After her tour with American Idol runner-up David Archuleta earlier this year, Gracie Schram is now living in Nashville, TN. No stranger to the city, Gracie has been coming to and from Nashville for the past few years in order to network and get her name known around town.
Gracie’s first release was when she was just 10 years old and now, she’s releasing her newest EP, “Dear Fall,” which is set to be released on September 30th. This EP was coproduced by Brad Corrigan and Rick Seibold.
I had the honor of listening to Gracie’s new EP before its release this Friday.
The EP opens with upbeat, summery track “Anywhere You Go,” which oftentimes serves as Gracie’s set opener. The song is sure to be a crowd favorite with its melodic “ohs” in the chorus and its lyrics about young love that were written to sing along to. The chorus’ lyrics “Oh / you know / I’ll go anywhere you go /oh / I love you so / I’ll go anywhere you go” are simple and sweet — a combination that makes Gracie Schram shine above the rest.
The second track “Walls” is perhaps the most relatable track on the EP. Gracie says that throughout her tour with David Archuleta, this was the song that got the best reception among the audience. The piano driven music and heartfelt lyrics go hand in hand to make “Walls” the most emotional song on the release and the string section adds that little extra spark.
“You Are My Sunshine” is a cover that combines two classics, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” This track seems destined to be on the hit television show Nashville. The two songs’ lyrics go together like peanut butter and jelly and Gracie makes it even more flavorful by employing beautiful harmonies. You can check out a live preview of the song below.
The last song on the EP is called “Don’t Cry Lullaby,” which is from the Ileana’s Smile soundtrack. Inspired by a girl named Ileana who was born and raised in a trash dump in Nicaragua, Gracie wrote the song for the movie after she was asked by Dispatch’s drummer Brad Corrigan. Just as its title suggests, “Don’t Cry Lullaby” makes you feel like you’re being wrapped in a long-overdue big bear hug. Ever since she was 10 years old, Gracie has been trying to change the world through her music, and “Don’t Cry Lullaby” has the power to do just that.
After the success of her previous release, I Am Me, and the quality of the upcoming EP, Dear Fall, it will be no surprise if Gracie charts on iTunes or on Billboard again like she did last time around. It’s only a matter a time before Gracie Schram has big artists opening for her on a sold out tour.
Originally hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Caroline Glaser made the big move to Nashville, Tennessee a few years ago — a fact that is highlighted on her self-titled album that will be released on June 24th. Caroline Glaser’s album is uniquely “her.” When you listen to her voice fill the room, you’ll come to find that you want her to tell you her stories. And Caroline definitely has some stories to tell — from spending some time on the hit TV Show “The Voice” to opening up for Straight No Chaser. And although not all of us can be as fortunate to get to know Caroline over coffee in Nashville, we can get to know her through her music. Her raw honestly is as good as it gets.
MusicDash: You’re originally from St. Louis. What initially drew you to the Nashville area?
Caroline Glaser: I found a booking agent in Nashville around 2013 and he set me up with some meetings and writing sessions right away– I just kind of fell in love with the city and people. It’s such an inspiring place.
MusicDash: Was there any specific moment during your life that made you think “I want to do this forever”
Caroline Glaser: My first little headlining tour in 2013 was super pivotal for me. That’s when I really fell in love with performing my original music for people. There were a LOT of ups and downs (probably mainly downs), but I remember on my drive home just thinking about how I could never picture myself doing anything else.
MusicDash: Let’s talk about Caroline and the Chocolate Factory! Where did you get the idea for the EP from? What happens if you get a golden ticket?
Caroline Glaser: Well I LOVE the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had it on one day and during the “cheer up, Charlie” scene I thought about how cool it would be to cover that song– it’s so beautiful. It gradually turned into a cover EP exclusively for people who pledged on my pledge campaign (for my new record). I ended up really being proud of the EP though and wanted to do more with it– so I started selling physical CDs on my website and on tour. I hid Golden tickets in 15 of them and they’ll get an exclusive Tee shirt with the first batch of signed CDs once they come out on June 24th.
