Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Lemuria interview: Band talks new album, upcoming Mitch Clem collaboration, Michigan and more

 

Lemuria: Sheena Ozzella (far left), Max Gregor (center) and Alex Kerns (far right). Photo by Ryan Russell.

After Lemuria’s show in Lansing, Michigan at Mac’s Bar on Sunday June 30, I (Sean) conducted an interview with the members of the band on a drive in their van. We talk about their new album “The Distance is So Big” (out now on Bridge Nine Records), collaborating with Mitch Clem on a new 7″, favorite things about Michigan and more. It was a really fun show and great, entertaining interview. An interview I did with them in 2011 is referenced. Check that out here.

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Decades talk touring, forming the band, influences and more

Photo courtesy of the Decades Facebook page.

Decades, a new band formed by Matt Waterman and Damon Depew from the ashes of former Michigan bands Jason Alarm and Clear Blue Ska, respectively, played Bomb the Music Industry’s final Lansing show. They talked with me (Sean Bradley) about their recent 2-week East Coast tour, their songs, forming the band, plans for the future and more.

You can listen to the interview below.

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Bomb the Music Industry talk final tour, the future, favorite Michigan spots and more

 

Jeff Rosenstock (left, vocals/guitar) sings during their last Lansing show. Photo by Sean Bradley.

Nassau, NY punk band Bomb the Music Industry, who recently announced their current tour will be there last, stopped in Lansing on Wednesday. They talked about the band’s future plans, their lives back home and while they were in Lansing, talked up their favorite Michigan spots they’ve been to and someday want to visit. Check that out below. Also, I (Sean Bradley) recorded their set. Look for that to come out soon. That’ll be post at Lansingmusic.TV’s Purevolume.com page.

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LMTV interview with Opeth’s Fredrik Akesson

Lansingmusic.TV’s Sean Bradley talked with Opeth guitarist Fredrik Akesson before their show in Detroit at St. Andrew’s Hall on Saturday Oct. 29.

We talked about Heritage, his role in the band after 4 years in the band and more!

Honah Lee Q and A by Claire Lea

This Q and A, by local writer Claire Lea with Honnah Lee, comes a few months after the band released their newest album, “Life Won’t Let Me”, on Good Time Gang Records.

The lights arise and the band starts playing the crowd erupts in cheers that sounds as if they had been old friends when really this music belongs to the growingly popular Trenton New Jersey band Honah Lee.
With a new CD released in collaboration with Good Time Gang records, they are turning heads and gaining more recognition for there upbeat, slightly bitter lyrics.
Honah Lee has been a band since 2008 however the individual band members have held a residency since long before then. Tim Hoh lead singer of Honah Lee along with Anthony Catanese drummer (also known as Tony or Goggles) have been in many bands together since 1998. The pair had been in the band Philo before forming Honah Lee. while touring with the band they had met and became great friends with Lansing locals The Plurals, in which they had stayed in touch with for many years.
Also while in Philo they had obtained bass player Jim who they found while playing with his band Moscow girls. Jim stayed with the guys through the change of name, new lead guitarist Dim, and a revamped sound. What the name Honah Lee had meant to the guys hadn’t been clear. However, when looking up the definition of it, urban dictionary had given a very helpful explanation of what Honah Lee meant and it seemed to explain the band very well in a few mythical words: “The land that is home to Puff the Magic Dragon”.

How was the name created?

Tim Hoh: we had our first show booked as the new band but still had no name after two months. one day ant showed me a paper plate that he had wrote HONAH LEE on and I immediately loved it!! but I was the only one, and when it got down to the wire and we needed something to put on the flier I convinced everyone to be on board with the name.

Anthony: Beer

So you guys have been to Lansing a few times.. how are your feelings on our great city?

Anthony: If it has a vagina or, and this a big or, had a shaved a-hole…. I’d bang it

Tim Hoh: We consider it our home away from home!!! by far the most welcoming city we travel to!!!

Dim: I have been in Lansing about two or three times now with Honah Lee. Every time is awesome almost as if it were a homecoming hosted by some of the friendliest, most appreciative, and independent- minded folks Iv’e ever had the distinct pleasure of knowing.

