Dustin Steen: “Mixed Genres” has a strong spiritual element

With an onslaught of pressure from modern record labels to produce high-selling records frequently and consistently, and the need to secure a loyal consumer base, an artist’s ability to experiment and evolve with his or her sound seems somewhat futile in the modern era. It seems that musicians throughout every genre are bound by the limitations of what sound will sell, often creating a disassociation between artistic freedom and production demands. With such high stakes, it takes immense talent and perhaps sheer disregard for self-preservation for an artist to experiment successfully with the many facets of the musical lexicon. Perhaps

Dakú Lights: “Illuminate” – a consistent palette of genre-melding pop offerings

London based alternative pop band, Dakú Lights, was formed in April 2016 by the three band members who are represented by their own distinct color to match their personality, with Bhavini being red, Haiiiro as pink-orange and Panda as purple. They have a unique blend of music which incorporates Pop, Kpop, EDM and Urban influences. Currently pursuing a record deal, the band is focused on producing high quality music and building their stage presence for international audiences. Dakú Lights recently released their 5-track EP, entitled “Illuminate”. The title takes a cue from the band’s name, as Dakú means ‘dark’ in

Henry Metal: “So It Hath Begun” will grab you by the balls with a cruel squirrel grip

Henry Metal might have a fine veil of satire embracing the project, but he makes just about the best tribute to the excess of the 80’s and 90’s hard rock and metal genres ever. He has just released his 9 track album, entitled “So It Hath Begun” which contains great songs, which are very easy to bang your head and sing along with. The tracks all have a grooving and slamming feel, plus cool shredding and solos. In fact Henry Metal sounds no different to any of those legendary rock and metal bands from the golden era. You either get

Aeronaut: “Skara” – excellent progressive buildups and rhythmic backflips

Aeronaut can be described as Progressive Rock, Post-Rock, Indie, or simply Alternative Rock, but that doesn’t really matter. All I know is that this project delivers very interesting, fresh, and well-rounded music. Aeronaut has a huge dynamic range, from extremely fast and heavy with smooth, powerful vocals to very relaxing and atmospheric. The music is very melodic, clear and well-produced, the song “Skara” flows and changes to new and exciting ideas. The guitars are very lush and full sounding, during both heavier and mellow parts, while the bass and drums thump and bang in all the right places. Aeronaut is

Eric Hausmann: “Soaked” manages to tap into a very specific emotional core

Eric Hausmann is a multi-instrumentalist and film composer. He has produced music for a number of Malaysian films, in addition to scoring for a variety of New York film productions. He performs live as a guitarist with Portland’s Tres Gone, and Malaysia’s Space Gambus Experiment. He is formerly a member of The Gone Orchestra and Brainwarmer. Hausmann recently released “Soaked” a seven track recording which is described as “A cross-section of Asian dub-fused rock n’ roll with deep India influences.” But it’s probably more than that, as I’m hearing post-rock, world fusion, and ambient rock influences injected into these tracks. Eric

MOOD: “The Wave” is in the right lane!

Hip-hop has changed – there’s no debating that – but change isn’t always indicative of something bad. That being said, it’s refreshing to hear more rapping, with the exception of one or two bridges, versus the continual rap/sing mix that’s permeated mainstream as of late. You’re allowed to appreciate more than one way of creating music and while a lot of rappers have the notion that they should be singing as well, there’s a place for it all, especially if you don’t have a decent singing voice. You obviously can’t disregard one lane of Hip-hop while claiming to be a

EsZ: “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me” – an audacious creative effort

On his new album, “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me”, EsZ aka Erron’s Attic comes out swinging from the first song, a great balance between classic Hip Hop and modern. As usual EsZ gets well thought out ideas through his songs in innovative ways; you definitely get the feeling he has the lyrical substance he wants to express. Although we’re in a dismal era of Rap currently, this could be one of those instant underground classics. EsZ catalog is filled with parables, fables, morals and lamentations, forms of storytelling that compress people and experiences into neat, digestible lessons.

