcamp, this is a positive... Bandcamp started waiving their fees Friday of every month during the pandemic. The response of people buying merch is overwhelming. You know, I love it. I get to move merch that we had for tours. So, it’s been insanely positive. It’s crazy to see people really care about your music. So, yeah, people are super engaging. They will reach out to me privately, because I kind of run all of the band’s socials. It’s really awesome to see people just caring. They love the band, and they want to see you out there, but they understand it’s a weird time.
What's your quarantine lifestyle?
NB: Well, I teach. I’m really thankful that I’ve been able to teach guitar through FaceTime. It’s cool. I’ve had a couple of students ask about continuing lessons despite the social distancing and regulations that we all have to follow, and I’m lucky that I’m teaching through FaceTime and stuff. It’s cool.
I usually spend most of my time on the road, just living in a van. So, it’s weird to be home so much. You know, touring helped keep the lights on. So, now I’m getting by with teaching and delivering groceries. It’s a total 180 lifestyle change, pretty insane. You know, other things that you do during quarantine is write music. I’ve been on a hardcore writing binge for all the projects I’ve been involved in. So, that’s fun. Um, doing yoga. Trying to stay sane. Discovering music. This is a great time to catch up on albums that came out this year that you hadn’t had time to listen to.
We noticed you have done some live streams during the quarantine. What was that experience like playing remotely and not engaging with the crowd in person?
NB: I think I can do that pretty well. You just kind of get in performer mode, and the audience is in the camera. The livestream that we did in Sonic Titan Studios in Massachusetts was like crazy, because there was a lot of fan engagement. So, we had to have one person reading comments, one person would be in the studio, one person would be like the MC… you know, they would rotate Toxic Ruin, Stonecutters, Lich King, and we would just MC each other into it. It was a lot of fun. I think the band is always thankful to always have a stage, whether virtual or physical. So, I can just feel the energy of the rest of the band members being grateful to have opportunities like that. When I watch it back, I don’t cringe, because it looks like you’re giving it your all. Kind of like a music video or something like that. So, yeah, it was a little weird, but you can make it work. You just gotta get stoked on yourself and just kind of be a performer like you’re supposed to, I guess.
What's the first action the band will make after the pandemic lifts?
NB: Oh, boy. That’s kind of like a loaded question. When the pandemic lifts, I don’t know. It’s in phases, right? So, is live music coming back on phase four? I really don’t know what our plan is. We really just want to finish up writing a new record and recording that, and then touring in support of that. So, it’s just kind of weird. I really don’t know what we’re going to do after the pandemic lifts. I mean, go back to what we were doing during most of the year. It’s just a weird time right now, you know?
How do you feel the music industry, especially the heavier genres, will fare after the pandemic?
NB: Well, the music industry is kind of shut down right now I feel like to some extent. A big chunk of it has totally been eviscerated, or whatever. You know, just like ripped out, because there’s no live music. We’re not bringing money out into the venues. Like, a lot of people are losing their jobs. I read an article last night. The headline alone was just terrifying, because it said, “90 percent of smaller music venues will not survive the pandemic.” Because, you know, they’ve gone over three months without having live music.
Um, I don’t know. I know the spirit of heavy metal bands won’t die, people are writing music. And you’ve got plenty of writing material if you’re into that writing style… you know, all the injustices that are happening in the U.S. right now. I know there’s tons of content to pull from there.
Yeah, that can go a lot of ways, that’s a big question. I feel like music is going to survive and the venues will be reincarnated into something else. It’s just a weird transitional time right now in everyone’s life. I just kind of have to be respectful to what everyone is going through. Personal struggles and all, we’ve just got to be here for everyone and keep on writing music. You know, shredding, I guess.
We noticed that you sold shirts that were to benefit the injustice that has been sweeping the country. How did the sales go?
NB: Actually, I just did a good chunk of that mailing out of stuff this morning. The sales were extremely well. We just got a cool design and a fun, little logo to do for a t-shirt. The reactions for it, people were just like, “hell yeah.” Bought it because it’s for a good cause and they liked the band. It was insanely well, I was blown away. People not only buyed t-shirts, but vinyl and pre-existing designs. You know, so thank you to everyone, if anyone is listening to this that bought a shirt, thank you. Or if anyone who bought a record or whatever, y’all rule.
Yeah, I was blown away by that. Because it’s kind of like, “mehhh...” I feel weird promoting anything right now, because it might take away from the bigger problems that we have as a country. I don’t know, I’m not a politician. I don’t know. It’s just kind of weird. But I’m sure at the same time people want to see activity, some creativity, and some art in their activity feed. And that was art. That was our purpose to begin with, to make some art and metal for people to enjoy. So, sales went great.
Do you believe the ESA (Event Safety Alliance) can really ban moshing and crowd surfing for when in-person concerts return?
NB: First of all, I’ve never heard of the Event Safety Alliance. This is news to me. I’ve read articles, the whole “no moshing” thing. I know a lot of bands, including Stonecutters, that don’t want to participate in shows if you have that. Now to say, is there going to be an ESA agent at every show in the country making sure you don’t mosh? I think that’s pretty much impossible unless they’re trying to create new jobs for people.
I don’t think you can ban moshing. If you do, it’s going to be one of those things where you stop one person from moshing, another person is going to do it in spite of what that one ESA member did to stop it. I think bands don’t even want to participate if that’s going to be enforced, or something. I’m kind of skeptical about it. The more I hear about musicians, bands [hardcore bands] talk about it… you know, their core is moshing. I don’t really see this thing ever being like a real thing. That’s kind of a cornerstone for extreme music is moshing, circle pits, getting insane to your metal band. So, I don’t see it really being a thing. I think people are kind of making fun of it. That’s just how I feel. I don’t know if it’s right or not. But what do you know?