MusicDash: Your first ever full record is coming out on Friday the 24th! Congrats! What can you tell us about the record?
Caroline Glaser: Thank you so so much! I’m really excited about this one. I co-produced it with a friend of mine, Michael Kight. He had been playing out on the road with me for a little over a year when we decided to do the project together, so he definitely had a good feel for the direction I wanted to go in.
MusicDash: What was the writing process like for this record? Did you do any cowrites?
Caroline Glaser: I wrote/cowrote 8 out of the 9 songs on the record. The second to last track is a cover of “Your Love” by the Outfield and about half of them were written with some awesome writers here in Nashville. I wrote most of the material in 2015m although there are a couple older ones in there.
MusicDash: I know that this is a hard one, but what is one of your favorite songs to perform live?
Caroline Glaser: I guess it kind of depends– my favorite venues to play are intimate theaters/listening rooms. In that setting I really love playing “Waterfall” — it’s probably one of my favorites on the new record. In a more lively/fun atmosphere like a club or something, I like playing “Wolves.” It’s one of the most upbeat songs I’ve written.
MusicDash: What has been your most memorable performance?
Caroline Glaser: Probably when I opened up for Straight No Chaser at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. I grew up seeing huge acts there, so that was pretty surreal.
MusicDash: What is it about making music that captivates you?
Caroline Glaser: Oh gosh, everything form the lyrics to the melodies. I’ve always been a huge music lover.
MusicDash: Recently you released a live video of your song “Wishing Well” that you recorded at YouTube Nashville. How did you get involved with them?
Caroline Glaser: That was such a fun video shoot– it was just an opportunity that resented itself through my management team. I was really really excited to do it. Such a cool popup event.
MusicDash: You’ve been on tour with artists like Us the Duo, Kris Allen, and Nashville-based Liz Longley. Have any other artists that you’ve connected with so far offered you any words of advice about the industry?
Caroline Glaser: Just really to not get discouraged. There are a LOT of ups and downs in music and I think patience and motivation are truly the most important qualities for success.
MusicDash: If you had to describe your sound for somebody who’s never heard you before, what would you say?
Caroline Glaser: Hmm that’s tough– I would probably put it under the “indie-folk” category, but there are some soft rock/pop elements to the new record. It’s all pretty mellow though.
MusicDash: Besides your upcoming release, what’s coming up for you for the rest of the year?
Caroline Glaser: Writing, writing, writing! I’m already working on some upcoming projects that I am suuuuper excited about. Between records, though, I’m hoping to tour quite a bit. Still working on getting that nailed down.
Originally hailing from Indiana, Harpooner is a three-piece band that has a love for the Beatles, and infuses that influence into their music. Although the band formed in 2012, “Rose Park” will be their first full length release, which is due out in digital stores on June 24th. Surrounding the release, Harpooner has been playing shows all over the US — from Nashville to North Carolina to New York.
Last week I had a chat with Scott Schmadeke of the band, and here’s what he had to say.
MusicDash: What originally drew you to Nashville?
Harpooner: I’ve been touring with Tennessee acts for years and grew tired of taking the Megabus down every other week.
MusicDash: How did you all meet and decide to form a band?
Harpooner: Basement shows in Bloomington (where we are from) are the bloodline of creativity in that town. We played a few of those under different names (Lennie’s House Band, The HawtDawgs, MilkyMilky) but Harpooner stuck finally and off we went.
MusicDash: So you’re currently out on the road with Houndmouth. What have been some of you’re favorite cities that you’ve been to so far?
Harpooner: The Houndmouth guys are great. One of my best buds from Bloomington, Tim Smiley, does FOH for them and gave me the spot once the position became open. Austin was great, until I scraped up my legs falling into Barton Springs naked with many a strangers around.
MusicDash: I saw you were at Shaky Knees this year. I was there too! Which performances did you absolutely love?
