Monday, August 31, 2009

Leaving the festival season, but luckily now it's concert season!

We've been feeling the festivals this summer here at Mix and Mark, mostly at Warped Tour where we talked to a lot of great bands in the scene like A Skylit Drive, Lights, InnerPartySystem, Underoath and The Millionaires to name a few. It was a great time but now it's time for shows! There is nothing I like more then live music, and luckily for me (and possibly for you!) there are plenty opportunities for that coming up! Every month, I'll post all the concerts that I will be attending this fall in the Boston/Providence area and I hope that you'll be at some soon!Bold

August 31st (today!): Cobra Starship with The Audition, The Friday Night Boys and Skeet Skeet@ Club Hell, Providence

September 6th: Dear Havannah with Urban Sun, Birds In the Woods and Zac Taylor@Harpers Ferry, Allston, MA

September 20th: Secondhand Serenade with guests @ House of Blues, Boston

September 21st: Regina Specktor at House of Blues

September 22nd: Family Force 5 with Cash cash, Breathe Carloina, Queens Club and IRival @Middle East, Cambridge MA

September 23rd: Mat Kearney @House of Blues

September 24th: Dear and The Headlights @House of Blues

Hope to see you rocking out this month and there are plenty more concerts coming this fall!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

InnerPartySystem with Jared Piccone.

InnerPartySystem is what I like to call the brain child of Jared Piccone and Pat Nissley, the two co founders who started the band together all the way back in 2002. They have a distinct sound from a lot of the bands on Warped Tour, but that's something that's so great about it this year. They put on an amazing live show with an amazing lights show and props and were tested at Warped Tour for this. In the words of Jared Piccone as you'll find later in this interview though, the band was fine with the supposed test. "We actually like doing it because sometimes you get a couple people who wonder like what's this band going to do with out lights as if we hide behind them and we don't." The boys will be playing on the PacSun tour this fall (dates still to be announced!) so try to catch them when they come to you, where they will be co headlining with another Warped Tour newcomer this year in P.O.S. among others.

So, I know this is your first time on Warped Tour? How is it?
It's a lot of fun. Warped Tour is one of those things that are so popular and so big. It's like when you find out you're doing it, everybody and their brother has stories and tips. So I feel like coming on, we're pretty prepared, we know how it's going to be, talking about how fun it is. It's definetly been awesome!
So it's lived up to your expectations?
Totally. I think the first week was a little hard because you're just getting used to the routine, like working your ass off. It's definetly harder to tour Warped Tour then it is a normal one but once you get into the routine of like working your ass off all the time, it's awesome.

I know, with your normal shows, you guys have a lot of lights set up, have a lot of effects. How's the transition been since you can't use a lot of those effects as much as you normally do in your shows?
We actually did a tour before this without lights as well so we're kind of used to doing it. We actually like doing it because sometimes you get a couple people who wonder like what's this band going to do with out lights as if we hide behind them and we don't. Like, we're still a rock band, we're still a band that comes out to play their instruments, just like every other band does. It's kind of nice to show that we're still a band and we can do it. We did have a few surprises. We're into like building a lot of our own stuff so we did bring a couple extra things like little toys but I don't know if we're going to get to use them today anymore or not.
Oh I know, this is horrible! So how have the sets been so far? Has there been a warm welcoming?
It's actually suprising because we're not really typical Warped tour material. I was a little worried about how it was going to go but it's been awesome. The days that we have good slots, it's been a lot better then we thought. It's just been awesome.

I mean, like you were saying, that it's not the normal bands that play warped tour. For example, I've been talking to ska bands, southern rock bands. I know it's been a whole bunch of different bands coming out-
It's awesome. I like it better this way.
It's becoming more of something for everyone. Have you been checking out any of the other bands?
Well, I've been a fan of P.O.S. for a while so I've been really stoked to see him everyday. Um, Alexisonfire, I've always heard about but I've never really got into them but I've fallen in love with that band on this tour. That was a band I never listened to before this. I'm not gonna lie, it's been really tough. We do our own merch, we set up our stuff so I get to catch one to two bands a day if that. I'm trying to think. I never get tired of seeing Underoath, I've seen them a million times, still love watching them. They're one of the best live bands I've ever seen.

Are there any bands that you were really excited to go on tour with? Like bands that have been playing it a long time like NOFX or Bad Religion, Flogging Molly?
There are a lot of bands, that weren't necessarily my scene. I grew up listening to a lot of British punk rock so I was kind of like, 'Oh it's really cool'. A lot of legends on this tour where I know it's all came from. I'm really stoked that Fat Mike did come over to buy our cd the other day which is crazy because I thought for sure that we'd be the butt of a bunch of their jokes.
Oh, that's awesome then!
We've been getting some respect from the old school guys.

For sure! How did it come about you guys being on Warped Tour? Was it like direct from Kevin?
I don't know, it's hard. I'm sure a lot of bands have bullshit stories like 'Oh we partied all night. He said 'I like you". No, when it really really comes down to it, it's normally a booking agent that gets you on it. It's a really uninteresting answer to your question but I got to be honest with you. Nothing really cool happened, I think we submitted for it, they picked us.

Do you have any plans for after Warped Tour we should be looking out for?
Yeah, we've actually taken two months off before Warped Tour to start writing and after Warped tour, we're going to do the same. Write the other half. So, we'll probably take some time off this fall to write. Hopefully, we're going to do one full tour this year but really I can say to expect a new album very soon.

