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Category: Interviews
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Exclusive Q and A: Architects Talk About Their New Album, ‘Daybreaker’

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsWith four critically acclaimed albums under their belt, Architects have steadily risen in popularity since their first record back in 2006. Now fresh off the release of their fifth full-length record, Daybreaker, the band has been playing festivals all over the world to support the new releasewhich is considered by many to be a return to the heavier Architects sound that was mostly absent from their fourth album, The Here And Now. We had a bunch of questions for the band regarding the new album and the band’s supposed return to form, and—luckily for us—guitarist Tom Searle had some answers.

OS: In most interviews you’ve done regarding the new album, you describe it as a bit of a return to form—what do you think was the biggest inspiration for this change back to your more aggressive roots?

TS: The biggest inspiration was touring a record that wasn’t heavy. During the whole cycle I felt uncomfortable playing the lighter material. So when we came to writing this record I knew that I wanted to write a heavy record. I think lyrically, the record required a heavy, aggressive backing.

OS: Daybreaker is your fifth album since 2006—that’s a lot of music in that amount of time—how do you find the time, inspiration, and energy to write, record, and tour each of these records?

TS: We’ve never found it hard to write. We started this band because we wanted to get together and write music, that’s the primary purpose of the band. All the touring just came incidentally. So it’s never been hard to make the time or be inspired because it’s a hobby. I write music because I love doing it.
Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Architects Talk About Their New Album, ‘Daybreaker’’

Exclusive Q and A: Jo Dee Messina Talks New Music, Concerts and Kids

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsJo Dee Messina may be a major country music star with a host of awards and No. 1 Billboard country singles, but her focus most days is her two young sons, Noah, 3, and Jonah, who was born in January.

Just like any parent with a full-time career, Messina knows her way around a diaper bag, can easily recite all the ways to entice your child to nap, and will has a list of reasons to avoid air travel with a travel companion whose age is a single digit. Plenty of fans have enjoyed hearing about Messina’s life via her single “A Woman’s Rant” and even more so through her Blog Fumbling Mom, published in the Tennessean Newspaper.

Messina took time out recently to chat with OurStage about kids, exercise and, oh yes, her award-winning music.

OS: Wow, you really juggle a lot between your career and family. What are your secrets?

JDM: You just do it. You go out on stage and pray to God you don’t have spit up on you! My blog lets people know me in my “other” life. It’s a hard balance but a good balance.

OS: I bet it’s tough having a child to worry about as well as a music career!

JDM: What is harder than having a kid is having two! My head is spinning.

OS: You mentioned somewhere that you’ve been intent on getting back in shape since your son was born. What are you doing?

JDM: I’m working out two to three hours a day. In this business, you can’t be overweight.  [Fitness is] just part of the job, one of the job requirements. If I choose to do this, then I need to run five miles a day.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Jo Dee Messina Talks New Music, Concerts and Kids’

Exclusive Q and A: Datsik Talks BPMs, Ninja-Step, and Wu-Tang Clan

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsThis week I got the chance to catch up with dubstep producer/DJ Datsik a.k.a. Troy Beetles. The 24-year-old Canadian native recently shared a lot about his performance and production techniques with DJTT, so we focused our conversation on the broader end of the spectrum; discussing the direction of EDM, breaking down the BPM wall, and collaborating with Wu-Tang-Clan.

OS: Like most of the “new generation” of EDM stars; you’ve rocketed to the top in just a couple years, and you’ve spent a good amount of that time out on the road. But electronic music is such a studio-based genre, how do you find the time to keep putting out new music?

TB: Well honestly I tried working on the road a little bit, and it works…but at the same time I love my studio. It gives me a reason to be stoked to come home…other than my girlfriend of course [laughs]. But obviously when I’m on the plane I’ll make patches, or if I’m sitting at the airport I’ll bring my phones and my laptop and just try to jam out ideas. For anything concrete though, I usually wait until I’m home to finalize it.

OS: Your “Fix You” remix from the Mellow-Step EP is a lot different than most of the stuff you have done recently. Do you see yourself doing another EP like that?