Harpooner: Shaky and the accommodations were fantastic. Free Barber and Tattoo Artist for musicians was dynamite. After all the years living in the same tiny town as Murder By Death, I finally got to see them 20 hours away from home. We chummed up real quick.
MusicDash: Tell us about your single “Carolines.” Where did you draw the inspiration from?
Harpooner: Well I was dating three different Carolines at the same time for a long period of time, so naturally, you could say, twice as much inspiration to draw from.
MusicDash: You also just released the video! Who directed it, where did you shoot it, and again, where did that inspiration come from?
Harpooner: Andy Beargie in Bloomington, IN (Blockhouse Studios) pretty much has been our creative champion for this entire project since day one. He has engineered, mixed, produced, finished the album photo and design, and shot the music video. He is the only true inspiration to the band because of how talented and kind he is. Long LIVE ANDY!
MusicDash: Your LP “Rose Park” is due out June 24. What can your listeners expect?
Harpooner: An interstellar, socially injust, and heartbroken year of 2014.
MusicDash: What album has been your favorite release of the year so far? What albums are you most excited for in the coming months?
Harpooner: Life of Pablo – Kanye West. Nothing else is relevant.
MusicDash: Besides your new release, what’s coming up next for you this year?
Harpooner: I’d love to start a family, maybe even open a flower shop with a piano in it… Nah, I’ll probably just be other people’s bitch for another decade or so. A boy can dream though, right?
I’m not even going to try to deny my love for Max Jury’s debut album. When you review, you sometimes just have to give in and just admit you blatantly love something “just because.” And while I’m aware that answer wouldn’t get you far in school, music simply makes us feel stuff, right?
So what’s the deal with this boy from Des Moines, Iowa? So many questions answered with even more questions. Because that’s what’s happening. As you dig into this debut album in the pocket of Max’s corner of the universe, it’s like when you were a kid and your dad built you pillow fort. That excitement when you first drew the blankets to the side and your imagination took you wherever you wanted to go.
‘Numb’ starts of the album, a slow smooth tune, eloquently showing off the vocal chords of this guy. There is a sweetness and lightness to his voice, something a little undefinable but inviting. It seems effortless with the choir on ‘Princess’ and the faster paced ‘Beg & Run’ where Jury sings “Say that you’re alone but you know better / don’t know where you’re going even though you have time / It’s not romantic to take this for granted” (the guitar riff has been stuck in my head for a good two days now.)
Songwriting-wise we’re going to have to touch the subject of the likes of Elton John and Gram Parsons. Drop this kid into the mix and perhaps a new generation will take notice to the art of songwriting before a riff or a beat. “Everybody’s always saying to look over your shoulder / the grass is always greener and I should do what I’m told” he sings on ‘Love That Grows Old’ which is the epitome of that those classics mentioned above. And with that voice, it would seem the soulful Americana was destined for him.
Max Jury fills a space that we didn’t even know was missing from the music scene. Besides the obvious phenomenal songwriting and melody, the final product; what he has put together as a whole — music, feel, atmosphere, authenticity, songwriting and so forth, that’s so rare to hear on a debut album.
You feel like you’re in good hands throughout the extent of the eleven songs. He raises a curiosity. Like peeking into someone’s diary where some of the letters and names have been crossed out. So you listen to the song again, because human nature tells us to continue looking for answers. So many questions answered with even more questions. The fine line of delivering to satisfy and connect with the listener while engaging and still leaving them with questions and want for more. He knows how to walk it.
The Niles Rooker Trio might be young, but the band already has a specific goal in mind — to bring Nashville the vibes of their favorite 50s and 60s hit tracks. With an EP already under their belt and performances at some of Nashville’s hottest venues, the trio is already impressing us over at MusicDash (we can see them taking over your nearest festival stage real soon).
We spoke to Niles Rooker, the lead singer of the band, ahead of the release of their new single “I Won’t Sleep,” due out June 3rd. In the meantime, add their track “Beach Talk” to your Summer Playlist — linked below!
MusicDash: What originally drew you to Nashville?
