Rise Records has carved a unique niche in the modern alternative world as the go-to label for all things heavy. Their entire roster reads like a who’s who of breakdown bands, and we could not be most excited to present an exclusive Q&A with one of their biggest acts, The Plot In You.
Having just released a new album in January of this year, we had plenty to talk about with the members of The Plot In You. Click below to find out the story behind their album titles, their plans for 2013, and much more. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q&A: The Plot In You’
[Léelo en español abajo.] There are musicians who find a market in their corner of the world, finding comfort in familiar surroundings and culture. They can climb through the underground to become national treasures, occasionally with minor tours around the world. Then there are international superstars who are more likely to be found on a trans-continental flight, taking the world by storm all at once. Of these, Daddy Yankee is decidedly the latter. Over the course of his career, Daddy Yankee has set the bar for pop artists, including both Latin musicians and artists worldwide, with a steady stream of hits that permeate cultures around the globe. Now, having just finished 2012 with yet another multi-national trek, Daddy Yankee speaks with OurStage about his journey to the top, what aspiring artists can do to reach their own career goals, and what fans can expect from him in 2013.
If you’re a Latin musician looking to take your career to the next level be sure to enter the Tr3s “El Headliner” Competition for a chance to win artist features on Tr3s’ show Top 20, as well as Tr3s.com’s Music My Güey, Descubre & Download, and Blogamole.
OS: Since OurStage.com is the leading online destination for emerging artist in the US, can you talk about your first big break in music?
DY: My first big break really came in 2004 when the release of my album Barrio Fino opened the door for me not only in the states, but worldwide. That album included the classic song that launched it all for me, “Gasolina.”
Who are some undiscovered artist that you’re excited about?
I’m always trying to support undiscovered talent in the Latin market. For instance I’ve taken under my wing an incredible production team called Los De La Nazza, who were unsigned and trying to make it, and have proven to be a key element in my success.
In the US, your music crosses many radio formats, including Latin, Urban, Rhythm, and Pop. Talk about why you think audiences of all types love your music?
Music is a universal language; sometimes you don’t have to understand the words that are being spoken to enjoy it. My style of music is unique – it makes people want to dance and have fun. I have fans from all around the world that don’t speak either English or Spanish, but they still buy my music and go to my shows. I don’t limit myself. I like to try new things and new sounds and I’ve been blessed by the success it’s brought me.
What’s next for Daddy Yankee? What can fans look forward to in 2013?
I’m looking forward to 2013. In addition to all my Latin projects, I’m also going to be putting more focus in targeting the mainstream market. This last album I released has a song called “Lose Control” that has been receiving a lot of love from English radio over the past few months. I’ve also got a great collab with French Montana due out in 2013 [and] I’ve been working with some incredible DJs and producers in the Dance genre that are helping put a new spin on the Daddy Yankee sounds that everyone already knows and loves.
What would you say to undiscovered artists who are working so hard to catch that first big break?
We live in a moment in music where the power is in the hands of the artists themselves and their fans. There are no excuses, the Internet is [the] most powerful platform to get your music out to the masses. If you stick with it and are committed, your time will come. As long as what you’re doing in the studio is right, you have just as good of a chance as anyone else in landing your big break.
Hatebreed bring it hard, fast, and heavy with no excuses and no apologies. It’s a formula that’s built up an incredibly devoted worldwide fan base, which in turn has propelled the Connecticut outfit to the top of the metalcore heap. We caught up with frontman Jamey Jasta to chat about the band’s new album The Divinity of Purpose, the production process, and CNN’s erroneous categorization of the band this past summer that had fans up in arms.
OS: What does the title The Divinity of Purpose mean to the band?
Jamey Jasta: We just want to spark a new thought. It’s open to the listener and probably means something different to everyone in the band. Music and my family have been my purpose for a long time. I’ve had other purposes in life, but finding music and having my daughter were definitely divine experiences for me. So for me, finding a purpose is a major thing in life and I want this album to spark something in the listeners’ minds. Continue reading ‘Q and A: Hatebreed Talk Purpose, Pop, And The Pit’
The primal bellow of the The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is unmistakable. For over 20 years, the band has blazed a path uniquely and entirely their own, pioneering an inimitable, cacophonous, and burly blend of punk and blues. Though the band decided to take a break after 2004′s Damage, it wasn’t long before lead singer/guitarist Jon Spencer, drummer Russell Simins, and guitarist Judah Bauer were back together writing and recording again. The result of the last few years is Meat and Bone, a classic return to form for the New York three–piece. We recently caught up with Spencer to talk about the changing face of rock ‘n’ roll promotion, social media, and why the passage of time plays a big thematic role on the new record.
