Displaying items by tag: interview

 

Vinicius Oliveira is only 30, but he´s definitely got an old soul. No wonder this autodidact musician/singer/songwriter felt just at home at the Trio de Couro e Cordas, revisiting traditional Brazilian samba and making it sound brand new.

(GF) How was your first contact music?

(VO) Since my childhood I listened to my mother´s the old records, but I became very interested in it when I was 15 and I got my first instrument as a birthday present: a ukulele. From this day on, I´ve been intensively researched the history of Brazilian music, focusing on samba and Candeia, one of the icons of the genre, was the subject of my undergraduate thesis in History.

(GF) What are your references?

(VO) I´ve been influenced by various genres and I love samba and jazz. Tom Jobim, Johnny Alf, Paulinho da Viola, Joao Nogueira, Joao Donato, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Custódio Mesquita, Nelson Cavaquinho, Dorival Caymmi, Radamés Gnattalli, Gershwin and Cole Porter are among my many references. As an interpreter, I try to leave a personal signature, focusing on rhythmic division and cool, organic singing, without excesses.

(GF) Tell us about the Trio de Couro e Cordas:

(VO) The group was created in 2011 by percussionist Rodolpho Dutra, who wanted to put up a samba repertoire for a trio. One year later I was invited to join its second line-up and became responsible for selecting the songs. The idea was to reach out for   the audience, avoiding the most frequently repeated tunes, but rather through a more daring repertoire. Our first prize came in 2013, when we won the Soulvision Festival in São Paulo with one of my songs. In the same year we were selected to take part   in   the project “Samba rundt bordet" (Samba around the table) in Norway, where we presented a little bit of Brazilian music to children and teenagers. This project was a milestone for the Trio. It brought us not only a lot of experience, but also showed us   how far the love for music could take us. Learning how to perform in a musical play was very challenging and we had to sing some songs in Norwegian too, but it all went very well. The show was such a success that, although only two tours had been   initially planned, we made four tours between 2013 and 2015. Bruno Campos has been the guitarist since 2014. He is also co-responsible for the arrangements.

 

(GF) Future projects?

(VO) The Trio is currently performing a tribute to the great poet Vinicius de Moraes and I am working on my first solo album. It is influenced by samba-jazz and bossa nova, but most of all, it reflects my idea of Brazil. I wrote all the songs and amazing musicians, such as Roberto Menescal, Arthur Maia, Humberto Araújo and Kiko Continentino are taking part in it. The release is planned for the first half of 2020.

Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

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Published in South America Section
Monday, 03 December 2018 16:31

Interview with Tiê Alves

The urban troubadour: why Tiê Alves is one of the most interesting artists of the new Brazilian popular music.

Tiê Alves updates the concept of the troubadour blending the best of the MPB (the Brazilian popular music) tradition with a urban touch, which in this case means the mega metropolis of São Paulo. The cultural melting pot of the city and its oppressive immensity are the background for inventive melodies and original lyrics performed with a blasé-yet-shy allure simply impossible to resist.

(GF) When did your contact with music start?

(TA) I began when I was a child. My mother played guitar and sang to me and my father was always very musical. At home, we heard a lot of music, mainly Brazilian music, but also The Beatles among other genres. My sister plays, as well: flute, percussion and double bass, but she works with graphic design. By the way, she developed the cover and all the artwork of my first album. I was 16 when I became interested in playing the guitar and decided to take classes. By that time, I was a huge fan of rock bands such as Nirvana and Pink Floyd. So I set up a band with my high school friends, started playing and never stopped since then. The guitar seduced me right from the start because of its versatility, but also because it is a very intimate instrument that must be kept very close to the body. It is said that the guitar “searches” for the most introspective personalities, for the shy people.

(GF) How about your musical education? Who were your mentors and influences?

(TA) I went to college and got a degree in Music at the Faculty of Arts Alcântara Machado. I also studied singing and Brazilian folk guitar, that we call “viola caipira”. I did this training as a musician, but in parallel I composed regularly. Creation has always been very important to me. Gradually, I joined other partners and developed my composition, but it all started in a very intuitive way. I was mainly influenced by Brazilian musicians, such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento. After I have built a repertoire of original songs, in 2014 I recorded my first album: O Rio e a Lua (The River and the Moon).

(GF) And how was the production of your debut album?

(TA) It was a great learning experience. Since it was my first one, I literally learned by doing. Fortunately, I had a super talented producer named Ana Rodrigues, who understood my concept and brought a lot of information in terms of arrangements.

