Flashback February: STACEY

Back in September, I caught up with STACEY for one of the most stunning sessions I’ve done yet. With the sun setting in New York City, we were treated to a live version of “It’ll Be Alright,” which you can see below. The session also included performances of “Daydreaming” and “First Move.”

Continue reading Flashback February: STACEY

Interview With:: Intergalactix

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We sat down with multi-instrumentalist production duo, Intergalactix, to discuss how they came about their sound, their decision to create a double-sided EP, and how the music scene differs in the United States versus in Australia. You can read our full interview with the band below!

LOL: Your sound is really
unique, you guys call yourself electronica, pop punk kind of thing, but you
guys have been working together for a while, right

Serg Dimitrijevic: Yeah, we’ve been working together for a
long time. We’ve known each other for over fifteen years from back home in
Australia…we’ve been friends for a really long time and have played music
together as well

LOL: So when it came to
creating [Intergalactix] did you guys decide what your sound was going to be
like beforehand or did it just come naturally?

Kristian Attard: Yeah, it just sort of came out however. We
had a lot of different bands over the years – some sort of rock bands, some
with different singers and stuff like that

LOL: Yeah, you guys have
worked with a bunch of people from so many different genres.

KA: Yeah but that’s the way we kind of like it because we
like so many different styles of music. So I guess for us when we decided to do
our own thing that just comes out, all of the different influences, but there’s
definitely a strong funk-soul influence. And my vocals are more of an indie
sort of thing so it sort of is what it is. We’re influenced by so many
different things

SD: Yeah, absolutely. It wasn’t really like a conscious
thing like ‘hey, now we’re gonna do this thing,’ we do a lot of productions for
people and stuff like that and so we started working by just producing a lot of
stuff and we’re like ‘hey, this kind of sounds cool, we should sort of keep
this stuff for ourselves.’ From there it just kind of developed and our whole
thing is that we just want to have fun with music and make it accessible
without it being pop pop, but at the same time have that sort of sensibility
where people just hear it like ‘okay, I get it.’ I think it’s a good blend and
we’re happy with it.

LOL: Yeah and I hate using
the word ‘different’ but when people hear you they’ll know who you are. They’re
not gonna be like ‘this is so and so’ or ‘this is so typical,’ it’s so
different that it’s intriguing to see what else you guys would put out.

SD: It is and even this tour that we’re on, you know we’re
getting a lot of new fans and friends just from playing with Strange Talk and
that’s kind of a common thing now, you know, ‘oh you guys are so different’ –

KA: Yeah and there’s definitely a few people that they say
we sound like. We got one guy from San Francisco who said we sound like a
mixture of Chromeo, Prince, Tears For Fears and the theme from Seinfeld
[all laugh]

LOL: That’s incredible!

SD: We’re like, okay we’re going with that [laughs]. It was all positive, we just
went, ‘the theme from Seinfeld?’ That was unexpected [laughs]

LOL:
So you guys are
coming out with a double-sided EP, how did you plan that? Why not a full
length?

KA: I think because we just had…we took a different
approach. The first EP we put out it was just like the first four songs that we
wrote for this project and that’s all we kind of had, you know? On this one
we’ve been a bit more selective and chosen two songs we’re really comfortable
with and I think we have a bunch of other ones that we maybe want to put out later.

LOL: So what can fans
expect to hear from this? Are you guys doing anything new stylistically?

KA: Yeah, I think the first EP showcased a bit more of the
indie side like the more electronic vibe. This definitely has a lot more funk

LOL: Which definitely played
into the session we did [check it out here!]. It sounds weird to say sometimes,
but –

SD: I know, but
that’s just because it’s used by so many things when you think ‘funk.’ We’re
big fans of Prince and the classic old school sound like that and we’re trying
to really keep those sounds into some new sounds and vocal things. We just want
people to dance, basically, to hear tracks and have a good time. And the
lyrics, on this particular release, are a bit more specific …where as soon as
you hear it you’re like ‘okay, I know what’s going on.’