Where would you like to go with the band?

Anthony: The bar.

Tim Hoh: Everywhere.

Dim: I would like to take over the world if that’s possible!

How do you feel about the new album compared to other ones?

Tim Hoh: I think this album is the best thing I’ve ever been a part of, I feel that for the first time someone managed to capture Honah lee on record, for the first time our live energy shows on a record.

A few last notes from some of the guys:

Jim: I let these guys answer the questions, and they did a great job, so I’m going to treat you with a haiku:

Honah Lee’s in town!
Shit, god damn! They fuckin rock!!
Better recognize.

Anthony: p.s. I’m not on five hits of acid right now.

Inflatable Best Friend interview

We interviewed Inflatable Best Friend a while back. Check them out at the Grand Ledge Skate Park Benefit this Saturday with Jason Alarm, The Cartridge Family, Frank and Earnest and a ton of other bands.

 

Lemuria interview with Lansingmusic.TV

In this audio interview, Alex Kerns, Sheena Ozzella and Max Gregor of Buffalo, NY’s Lemuria talk about touring with Against Me!, songwriting, the response to their new album “Pebble” and much more.

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Josh David and The Dream Jeans to release full length

Local punk band Josh David and the Dream Jeans will be releasing their first full length this Friday at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, entitled “Can You Believe We Landed On The Moon?”. Frontman (and reason for the band’s namesake) Josh David says there was never a master plan when it came to recording an album or even with the band itself. “ For the album or the band, just keep playing and writing and see where it takes us. I personally wanted to play as much as I could locally and go on tour and record a full length” David said.

The band, which began in 2009, was David’s way of being an active member of the Lansing music scene. “I had wanted to start a band for years, basically ever since high school. There were a few almost-projects that never quite panned out. Eventually I got tired of dicking around and watching all my friends make music while I sat on the side lines” he said. After David asked friend, drummer and “stunt monkey” in local rowdy punk The Cartridge Family, Matt Norton, to start a band with him, Norton had one condition. “‘If you get me Nich Richard, I’m in” recalls David of Norton’s request.

David says Richard, whom at the time he says he “barely knew”, surprisingly said yes to David’s offer. The band became complete when Good Time Gang Records co- founder Tommy McCord’s cousin Michael Boyes joined the band on bass. From then on, once a week, every week was spent jamming and writing songs. “Every week at practice we would come up with a fake working band name to use like “Scream Of The Dog” and “Pointless Dismemberment” (which I liked so much I turned it into our first song). One day The Dream Jeans made it into the rotation and stuck, then Nich added my name to it because they think it’s funny that I have three first names (Joshua Daniel David)” he said.

After playing countless live shows in and around the Lansing area, David and the rest of the Dream Jeans began to cultivate plans to record their songs. These plans were slightly altered when original drummer Norton quit the band, only to be replaced by friend Christian Urabazzo. “ We were going to do an EP since we only had like 8 songs. So we recorded those songs, then Norton quit” says David. After Urabazzo joined the band, demos began to circulate while the band were on tour and at home playing local shows.

Finally, in March, the band recorded their debut album “Can You Believe We Landed On the Moon?”. David says the recording sessions were pretty relaxed saying “it’s just  four dudes hanging out with their friend Tommy, who just happens to be recording them” he said. The sessions had their heated moments but mainly because of David himself. “I’m a little high strung, a little intense. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to the band” he admits but says the band is about compromise. “I have a vision in my head, but the band isn’t just me. There’s four of us and once you stop being flexible problems arise” he said.

David said that although McCord recorded and mixed the band’s album, he thinks it stands apart from other sounds you might find on the GTG roster. “One of the things I like about GTG is that they have a wide array of bands on their roster, and that no two bands sound the same” he said. David says McCord has a basic recording approach but adjusts it to meet a particular band’s vision or sound they want to capture. David feels that their vision was captured just as equally as other GTG releases.