Interview with Luke Marlowe & Cody Jenkins of Yosemite In Black
June 23, 2020 | Haley Pearl
"If you've ever used the bathroom at the old Masquerade, you have to be immune to the Coronavirus by now," Luke exclaimed to me during an interview I had with him and Cody. If you're a Georgia native or have been to the Masquerade downtown, you will definitely understand what Luke is talking about. Or better yet, check out the band Yosemite In Black.
After speaking with some of the members from Yosemite In Black and listening to some of their music, I noticed some things. It is clear the passion and drive of each of the band members is portrayed and heard within their music. Their chemistry, although coming from different backgrounds, is strong and it works for this band in particular. There is no doubt that these guys will make it far in the music industry.
SoundChick has decided to switch things up a bit with this interview and have it fully audio. To listen to the full interview, please listen below.
Interview with Becky Baldwin of Hands Off Gretel & Fury
June 18, 2020 | Haley Pearl
The SoundChick teamed up with The Mosh Pit podcast for another episode, and this time we interviewed Becky Baldwin. She currently works and performs with bands Fury and Hands Off Gretel. If you want to find out more information on Baldwin's personal life, band life, and how she's faring during this pandemic, continue reading below.
You recently created a Patreon account to help take the place of the lessons you would typically be giving right now. How is that working out?
BB: Yeah, my Patreon account. It’s kind of doing a few different jobs at the moment. It’s not just for my students, it’s not just for people who play bass or want to play bass. It’s just for anyone who’s interested in music, the kind of thing I do, and my bands’ stuff. You can get a bit of “behind the scenes” information, but there’s a lot of bass stuff on there as well. So, I’m doing it for a bit of both. Like, not everyone wants to see lots of bass tabs, they just want to appreciate the music. So, yeah, I’m doing a bit of everything. It’s been going really well. I want to be able to do more lesson content, and make it more poured resources for people to work with. So far it’s going great.
How’s working with the two bands [Hands Off Gretel & Fury] during the pandemic? Has the pandemic effected you producing content?
BB: Working with the bands during the pandemic is just very different. You know, we’ve been able to keep producing content and stuff at home. Like, we have a lot more time for that sort of thing, but it’s so hard to keep in touch. It’s really hard to keep the ball rolling and staying excited about things when we’re not really sure what the future is going to be for our shows. Yeah, mostly our shows, or for when we’re going to rehearse again. That sort of thing. So, yeah... Work has been a struggle in a lot of ways, because it’s just nobody really wants to talk about how much more difficult everything is and stuff like that. In some ways we’ve been able to focus on different things. Like, Hands Off Gretel managed to have the art competition and the covers competition. Which was really cool for getting fans involved with what we're doing. Yeah, it was great. I don't think we would’ve done that if this pandemic wasn’t happening. So, it was kind of a benefit.
Have you guys considered doing live stream shows over social media during the pandemic?
BB: Yeah, I think every band is kind of thinking about the idea of doing live stream shows online instead of the concerts. I don’t think there’s any way you’re really going to replace everyone being together, but I mean… Separately, in Fury, we’ve all done some sort of live stream with our own instrument, and I’ve been doing it with my partner [Luke Appleton] as well. Also, Lauren and Sean have been doing acoustic versions [Hands Off Gretel]... I’m really interested by the idea of venues setting up in a unique situation, where you still buy a ticket and watch at home. The whole band can still play together. I think that’s going to be a really interesting way of doing it, because I think it will help venus if they can adapt in that way. I would rather not have to do it, but it seems as the little compromise we could do while we’re waiting for the worst to be over.
What’s the first action each band will make after the pandemic lifts?
BB: I think for both bands, when the pandemic lifts, the first thing we’ll do is maybe focus on music videos. The timing of both bands having releases during a pandemic was really bad. Fury’s album came out in April, and that was only a couple of weeks into lockdown. The Hands Off Gretel one was in the middle of March. So, the time that we should’ve been focusing on bringing out more content and for music videos and stuff together, we just couldn’t do any of that. So, as well as obviously gigging. That’s a big thing, but I feel like that could take a bit of time to be able to do in the way we were before. I don’t think gigs will be as busy even when they are deemed safe to go out. I think a lot of people will be more cautious about it. I think creating content that can involve us being together, rehearsing and that sort of thing will be the first things we start doing.
I noticed that you did a virtual photoshoot. What was that experience like?
BB: Yes, the virtual photoshoot was really fun actually. It was not what I expected exactly. I expected to have more direction through the phone, and that I would be taking more photos through my own phone camera. It was through Zoom and basically screenshots of my camera were being taken by the photographer on the other side. Which is really interesting and I liked it actually. I think it was easier than in real life photoshoots in a lot of ways. You can have it on selfie mode and see what you’re doing while you’re doing the poses. It’s good to have that other person for an eye for how your house looks… a photographer could see something else and you could get a completely different turn out of the photo. I was a bit upset. The quality wasn’t that great, because it was through Zoom. The internet connection can effect it, so that was a bit of a shame. A shot was taken and the way it was laid out was really great, but it was a shame that it was just a little bit pixelated.
How do you think the music industry, especially the heavier genres, will fair after the pandemic?
BB: That’s quite an interesting question, whether the heavier genres will be effected differently. I don’t think they will, in my head not really thinking too hard about it. My impression that people who listen to heavier music will probably be less affected, because mostly our gigs are smaller-capacity rooms. There’s generally less people watching heavier genres of music compared to more accessible, commercial music… Whereas the alternative, heavier stuff can probably survive and bounce back quicker. I think there’s also a younger audience as well. Possibly. Who are more keen to get out and support bands very soon. Whereas more commercial fans may stay more cautious and watch more bands playing videos from their homes.
What has been your quarantine lifestyle? Do you still find a way to stay musically active?