KA: Yeah, they both have a story

SD: And that’s something we’ve been trying to focus on, the
stories and the things we’ve experienced and just to make them a little bit
more dominant in the music instead of not having anything there.

KA: Well I think the first EP definitely had a lot in it,
but I think it wasn’t as literal, you had to maybe guess what it meant.

SD: Yeah, or read between the lines.

KA: And this one is a bit more…

LOL: It’s basically laid
right in front of you

SD: Yeah, but they’re cool stories

KA: I think people
like a story. They don’t want to guess too much, sometimes

LOL: Yeah, sometimes. But
so, you guys are originally from Australia and your tour-mates are from
Australia. How do you think the music scene differs there versus here? Do you
think there’s any sort of difference?

KA: Yeah, definitely. There’s definitely an Aussie sound in
a lot of bands you’ll hear like Strange Talk, Empire of the Sun – they
definitely have a sound and I think we have a bit of that in ours too. But I
think as far as the scene goes over there, it’s like being in a small city. For
a lot of artists, there isn’t a big platform for them. There’s a few radio
stations like Triple J and then there’s main stream. Triple J has been
responsible for a lot of bands coming out of Australia like Tame Impala and
even Strange Talk. But they also have a very direct line of what fits into
them…so if you don’t fit into with what they do, which we probably wouldn’t, I
don’t know, because we’re in between two things and maybe it wouldn’t work over
there. But over here there’s room for everything over here…[In Australia] you
have to direct it towards certain things instead of being creative

LOL: You have more
creative freedom here

KA: Yeah, I think so but I think it’s great over there.
There’s a lot of great musicians and a lot of great music.

SD: Australia’s always had a great export of great music…but
I think it’s like a numbers game like 23 million people as opposed to 350 or
whatever, so unfortunately record labels over there tend to look at what’s
going on over here and want to try and do that. So there are the guys that slip
through the cracks and end up becoming their own, like The Griswolds who we
played at Firefly with, but it’s definitely that and like he’s saying, there’s
a lot more freedom in the fact that there are so many more people and the
tastes are so much more varied and you have options, you know what I mean?

KA: A lot more opportunity here though as well.

SD: Yeah, and opportunity on a global level.

LOL: So speaking of
Firefly, since you brought it up, do you guys prepare differently for playing a
festival versus playing a regular show? Or is it kind of the same thing?

KA: No, we definitely prepare differently. Just before we
did Firefly, I saw one of my favorite artists D’Angelo and just like, the whole
set was fluid. It’s not dance music, but it just flows so well and that was
awesome. It kind of inspired us to sort of make our set flow and I think at a
festival people don’t want to keep stopping if they’re into it, so now we talk
on top of music, which I think is cooler because you’re still listening to
something. It’s not just dead silence.

SD: We do prepare differently, even with this tour that
we’re not using a drummer on this particular tour when normally we have been.
It was just one of those things where Strange Talk’s set was more elaborate –

KA: They have a big lighting rig that takes up half a stage
and I mean, it’s been cool.

SD: Yeah, it’s been great.

KA:Yeah, we’ve seen a couple bands that do it too and it was
cool.

SD: And we also don’t like to just stand there, we like to
interact with the crowd as much as we can, so that is still definitely there.
It’s just slight changes like not having a drummer so you have to think of the
approach differently to make it flow a certain way. We’re still working stuff
out and we’re always writing and always trying new ideas and seeing if ‘hey
that’s a cool song, lets play it and see what people think’ and just get a
reaction like that. I always feel like we’re sort of trying to develop or keep
changing things up, otherwise we get bored and if we’re bored, you’re gonna be
bored, you know? If I’m going to a concert, I want the band to look like
they’re excited or having a good time

KA: Yeah, they should look like they’re having a good time,
or they should actually be having a good time
[all laugh]

LOL: I ask this question
every now and then when we do interviews. Everyone has a different way of
defining success – radio play or having a sold out show, etc. How do you
measure success?