(GF) Any coming projects?

(TA) I'm producing my second album, “Tá Osso” (Tough Break, on a free translation) produced by guitarist Luiz Cláudio Sousa. This album has been crowdfunded and it has a strong influence of Jazz. The idea for the name came from an idiom usually used in Brazil to describe financial problems, but in the song, it describes a person who is head-over-heels.

Follow Tiê Alves on Social Media

Contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

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Published in South America Section
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 11:51

Andrew Neil- Merry Go Round

Andrew Neil is a remarkable up and coming singer/songwriter from Charlottesville, Neil’s path has seen the singer battle many tragedies to record his first studio album. A path that began in 2009, when he sustained a serious head injury in a car accident. The confinement of lying in a hospital bed brought out the creative bug inside the singer to write over 400 tracks, even though he had no formal musical training. Unfortunately, the accident proved a catalyst for a series of psychotic episodes in his life that saw him diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder and complex PTSD. This all culminated in Neill being incarcerated in 2013 after such an episode resulted in him stabbing his younger brother in the arm, He was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and committed to a West State Hospital in Virginia. Neil wrote over 70 tracks and to self- produced an album entitled “Code Purple” named after an emergency call for patients. It was an album that made history as the only one recorded in a state hospital.

This all brings me to Neill’s first studio album “Merry Go Round” since his release from Hospital The album itself was released in September with comparisons to Elliot Smith, Nick Drake and Kurt Cobain. Neill writes captivating lyrics in this accessible album that is not short of intricately composed riffs and guitar solos, emotive singing and with subtle nods to those aforementioned musicians.

Divide and Conquer starts things off with this grunge- influenced track complete with a psychedelic and haunting riff that has Neil in a philosophical mood.

Merry Go Round is the title track that has similarities to Nirvana’s Nevermind era. Neil shows versatility with his songwriting here, creating hazy riffs. The backing band provide solace to Neil’s undeniable ability to write compelling music.

The album explores other themes and styles that feels like the listener on this emotional journey. I mostly feel impressed with how each track reflects the singer’s emotions throughout different parts of his life. This is something rarely experienced in contemporary music albums today.

I Wish is a gentle ballad stripped back from all musical components that is just a melodic track with Neill Singing from his heart with an acoustic guitar.

Tie Dye Dinosaur is another well-structured track that I feel looks at being an outsider. The catchy chorus will leave you humming for days. I liked how Neill’s voice seemed to mature and sound brighter. The intelligent songwriting is prevalent here an upbeat track replete with the melodic accompaniment of flute that feels like a positive new day.

Overall, I would recommend this album to any audience that enjoys intelligent lyrics, well-structured melodies and a journey through many trials and tribulations that lead to light at the end of the tunnel.

Merry Go Round is available via Spotify & Amazon now.

If you’d like to discover more music and information about Andrew Neil Maternick,

you can do so by visiting the official website

Alternatively, you can follow him via facebook / youtube / reverbnation


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Written by Anselm Anderson - UK / Lancaster

My name is Anselm and I have a strong passion for music. I host two rock radio shows for the internet on a weekly basis. Also, I have experience in the past year of writing music reviews and conducting interviews with upcoming artists for several online music magazines. My main goal is to continue to write for thse interested in learning about what is new in the musical world.

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Published in Europe Section

Many musicians (and non musicians) had their first contact to music through a choir at school, church or community group. A choir brings back a lot of affective memories and the Brazilian group Boca Que Usa (a playful Portuguese translation of the Italian expression boca chiusa, used to describe wordless humming), from Rio de Janeiro knows just how to balance impeccable technique with a passionately executed repertoire. I talked to Amilcar de Castro, thirty years of choir experience and one of Boca Que Usa first time members, about the successful journey of the awarded group, which includes participations in festivals in Argentina, Venezuela, USA, Spain and the most recently in the city of Riga, in the Republic of Latvia.

 

(GF) What is so special about choirs?

(AC) Singing in a choir is a very rewarding experience, especially when you have the opportunity to be in a group with  a variety of repertoire that allows you to go from the erudite to the popular. It allowed me to meet several musicians from all over the world, to get in touch with diverse styles and ways of making music. When I started, I had the chance to be part of one the most influential choirs from Rio de Janeiro, Canto Em Canto, conducted by Elza Lakschevitz, a reference in Brazilian choir singing. At the same time, I started to work with Boca Que Usa. I am very proud to be part of it since its first formation, back in 1997.