BB: My quarantine lifestyle has been very up and down. It’ll be a week of being extremely productive for music stuff. Like, lots of recording, lots of videos, lesson content and stuff. Then I feel burned out for a few days. Sort of swinging back and forth between being productive and very unproductive. Mostly, it’s been good. Recently, it’s not been so great. I think it’s because there’s been so much fighting online with civil rights and stuff. So, the last couple of days I’ve spent arguing with people on the internet instead of trying to really work on music. Which I feel guilty about, but I also think it’s very important to show that musicians are behind the Black Lives Matter movement. If there are people that are questioning your motifs about it and think it’s wrong to stand up about it, then I think you should educate them that music is often political. They shouldn’t exist in two separate vacuum-sealed containers, they are part of the same thing.
*To listen to the podcast episode, click here.*
Interview with Jose Pynnönen of Halysis
Haley Pearl | June 11, 2020
The SoundChick teamed up with the Mosh Pit podcast to interview Jose Pynnönen from Halysis. This Finland-based band packs a heavy punch in their new music off Cerulean. The album manages to capture "something special musically," according to Pynnönen. Continue reading to learn more about the band's music and what they're up to during this pandemic.
When the band first started, did you ever think you would make it to where you are now musically?
JP: Uh, definitely not. When we first started playing, we were strictly on the metalcore side. It wasn’t until 2015 when Santeri joined the band that we realized in which direction to go with our sound. I think we managed to capture something special musically on Cerulean, and I think it sounds like us.
I noticed that you released the Cerulean album and a lyric video recently. How was that process working on the Cerulean project amidst the pandemic?
JP: Well, we recorded and mixed, and had the whole album mastered way before the whole Corona thing. Since we didn’t use a professional studio and basically used our own gear, we had no time limitations and it was actually pretty easy to make this album. It’s a shame it came out during a time like this, but in the end I’m pleased with the record, and I’m proud we got it out there.
Henry from Shade Empire covered one of your songs. What was it like to experience a fellow musician covering your music?
JP: It’s awesome. We know Henry and he’s such a cool dude. He has a great voice and is super talented. It’s very humbling to see someone taking an interest in your band and actually learning your music. So, if you haven’t already, check out his band Shade Empire.
Have you noticed any effects the pandemic has made in regards to engagement with your music? (i.e., are you receiving a greater following, listeners, or comments?)
JP: It’s really hard to say since it’s our first release. As our first release, there’s nothing we can compare the reception to this album in that regard. We’re still extremely grateful for the support we’ve gotten so far.
Have you guys considered doing livestream shows over social media during the pandemic?
JP: Right now, no. It’s not in the works. The amount of time and resources it would take is something we don’t have right now. But, it is a cool idea and we’d be totally down for that maybe in the future. Right now it’s not something we’re currently working on.
How do you think the music industry, especially the heavier genres, will fare after the pandemic?
JP: Well, I’d hope that after this whole Corona thing blows over, we can get back to the way things used to be and get back all the touring bands on the road. Hopefully get even more fans to the live shows and get more bands on the road. I mean, it’s been a rough couple of months for many, many bands out there and many artists that rely on touring. So, I hope for the best so to say. So, we’ll see.
What has been your quarantine lifestyle? Do you still find a way to stay musically active?
JP: Actually, yes. In a weird way, the quarantine has inspired the new music. Since we can’t leave our homes, there’s literally no excuse to not practice and write new music right now. The state of the world has made the new music even more heavier, and aggressive, and technical than the last album we shared with you guys.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests. If you could pick one social topic to write a song or album on, what would it be?
JP: Yeah, of course we’re aware of the protests and the situation with George Floyd. It’s absolutely horrible. I strongly believe that the people behind these horrible acts should be brought to justice and face the consequences of their actions. But, one social topic… Uh, that’s really hard. It’s really hard to say, because the way we write music and lyrics isn’t direct like that. It’s… I’m not the main lyricist for our band, that would be Santeri [our guitar player] or Samuel [our drummer]. The way they write is kind of vague and open for interpretation. The way that we do that is because we want to hear other people’s interpretations of the lyrics. If we were to explain every line, we would take that from the listener and we don’t want to do that. Music… it is affected by the state of the world. Especially lately. Whenever I open the news, it’s just horrible what’s going on. But, I feel kind of lucky, and I’m sure other guys in the band also feel this… that we have this release of the negative emotions through our music. Through my writing, I get rid of all of those negative emotions and I’m very lucky to have that. But one social topic, that’s too hard for me to decide. I don’t know.
*To listen to the full interview with Pynnönen on the Mosh Pit podcast, click here.*
Interview with Bleach the Ripper
Haley Pearl | May 26, 2020
Artists come and go, but this artist just keeps on coming at us with his unique style and passion. He goes by Bleach Boy or Bleach the Ripper. I had the wonderful opportunity speaking with Bleach the Ripper yesterday (May 26). "It's better to be the best YOU that you can be, even if what you're doing is authentically hideous," Bleach the Ripper stated to me during our discussion. This motto is carried on through Bleach the Ripper's music, and it is expressed in the interview that follows.
I know I’ve interviewed you a few times under the title “Bleach Boy.” Can you take me through the process of molding into “Bleach the Ripper?”
BTR: Well, Bleach the Ripper is basically like a character that I’ve decided to take on so that I can step outside of my comfort zone, and be a lot more aggressive and abrasive in my delivery with my production and everything. I think that Bleach Boy was one thing, it was a certain brand-- and it was good. With Bleach the Ripper what I’m trying to do is more edgy and like dark web-type shit.
Do you have a favorite persona you like to use when you’re delivering your music?