KA: I think, as an artist, being successful is just being
able to write what you want to write and create the art and music that you
want. To have people appreciate it too and get something out of it. You know,
sometimes after shows people put stuff on Twitter like ‘I’m still so excited
about that show I saw of you guys.’ That to me, when you see people who
genuinely get into something like a show or it really meant something to them,
that’s what success is for me personally. Not so much like being a massive
band, not that I’m against it [laugh]. What do you think?

SD: No I agree, I totally agree. They’re the rewards of
having people appreciate your art and I think that’s definitely a success
because you know, when you’re writing you’re not thinking about ‘we’re gonna
make millions,’ it’s none of that stuff

KA: I think there are certain managers and they try to get
you to do that and I think music just ends up sounding controlled. We have a
manager now that’s really aware of those things, so sometimes I think it’s good
to have someone from the outside cause we can get in our own world and it can
be too much

SD: ‘This is the best song we’ve ever written’ and then
they’re like, ‘it’s really not’ [all laugh], so then it’s just like ‘okay,
cool.’

LOL: Anything else you
guys want to add? What are you guys planning after this tour?

KA: We’re gonna go back to Australia and just chill out with
our family

SD: Yeah, maybe do some shows and continue just lots of
writing songs and producing stuff

KA: Yeah, we want to put out a record next year, like a full
length, so we just have to get into doing that.

SD: Yeah, we just got a lot of tracks and we’re sort of just
writing and writing and seeing which ones are gonna stick. The first EP was
four songs, five songs we had to pick from and now what we’ve realized is that
we have a lot more to choose from so now we’ve got to be more selective. But
that’s pretty much what we’re gonna be doing, going home and relaxing a bit and
still working

Intergalactix: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Interview With:: The Karma Killers [Warped Tour Edition]

Interview conducted by Kara Kokinos.

We sat down with Micky James and Mango of Island Record
signees, The Karma Killers, in the historic Jones Beach Amphitheatre to discuss
how their first run on Warped has been going, how their sound has come together
and what the band has planned next! The new boys on the block have been getting
lots of love from the community and are creating quite a buzz with their
imaginative spin on good old fashioned rock’n’roll!

LOL: This is the first run of Warped Tour you guys have
done. Have you attended the festival before as audience members or was this a
crash course in all things Warped?
Mango: Nah.
Micky James: I’ve been before, a couple of times. About nine, ten
years ago.
LOL: What’s it been like, having the perspective shift as a
fan to an artist playing the tour?
MJ: Well my taste in music has definitely changed.
(all laugh)
LOL: Oh, I’m sure ten years will do that.
MJ: It’s still really cool though. This tour is really
legendary. It’s been meeting expectations, but I don’t think I really had any
(concrete ones) going into it. We needed something to do this summer and it
just so happens that this fell into our laps., and it’s been a great
opportunity for the band.

LOL: So how has Warped been treating you so far?
MJ: Warped Tour, is that what we’re on right now? I
thought we were playing here tonight. Nah, Warped Tour has been really rad.
Mango: Nah, it’s been treating us unbelievably, really. We
feel a growth in fanbase every show.

LOL: It seems like that’s a big thing, kind of the purpose
of Warped for newer artists. How have you guys been hustling out there?
MJ: Hustling… (laughs) well we’ve been hanging up
posters every morning.
EDITORS NOTE: These
guys do not kid with their postering abilities. Posters with the cover of their
EP, Strange Therapy, could be found all over the festival grounds.
Mango: I feel like all bands kind of have the same kind of
ethic, getting down and out there really early. Hanging things up, getting on
the lines and interacting with kids, telling that what time they play and the
stage, just being out there all day.
MJ: Showing your face and making yourself present, just
talking to any and everyone.