Luna 13 – the solid foundation for gut-ripping synths

The award winning Los Angeles band Luna 13 is forging a new genre of music they call Black Metal/Bass Music. Their brutal yet groove based electro-metal incorporates elements of electronica, death metal, and industrial rock – all done with electronics, which means no string instruments. Music maker Dr. Luna, creates a metal sound with synthesizers and by wrapping heavy distortion around sub-bass. Luna 13 who has been performing live for a few years now, opening for death metal/industrial and electronica projects alike, came into its own when Lilith Bathory joined in 2015. Since, Lilith, the band’s front woman, has been booking modeling jobs

Dezzyano: “Hello World: The Renaissance” – a cohesive feel and tone throughout the album

Now I’ll be honest, before this album was released, I didn’t know much about Dezzyano, the rapper raised 5 mins from Atlanta on Six Flags Dr. I decided to give it a go. And I became a very unlikely Dezzyano fan. The 16 track album, “Hello World: The Renaissance” starts off strong with ‘Anita Baker’. It has an extremely catchy refrain built on a bass and horn driven soul soundscape. This sets the tone for the album, which sees Dezzyano finding different ways of telling his story with catchy hooks and intense verses. From a critical standpoint, this album has

Sick.Life: “Dreamers” – showcasing the diversity and talent of the roster

Sick.Life a collective of artists and an independent music label based in El Paso, Texas. A couple of months back they released their critically acclaimed album, entitled “Contagion”. Now off that album comes the single “Dreamers” produced by NZO, and featuring Josh Brown on the chorus and bridge, while the verses are handled in order of appearance, by Sonny Weston, Lavoe, C.Notes and E$ BFNE. For hip-hop fans growing up in the 21st century, the Sick.Life collective is simply a perfect match between raw lyrical muscle and dynamic production. I listened to the track last night with the intention of

Sean Tibbetts Founder of Metal Band SAULT

Sault (Featuring members of Kamelot and Arcanium) was a creation formed by bassist Sean Tibbetts in 2014 and originally intended to be a solo album, but the project soon morphed into a band project. Sean was introduced to guitarist Curtis Jay by long-time friend Bisquette Bewley while at a tattoo parlor. Curtis was asked to record on a few tracks for the Sault demo. The two instantly knew there was something special in the music they had just created and were driven to start on a journey that would soon lead to a full length album.

Next they found a singer in Benjamin Riggs, again via friend, this time in the person of singer Kimberley Freeman. Sean, being a member of the symphonic metal band Kamelot, asked his long-time friend and band mate, Casey Grillo, if he would be interested in recording the drum tracks on the Sault album. Casey of course turned out to be a natural fit. Currently Sault is hard at work finishing their debut album which is to be titled, “Seeds Of Power”.

1. What was the idea behind the SAULT project? Considering that you are already an active member of the metal band Kamelot?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Kamelot only tours 4 to 5 months a year which gives me a lot of spare time on my hands. Plus I thought it would be fun to spread my wings a little and try a new genre of music.

2. How did you go about choosing the members of the band? Did you have a clear idea of who you wanted in the band or were they chosen strictly via auditions?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): I had hoped Casey Grillo would have time to do it so I did not approach him until I had everything ready to go. The guitarist Curtis Jay was introduced to me while I was receiving a tattoo. He was giving someone else a tattoo on the other side of the room. He said he would like to give it a try so I sent him the demos and what he put to my songs was exactly what I was looking for.
Riggs was introduced to me through a mutual friend Kimberly Freeman of One Eyed Doll. I asked her If she knew of any singers that would fit my project and she mentioned Riggs. He sang on the demos and had such a unique style and sound we thought he’s our guy.

3. Which brings me to my next question. When working on a serious long term project like this, is it, in your opinion, better to work with musicians you are well-acquainted with, or does it make no difference to you whatsoever? 

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Working with new people was what inspired the sound. Everyone had total creative freedom on the songs. Not to say that we all had to do some editing and re-tracking to make each other happy with the end product. The end product came out better that way and was a lot more fun to make.

4. Where does the name ‘SAULT’ come from? 

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT):I came up with the name originally after my wife and I were watching the movie Gangs of NY. One the characters in the move asked “do they have the salt of the dead rabbits”. Implying tough or strong. I thought how cool let’s go with salt. That name was already taken so we put a ‘u’ in it.