How have you been feeling, liking the Warped Tour so far?
It's a lot of fun. It's all been cool, the crowds have been awesome, we seem to be attracting a lot of kids who are walking by, who see us, then they buy stuff.
So it's been a good experience so far on tour?
Oh yeah, the best! It's one of those things that you do and you know why you're doing it. Like, I'm going to look back at this summer and be like 'it's the best summer ever!' and be all nostalgic about it.
Everyone seems to love, everyone says it's like a summer camp.
It is.
*At this point, Pat Nissley, the other founding member of the band back in 2002 with Jared runs up soaked in rain and mud*
Anything else you'd like to say to your fans?
Pat: Come out and see us. Welcome to a new Warped Tour (laughs). No more genre bridges.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Artist of the Week: The Midway State

The Midway State is an amazing band that I've been playing constantly, with favorites from their latest EP 'Met A Man On Top The Hill' like Change For You and A Million Fireflies, since I found out about them. A while back, I was able to arrange an interview with them which you can find here and since then I just can't get enough.

A local Toronto favorite, The Midway State do not currently show any dates for shows on their myspace but they are making plenty of video updates(weekly, in fact) of their experiences right now for these hard working boys who are currently in the recording studio. The boys are working on some great new music and promoting in support of their latest AMAZING single 'Change For You'. Expect nothing but the best from this talented Toronto based quartet. You can find more of their music here and can buy their latest EP on iTunes right now!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Rescues

Have you ever imagined that you could go to a concert and have it in a vegetarian restaurant? Well, that's where I was lucky enough to experience my first Rescues show, and it was at Club Passim. Passim is a well respected vegetarian restaurant that doubles a venue, kind of like a dinner and a show feel?

I caught The Rescues with their opener AM on the road on August 19th and was able to do an interview with the band afterwards. The Rescues are four singer songwriters who came together for a friend's wedding and have been playing music together ever since.

Since then, the band has released a full length album but due to the craziness of the music industry, have signed a new record deal and will be putting out some new music on that label soon. Even though they may not have some of their old material, they put on an amazing show! So many people told me stories at the show of just walking by the venue, hearing the sweet sounds of Kyler England, Adrianne Gonzalez, Gabriel Mann and Rob Giles and decided to come in and check it out. The live show that The Rescues produced blew me away and have definitely notched in a place in my music library.

I was able to sit down with the gang post performance and everything was on the table. Complete with lots of laughs and a family vibe with in the band, it's clear that this band is going places. Places that include going on headlining tours and having their music featured on shows like Drop Dead Diva and Grey's Anatomy to the new Jennifer Aniston film, Love Comes.

Being on the first night of this tour, how does it feel so far? Only being one show but there was a really great audience tonight?
Adrianne Gonzalez: Unbelievably unexpected and great.
Gabrielle Mann: The problem with shows like this one is that you play them and then you want to stay on the road forever.You can't stay on the road forever. It's a real problem. How could you have a show like that and not want to do this just all the time?

Have you ever played this small of a venue on a tour?
Kyler England: This is one of the smaller venues we have probably played as The Rescues for sure, but I mean they pack it in here so the vibe was great. I mean it's not really like a rock room but we're four singer songwriters and this is like that vibe right here so we thought it was the best place to make our debut in Boston.

Are there any cities that you're particularly excited about playing this tour? I mean I know you're pretty excited to play this one.
KE: I'm excited to play Atlanta.
AG: I've never played Annapolis.
Rob Giles: I've never even heard of it but it's crazy. I'm excited about that.

Have you explored the city at all? I mean, I know you've only been here for a night.
KE: We got lost in Roxbury last night. She(Adrianne) put it in the GPS. We were trying to find Harvard Square so we were like 'Let's put in the address of Club Passim' 47 Palmer Street, you know. She put it in but as Boston. So we get there, everything is boarded up, like there's been some avian flu epidemic or something.
GM: I really though it was the economy. I was like, wow!

I know a few of you went to Berklee School of Music. Did you know each other at the time? Is that how the band got together?
AG: I knew of Rob, Rob knew of me but we never actually hung out until after.
RG: It was like the Sharks and the Jets kind of thing. Straights and gays. (everyone laughs!) Of course I didn't know she was gay and I tried to hit on her but I was like wearing pleated pants and loafers at the time so I think she just walked in the other direction. No was the answer. That's not where the band started.

Where did it start?
RG: It started because we were invited to play at a wedding.
KE: It sounds so lame.
RG: It's not as lame as you would think. It was a beautiful wedding, the mayor of Los Angeles was there-
KE: In the Hollywood Hills
RG: It's gorgeous. After that, we started writing together and that was like a year and a half ago. It really started in November of 2008.

You guys talked about it before, but I know you guys were on Grey's Anatomy multiple times and Drop Dead Diva. How did that come about?
AG: People basically pitch our songs to people that put the songs in the show and so that's what happens. The people at Grey's Anatomy have now become big fans of ours and they've just been really great. The Drop Dead Diva thing is the same sort of thing.
KE: Yeah, it helps that we live in LA which is where all that happens.
AG: Yeah we know all of those people, they're our friends, that kind of thing.

How did it feel to hear your songs on that show?
RG: I've heard our song once.
KE: You haven't? OK, we'll find that for you online.
GM: This whole Drop Dead Diva thing is like a rumor I don't believe.
RG: It is a trip, I think every time to hear it. It feels like you're sort of an impostor. You're like 'what?!' It's so weird because we all literally two or three times a week hang out and watch Lifetime tv. You know, have some ice cream.

I know you guys released an album, your first album. I know because you guys signed with a new record label and everything that you can't use that material anymore. I don't really understand all of that yet but how would you describe that album and your new album maybe to people who haven't heard of you guys yet to try and pull them in?
GM: The stuff that we're playing live is pretty much brand new different material. Our audience, if they have heard of us at all before they come and see us, won't recognize a lot of the songs since we can't use songs that came out after January 2009. There are no recordings you can buy of that stuff except one song. There are enough songs in this set that are, that they can buy that existed. We're playing to an audience songs that are like ninety degrees from where we before. It's a lot to ask but there's a huge difference between the first record and the new material.
KE: What stayed the same is that we are still able to write these songs with a pop melody and obviously the vocals. The cool thing about this new album is that with Rob in the band now, he plays songs that now allow us to really create every sound that you hear in these songs on the record. Before on our other album, we hired a drummer, bass guitar player, electric but on this new record we play everything.
RG: We kind of made the band what we've wanted to be ourselves and we kind of talked about it.