Niles Rooker: I had always wanted an excuse to move to Nashville. The music scene here is impeccable. That’s basically the gist haha.
MusicDash: When and how did you get your start in music?
Niles Rooker: I started songwriting at the age of 12. 10 years later and I’m a lot better at it haha. I’ve always found people to play with since then but when I got to Nashville, playing with Jeff [Meloen] and Ryan [Lemp] changed everything.
MusicDash: How did you all meet and decide to form a band?
Niles Rooker: Jeff and I met at school and started off as a duo. We were wearing the same shoes on the first day of classes and struck up a convo. From there, we talked music for several minutes. We went from trying to jam in a storage unit to Jeff’s landlord barging in unannounced telling us to be quiet. We wanted to get a third member with a bass so that we could add a new dynamic to my songs. Queue Ryan Lemp.
MusicDash: You have a new single called “I Won’t Sleep” coming out on June 3rd! Tell us a little bit about that. What can we expect?
Niles Rooker: It’s an upbeat Elvis/Cash influenced song that’s full of energy and fun instrumentation. It defines some of our sound as live performers. You can expect quick and catchy hooks that even get stuck in our heads.
MusicDash: I know that you guys changed your name recently. What inspired that change?
Niles Rooker: It’s kind of funny, we were just using my name since I’m doing the writing. However, there was always one drunk dude at each show shouting, “No! Not your name, what’s the name of the band!” We all still joke about that. Even further, I like being called the trio because it emphasizes everyone’s parts and contributions. When you think that only three people are up on stage or in the recording, you can appreciate what is being played more.
MusicDash: You’ve released an EP before. What difference in sound can we expect between your new single and your previous EP, if any at all?
Niles Rooker: The single goes in a more country rock direction. It was highly influenced by Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Johnny Cash. And that’s not to say that’s what the next song will be. We like diversity and right now we’re attracted to a plethora of different directions. We also spent more time filling up the sound of the new single with overdubs and some new instrumentation for us as a band.
MusicDash: What has been one of your favorite or most memorable performances in Nashville?
Niles Rooker: As an artist, a recent show we played takes the cake. We hit the Exit/In for the album release of some close friends of ours, Floralorix. The energy was on fire and our parts were crushed for 35 minutes of euphoria.
MusicDash: Are there any venues around Nashville that you’re dying to play?
Niles Rooker: The Ryman and Ascend! I love all the venues of Nashville and we have played at a vast majority of them at one time or another. I hope to snag an opening slot at Ascend in the near future somehow. 9. What inspires you to write songs? Other musicians. I’ll be listening to music on my phone or at show and I’ll get that feeling, “I need to write.” Everyone should be inspirational. That’s how you can push each other to be better.
MusicDash: What’s coming up next for you this year?
Niles Rooker: We have a tour planned this July/August that travels through the southern states. It’s our first time on the road so we are truly stoked to get out there and rock!
In addition to being the highlight of my summer, Osheaga music festival is one of the biggest and best music festivals in Canada. Based in Montreal, the three day festival attracts crowds of up to 40,000 people per day. While many are there for the biggest names in music, including this year’s line-up of Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disclosure and more, there are many up and coming artists that are worth getting excited about.
MusicDash has rounded up a few of the best and newest artists to keep your eye on. So pack your bags, buy your wristbands, and prepare to dance!
1) The Wombats
The Wombats are English indie favourites, but are less well-known across the pond in Canada. However with three albums to their name and an infectious indie rock sound, they are enough to please any crowd. Their latest record Glitterbug was released in 2015, and with catchy tracks including “Your Body is a Weapon” and “The English Summer” are rock & roll at it’s finest grunginess.
2) July Talk
Canadian favourites July Talk are Juno award winning rockstars who have toured with Weezer and Tegan & Sara. With their edgy, punky sound, and unique vocals, one can easily say they are a truly distinct band with a sound all their own. Their stunning debut album was released back in 2012, yet still feels fresh and new in 2016.