TB: It’s always good to do something different from time to time, I think instead of doing a full EP of that kind of sound, it’s more so about integrating that into the stuff I’m already doing. So in one track, you have the very light stuff, and then this crazy drop thats really dark and heavy. Just trying to combine the two a little bit more. I feel like right now I’m going through a weird transition where, you know, I’ve been doing the same thing for a while, and it’s starting to feel… stale. I’m just really stoked to explore different avenues, different tempos, and that has been the most exciting thing for me. I’m working on this 100 BPM track right now that’s really cool, and kind of touches back to my hip hop roots. I’m excited about making stuff again. I’m really stoked about 110 [BPM] right now, and I think I have more fun making that than dubstep. So I’m going through a transitional period which is really cool, as I’m starting to learn different production techniques, and really spread my wings.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Datsik Talks BPMs, Ninja-Step, and Wu-Tang Clan’

OS @ Warped Series: Junior Doctor

With summer right around the corner, we can’t help but be totally stoked for Warped Tour. In case you haven’t heard, we’ll be sponsoring our own stage for twenty-two dates and bringing twenty-three artists out to perform on it. In addition, there are a handful of other OurStage artists already booked to play various dates of the tour. We decided to catch up with them to get the scoop on their summer plans.

Since 2008, Cocoa Beach’s Junior Doctor have been making high-energy pop rock a la Mayday Parade and Cartel. The band  worked with the best producers in the modern rock scene to hone the polished sound on their debut Clumsy Words and Pickup Lines. We caught up with frontman/guitarist Mark Hartman to hear about the band’s beginnings, working with famous actresses, and how they’re preparing for a very Warped summer.

OS: You have two different stories for how the band began. What are they, and will you tell us which one is true?

MH: Yes, there are two stories of how JrDr started and one is not true at all. So the true story is that we met in a super boring way (introductions through mutual friends) and we stumbled upon the name Junior Doctor, realized that the abbreviation was Jr.Dr., thought it was cool, and that was it. Now when we told people that story, they all seemed extremely unimpressed and it didn’t really spark any ones interest. So we decided to make up a story about us dropping out of med school to pursue a career in music, and everyone seemed to eat it up! So we stuck with it for a while, but as things started to grow, we started to feel more and more uncomfortable with the fact that we were lying to everyone. So we decided it was probably best to go a head and just come clean. I mean imagine if someone at one of our shows started having a heart attack or something, then someone yells out “Those guys are doctors! They can help!” That definitely wouldn’t end very well.

OS: What is the local scene like in Cocoa Beach? Who are some local bands that you think your fans should check out?

MH: The scene in Cocoa Beach is cool. It’s a really laid back attitude and there aren’t really a ton of bands here, but one we have played with may times and are all big fans of is The Starlight Getaway. They have an album called My Dreams and Me and it is awesome!

Continue reading ‘OS @ Warped Series: Junior Doctor’

Exclusive Q and A: Chris Young Talks Hit Songs, Radio Requests and Female Fans

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsChris Young is on fire and that’s not just because he’s on the Miranda Lambert tour of the same name. Young’s 2011 release Neon debuted at No. 4 and his last five singles have gone to No. 1 at country radio while “Tomorrow,” “Voices,” and “You” were certified Gold.

Just before hosting a recent online chat with hundreds of his fans, during which he debuted his video for “Neon,” the multi-award winner took time to talk a bit about his music, radio requests, and just how fans show their enthusiasm for his music.

OS: This has been quite a year or so for you. Looking at everything, all the songs, all the awards, what has been the best thing so far?

CS: Well, when you are booking [concerts] a year out, that’s really nice! I remember a time when we weren’t even booking weeks out.

OS: How have things been going on Miranda’s “On Fire” tour?

CY: We have been out with her since January and it has been unreal! She is a sweetheart and one of the best people to tour with. Everything is “what is mine is yours.”

OS: So what does that allow you to do on stage?

CY: I love to mess with our intros and [the ends of songs] and do covers, and sometimes do a song in a show that is really broken down, have the drummer kick down the brushes and pull the acoustics out and kind of mess with some of our songs.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Chris Young Talks Hit Songs, Radio Requests and Female Fans’

Exclusive Q and A: The Hives Build a Solid Comeback

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsFans can be forgiven if they thought the Swedish garage rockers The Hives had faded away. In truth, the band’s five-year absence was spent making their 5th studio album Lex Hives that was just released in the U.S. and immediately caught the ears of critics throughout the world including those at Rolling Stone magazine. The album’s first single “Go Right Ahead,” is full of “bold riffs, blunt hooks, [and] snappy beats” wrote a critic for the Stone reflecting the general critical consensus of the entire album.