LOL: You guys just released your debut “Strange Therapy”,
which is a sample of really unique and cohesive tunes –
MJ: Aww thank you. 
LOL: You guys have some punk , rock, and fuzz elements to
it…
Mango: Fuzz? Really?
LOL: Yeah, there’s definitely some fuzzy, beach vibes going
on in a few of those tracks!
MJ: Oh yeah, with the distortion on my voice? For sure.
LOL: Did you guys hit the studio or begin the writing
process with any clear intentions or did things evolve more organically with
time?
MJ: I guess there was no intention in the style that we were
writing in or anything like that. We wrote so much that we kind of fell into
this (sound) and found ourselves as a band and as writers. Once we landed on a
handful of songs that really sculpted our identity that took us where we wanted
to go. Very organic and natural.
Mango: Yeah, it’s very non-contrived for us when we’re
writing. It’s all accidental really. I don’t think we tried doing anything,
it’s just who we are. 

LOL: How’s the crowd’s reaction been to the tunes so far?
MJ: Good, surprisingly! It’s funny, mostly every show
there’s definitely a handful of kids looking at us like they’re trying to
figure out what we are. Compared to the other bands on Warped Tour we’re
definitely a little different. 
LOL: Yeah! I think one of the coolest things about Warped is
that there are genres coming into the spotlight as the tour evolves.
MJ: Yeah, it’s really cool. The diversity of genres is
really cool. There’s DJ artists, punk, metal, and now they’re bringing on some
alternative artists, rock bands like us. It’s definitely cool. We just put on a
fun show everyday, or we try to, and give a lot of energy. (The crowd) feeds
off of that and I feed off that. 

LOL: What was the
video creation process like for ‘Domino’?
MJ: I didn’t really
come up with the concept, we didn’t want to make that much of a concept video.
We weren’t really feeling that. Kind of just let the director take this one and
see where it goes and he did a fantastic job. The outcome was great.
Mango: Conceptually I
don’t think we even know what it’s about but it’s definitely a film aesthetic.
There was a lot of eye candy with the artchade scene. It was fun, definitely
the best video we’ve done so far. 

LOL: So what does the future look like for you guys? Any big
plans on the horizon?
Mango: Hopefully right behind you.
(all laugh)
MJ: I know we’re signed to set up a fall tour, still coming
together. Take a few weeks off right after Warped Tour and then go right back out.
We did just put out a new video! So that’s been the newest thing (check out said video here).

For more info on The Karma Killers: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Interview With:: Have Mercy [Warped Tour Edition]

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Interview conducted by
Kara Kokinos.

Sitting down wih the Have Mercy boys is always a blast and
this Warped Tour was no exception! Andrew Johnson and Nick Woolford sat down
with us to discuss tour grind, recording their last album A Place Of Our Own and their recent split with Somos!

LOL: Hiya! So how’s Warped tour shaping up for you guys?
Andrew Johnson: It’s good!
Nick Woolford: It’s hot.
AJ: Some days are really hot, today and yesterday weren’t
that bad temperature wise but it’s good. I’ve been noticing that the crowds are
getting bigger and bigger for us and the sets are getting better and better.

LOL: It definitely seems like Warped Tour is a time to
expand a fanbase. Have you guys been hitting that hard, meeting new people and
fans?

AJ: We try. Todd, our drummer, and I try to walk the line
every morning but I’ve noticed that there are certain areas where we’ll start
walking the line and we’ll see Attila shirts and we’re just like, “okay, let’s
just turn around”.

LOL: Has your first run on Warped Tour met your expectations
in terms of the grind?
NW: I mean, it’s hard. It’s definitely the most grueling
thing. I used to play professional baseball and this is worse.
AJ: I was talking to my friends yesterday, they came and
visited and they asked, “what do you do all day?” and I was like, “Well I wake
up at seven, I push snooze on my alarm like fifteen times then I wake up again
and we set up the merch tent, get everything ready. Go to production, find out
our set times, sometimes I get breakfast and sometimes I can’t. Then we walk
the line, come back, we play or we don’t play and just walk. It’s a lot of
walking and not knowing what to do.”
NW: It’s a lot of doing nothing!