5. What do you think will separate SAULT from the hordes of metal bands already doing the rounds?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): The very first thing that separates us is I don’t feel we are a metal band. We are really more of a hard rock band. I was writing purposely with less double bass and catchy rhythms instead of trying to be overly complex and see how many notes I could cram in a riff. I have written and played metal most of my life and wanted to go somewhere new. I would say we are on the line somewhere between metal and rock. Hopefully we will win fans from both of the genres.

6. Will SAULT be primarily a recording band, or will the unit be a fully fledged touring act as well?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): We have been offered several tours now but I have turned them all down as we want to have the support of a label behind us. We started speaking with labels recently so when I was offered a slot on a fall tour I of course said yes pending the deal. It looks like we will start in Europe if everything goes as planned. If there is enough time before Kamelot gears up to tour we may try to knock out some US dates as well. We will see how they go and may be slide a South American tour in during 2018 between Kamelot tours.

7. How will you and the other members of the band balance your time between the various bands you play in? Or is SAULT going to be the priority from now onward?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Kamelot is Casey and my main band so we have to work it in around the Kamelot schedule but as I said earlier we have plenty of time between Kamelot tours to get it done.

8. I believe you have started work on your debut album “SEEDS OF POWER”. Why did you choose that title?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): That was a title Riggs came up with actually. We almost renamed the band Seeds of Power we liked it so much but in the end went with Sault. We thought it would be easier to remember and we liked what it stood for.

9. How many tracks will the album have? And how close to completion is it?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): The album has 12 tracks and one bonus track. We have a little bit of last minute details we want to add in but that’s it and its ready to fly.

10. Who have you got behind the boards engineering and producing the album?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): There has been a few people. Adam Stewart tracked all the original vocals at his studio in Denver Co. Jason Sewell The drummer of One Eyed Doll tracked and did some vocal editing for us in Austin Tex. Oliver Palotai is mixing and producing the entire thing at his studio in Germany.

11. Is SEEDS OF POWER a totally self-produced project or do you have the backing of any label?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): No label yet it has been a labor of love for me so far.

12. Are you planning any specific launch of the album? A possible live show perhaps, or even a series of live events, following the album’s release?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): I’m not sure how that will all play out just yet. You should ask me again in a month or two.

13. When are you expecting the official release of the album? Do you have a specific date or timeframe in mind?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT) Sooner the better I would say. But I would like to have it out by the summer to give it a little time before we hit the road.

14. Will SAULT be investing their labor of love in any video material? Can potential fans expect to see a video clip of the band anytime soon? Or do you have something available already?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Video is such an important part of the music industry today that I want it to look spectacular. I have started looking around for the right video company for us but I haven’t settled on one yet. I don’t want to be in a rush for a video and have something subpar.

15. Do you consider Internet and all the social media as fundamental in building a brand in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): I feel like it’s an easy way for anyone to get their music out there. But that being said there is so much out there it is hard for anyone to sort through it all good or bad. Personally I just want to make music so all the other stuff just slows me down and takes up my mental space and time I could be applying to more song writing.

16. For someone who has never SAULT’s music, which keywords would you personally use to describe the band’s overall sound and defining style?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Refreshingly new and original. Every band says “we have our own sound” so I’ll say it too haha. I would say this, most of the album was written on bass so it has unique sound and style that you have not heard before. My style of playing is somewhere between bassist and guitarist but it has served me well throughout my career.

17. Let’s play a game here. If as founding member of SAULT, you were given the choice of being able to call in an additional guest player or singer, taken from any band in the world today. Who would your dream performer be?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Just one? Led Zeppelin is my all-time favorite band so anyone from that line up would make my day.

18. If you were stuck on a desert island, which 3 band’s music would you choose to accompany your stay there?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Led Zeppelin, Inflames, Tool

20. Do you have a motto or positive message stuck somewhere in your mind to inspire you, at any given time of difficulty?

Sean Tibbetts (SAULT): Don’t give up. Hard work pays off!

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