BTR: I definitely like the Bleach the Ripper persona. It’s really fun to get in that headspace where you’re like “jus murder everything, fuck everyone, fuck everything.” It’s great, so I really like that. But at the same time, I want to expand my writing abilities, so I don’t just write as Bleach the Ripper. A good example is when I make songs with some of my SoundCloud friends like DJ on Delay or Wade, I tend to stick to more of a Bleach Boy persona, with the more trappy lyrics and light-hearted attitude.
I remember when I interviewed you last, and we covered a lot about Shitpost Part 3, you wanted to make music that was more family friendly. You even wanted to make music your mom could show off to her friends--
BTR: Oh, yeah. That kind of went completely out the window. It was more of an artistic direction. I figured that I would much rather take risks and be as abrasive and out there as possible, because I think it’s better to take risks and see the rewards than to just play it safe and face getting lumped in with the hordes. ‘Cause, you know, there’s a lot of rappers out there. I feel like by going with the more heavier sound of music and darker subject matter, I’m appealing to a very specific demographic and niche. Like that’s who I can appeal to the most. Like, I am perfectly capable of making family friendly music. I am actually doing some work [not as Bleach the Ripper] with a Christian label called Chosen Music. They’re making family friendly music and they want to get the livestream concerts going and all that sort of stuff, so I am going to be writing some family friendly stuff for that. So, I can perform with them and not offend their target demographic.
I’m excited to see how that turns out for you, because that will be very different from your music that I’ve listened to.
BTR: Yeah, I mean, it’s going to be great. Another thing that I’m doing with these people is there’s this artist called Word Spreader, and I’ve been looking to do a hip-hop version of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” for a long time. You know, with rapping instead of violence. So, I finally talked to Word Spreader and he said he’s willing to do it with me. So, I’m going to be the devil and he’s going to be the figurative Johnny. So, I’m excited to see how that turns out.
I know that you have this presence on Youtube, SoundCloud, and Spotify now. Do you see a difference between those communities?
BTR: Well, I mean, especially with YouTube. You know, YouTube has a very brutal community. I mean, people are much more prone to commenting on YouTube than they are on like SoundCloud. You can’t really comment or anything on Spotify or Apple Music. With YouTube, you get very strong feedback. Sometimes, it’s very good feedback. Like someone will be like, “wow, I love this so much.” On the other hand, you have the typical haters. You know, like some old bard just sitting behind their computers typing what they want. SoundCloud I feel like is dying off, in a way. I feel like most artists are trying to transition to platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and ones that tend to offer a bigger payout.
When it comes to Offbrand Antichrist, which song do you always refer to people… why?
BTR: So, I have two. One is “Offbrand Antichrist.” You know, the title track. I’m very proud of it and it’s probably my favorite track personally, off that album. I feel like it was executed perfectly for what I wanted it to be. The other one I would recommend is “Where’s My Juul?” I don’t know why it’s my most popular song off that album, but it is the one with the highest views on YouTube, Spotify, on everything. Honestly, it’s not the one that I thought would pop off. I literally made the beats and wrote the lyrics for that song the night before I was supposed to go into the studio and record an entire album. So, it was literally thrown together at the last moment. I’m surprised people liked it as much as they did. But I would definitely recommend that people check it out.
Along with that album, you started making music videos. That’s different for your music. How was that experience?
BTR: Oh, yeah. It’s great. I feel like for the first two music videos that I did… The first one was for “Hoodoo.” That was very interesting. It was my first experience doing a music video where I was the focal point and it was very cold that day. I’m pretty sure people that were watching could tell I was kind of uncomfortable and unsure of myself the entire time. I feel like for “Where’s My Juul?,” we got a little bit better. For the music videos of my second EP, All My Friends Are Dead, we took a more home-style approach. My producer and my engineer, he filmed it himself and then we had our editor edit the video from the footage we took ourselves. So, it’s a lot lower budget, but it’s a very interesting aesthetic... I think I like it.
Do you see the pandemic effecting making music or working on your music remotely?
BTR: Well, I mean, it’s not really that fun being in a pandemic. Like, I can’t do shows or anything like that, which is really disappointing. Honestly, it hasn’t effected my music production that much. I still make music every single day. Even though the people that I typically work with aren’t interacting with me face-to-face, we can still report from separate studios and work together. That’s just one of the ways that I was able to work with people like DJ on Delay. He’s not from around here, I’ve never met the dude in real life, it’s just purely we thought we had chemistry when we made music together, so we keep making music. But if I wasn’t making music during this whole thing, I feel like I would be going insane.
You mentioned DJ on Delay. I know you just released a track together a couple of days ago. Would you say that even during a pandemic, this process was still pretty easy?
BTR: Absolutely. I didn’t even do most of the work. Shoutout to DJ on Delay, ‘cause he’s the one who makes the beats and mixes and masters… at least with the projects I do with him. We did the “420 Freestyle” off of Shitpost 3, and I really liked the way it came out and fit together. DJ on Delay hit me up this year and was like, “hey, wanna do a ‘420 Freestyle?’” Obviously, I’m always down to make music at any chance I get. But I was preoccupied with another EP [All My Friends Are Dead], and I was super busy during that time. So, the track ended up not getting released on 4/20. Instead, we were like, “we’re just going to do a ‘520 Freestyle,’” even though it was recorded on 4/20. We’re probably going to keep it going, too. Like we had the “420 Freestyle” last year, and this year we had the “520 Freestyle.” In ten years, we’re going to have a whole album.
Have you ever considered doing a live show over social media like all of these other artists are doing right now?
BTR: I have considered that. The only problem is that, you know, time constraints. I am working on my music. I’ve been out since October, and I only have two EPs out. I have another album in the works, which hopefully should be dropping soon. But between the work, day job, and mixing by night, I haven’t had much time to really consider it. The Christian label [Chosen Music] does want to start doing their live shows, but before I can start participating in those, I need to get my clean music in order enough to do a set.
You mentioned you have a day job, so you’re an essential worker?