LOL: What’s the biggest difference between a giant festival
like this and a smaller, club tour?
NW: There’s a million different things. It’s completely the
opposite of any other club tour that you’re going to do.
AJ: For example, we wake up and we’re here, we’re at the
venue. While on a club tour we’ll stay in that city that we played in or a
little outside of that, wake up at a friend’s house and then start driving and
load’s normally at three or four. Load in here is at 8AM and then load out is
at 8PM. It’s literally polar opposites.

LOL: Warped kind of puts everyone on the same playing field
in terms of artist and fan, have you guys had any jarring experiences with that
or is it kind of the same as you typically operate?
NW: Well no one knows I’m in the band, ever, so people
always ask me to take pictures with me and their mom with Andrew but it’s
alright.
LOL: Awww!
NW: Nah, it’s fine.
AJ: I mean, it’s cool. I got really star struck when I met
Jona from I Killed The Prom Queen because I grew up listening to them. I got
hammered at this bar and when we were all coming home I ended up sitting next
to their tour manager and I mentioned the only band I wanted to see was I
Killed The Prom Queen and he was like, “oh, you wanna come meet them?” and I
was on the bus, shaking and I went back to our band and for like forty minutes
I was just telling the story over and over.
NW: Yeah, I did tell him to shut up.
AJ: Yeah, he did.
NW: Everyone was trying to sleep.

LOL: Have you guys made any new or unexpected friends on
this tour or has it been people you already know?
AJ: Well we’re usually pretty easy to get along with.
NW: We also already know a lot of people on the tour.
AJ: I think one of the most unexpected things was that the
bass player from Jule Vera, we were just drinking with him the other day and
found out that he was the only one who was 21.
NW: I think they’re all like fifteen!
AJ: And then we were just talking about gear and stuff, it
was pretty cool.

LOL: You guys have been touring since you put out your album, A Place Of Our Own last year on
Hopeless, how’s that record label switch been?
NW: It’s been great!
AJ: They’re awesome. Toby was there today. We had to ask
them if it was okay if we could sign to Fueled By Ramen… It’s just a joke! But
yeah, they’re awesome.

LOL: The record definitely had a very organic, Hopeless
Records/pop punk feel to it. What was it like having a veteran like Paul
(Leavitt, producer) on your team for that?
AJ: It was awesome!
NW: I mean, I recorded with Paul when I was about twelve but
he is…well he’s weird. He’s a really cool guy, he becomes your best friend.
He’s got a really good ear for what he’s doing and he’s smart and knows how to
write a song. He can be intimidating but he means it in the best way.
AJ: Yeah, the one example I can use for “intimidating in the
best way” is that we were doing pre-production for the last album and there was
this one part that we couldn’t get down and he came storming in and was like “I
THOUGHT I TURNED THE FUCKING STOP BUTTON OFF!”, goes back in and slams the door
and we were just “uhhhhh…”

LOL: I love that you guys are still producing splits with
other artists! What was the process behind your recent one with Somos?
AJ: Uh, they asked us and we said yes haha

LOL: You guys did an acoustic version of one of your tracks
and then a cover? What was the selection process like for that?
AJ: Yeah, ‘Somebody’s Baby’.
NW: Well we all thought of a bunch of different songs and
that was the only one that we all agreed on.
AJ: Yeah, and No Sleep was like, we’re doing an acoustic
version and a cover so maybe if you guys want to do that, that’d be cool. And
then when we heard their tracks, it was two new ones and we were like oh…okay,
here ya go!

LOL: What are your plans after the summer, anything on deck
in terms of touring or new material?
NW: We have two tours for the fall.
AJ: I don’t think we can talk about them yet.*
NW: That just comes out later.
AJ: I can tell you one thing, we are going international
soon.
NW: That’ll be our first international tour.
AJ: And then we are doing a fun tour after that in the fall.

Have Mercy recently announced their fall tour with Transit,
Somos, and Microwave before heading to Europe! Check out the full list of tour
dates here and be sure to grab your tickets ASAP!