(GF) How is the repertoire selected?

(AC) Boca Que Usa has a wide and diversified musical proposal. The repertoire contemplates from old to contemporary songs from many genres. We privilege tunes that are less known in Brazil   and we work under no fixed, direct regency, that is, the preparation of the songs is done collectively. Actually, collaborative work is the international current trend and it has been one of the  pillars   of our group.



(GF) The group has been active for over two decades. Any special memories?

(AC) Boca Que Usa has already won gold and silver medals representing Brazil at international festivals. Those were opportunities to show a little bit of our music to other cultures and to prove    that there is also quality choir music being done here. Another interesting moment happened during our last festival performance. We sang a tune in Latvian. The audience was very impressed!    They simply could not imagine that Brazilians would come up with a song in their language!

 


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(GF) Future plans?

(AC) Logistically and financially speaking, coordinating a trip for twenty singers is not an easy task, but the big plan of Boca Que Usa for 2019 is to take part at the ‘Garda International Choir    Festival  & Competition’, in Italy. It is a daring goal, considering that Brazil has no tradition in choir singing, what makes sponsorship or any kind of funding support extra difficult.



 


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Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

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Published in South America Section

Stead Job is an old-school rock band from the metropolitan area of São Paulo, Brazil that hits the road on a customized yellow van called "The Kombosa Submarine" (Any reference to a certain quartet of Liverpool is not a coincidence). These four Classic Rock´n 'Roll aficionados bring a part of rock history live to the stage. I talked to Vanessa Abreu, lead singer and guitar player is responsible for the amazing female vocals. She represents the Pin Up and of the 50´s.

 

 

(GF) Characterization is an important element not only of your performance, but it seems to be part of the very concept of the band. Can you tell us more about it?

(VA) We thought of a way of mixing the previous experiences of the members, who had been over 20 years on the road in many bands of different styles. We dress as characters who represent our favorite decades in the history of rock music. I am the Pin Up, with red lipstick, representing the 1950´s aura. I also try to show that there is a place for women in rock. Lêu Abreu, the drummer, is the hippie of the 1960s. His costumes evokes the vibe of Woodstock. Renatera, the bass player is passionate about the 1970´s Groove and Marquinhos Carvalho, guitar player, is a represents the geek culture of the 80's.

(GF) What is the typical repertoire of a show?

(VA) The show's repertoire includes a hand full of classics, hit songs from Led Zeppelin, Queen, Janis Joplin and Creedence, among others. The Brazilian rock is represented by Rita Lee and Raul Seixas. And, of course, there´s also Beatles. Actually, we got the name of the band from the lyrics of "She came in through the bathroom window" and "Paperback Writer". We like to think of it as the perfect soundtrack for a road trip.

(GF) Who is in the audience of Steady Job?

(VA) The band has been together for three years and after almost a hundred shows in the curriculum, we realize that Steady Job attracts both young and old children interested in the sound and the story of rock music. Our motto is "Rock brings people together". I think the elderly have their memories revived and youngsters start to learn about the rhythm and develop a taste for it. Sometimes our fans turn into friends these relationships go beyond show days and come to life in genuine friendships. Last year we recorded a CD with the favorites of the audience. It also included the single "Three Wishes", the group's first composition.

(GF) How about future projects?

At the end of this year, we will record our first EP! We still don´t have an official release date, but I can already tell you that the album is full of love stories, from different points of view. We mixed the melodic styles of folk and powerful choruses of pop, but with a vintage signature, that is our trademark.


Since you've come so far ...

.... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

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Published in South America Section
Tuesday, 26 February 2019 12:15

Chatting With Liber Electro

If you're into indie electronica performed by a duo from the Southern Ukraine, well then you've hit the jackpot with Liber Electro. Taking some time out, Maksim and Mila, sat down with me and spoke about their band's name, singing in English, recording processes, and their plans for 2019.

Good day everyone. I hope you are all well. Thanks for speaking with me, it's much appreciated. Let's get to it, shall we?

Hey! Let's go!

How did you come up with the name Liber Electro? Does it have a specific meaning?

Our keyboardist, Maksim, came up with the initial name 'Docks' which everyone misheard as 'Dogs'. We got sick of all the fresh jokes like 'fetch', 'bow wow' and 'roll over', so we had to reinvent the name. As you've heard, we have some electric vibes in our music and we want to keep our options open for merging and fusing genres going hand in hand with inspiration, hence, Liber Electro.

How did the band meet and form?