3) The Strumbellas
The Strumbellas are another Canadian group that has a very special sound. A blend of pop, indie and alt-folk makes for a wide array of upbeat songs. They have a sonic fingerprint that closely resembles the likes of bands such as The Lumineers (who will also be playing Osheaga) as well as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (who played last summer.)
4) The Struts
The Struts are sleek, edgy rock straight out of the 80s. They are the band that could be the next biggest rock and roll group, with an earth shattering sound that is well beyond their young years. There is passion and heart behind every note and lyric, and they march to the beat of their own drum unabashedly staying true to who they are. If you want to see a band that apologizes for nothing and owns it, then this is the act for you.
5) Coleman Hell
Another Canadian who is easing his way into the spotlight, Coleman Hell is making a name for himself by securing gigs including opening for popular Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots. Although his smash single “Two Heads” is easily his best known track, his other songs also bring together memorable fusions of indie pop and folktronica.
6) Frightened Rabbit
Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit has been around since 2003 and has six albums to their name. With a beautiful melancholy sound, the band effortlessly makes any song sweet and pure. Crowds will be swaying along to the calming melodies of summer bliss.
Singer-songwriter Soren Bryce went to LA when she was 16, later she raised over $10,000 on PledgeMusic and recorded her debut EP produced by David Kahne (Lana Del Rey, Ingrid Michaelson) which was released last year. The woman is 19, and just reading her short biography leaves you a little breathless.
Soren has a luxurious and rich sound, but that doesn’t negate the haunting authenticity. Build around simple chords, and a vocal that is hard to ignore, you’re invited into the mind of a young woman. It would be a shame to compare her because she has, after all, an already determined sound at such a young age, but if you’re into anything remotely related to Marina and the Diamonds, her self-titled EP is worth a listen.
“I walk the line / between the fight / between the innocent and the riots” she sings on the stunning ‘Sirens’. The production is wisely simple, there’s nothing to prevent you from paying attention to the lyrics and vocals which more often than not happens for up-and-coming artists.
Genre-wise she’s a getting around. Surprisingly, this is only what makes her EP stand stronger. Again, the simple production becomes the red thread throughout an adventurous extended play, where the artist is allowed to try new things without falling under the classically “confused sound universe” category.
‘Stick it’ is just as different as the rest, but I can’t help but have a flashback to early Imogen Heap days, and no bad words about that fantastic lady, (and this might be a bold statement) but Soren’s got a production behind her that carries the skewed universe and quirks far better.
Bryce is hard to put a label on, and I think ultimately if she carries on the way she has begun, she will be carving a brand new category or two for herself.
Remember back in the 90s when delusional music snobs proclaimed piano has no place in rock’ n roll? (They obviously didn’t know of David Bryan, Jerry Lee Lewis or Freddie Mercury.) Well if there was any doubt left, Sunset Sons definitely proves it’s got a place.
The quartet hailing from the surf destination Hossegor (members originating from both Australia and the England) released their debut album Very Rarely Say Die following up on a couple of EPs released last year. This album, however, is unquestionably made to be played live. From the slow catchy ooh’s on ‘Bring The Bright Lights’ to the hit ‘On The Road’ you can almost hear the crowd clap and sing along.
And it’s how the band was made as well. From rehearsing covers in the summer and playing gigs at ski resorts in the winter, the boys are well-versed in stage presence, energy, and musical capability. They supported Imagine Dragons on their latest European stadium tour and the words “best support act ever” kept being thrown around on social media.
There are longing, escapism, and a pinch of catchy rock n roll mixed with a laid back approach. Enough direction to fuse the catchy tunes with the laidbackness, enough escapism to balance the riffs. And that is how you come out on top. Older fans will appreciate the new takes on earlier songs like the beautiful and longing ‘Loa’ (man do this band know how to bring out the harmonies, well done Rob), as well as a predicted new crowd-favourite ‘Bring The Bright Lights’ which for me personally stands the strongest. Slow pace but with a big chorus and a guitar riff that gets stuck in your brain for days.