I know you guys just played a benefit show a few weeks ago. Another name I know from it was Sara Barielles. Do you want to explain what it was for, I know it was close to heart.
KE: A friend of ours from Berklee had a traumatic brain injury and it's just a very very long recovery from last fall. So in LA, I was one of the organizers so The Rescues agreed to play and Sara Barielles played, a bunch of great artists and it was a blast. I mean everyone did short sets so it was really really fun. I don't know if you know this but Gabe produced Sara Bareilles first album.
GM: Before her first major label release. I discovered her, in other words. (everyone laughs!) She'd be nothing with out me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jim Lindberg leaves Pennywise.

Jim Lindberg, the lead singer of Pennywise, has announced that he will be leaving the band after nineteen years. Pennywise was a main stay on the Warped Tour, which coincides with my recent coverage. They were on it for years and remained friendly with the director and the producer of the tour Kevin Lyman over time.
They were a big force on it, and will still be going as a band with the three remaining members being Fletcher Dragge, Byron McMackin and Randy Bradbury, who will be starting to look for a new lead singer.

Pennywise was a leader of the southern california punk movement hailing from Hermosa Beach starting off in 1988. They released an amazing nine full length albums, a dvd, a couple live releases among a million shows around the world.

The three remaining members of the band just released the following statement:

"After 19 years with Pennywise, Jim Lindberg has decided to step down as lead singer. Pennywise has long stood behind the motto that you should always follow your heart and pursue what makes you happy, and we wish Jim the best of luck in his new ventures, whatever they may be. Pennywise has become a way of life for a lot of people, and has definitely become a way of life for us. As the three remaining members of Pennywise we feel that we are not done delivering our message to our fans.
The band has always been about moving forward in life no matter what obstacles stand in front of you. We will begin our search for a new singer immediately. We will continue to tour the world and we are looking forward to writing new music. We've had a lot of good times and survived the hard times thanks to the undying support of our fans. We're looking forward to what the future may bring."

Sincerely Fletcher, Randy and Byron"

Guilty Pleasure? I sure think so.

Being a Madonna child my whole life, I cannot wait till her latest album drops, Celebration. I guess someone else was feeling the same way when someone sent me a remix that can make anyone move, even if all you listen to is country. Yes it's a guilty pleasure but no girl can resist Madonna or Lady Gaga, come on now. Don't kid yourself!

Bringing in a bit of Lady Gaga "Love Game" and Pitbull "Calle Ocho" into the mix with Madonna's latest title single, it's not one to be missed!

Interview with TV/TV

Recently I got the chance to attend Warped Tour in Montreal as some of you readers know and I was lucky enough to be able to talk to two guys, Camille and Phil,from the great upcoming band TV/TV. They are playing all of Warped Tour (which ends in four days so catch them while you can California!) and are playing an amazing set at the Highline Ballroom on September 18th!

They recently dropped their latest EP, Not Enough Red, and have been playing it all summer featuring some personal favorites like Small Time and Fire Island Freakout. From the interview, I hope to see some of their plans come through to Boston soon enough and I would definetly volunteer to be their merch person! Anyone who is lucky enough to get a chance to work with this unsigned band should take it!
They also post some pretty sweet video blogs every week, with the last being a recent tweet up Seattle acoustic performance they did while on Warped Tour but they've also gone on a six flags adventure, experienced a rough night at a Denny's after party and ate some branded beef jerky.
Definetly a great band that will be blowing up your airstreams very soon so be ahead of the world and listen to them now!
You guys pretty much came on for the whole tour as an unsigned band.
Has that changed?
Camille: That has not changed but you know Warped Tour is like an amazing thing, amazing promotion. Plus the entire country and Canada, where we're here now. It's possible booking agents that we may talk to and maybe start working with because of this tour, um, maybe labels. You know we've been talking to labels over the last few months to a year. Nothing's finalized yet though. Hopefully after this tour maybe labels will take us a little more seriously.

How did Kevin Lyman approach you guys. I know he's bringing a lot of unsigned bands, especially being that you're on the whole tour too.
Camille: Yeah, it was incredible. I've known Kevin since 2005. I did merch on Taste of Chaos so I've known him for a little while. I gave him a cd back last summer and also our manager talked to his assistant a little bit in the fall when we did a fall tour. We invited his assistant out to watch us when we were on tour in LA at the Knitting Factory. She came out and saw us, picked up a cd, gave it to him, and he put it together for us and next thing I knew I was screaming on the phone when I heard we were playing the whole thing. It was incredible.

Have you guys ever wanted to play Warped Tour in the past?
Phil: Growing up in the local music scene, that was always like the ultimate dream.
Camille: Yeah I mean where we're from Jersey where there's like so many bands, so many local scenes, playing VFW halls and basically now a days that's one of the only places that kids can play at. VFW halls, college shows, and just like you know run down bars and music venues and every single band when you're fifteen and sixteen, like all you do is just dream of playing Warped Tour whether it's like one date, one week, two weeks. You know, you take whatever you can get so this is definetly a dream come true.

Coming on this tour, there's a lot of bands on this year's tour that are classic on it, like NOFX, Bad Religion, Flogging Molly. Have you come on this tour wanting to see any bands or are there any bands on this tour you were really excited to hear about?
Camille: Yeah, I definetly wanted to see Bad Religion. I mean they are musicians, vocalists, songwriters, a favorite of mine. I really like watching Underoath. We both like Senses Fail a lot, they're from Jersey so that was definetly exciting too, they're definetly some Jersey comrades.