Obvious Records presents: Demo Day 2011

Ian Howell of Gull Lake, MI band Inflatable Best Friend has started a project called Demo Day. This event, held October 1st, will see the release of (by then) hundreds of demos, 7″ records and other pieces of music by a multitude of Michigan bands. In this Q and A, Howell explained to me the ideas behind Demo Day and discussed his record label, Obvious Records.

Can you give some background on yourself? Where are you from? Where do you currently live? What band (or bands) are you in? What other projects have you been involved in in the past (if any)?

Hey Sean, Thanks for sending me some interview questions.  Let me start out by congratulating you on running Lansing music TV. You guys are doing a really really great thing up in Lansing.  I am from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  We moved here when I was just a little kid.  We’ve moved around the county a lot, but I’ve always been really close to Kalamazoo.  I’m getting ready to move into a house in West Michigan University’s student ghetto.  I’m really hoping to open up a house venue and host some really cool bands.

Right now, my main focus is with Inflatable Best Friend.  Tanner Boerman and Austin Mcquater have such a kinship.  That really seems to come in handy when you’re making music with each other.  It’s like we can communicate without really talking.  We’re coming up to Lansing (Grand Ledge, to be exact) to play at a benefit show for a skate park.  The day before we’re going to be playing at Skatopia in Rutland, OH.  I’m going to be driving a mini-van all across the Midwest that weekend for skate park related events.

I don’t want to say that I have been in lots of bands, but I do play music with lots of people.  I think it’s good to shake it up by playing music with some other people.  I mean, we don’t go out playing shows.  A lot of times I am just playing music for fun.  We try not to take ourselves to seriously in anything we do, music included.

I have organized several compilations.  That started everything with obvious records/obvious mail order.  I want to foster a music community that is more inclusive than exclusive.

What led you to start Obvious Records? What kind of label is it? (ie Online downloads, phsysical product, both? etc)

Inflatable Best Friend went to go put out some Cds and I was really frustrated how we could just distribute them to my friends.  I want to give other people the opportunity to hear this music as well.  The question is….how do I get it out to these people?  It was around the same time that I had the idea to put together my first compilation called “Everyone’s A Critic”.  I had just been laid off and I didn’t have enough money (or patience) to burn 200 Cds, so I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea just to throw the tracks up on bandcamp for free.  All of the ingredients kind of came together at the right time.  I decided that I wanted to organize more compilations and everything just really took off from there.

It was around this time that I partnered up with Jake Kalmink.  Jake is the guitarist/singer from The Overheaters and one my best friends.  I pitched the idea for starting a label to Jake and he said it seemed like a really good idea!  We both run everything together.  I’m the only one being interviewed, but Jake is such a crucial part of this as well, I can’t stress this enough.  Jake has a great taste in music and is always quick to suggest bands for compilations that I have looked over.  He also has a recording studio and we are working on getting Brown Cow in the Studio.  We’re going to have them record and we’re going to put it out as one of the label’s first releases.

I have a lot of connections from putting myself out there on dodiy.org and booking a mini-tour for Inflatable Best Friend.  I usually do most of the organizing of compilations since I just know more bands.  Jake has more of the technical expertise and keeps me organized.  We really make a great team.  Obvious Records/mail order would not be here without Jake Kalmink.

As a label at the moment we are sticking mainly to .MP3s and handmade CD-Rs of artists that are signed to the label.  Obvious Records is looking to eventually put out a 7″ or two, and some legitimate Cds.  That’s a little ways down the road though.

As a Mail Order Distributor we are looking to put out Cds, Vinyl, T-shirts, Patches, Books.  No tapes though…Those are to hip for us!

What are the goals of Obvious Records? What do you see it becoming in the next year? How about 5 years?

Well that’s a great question.  I’m not setting my sights to high, but I wold like the label to distribute as many bands as we possibly can.  I was really inspired by No Idea Mail order.  The entire idea of having a mail order distribution seemed like the Do-it-Yourself / Punk rock thing to do.

Who are some of the bands you are working with to release records?