We first gathered as a student project and did some rock 'n' roll music. Later on this project turned into a cover band. Maksim and I, Mila the vocalist, decided to try out and do something new, experiment. The idea wasn't popular among others to say the least, and so we decided to focus on creativity, while others just kind of turned their back on us.

Who inspires you to make music?

While there is a long, long list of artists that would probably take a multi-volume book collection if we tried to write it down, it's more of something inside you that you cannot keep to yourself, which you want to share and to give. Also, when you hear some sounds that you thought wouldn't fit into one piece, that are impossible to combine or create harmony together, you get this ticklish desire to explore it and see what else could stand together.

Another thing we'd like to mention is a team. If there is a gang who really dig what they do and never stop learning, something great can come out of it.

If you had to describe the band in one sentence, what would the sentence be?

Per aspera ad astra.

Your last album was in 2016, can we expect any more releases soon?

Our new album is still smoking hot out of the oven as we've just finished the mastering! We can't yet name the exact date, but stay tuned!

As an indie electronic band, what is your song writing process? Do you have the lyrics first followed by melody or put lyrics to the melody?

We are the followers of the classic school philosophy, so lyrics come first. It has nothing to do with Maksim being a Master of Music in Composition.

Of all the songs you have released, and I mean all of them, which is your favourite and why?

For Maksim it is 'New Day' as it was our first successful experiment with hard guitars and electronica. For me it is 'Equipoise' as it is rebellious and has a rock soul to it.

And which is your least favourite, and why?

We don't want to sound stuck-up, but we like all of them as we nurtured each and every of them.


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What do you think is the most difficult part of being in a band?

To mix different worldviews in one song. We see eye to eye, but still have different approaches and ways of putting it into music.

Do you have any advice to people starting a band?

Never give up! It might sound banal but if you already decided to be in a band, you have to stick to the plan.

What are your plans for 2019? Is there any chance of a tour?

A secret. How about a wild guess?

Do you find it difficult to perform in English despite Russian being your home language (I assume)?

Nope. Nowadays, a good command of English is a must, plus it's kind of easier to express your thoughts in a foreign language. It kind of gives you more freedom to say what may have seemed too freehearted in the native one.

And that's it! Thanks so much for your time; I look forward to new material soon.

Thank you for your time, it was a pleasure! Odessa says hi!


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Written by Nicole Mendes / Germany - Norden

My name is Nicole and I am a South African-born music writer currently based in Norden, Germany. For several years I have worked with award-winning indie music blogs conducting reviews, reported on breaking festival news, but my specialism is interviewing.  I currently work as editor-in-chief for an indie music blog I founded where I specialise in interviews with independent artists.

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Published in Europe Section

One minute and fifty seconds. That´s all it took for me to fall in love with the Slovakian Stringbow Trio. When that short video hit my Facebook timeline, I knew it was time for me to pay attention and listen carefully. The record was from a live performance at a summer festival in Trnava, one of the many cities in Slovakia where the band performs their irresistible mixture to always crowded, enchanted audiences. Suddenly, the video is gone, followed by another one and before you know it, the internet ocean drowned you again. But not this time, I thought. I had to learn more about those extraordinaire musicians! First, I could find they came from Topolcany, a city founded in the 9th century that used to be a regional market centre during the Middle Ages and a crossroads of trade routes. Classy, all right! That explains the cosmopolitan flair of the Trio formed by: Adam Halás (21), Violin; Rastislav Sumega (20), Guitar and Lukáš Deviatka (20), Upright bass. But who were those guys? Searching for the 1:15 video post once again, I came to Adam, the violin player and voice of the Trio, when it comes to international relationships:

(GF) How would you describe the repertoire of the Stringbow Trio? By the way, how did you guys come to that name?

(AH) The name of the band was created by the words string and bow, meaning the violin bow. Our repertoire consists of songs from all over the world, including famous compositions, which are arranged in an original way. We also like to play songs from Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, in French string jazz style. In other worlds, it is music without borders.

(GF) I would definitely say you guys get a touch of Latin Jazz in your tunes, too. It is really impressive!

(AH) It´s just creativity and music fusion, but I would say that, if there´s something special about our style of playing, it is the fact that the Trio consists only of string instruments. I believe that this unusual formation gives our music a unique sound.

(GF) Your live videos show a very dynamic stage performance and I would say you´ve probably known each other for a while. How did you guys meet and when did the Trio started?