Kind of a random question, but I was on youtube the other day and I came across your channel. There's one with a big piece of beef jerky, do you remember this?
Camille: Yeah, that was all him.
Phil: In the beginning of this tour, we were just stopping at truck stops everywhere. That was in the morning, we hadn't had anything to eat yet, so me and Josh decided to buy this big jerky, it was like branded and it's disgusting. We ate it though and it was pretty good. I liked it, he hated it.
Camille: No, I don't think Josh liked it. I tried a piece, I thought it was pretty good! Super..jerky.

So I know you guys make youtube videos and you guys have all your songs up there. Do you think, for you guys personally, the internet and the social media going on helps you guys?
Phil: Well, I think that the internet is obviously sort of an advantage for bands now a days. We definetly take advantage of it as much as we can to reach out and connect but it's also kind of in a way to distinguish yourself. You want to have a personal relationship with your fans and not just be another band who has a myspace because everyone has a myspace.
Camille: Yeah, it's weird like-
Phil: We try to work really hard-
Camille: It's so weird because I think after the days of being thirteen and fourteen, or maybe even like ten, like before the internet was the means of networking, I can't imagine how so many underground punk bands circulated back in those days, in the eighties and the nineties. I mean, I know there was a lot of word of mouth and like scenes but I can't imagine how without the internet. It's crazy.

Can we look forward to anything new coming from you guys after the tour?
Camille: There's a new CD out now. We put it out last week. There's like four new songs and we pressed hard copies for the tour. So four new songs with six older ones, in a hard copy.
Phil: And it's up on myspace, and up on iTunes. It's obviously on myspace! You can actually purchase it on iTunes.

What do you think is going to come of the hard work you guys have been putting in on this tour and so far?
Camille: You know, either helping us out in their local towns or maybe we'll find an awesome, awesome merch person to come on or maybe find an awesome guitar tech.
Phil: This will give us an opportunity to go places we haven't been before. Montreal? It also gives us that option that now we can come back because we've touched down.
Camille: Definetly helps. We've done a couple tours. We started touring in September and basically like all the smaller or larger towns that we hit back in the fall, it's kind of funny because when we hit those towns on the Warped Tour, we kind of notice the amount of people that come back. Our crowds are a little bit larger so the next tour, people who saw us at warped tour will come to our next tour and it just keeps growing just like that.

You can find more of their music here

UPDATED: Literally just found out that they boys signed a record deal! Congrats!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Artist of the Week: Bishop Allen

I think I may be developing a thing for bands that feature ivy league rs. After a bit of research, I realized that now twice the artists of the week that I talk about on here have been a twosome of Harvard grads. Starting with Max and DA of Chester French, I have now come to Bishop Allen who are the band that I just can't get out of my head and another Brooklyn gem. Don't just throw them in the the same boat as recent favorites from there like The Virgins and A Moment's Worth though. The two some that has been there from the beginning, Christian Rudder and Justin Rice, provide a sound that reminds you of a few different acts. Their summery sound reminds me of the southern Californian act Rooney while their lyrics seem a little like the already mentioned Virgins from the same borough. They mean other bands to memory but they are all their own mold.

The name may seem familiar if you have ever seen the teen indie film 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Play list' in the scene where Michael Cera's fictional band The Jerkoffs were opening for them. Amongst other great indie bands featured on the soundtrack, they also had one of their songs Middle Management on the soundtrack along with a performance in the movie. They put out their latest effort this year on March 10th and haven't failed to disappoint me yet. Some of my favorites are 'Rain', 'Click,Click,Click' and 'Things are what you make of them' and these guys are definitely something to check out. Right now, I don't see any shows on their schedule but they have played dates all around the country and around the world so I hope we can expect some soon, since I know I'll be there!

Check their music out here and see their video below for my personal favorite 'Click,Click,Click':

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Skylit Drive is the six member band coming from Lodi, California that has been rocking the Warped Tour since June in Pomona, California. They recently put out their second full length, 'Adelphia' and will be going on a few dates in Europe post Warped Tour while right after opening for Senses Fail in the fall around the US.
Recently, at Warped, I got the chance to talk to Nick Miller, who plays one of the two guitars in the band along with Joey Wilson. On that rainy, rainy day Nick was nice enough to do the interview where we talked about the catering (a common favorite topic on Warped!) to another dream coming true for him this fall!

Are we on?
I'm Nick from A Skylit Drive.

How's Warped Tour been so far?
So good! Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. Tons of work, tons of parties.
You think you'll able to make it for the rest of the tour?
Oh hell yeah, of course. I don't know, I might not actually but I'm gonna give it my best shot.

You're gonna try? What's been your favorite memory of tour so far?
There's a couple I can't remember that were probably really awesome.
but the ones you can't remember are the best sometimes.
I mean, playing and hanging out like theres' been a couple shows that have been like the best shows of our A Skylit Drive careers but especially like hanging out. This is such a good opportunity to meet so many people that come to shows. Good times!

Is there anything you're really looking forward to on tour? like any big bands?
Well, every single day is like a dream come true to me so. I've always wanted to be on Warped Tour so I guess I look forward to every day. I can't sleep at night every night because I'm so excited for the next day.

That's awesome. Have you ever had any surprises in your set? Do you think you will in the future?
Yeah! Well like, it's so crazy because there are so many bands that I look up to, that are watching me play. They'll be standing on the side and I'll start getting so nervous I don't want to mess up, you know.

Isn't that awesome though?
Oh yeah! It's very cool!

How's the food?
Oh, so good! I think I've gained like ten pounds already. All I do is eat.