But the recorded music is only part of the story for the Swedish band. Always known as a take-no-prisoners unit, the group left critics and fans breathless with their high-energy shows at the recent Coachella festival. No small feat when you consider Coachella held the exact sameevent —down to the same set lists from the same bands at the same times— – on two consecutive weekends. “[Pelle] Almqvist is still one of rock’s most engaging front men—bringing to mind a young Mick Jagger with the way he struts around the stage with his hands on his hips before suddenly leaping in the air with a scissor kick,” wrote a critic for the Los Angeles Times after the festival.

Just before The Hives kicked off the band’s U.S. tour with a sold-out show in Washington, D.C. on June 19, the high-flying front man Almqvist took time to talk to OurStage about Coachella, Lex Hives, and more.

OS: We heard you killed both weekends at Coachella. How was it for you?

PA: Coachella was fun. It was unorthodox to say the least. I’m really glad Coachella booked us when we didn’t have a record done. We knew that if you put us in front of a crowd, it would work. It was great.

OS: Did you have any concerns about replicating your show?

PA: No, it wasn’t weird for us. My feeling was sort of, “Isn’t it weird for fans going into the second weekend if they know about the Tupac hologram? If you know it will be there, isn’t that weird?” To me, that would have been kind of a bummer but hey, it went well. It was pretty great both weekends.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: The Hives Build a Solid Comeback’

Exclusive Q and A: Trace Cyrus Talks Ashland High, Designing Clothes and Collaborating with Miley

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsBeing a sibling to one of the hottest stars on the planet can have its benefits, but Trace Cyrus (aka Ashland High) has had no problem making a name for himself. Miley’s older brother rose to fame in 2006 when his dance-pop band Metro Station was discovered at the top of the charts on MySpace. The group exploded in popularity with the release of their song “Shake It,” and were soon sharing the stage with the likes of Cobra Starship and Fall Out Boy. After the band parted ways in 2010, Trace decided to continue honing his musical skills, and now records and performs solo as Ashland High. We met up with Trace at the Bamboozle Festival to learn more about the new project, his clothing line, and what it’s like to work with his famous family members.

OS: How has your weekend at Bamboozle been?

TC: My weekend has been busy. It feels good to sit down and relax for a second. I’ve been here since Friday. I performed today and I’ve been selling my clothing line and meeting kids. I’ve met thousands of kids, I haven’t met this many in years. It’s great.

OS: You’ve been making music under the name Ashland High for a few years. How did it all begin?

TC: It started a couple years ago after Metro Station. It wasn’t really planned, but we went our separate ways. Basically, we were trying to record the second Metro Station album and it ended up being just me on a lot of tracks by myself, and I was doing a lot of work. It kind of gave me the confidence, since the band went our separate ways, I was like, “Well, I already did five songs by myself in the studio.” They weren’t great, but they weren’t horrible. Two years later, like, a hundred and fifty songs later… The songs I have online, I did that last November and I recorded all of those songs in nine days. But before that, I had over 150 tracks that I did with other producers. It took me a long time to just feel confident with my craft as a solo artist. When you have a band and everyone contributes, it’s a lot different. I’m definitely happy with where I’m at. Hard work pays off when you’re doing it by yourself. I definitely have people helping me, teammates, producers and whatnot, but Ashland High is a solo act. A lot of people think it’s a band, but it’s strictly me.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Trace Cyrus Talks Ashland High, Designing Clothes and Collaborating with Miley’

Metal Monday: Baroness Staying Colorful

“We’re not talking about art at some point. We’re talking about the product, you know. Some people want consistent products, some people want innovative products.” Or, at least, that’s how John Baizley, guitarist and vocalist of Baroness, sees it. Amidst a tour with metal juggernauts Meshuggah and Decapitated, they’re leading up to the release of their third full-length release, Green & Yellow, on July 17 through Relapse Records. Before their show at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts, I sat down to have a conversation with John about the state of affairs with Baroness and got a massive amount of insight about where the band’s minds were throughout the creative process of Green & Yellow.

Baroness, as a band, are no strangers to change. Longtime fans will certainly remember their first two EPs, aptly titled First and Second, as well as their split LP with Unpersons, A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk. If there was ever any doubts that the members of Baroness are aware of the changes they’ve gone through over the years and how their fans see it, those doubts can be squelched. “I’m aware that they expect one thing, and I think that there will be some surprises. I’m not an idiot, I’m well aware that there are some things on this record that the orthodox heavy music fan is going to turn their back on” says Baizley. “The song is more important than we are, so we sort of supplicated ourselves to the mercy of the song. You know, expose our soft, pink underbelly a bit. I anticipate that there are going to be new people out there who listen to and like it who don’t have an appreciation for our old music. This has been true since ‘Red Album’, but there are people out there who think the first EP we put out is our best material…I’ve got perspective on it, I know what we’re doing. I know the inherent risks, I know the other side of the blade.”

Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Baroness Staying Colorful’

Exclusive Q and A: Adam Deitch Talks New Lettuce Album ‘Fly’, Break Science, and Electronic Music

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsCelebrating their 20th anniversary as modern day rulers of old school funk, the seven-piece Brooklyn-based juggernaut Lettuce drops their third studio album Fly—a decidedly raging slab of relentless groove, hyper-charged syncopation, and psychedelicized soul anthems. Having blown up stages from coast to coast last year, ranging from The Fillmore in S.F. to Terminal 5 in N.Y.C., Bear Creek Music Festival to Camp Bisco and all points in-between, Lettuce entered Brooklyn recording studio The Bunker this winter with a fresh batch of road-tested material and a revitalized sound honed razor sharp by a year spent on the road.

I got the chance to catch up with drummer and main songwriter Adam Deitch last week to talk about the evolution of the band, and how his newfound place in the electronic music scene has influenced his funk and hip-hop roots. A few months ago, I spoke with Deitch and his Break Science partner Borahm Lee about emerging as live musicians in the EDM scene; what I found was a musician who clearly had immense respect for his funk and jam band beginnings, but was also very excited to work in a new style that presented a challenge. This time around, Deitch was on home court, fresh off a newly recorded Lettuce album (which you can pick up here), and about to embark on a supporting tour.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Adam Deitch Talks New Lettuce Album ‘Fly’, Break Science, and Electronic Music’

Exclusive Q and A: The Promise Ring Talk Reunion Shows, Jimmy Eat World and Being Indie Rock Heroes

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsFor fans of the midwest emo/indie rock scene, there are few bands that can compare to The Promise Ring. Hailing from a genre that also included the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Braid and The Get-Up Kids, The Promise Ring rose to indie fame in the late ’90s and released four albums and five EPs in their seven years together. Following the release of their final album, Wood/Water, the band decided to call it quits to pursue individual interests. As members of Dashboard Confessional and Maritime, The Promise Ring continued to create music, but the desire for a reunion was too strong to ignore for long. The band confirmed their reunion at the end of 2011 and will be playing shows around the U.S. in the upcoming months. We met up with drummer Dan Didier at The Bamboozle Festival (where many fans saw the band for the first time in ten years) to hear about the reunion, how the scene has grown, and what fans can expect to see at shows this year.

OS: It’s been ten years since you guys played festival shows. How does it feel to be here at Bamboozle?
DD: This is the first time we’ve ever played Bamboozle. But festivals are interesting. I still obviously prefer smaller clubs and more intimate settings, but what I do like about festivals like this or SXSW, where a lot of people go to them…you cover a lot more ground with people who come. People fly in that wouldn’t necessarily go see you. There’s a bigger array of people so that’s always kind of nice. Definitely playing to new people or total diehards who came from Kansas to see us, so that’s cool. But it’s also kind of a big headache because of how big it is and how crazy it is. The logistics that people don’t really realize and all the things that go on behind the scenes. It’s a headache, but I can’t wait to play.

Frontman Davey von Bohlen rocks out at Bamboozle

OS: Are you surprised to see bands like Jimmy Eat World and Hot Water Music here in 2012?
DD: Jimmy Eat World, no, because they’re good friends of ours and we’ve known those guys forever. When The Promise Ring was a band, we brought them on tour and they opened for us a bunch, and then they blew up and they took us out and we opened for them…it was just a really fun time that we had with them. But the way that they are, it makes total sense that they’re still a band right now. They have that special…I don’t even know what you would call it. It’s like this magic potion of being in a band where they’re all still friends, so they don’t have that animosity that can build up and break up bands…they don’t have that. They have that really successful record that let them do what they want to do and continue to create music, so they can just focus on that. They’re at the total sweet spot of music, which is great to see.
OS: What have you all been doing while The Promise Ring was on a break?
DD: Davey [von Bohlen, vocalist] and I are currently in another band called Maritime, and we’ve been touring and releasing records under that. But we all have jobs and kids and that sort of stuff. I drive a minivan…it’s totally cool. [laughs]

 


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