(AH) We are classical trained musicians, so we all met at the Conservatory. That´s where we started to make music together. Although we also perform as soloists in Chamber orchestras, jazz groups, tango orchestras and many other formations, the Trio itself started performing internationally in 2017, after we got the price at the New Faces of Slovak Jazz competition.

(GF) Future plans?

(AH) The Trio will record its first album. We don´t have a release date yet, but we will come with more information by the end of the Summer. You have something to look forward to!


Since you've come so far ...

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Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

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Published in South America Section

Albert Mora was born in Cuba, in 1998. Four years later his father, a double bass player himself, introduced Albert in the world of music. His devotion to music in general and particularly to the double bass has only grown ever since, giving him the strength to overcome all sorts of political and economical problems and to carry on a career as an international musician.

(GF) Tell us about your background.

(AM) When I was thirteen, I emigrated from Cuba to Venezuela to start studying music at the José Luis Paz Conservatory, under the tutorship of my father, Luis Mora Torres who already worked as a bass teacher there. About two months later, I entered the children's orchestra of the conservatory, where I first experience being on a stage.

 

(GF) What about your influences?

(AM) My first influence came from my father and from one of my double bass teachers, Elvis Martinez. In the seven years that I have been immersed in the study of music, I have developed a great admiration for Jazz and Cuban music. They have become my favourite musical styles and I want to continue studying them. I was also influenced by musicians like: Cucho Valdez, Paquito de Rivera, Carlitos del Puerto, John Patitucci, Chick Corea and Alain Pérez.

 

(GF) You left your country very young. How was the experience of being a career in a foreign country?

(AM) Thanks to my passion to music, I have the discipline to practice daily and because of that, many doors had been opened to me. I actually became one of the most demanded bassists in my area and I had the opportunity to be part of several popular orchestras of great reputation in the country, such as: Super Combo Los Tropicales, Argenis Carruyo and his Orchestra and Orquesta Los Blancos. I am also part of several small jazz bands within the city and now I´m part of The French Alliance of Maracaibo, which gave the pleasure of working with many international artists.

 

(GF) Tell us about your current project, The Bass Project.

(AM) It is about the audio and video recording of several universal music standards interpreted by me on the double bass and electric bass. Oscar Velázquez, a good friend of mine, with whom I began to share some original ideas, helped me to create it. Since the beginning of my musical studies, I always liked the idea of ​​playing various popular melodies with the double bass, so I created a small repertoire, where I included pieces such as Lágrimas Negras and Autumn Leaves. We are now working on the audio and video recording of various tracks and our main goal with The Bass Project is to change the perspective that we have on the double bass as a solo instrument. It should also be seen as an instrument with which you can play melodies, as a violin, saxophone or a trumpet.


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Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

Hire Geisa to review your band or your new album.

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Published in South America Section
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 00:00

Quick Review and Interview: The Cubes

I first had the privilege of reviewing The Cubes’ debut EP, Fall Out Last year. I fully enjoyed how refreshing and original the music was, so was happy to review it again for the band. The extra incentive this time was the opportunity to interview the multi-talented lead singer , Jacob Solarek. The Cubes are an Indie rock trio based in Liverpool , England. Solarek had formed as part of several projects he had written and performed on his own.

The lead singer/guitarist forged The Cubes out of a jamming session between friends back in 2012. After several line-up changes. He eventually settled with current members Chris Jones ( Bass) and Danny Kirkham (Drums.) The trio have appeared at such notable venues in the City as The Cavern, Zanzibar, The Lantern Theatre and Scoop event in the City of Liverpool College. They have continued to grace the famous City with further appearances at Liverpool Sound City Festival too in their quest to raise a profile.

Fall out is the five-track debut EP from the band that was recorded at Crosstown studios in Liverpool, which is available via Spotify and Deezer. The EP itself shows promises of an exciting prospect emerging from a city enriched in musical history. The listener is treated to a half-hour mix of poetic lyrics and a well-honed rhythm section that combines blues, pop, funk and acoustic fused with Solarek’s raw outpourings through every syllable that his tongue stretches beyond. 

In opener Can you , This is no more evident in Solarek's stuttering sneer combined with a hypnotic riff that reflects the theme of forgiveness which climaxes with an exquisite solo that underlies his talents on vocals and guitar. This is a sweet and charming track to open proceedings with a catchy tune that will leave listeners humming it all day.

Next is the reminiscent About you, A Bob Dylan- esque acoustic track that evokes an image of somebody singing it on a beach. This gentle song will leave you drifting away with the waves. The spoken intro embeds well with the subtle guitar lines that creates more rounded melodic track that shares similarities with RHCP.

