Interviews – SoundLooks http://soundlooks.com The Music Journal Thu, 26 Apr 2018 01:31:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lewis Griffiths Founder of Griffiths Records talks business and more http://soundlooks.com/2018/04/lewis-griffiths-founder-of-griffiths-records-talks-business-and-more/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/04/lewis-griffiths-founder-of-griffiths-records-talks-business-and-more/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:21:44 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8094 We meet with the Founder of Griffiths Records, Lewis Griffiths, who talks about their next release the unheard tracks by Dub master King Tubby, his entrepreneurial business savvy, music, clothing, and future releases, as well as the general running of the label.

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?

We have a clothing company named Griffiths-Clothing which launched some 3 years back. For me/us clothing and music goes hand in hand, you dress to what music you listen to, it’s a street thing a working class thing to do. With an infinite love of music it was a natural progression to start-up a record label to coincide with the clobber. I also worked at Sanctuary Records who bought out the like of Decca, Trojan Records, Treasure Isle etc, all the music that I bang was in to. Working there for 12 years is now proving invaluable with everyone coming back into the fold. It’s almost like it was meant to be, everything for a reason as they say! Truly blessed.

  1. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?

I would say as a kid a staple diet of Motown, Stax and any kind of soul in general was played by our mum at home. My old man would play anything from Ska, Blue Beat, Reggae, Stones, Small Faces and Blues. Most weekends where spent partying with my parents friends to proper music. Unbeknown as a child but the music becomes part of your make-up and identity when you grow up. It’s most certainly never left me.

Lewis Griffiths (left) with Wapping Wharf author John Hellier

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Bizarrely or maybe not a lot of King Tubby. Haha.

  1. You are releasing King Tubby, ‘The Lost Dubs’ how did you come across those?

To be honest I would rather not say, purely for the fact there is a chance of getting our hands on some New Orleans Funk from the same source all of which is right up our street and fits in perfectly with what we do. We’ll take one step at a time.

  1. Is it only King Tubby that you have?

No, we have a number unheard tracks by Bob Marley, Jackie Mittoo, King Stitt, Augustus Pablo, as well as further King Tubby tracks, plus other artists. All of which needs going through with a fine tooth comb with the artists estates. I still have to pinch myself with what we have on our hands. From listening to all these artists from an early age to releasing them is madness in its finest form. Having a love of early Jamaican music I count ourselves very lucky indeed.

  1. When will the tracks be released?

We won’t be releasing any tracks until we are sure we can do them justice. The King Tubby first release is almost there. The tracks have all been mastered, ICRS codes are in place it is only a case of having them pressed and the sleeve notes added. There is no point in releasing for the sake of releasing to make a quick buck and then fuckin it all up. It’s disrespectful to the artist.

  1. How many unheard tracks do you have?

If we release say four albums per year, we have more than enough to release for the next 5 years.

  1. Is there a website for any information on the releases?

Yes, it is at www.griffiths-records.com

  1. Do you currently have a preferred song in your catalogue, and why is it special to you?

Terry Shaughnessy’s ‘Volcano’. We released Terry’s LP ‘Songs From Another Life’. The first track off the album for release was ‘Volcano’. It went on to chart in the top 10 of iTunes, top 60 of the national charts, #1 in the industry recognised Hype Charts above no other than Damon Albarn who was in at #2, charted in Germany, Italy, France, Japan etc. A lot of hard graft went into the release by ourselves, Terry and his switched on manager Chris. It was satisfying to see the final results.

  1. Do you work with regular producers or studios?

No, we work with whoever fits the bill at any given time. I think too much of the same can cause yourself to become stagnant. It is and always will be about pushing the boundaries whoever we work with. Where are also happy to be led by the artist to a certain degree. At the end of the day we are not the ones with our name on the album, it’s all about the artist and moving forward. Saying that if it sounds shit, we won’t be part of it

  1. What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your artists.

None at all. I wouldn’t have anyone telling me how we should run the business side, so we are in no position to be telling artists what to do. At the end of the day you treat people how you want to be treated yourself. If you are being fucked, everyone ends up getting fucked. Simple!

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?

In life? Nothing at all. I feel completely blessed with what I have as well as the good people that surround us. We are all of a similar mind set. At the end of the day if those we work with didn’t believe in us we would be in the position we are in now, it is down to them. No matter what life situation I have been in (some have been extremely shit when I was younger. A wrong’n by my own standards and all brought on by my own accord) there is someone out there in a far worse situation than me. That is the long and short of it, someone out there is suffering a lot worse than any situation I have been in, I have no reason to complain whatsoever, never will. On a music vibe, I suppose it was trying to convince others what you have to offer as a label is mustard. Then you get to stage where you think, no actually, fuck them, it’s only there opinion at the end of the day and it counts for nothing. Maybe it is me but I don’t think we are liked much to be honest, I prefer that in a way. There seems to be a mentality, especially in the UK where people like to see you fail, I really don’t understand it? Then you get to the stage we are getting to and all of a sudden, they all know you and want to be your best mate. It’s all too fuckin late when that happens as far as I am concerned. We will always do what suits us and those around us, we won’t follow any rules and up until now that mentality has served us well.

King Tubby – The Lost Dubs art work

  1. What would you consider a high point in your career so far?

None, there never will be. I am not hung up on accolades; we are just doing what we do. If we get plaudits, nice, we’ll take those as a compliment. However that does not mean we will rest on our laurels.

  1. How would you define ‘success’? Do you feel you have already reached it in some way? If not what do you feel you would still have to achieve to consider yourself successful?

The only way we would have been successful or not is how we are remembered. We are not driven by coin or having the biggest house or keeping up with the Jones’. It’s all about leaving a body of work behind which is cemented in history and that will be our legacy. If we are successful we will be spoken about in years to come, if not, we failed.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent label and the music making process end excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

What excites us? I couldn’t think of one aspect of doing anything at all if it does not excite you. It’s the same as a relationship, if you no longer feel anything for a person it has to end. It is the same as doing what we do, whilst it still fuels the fire it can never be boring, every day is blessed and exciting. Life is for living, its short, don’t go through life with what ifs. On the discouraging front, there is nothing, I can’t think of a single reason where anyone’s opinion or a kick in the teeth has questioned what we do. At the end of the day there will always be knock backs in every walk of life, of course there will, it’s the way you deal with them that matters.

  1. What does music do for you?

It’s escapism. I rarely watch tele, music is played 24/7. Like a piss head escapes from reality with booze, I’ll get mine through music. It can change my mood, subdue the pressures in life, or take me off to another dimension.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I’ll be travelling coast to coast watching sunrise and sunsets, living off the fat of the land out of the back of a van. 110% that’s what I’ll be doing regardless of what happens, albeit I’m sure I’ll be still grafting in some way, shape or form. At the moment we are treading on the coat tails of everyone who has got complacent and fallen out of reality. They can either accept we are gunning for them or move to the side before they’re steam rolled over. That’s not arrogance talking; it’s a matter of fact and confidence. With fact and confidence combined it creates a beautiful thing. We are different to anything currently out there. We say what we’re going to do and follow it through, 99% of the time. We have parted ways with bands and projects in the past. Would I say that was any fault of our own, no I wouldn’t. We’ll back whoever we are working with but once were crossed it’s done. When it’s spent, it’s spent, there no point in going back. 10 years from now we will be a force to be reckoned with.

  1. What are your thoughts on streaming services like Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, and the rest of them? Do you think they’re giving artists a fair shot, or do you see a grain of exploitation at work?

I don’t think an artist is getting a fair crack of the whip with any of those. You ask any independent artist who has put blood, sweat and tears in to an LP which costs in the region of £30k to produce why they think getting 99c per track sold on iTunes in return is cool. It is farcical in my eyes, all that needs to change, I don’t know how but it does. The above have had the monopoly on it all for far too long.

  1. What makes you tick

Mouths to feed, bills to pay, people to look after, proving the doubters wrong. Much the same as anyone.

  1. What’s next on your upcoming agenda?

We have a new clothing range to release, 5 more books, 2 films and a rake of music to get on with. Believe in it, believe in yourself, work hard and it is a given it will happen.

Links – www.griffiths-records.com

Tubby YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAdzSwDos4w

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Interview: Instrumental Composer Melvin Fromm Jr http://soundlooks.com/2018/03/interview-instrumental-composer-melvin-fromm-jr/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/03/interview-instrumental-composer-melvin-fromm-jr/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 01:11:16 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8031 A lifetime of dedicated faith, boundless enthusiasm and true passion for the art of music, have led Melvin Fromm Jr. into a sonic whirlwind of creativity, imagination and inspiration. From his hometown in Lancaster County, PA, he began to write, produce & record his own stunning & stylistic instrumental songs in mid-2015 and soon found his highly-adaptable talents were suited to many facets of music found all the way around the globe. With an impressive 200+ countries putting Melvin’s songs on the radio – it became clear that music-fans from all over the world were truly connecting to his rhythms & melodies.

As his growth continues so does his fan base which continues to support his every move. His instrumentals are also featured with different styles of tones to keep fans wanting more. Composer Melvin Fromm Jr. has 234 songs added so far to the number #1 background environmental music company in Asia with daily plays in the hundreds and growing stronger each passing day as Melvin’s music has the potential to be heard in thousands of restaurants, retail outlets, shopping malls, hotels across south east Asia in countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand,and Indonesia.

Melvin’s music is also starting to get play at Dairy Queen, Domino Pizza, and Dunkin Donuts worldwide. Melvin is always so thankful for God’s help with his powerful hand in making of his music. Find Melvin @ www.facebook.com/composermelvinfrommjr and be on the lookout for this talented artist. In Loving Memory Of Pol Caliso “Always And Forever In Are Hearts”

  1. How long have you been composing music business and when did you first start taking it seriously?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: I first started out in music in 1999 when I was writing a letter to my then girlfriend Percy (now my wife) and thought wow this sounds like a country song so from that letter I wrote a song called “What I Feel” and I had the song demo out and sent it to overseas radio stations and started to get radio play as this was the start of music for me.  I started  composing music in 2014 after some music people told me you don’t sing so try your hand at composing music so that’s what I did and mid 2015 I started to take composing music seriously.

  1. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember growing up?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: I remember growing up my dad (Melvin) would listen to country  on radio and my mom (Wilma) would listen to pop and top 40 on the radio so these were my strongest musicl influences growing up for me.

  1. Do you find time to listen to other composers and artists? And if so, which of these do you currently admire?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  I always take time to listen to Joel Osteen Ministries Lakewood Church singers to praise God and give my life hope every single day as I really have a lot to be thankful for in my life.

  1. What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: I hope the key elements that shine in my songs is that it hits their hearts and souls and they say wow let’s play that song again or let’s check out more of Melvin’s songs.

  1. What do you think distinguishes you from most other music composers flogging their music to publishers today?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: Today I am working with some of the best music people in studio to bring the music I write from my heart alive. But the biggest credit I have to give is to God he seems to bring a talent out of me I never knew I had before and keeps it rolling in me.

  1. I know this is may be a difficult question, but do you have any preferred song (or songs) in your catalog, and why is it special to you?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  “What I Feel” song about love for my wife Percy. “My Mom” song about my mom Wilma always being there for me in life. “Heart Of A Hero” song about my uncle Bill Tait who truly had the heart of a hero in life. “My Promise” about my loving grandma Tait who I promised to win a trophy for my grandma in her memory and did the first karate tournament in May 1989 Landisville Karate Tournament form third place black belt division.

  1. What usually sparks off your creativity for a new song – an actual real life event, or do you just focus on something at will, and then compose for it?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: Most of the time what sparks my creativity for a new song is something off a real life event that I come across in my day or week.

  1. What would you consider a successful, proud or high point in your life or career so far?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  Well besides meeting the love of my life in 1999 Percy, it’s having my music picked up by the #1 background environmental music company in Asia in June 2017 and to date they have picked up 234 of my songs and I have set a personal record for plays worldwide in the first 3 months of 2018 with this background company with the grace of God.

  1. What, on the other hand, has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  So far there are 3 most difficult things I have had to endure in my life to date while doing my music but with the God’s grace and love I just keep pushing forward. 2000 my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and all that goes along with it but keep my head up and keep going moving forward in life. 2017 my wife Percy in so much pain and her diagnosis was Rheumatiod Arthritis as the doctor has her on the right track now with less pain. March 12, 2018 the passing of my wife’s brother-in-law Pol Calsio who always treated me like family every time we came to visit my wife’s family. This is why I picked this photo enclosed in interview as it’s the last time we visit my wife’s family in 2015 “In Loving Memory Of Pol Caliso” thanks for always being good to me and the laughs that we will always remember in are heart’s always and forever.

  1. What key ingredient (or ingredients) do you always try to infuse into your songs, over and above style, sounds and genre?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  If it can touch someone’s heart and soul and make your toe tap or think of something in someone’s life when they hear your music then I feel I have done my job.