OS: After your recent hiatus, what spurred you, Judah, and Russell to start writing together again?
JS: Playing concerts again. That’s what did it. In 2007, the label In The Red put out a compilation of a bunch of singles that we had done for them over the years. So, after that there was something of a renewed interest in The Blues Explosion, and in summer 2008 me and Judah and Russell figured, “Well why not take a few shows?” We went over to Europe and played a few festivals and enjoyed doing it, so we kept playing and took more concerts. About a year and a half ago we began writing songs and thinking about making an album. That followed along naturally, quite organically, out of the return to playing live and touring.
About a year ago, the cutthroat British hardcore/punk band known as Gallows parted ways with their iconic frontman Frank Carter due to creative differences. Around that same time, Canadian post-hardcore band Alexisonfire decided to call it quits after over a decade of international success. However, these two losses birthed something new. Guitarist and vocalist of Alexisonfire, Wade MacNeil, joined Gallows in place of their former singer, and since then the band has been barreling through the international punk scene with a reaffirmed disdain for all the terrible things in the world. Despite the obvious geographical differences, the band has not let this lineup change slow them down one bit. With a new self-titled full-length being released, followed by months of touring in both continents and a farewell tour with Alexisonfire, Wade talks about the past year and what lies ahead for Gallows. OS: Through the titles and lyrics of your new records, you seem to be making a clear statement about your status as a band, particularly with the EP title Death Is Birth followed by your upcoming self-titled album. Do you see this as a new beginning? If so, what would you say it is the start of?
WM: It’s the rebirth of old ideas, old politics, old attitudes. I’ve stopped waiting for a new band to come along and challenge the way people think and live their lives. I want us to be that band. I want us to be the soundtrack.
2012 has proven to be quite a year for extreme metal vocalist Travis Ryan thus far. With the latest Cattle Decapitation album, Monolith of Inhumanity, released back in May and the debut full-length of his side project/pseudo-super group Murder Construct — Results —coming at the end of August, ‘busy’ doesn’t begin to describe Ryan’s year in full. His work (and that of his respective bandmates) on both Monolith of Inhumanity and Results, will likely doubly cement his place on many year-end metal lists, and rightfully so. We had some questions for Travis about how things worked with the two bands, seeking to clear the air of things circulating on the rumor mill, and he was kind enough to give us all of the dirty details.
OS: First off, you must be one busy guy since you have two bands putting out huge releases this year. How is the year working out for you so far?
TR: It’s been a whirlwind of activity but kinda just hit a dead spot because the Shockwave tour Cattle Decapitation was supposed to be on got canned at the last minute. [This] was kind of a blessing in disguise for my personal life because I had proposed to my girlfriend like two days before I was supposed to leave, so we’ve been able to hang out instead of be apart, which is cool. Got to go to Comic Con, party with Dethklok and various Adult Swim TV personalities, and was miraculously able to shoot a Murder Construct and Cattle Decapitation video with director Mitch Massie from Indiana. He came through on tour with Retox so both bands seriously lucked out. With him in Indiana and us in California, it’s a nightmare trying to come up with enough elbow grease to make it work. Last year was a brutally busy point in my life writing both MC and CD full length albums’ worth of lyrics as well as busting my ass off hustling to pay bills and take care of business.
Imagine an alternate reality where rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop come of age simultaneously, and greasers blast fat beats from vintage car stereos on their way to the sock hop. This is the world of G-Eazy, a New Orleans-bred emcee and producer whose been on a precipitous rise to the top of the rap game for the past few years. After a string of mixtape releases culminating with The Endless Summer, which demonstrated his pitch-perfect blend of doo-wop and hip-hop, G is poised to take over the national scene. He’s opened for Lil Wayne and A$AP Rocky, and is currently one of the few hip-hop artists on the Vans Warped Tour. We recently caught up with G about the tour, his upcoming album, and what he’d really do with a trip back in time.