The upbeat chords of Too Bad sees Solarek contemplate the woes of a past lover that resonates with a tasty slide guitar that feels like a farewell song. The band express a versatility on guitar to create licks that follow basic chord patterns that empower contrasting tones, which is sampled here. This really feels like resolution!

On the standout track, Ron’s blow The talented Jones and Kirkham showcase their versatile range with a collective texture of thick bass and steady drumming that initiates building to a big finish with stark imagery that resolves with a dual bass/guitar solo that dazzles.

On the final track, Funky is four-minutes of what the title suggests converged with Solarek's pleas on vocals. The great pedal effects add definition to the young band’s arsenal of talents. This wraps up an enjoyable first outing for the band that can only grow going forward packed with the volume of lyrical content, polished production and musical craftsmanship that serves as a precursor for a promising future.

For fans of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, RHCP.

You can listen to track tasters HERE

 

The Cubes can also be found on several social media accounts.

https://en-gb.facebook.com/the.cubes.liverpool/ This is the band’s more accessible page that creates foresight into all the latest news, exclusive live videos, tracks , gig updates , and a thorough Biography on The Cubes inception.

https://twitter.com/jacobsolarek1 Listeners can follow the singer for updates on the band’s music.

https://jacobmusiccom.wordpress.com/ This is the new site that is currently under construction. Listeners still can watch Solarek’s solo videos performing at mic nights and covers. It certainly I worth a browse into Solarek’s other works.

 

Interview Jacob Solarek

 

Good Afternoon Jacob, How did you meet the Old School Project?

Good afternoon, I met the Old School Project thanks to you and your previous review of our EP. You enabled me to find few more places to promote our music. And the Old School Project is the first one I tried.

Could you please tell us how the cubes were formed, and why you wanted to start a band?

It’s a long story, but I’ll try to make it short. It all goes back before 2012 when I was living in Poland. Since I started playing the guitar I dreamed about being and playing in a band. So I tried to move towards beginning some sort of collective. And I went through a lot of collectives since then. Some of them were playing music I wouldn’t associate with myself very likely, but I thought it’s a good practice. Finally I started playing with one of my good friends as a duo, rather practicing some songs together and jamming than playing any gigs. Though, we’ve had similar interests and inspirations in music, so it was good and we’ve had a great time. As time went past we got the rest of the band and started gigging at some local events. Soon I realized that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do initially. I always wanted to sing and play the guitar in more power-trio oriented band. With the band I was in, it was possible to play the guitar and write music, but I thought it’s not what I aimed for. Therefore I started jamming with a couple of other friends, but it was rough. We hadn’t got any songs we jammed some free ideas and couple of covers. And this is the beginning of the cubes, though it wasn’t called like that. It wasn’t called at all. And then I moved to UK.

Whilst being in UK, I started writing my songs and performing them by myself. And then when I was going home for holidays I’d practiced this stuff with my old mates. Eventually we played few events in Poland. Though, I was living in England, so there was no way that this band was gonna last. Therefore, I started a new line up made up by friends from Uni in Liverpool. Then it started to become more like what I imagined as a band. Though, since then line up has changed again.

How would you describe your sound to new listeners?

A mixture of rock, indie, jazz, funk and blues. It’s rock in its core, but our influences coming out of us in many other styles; so it’s hard to stick a label to it.

Your music is eclectic in it incorporates various styles, Who have been your biggest influences in music?

There have been plenty of influences. To start off I have to mention Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Queens of the Stone Age, Motorhead and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Though, each one of us plays jazz. I play now with the Edge Hill University Big Band, Chris with Zingaro and Dan sometimes steps in for the EHU Big Band’s drummer. So as you can see we have jazz background too. If you consider jazz influences, I’d say Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock.

What are your aims in the music industry?

Just to play, write, record new music and have fun.

How difficult is it for unsigned acts, like yourself, to break into today’s industry?

I think it’s very difficult. It’s difficult to gain fans and build up a following , gather money for promotion, rehearsals, recording or anything else to do with the band is another story. Also getting gigs is not that easy. The venues usually want to make sure that we’ll sell some tickets, so they can earn. Whereas we don’t earn anything etc. You have to take care for everything by yourself. But from the other side it’s so much easier thanks to the internet. People, who could not hear about you, now can easily listen to your music etc. They can find you wherever you are, anytime!

You have been writing your own material for a while now, what inspires you to write lyrics?