  1. Do you also compose music on request for outside sources, or collaborate with other composers and lyricists?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: No just do all my own music don’t really work with other composers and lyricists at this time. Just work with good music staff in studio to bring my music more life.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: Music making process that excites me I have control over how I make all my music and what styles I like to make without someone saying only do it this way. Aspect that could discourage me is you have to work a lot of music leads along the way and read the fine print as to many people want to line their pockets with your music money and you don’t make much in the end so I am always careful about that.

  1. How do you record, produce and market your music? Do you have a team to help you or do you do everything by yourself?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: Well I do work with some of the best music people in studio to record my music as I take their input to produce the song the best we can. Then I market everything myself to places I see fit.

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  Split more money with the people that make the music as I have had some bad deal offers come my way with my music that I would never would think of taking. (Here is samples what I was offered to make off songs per 100% of song 10% deal, 15% deal, 25% deal, 35% deal.)

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: Easy listening, mixed styles, heart felt, soul touching, toe tapping, to just name a few.

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

Melvin Fromm Jr.: Yes it’s a good fundamental way to building a career in music today as it’s a great way to reach out to fans worldwide or have people looking at your music check out reviews, interviews or write ups on you all in one place like on my Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/composermelvinfrommjr  and you don’t have to worry about sending anything in the mail anymore and worry about cost of mailing all your info out.

  1. Which is your favored instrument when composing a song? And do you have a preferred time of day or night when you set yourself down to write?

Melvin Fromm Jr.:  Most of the time I use piano or guitar to compose a song and do the full band in the studio with the best music people to help give the song more life. My preferred time can be day or night whenever I feel inspired as I can compose up to 12 songs in 24 hours if I have the time.

  1. I notice you do not stick to one particular genre and style. Is that purely a commercial choice to appeal to the widest audience possible, or do you simply compose in a way you feel at any given time, without any preconceived ideas?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: We’ll its kind of both for me. I can compose a song and feel it should be jazz but I always keep in mind the commercial choice will appeal to the widest audience possible and open lots more doors to my music.

  1. Having started seriously in 2015, you’re relatively new to the industry. Have you set yourself any specific goals, when once reached, you’ll say to yourself: “Okay Melvin, you’ve made it now!” Or is releasing new music just an ordinary ongoing process for you.

Melvin Fromm Jr.:   Well for me releasing new music is just an ordinary ongoing process for me because I don’t know where God will take me on my music path and what kind of doors will open up for me. Because without God this could never happen in my life and I want to see where God takes me.

  1. What’s the next most important event planned on the Melvin Fromm Jr. agenda for 2018?

Melvin Fromm Jr.: I plan to keep making lots of new music and keep submitting it to the #1 background environmental music company in Asia as they keep asking me to submit all the music I can to see if they will add any more of my new music to my catalog of 234 they already picked up so far to date. I have lots of new music in the works for 2018.

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Italian Singer-songwriter with a Brazilian soul – Bruno Pignatiello http://soundlooks.com/2018/03/italian-singer-songwriter-with-a-brazilian-soul-bruno-pignatiello/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/03/italian-singer-songwriter-with-a-brazilian-soul-bruno-pignatiello/#respond Tue, 27 Mar 2018 23:56:47 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8028 Bruno Pignatiello was born in Rome, and only in recent years he matured the awareness of being born in a city of extraordinary beauty and ordinary chaos. Bruno enjoys listening to all the sounds and languages of the world but he prefers, above all, those coming from Brazil and the Lusitanian areas. A Bachelor of Arts, in the linguistic field, he likes to write the lyrics of his songs in Portuguese, which has now become a kind of adoptive language. At the same time he does not neglect his Italic roots or the English language which is his first cultural passion. In the past, before making some trips abroad (Brazil, Portugal, Canada, Greece, Great Britain), Bruno devoted himself to the divulgation of the music performed by some Brazilian artists belonging to the “geração roqueira”.

  1. I would like to extend my gratitude to you for taking the time to answer a few questions and sharing your insights with us. If you don’t mind can you please introduce yourself for many of our readers who may not be familiar with you yet? Who is Bruno Pignatiello, and where is he from?

Bruno Pignatiello: First of all I would like to say “Hi” to all your readers and listeners as well. Thank you Rick for giving me this opportunity to gain exposure for my music. I’m a Christian, Italian singer and songwriter and I was born in Rome in 1966.

  1. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember growing up?

Bruno Pignatiello: well….I grew up with the music of some British bands of the seventies such as Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Genesis; some bands or rockers of the eighties and the nineties as Duran Duran, Bryan Adams…

Also, I really appreciated some Italian artists of the pop scene as Renato Zero, Eugenio Finardi and Alberto Camerini the latter brilliant up to paroxysm.

In more recent years, I have listened to many Brazilian artists as well….We’re talking about very talented musicians such as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and Cazuza.

  1. Do you still find time to listen to other composers and artists? And if so, which of these do you currently admire?

Bruno Pignatiello: I’m always interested in new music above all the music coming from independent musicians. Nowadays I really love the art of Caleb and Sol and Marisa Frantz, artists who really touch your heart with their singing and poems.

  1. How did your interest in Brazilian and Lusitanian-based culture and music begin?

Bruno Pignatiello: It began at University. In the late eighties and early nineties I was taking Portuguese and I started to appreciate the sounds of Portuguese Fado and of the Brazilian groove…

  1. What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?

Bruno Pignatiello: My music is a mixture of genres. I like to deal with social aspects of life, emotions and everything about life….a smile, a tear or simply a story from across the world can catch my creativity…

  1. I know you currently have a song in your catalog that is special to you. Could you tells us more about “The Angel Flight” and its significance to you?

Bruno Pignatiello: I wrote “The Angel flight” as my mother died in September of 2014. Seven months before I lost my father as well. Storms came into my life, but suddenly I felt I had to get out of that sadness so I told myself: “Come on Bruno, stop crying! You’re a Christian artist, just write an ode to daddy and mama with a joyful vision of death!”

Some months later, when Marisa Frantz collaborated with me playing a beautiful violin and ethereal singing along the song, at hearing it she commented “what a catchy and fun song!” and I said to myself: “Jesus, that made my day!”

The song talks about the love between my parents and their love for us children. The Angel Flight means very much to me because it’s the flight of my parents to Heaven.

  1. One of your most appealing songs has to be the “The Elegant Man”, which is inspired by the story of Joseph Merrick, the so called “elephant man”. What drove you to write the song, and why that specific title?

Bruno Pignatiello: As a young boy I was very struck by David Linch’s movie “The elephant man” and in recent years I decided to get back to Joseph’s biography. Reading about Joseph’s biography I discovered a very sensitive person who suffered all his life long because of his own deformities

He asked his friend, doctor Treves to go to live at a hospital for the blind, where he might meet a woman who could not see his deformities and could appreciate him for the beauty he had inside.

I must confess that “Measured by soul” a book about the story of Joseph Merrick was going to influence me in choosing the title of my song: it’s such a beautiful and powerful title, but you know….It wasn’t mine so respect for the others’ work and let’s free our creativity!

Finally, I made up my mind to title the song “The elegant man” to tell the world that Joseph Merrick was a man and not “the elephant man”.

In my song the deformities of Joseph Merrick are the deformities of the world where we live in these days… and if we are created in the image and likeness of God “blaming him is blaming God”. I quoted and paraphrased a sentence by the English poet Isaac Watts, very dear to Joseph Merrick.

  1. Since you started out, a key part of your musical life has been, and still is, collaboration with other creatives. What makes you so passionate about collaborating and sharing your work with others?

Bruno Pignatiello: You know Rick, I’m not a musician in the pure sense of the word: I just write emotions and I shout them to the world. Sometimes it happens that I want to share my musical shouts with the artists I respect…

  1. Let’s talk through some of your collaborations and what made or makes them special for you. For instance, your work with Marisa Frantz?

Bruno Pignatiello: I listened to Marisa Frantz’s music by chance. The beautiful, deep and intense singing of Marisa gave me a lot of courage when I lost my parents; she transmitted to me deep vibrations so – some months later –  I decided it was time to collaborate with this wonderful human being and very talented musician. Our first creation together is The Angel Flight indeed: the song is a precious pearl that the violin and the voice of Marisa relegate to eternity.

  1. Also tells us about your earlier work with Fulvio Previdi?

Bruno Pignatiello: I owe very much to Fulvio. He was the first person to believe in me when all my friends laughed at my work and it would be great to work with him again because we share the same vision of music.

  1. And lastly, tells us something about your current work with Guido Aulisi?

Bruno Pignatiello: I have known Guido for 38 years and you could say he’s the rational soul of the project. He is a very talented musician and a multi-instrumentalist. On my current work, BRASILUSOFONIA, for instance, he played electric and Spanish guitar, piano, bass guitar, keyboards and even some chorus tracks…you could say that Guido is to Bruno as Jim Vallance is to Bryan Adams. LOL! I’m joking around of course: Jim and Bryan are two unattainable giants…

  1. What key ingredient (or ingredients) do you always try to infuse into your songs, over and above style, sounds and genre?

Bruno Pignatiello: In my songs I always try to infuse hope, Christian values or ethical values at least. My motto is “people always have one more try!”

  1. What usually sparks off your creativity for a new song – an actual real life event, or do you just focus on something at will, and then compose for it?

Bruno Pignatiello: : I sing facts that touch my heart…I can’t sing or write anything but life….it enchants me, seduces me and is the most precious gift that God has given us

  1. Apparently fans have been asking you the reason why you say “So here is the seventies” instead of “here ARE the seventies” or better “here COME the seventies”, in your song 1966. Could you enlighten us on this issue?

Bruno Pignatiello:  1966 is a biographical song talking about a kid who was four years old in the beginning of the seventies, so I wanted to provide the portrait of a child who is learning to write and speak correctly but at the same time I wanted to represent the child with his falls and his mistakes. That’s the reason why I used this poetic license….

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?

Bruno Pignatiello: Tough question Rick! Anyway, I would give more attention to music less to the image!

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

Bruno Pignatiello: Yes, Internet is fundamental nowadays….think about all the current music sung in Spanish or Portuguese that reaches a big success: would it have been possible before the internet revolution? On the other hand I’m always a little suspicious of overexposure to social media because they take time out of real life and can lead to the brink (and sometimes over the brink as well!) of loneliness and frustration.

  1. What would you consider a successful, proud or high point in your life or career so far?

Bruno Pignatiello:  I am a person centered and grateful to life for what I received: I turn the discomfort into talent.

  1. What, on the other hand, has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?

Bruno Pignatiello: The loss of my parents, no question about it… but “I have respect for my laugh but much more for my tears” says the Brazilian artist Caetano Veloso I am aware that inside of me there is a light that guides me!

  1. Tell us something about the workings your latest release, and what your expectations are from this body of work?

Bruno Pignatiello: My latest release is BRASILUSOFONIA which is the second volume of my TRILOGY, a tribute to my Brazilian and Portuguese soul. In this work are reported the same feelings and emotions I sing in the English and in the Italian volumes so you will find the joy, sadness, loneliness, irony, tears and laughs….

In this work I collaborated with Marisa and with some talented Brazilian musicians and singers such as Vivi Goeldi, Wagner Silva and Bruna Martini. My expectations may be high because we started the experiment to make BRASILUSONIA available initially -and exclusively – on my website WWW.SENTOLAVITA.COM where you can also support the project.

  1. What’s the next most important event planned on the Bruno Pignatiello agenda for 2018?

Bruno Pignatiello: The publication of the third and last volume of my Trilogy dedicated to my Italian soul.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – STORE


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Its Showtime with Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe! http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/its-showtime-with-billy-stark-stone-rico-blythe/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/its-showtime-with-billy-stark-stone-rico-blythe/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:38:53 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7837 Billy Stark Stone w/ Rico Blythe is a new project featuring the aforementioned. Billy Stark Stone was the lead singer/founding member of NYC’s first and original seminal and notorious teen ‘punk’ band, The Blessed. Rico Blythe was the guitarist in a later incarnation of the same that resulted in the release of an EP titled ‘Taboo’ that sold out its initial run. Now Billy and Rico have teamed up to create this exciting new enterprise. Coming hot on the heels of their acclaimed single and video ‘Revolution Rerun’ they have just re-released a re-mastered version of ‘Potters Field’ from the Taboo EP w/ an accompanying Lyric Video. 2018 plans to be a very busy year for them w/ many projects in the works. The big question remains….will they ever play live? Are they even capable of doing so? STAY TUNED.  According to Billy “Everything I have done up to now was a dress rehearsal…now it’s SHOWTIME!”

