M.C. ZackAttack: “Rap Or Die!” – on his daily grind!

Zachery Duncan, or rather M.C. ZackAttack , has been influenced by new age lyrical poets who speak their mind through music since 2010. Soon he’ll be releasing his newest mixtape “Mind Over Madness”. M.C. ZackAttack  has recently dropped his single, “Rap Or Die!” Let me start off by saying this track isn’t for everyone, you either love it or hate it, I would say it’s a hit and miss for certain people.  We all know that the quality of hip-hop has gone downhill, with a lot of artists either going for shock value with vulgar lyrics or relying heavily on glossy production

MoEoStAr: “Algorythmic Intelligence” – You’ll find a sense of comfort in the quaintness

Norwegian Independent producer Mattias Gillis Winge Rudh better known as MoEoStAr, played the clarinet and saxophone in various bands while growing up. He started producing in the 1990s, but gave it up while pursuing an engineering degree. For a period in his life, he was simply an active music listener, until he discovered the new production software via a smartphone app. In 2016 he started the “less than a $1000 Album” project, where he aims to produce and release a full album on a $1000 budget. In the meantime MoEoStAr has dropped the single, “Algorythmic Intelligence”. Notwithstanding its modern technological

J.Dot & KD: “To Whom It May Concern” – Low on frills and rich with introspection!

I noticed that J.Dot makes his best music when he’s rapping about being a responsible man, or when he’s creating something with substance and meaning, as opposed to trying to make contemporary radio hits or battle rhymes (although he is an excellent wordsmith).  This is mostly what happens on his 4 track EP, “To Whom It May Concern”, that narrates the evolution of relationships in its various forms. To put it all in perspective, this sounds like a powerful and mature work. Something tells me J.Dot experienced things that impacted him over the past years and this album is bred

Jack Soundfield: “Shine” – You can dig deep or soar to the shore

By profession Jack Soundfield is an engineer who has travelled around the world. He has lived in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Besides uncovering the secrets of the globe Jack has a passion for music and experimenting with instruments and sounds.  “Before publishing a song, it is mine alone,” says Soundfield. “After publishing it, anyone can listen to it and decide whether to identify with it, or love it, or both.” Jack, who has been composing music since 2009, recently released his debut album, entitled “Shine”. “I have to admit,” explained Soundfield, “that my girlfriend – a solfège teacher of the

G.H. Hat: “Piano Jam 2 (Ode To Kygo)” – an authentic human expression

Modern acceptance, or lack there of, in electronic music hardly comes as a surprise. Just look back through the history of music and how the 17th century technology spread. Musicians no longer had to master a particular bow technique on the violin or cello in order to play the perfect note – They just had to press a key. Can you imagine the horror of the purists at the time? They probably all thought that the piano was destroying the soul of the music. What it did though was simplify things. It reduced what was really essential and human. People

JaVez: “When I Was Uptown” has the power to captivate audiences

JaVez is a 23 year old Maryland recording artist who sings, raps, produces, and mixes his own music. The self-taught Baltimore area artist has a penchant for Kanye West, Usher, Jay Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown. He also grew up listening to singers like Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. JaVez plans to one day be a successful CEO of a record label and iconic recording artist. JaVez is the true definition of an artist, he isn’t afraid to be himself and put himself out there. The lyrics alone prove that. Add in some fantastic production and the

HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Big Chris: ‘Bad Timing’ – high quality production and seamless transitions

After a successful release of his last single ‘F The World’ in Summer of 2016, UK based RnB artist and producer Big Chris releases his newest album ‘Bad Timing’ available via all major media providers. Recorded by Big Chris and John Robinson at Clique Studios, London and Miami Live, Miami. The album mix was finalized by Mixbytrip at Circle House Miami. Inspirations of The Dream, Mike Posner and R Kelly can be heard throughout. This album has some really original, unique, futuristic cuts on it, as would be expected. Big Chris is a more audacious artist than most in the R&B game right now, because he says what

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins and Symphony X bassist Mike LePond

New Jersey native, best known as bassist for progressive metal giants Symphony X, Mike LePond, now presents his first solo project ever: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, an onslaught of raw and true Heavy Metal in its purest form. His debut self-titled release is a full hour of head-banging riffs, kick ass vocals and epic tales. It is an album that draws influences from the classic heavy bands of the 1980s, all the way to the Viking/Folk metal of today. It was made for metalheads, by metalheads  – a celebration of the power and glory of that which we call…Heavy Metal!