That's great! What's going on with your music right now?
Well, we just put out the new album so we're on tour a lot right now. We're going to do another tour a few weeks after Warped Tour then we're going to Europe so we'll be busy. It's always non stop for us.
Is there any place that you've always wanted to play?
Yeah, actually everywhere in Europe. It's our first time.

Awesome. Are you touring with anyone that we'd know?
I think we're going, honestly. I really never know what we're doing. I get a phone call like 'Dude, we're going on tour' 'Alright, sweet.' No, I dont really know what the deal is, I just know we're going to Europe.

You can find more of their music here and can catch them at the famous Harper's Ferry on October 24th for all you boston people!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I guess they were unaware diamonds came with debt. Meet Nick Price.

Meet one of the bands I respect most in the music business right now-Meg and Dia. Though their names may not seem that familiar, this band has been working for years on putting out music and are a little surprise and relief from most of the bands on Warped Tour. Their acoustic and earthly sounds put on a different type of show as, in Nick Price's own words, just five people singing and playing their instruments.

I first found out about them from a friend's band Treaty of Paris when the two acts toured together in the past. They recently released a long awaited album in "Here, Here and Here" and have just finished the Warped Tour (two days ago!) and hopefully will be on the road this fall in support of the album!
I was lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with Nick Price, the fabulous drummer of the band at the Montreal date of the Warped Tour despite the monsoon surrounding us!

How's Warped Tour going so far?
It's been good. It's our third year, we did it in '06 and '07. It's going good so far!

Crowds have been giving a good response?
Pretty well. The crowd is a little bit different this time around where as in '06 and '07 they were more pop/rock and this year it seems very much more like harder rock/screamo bands. It's almost like this new wave of music so it's a little bit different from what we've had in the past. But I feel like this year, opposed to the previous years, people are more here to see us rather then to see the whole warped tour. It makes it a little nicer because people have come out to see us then to just carry on with their day.

I know that the guys on the tour have been saying that Warped is changing into something else, with a whole bunch of different bands coming on tour, which isn't a bad thing really.
If someone has never caught your set and is thinking of seeing you play, how would you describe it to them?
It's definitely more organic really. We're trying to avoid using any kind of like digital tracks or anything. It's just five people playing their instruments together. Sometimes we have a bad show, sometimes we have a great show. It's always different, like today, Dia is, like extremely sick so Meg's going to be singing. Dia's been sick for a couple shows now so it's always different. I can't say that every show is the same.

For sure. Are there any artists at Warped Tour that you were really excited to see this year or any that you've grown to like?
I grew up listening to, like, Bad Religion and NOFX so it's always fun to see those guys. I actually got to talk to Brooks, the drummer for Bad Religion the other night and I was freaking out. Also, we have a lot of friends on the tour but we were also really excited to check out Dear And The Headlights and we're friends with P.O.S. from previous years. Actually, yesterday, he came on stage with us and rapped over one of our songs yesterday since Dia wasn't able to sing so it was really fun but yeah, there's definitely a lot of talent here.

That's awesome, it's definitely a bit different from the style of Meg and Dia! You guys also just released some new music. How has that been going?
I think so. Our new album is a lot more mature. We've grown a lot, like together as a band. We've also all grown individually, playing our own instruments so the album's definitely more mature. We're all really stoked about it. Actually, we're attracting more of a mature audience which is really good.

Are there any tours, future music plans we can look forward to after Warped Tour?
We don't know yet. We've submitted for a few tours, we don't know if we're going to get them. If we don't then we might just end up doing a headliner tour but we'd rather tour for like, a huge tour with someone that we worship but that might not happen.

I know bands you guys have toured with in the past, like Treaty of Paris and a few smaller bands. Would you ever do a tour again with bands you've toured with in the past if it was up to you?
Of course, if we do a headlining tour, we'll remember who we liked and those guys are great friends of ours, just from touring with them with The Spill Canvas. We just got really close and so there's a few bands like that we'd just take out every time that we plan to have on tours. We're just like 'We want to take out this band and this band' and then it ends up being like ten bands, we have to whittle it down to like three.

If you get the opportunity to come on Warped Tour again, would you take it?
It depends on where we are if the opportunity comes. Since when you're on Warped Tour, you're really sick of it but once you are off Warped Tour, you're like damn, when's Warped Tour coming up? Like, we didn't think we were going to do Warped Tour this year but I was emailing our manager like "hey get us on Warped Tour!" and when we did it, we were really stoked and now we're here and we're like 'it's rainy, it's super hot, our bus is two miles away' but we're having fun.

Are there any stand out memories for you so far on the tour?
Well, like I said for me, the other night meeting Brooks Wackerman from Bad Religion, that was a big deal. Oh well, something happened today. I was warming up in our little gear tent, this gust of wind comes in, blows our gear tent over, crushes another tent.
Yeah, just like earlier this morning. It flew on to the drummer from I Set My Friends on Fire. He was just next to me, warming up and he was like two tents down. Our tent just goes woosh, cuts his head open. It was the most intense ten minutes. I was just like 'Uh!'

You can find more of their music here and hopefully we will be seeing this act on tour as soon as this fall!

Rest in Peace, (true) king of the eighties.

Yesterday, we lost a legend in John Hughes. The director of such classics as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off unfortunately passed due to a heart attack at the age of 59 and the boys of a Warped Tour favorite, TV/TV just did a tribute to him, making an ultimate trailer for their version of a eighties movie. It features some of the classic movie tunes as the soundtrack and is a classic!

Driving your soul.

A tour that is constantly known as a "boy tour" is slowly but surely widening it's doors to lots of female talent, including several that I've already posted my interviews from like The Millionaires and Alana Grace, but one that is best known in Canada is the talented Lights.