OS: You’re playing on every date of the Vans Warped Tour this summer. What has it been like so far as a hip-hop artist on a mostly punk tour?
G: Well, it totally feels like I’m an outsider, but it’s all working out just fine. I think that having Mod Sun and T. Mills playing the same stage that I’m playing helps a lot because we have a lot of crossover fans that we share. But other that that it’s been fun. It’s been interesting being the outsider and not always fitting in, but there are a ton of cool people here and a ton of cool bands. It’s not really my scene and I wasn’t even into this as a kid, so it’s definitely strange, but it’s really awesome in its own way. There’s a lot of fans here that straight up look like actors from a Tim Burton movie.
OS: But you’re also kind of an out-of-the-box hip-hop artist yourself, with the ’60s doo-wop vibe that you bring to your tracks. What if you could go actually back to the era that you emulate in your music? Which artist would you want to collaborate with?
G: The obvious answer would be The Beatles, but that’s not really a possibility. I feel like they wouldn’t collaborate with anybody. They were kind of in their own world. But if it would be possible to squeeze into one of their sessions and find a way to work with John Lennon, that would be really unbelievable. Also, I mean, if I could go back in time and I could get Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to the studio and have them lay parts down, I think that would be kind of awesome.
With 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 release—which 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?
Steep Canyon Rangers have always been a much-loved bluegrass band, but this past year has taken it to new heights.
The band’s 2011 album with Steve Martin Rare Bird Alert went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and won a GRAMMY Award nomination. The band’s 2010 album Deep in the Shade stayed in Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass chart for eighteen weeks. Headlining gigs at MerleFest, Bonaroo and other high profile events have followed.
Now the band is set to join with Martin again when it co-headlines DelFest, named for founder and bluegrass legend Del McCoury, the annual bluegrass extravaganza on Memorial Day Weekend in Cumberland, Maryland.
Although other events with Martin will follow, the band’s main focus this year is touring behind its just-released album Nobody Knows You.
Steep Canyon Rangers guitarist and lead vocalist Woody Platt took time out of his jam-packed schedule to talk to OurStage about the past year and just where Steep Canyon Rangers is headed in the near future.
OS: It had to be great working with Steve Martin and playing all the high profile events you’ve done in the past year or so. How did you work in a new record, too?
WP: We had great success with Steve and we wanted to follow that up with a solo record from us. The exposure we got through Steve was great but we also want to work on just our own music. When we’re traveling, we are usually out ten to twelve days in a row and sound check isn’t until about 4:30 so we had some time [to write, demo and otherwise develop the album]. We worked very hard on it last year. Charles [R. Humphrey III, the bassist) and Graham [Sharp, the banjo player] are very, very serious about songwriting and very good at it, so they worked on [the new songs] all the time.
GRAMMY Award winner Marty Stuart has been way off the radar as of late. We haven’t seen him at award shows. He isn’t on late night TV. And we don’t see him playing the big country musical festivals. Just last week, Stuart released his new, ten-song album Nashville, Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down that is some of the most traditional country music released by a major artist arguably in years. The music is a pure joy with plenty of steel guitar, fiddles and harmonies. But just why has this member of Nashville royalty, who has played with everyone from Lester Flatt to Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, purposely taken himself out of the eye of the mainstream public? Stuart took some time out of his busy schedule to tell us just that.
OS: Your last album, Ghost Train, was so well received. What was the plan with this album Tearing Down the Woodpile.
MS: Just carry on because Ghost Train was part of a lineage. This whole traditional country music trajectory that I seem to be on right now, it’s where my heart led me. It was a long time coming. When I started [my current band] the Superlatives about eleven years ago now I knew it was the band of lifetime. We found ourselves in the role of cultural missionaries.
Other than the Grand Ol’ Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, we were kind of not part of the system of trying to chase hits or awards or [appear on] red carpets.
In the beginning we were simply looking for a place to play. My only request of our booking agent was to book us as far back in the woods of America as you can. I don’t want to mess with charts. I don’t want to see demographics. I don’t want to see numbers. I just want to play music. We will play ourselves right back to the light or as Merle Haggard said we have found ourselves right square in the middle of the forgotten land.