  1. You just released the revamped version of the song “Potter’s Field”. Everyone song usually has a story or anecdote behind it. What’s the buzz on this one?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe Well, It’s not really revamped just remastered. But w/the video and the new images I guess you could say it’s somewhat revamped. We like to think it has finally come into fruition. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Buzz’ but the story behind this song is as follows. Let me preface by saying we are not into embellishing facts nor shaving off years or whatever to accommodate someone else’s idea of what you should or should not say or fit into some asinine idea of ‘The Rules of Rock and Roll’ as if there was some big book of the do’s and don’ts (well, we know the DON’TS HA HA) I have never seen this book and don’t believe it exists and I don’t know why so many subscribe to it. What I’m leading up to is we are all about the unmitigated truth no matter how uncomfortable or salacious (or not) or brutally exposed it can be. We don’t lie about our ages and experience to fit into someone else’s idea of how it should be done or how to present ourselves according to the mythical Rock and Roll Rules. Having said that, this song was recorded and released about 32 years ago (and written a few before that) This period was really ‘Pre-Goth” and lot of bands were doing the whole sad, depressing ,melancholy everything is futile angle so we decided to write a song that was the penultimate of all those feelings and emotions and there you have ‘Potter’s Field’ Now I don’t consider ourselves a ‘Goth’ band in any way ( I think we are beyond goth) but that was the impetus behind it. Listening to it again (and it happens often with some of our songs) after listening to it again, other things popped out at me about what it could be if you look it another way that I never considered. So, overall the passage of time hasn’t dated it all in fact it seems more NOW than it did then. It needed to germinate for a few. Also it features our dear friend Charlie Sox (RIP) on drums and the great Reggie Rhoden on bass and I’m glad Charlie’s fantastic drumming is living on. I know there have been a lot of other songs w/the same title over the years but we were the first out of the gate in ’84

  1. Why did you specifically choose to revamp “Potter’s Field”, and in general what’s the idea of reworking some of your older songs, as I see you’re busy updating a few others too?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: We always had planned to remaster ‘Potter’s Field” and the next one but planning to wait until we had our next two NEW singles released (they will be released simultaneously and there is a reason for that but we won’t divulge why now). But there was getting to be too much time since our last single. So, we decided to release them now and keep us in the loop. The reason for re-mastering this and the next one is simply because we think they are great songs that have not dated and sound as if we recorded them yesterday and they really didn’t get their due. In fact …truth be told…wink wink…..some of the NEW songs (emphasis on ‘some’) are in fact revamped songs Rico and I had and we re-arranged and wrote new titles and lyrics to. Not that we are short of material no siree bob, but the songs just resonate now more than ever. Ahead of their time? I dunno, but I do that NOW is just the right time

  1. In your opinion what specific embellishments do your older recordings need to sit on the current music shelves?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Other than the remastering I think what they really need is a hell of a lot more people to hear them. They are fine and are ready for the largest audience they can muster. A good song is a good song is a good song regardless of when it was recorded. Look @ the Rock and Roll from the 50’s.Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis. Buddy Holly, Elvis, etc. were recorded in a few takes and w/ a few mics…maybe even one and they still sound fantastic. I have said that everything that has happened had to have happened before we could come along

And everything HAS happened so I feel we are as ‘Current ’as can be. The older song’s needed to marinate for a bit. Or maybe the audiences had to marinate and of course many were just not born yet. In any case there was some respective marinating going on.

  1. And talking about ‘music shelves’, with all the music sharing websites and digital download platforms currently flooding the market, what’s your view on the value of music today and how the system works?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Does music have any value? Well, the creator/listener experience, that is INVALUABLE but in the sense you are asking it depends on what delivery system we are talking about and are we talking monetarily? Digital downloads/streaming have very little value as of right now monetarily well, for the artists).I’m sure it will sort itself out in some form or other. But musicians will always record their music in some format or other. That is just not going to go away. It’s nothing new…I have said before every industry in entertainment or what have you have regularly gone thru upheavals. If you told someone in the 50’s and 60’s that someday people would pay to watch TV or buy water in bottles they would have thought you insane. I know a generation or more of kids have grown up accustomed to NOT having to pay for music….so there’s that. It’ll sort itself out somehow. Additionally there is playing live, merch, licensing and who knows what else lies on the horizon. I personally think it’s a very exciting time. Are the models from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s 80’s and so on viable today? NO Were the movies from the 20’s viable in the 30’s and the movies from the 30’s viable in the 60’s? NO and by viable I mean made in the same way and fashion? Enjoyable yes but society moves on. Discover and discard. So use your imagination and come up w/ a better and more profitable mouse trap. But let me add that one should not IGNORE the past. It’s very important to know the roots of where everything came from so you can learn from it, add yours to it and hopefully pass it on. As we said in our last single ‘Revolution Rerun’ ‘THERE IS NOTHING NEW BENEATH THE SUN, EVERYTHING HAS BEEN SAID AND DONE’ and the kicker is…even THAT is nothing new!

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about the music business, what would that be?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  Just one thing? Ha Ha! Is there a music business anymore? Ok ….that the mundane and mediocre is no longer celebrated and applauded and that these music/judge TV shows will be accepted as they are. Merely entertainment for TV and nothing else. But the cool people know that already right? Hmm that’s two things isn’t it?

  1. How does it feel to be still be a rock and roller after all these years, and what keeps you inspired to continue?

Blly Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: HA! Feels great. Honestly I haven’t felt physically and mentally this strong in I don’t know …ever! I decided to be a Rock and Roll singer (actually Rock and Roll chose me…there are those who have no choice.) when I was 10 or 11 years old and feel like I’m really getting the hang of it Ha Ha! I’m enjoying it more than ever. Plus, I have a few years of experience, including just living life period to draw on so it’s all very very good. What inspires me is what inspired me when I was that little 10 year old and I think one needs to always go back to that frame of mind. When I was that 10 year old I wanted to look and sound and act a certain way and now I look and sound and act exactly like that now so here we are. Let’s go It’s Showtime!!

  1. How important it to you that you perform live music events/gigs?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! I think in order to be somewhat relevant or rather to be able to hold your own and deliver the goods as if you mean it, one should be able to bring it live. ESPEC.THESE DAYS. There was time a few back when some bands or performers could get away w/ just recording and doing videos and not playing live either because they didn’t want to or couldn’t for whatever reason but those days for gone for now. Plus I love a live show, that’s really where the whole thing comes together. I passionately love playing live. Now you might ask, WHEN are we going to play live? Are WE capable of it? Go to our website and sign up for our e-mail Website  or subscribe to our YOUTUBE  channel  YT Channel and we will addressing this very subject

  1. I notice that you have released a lyric video for “Potter’s Field”, as well as some other official music clips. How important do you consider visuals are to your music? Or is it more a question of the marketing power YouTube has?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  Visuals are EXTREMELY important. Not only to our music but any group or performer that I was ever interested in. Now visuals could be either the image or whatever creative methodology you use. To me THE WHOLE PACKAGE was the ones were the most worthwhile. Image, visuals, music, and now vids and the whole spectrum of the internet .We are only limited by our imaginations. If anyone is a follower of us on FB or Instagram etc. etc. you will notice that every week or so we have new ‘Artwork’ posted. These are things that are generally done by other groups for flyers or announce a show or what have you .But, with the endless plethora of pages and pages one can avail oneself of…………..why not have a new poster and visual EVERY WEEK OR SO??!!   Let’s get creative here boys and girls and use this technology, utilize and explore it like it was intended Rico and I are vets at going out w/ the bucket and wheatpaste in all kinds of weather. This is much better HA HA! As far as music is concerned You Tube is just the new MTV with a bigger audience. We love recording, we love making videos we love the whole spectrum. We seem to be in a time where the mundane and mediocre is not only celebrated but applauded. We hope to rectify that.

  1. How are your songs developed? Do you handle all the creative processes yourself, from writing the lyrics and the music, as well as the recording, producing and mastering etc.?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  There is a number of way our songs are developed. Rico and I use quite a few methods we have honed over the years. We usually have our antennas up and catch something…’You know, ‘INCOMING’ catching lightning in a bottle You know nobody really ‘WRITES’  anything. It’s all there just waiting for someone to harness it and channel it and smooth it out or rough it up. Rico sometimes records’ a lot of stuff on his own (home studio set up) and /or for everything else (vocals, additional bells and whistles and mixing) we use a studio. We have engineers that do all the technical grunt work but we are always there directing it all. We mix, produce ourselves and then we have a mastering engineer we send the stuff to for that and voila! A new single oh and yes Rico and I handle all the music and lyrics

  1. Once you have created and finished a piece of music, how do you go about distributing and promoting it? Do you use the Internet to facilitate this and what is your relationship with the new technology at hand?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: We have an aggregator we use that gets the songs on all the online and streaming platforms worldwide. We use all the usual social media sites and YT and we just got a Vevo channel and we have things coming up that …again….follow us  and like us and friend us wherever applicable and subscribe to our e-mail list for  our latest news and comings and goings. Like everyone else we are navigating the minefield of the detritus that is the music ‘Industry’ and trying to make things as exciting as we can. Ask us again at the end of the year and we’ll see where we are

  1. You have a vast catalog, and apart from the songs you are currently reworking, is there one particular song you have recorded during your career that you’re most proud of, and why?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Actually we don’t have a vast catalog. You mean of things that have been recorded and released? In that vein no, my output in terms of being prolific is rather pathetic. Yes, we (or myself from previous bands) have a lot of material over the years and a vast catalog if you will of songs written and performed live but as I said as far as released…ridiculously lower than what I should have put out. I have studio recorded stuff over the years, different bands and people I have worked with that will hopefully one day see the light of the day. Rico and I have a bunch of older songs obviously throughout the years of our working together but we’re not really re-working all that many…only a handful or so. Rico and I have several dozen songs in various stages, we have the next batch of singles all queued up and waiting for their turn. We have so many ideas and songs and just want to get busy getting them out there. The old ‘What is your favorite song of mine’? Or which one am I most proud of? Well the old THE NEXT ONE answer. Honestly truth be told (remember I’m a stickler for that ) The last single ‘Revolution Rerun’ I’m very proud of ’Potter’s Field’ and the next remastered release coming up I’m very proud of and the new stuff we have planned to release later this year I think are some of the best stuff I have been involved with and am super excited and proud of them

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style now?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Rock and Roll in the year 2018 and beyond. Tell them we are the exclamation point after 60 or so years of Rock and Roll (though I believe Rock and Roll is the world’s first and oldest form of music). The musical mustache on the Mona Lisa of Rock and Roll.  Throw in every genre that has gone before…shake it real well, put it in a blender and pour out a collage that seems to be a summation of it all while simultaneously it’s like you’re seeing/hearing it for the first time. Imagine every artist that has preceded us as the opening act and proceed from there.

  1. How would you describe your musical image? And how important do you think image is to musicians in general and to yourself personally?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: I don’t describe our musical image. Look at our pics ,watch our vids and listen to our music and decide for yourself. I personally think image is VERY important. A band can be great musically but if the image sucks then it falls short. On the other hand a band can have a great image but not the music to back it up so another yawn fest. It really is a 50/50 proposition for me at least. I think there are (were) maybe a handful.. if that… of musicians that were so amazing that they could get away w/o having some kind of image. But in our scenario ….this is Rock and Roll (two dirty four letter words these days) When one is going attend a group performance one usually says “I’m going to SEE a concert tonite” “OH, who are you going to SEE? ’or “I SAW a great concert last nite”…”Oh who did you SEE?” no one says” I’m going to hear a concert tonite”…”Oh, who are you going to hear”? Otherwise why is the crowd facing you and you are performing on an elevated platform? They could just sit w/their backs to you and you could just listen. Image and music and presentation and the whole shebang is really what it’s about. You go to SEE a show.  We are a Rock and Roll band in the year 2018 and very aware of what has preceded us and planting our flag here and now and pointing over there. Or is it over there?? And saying ‘Hey, what is down THAT road?? Let’s find out togethe

  1. How would you define ‘success’ regarding your craft? Do you feel you have already reached it? If not what do you feel you would still have to achieve to consider yourself successful?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: WelI I wanted to be Rock and Roll singer and perform and record and I have done that so in that sense I guess I was successful but no, I don’t feel I have even scratched the surface……………….so many people who haven’t heard our songs and if we ever play live we want to do clubs, theatres, arenas, stadiums back and forth the whole gamut. We are not household names and have no compunction in stating we would like to be the biggest band in the world whatever that means anymore. But I can hear SOME eyes rolling about us being ambitious. We want as many people as possible to hear our music and if we ever play live we want to play to as many people as we can. As far as any ethos or selling out or any of the other manifesto “ism’s’ that one is supposed to subscribe to….we’re not interested. Alternatively, having a solid audience that is interested in what we do and being to support myself and a wife and family would be OK too. But forget I said the latter and go w/the former

  1. Looking back, has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: NO. I don’t look back…only forward. I don’t mind visiting the past, I just don’t want to live there. Being the lead singer/founding member of NYC’S first and original teen punk band (The Blessed) is a nice cred to have in my portfolio. But in retrospect those days Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’S, Mudd Club et al were my high school and college. Now, it’s showtime!

  1. Still looking back, has there been one particular moment in your musical career where you made the wrong decision, which if you could, you would go back and change right now?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: YEAH, EVERYTHING, HA HA ! Lots of wrong decisions (and a few right ones) but that is part and parcel of it all. I don’t think anyone who has ever walked on this earth up to and including Moses can look back and didn’t say “Yeah, in hindsight I would have def. done things differently” .That’s life and what experience teaches you .I Don’t know if Moses ever said “Yeah” though.. But in all honesty.no I wouldn’t change a thing (even going back to my childhood) I believe everything happens for a reason and I had to go thru everything to get where I am today. I’m not nearly finished climbing this mountain All that experience ( band wise and life wise) and I’m still learning  and everything has led up to this…….and it’s showtime!