BTR: Yes, I am one of the most essential. I am a Papa John’s delivery driver. Honestly, the quarantine hasn’t effected this area as much as it’s effected other areas. I’m from Rome, GA. This entire town was built as a Tuberculosis town. So, the biggest industry here is the medical industry. We have the medical industry and we have a lot of food places. The places that are essential are the medical and food places. So, pretty much, life has carried on as normal. The only thing that’s different, is everyone is wearing masks.
Trippyheadbanger Question: How do you feel about the movement to ban moshing and crowd surfing?
BTR: That’s a real thing? That’s… see the problem with these things is that it’s never the people who are in the mosh pits that are wanting it to stop. It’s always the people on the outside or the ones that have never been in a mosh pit. If you go to a show, you don’t HAVE to be in the mosh pit. Unless you go to a show and it’s a small venue or a metal concert, you can just not be in the mosh pit. It’s consenting adults going into the concert, banging into each other. I don’t see any issue with it. I also think it’s going to be completely impossible to enforce. Like when you go into a concert, you see people doing all sorts of stuff like joints and other illegal stuff. So, if they’re not going to stop a guy from smoking a joint right in the middle of the venue, I don’t think they’re going to stop people moshing.
*For the full story and review on Bleach the Ripper, click here.*
Interview with Wasted Pretty
Haley Pearl | February 29, 2020
It's no secret that I meet up with or review bands that are not as popular. However, Wasted Pretty could be an artist on your playlist within the next months or years to come. For those who like the Replacements, Ramones, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, or Sex Pistols, this young band might be who you need to listen to. Who knows, you might think that they're all the rage.
I had the wonderful opportunity to connect and speak with the dynamic and rebellious punk trio [Ginger, Joey, and Raistlin], and this is what they had to say:
I’m aware that your mentor and artist that you’ve been working with a lot is Ron [Kispert]. What’s that experience been like for you guys?
G: It’s been really fun. He gives us a lot of insight into the music world, and gives us his experience. He just helps us a lot.
What would you say is the biggest thing you’ve learned from Ron?
G: Songwriting. How to write a song, well, the music portion of it. And stage tips, and gigging tips.
What was the song or band that initially sparked your interest for making music?
G: Mine was Joan Jett and the Replacements.
J: Mine was the Jesus and Mary Chain. They’re from Scotland, they’re an 80’s band.
R: Mine was a System of a Down.
Very eclectic music. That’s awesome. When I listened to your two songs [“Sucks Being Underage” and “Don’t Care"], I heard the influence of Joan Jett, the Replacements, the Ramones... what was the true inspiration for the sound of those songs?
G: For “Sucks Being Underage,” it was “Blitzkrieg Bop” [ by the Ramones] and the Clash. For “Don’t Care,” it was some Replacements stuff, too.
Where do you guys see this band going? What’s the biggest goal?
G: Gigging and making an album first off.
J: I want to leave a mark on the world, and influence the next generation and the love for punk-rock music. I want to influence new bands, and hopefully they play our music.
How do you guys feel about the new punk, like Rancid and Teenage Bottlerocket?
G: It’s punk if you say it is. It’s no more or less punk than the Sex Pistols or Ramones. It’s your own style.
R: Everyone has their own interpretation on punk. It’s your own twist.
J: Punk is not a style of music, but what you make of it is, and what you want it to be. You can’t define punk.
I saw that you guys went to Terrarium Studios. How was that experience?
G: It was really fun.
J: It was a really nice experience.
Was it everything you expected and hoped for?
R: It was more than expected.
G: Yeah, it was really different. Like, I thought it was going to be really high-tech and nerve-wracking, but Jason [the producer], he really made us feel at ease. It was really fun.
Branching off of that, do you guys find that it’s easier for bands or people in the music scene to make you guys feel more at ease, or is it harder? Do you guys feel tension between those who have been doing this longer?
R: They have more experience, and it also depends on how well the band plays well with other band mates. Also, styles of songs, people that listen to them and how they act can really determine how the band acts.
G: Yeah, it’s like reception really. You respond how other people respond.
J: That’s how you learn from your mistakes.
Is it difficult juggling your band and social lives?
G: Yeah, it can be kinda stressful at times. Especially during highschool. Joey and I are 16 [sophomores], and Raistlin is 15 [freshman].
R: Everyone has differences.
What is one song on each of your playlists that would surprise me?
G: ”Sweet Home Alabama.”
J: Aerosmith or Psychedelic Furs.
R: Iron Maiden.
Yeah, I noticed your [Raistlin’s] sweatshirt. It has major death metal vibes. That’s more my speed and crowd.
R: Yeah, that’s what I usually play. I put that influence into punk. It doesn’t really matter, like how you play it. It’s all about how you fit it in.
G: Yeah, we hit a good mix of punk and metal.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
J: Star Wars, it’s a childhood thing.
G: Star Trek, but it depends on my mood. I’ve just always liked it better.
R: Star Trek.
Is there any news or upcoming stuff you want me to disclose to the fans of SoundChick?
G: We're currently working on releasing an album, and we're looking for a drummer.
*For full story on Wasted Pretty, click here.*
Interview with Bleach Boy
Haley Pearl | June 13, 2019
Bleach Boy, an artist you can never get tired of speaking to. His music and appearance may look offensive or overbearing. However, he is one of the most down to earth person I have met since I have started my SoundChick journey. I had the amazing opportunity to speak to Bleach Boy, and this is what he had to say:
I've seen you grow in talent throughout your work, what changes do you think have impacted you the most in your musical career?
BB: One of the biggest changes, especially with Shitpost 3, is my inclusion of other artists throughout the project. Big shout outs to Stainz, Nate Strider, DJonDelay, Fae, and of course John-Gregory Brunson with his sexy ass voice.
Shitpost Part 3: in 3D definitely seemed to be more personal than your previous work, was there a specific reason to that?