Lights, also previously known as Valerie Poxleitner, is one of the most down to earth people I've been lucky enough to meet despite what some images of her may portray. She is incredibly humble despite the success she has had in the past year (she won the Juno for best new artist this past March!) and it's definetly a good surprise. Best known for her single and video for "Drive My Soul", she is about to release her first full length album which drops in Canada on September 22nd and will be touring all fall to support it with Keane!

Playing the not so typical instrument of keytar, Lights will surely be putting on some great shows this fall and you should definetly try to catch one!

How does it feel to be one of the only girls on the tour where it seems like such a boy tour?
It's honestly, I mean, it could be weird but I think if you approach it just as I'm a musician just like everybody else and as long as you're into that kind of respect. Do your best thing on stage and don't treat anyone any different, you're going to be treated the same way. I mean, there is an advantage that people are walking around checking out all the bands. A lot of bands are like four or five guys on stage or whatever which is great, depending on, well all bands are different but when there's a girl, whether or not they like it, they'll still stop so it's an advantage that way. You get a little bit of extra attention, extra audience.

I think this is your first tour-
Yeah, I did two dates last year but it doesn't really count.
Your first whole warped tour, can you give any advice to bands that maybe you didn't have when you first came on? I mean you've been on it since Pomona.
I would say, wear sunscreen, bring face wipes and drink a lot of water. That's definetly key..and treat everybody really nicely like you would want to be treated. That's really important in such a close environment like this for an extended period of time.

Are there any bands that you're really interested in seeing yourself, like bands you've liked from the past, bands that you're going to be on tour with the whole summer?
Well I mean, aside from discovering new bands on the tour like InnerPartySystem and the rest., there are some long time favorite bands of mine like Less Than Jake actually that just finished playing now. Love them so much and Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada, ones that I've listened to for a long time, it's been really cool to watch them play every day.

What's your favorite memory so part of tour? Like, any moments that stand out even though it's just started?
There's been a lot of really really fun stuff that's happened. Um, one that I liked is that we all did a bowling day , and we all went bowling. It was like for charity, we all had to wear shirts that said our band name on it, kind of people didn't know who eachother was, so they had to wear their bands names on our shirts and we were recognizing all the people but it was a blast, it was a really fun night!
Did you get a little far into the tournament?
Oh, we got to second round. We made second round (laughs)

I know it's like a big family bonding experience on Warped Tour. I mean you meet all these bands and spend all this time with 800 people every day. Have you created any special bonds, made new friends with bands that you may not have known before this tour started?
Um, well one that I kind of expected was the band that we're sharing a bus with, dear and the headlights. We've gotten really close to them. Obviously, we wake up and see their faces every morning, one foot away from you so we have a really really special bond with them and it's really nice to be back on the road with VersaEmerge and In This Moment. We toured with them in the UK a couple of months ago and it's nice to see them and we really have this special connection with them and I mean we're also really getting along with the guys from A Rocket To The Moon, real sweethearts.

How did you get involved in the tour? I mean, were you approached by Kevin(Lyman)? How did it come about?
I don't know, I guess Kevin Lyman was actually a fan of my music and he, I guess, gave me the initation last year with the two dates that I dropped in on and that's why this year, well I'm only the first month but, yeah so it was kind of cool and he featured me on the web site and everything so I feel very honoured that Kevin Lyman, who I'm staring at right now. In the little straw hat. He really did help and it's really expanding my audience, and it's given me a lot of luck.

Awesome. What are your plans for post warped tour? Are you touring, are you going to come back to Canada, Toronto which I know is where you're from?
Definetly, definetly. I'm actually going on tour with Keane in September. We're going to come to Montreal at the Metropolis, so definetly check that out and my record comes out on September 22nd. It's coming out a week early in Canada then in the states because Canada's special that way!

Thank you so much and I'll be sure to catch your show at Metropolis.
Oh my goodness!

You can find more of her music here and can see her video for her hit single "Drive My Soul" below!

Artist of the Week: Alana Grace

Though we were surrounded in a monsoon really at the Montreal date of Warped Tour, there was a positive side in it that there were a whole lot of people under a really little tent through it all. In a fortunate way, it gave this journalist a chance to meet a lot of great bands and acts that maybe I wouldn't have heard of before and luckily, that's how I met the great female contemporary singer, Alana Grace!

Hailing from Los Angeles but a transplant to the thriving music city of Nashville, TN, performing seemed to be in Alana's blood. Her most known song "Black Roses Red" was featured in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie and her career has kicked off after releasing her sophomore album in April this year. The young 21 year old seems to have an amazing career ahead of her and will be playing the rest of the Warped Tour where you can find her on the Kevin Says Stage!

So how's the tour been so far?
It's been really good. Actually, it's our first year on it so it's been a learning experience definitelywe've had. To get people to the show, to get people to your booth afterwards like that but it's been really fun and we've had a lot of different people and gained a few new fans which is really like why we're out here.

Awesome. Do you have any like favorite memory of tour so far?
Yeah, that's tough. My favorite memory of tour so far. You know, I actually have a lot of memories from the bus. I share a bus with Madina Lake. Those guys are so hysterical, it's just like a constant laugh party.

Right after this, having Matt from Madina Lake come in behind us egging her on to talk about her supposedly amazing kickball skills.

Knowing this is your first time on Warped Tour, is there any advice you would give to bands that maybe you didn't have?
I think it's important to have an open mind because people will be there for part of your show, leave and will come back to your tent later and be like "oh my god, i loved your show". For like the first few days, when people would leave before the last song, we'd be like "No, don't leave yet" but people try to see every band that they can and because all of the bands are playing at the same time, it's like people try to catch most of your set and go to another person's. People always come back so don't be disheartened by that.

Are there any bands that you've been excited to see on this tour that maybe you were a fan of before?
Um, definitely Saosin so that I was very excited to see um and actually I've heard a lot about Lights and I finally saw her last night. I felt bad, it's so hard to get to peoples' sets some times because you're always playing at the same time. She played at a totally different time then me last night so I was like yes, awesome!