Currently outside of Jakes bands (The Overheaters and The Scare Seasons) and my band (Inflatable Best Friend) we have signed our friends Brown Cow.  We love those guys and we want to help them out.  As I mentioned earlier we are working to get them into Jakes studio so they can work on recording their album.  We have been checking out bands that are on the compilations.  Right now we have our hearts set on this band from Lowell, MA called “The Sinbusters”.  They have this crazy noisy garage rock.  I asked them to sign to our label, they’re still mulling it over.  We would love to put out some of their albums.

We would definitely be interested in putting out music by The Stockyards from Dekalb, IL, Sonic J from Milwaukee, WI, Tye Dye Massacre from Holland, MI.

What’s your philosophy/mission statement on running Obvious Records?

We don’t want to take anything to seriously as a record label.  We also want to help create more of a positive culture in music.  If someone sends the label music that I don’t think people will like…I encourage them to just go out and start their own label instead.  Who am I to judge weather your music is good or not?  I’ve always said…if they don’t like it…FUCK ‘EM!

You started Demo Day. This event, which will be held October 1st, will see the release of (by then) hundreds of demos and other material by a multitude of bands.  What led you to come up with the idea?

I work at a restaurant where on tuesday nights I spend at least 3 and a half hours just cutting up chicken wings.  The task is so monotonous my mind often wanders from what I’m supposed to be doing.  As I was rhythmically cutting up chicken I began to think about the label.  I wanted to start thinking as an innovator.  What has no one ever done before?  What could really make this label take off?  I began to think of all of those compilations.  I thought of divorce partys demo that they are trying to get out there.  It hit me.

As a musician you want other people to hear your demos.  As a music lover you want to hear new music.  I feel like a lot of music people don’t know where to go hunting for demos.  I’m hoping to have them all in one place and let people go crazy and discover lots of new bands that they enjoy.

What do you hope the event will accomplish?

I’m hoping to have a massive impact.  I want this to spur interest not only in Obvious Records, but in Independent music in general.  So much of it is so great!  I want bands that are involved to have a good experience and maybe (just maybe) send obvious mail order some stuff to distribute!

It is my sincerest hope that people who check out these bands start coming out to shows.  I want to get people thinking outside of mainstream music, we all need to open up our minds to all of the possibilities.

Why do you think an event like Demo Day is appealing to not only bands, but fans of music (especially local, regional music)?

I think that Demo Day is appealing to bands because it give them an opportunity to get their music out into the general public.

On the other hand….I think that the concept of demo day is appealing to fans in general.  Lets take ,for example, Nirvana’s Box set with all of those crazy Demos.  Mrs. Butterworth, Even in his youth, Mexican Seafood, Spank Thru (Pre-Bleach Version).  I love seeing bands that are just starting out…these demos/early recordings just showcase all of this fresh emotion and something that isn’t super polished.  I don’t want to go as far as to say that every demo is spectacular, but I’m sure there will be some diamonds in the rough here.  I really hope that curiosity will spur people to come check out this event, they’ll find something they like and they’ll start coming to check these bands out live!


Weird Science Q and A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above) The flyer for the most recent Weird Science show at mac’s bar.

Walter Lucken and AJ Glaub, founders of the Weird Science concert series, talked with me about the series origin, what they hope to accomplish and the diversity of the lineups. The next Weird Science show will be May 5th, 2011 at Basement 414. More details will follow soon.

Q: How did you come up with the concept for Weird Science? How did the
name Weird Science come about?

Aj: Me and walt had a baby, walt gave it a name.

wl: Yeah the concept for the shows pretty much came out of the fact
that I wasn’t really getting a lot of shows and neither were a lot of
acts I knew, and I thought the problem may have been that there just
wasn’t an outlet for music outside the margins of what people in
Lansing are used to, or maybe there was an audience there already but
nobody was filling that void of the intersection between rap,
electronic, and experimental music. So we gave it a shot and it worked
out way better than I expected, at least.

Q: Who else helped develop the concept? Did you have any input from the
musicians you were booking? Or did you already have a clear idea of
what the show would be about?