BB: So, funny story... Shitpost part 3: In 3D! and my Cosmic horror were originally supposed to be the same album. It was going to be a concept album about how musicians, especially in hip hop, are many times pushed into substance abuse. Eventually, of course, I decided to make Cosmic Horror it’s own separate instrumental project, but there’s still some remnants of that message and aesthetic sprinkled in here and there.
One of the tracks that shines bright on Shitpost Part 3, is "3D!" Can you shed some light on the process for this specific song?
BB: My mother always complains about my music being vulgar and not being able to show it off to her friends. So, I took it upon myself to make a technically clean song while still keeping the bravado and indigence of my usual tracks. I had a lot of fun with it.
You definitely have a history of calling out artists, sometimes even for the fun of it. Has there been anyone that really had "beef" with?
BB: I like how Logic phrased it on Joyner Lucas’ song "ISIS." Beef isn’t about murdering someone on the track, it’s about people getting hurt over things that didn’t really matter in the first place. For that reason, the only beef I really have is with whoever signed off on the latest season of Black Mirror, cause goddamnit no one wants to hear Miley Cyrus do a NIN cover?
You bring other artists on when producing or making music. Has that process been good for you? Has there been an instance when it was difficult to work with another artist?
BB: Honestly, anytime you collaborate with someone, you’re giving away some of your artistic freedom. If it’s someone you work well with, your chemistry can greatly improve the track. That being said, it doesn’t always work out so good. I’ve had collabs that I either haven’t even released or turned into solo projects, because I didn’t like the way it came out.
Where do you think Bleach Boy is headed musically?
BB: Right now I’m working with Bandit 3000 Alpha and their label, with the intent of dropping an EP in the fall or next spring. I’m taking my music a lot more seriously now, especially since it’s not just me with a laptop and a mic releasing whatever I want. I have B3A helping me make my lyrics more precise and polished, and I’m gonna be taking my sweet time to make sure every song is as perfect as I can get it.
Interview with STAINZ
Haley Pearl | June 12, 2019
As you all are aware, I am always on the hunt for new artists to feature on my site. A big shout out to Bleach Boy for recommending this group to me. I was able to set up an interview with Will and Caleb. Even though they are quite comical, they do get personal with some of their answers... it is worth the read.
It is my understanding that you guys started this for the fun of it, do you have any intentions on hitting it big?
W: Yes 100 percent, whether it be Stainz, or another project I have. Music is my passion. I’m originally a drummer [still am sometimes]. I’ve always wanted to either scream in a heavier band [project] since I’ve began getting into music. I started making beats on my laptop pretty much because I couldn’t find any band members around where I live, and was ready to work on something of my own. Around that time Caleb was like, “Yo, let’s make this silly song about being constipated.” With that said I’ve always had this vision since I was younger of being in a “successful” band and it’s been my dream ever since, and I would love to make that reality. As for what i’d do if it actually happens, i’d probably lose my mind [haha].
C: Absolutely. I’d love to make it big with Stainz. It’s something Will and I have always wanted. Music is just a huge part of my life, and if I can make that in to a career, it would be a big, big, big bet. But it’s always fun to make music with Will and just do what we want musically, so, even if we don’t make it big, you will still see us at it.
What is the experience like putting out music on Sound Cloud v. Spotify?
W: This is an interesting question! I’d say there’s a different experience with both for sure. I feel like with Sound Cloud I am less worried about quality, which sounds worse then it really is [haha]. Sound Cloud is very instant gratifying, like I could go upload a demo in minutes and have it be out there for everyone. But along with the quality thing I said, there’s a “scene” [I guess you could call it] that has more of an edge to the sound. It doesn’t have to be “perfect” to fit in on that platform. When it comes to Spotify, I have to upload our songs at a certain quality for it to even be approved through our distributer, even artwork has to be a certain type of .jpg and what not. It is a bit more difficult, but it’s very beneficial at the exact same time, because there’s a bigger demographic of listeners on that platform. Needless to say, it’s very rewarding for me to see our stuff on Spotify. I personally love Sound Cloud still, that's where we hide our more cringey material, so if anyone new to us is reading this and really wants to dig in to our older more embarrassing material, definitely check our cloud of sound page [haha].
C: Well, Sound Cloud has always been the first one we post on, and we always will. But putting music on Spotify or Apple Music just gives me a feeling like, "We are making it big" [haha]. As weird as that sounds, it’s just so cool to me to say, “Hey, check out our music on Spotify and Apple Music.” It kinda gets us out of that “Sound Cloud artist” section.
What's the feedback been on your music so far?
W: I feel like a majority of the feed back has been positive. I always have this fear of not being taken seriously, but we’ve had plenty of our friends [and people] really dig our stuff, and give us positive opinions on it. Rather it be them enjoying how one of the beats sound, ["it made them laugh at how stupid it was"], or maybe they actually resonated with lyrics from one of the serious songs. I feel like we can cater to a pretty wide audience if people give us a chance.
C: So far, all the feedback has been good. Everyone who I’ve shown or has listened to it, has really enjoyed it and gotten a good laugh. So, I'd say very good.
Are you happy with the direction you're currently going in, or do you have different goals?
W: Yes, I am happy with our direction musically. We’ve always been a goofy duo since we became friends back in fourth grade, but we also have dealt with some crap, ya know? So, we’ve kinda made things 50/50 when it comes to lyrical topics, and really try to make music for anyone, in any mood to relate to. When it comes to musical direction, I’m really big into heavy music. I love that scene, I love the aggressiveness of it. Caleb has always been more into the rap/hip hop side of things. With that, we’ve kind of created this weird dynamic. I know mixing rap and rock isn’t really that original, but I feel like we’ve brought a new twist to that combo. I think we’re progressing our sound to where the heavy songs are heavier and the more rap songs are rappier. I feel like our sound [vibe] is always changing with how I progress at producing or learning to rap, along with Caleb’s lyricism and flow. Whether people think it’s worth listening to, I’ll let them decide for themselves.