  1. You been going a long time now, why do you think some older bands willingly put themselves in a corner? Can talent just fade away?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Put yourself in a corner?  Like a time-out if you’re naughty? You mean older bands who are well established and whether they are still being creative or not and continually playing their hits or best well songs? Hmm, well is that such a bad thing to have a bunch of songs that people want to continually hear and want to see you perform live? So, some yes, some no, some maybe, every band is different. I don’t think talent fades but one can certainly not use it and nourish or indulge it and it becomes dormant. Of all the people would you believe I had a conversation with an Opera singer once about this and she told me ‘It never goes away, no matter how much you ignore it, it  will come back and bite you even harder’ I think about that often and I have been bitten REAL HARD

  1. You’ve never been exactly mainstream. Did you ever feel like an outsider in the various music scenes you’ve been through during these years? And if yes, do you consider that to be a positive thing?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  If you mean by mainstream, no we are not pop music or do we pander to the lowest common denominator. But I also don’t see us as some weird niche noise underground only thing.  I can fully see us as being on the charts and being a phenom or whatever. When some subversive Rock and Roll blows up big every cycle or so it’s always quite refreshing, and there’s a lot that needs to be refreshed. I never felt like an outsider. I viewed everyone else as one though.

  1. Latching onto my previous question, music seems to be divided into the tiniest of boxes these days with genres, sub-genres and even post-sub-genres. How important, if at all do you think music genres really are?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Yeah, the genres and sub-genres and sub sub genres and sub sub sub sub what’s up bub genres are getting ridiculous. I understand the genre thing though to an extent. If I’m in a supermarket and want a jar of peanut butter it doesn’t help me to be wandering around the household supplies aisle .So, in some cases designations can be helpful but they shouldn’t define. We need people to be more open minded and discover other things and assist w/that rather than make all these little boxes and trying to sort everyone out by categories and labels

  1. We’ve just kicked off the New Year. What does 2018 hold in store for Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe? Besides the reworking of older tunes, will there be new material on the way?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Absolutely there will be new tunes. And there’s sev billion people on this planet who haven’t heard the older ones. It’ll be all new to them. But it’s only a couple of older songs we have remastered, we’re all about the here and now and the future. Here’s a bunch of links for us, so don’t forget to sign up to our e-mail list at our website and all the usual suspects FACEBOOK PAGE   You Tube Channel   Instagram   Twitter Thank you. It’s SHOWTIME!

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Interview: Miles Casella Getting ready for Live Show in new Orleans! http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/interview-miles-casella-getting-ready-for-live-show-in-new-orleans/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/interview-miles-casella-getting-ready-for-live-show-in-new-orleans/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:10:50 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7816 Miles Casella is a Hip-Hop artist from Baton Rouge, LA, who has released several projects under different aliases since 2014. Miles blends Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Blues to create his own eclectic style. He has just released his album “The Sidewalk Flower” which illustrates the view of a small-town kid caught up in the city life. Apparently many of the recordings used for this album were recorded curbside.

Miles Casella has an upcoming show on January 21st, 2018 at The Willow Uptown in New Orleans, Louisiana. Shows starts at: 6:30pm – Tickets are $12.00 dollars each. This will be the second time Miles will have performed in his career. Here is the ticket Link: www.aftonshows.com/MilesCasella

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first year?

Miles Casella:         I’ve been in the music business for about 4 years now. I started off doing rap cyphers in-and-around my hometown area (Baton Rouge). At the time a small local label ‘Dizzy Records’ was hosting a cypher event at a popular hip-hop bar in the neighborhood. Needles to say, I signed up for it, and I got 2nd place in the cypher. The winning prize for second place was a free song recording produced and mastered by Dizzy Records. I thought well I better trash the freestyle flows and start trying to perfect my songwriting, so I wrote this song called ‘Never mind the Flies’. I went in to the studio to record my song about a week later and the producer I was working with was like fuck it, let’s record you an EP. In May of 2014 I released my first project under the alias Robbing Jane, the EP was called ‘Girls’ a story of my hopeless romanticism haha… and that’s kind of where it all started.

  1. Who where your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?

Miles Casella:         Some of my first and strongest musical influences were definitely Eminem, The Roots, and Biggie to name a few. But I listened to a great deal of classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, Bad Company, Fleetwood Mac.

  1. Which artists and/or producers are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?

Miles Casella:         These days I find myself steering away from the club banger artists, and more towards artist I feel have a little more substance like Anderson .Paak, Goldlink, Royce da 5’ 9”, this group called Earthgang I like a lot too. It would be an honor to work with any of those artists. Producers like Flume, Kaytranada, DJ Premiere and Dr. Dre, can’t forget about the Doctor, it would honestly be an honor just to sniff one of his farts.

  1. What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?

Miles Casella:         Ultimately, I want people to understand that I like to make music with purpose, and the best way to prevent being pigeonholed in this rap game is to create something different. I make music with concepts, so if you’re looking for some tunes to get lit to then my stuff may not be for you. I want the listener to be engaged.

  1. What do you think separates you from the crowd of emcees emerging right now?

Miles Casella:      Well I think my answer to the last question answers a small part of this. I do not make commercial mumble rap, instead I have adopted a somewhat Jazzy Style for my music. Given I spend a great deal of my time in New Orleans, it’s no wonder some of that soulful inner city Jazz seeped its way into my album ‘The Sidewalk Flower’.

  1. Do you currently have a preferred song in your catalog, and why is it special to you?

Miles Casella:      Two songs from my debut album, ‘Origin of a God’ and ‘Love or Obsession’ are a couple of my favorites. Both of these songs do not have a typical song structure like verse, bridge, hook, etc. instead I kind of went free flow with these songs. Origin of a God is actually an old verse I wrote several years ago when I had virtually no understanding of the world around me. I was 18 and where the lyrics came from for me to illustrate that song has me convinced that I tapped into something truly divine, and I’ve been chasing it ever since.

  1. Are your lyrics predominantly base on real events and personal experience, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?

Miles Casella:         The lyrics for my songs come from both personal experiences and creative storytelling. I think it’s important to have a good mixture of both. Draw from instances in your own life, but also know when to juice the story up with a little creativeness at times.

  1. What would you consider a successful or high point in your career so far?

Miles Casella:         A high point in my career thus far would have to be the day I released this album to the public. I know that doesn’t seem like the climax to the start of some prosperous music career but it was important to me. I spent some time reflecting on myself to come up with these songs, and in the midst of it you find out things about yourself that you may not have known before. Now that I can share this with people it actually gives me a feeling of relief. I guess self-expression is important to any artist so you’re happy when it’s finally conveyed the right way. I feel like all of my projects up until this point were just practice.

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?

Miles Casella:         In music, it would certainly be promotion. Sometimes whoring my music out to be heard is harder than making the songs themselves, but it’s necessary if you want a fan base and to be able to book shows. Also, I think personally my sound is a little different than most rap, some people may not be open minded to listen. I’m afraid they’ll throw on that first track off the album and here that gritty guitar blues tone, then be turned off of it completely not even giving me a chance.

  1. What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your songs, regardless of style or tempo?

Miles Casella:         I guess what key ingredients I work to infuse in my songs ultimately depend on the point/message I’m trying to convey. In ‘The Sidewalk Flower’, I wrote about the 9 to 5 corporate desk job worker, and the rat race to land yourself in a little 5’ by 5’ cubicle paying off your student loans… I wrote about this because it’s happening to me in my everyday life. The flower is a metaphor for my creativity, blossoming from the cracks of this corporate jungle to make music. Much of the lyricism in my album uses this concept as a play on words; the message is what creates the ingredients I use for my songs.

  1. Do you also produce the beats or do you just handle the lyrics on your songs and collaborate with other producers?

Miles Casella:      I co-produced alongside Ben Bryan of Muse & Maker Productions to make this album. I have collaborated with other producers in the past but Ben and I have chemistry, I believe we will continue to work together on projects to come.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Miles Casella:         What excites me the most is I know that the sky is the limit.  I have plenty of room to grow and expand as an artist and I’m excited to see it all unravel. My favorite part of the music making process is when the beat is created and it’s time for me to write lyrics for the song. It’s like I’m starring at a blank sheet, and I can manipulate the feel of the song however I please because I am the creator.

  1. How do you market and manage your music? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

Miles Casella:         Thomas Sandford is my manager; we started working together a couple of months back. We are currently looking for online promotional teams to help market my music, but for now, it’s just he and I doing the dirty work. If you would like to book me for a show contact Thomas at; MilesCasellabooking@gmail.com.

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?

Miles Casella:      I’m sure many of aspiring artist feel this way, but I wish it was easier to get my music in to the mainstream. It’s so hard to make it to the top when the industry is flooded with so many artist in the same predicament I am in. I wish it didn’t matter how many fans I had, or who I know in the business, if the music is good that is all that should matter. Now days you have to sell an image alongside the music.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Miles Casella:      I’d probably use words like: Lyricism, Jazzy, New Age, Conscious Rap, and Experimental.

  1. Do you consider internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at home?

Miles Casella:         Unfortunately, yes I do. Like I was saying, now days you have to sell an image alongside the music. People want to see what you’re up to, who you’re hanging out with, etc. and I’ve never been one to have my personal life all up online like that. It has taken a great deal of discipline for me to remain consistent with posting to social media and maintain my social image. I never had a twitter/instagram until I became Miles Casella.  Follow Me at; @milescasella (instagram); and @casellamiles (twitter)

  1. Tell us something about your latest album release “The Sidewalk Flower”. Who did you work with on it? Does it have any special message etc.?

Miles Casella:         Of course it has a message! The ingredients for my songs are pulled from the overall message of this album. So I work this desk job as an aspiring rapper, to me, The Sidewalk Flower symbolizes my creativity sprouting up from the cracks of the corporate world; and I’m just dying to be picked and carried away to the promise land haha ….  But the truth is ‘The Sidewalk Flower’ has many meanings, it can mean rising up through adversity when the odds are against you, it can mean feeling out of place like a flower in the cement. Whatever it means to you, it is all subjective.

  1. How do you search, discover and choose the features, sometimes performing on your tracks?

Miles Casella:      I actually have no rap features on this album. A couple people I used to sing on the album were friends of friends, but I was very choosey when selecting a singer because I wanted to find people with a very soulful voice, to help give the album that old jazzy feel.

  1. What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think they are important to your songs? And do you have a specific video you would recommend fans check out?

Miles Casella:      Well it has been a little over a month since the album was released and I do feel that visual media is important but for now I just have one music video until I can make more.  The name of the video is ‘Hey Fine’ it’s a performance I did of one of the songs off of my album.

  1. What’s next on the upcoming agenda for Miles Casella? What can fans expect in 2018 from Miles Casella?

Miles Casella:      People can certainly expect another project from me this year. I am currently working on an EP called ‘My Language’ and basically the instrumentation for the album will solely be made up of sounds of my voice. I’m planning on including some bass elements and drums but the songs construction will be made from layered/effected sounds of my voice, get it? ‘My Language’ I want to play a  lot of shows this year, fans can see if I’m performing in a location close to them at milescasella.com.

 OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – REVERBNATION – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – SOUNDCLOUD

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Triple threat alternative rock artist Zachary Ray http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/triple-threat-alternative-rock-artist-zachary-ray/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/triple-threat-alternative-rock-artist-zachary-ray/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:58:50 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7747 Born in Rhode Island, Zachary Ray is a Danish/American musician residing in Los Angeles. He was introduced to Metallica and Eminem at age 5, by his mother and stepfather, and became wildly obsessed with drumming. Hence his grandma from Rhode Island gave him his first drum set. Ray later took drum lessons and eventually also learned to play the guitar. This was followed by singing, which gave Zachary Ray the musical combination to perform and record with absolute artistic freedom. His latest release, is the single ”Trouble”.

  1. How long have you been performing and recording, and did you record or play live first?

Zachary Ray: The local music school I was part of from age 8 to 15 put on shows here and there for family and friends. I started playing live with my own music and band when I was about 13-14. So I was definitely playing live before I started recording.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Zachary Ray: That would be Metallica and Eminem. Eminem is probably not super noticeable in my sound now but he definitely played a role when I was way young.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Zachary Ray: I’m really digging Nothing But Thieves and Gin Wigmore at the moment. I’m discovering so much new music right now, it really inspires me. Sometimes I have to take a long break from listening to music cause every time I put on a song I can’t help coming up with ideas for songs and stuff I wanna do, it gets exhausting.

  1. Do you remember the first piece of musical equipment that you actually purchased? And which is the one piece of hardware or software you’re still looking to add to your setup now?

Zachary Ray: The first instrument I bought myself was a drum set. Before that I had a beginners drum set I got from my grandma when I was around 5 I think. As far as what I’m looking for now, I’d say I’m really hot on the Electro-Harmonix Superego synth pedal for guitar. Really looking for a good guitar synth to mess around with.