Everyday’s life. Things I come across in everyday life. Situations, places, people.

How would you describe your song writing process?

First of all, I write down the ideas I have for lyrics. Then usually, I’d leave them for some time. I often change lyrics, add new lines or mix something what I wrote in the past with something new. I often have some musical ideas for lyrics that I wrote in the past and I like to try them together. If I think it fits, I stay with it and develop further. If I think it doesn’t, I change, rewrite lyrics or look for different musical ideas. Sometimes it takes a long time before I have a ready song, Sometimes it goes quickly.

You recorded your EP “ Fall Out” at Crosstown Studios in Liverpool, What impacts does the studio have on your recording process? And how important is it to self- produce your own music?

The main impact on me in the studio is to finish everything you want to do before time will run out and you’ll have to arrange additional sessions, which are linked with spending additional money. So it’s always time pressure in the studio. Also , it’s like you have to give yourself for 100% each track you’re recording, because again with limited budgets, you don’t want to mess things up. And it’s only up to us whether we’ll be happy with songs we’re recording or not. If we screw something up, we screw something up.

If it comes to self-producing my own music, it’s great to being able do what you want to do without anybody telling me how to record my own songs. But you have to know something about the song’s structure and music in general.

When I was looking for a studio, I didn’t think too much about a producer. I’ve always had a pretty good idea how I want these songs to sound before we entered the studio. Nevertheless we’ve hit great studio engineer/producer, who is Jon Lawton. We share similar music interests and we have mutual understanding. So we were open for little suggestions and solutions Jon offered.

You have performed at some memorable venues like The Cavern , Lantern , The Liverpool Sound City Festival etc, What confidence does this bring to you?

I don’t look into playing these memorable venues like they guarantee you something or make you feel sure about your career goals. It doesn’t mean that I’m not happy that I played there. I’m very happy and I appreciate I’ve had a chance, but it’s like with any other place. You should try your best, no matter where. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense.

What is a typical show for The Cubes?

This is a difficult question. I don’t know. And I think there’s nothing like a typical show, unless you consider not playing covers. Each show you play is different. When I play just by myself I don’t even make a set list. I decide what song I’m gonna do as the first one straight before I’m getting on and then I decide what’s gonna be next. Though, I can’t do it with the cubes. So we usually decide and make a set list. But what is typical for us is to be as good as possible, enjoy playing our music, shred some good guitar solos and go with the flow.

Do you have any venues you’d like to play at? And anyone you’d like to share the stage with?

I’d like to play Studio 2 on Parr Street ( Liverpool). I have just seen couple of my friends playing there with other acts and they were really good. Also, recently I was at Band on the Wall in Manchester and it seemed to be like a good venue to play. When I was a teenager I always dreamed about playing Woodstock festival in Poland (now the name of the festival has changed to Pol’ and’ Rock Festival), but we didn’t get through the eliminations ha ha. Why not Glastonbury? This would be great. Though at the end of the day we’re happy to play every fair gig we come across.

I’d like to share the stage with Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Foo Fighters. These are one of my favorite bands. But again there are lots of local bands/artists I’d like to share the stage too.

I understand you are making a new LP, How is that progressing?

It’s progressing right way. I can tell that we made a good beginning. We have 5 tracks recorded and now we need to find time to record the rest.

And Finally, What’s next for The Cubes?

The next step is definitely releasing the LP, getting gigs and just playing.

Published in Europe Section
Thursday, 26 April 2018 00:00

A Second Life - Review And Interview

A Second Life is an Alternative Rock band from New York, who were formed over a bond of friendships and love of the NY music scene. The overall sound of the band is described as U2 meets Kings Of Leon dipped in 30 seconds to Mars. Their goal is to create thought provoking music that evokes emotions. The current line up consists of Chris Damphouse ( Vocals) Dan DelVecchio (guitars and vocals), Max Ross (guitar, piano, vocals), Justin Scheidling (drums), Dan O’Dowd (bass), and Rob Mino (guitar). The band will be supporting the release of their debut EP Civil Life with a tour across the U.S , as well as several festival appearances during the Summer 2018.

I shall give the reader a quick review of the new five- track Civil Life which will give listeners a good opportunity to hear the band’s melodic and evocative music close up.

Just Whisper is a lovely opener packed full of melodious charm. Damphouse’s vocals blend against a backdrop of harmonious power chords and backing vocals when the chorus kicks in. This track works well as a breakout hit for radio airplay.