Aj: The og concept was developed strictly by walt and I as a way to
promote our solo sets with the potential for packed shows with diverse
audiences/line-ups. Jesus Crisis is our personal savior, #1 collaborator an allstar Weird Sci guy.

wl: Yeah, we have input from pretty much everyone who we book on the
show, a lot of people have said they wanted to perform at the next
Weird Science because they were into the concept, which pretty much
confirmed what I thought about a lot of music not having an outlet.
Originally like AJ says it was pretty much just the both of us booking
people who do stuff we like in our respective genres which ended up
kind of putting those two groups together which was great. A lot of
people are supporting the shows and giving us constructive feedback,
for example we’ve made mistakes and been instructed on how to correct
them so it’s not just AJ and I, a lot of people are involved.

Q: The first Weird Science show was last month and since then, there have
been 3 WS events so far featuring artists like yourself (Big Walt),
Jesus Crisis, Loop Goat and more.

What were some of the goals you have from a booking standpoint for the
shows? Do you want to have a consciously diverse lineup or did it
evolve naturally over time as you were booking the artists? How do you
find the musicians that you book for the shows?

Aj: Yes, the mixing of genres is the most important part. It is also
evolving, we are looking to feature more live bands, but rap +
electronics in all their forms is our top interest.

wl: Yeah, for me at least the most important thing is not that we
present music that sounds at all similar but rather music that’s made
with a certain mindset, and that we cultivate a following that listens
to music the same way. So we can put experimental or even more
traditional hip hop in front of people who like noise music and vice
versa and people end up appreciating things they otherwise wouldn’t
have paid much attention to. That’s my focus really, just getting
people to give music outside their comfort zone a chance. To answer
your questions about finding artists it’s mostly people that we’ve
known forever but we definitely look out for people in the area or
even beyond it that would fit, Jesus Crisis helps us out with that a
lot.

Q: From a show standpoint, what were your expectations for the first
show? Did you meet them? Did you surpass them? How have those
expectations changed in the short time WS have been active?

Aj: What I didn’t expect, which is so great, is that everybody’s
always really happy with the diversity and new faces. It feels like
going to a show out of town. As far as expectations changing, WS is
always going to be changing.

wl: We had had a show at Basement 414 which was mostly just all of our
friends hanging out, that was a really great time so the first Weird
Science, which was at Mac’s, mostly had me expecting another smaller
but positive and relaxed kind of thing, but way more people came than
I expected and it was actually pretty hype which was a really big
surprise to me. I would say that my expectations have changed in that
I probably have slightly more positive expectations now than I did in
the beginning because we’ve had such a great reception.

Q: How do you think the audience reacts to shows with diverse lineups
such as WS? Are they intrigued and interested in the show as a result
of the diversity? Or are they kind of perplexed as to its diversity? I
personally think it’s really cool that the lineups are so diverse.

Aj: The best is seeing experimental acts with rowdy crowds, or touring
favorites who normally play for the same people getting a great
audience. No complaints yet.

wl: There’s definitely an open minded contingent of people who pretty
much check out whatever is on, some people come to see one particular
act and go outside to smoke a cig or whatever but as long as they
physically witness the other performances even if they aren’t up front
going nuts I think it’s a step in the right direction. So to answer
your question, definitely both. We try to make the lineups diverse
like I said to get people to consider stuff outside of their comfort
zone.

Q: Do you see WS becoming a staple in Lansing as a showcase of the city’s
musical diversity and artists in general? What do you hope to
accomplish with WS?

Aj: I want all these amazing bedroom musicians and real deal intense
artists to be the NEW HYPE SHIT!!! eastside lansing 4ever baby shout
out to tape woooolff!

wl: I sure hope so, my goals are to scout out more talented people and
also raise the profile of the event so we can attract larger acts
which of course translates into more exposure for the smaller but
talented acts that we look for. I guess to sum up how I feel about
Weird Science I’ve been doing music for a while and a lot of times the
atmosphere is really negative, people are self centered, and the whole
thing just seems really intimidating and hostile. So to me Weird
Science is mostly just a vehicle to help people out and give them an
outlet for their creativity. We’re all friends you know, it’s not that
serious.

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