  1. How and where do you do most of your recording and production work?

Zachary Ray: Been recording and mixing most of my stuff at my rehearsal space but when I need to take a song to the next level I jump in a real studio to polish it with an engineer. Been working closer with producers lately, it’s nice not have to worry about getting it all to sound right in Pro Tools, instead I just worry about serving the song.

  1. Studio work and music creation, or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Zachary Ray: That’s a tough one. I couldn’t pick one over the other. And I think both is equally important in order to produce quality content. I mean if you don’t sit down and develop your songs, your songs might not turn out so good and fails to connect with an audience or even yourself. But if you don’t play out you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t. both is super important, but if I had to choose I’d say playing live is my favorite thing. That’s where everything you’re all about gets a chance to show. It’s the ultimate therapy.

  1. Which one of your original songs gets the crowd’s emotion and adrenaline pumping the most, when performing it?

Zachary Ray: At the moment I think Insane Obsession or Break Me. Both big wild songs with a lot of emotion and surprise elements that captures the audience.

  1. On which one of your songs do you feel you delivered your best performance so far, from a technical point of view?

Zachary Ray: I’m very proud of Trouble, my latest single. I think it changes every time I put out a new song. I always strive to push myself beyond my own limits.

  1. Could you describe your creative process? Where do your ideas usually come from, what do you start with and how do you go about shaping these ideas into a song?

Zachary Ray: Usually it either starts with a riff on my guitar or a beat or melody formed in my head. It’s the best feeling when an idea strikes you, it’s literally like a light bulb that goes off like in the cartoons. Then adrenaline starts pumping and I just need to record it and work on it, there’s no escaping until the basics are down, like a verse and a chorus. But then it can take days to actually finish it, because you want every detail to be right. I feel like my songs are never fully done until I walk out of that studio with a fully mixed and mastered version of the song. It’s a long but super fun and interesting process.

  1. What were your main compositional, performance and production challenges in the beginning of your career and how have they changed over time

Zachary Ray: I’m still learning, and will never stop. I think I caught how to write simple songs pretty quick but to make them so that other people understood what I was trying to do was the biggest challenge in the beginning I think. Like it goes back to question number 6, you need to sit down and develop your song, listen to it, have other people listen to it and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Like you might’ve come up with the most bad ass guitar solo on the planet, but if it’s 10 minutes long, people would just loose interest and don’t give a shit about the rest of the song. So maybe learning how to take a great idea and strip it down to the most interesting parts and make them matter, would be my answer to that. Composing I guess.

  1. What are currently some of the most important tools and/or instruments you’re using in creating your sound?

Zachary Ray: Guitar, drums and Logic Pro.

  1. How essential do you think video is in relation to your music? Do you have a video you would suggest fans see?

Zachary Ray: I think it’s super important. My New Year’s resolution is actually gonna be to release a video plus behind the scenes and other goodies for every song I release in the New Year. My goal is once a month. It’s just important to be consistent otherwise people lose interest. You’re an entertainer. My social media presence have been almost non-existing up until now. I’ve seen a huge increase in traffic within the few months I’ve been going at it like this. And it feels good to not be alone with my music anymore, and sharing my moments through pictures, videos, interview and what not. I’ve been in the game for a long time but I don’t think people know who the hell I really am. I mean really, what’s better than to connect over music with other like-minded people?… It just took me some time to realize or get out of that shell. My only music video is for Insane Obsession at the moment but in February a video for Trouble should be out!

  1. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political and/or social vehicles – and do you try to meet any of these goals in your work, or are you purely interested in music as expression of artistry and entertainment?

Zachary Ray: I think music is the most powerful tool of expression there is. And that it’s used in politics and to influence or raise awareness is only natural. But I’m in it for my own joy. I don’t get a kick out of writing a song for a commercial or if someone tells me to write with a certain perspective. Unless it means something special to me or I really think I’d be fun. I actually made a few commercial tracks. One for Naked Fruit in Denmark when I was about 16 and one for VUC Fyn, when I was 18. I believe that one is still running in selected movie theaters in Denmark.

  1. With more and more musicians creating and releasing music, what does this mean for you as an artist in terms of originality? Do you still see great potential for originality in music and how do you think you set yourself apart from the pack, so to speak?

Zachary Ray: I think it’s awesome with that many musicians creating. Makes you feel less like an outcast haha. But yeah it’s true it also makes you feel less special in a way. But if you’re in it just for fame and glory I think you’ve lost already. And lost to who really? Everybody seems to be racing each other, I’m guilty of it. Every day I feel like I need to do something to move my career and I have that as a daily goal. Which is not necessarily a bad thing!! But it wasn’t until I realized the real reason, for why I keep pushing myself that something real started to happen. And now it’s not the thought of the race that keeps me going. It’s the love and passion for creating and discovering, expressing and inspire. Curiosity is my main source of inspiration to be honest. I terms of originality; we’re programmed to evolve based on curiosity and failure. And as long as we’re imperfect, originality will never cease to exist haha.

  1. Of all your achievements what do you think can be considered as being a high point of yours so far?

Zachary Ray: Right now every little step I take feels like a new high to me. Being a solo artist and learning how to navigate in this new world of music is so interesting I don’t know what the best parts of it is… I mean moving to LA and playing legendary Whisky A Go Go, Viper Room and all those clubs and just being part of the LA music scene, is in itself a huge milestone to me.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real original talent to emerge?

Zachary Ray: Definitely not easy to get heard or seen with all that noise, but I think it’s good that it’s there. Gives everyone a chance and an outlet. I think really talented artists will get recognized eventually. Social media gives you an opportunity to develop and try things out. But it can be confusing for some people who’re really not good at the social media game. I’m only starting to get it… But we’ll just have to adapt.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Zachary Ray: Consistency! Engage with your surroundings. Surround yourself with persistent people.

  1. Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the media and possibly working with a PR company. What’s your perspective on the promotion opportunities available to indie artists today? Do you have a manager or label aiding you?

Zachary Ray: So nowadays it again mostly comes down to a social media presence and how you engage with your audience. If you do so the right way you can come a long way on your own. I’m just starting to realize these things myself. But of cause there’s other areas which are hard to conquer on your own, such as labels, radio, magazines, finances, tours and what not. I only recently signed with a management to take this thing to the next level but it’s still up to me to be the content creator and explore opportunities.

  1. Do you have a musical vision that you haven’t been able to realize for technical or financial reasons – or maybe an idea of what music itself should and could be beyond its current mainstream form?

Zachary Ray: So far no. I mean I have a huge desire to collaborate with other creators, like an EDM producer or an orchestra would be fun, but I feel like everything has its own time so I will eventually get to all these ideas but I need to get myself to a point where I feel like I’ve shown the world what I’m all about right now, before I take an obscure direction, which I’m sure I will someday haha!

  1. What is the next step being programmed on the Zachary Ray agenda? What can fans expect for 2018?

Zachary Ray: So my new year’s resolution is gonna be to release a new single and video pretty much every month, along with performances, behind the scenes and other stuff. I’m super stoked about this new venture of mine!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBESPOTIFYITUNESFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMSNAPCHATTWITTER

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Nothing But You, Nicky has released her latest single on Phoenix Records http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/nothing-but-you-nicky-has-released-her-latest-single-on-phoenix-records/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/nothing-but-you-nicky-has-released-her-latest-single-on-phoenix-records/#respond Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:11:51 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7734 American singer Nicky has released her latest single on Phoenix Records. Her much anticipated single entitled, “ON MY OWN,” is available via all digital channels as of now. The single was composed by Multi-award winning composer Emine Sari, produced by Cihat Atlig, with vocal production and engineering by Multi-platinum winning engineer Joel Evenden. “ON MY OWN” showcases Nicky’s strength, both vocally and emotionally, as she performs her bold, unapologetic lyrics. She uses her music to tell stories and to capture the true emotion behind the music. Inspired by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, Nicky also draws influences from contemporary artists such as Beyoncé. The single, just released, is already receiving praise by some of the biggest names in the recording industry. Nothing But You, Nicky gave us some insight into the doings of her craft in a recent interview.

  1. How long has the project Nothing But You, Nicky been going and how did you decide on that specific moniker?

Nicky: My debut album was released in January 2017 as Nothing But You so it has been 10 months. We wanted a name that is memorable and can help establish my personal brand. So we created a name that is related to the genre or culture we wish to be identified with. “Nothing But You” is all human being’s dream…Everyone needs LOVE! We chose a stage name that actually means something to me! Nothing But YOU! Also “Nicky” comes from my own record company “Phoenix Records”.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Nicky: Whitney Houston

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Nicky: Nothing But You^^ , Lara Fabian, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and HOT artists from Radio.

  1. What is your relationship with award-winning composer Emine Sari? And when did you decide to work on the single “On My Own”?

Nicky: My debut album “Meant to Be” released in January 2017 connected to Emine Sari naturally and quickly. Once we started to talk via SNS we became BEST friends as if we had known each other for a 100 years. Emine sent me “On My Own” this summer and the moment I first listened to this song I fell in love with it and a few hours later I sent my vocal file to her and we both loved what we did to this song together.

  1. Where did you do the recording and production work on the latest single?

Nicky: I have a Jazz pianist friend Shota Osabe who played all keyboards on my debut album “Meant to Be” and he owns his home studio in San Francisco California where my neighborhood is. Joel Evenden completed the Mix and Master in London.

  1. How and why did you specifically choose the producer Cihat Atlig as well as vocal engineer and producer Joel Evenden to work on this single?

Nicky: It’s all about Emine Sari. She collaborated with Cihat Atlig and Joel Evenden many times. According to Emine and my conversations, she knew the BEST combination of producer and engineer for me. Also, Cihat and Joel agreed to work with me as a team. Thank God!

  1. Who wrote the words and music to “On My Own”? And what is the core idea and meaning behind the song?

Nicky: Of course, Emine Sari wrote the words and music not only to “On My Own” but also all my original songs! As I mentioned Emine and I are best friend, we are talking everything “Girls talk” via SNS all the time. We went through almost all our life experiences: Love, heartbreak, business decisions, health issue, what to believe and who to trust…etc. We both believe in unconditional LOVE and we know Love conquers all. Love is not always about a man and a woman but also family, friends, people, animal, nature, and everything.

  1. Do you feel you delivered one of your best performances on this song, from a technical point of view? And if any, what were the major difficulties in interpreting the song exactly the way you wanted to?

Nicky: Yes, I gave all of myself in this song. I listened to my heart and sang this song, so sometimes I went with too many emotions…such as tears or shouted too loud. Emine just told me, “The melody, words and your voice tone are already describing your emotions so don’t think too much just be yourself and sing it!” So my major difficulties were gone after my best friend Emine’s advice.

  1. Could you describe the creative process on the basis of this musical piece? Where do the ideas come from, what do you start with and how do you go about shaping these ideas into a finished song, such as “On My Own”?

Nicky: Actually, I’m not writing songs but I always talk to my composer Emine about what’s on my mind and she understands, as if we are twin babies. I visited her in Turkey in May and I met Emine for the first time and she just started writing songs during my stay and after I came home she kept writing songs for a few months. We inspired each other a lot. I told her,” I would like to sing Big ballads like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Lara Fabian…..” and she wrote me “On My Own”.

  1. What were your main performing challenges at the beginning of your career and how have they changed over time?

Nicky: I started to perform my live shows when I was a college student and all songs are English SOUL music in Tokyo Japan. At that time I couldn’t really enjoy what I was doing because everything was new to me but I learned gradually how to enjoy music with a band and audiences in Japan and America. It’s the greatest thing to share happiness through MUSIC.

  1. Are there any major differences between creating and releasing independent music in Japan as opposed to the USA and San Francisco where you are currently based?

Nicky: English is the Key! English made all works easier.

  1. How essential do you think video is in relation to your music? Is there a video of “On My Own” already released or in the works?

Nicky: I think the music video is really important and must have an item to promote your music but it’s the biggest problem for independent musicians, it costs you a fortune if you shoot your own professional video. My next dream is shooting my professional video! I’m super lucky to have beautiful “On My Own” lyric video! Enjoy!!

  1. What’s your view on the role and function of music as a political and/or social vehicle – and do you try to meet any of these goals in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of artistry and entertainment?

Nicky: I have been enjoying music as my life, and music gave me a lot of courage to live not only through the good times but also the bad times. Now I’m ready to share my music to heal other people’s wounds and to be happy together. I don’t have any purpose being an artist as a political or social vehicle. When you listen to my music, it would start to tell you why I’m singing music with my feelings.

  1. With more and more musicians creating and releasing music in the age of technology, what does this mean for you as an artist in terms of originality? Do you still see great potential for originality and how do you think you set yourself apart from the pack, so to speak?

Nicky: The biggest difference with my new music is that it’s really celebrating the most important thing to me, which is my voice, I honestly feel like I’m coming into my own, to really want to be one of the singers that are remembered forever. To sing music that I don’t feel like anyone else can sing because it comes from a place that only I can sing from. I really appreciate being in the age of technology but I just want to be myself.