You’re Missing From Me is a more upbeat track that opens with an atmospheric buzz of electric guitar . It is a track that is full of hooks and subtle transitions into melodic guitar lines and bright bridges that supplement the vocal qualities that sing about been apart. This is easily the standout track for me because of the huge singalong chorus and guitar techniques with the pedal that are added to give it some definition.

Civil War is an anthemic acoustic track about finding a resolution to conflict. This track illustrates the band’s influences of U2 and 30 seconds to mars within it. The small melodic patterns and intimate vocals are sung against a backbeat of rhythmic drumming and acoustic guitar. The track slowly builds towards the chorus at the end with heartfelt singing. I feel this is another good track that would appeal to a teenage audience and fans of the aforementioned bands.

Beautiful Distraction is another acoustic track that is reflective in the title (beautiful)! The lyrics are poetic and strike strong imagery against the backdrop of expressive pop rock. The band have the ability to know how to write tracks with swirling melodies and beats. The addition of backing vocals gives the songs an extra edge, along with the harmonious guitar lines with an effects pedal is like the music equivalent of painting on a canvas.

You ends with a change in direction. It is an edgy and up-tempo track that has these toes tapping! The track begins with a thick , funky bass line that explodes with a continuous crunchy riff and catchy chorus and distorted vocals that has all the ingredients to be a smash hit. You can’t help dance to

A Second Life will next be performing at The Bitter End in New York, NY on May 12th before an appearance at Montauk Music Festival on May 17th in Montauk, NY

 

You can find more information on the band via their social media accounts:

https://www.facebook.com/ASecondLifeNY/

https://www.instagram.com/asecondlifemusic/

https://twitter.com/asecondlifeNY

 

A Second Life Interview

 

Good morning, Could you tell us how you met The Old School Project?

We found you on Indie music bus. Nick is amazing the way he supports us bands!

Could you tell me about how the band formed and what lead you to start a band?

I had taken a year off and really missed the music. I decided to learn Guitar and found a great Teacher (Dan Delvecchio). We had so many of the same ideas I realized it was time to make music again!!!

Who would you say the biggest influences on your musical career so far?

It is a hard question. I’d say my Dad and Brother Max. Also, the music that inspires me comes from everywhere. But I’d say U2 , 30 seconds to Mars, Kings of Leon to name a few!!!

You say you write music to evoke emotions, how do you feel you can achieve this in your writing?

It comes from my heart , it’s a fire I feel. Each song has a meaning to me. Every moment in my life I can remember music to accompany it!

What are the reasons behind the name A Second Life?

It’s simple really . It means a second shot at this whole music thing!!

What are your goals moving forward in the industry?

To be heard, to share my music with as many ears that will listen. I don't do this for fame or fortune . I do it because I simply love music.

You have a huge following on platforms like Spotify, How important do you think stations like them and TOSP are for unsigned acts trying to get noticed?

They are insanely important!!!! Back only a few years ago indie artists would have to have a record deal to be heard . Now we can do all of it ourselves. In the end it's just like running a company you need hard work and consistency !

You recently released your Debut EP called Civil Life . What is the idea behind the title, and what was the recording process like during the making of it?

The Idea is it's all about living a life to be proud of, a life my kids would be proud of. We record with Rob Freeman at Audio Pilot studios in NJ. He’s simply awesome he doesn't let us ever settle for …ehhhh! When we suck he tells us ! if you can't take constructive criticism you should not make music.

You will be performing at the four day event Montauk Music Festival beginning on May 17th, how excited are you to be performing there?

We can't wait!!!! it's a beautiful location with people who want to hear new music!!!

What will are fans likely to expect from your appearance?

A real genuine band that brings it every time they play. We are here for them , we want them to feel what we feel!

Is there any dream venue, or festival, you’d like to perform at?

Its right on Long Island , I want to play a Northwell Theater, Jones Beach. Its right on the water. I’ve seen most of my favorites play there. To stand under the stars and share my music with a crowded hometown Theater would be priceless . I’d play for free !!!

And Finally, what is next for A Second life?

To keep pushing, to keep putting our lives to music, to enjoy the process, to enjoy the ride!!!

Written by Anselm Anderson - UK / Lancaster

My name is Anselm and I have a strong passion for music. I host two rock radio shows for the internet on a weekly basis. Also, I have experience in the past year of writing music reviews and conducting interviews with upcoming artists for several online music magazines. My main goal is to continue to write for thse interested in learning about what is new in the musical world.

Hire mr Anderson to review your band or your new album.

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Published in Europe Section
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