C: I’m very happy with our direction. I feel like we have a great and balanced mixture of funny and serious music that we have made and currently working on.
Where do you think you stand in the music community?
W: Oh my, I’d say if there was a dark web of music, that’d probably where we’d be found [haha]. Kidding. There’s definitely some type of underground rap scene that we’d fit in, and luckily we’ve made friends with Bleach Boy, Nate Strider, and more. We’re slowly making connections.
C: Well, I like to think we stand in the underground scene, but hopefully soon we will be popping and be in more of a noticeable community [haha].
Has there been any artists that you've worked with that have genuinely made you upset during the process (I.e they didn't have the same view points, they were poor partners to work with, etc.)?
W: I’d like to say maybe to that, because we never ended up working together. Not recently, but in the past, before I had started producing, there was this guy that was in my local music scene who made EDM music and had a good friend of mine sing on his track. I hit him up and asked if he’d be down to collab and maybe have me scream or drum on a track, and he rejected me real quick just because I didn’t have a “track record.” It kinda hit me the wrong way. When someone that isn’t by any means a “pro” would brush someone whose wanting to create off so quickly, just because they hadn’t put a song out on Sound Cloud, ya know? Other than that, with Stainz, collaborating has been a blast. As you know, Bleach Boy has made an appearance on our song “Ridiculous 2.” I also have a friend behind the scenes, who is starting to help mix and master our songs, and a few other people in mind for some features soon.
C: Yes, absolutely! Beach Boy, oh my god. He’s so trash, it hurts. Nah, I’m playing, but all jokes aside everyone we have worked with so far, they have been super awesome. They have been so talented, I’m just so happy we get the chance to work with such cool artists who are just as crazy as we are. #listentoshitpostpart3:in3D
Do you feel like music (in general) is going down hill? What do you think artists need to do to make it a better industry?
W: I think that it’s becoming harder for artists to make a living nowadays. With streaming taking over the world now, it’s hard to say if it’s a down fall, because at least spools are still listening. Luckily, music isn’t dying anytime soon. Let’s just hope it stays that way and adapt with the future. I think in order for us to make it a better industry, we need more people to move toward independency. Obviously, I’ve never been signed to a label, but it doesn’t take a lot of searching to see how corrupt labels can be [not saying that all labels are corrupt by any means]. I think with more artists going independent, it’ll give creative growth. This isn’t considered a “downfall,” but as a music listener, I enjoy full length albums. I love how a collection of songs can flow together. Yes, this is coming from a someone who made a nine-track album that’s only 20 minutes. I see both the listener and artist perspective on releasing more singles rather than albums, but there's just something about a WHOLE album that I connect with personally. I’m also just tired of a certain band that I am a fan of that literally has not put out an album in three years, and have put out three singles for their UNANNOUNCED album. I’m tired of the teases, Crown the Empire, if you’re reading this, PUT IT OUT PLEASE. Sorry for the rant [haha], but I understand making full lengths take more time to write and record, and it’s sometimes easier to market a new single every month rather than spend three months promoting one album.
C: Yes and no. I think a lot of artists are making music that is popular with no substance, and they are really having a negative impact on kids who listen. But, of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. There are quite a lot of artists who are on the come up and or are very popular, who have great subject matter and have a very positive impact on lives. Something I think artists could do to improve the industry, is listen to their fans and also stop talking about “doing drugs and bustin slugs” every song [haha].
Star Wars or Star Trek?
W: Star Wars for sure on my part. I’ve just always felt more drawn to Star Wars since a young age, watching it with my brother and friends. It might just be the light sabers [haha].
C: Star Wars. Without a doubt ,I’ve been a HUGE SW fan for years. I’ve read a lot of the books and watched every movie. I even a Sith symbol tattooed on my left shoulder, and I have more tat ideas related to Star Wars.
Interview with Eric Younkin of Trouble + One
Haley Pearl | February 7, 2019
I first discovered this band through the helpful tool of Instagram. When I listened to a few of their songs that this band has on YouTube, I knew I had to learn more about this fascinating band.. especially when I found out that two of the members are actually family members. That's just what I did... I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with one of the band members (Eric) about the band, and this is what he had to say:
What is it like being in a band with a member significantly younger than the rest of the members? Does schooling and other activities get in the way?
E: Working around his schedule isn't much different than anyone else's quite honestly. We typically practice most of the time without him, and then bring him in to finalize the songs. I also work with him off hours alone on the structure and writing of the songs. We do quite a bit of constructing separately, but then come together to complete. Much of the progression of the songs takes place in the studio as well. They really don't get polished until we lay them down in a formatted way within the confines of studio. Blaise is a special kid though, all straight A's in all advanced classes, football player, all region choir participant ... you name it, he does it.
How did Trouble + One come to be?
E: Trouble came to be from two very different styles of music just coming together. Blaise is my son. I had him when I was young and quit music to raise him. I wanted to be a good dad and be more focused on being responsible. We never talked about music while he was growing up, but he naturally had a gift, so I had to help him explore that. He would hear me writing and practicing, and would come in screaming. I was like, "this could be something special mixed with my pop driven style." Really it just came together and it was obvious we had to do it. Blaise had also started performing with other bands locally, some of which were already big time bands. It was obvious the kid had the "It" factor, so I really wanted to do something with him.
What is it like having a true family aspect of the band?
E: The family environment is incredible, because we are more focused on doing things right. We are there to create music and we aren't distracted by anything else. Also, there is something about the DNA factor of Blaise and I's voices blending together, and us being very similar in terms of our souls. I guess you could say it's magical in many ways how we blend, and this is even more apparent on stage.