  1. Of all your achievements what do you think can be considered as being a high point of your so far?

Nicky: I think meeting new people from all over the world is the most exciting and greatest achievement ever! But I’m really proud of a five-star review on Huffington Post with exclusive music video premiere, On My Own, soared to Number 1 on iTunes’ Blues charts and being currently on DRT GLOBAL TOP #120 AIRPLAY CHARTS and Winning The Akademia Music Awards! …

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media in general, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real original talent to emerge?

Nicky: I only see a bright side of the Internet and all the social media in general, as fundamental to my career, and indie music in general. I think it’s all up to you how you live with those technologies. As long as you are doing your own music with using that technology in right way is the strongest help to open the door to move to the next stage of your dreams.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Nicky: Believing in yourself with a strong will and never give up! Live on the edge, but don’t fall off! Never forget Respect, Appreciation, and Love!

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far? And how did you overcome this event or obstacle?

Nicky: Loss of a loved one. Never think you are alone…just close your eyes whenever you need your loved one and smile always.

  1. Do you have a musical vision that you haven’t yet been able to realize for technical or financial reasons?

Nicky: I would like to make my professional video for my songs!

  1. What is the next step being programmed on the Nothing But You, Nicky agenda? What can fans expect from you for 2018?

Nicky: My new album “I Love You On My Own” scheduled to go on to all digital platforms on April 6, 2018, which is Friday. My debut album “Meant to Be” released January 2017 which made my miraculous team (Multi award winning Turkish singer/songwriter Emine SARI, Multi-Platinum award winner London-based music engineer and producer Joel Evenden who has worked with legendary artists including Eric Clapton, Lara Fabian, Rod Stewart and BB King…, Turkish music producer Cihat Atlig and Super PR team) connected naturally and quickly. I’m so grateful to meet wonderful people and now we are making an incredible Album as ONE to share with you! Nice to meet you, everyone, ahead and let’s enjoy our life together with not only my music but also MUSIC!! Actually, you don’t need to wait that long… a lot of surprises are getting ready for you… soon!❤

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – TWITTER – FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – MUSIC STREAMS

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INTERVIEW with Alternative Rock Band RAVENSCROFT http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/interview-with-alternative-rock-band-ravenscroft/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/interview-with-alternative-rock-band-ravenscroft/#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:12:14 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7672 Ravenscroft is a seasoned foursome of alternative rock musicians comprising Ralph Buso (Vocals), Pat Magrath (Drums), Brett Octane, (Guitar) and Devin Baker (Bass). The band’s six song EP is set to be released January 2018. In the meantime the powerhouse unit has dropped two lead singles to whet anticipating appetites. Two of the band’s members took the time to answer some curiosities in the following interview.

  1. How long has the current line-up of Ravenscroft been together and how did you get together in the first place?

Brett Gorke (Guitarist): Approximately three years. Due to personal issues the original guitar player was unable to continue with Ravenscroft. At that point Devin Baker called me and asked if I would be interested in taking over the position of guitar player.

Pat Magrath (Drummer, Programmer, Percussionist): I’ve been in the band for just over three years and I believe Ravenscroft had started up a little less than a year before that. Devin and I had played in a couple bands that didn’t work out. When they decided to part ways with their drummer he gave me a call.

  1. Who musical influences initially pushed you towards your chosen genre?

Brett Gorke: For me the genre was already chosen when I joined the band. Fortunately I have a broad spectrum of influences. Every one of our songs are so unique, that I draw from many different influences on any given song. To name a few generally I would say David Grohl, Kings X, Devin Townsend, disturbed, ministry, 9 inch nails, Steve Stevens etc. etc. etc. you get what I’m saying?

Pat Magrath: Just good Rock N’ Roll. The band had formed and was in the line of Alice In Chains, Disturbed, TOOL, Black Sabbath, and a host of others that I love. So it was an easy fit.

  1. Which bands are you currently listening to and who, more than any other, would you like to share the stage with?

Brett Gorke: Oddly enough I have been revisiting Tommy Lee’s methods of mayhem album. A little bit of Sublime and the Allman Brothers. As far as sharing the stage with Another band with Ravenscroft, for me it would be Foo Fighters possibly and Disturbed.

Pat Magrath: A lot of the music I listen too has nothing to do with the style we play funny enough. And just about any of the bands that perform on bigger hard rock festivals. Qzzfest Knnottfest WACKEN and any of the bands I mentioned in the last question.

  1. Straight off the cuff, what do you feel is the one element Ravenscroft still needs more than anything else, in either its production, marketing and/or distribution strategy to make it a highly relevant act in alternative rock?

Brett Gorke: Funny you should ask, definitely marketing and distribution, which we just started attacking by the hiring of PR and marketing expert Donna Labate. Of course with limited funds we can only do so much. Since social media today only allows you to reach a small specific amount of friends, is important to pay someone like Donna Labate to help distribute our music to radio stations around the US. , And work or social media to get worldwide views not just local. We are also working on our new 6 song EP to be released and distributed sometime in January 2018, and totally revamping our website and setting up our email campaign. In doing this we can cross our fingers that we will be able to start making money off of Merch to pay for things like videos recording touring and Donna etc. All of this is still in its infant stages, but the work that has been done so far is really starting to show.

Pat Magrath: Money and backing to do those things. It takes a lot of work, time, and money to be able to put out high-quality music and videos. We have continued to DIY on these aspects, and when it’s out of pocket personally that can put limitations on our progress. We also just hired our 1st press person, Donna Labate, to help with the things in promotion we need help with. And she’s killin’ it!!! I’ve also put a lot into infrastructure investment this last year and a half to allow us to do more of this on our own. Being able to handle videos and music production in-house should be a big help in the momentum of the band.

  1. Where does the band do most of its recording and production work?

Brett Gorke: As far as production recording, we have chosen to stay with Shawn Sullivan at World Class Audio. Shawn is so talented I can’t even begin to say, but like our band he has all the knowledge and equipment of the old-school recording techniques as Well as currently updated Versions of DAW programs of modern Recording studios. He likes to bring old-school techniques and tricks and incorporate them into the new style of production and recording.

Pat Magrath: We’ve done all our recording with Shawn Sullivan at World Class Audio. I’ve worked with him for 20 years now, on tons of stuff from movie trailers and commercials to band and artist development, recordings, and production. The guy is phenomenal, to say the least!!!

  1. Studio work and music creation, or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Brett Gorke: I don’t prefer one over the other. We are very passionate about the music that we make, and equally as passionate about the performance and live show. We think they’re equally as important. I don’t think anybody wants to be in a band that has great music but are boring to watch on stage. Or vice versa, Crappy music but a great stage show. If you lack in either one of these you’re going to lose fans.

Pat Magrath:  I do so much of both I can’t imagine one without the other. Performance without creation gets old. As does creation without performance. Betcha can’t eat just one! HAHA!

  1. Which one of your original songs gets your adrenalin pumping the most, when performing it live? And does it match the audience’s choice or do they fancy a different song from your repertoire?

Brett Gorke: From my experience so far, the audience seems to really like “Drama Queen” and a couple other familiar ones that they can sing along to. And they really like our new unreleased song “Stand Up” (which gets my adrenaline pumping the most) and The Chase Which also gets my adrenaline pumping.

Pat Magrath: All the songs we have are amazing to perform. I have a little more space to move around during “Into The Dark” so I’d have to say that’s a fav for me and one of our more popular ones with the fans as well!

  1. On which one of your songs do you feel Ravenscroft overall, delivered its best performance so far, from a technical point of view?

Brett Gorke: That’s a hard question to answer. We probably perform technically at about 95% at every show, where every song goes perfectly. But there was one show in particular, in fact it was at the Whiskey and it was my first show live with Ravenscroft, we played Cauldron of Deceit, and Ralph really engaged the audience, the lighters were in the air, it was an extremely packed house … it was just an “arena-moment”.

Pat Magrath: Of what has been released so far “Cauldron Of Deceit” and “The Chase” are up there for sure. But the new stuff we’ve written just keeps getting better.

  1. How essential do you think video is in relation to your songs? Do you consider visuals an important extension of the band’s creative processes?

Brett Gorke: Video is an extremely important element to most songs. We have a story to tell and the best way to help the fans understand where you’re coming from is to create a video. Whether it’s a lyric video or a music video. It’s important to help the fans get to know the band better on a personal level by telling the story from our perspective.

Pat Magrath: I’d say “Essential” more because they are expected today then our songs need them. It is a really powerful way to communicate a message, story, or concept, for sure. But I also like to project my own take on the meaning of a song. Like reading a good story. Stephen King Movies are BAD ASS because the story was BAD ASS! But now that I’m getting into audio and video production we’ll see how that changes. Check back with me in a year or two. I’ll either love it or hate it a whole lot more, hahaha. But I’m feeling like I’m gonna really enjoy this medium.

  1. Which one of your videos would you recommend watching to news fans of Ravenscroft? 

Brett Gorke: I’d like to say the new video coming out sometime in January called “Stand Up” it is Epic … But until it is released I’d say watch these “Cauldron of Deceit” storyline video,“ The Chase“ and “Into the dark” lyric videos. But definitely be on the lookout for “Stand Up” We really took a lot of time filming the story line and performance out in the middle of nowhere. It has elements of post-apocalyptic chaos, mad max vs SOA style evil biker gangs, fire and nuclear explosions. We really went all-out on this video!

Pat Magrath: The one we’re getting ready to release for “Stand Up” is really cool. But for what’s out now any of the top ones on our Youtube page are great!

  1. Illuminate us on your songwriting, recording and production processes. Who takes care of what in the band?

Brett Gorke: As far as the music goes: Sometimes the song comes from just jamming and seeing what develops. Other times maybe it comes from a guitar or bass riff. A lot of the time it will come from Ralph’s a cappella and melody that he will write on a keyboard. He usually records it and sends it to us. Then we get together at Rehearsal to jam out or ideas for the melody. We have about 10 or 11 different unfinished songs, so we go down the list and choose the ones that are closest to being finished. Next, preproduction on those songs, finish them and go to the studio to record. As far as behind the scenes production; Ralph used to take care of 90% of Social media, until we hired Donna Labate to help us. Now we are each trying to pick it up and notch to help get involved with that. Ralph handles social media and booking, and Pat handles technical things. Devin is responsible for the merchandise and the bands income and I am responsible for the website and keeping it current. At our shows, we have a couple of roadies that are responsible for setting up the stage.

Pat Magrath: We all contribute and edit ideas really well together. Generally, a riff, melody line, or some form of inspiration will get us rolling and we just build off that. We’ll develop an idea until we get to the point where nothing good is happening anymore, record it, and let it marinate until the next rehearsal. Any points that need help/work will get worked on and brought back in for review, then we start the process over, rinse and repeat until we feel content with the writing and arrangement of the tune.

  1. If you could change one thing about how the music business works today, what would that be?

Brett Gorke: The one thing that I would change for sure is that musicians get paid their worth. There’s too much pay to play, music streaming etc going on. Of course there’s a billion good bands out there, but truly hard working independent bands need to somehow get compensated for the endless hours of free time they give to venues to entertain their audience. Often times a band will end up paying to do it, or doing it for free. Most of the time it’s just bad business. Most musicians are NOT business people and they get taken advantage of by greedy promoters. These promoters will pay for National acts by getting bands to “pay to play” with them, then lining their pockets with the extra money.

Pat Magrath: Being able to be fairly compensated for your work would be great. So much easier to produce when there’s something coming back in to continue the process. But I don’t want to get on my soapbox about this. It’s not a subject with a simple easy answer. I will say the openness of the internet to reach people is awesome, and for fans to find you it’s an amazing thing.

  1. What are your thoughts on all the digital downloading and streaming platforms like Spotify, iTunes and Amazon etc., as opposed to the good old corner shop record stores selling vinyl quite a few years back?

Brett Gorke: Yes the age of the computer has arrived. Unfortunately it has really taken the wind out of the sails on one hand, but on the other it has expanded the horizon. Unless you have money and lots of it to market your product only a minimal amount of fans will be reached. There used to be some sense of mystery and excitement of getting up and going down to the record store to buy latest release of say Judas Priest or iron maiden. But the key is, you bought the music that is how you were able to hear it back in the day. Now anybody can just stream your music for free. It’s very hard for bands to make money on their music. This is why it’s so important to make sure you cater to your fans. Fans are the most important part of Ravenscroft. We do everything with the fans in mind. Our fans support our cause for this reason.

Pat Magrath: It’s a very different experience, one that reflects why the resurgence of vinyl happened. People enjoy the visceral experience of liner notes, photos, credits that are generally lost with most of the digital platforms. I was really resistant to a lot of the newer technology for mostly that reason. The iPod didn’t have anything but the song to listen too. It still lacks in so many ways honestly.

  1. Do you think there is still any sense in recording Eps and Albums, when almost everybody seems to be purchasing and downloading only their favorite songs from the above-mentioned streams now?