The band is still in its early years, so the compilation of songs range from old to brand new which suggests they have dabbled a little with the genres. Take ‘Lost Company’ that kind of has a folky vibe to it, and ‘I Remember’ which shines a light on what a brilliant guitarist Rob Windram is. The synergetic relationship between the four musicians is a result of the many live gigs they’ve got under their belt. Jed Laidlaw is a fantastic drummer, bassist Pete Harper and Rob as mentioned before, are on point. And Rory Williams has a voice you definitely want to hear more of.
They do save the best for last, at the end of the album we find ‘I Can’t Wait’ and it is just Rory and a piano. You can feel the end of the summer where the wind is getting a tad colder, the sun sets earlier than you would like, and you cherish the warmth before autumn comes and takes it all away.
Luckily spring is just arriving, you should go and hear the album live. Sunset Sons are currently on a headline tour promoting Very Rarely Say Die. For more info visit sunsetsons.com.
After a couple of years of silence, the Aussie returns with his long-awaited debut album Telluric. And it was a wait worthwhile. Many were hoping that the five EPs he has under his belt, could predict any sort of direction he would take on his debut LP, but if you were hoping for something similar, you’re definitely going to be disappointed.
The meaning of the word Telluric is “an electric current which moves underground or through the sea”. The tempo and feel of the album circles and twirls steadily away, making restrained stops for you to catch your breath before continuing onwards. Current or no current, Matt’s is steering his debut ship in the direction he wants to discover.
“Stood in the corner when we would fight / to act upon a line and hang my shit up out to dry.” He smoothly sings on the soothing and indulgent opening track ‘Belly Side Up’. The slow pace of the record starts here and it doesn’t change much throughout the album. (I refrain from using the word current again but it’s so cunning and cleverly used by Matt himself.)
There are continuing moments of what appears as ambivalent, but what seem to come effortlessly to Matt might be actually meticulously thought out. We just don’t know, and that’s what makes it exciting. For Mac DeMarco fans and in particular listeners of Salad Days, Telluric would be something to dig into.
Paces are kept at a low and mellow speed, from the choirs and clapping on the simplistic ‘Monday’ to the wholesome psychedelic jazz atmosphere on ‘Sooth Lady Wine’. There is a diary-like form to the songs, representing chapters or emotional difficulties you come across in life. The most lifted and upbeat song of the bunch, is the soulful ‘Why Dream’ where Matt discloses “Just to be like you, but you talk too much to listen / and I want you more, and we are meant to be broken / and I forgive warmly, when you’ve got a change of heart.”
Matt Corby’s voice is something you cannot avoid addressing. From his long-forgotten Australia Idol moments, this man has grown vocally as well as in years. The control he possesses, the way a word can bear one meaning in a song and change in the next is outstanding. He’s far from face amongst the crowd when you hear his voice.
The end of Telluric is where we find the hypnotic ‘Empire Attractions’. He asks, “Something’s got to shape us / Boredom’s going to shape us / something’s got to shake us out of this and save us /how can they save you if they can’t help themselves?” Matt’s got vision and we need not worry about where his vision lies in terms of his music. It’s like he has taken the book of soul music, dusted it off, and left his own notes in the margin.
Last month, I sat down with Nashville punk band Break and Enter. Even though they’re just getting started, they’ve been showing their chops playing with various big-name bands around the city. After the release of their debut EP, they added a second guitarist into the mix which helped the band round out their sound and complete their band. Check out the interview below!
MusicDash: How did you guys all meet and decide to come together as a band?
Isaac: Brock heard me playing drums cause he lived below me.
Brock: It all started with Charlie. He posted in the Facebook group “wanna start a pop-punk band?” and one of my favorite bands of all time is Real Friends so I was like “yes, I would love to be in something like this” but I didn’t think I could do it because I had never sang before at all. Then we decided after we talked to a couple of people that we wanted to do more of the music that we were all really into at the time. That all kind of happened around the time when we all went and saw Beartooth play a house show and we were like “why don’t we just do this? This seems like a lot more fun.” Then we needed a drummer and Isaac was above me and annoyed me all the time with his drumming for 5 hours a day so I just decided to just message him because he didn’t seem to have much to do. All he does is play drums. Haha! He was like “yeah, I’ll do it.”