So how do you feel normally, on the Warped Tour, there aren't a lot of girls represented on the tour. I know that there's you, we have Meg and Dia, there's Lights. Do you maybe feel like you're a figure for the future tours?
You know, it's funny. They do consider it a guys' tour but every one's so welcome to girls on the tour that I kind of feel like it's cool to be a bit different (laughs) as a chick among a bunch of boys. Well, if people don't feel like hearing guys screaming anymore, they know!

You can find more of Alana Grace's music here and be sure to check her out on the rest of the Warped Tour!

Sounds like: Regina Specktor, Ana Nalik, Sara Barielles.

They may not come off as your typical Warped Tour act, but this year definetly shook up the old stereotypes and introduced the "Millionaires" to the ears of some people who may have hated it, but Melissa Marie, Dani and Allison couldn't care less. Starting off in Melissa and Allison's basement(yes they are sisters and are the bookends in the picture!) messing around with their computer's recording software, this trio has come far and have released two eps in the lead up to their first full length album which should be hitting the airwaves January 2010.

The band came up in several of Mix and Mark's other interviews at Warped Tour, ranging from ska bands to talking to Nick from Meg and Dia, and are on the tips of pretty much everyone's tongues in negative and positive ways, but they're over it and just doing what they love!

So how is your first Warped Tour experience going. Is it kind of like a dream?
Alison: I'm having a great time.
Melissa: Yeah, it's a dream. I never thought I'd be on here. We're really grateful-
Alison: It's still really early.
Melissa: Not gonna lie, it feels like it's been a month but it's only been like two weeks and it's just a lot of fun, like now it's raining but it's been like sun every day, you know.

What's your favorite memory so far. Is it the barbecues?
Alison: Meeting all the people, meeting bands that I've been fans of was kind of like a cool experience.
What are some of the bands on this tour that you were excited to see?
Alison: Um. Antiflag I really love and then A Day To Remember is amazing. They are some of our greatest friends.

This is kind of random but I recently talked to Andy Hurley, the drummer of Fall Out Boy and I guess Gabe Saporta, of Cobra Starship (the two bands just finished a tour together)is really into you guys. Have you ever talked to him?
Melissa Marie: Oh yeah. We're really good friends with him.
How did that come about? Did he hear about your music?
Melissa Marie: We're friends. I've known Gabe for a long time through my ex-boyfriend and stuff but um.
He's a good guy.
Melissa Marie: but Gabe's not my ex boyfriend.
No, I know. Let's not start any rumors here!
Melissa &Allison: Oh good (laughs).
Melissa Marie: No, we've known him a long time. When we started, he's always been supportive of us from day one and so, when we got signed to Krush, he's on there too. He's our a&r and everything.

That's awesome. So coming on to Warped Tour, I know the music, unfortunately, that you guys are putting out may not be as supported by a lot of the people coming out. How are you taking that? Are you used to it by now?
Melissa: Oh, we've gotten over that. We've heard the worst you could imagine. There's like nothing else you can say to us. We're so thick skinned.
Allison: 'Oh you're a slut!' 'Oh, we haven't heard that one yet, what?''We don't play instruments, okay!' 'Oh! I'm sorry, I thought I was playing a guitar!'
Melissa Marie: No, it's just like there's always going to be hating no matter what and we did put ourselves into this situation but you know just because people don't like it doesn't mean we shouldn't. We can deal with it. I mean if anyone else had this opportunity, they would jump on it too.

A lot more girls are on this tour including you guys, Meg and Dia, Lights just to name a few. Normally, it's seen as a "boy oriented tour" unfortunately. Do you guys feel any different coming to this tour or are you treated differently?
Melissa: No, I mean when we tour it's all boys too but we never get treated differently.
I mean there's so many of you, like 700 people.
Melissa: Yeah. We really don't even talk to girls anyways. The boys are really open. Like we do sometimes but it's all boys, but it's nice for like when we shower, because there's no one in there.
Allison: Like, the line goes like that!

I know you guys are rookies on the tour. Is there any advice that you would give for next year. Like anyone brand new.
Alison: Your music is what got you here, don't let them tell you any differently. You're on Warped Tour so fuck them.
Melissa Marie: Obviously, stick to what you want to do. Cause when you don't back it up, that's when people say it. If you were like 'Oh shit, they're talking shit about the music', they win.

What are your music going on's for after the tour?
Melissa: Yeah, we just finished our EP. We shot some music videos, but we're working on our first full-length album. We're aiming for it to be released January 2010.

Video of the Week, and it's cheesy and corny.

Everyone has their musical tastes that they try to hide from the world, and of mine is definetly those four boys from Wilmette that make up Fall Out Boy.

They just released their latest video for 'What A Catch, Donnie' off of their album Folie a Deux, and it actually really suprised me. For the first three minutes, it's Patrick alone doing a bit of acting through it until he starts fishing and instead of your typical baby sharks (from personal experience) and flounder, he hooks andys' drums, the antlers from the "Sugar We're Going Down" video, the the FOB sign they always have at their live shows until he sees a sinking ship. I don't want to ruin the ending, but all the band is in the video and there are a few guest appearances.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking a stroll with David "Dwayne" McWane.

Warped Tour is an acclaimed part of the music industry, one that Kevin Lyman, the director has now put on for fifteen years. It's a tour that has punk, screamo, electro, and ska among a million other genres of music. A method that has been working for a long time now and one that has included a major player in ska, in Big D and the Kid Table.

The veteran players of this band have been on the tour for several years now and are one of the proponents of bringing back the ska movement, or at least making it cool again in the words of the lead singer, lyric writer and melodica, David "Dwayne" McWane. Recently, I had the chance to sit to sit down with Dwayne in Montreal, where they are playing their current run of the Warped Tour and we talked about everything from the clues kids were supposed to find in their album titles, some surprising favorites on the tour to some future projects we can expect!