Brett Gorke: We went through the thought process of releasing only singles at a time. Most of it just boils down to having enough money to record the whole album. One of the things I think it is important to creating an EP or an album is the creativity you get from writing multiple songs. If I put out one song a year my writing style is going to change the next year. Another thing is your fans get more for their money when you create an EP or an album.

Pat Magrath: Releasing an “album” isn’t necessary for today’s market, but what it represents for an artist is something different. Originally it was called an album like a photo album, and the songs were pictures that represented the artist at that point in their lives. That collection of songs, like photos, were assembled into an album. You kinda loose that with a single.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?

Brett Gorke: I can really only speak for Ravenscroft itself. Social media is one of the most Fundamental parts of our career. Engaging with the fans is done on social media for the most part and at our shows. I like to encourage anyone to share their talent Copy and paste or not. Who am I to say who is mediocre or not… I just wouldn’t do that. It would really just be a waste of time to get mad at the flooding of the Internet, but more productive to find your way to the top through it.

Pat Magrath: It is the way most new music is discovered by people making it a necessity, but it has created a lot of noise out there. It really doesn’t take much to record and release music and videos because of the accessibility of inexpensive gear, like all you need is a phone to do it. But that in no way means it will be good. We have lost the suck filters that existed before which also gives access to a lot of amazing music that might never have seen the light of day. It is a trade-off, but I do wish more of the DIY I hear was done better…

  1. As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your spirits – A Grammy award, Multi-Platinum music sales, or some other tangible milestone we don’t know about, besides fame and fortune?

Brett Gorke: We all dream of hitting the lotto don’t we lol! A milestone for me would be to play any sold out arena or festival. And multi-platinum record sales wouldn’t hurt a bit ha ha Ha!

Pat Magrath: Self-expression and creation are the big drivers for me, but I’m more than ready for any of those to happen. Hint hint, nudge nudge.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Brett Gorke: Patients and timing in releasing music and videos is the advice we are following now. And the advice we didn’t follow is just releasing music at the wrong times, and without video or marketing and social media to get the views maximized.

Pat Magrath: Educating myself about the industry so I don’t get screwed was more of a getting screwed prevention plan from getting screwed. A.K.A. Got Fucked, that sucked, how do I not do that again.

  1. Some bands are trying to be the best they can be artistically, others are simply trying to win the masses over and sell as many records as they can. There are of course a handful of bands able to do both. In your opinion, is art separate from entertainment or are they one in the same?

Brett Gorke: Art and entertainment are two completely separate things. But they are both equally as important! The band that can you both of us are the bands that will succeed.

Pat Magrath: Well, they can be one in the same and separate. There have been lots of “Formulated Acts” done simply for money. And some amazing “Art” that became successful. Our goal is much more to play and write music we believe in and hope to become “Successful Art”.

  1. Of all your achievements what do you think can be considered as being a high point for the band so far?

Brett Gorke: Having people in high positions in the industry take interest in us enough to fly out and see us play, or continue to help us as we get closer to success.

Pat Magrath: Charting in the top ten in College Music when we did a radio promotion. Need a lot of money to sustain those kinds of campaigns, unfortunately. But to do it and be so well received was SUPER AWESOME!!!

  1. What should Ravenscroft fans look forward to for 2018 and beyond?

Brett Gorke: 2018 starts out with a strong six song EP and a new epic music video for our song stand up, and to be followed up with more videos and events stay tuned!!

Pat Magrath: Lots of new music and videos, if I do my fucking job anyway! HAHA!!!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – TWITTER  – YOUTUBE

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The BoyEatsGirl “Zugzwang” Interview http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/the-boyeatsgirl-zugzwang-interview/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/the-boyeatsgirl-zugzwang-interview/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 13:34:56 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7662 Australian extreme metal project BoyEatsGirl is driven by one man – Rick ‘Cleveland’ Pinto who launched the project in late 2015. BoyEatsGirl has since been establishing itself as a favorite extreme metal project: Pinto is one of the few underground artists to offer a complete conceptual and experiential package in the genre – food for the heart, mind and senses, as intellectually stimulating as it is emotionally intense. BoyEatsGirl creates a nice balance of standard, aggressive metal riffs, intermingled with fast, monstrous, ultra-heavy, ultra-complex mechanical cyber-grinding percussion, and a crazed use of sonic extremities. Also, there is use of growling vocals, which produces a thick, beastly, darkly regal, searingly muscular tone full of white-hot passion, and seems like it’s coming out of hell, and rising out of the ashes like a phoenix.

  1. How long has Boy Eats Girl been going and why do you refer to your fans as ‘Girl Eaters’?

Boy Eats Girl: The idea of BEG has been around for years, but due to commitments with previous bands and projects, I was unable to make time to fully launch it. However, after things collapsed with these projects in mid to late 2015 Boy Eats Girl was in full force and dropped its first single “She Shattered Like Glass” in April 2016. I refer to my following as ‘Girl Eaters’, not for the name itself (derived from the artist title), but so they can feel more than just a fan of my music, but as part of a community and family. I want the Girl Eater brand to go beyond my own music. Eventually the idea is to link up with other artists, social groups, companies and labels to fly the same flag, instead of competing over one or the others brand and start to create something that will be much bigger and have a stronger impact.

  1. For anyone who’s never heard of you before, which song would you recommend to them in order to get to know BEG better/best?

Boy Eats Girl: There is no one particular song that can define Boy Eats Girl but if i was to recommend them to anything it would be “The Answer To Infection” EP. That is the foundation of everything that is Boy Eats Girl. I put a lot of thought and research into writing that EP, and everything that comes after, no matter better or worse, is just an extension of the core theme presented in “The Answer To Infection”. Monsters creating monsters, and how fast it can spread like a virus.

  1. We have seen you have your own website now selling your merch, whats in store for your fans, what’s to come?

Boy Eats Girl: I am always working on new and interesting things for Boy Eats Girl to bring out. So far we are building our store here in AUS, we have snap backs, crew necks, t-shirts, physical CDS, and also included digital releases absolutely free exclusive to boyeatsgirloffical.com. We also have a store in New York USA that we are in the process of building up. There are a few items now and they are selling fast, so we are working on restocking and expanding in the near future.

  1. Do you remember the first piece of musical equipment that you actually purchased? And which is the one piece of hardware or software you’re still looking to add to your setup now?

Boy Eats Girl: The first piece of equipment I ever bought was a guitar and it is the same I am currently using today which has recorded all of Boy Eats Girl music. Of course it has been modded since I first bought it but I haven’t seem to let it go. I keep trailing and changing most of my equipment to keep things creative and fresh within my music. The core sound remains however.

  1. How and where do you do most of your recording and production work?

Boy Eats Girl: I am serial studio jumper. *laughs* The first EP, ‘The Answer To Infection’ was recorded in 5 plus studios. I am very picking on finding the right sound for Boy Eats Girl, so there is never going to be one real studio it is going to be recorded in. Not only do some of the engineers that work on Boy Eats Girl music live internationally, I have physical limitations such as equipment, acoustic treatment, distance and expense, etc. I use a different studio for guitars, drums, vocals and mix and mastering as they all bring a certain feel to the song. If I went with one studio only, I would feel more restricted in my music.

  1. Studio work and music creation, or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Boy Eats Girl: Since Boy Eats girl is a studio-based creation. I have no choice but to enjoy what I have, but from previous products and hopefully future projects it would defiantly be live interactions with an audience. It something about the live feedback that makes me go harder and drives me to perform better. In a studio I feel a lot more restricted.

  1. Which one of your latest original songs gets your emotion and adrenalin pumping the most, when performing it, and why?

Boy Eats Girl: All of them to be honest. Because it is a one man show, everything is very personal and there are all content in some way in the end. Although the scenes and scenarios i produce in Boy Eats Girl music are purely fictional, the emotion that carries through the progressions are very much real and are based on familiarities of incidents that occurred throughout my own personal life and lives of those close to me.

  1. On which one of these songs do you feel you delivered your best performance so far, from a technical point of view?

Boy Eats Girl: Alucard Infinite; It is the fastest paced, sporadic and energized song I have released to date. Structuring the track was surprisingly easy to gel together, but because of the speed and technically of the song, my guitar playing and drums had to be the tightest to retain clarity. I haven’t released anything as technical or as fast but i am looking forward to making something like that again for sure if the subject matter calls for something crazy.

  1. Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that’s particularly dear to you? Where do ideas come from, what do you start with and how do you go about shaping these ideas?

Boy Eats Girl: I always have a ton of unrefined ideas and short stories on hand at all times, some derived from films I’ve watched, stories I’ve read and real cases of crimes from a psychological stand point. How I go putting together a project starts with the subject matter. I do a fair bit of research into what’s missing in the genre and what’s currently being overdone, this helps not only with my release standing out but also I can hopefully reach someone that’s currently experiencing similar situations. My new single ‘Zugzwang’ was developed greatly from my experiences talking to my audience and it felt like it was the perfect time to show them I wasn’t afraid to hit something hard so close to home. After the draft is complete I work on percussion, melodies and patterning for my vocal layers before I start actually writing any lyrics. It’s not a typical way vocalists write their music, but ill always know from off the bat it will all flow smoothly and cohesively though out. When the patterning is solid and structuring the track is completed I then write in lyrics from my first story boarded drafts to a syllable count derived from my vocal patterning. I then check for certain words that repeat too often and words that were used that aren’t as descriptive as I hoped to be and swap them out and adjust accordingly. The rest is post production work, where I experiment with different effects and layer additional instruments in the final stage to really bring the scenes to life.

  1. What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time

Boy Eats Girl: At first it was a struggle as I had to learn the instruments as I was recording them. Especially vocals, seeing how my writing took me up to a certain point where I was happy, but then halted due to my technic or skill level not being up to scratch yet for that particular instrument. I feel better and better the more I write and progress with instruments, which makes writing and structuring easier.

  1. What are currently some of the most important tools and instruments you’re using in creating your sound?

Boy Eats Girl: Ironically, sampling. It isn’t the hardest to do but I feel as sampling is such a strong bases of Boy Eats Girl’s sound. It wouldn’t be the same without it. I create scenes that push the atmosphere and emotions in the song. I feel this is important to really draw the listener in and make them part of the world I am creating within the music.

  1. How essential do you think video is in relation to your songs? I notice you have many lyric videos posted on you YouTube. Can fans expect a full-on action video from Boy Eats Girl soon?

Boy Eats Girl: Absolutely. A full music video is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Especially on my first single. I felt it could add way more to the visuals and the feeling of the track. But due to hiccups in production and communication with filmographies, I was forced to cancel it. The lyric videos, to my style of music, helped visualize what the song is about to someone who is not use to those kind of vocals. But ultimately I would much prefer a full video.

  1. What’s your view on the role and function of music as well as the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today – and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

Boy Eats Girl: I’ve noticed many artists relying on just one approach when it comes to creating a story board for their albums. To me this seems way to bland to use only creative fiction or a real life based experiences of the artist themselves, its good enough to capture you initially, but over time it becomes the same thing repeating over and over again. I always wondered why not many mix writing platforms and play with different perspectives once in a while. Every track I’ve released under Boy Eats Girl has been a play on perspective and not a linear, straight forward story line. I do have some aversion to portraying my own political standpoints or personal beliefs through my music though. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, I just feel it’s not needed in my music, its formulated in a particular way to, in a sense, make up your own mind about what is being presented. Take ‘The Answer To Infection’ Ep for instance, not many people understand the processes during a severe psychotic break. All you would initially think is “deranged killer. A psychopath.Evil.”ect.. When reality isn’t so black and white. The story line is purely fictional but the truth remains that, this does happen. All I present to the listener, is how it can happen and what certain triggers force a certain reaction. The first step to resolve any problem, is to first understand what it is.

  1. With more and more musicians creating than ever and more and more of these creations being released, what does this mean for you as an artist in terms of originality? What are some of the areas where you currently see the greatest potential for originality and who are some of the artists and communities that you find inspiring in this regard?

Boy Eats Girl: When I’m creating music or visuals for Boy Eats Girl, I look a for a void within a genre that has been phased out or not been done before. So originality isn’t very hard to find. I design Boy Eats Girl to be an outlet for people. I do things that feel familiar but I offer something very different, and I think that’s what stands out. I get inspired from film, criminology, and interactions with my own fan base. Apart from my own personal feelings, it is these things that inspire me the most.

  1. Of all your achievements what do you think can be considered as being a high point of your so far?

Boy Eats Girl: That is a super tough question (laughs). I’ve accomplished so much more than i would have ever thought in these past 2 years. Making the cover of Jamsphere magazine, selling out CDS and merch in both stores, including the official store in Aus also stateside though Chugcore and soon to be selling out again, all definitely high points for me for sure! The biggest form of happiness I get doing this though, could also seem to be the smallest achievement to some people. I love meeting and talking to my Girl Eaters. They have all been the most loyal and supportive fan base from day one! They’re the ones that validate me on a daily basis and push me harder to do better. I love them all!

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?