Charlie: I knew Matt because we were in a dorm together.
Brock: We originally had two other members and they committed wholeheartedly to the band at the end of our freshman year and then quit during the summer. So we added Matt during the summer because he was so in to do something fun and then we added Ashley just recently this semester. She played her first show and absolutely nailed it. She was a great addition.
MusicDash: You guys recently released a music video for “Avalanche.” Who shot it and what was that experience like for you?
Matt: Actually, one of my friends shot that at another school. I actually met him through another friend mutually here. We decided to shoot it in a white room because he had a connection to it because of his major. He was a film major and that was what he wanted to do with his life. He shot a repertoire of music videos before us so I had a little bit to look at so I had a gauge to understand what the quality was that we were looking for versus price. Honestly I think that that was the cheapest that we could have ever bought a music video for for that quality and the amount of hours and post production that he put in for us. It was just an incredible outcome.
Brock: Plus doing it now, there’s definitely stuff that if I had known what it would look like and the finished product, I would have done a little bit differently. But I feel like our next video, whenever we decide to make it is going to be really good. It’s going to be insane because we are going to know what it’s like to shoot a video because the entire time we were standing around like “this is incredible. What are we doing?” We were really nervous and we shouldn’t have been nervous. I love what we did now but it makes me even more excited to do it again.
MusicDash: You recently played with Wage War. How did you guys get that opportunity and what was it like opening for them?
Brock: I emailed Music City Booking and had literally never talked to them before because they’re very hard to talk to. I’m sure that they get swamped with emails. I emailed them and said that we were emerging and we will bring people. We love Wage War and would love to open for them. And they were so down to let us do it. They asked if we could confirm, so I ran into Charlie’s room as he was getting out of the shower and I grabbed him and said “WE’RE OPENING FOR WAGE WAR!” And that’s what we did. It was so awesome. It was such a cool experience.
MusicDash: Your EP was released last November. What was that process like?
Matt: It was definitely a rush at first. The very first time that we ever got in a practice room, we knew we wanted something released that semester to have something to play so that we could be on stage and start performing. We were talking about recording so that we could have something to give people because that’s one of the major things that you need to get out there in the world — you need to have something that somebody can physically hold. You’ve gotta have that tangible form.
Brock: They need something to listen to. That was the main thing.
Matt: And then we wrote the first song, which was “Detonate.” We just started to riff write it. Charlie started jamming with me, then Isaac filled in. That’s kind of how we started writing. We just did our own things and fit them together like pieces of a puzzle. We changed one or two things here and there. That’s kind of how we went about doing it and that’s how we’re still doing it now. We just like to come up on things on our own and share them with the group. It’s basically like this is Parliament — we each vote yes or no.
Brock: I always have these ideas and I hear the guitar in my head. I’ll just be sitting in class thinking about whatever lyrics I’ve written, and then I’ll hear a guitar in my head. I never thought about recording myself on my phone but then I tweeted one of my favorite bands, Stray From The Path, and their lead singer replied to me and said “I literally speak the riffs into my phone in voice memos and my entire band makes fun of me.” And I thought that was a good idea so I started doing that.
Matt: And then we proceeded to make fun of him.
MusicDash: Overall, you seem like you mesh together really well as musicians. Why do you think that you work together so well?
Brock: I was really impressed with Isaac because I’ve been in a band before where, especially the drummer, is terrified to write drum stuff. Some people only want to be handed things or can’t improvise anything. I was really worried going into writing stuff that I’ve never done before that Isaac would have to walk on two crutches or have us have to wheel him in to write. But he’s been doing somersaults. He’s just really good at it. That was beyond my expectations and made me feel very comfortable.