For more info on Have Mercy: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Interview With:: Super Furry Animals

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Interview conducted by Jon Hecht.

We recently caught up with Dafydd Ieuan, drummer of Super Furry Animals, a few hours before their performance at The Village Voice’s 4Knots Music Festival on July 11th! Our writer, Jon Hecht, caught up with Ieuan about coming back to America, playing shows together again after six years, and how things have changed since the band formed in 1993. Check out the interview below!

Lucy Out Loud: What’s
it like to be in America? You guys headlined Glastobury just a few weeks ago.
How’s it feel to be here instead?

Daffyd Ieuan:
Oh
it’s brilliant. We love coming here, we’ve been coming here twenty years, so I
think it’s just one of our favorite places to come to in the world, y’know.
We’ve been almost everywhere I can think of, but there’s just something about
New York, isn’t there?

LOL: Yeah of
course. I mean, I live here.

DI: Lovely
looking setting.

LOL: I think not
everyone in this city gets to hang out on the boat the whole time ha

DI: Of course. Of
course. I think we just feel very lucky to be able to come here and play. We
haven’t been here for six years. We’ve been having a bit of a hiatus—as a band.
Everybody’s been recording like mad. I think over the last six years we’ve
released between us, it’s gotta be ten, fifteen albums in the last six years or
so. So nobody’s been idle.

LOL: And there’s
a documentary in there too, right?

DI: There’s a
documentary in there too. And I think there was a book coming out for the
fifteenth anniversary of our Welsh album—though we could have anniversary
almost every year if we wanted to I suppose if we wanted to. I just fancy
playing again without promoting anything in particular like an album. We just
play the songs we like and like a bullshit free gig, if you know what I mean.
It’s been amazing.

LOL: Why did you
feel that now was the time to do that, after six years?

DI: It just felt
right, I don’t know. It just happened!

LOL: So you just
called each other up and said “Hey you want to go on tour?”

DI: Not far off.
But the book was coming out, and Domino Records has been asking us for about three
years if we wanted to re-release our Welsh album, and with the book coming out
we thought, well we could release that, we could do some shows, and before you
know it we’re in New York again. And it’s been great.

LOL: Did it take
a little bit to get back in the hang of things with this group of people after
being sorta separate for a little while?

DI: Well, except
for Bunf [guitarist Huw Bunford] we all live in Cardiff. It’s not a very big
city so it’s not like we never see each other.

LOL: Of course.
But I assume you weren’t rehearsing every day

DI: No. Me and
Cian—my brother—we got a studio in Cardiff where we were recording a host of
other bands. So in that sense, it doesn’t feel like we’ve stopped recording. We have as a band but not as individuals. It’s
hard to describe, but the feedback we’ve had, especially in the UK, has been
phenomenal.

LOL: I’m sure
you’re also treated as Wales’ native sons, in some ways.

DI: Yeah. We
weren’t sure if anybody was [interested], after six years away, but it’s proved
that people are.

LOL: The reviews
from Glastonbury seem to suggest that people are very happy to have you back.

DI: Yeah, absolutely!
Them kinds of gigs we thrive on. The bigger the better, I think.

LOL: So what are
you excited about today?

DI: Just playin’
ha

LOL: This is
sorta medium sized compared to the big festivals, I guess.

DI: Yeah. But a
show is a show. I’m just looking forward to it. I’m gonna have a wander around
town in a minute, after these [interviews], and I’ll probably…buy some
stuff…and do the show, and then go out in New York and have a good time.

LOL: How do you
keep the energy that you guys continue to have? Even on your most recent album,
[2009’s] Darker Days, there’s still
sorta this youthful energy that was always Super Furry Animals’ trademark. I
mean, you’re not twenty-year-olds anymore…

DI: [laughs] No.
Absolutely not.