Boy Eats Girl: I can see how easy it is to blame the times changing, thus effecting a potential career. But I choose to embrace it. Every change has its flaws, but I feel I can connect with my audience off the stage and in real time, get to know them and how they feel about my music. Promoting is a lot harder, but as an indie artist I feel I am in control of what I have built.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Boy Eats Girl: That’s a good question. As clique as it sounds, the best advice I got is ‘the day you give up, is the day it stops’. I have come so close to giving up many times due to frustration, musical differences, financial struggles, lack of motivation, and rejection. I am glad I took that advice, as I wouldn’t be where I am with music today without it. The piece of advice that I didn’t take but should have taken a long time ago, was the belief that I could do it all myself. I took this advice too late and I feel I could have been here a lot earlier.

  1. Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What’s your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?

Boy Eats Girl: PR and the way its handled is ever changing so it’s not something you could ever fully get used to, especially if you’re a self-managed Artist/band. Some things such as Television and radio obviously change for the worst and make your returns as a new artist not as grand as it once was back in the day. On the flip side, a lot of doors opened and offered new and unsigned artists opportunities that they would have never have seen without a label or dedicated PR Agent. So it’s a love/hate kind of deal for most artists. I personally take it like it is and adjust to the changes as they come.

  1. Do you have a musical vision that you haven’t been able to realise for technical or financial reasons – or an idea of what music itself could be beyond its current form?

Boy Eats Girl: Everything from a musical stand point up until now has moved forward seamlessly. The way I run Boy Eats Girl is very intentional and deliberate. If there is any technical requirements or costs involved to complete the release, it has been thought of in advance. However, there have been a lot of visual and artistic ideas separate from music that have failed to come to fruition due to continually delayed deadlines and cancellations that were not from my side, nor in my control. These included various photo shoots, filmography, and promotional production. At the time, these things played a huge role in constructing the appearance of Boy Eats Girl and enhancing the story line of ‘The Answer To Infection’. I don’t see these hiccups reoccurring in the future of Boy Eats Girl. The success and reception Boy Eats Girl has received with the EP release has gotten me a lot of great contacts, such as ZombreeFX, who has helped Boy Eats Girl with visual creations and extending Boy Eats Girl to even more contacts, such as filmographers, models, actors, etc.

  1. What is the next step being programmed on the Boy Eats Girl agenda? What can fans expect for 2018?

Boy Eats Girl: The next step is working on my first full length album. I already have a bunch of ideas, and it’s already in the pre-production process. I plan on working with multiple engineers. Plan on collaborating with new artists, and I’m beyond excited to create something that no one has ever heard or seen before.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – YOUTUBE – REVERBNATION – BANDCAMP – PUREVOLUME – SOUNDCLOUD

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The Enzo Sprigg Interview http://soundlooks.com/2017/09/the-enzo-sprigg-interview/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/09/the-enzo-sprigg-interview/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:15:10 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7361 Enzo Sprigg is a creative electronic music singer-songwriter, as well as a visual artist who illustrates his own album covers, creates the costumes in his videos and has even hand drawn and animated videos for his songs. Sprigg has just recently thrown down his therapeutic and cathartic 12-track “Cosmic Bipolar Nebula”, his third album. It’s with his continued freedom and internal exploration that Enzo Sprigg returns with a new recording, while showing a mature growth from his earlier releases. Inspired by a wide range of artists from Bjork, Goldfrapp and Gary Numan to newer artists like IAMX, Chelsea Wolfe and Purity Ring. He fuses his smooth vocal style with avant garde elements to craft songs that are as original as they are intimate.

  1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?

Enzo Sprigg: I’ve been singing my entire life. Growing up I joined bands and loved playing music with my friends. Over time though I became much more interested in crafting original songs and really learning how to write something unique and memorable. I started writing my own songs somewhere in my early 20s but I didn’t start releasing my material until a few years ago. Before that my music was a personal thing. Something I did just for the pure pleasure of it. That still hasn’t changed but now I make it a point to release albums into the world so I can move on to the next project.  My ultimate goal is to have a full catalogue of songs I’m proud of that listeners can discover as they learn about me.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Enzo Sprigg: I think the biggest (and first) music artist that influenced me was David Bowie. In many ways, he has always been my blueprint. People talk about him as a visual icon but what I admire most was his adventurous songwriting and willingness to grow. The way he played with different genres and always seemed to find his voice within them. This is something I have always pushed myself to do within my own electronic music.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Enzo Sprigg: Drab Majesty is a big one for me right now. I love their sound.  They, like me are influenced by 80s music but add something original and new to it and are not just emulating.  I also like a newer industrial band called Kanga. Reminds me of early NIN songcraft but written from a female perspective. Great stuff.  I’m always actively looking for new electronic artists that are doing great things within the genre that go beyond the obvious.

  1. Do you remember the first piece of musical equipment that you actually purchased? And which is the one piece of hardware or software you’re still looking to add to your collection now?

Enzo Sprigg: I clearly remember my first keyboard. It was a Yamaha PSR 500.  My sister helped me buy it.  At the time, it was an amazing piece of hardware for the price. It ended up being a huge help in my early songwriting attempts.  These days I’m very Reason software centric so I’m always looking to add new rack extensions to my setup. It’s very easy to get lost in gear so I have this rule. If I’m going to buy something new I must try to write a new song with it on the first day that I purchase. I’m happy to say that’s worked out well so far.

  1. How and where do you do most of your recording and production work?

Enzo Sprigg: I have a studio space in my house. A proper place where I can focus on my songs. I also made a vocal booth space in the garage for live recording.  By day I’m a video game developer and that can be very demanding of time so I have to be very disciplined with my spare time. Having a setup at home helps me not procrastinate and helps get the recording and production work done. I don’t think I would have released 3 full length albums in 3 years without it.

  1. Studio work and music creation, or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Enzo Sprigg:    At my center I’m a singer/songwriter so crafting songs is what drives me.  I also love singing with or without an audience around. I can’t think of anything more challenging than putting together a full-length album of music entirely on your own.  When you’re finally done the sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. At this point I think I’m addicted to that feeling.  As far as playing live I’m still working out how I’d present that. I would hope to do something strange and out of the ordinary. I’d be more interested in doing performance art than any sort of conventional band performance.  I think that’s why I enjoy making videos. I can show myself to the listener but it’s more than just a basic performance thing.  I can express myself artistically as well.

  1. Which one of your latest original songs gets your emotion and adrenalin pumping the most, when performing it, and why?

Enzo Sprigg: There are two new songs that come to mind right away.  There’s a song called “Prime” on the new album that really gets me going.  I wanted to write something aspirational, upbeat, and hopeful but also honest to what I’ve been through.  Prime captures that for me and so far, it seems listeners are really responding to it.  The second song, also on the new album is “Oh Mother”. It’s probably the most personal song I’ve written and a tribute to my mom.  Her influence and love have made me the creative person I am today and I wanted to express that but the song had to be just right.  When I was recording the vocal I kept getting overwhelmed with emotion. I kept some of that in the final song so hopefully you can feel that in it.

 

  1. On which one of these songs do you feel you delivered your best performance so far, from a technical point of view?

Enzo Sprigg: That’s hard to say since I feel all my songs are not finish until I feel the performance is honest and suits the song best. Maybe “Oh Mother” again since it turned out exactly how I had hoped and people seem to be responding to it.  There are melodramatic trappings you can easily fall into when attempting a song like that and I think I walked the fine line I was hoping for.

  1. How essential do you think video is in relation to your songs? Do you consider visuals strictly as an extension of the song’s lyrical theme or a whole new and separate creative process to present to the public?

Enzo Sprigg: I’m not a fan of doing something too literal with the visual moments in a song so I tend to take things in odd directions. That makes the process more fun and I feel is more interesting for the listener/viewer.

  1. Which one of your videos would you recommend watching to news fans, and why? 

Enzo Sprigg: Well if you want to see me perform and what I look like I’d say my first video “Black Rabbit”. I enjoyed the brooding quality of that song and the video is very odd at times. There are moments in it that are very raw and honest as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNI79jKWjoo

Conversely if you want to see something a bit out of the ordinary I’d have to pick “Television Graveyard”. This is the video that I hand drew and animated myself.  It was a lot of work for one person but I love how it turned out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEDBz-k9loU

  1. Illuminate us on your songwriting processes. Do you usually start with the lyrics or with the music?

Enzo Sprigg:  I’m very vocal centric so my melodies tend to start as lyrical ideas.  I’ll start to hear them in my head and from there I’ll work on the music around that idea to fully flesh it out.  Many songs come fast and I can get the raw idea down in a couple of days. From there I’ll try things with the arrangements and just listen over and over to try to be as objective as possible. In this stage, I’ll also have others listen and give me their initial thoughts.  After I feel I know where the song should go I start the next phase of iteration and polish but even in that stage I try to keep the song flexible and not be too precious with ideas.  My goal is always to give each song its attention and really take the time with it. I think the listener can hear when material has that sort of detail put into it. It’s equally important to maintain a sense of energy and spirit so I try not to overthink things either. It’s a very delicate balance but also very rewarding. I feel each song is a huge learning experience so I try not to take shortcuts around that.

  1. If you could change one thing about how the music business works today, what would that be?

Enzo Sprigg: Well I really love premium streaming services and the fact that I can listen to nearly anything I want legally but I also purchase music from artists I absolutely love. This is how I show them that I’m here for them and care about what they produce.  Honestly paying $10 for an album that will become a part of your life’s soundtrack seems like a great bargain to me.  I guess I wish the larger listening majority felt that way and gave music the importance it truly deserves. I think the only people I know that think that way are either music nuts or other artists and that’s too bad.

  1. Tell us something about the basic concept behind your album “Cosmic Bipolar Nebula”?

Enzo Sprigg: I really wanted this album to be psychedelic, introspective, layered, and emotionally honest. The material is a reflection of who I am and how I see the world. This album has definitely been a journey inward. I also pressed myself to explore both the lighter, euphoric side of life as well as the sorrow and painful side. I knew this would make the body of songs dynamic and varied. The album definitely has two polar sides to it which was exactly what I was going for.

  1. How long did it take to complete the “Cosmic Bipolar Nebula” project from its initial creation to the release date? And was it a smooth ride from beginning to end?

Enzo Sprigg: The writing, once I knew where I wanted to go came very quickly. I think I had the full album written in 3 months! From there I focused on getting the production and recording quality just right. When starting an album, I do a few things that help me focus and get it done. First, I’ll come up with the name and broad concept. Then I’ll think of some keywords I’m shooting for. Then once the writing starts I’ll start putting together the track list. I may remove or replace some songs as I go but this helps me stay on track which is by far the hardest thing to do when trying to finish an album. I did spin my wheels a bit towards the end of this album and took a bit longer in finishing everything but at the end of the day I think the entire project took me a year from start to finish and that’s not bad at all.  Most importantly I’m very happy with how all the songs turned out.

  1. Of all your achievements what do you think can be considered as being a high point of your so far?

Enzo Sprigg: Well I’ve never been one to judge real achievement from external sources. Music is just too personal of a journey for me to do that.  I’d have to say completing 3 full length albums entirely on my own full of material I honestly believe in has been the best achievement so far. Knowing that complete strangers like and listen to it based on its own merits is also a great plus.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?

Enzo Sprigg: Who am I to judge anyone else’s music or talent? If someone likes what you do then more power to you. I think anyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there, either onstage or online deserves a certain degree of respect. I do feel frustrated sometimes when I can’t seem to figure out how to reach the sort of audience that would appreciate the sort of songs I write but I would never lay blame on someone else for that.  The truth is I’m learning how to promote myself and slowly but surely, I’ll get better at it.  It seems with every release more people learn about me and I’m happy with that steady progress.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Enzo Sprigg: Best advice that I follow, to believe in myself to get the work done and try not to rely on others to make that happen.  Best advice that I don’t follow but know I should, I need to play live more to bring the music to life.

  1. How would you personally describe your music, in the length of a Tweet, to someone who has never heard your stuff before?

Enzo Sprigg: Vocally melodic, well-crafted electronic music that bridges the gap between synth-pop and industrial.

  1. You’re a singer-songwriter, as well as a visual artist who illustrates his own album covers, creates the costumes in his videos and has even hand drawn and animated videos for his songs? Do you ever collaborate with anyone else, or even take advice from others when working on your creative projects?

Enzo Sprigg: Though I do work solo mostly I don’t create in a vacuum. At work I’m surrounded by many creatives (both musical and otherwise) so very early on I ask some friends there to listen to early versions of songs.  Because we’re all game developers used to reviewing creative work, their feedback tends to be very honest and insightful. You should let others in early so you don’t fall in love with your work too much and miss something obvious. I’d also like to ultimately produce another artist and go behind the scenes entirely. I think it would be an amazing learning experience and would help inform my own creative process.

  1. What is the one thing you have never ever been willing, or prepared to do, in your quest to sustain a successful musical career?

Enzo Sprigg: I would never, ever give up ownership or control of my music for any amount of money. That would be like selling off my fingers for a dollar amount. Honestly, I don’t care if I never make any real money from it. What I care about is what I’m building. A catalogue of crafted, memorable electronic music that I’m more than happy to put my name on.

WEBSITE: http://enzosprigg.com

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