What bands does Trouble + One aspire to be?
E: Trouble + One basically wants to be something familiar, yet unique. We truly believe the blend of the different styles we have is unlike nothing else. Although, we look to other things as inspiration. We always stay true to ourselves. We mix up some very different styles of music, and we think our lyrics speak to lots of people. We feel we are actually well suited for mainstream radio, and have the ability to turn people onto something that may otherwise discredit.
What’s the future direction for the band?
E: The future of the band is just to keep loving what we do, and let it be a place for expression. We want Trouble to move people emotionally. If we don't, we have failed. We want people to laugh, cry, and even get mad. We also want to entertain. We want to be that band that you can watch and think to yourself, "those guys were born to do this." We want to touch you, we want to amaze you.
When it comes to other bands and labels, who do you want to notice your band?
E: If we're being 100%, we need help to really get the music out there. Of course, we love Fearless and Sumerian records. Hopefully with lots of hard work, we will get some help. Honestly though, our product has to warrant these guys' attention, so we got to keep writing and the pedal to the metal. I've been signed by big labels in the past, and there is one thing I've learned: no label wants to work with a band that isn't willing to do what they ask with a smile on their faces. It's much easier to work with a created project you can mold and shape, as opposed to a band full of egomaniacs. Overall, if we want our message to really get out there, we will need some help. Hopefully it's on the way, time will tell.
Do you have any exciting or upcoming news you would like me to tell my followers?
E: We have been approached by a company to do a big summer tour which is exciting. We are one of the fastest growing new bands on instagram, which is exciting. We are working on sponsorships with Ernie Ball, and have have reached out to Orange Amplifiers as well. Mostly we're just excited about the rapid growth of this band. I really believe that something either works, or it doesn't. This band is working better than any band I've ever been a part of. The amount of fans that are jumping on board is almost hard to believe. I really think we got "lightning in a bottle" here, but the stars and the moon will play a big part in our story.
*For the review on Trouble + One, click here.*
Interview with Bleach Boy
Haley Pearl | November 5, 2018
Yesterday (November 4, 2018), I had the opportunity to speak with Bleach Boy. This was honestly one of the better interviews I've down with an artist. I could actually feel the motivation and interest in music making throughout the words that flowed from Bleach Boy's mouth. It was one that took me on a journey and could understand more what goes on in the SoundCloud music scene, and not just his personal life. Give it a read, it's interesting.
When did you first start doing your music on SoundCloud? What motivated you?
BB: So, actually funny story on that. Originally on Instagram, I came up through the vape community, because I thought, "Oh, I'll be a vape promoter, and brands will give me free juice and shit." But anyway, some SoundCloud rapper dude came on my account in my comment section and said, "Hey, you need to check out my music." I checked it out and I really didn't like it that much, and it turned into this one big Internet fight thing. I challenged him to a rap battle and he just declined, but another SoundCloud rapper came on. I challenged him to a rap battle and he was like, "Yeah, dude, I'll rap battle you." He released a track called "Murder," and my "BWTF" was actually a response to that. I recorded that in 30 minutes, and made the beat and everything in an hour. So, it's pretty garbage. But after that, I was like, "Well, that took me an hour to do, so I can do this pretty easy." And it's fun, so I wanted to make a whole album out of this.
I've talked with a few SoundCloud rappers and I've heard different opinions from them when it comes to the stigma of SoundCloud. Do you feel like the stigma of being a SoundCloud rapper is more positive or negative?
BB: It's definitely negative, because 99.99% of SoundCloud rappers are trash. Like any 12-year old with an iPhone could be a SoundCloud rapper. Getting anyone to listen to your music is like so insanely difficult, because no matter how skilled you are [or you think you are], you're just going to be like, "Hey I'm a SoundCloud rapper," and they're just going to be like, "Uhg, cringe." It's difficult, but as soon as you can get people to listen and validate you, and be like, "Hey you can actually listen to him...it's not garbage." But, yeah, there's definitely a negative stigma.
Do you want to do this long term?
BB: That's an interesting question. I'm doing it right now, because it's fun and I'm having fun with it. But there's going to be a point where if it doesn't go anywhere, I'll probably just drop off. But as long as I'm having fun, I'm going to have minutes on SoundCloud.
Is there any particular reason you write the songs that you write? What do you want to bring to the public?
BB: So, when I make music, I'm heavily influenced by bands like Attila and Falling in Reverse, and everything. It's doesn't really have a point or anything. It's just like good time, party music that doesn't make any sense. It's more about having a good time, so I'm not trying to send a message, especially with the album Shitpost. It's just word flow.
I've listened to both Shitpost: the Album and "SMD," and they both have unique styles. Can you dive in deeper on what it was like working on these projects?
BB: Well, I mean, it was pretty wild. I'm working two jobs right now, I'm a full-time student, and I have the musical going on. I would find a beat and listen to it a couple of times. The couple of hours that I have in my free time, I would start making beats and free-styling', and be like, "You know what, that would make a pretty good song, I'm going to do this." So, I just wrote a song, hammered it out in a couple of hours, ya know?
Do you have any upcoming music news you would like me to release to the public?
BB: Well, first of all, I'm working on Shitpost: Round 2. I'm working on having more features and guest spots on that, because I think that's what the first one lacked; it was just me. Also, what you can tell the general public: next time you try to pick up a girl at a bar, tell them to listen to Bleach Boy. They will be so impressed by your music game, that they will automatically assume you have a bigger penis.
*For a review on Bleach Boy, click here.*
Interview with Chris Mauer of Systematic Abominations
Haley Pearl | September 2, 2018
Systematic Abominations was brought to my attention by a friend. This band is still in the works, as they have just released their first single, "Puppet Master." After spending critical time dissecting this song, I decided to get in touch with Chris Mauer of Systematic Abominations.