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

How did you come up with the concept and the songs for your debut project; was it all written over a long time, or did you decide upon an idea and then write the music as you went along?

Mike LePond: Throughout my career I had compiled a bunch of random music and lyrics. Over the next 2 years, I matched the lyrics to the music like a jigsaw puzzle. Once all the songs were written, then I began to think about the concept, artwork, etc.

As one of the best rock bass players in the world, do you find that song writing comes naturally to you, or do you consider yourself a musician first, and the writing came about later?

Mike LePond: I always considered myself a songwriter as well as a musician. Since I’ve been a member of Symphony X I haven’t written that much but when it came time to do the solo album, my songwriting skills came right back.

You’ve got some very close friends involved in your recent projects – do you find it’s much easier to perform and to put tracks together with musicians you already have personal relationship with; or do you sometimes seek out that air of freshness that can come from jamming with new musicians?

Mike LePond: I think working with familiar faces and outsiders both have their advantages. Working with Symphony X for 15 years is a comfort zone. I know all the styles my guitarist likes to use and it’s easy to work with. On the other hand, working with other musicians keeps my mind and chops very fresh.

Do you plan to still perform with and be a part of Symphony X even if your solo projects become consolidated adventures?

Mike LePond: No matter how big my solo project gets, I will always be a member of Symphony X.

You’ve played on a lot of different projects during your career – is there anyone you’d love to work with at some point?

Mike LePond: I have done many projects when Symphony X is off the road. There are so many amazing musicians out there these days. I think my dream would be to work with Ritchie Blackmore on some medieval music. He is my favorite guitar player.

Is there any other genre you haven’t yet experimented with that you’d like to explore at some point down the line?

Mike LePond: I have always loved Renaissance/Celtic music. I have incorporated this style into parts of my solo album. It might be nice at some point to collaborate with someone on a whole album in this style. Perhaps with Ritchie Blackmore, hahaha.

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

“Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” was released through a crowdfunding Project, where the fans contributed for a physical version of album. How was that experience? Due to the low sales of discs that the music business lives would that be an option for the future?

Mike LePond: Crowdfuding was a really great experience for me. These days when record labels are going out of business, I think this a great way for a band to achieve its goals. So it’s the fans now who can in essence become the new record company.

In “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” beyond the bass guitar you also recorded the guitars, with Symphony X teammate Michael Romeo, and Metal Mike (Halford, former Sebastian Bach, ex-Testament). How did the idea to invite these axe men for the record come about?

Mike LePond: When it came to the lead guitar playing, I wanted to have the best players I could get in the area where I live. Metal Mike is a close friend and I actually played on his solo CD so he was happy to help. Romeo’s style complimented his style rather nicely.

Also how did the choice of vocalist Alan Tecchio (Hades , former Seven Witches, Watchtower former) come about, and why use programmed drums on the album, could you not find a suitable drummer?

Mike LePond: Alan had the power and melodic ability that I needed. He is a dear close friend. He loved what I was doing and he did an incredible job. I asked Romeo to program drums because of the project’s budget and time issues.

The sound of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins is so different from your band, Symphony X. it’s more classic metal. How did come the ideas for it?

Mike LePond: Most of the music I write is in the traditional and classic metal styles so the CD was very easy to put together. I wanted to make an 80s style metal album but with orchestration that is used in the modern day. This would create a new and fresh sound.

Who or what was it that originally inspired you to play a musical instrument and what’s your favorite track to perform live?

Mike LePond: At age 13 my dad took me to see KISS. I was so captivated by Gene Simmons that from that day on I wanted to be a rock star. The song that I love to perform live is always changing. As of now my favorite is a track is called “In my Darkest Hour”.

Can you offer any words of wisdom or advice to upcoming musicians and bands who are just starting out, and struggling to reach the wider audiences they dream of?

Mike LePond: The best advice I can give any new band is to keep writing, keep performing and perfecting your craft. Record companies are going out of business left and right so you have to carve your own path. Use social media and crowdfunding sites as much as possible.

You’re recording a brand new album in the very near future – what can we expect from this, and how will it differ from the debut release?

Mike LePond: I am in the process of recording my solo album called second “Pawn and Prophecy”. This album will be in the exact same style as the first one. The title track will be a 21 minute epic. The lead singer will be Alan Tecchio once more.

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