You guys just came out with a new album, Fluent in Stroll, You guys just came out with a new album, Fluent In Stroll? How would you describe the album to someone who's never really listened to you guys before who's never had a chance?

We try to put the definitions of the record somewhere in the title. Like, 'Strictly Rude' was supposed to say to the kids that there weren't as many punk songs, you know? 'Fluent in Stroll' What's stroll? Um, we describe it as hopscotch double dutch, soul, ska reggae. It's kind of got that little two girls from Brooklyn playing jump rope attitude. You know, you think you're going to be witty and say something but they actually school you in wit. 'Get out of here, Uncle Charlie!'

I know you guys are veterans on Warped Tour-
It's so weird to hear that. I mean, I guess we are.
Do you have any advice for any new bands that are coming out on the tour. You know for someone like Lights who must look up to you-
I'm guessing-
I mean your music isn't exactly the same style but kind of like it's her first full year of the Warped Tour but what kind of advice would you give to new bands who haven't played it before?

I would definetly say and this might crush a couple people but I'd just say don't do it in a van. You know, if you're gonna do it in a van, at least know that one of your members is probably gonna quit the band by the end. It's just demanding too much from you cause it's so hot. It's cool if you're in the van for a week or two but not too months so I wouldn't recommend it and the other thing is just grandma, truly grandma advice. It's no matter what, you're going to get caught up in the whole thing because it really is anarchy. Try to put sunblock on, and you have drink at least six waters every day and if you don't, you are just going to become a moany crankypuss then they'll deserve it. You want to have a good time so yeah yeah, you're gonna get as much beer as you want, don't worry, you know what I mean? Just make sure you drink water, you know what I mean because no one wants a cranky band guy.

Yeah not at all. Especially when you're on the road for a while. I mean you guys have been on it since the beginning, haven't you?
Yeah, Yeah. Isn't that crazy? First week is always party week and second week is jesus I got to slow down week.

How does it feel to, I mean you obviously have played Canada now, but how does the difference feel between playing Canada and the US scene. I know it's sometimes hard for acts to break into Canada.
Well, I mean to..describe Canada. It's so simple, some people even forget to say it and it's...Canada is to me, America without european influence and style and to me, it's America if it was perfectly right. So it's cool because Americans can still get their homebase draw but you guys just have so much more style that really is accepted in the states for some reason and you have more openness to being free enought to want to have a good time while some Americans might be introverted and "We can't have a good time yet, so we drink our drinks", you know what I mean? You guys have more natural positive attitudes.

Well I guess that's a good thing.

Are there any bands that you're excited to see this tour?

You know what? There was no band that was like in my playlist, you know that like, 'oh my god, i can't believe we're playing with bananas blind'. You know what I mean? But The Suicide Machines were that for me a couple years back. I was like 'Oh my god, I get to watch The Suicide Machines every day'. NOFX would be that but, except, I've just been lucky enough to see NOFX on so many different tours that you know, it's like I bet they would count but I have been, so I'm kind of just a little vagabond walking through going 'what's out here?' and I do like P.O.S. and um, I thought the Millionaires, you know them?
I saw a bit of their set this morning. Yeah they're interesting for sure.
A lot of people hating on them um but I don't know. They made me smile? So um, Andrew W.K. in the past, that was really lucky to be on that tour. Every day to watch Andrew W.K. was so cool.

Do you have any projects coming up after this tour? More tours? More Music?
Yeah, let's see. Right now, our video's being edited and it's for the song 'Fluent in Stroll'. That should be out in I think two and a half weeks. Our DVD, called 'Built up For Nothing' should be out in our fall tour in November and I have a book called 'The Gypsy Mile', but I have a new book of fourteen years of lyrics coming out in a month and then a new book of poetry coming out in November called 'The Art of Boredom'.

That's what I was actually going to ask you about because I heard that you also write poetry and stories. How do you balance it all? Does it ever come through in your lyrics?
Yeah, you know it's one of those things where I can't stop writing material because Big D had me writing lyrics so much that I got into it and then there would be things I would want to write but aren't really relevant at all for like a ska band's lyrics. You know, I could write it but then people would be like, 'Jeez Dwayne, I don't think this is really going to make it into a song' so I just kind of was writing and didn't stop and then once I stumbled apon, well I always liked John Steinbeck and different authors, just different guys, I realized that you're allowed to write. You know what I mean? It's not just for the elite, some of us are, some of us can go for it and it would be illicit readers.

My last question is I know there are a lot of ska bands on this year's tour, more then it has been in the past. Do you think ska's becoming a bigger genre and more bands are coming out or do you think it's going to stay the same?
You know, it's like everyone everyyear asks how's the ska scene? and it's like it's always the same. It's always the same. There was only one time when it got really really big in the nineties but other then that few couple years, it's just same same same same same. You know what I mean? Is it going up? Is it going down? It is what it is. You know, there is one difference that happened this year and that is the cool people, meaning people who don't listen to ska, don't mind it now. And if I want to be a dilweed about it, I'd say that everyone was hating on ska because it was the lame style of music and I think lamer styles of music have surfaced and so ska actually can now be pushed towards the light because everyone wants to hate on other stuff. It's kind of like the geek in high school, there was a new kid and now the new kid's the geek, and the old geek's okay now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Check Yes Juliet. Are you listening?

Guilty pleasure/ginger love song of the week?

Coming straight out of Bradenton, Florida are the boys of We The Kings, a group that starts their stint on the Warped Tour the day after tomorrow and will be joing All Time Low on the Glamour Kills tour this fall.
I haven't been able to stop listening to their first hit single, 'Check Yes Juliet'. It is just so damn catchy, I can't resist.