Isaac: I think that Brock and I have a good balance because I like not starting from nothing. The previous band I was in last year, the singer wanted to do exactly that. He wanted to give me all of my parts exactly how he wanted them and I hated it. Brock is like “start with this and mold it to exactly how you want it” and I think that works really well. It’s not me coming up with the entire song myself and then everybody else not speaking their mind. But it’s not him coming up with the entire song and me not speaking my mind.
Brock: One thing that I’m really glad we did was last semester we assigned roles in the group chat. I basically told everybody that this was their role. And Matt is the antagonist. So I told him that his job was to always look at what could possibly go wrong and tell it to me. And Matt has 100% kept doing that. Sometimes it’s really frustrating. I’ll be like “hey, let’s get these shirts” and he’ll go “but where can we get them cheaper? How much is the shipping?” I’m like “it’s just an idea” and then I’ll think back and go ‘I’m really glad he said that because it got me working on it.’
Charlie: What was my role?
Brock: I don’t know. I don’t remember.
MusicDash: So Ashley joined the band in January. How has that been different for you?
Isaac: It has been nice though. From the drummer’s perspective, we’ve had all these practices before Ashley and now after Ashley. Getting our music fleshed out a little bit more and playing live with Ashley has been great.
Charlie: It’s nice having a second guitarist in the band.
Brock: I originally texted Ashley and asked her to join the band and she was like “I don’t know. Thanks for the offer.” And then she joined.
Ashley: At first I was like “I listen to the music but I don’t play it. You might be able to find someone else who’s better at playing it.” But it’s a good time and I like it a lot.
MusicDash: What were your first impressions of the band when you first started playing with them?
Ashley: Like I said before, I kind of said no. But when I first tried out and jammed and stuff I tried to play the song that I knew best that was kind of from this scene. It seemed cool with them and I really liked hanging out. I didn’t know them really well so it was a little bit awkward at first. But I kind of realized that it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it was going to be. The song that I tried out for the band with I learned an hour before by ear.
Matt: We knew that she was good enough for our band with an hour’s practice.
Ashley: Yeah, they seemed to be down and I was like ‘yeah, that’s cool.’ So we played that song that I tried out with and then Brock was like “cool, let’s start making a song. I’ve got an idea.” and I was like ‘wow, that was quick!’ And within two practices, we had our song “Guillotine” done. I think it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot more to it that I didn’t realize. When I said no, I didn’t expect to meet people, make a lot of new friends, and play fun music.
Brock: One thing that I wanted to mention about my first impression of Ashley was that she sent us a video of her playing an Escape the Fate song. I was watching it in my room and there’s a part in the song where she taps and I’m like “Charlie, can you do this?” And he’s like “yeah, I can do that.” And then she started tapping really quick and he’s like “yeah, I can’t do that.” The biggest thing for me was that we didn’t want to have somebody in the band that wasn’t technically good and couldn’t learn things. But when Ashley told us that she was technically good and then she performed it live for us. I wanted to see how she would perform under pressure because I knew that she was really nervous. She missed a few notes, but overall she did a really good job. The fact that she can learn and the fact that she can write was the biggest thing for us.
Isaac: I was a little concerned. Brock’s role was to be concerned with the technicality stuff but as a drummer I was like “whoever joins this has to be cool.” I was pretty concerned about that and I knew as soon as we saw the other guitarists that tried out, I didn’t think that they molded well. Ashley was pretty chill and it’s been going good so far.
Brock: It went from Ashley saying like four words in a practice to her screaming at Charlie. She was mad. It took like three practices but she adjusted pretty quick.
Ashley: I was kind of intimidated at first because I didn’t know them and I didn’t know how to act. But then I was like ‘this is fine. I can yell at Charlie.’
Matt: To be honest, I can’t remember a time when no one was yelling at Charlie.
Isaac: I’ve always yelled at Charlie. I love yelling at Charlie.
Matt: Maybe that’s your role — the person we can blame everything on. The scapegoat.