LOL: How do you
make sure you don’t lose that? Not to say you’re old or anything [laughs]

DI: But we are.
We’re old fucking cynics. But…I think we’ve got sort of healthy musical
differences. I think we thrive on that, rather than struggle with it. I think
making a record shouldn’t be easy. It should be proper sensory attack and I
like to think we’ve got good quality control as well. And we just love going in
the studio. It’s always an adventure. I don’t think we’d release anything if we
weren’t happy with it anyway. But…I think we’ve just got the bug for going in
the studio. Y’know we just kinda can’t help it.

LOL: How do you
think things have changed since back when Guerilla
[in 1999] or Radiator [in 1997] came
out?

DI: White hairs.
No hair…

LOL: [laughs]
Well that’s definitely true, but you look young.

DI: I don’t feel
it frankly [laughs]

LOL: I just mean
in terms of playing festivals back then and playing festivals now, the music
industry now vs. then.

DI: It’s pretty
much the same. Except, I think, the songs we’re doing at the moment—they’re
just a collection of songs that we enjoy playing. That’s the first time that’s
happened. There’s usually an album to promote or something, so they’re usually
new album-heavy sets.

LOL: So now
you’re just doing the songs you like the most.

DI: Yeah. And
these shows we’ll be doing we just play whatever the fuck we want, because we
enjoy playing them, and nothing comes up in the set list that we go, “Ugh. I
don’t really want to play that.” It’s just been bullshit free.

LOL: That’s good.
How does it feel to be headlining along with bands that are half your age?

DI: Oh great!
That’s what it’s all about, ain’t it? I’ve just been in the studio with a
band—I just signed them to my label—and they’re between like sixteen and
nineteen, or something.

LOL: In the UK?

DI: In Wales. In
Cardiff. And we see them getting totally excited about being in the studio and
stuff like that. It’s sorta reminds you—we’re not as wide-eyed as we used to
be. But you still gotta go on stage and play, you know what I mean? You still
gotta go out and perform no matter how old you were.

LOL: And it’s the
same kind of thing you always loved.

DI: Yeah

LOL: So I’ve
noticed that you guys are coming back, and recently, Blur, your former
labelmates, released an album for the first time in a while-

DI: No, not
labelmates.

LOL: You weren’t
on the same label as them? I thought you were both on the same label at one
point.

DI: Oasis were.

LOL: Oasis
labelmates. I’m sorry about that.

DI: [laughs]

LOL: I hope you
don’t take offence at me comparing you a little bit to Blur when you were
labelmates with Oasis…

DI: No. [laughs]

LOL: Do you think
that your sort of wave of bands—the nineties “britpop” bands I guess—do you
feel that there’s sort of a wave of that coming back? Do you feel that society
is interested in you guys as a sort of second-time-around?

DI: I’m not aware
of it. To be honest with you, when we decided to have a go again, we didn’t
know Blur were recording even, let alone that they were gonna do these gigs,
so… I mean we’re not particularly bothered by what anybody else does. I mean I
don’t think we were back in the day either. The whole “britpop” thing we found
a bit…cringeworthy.

LOL: Yeah. Not to
mention you weren’t British.

DI: Especially
when the Union Jack doesn’t have any Welsh representation.

LOL:
Exactly
[laughs]. I guess it’s really more dumb rock journalists like me saying that
than anyone else.

DI: [laughs]
Yeah…to each their own. I think we’re happier in our own bubble.

LOL: That’s
definitely been your sort of modus.

DI: I think so.
We’ve got a healthy disrespect for anything that’s going on. We enjoy the other
bands, we get along, but…we never felt part of it.

LOL: Do you guys
have any plans for an album? I know you said it’s been nice not to have to
promote anything.

DI: We haven’t
got any plans to do anything. I think we just wanted to play, you know what I
mean? To play songs, and then we’ll see. I’m not saying never, or no—it’s just,
if the songs are there, if the time’s right, then why not. But there’s nothing
planned or penciled in.

LOL: Have you
been working on new material together at all or separately?

DI: No. I’m
working on two albums at the moment. And Cian’s working on one, and Gruff’s
working. Guto’s working on another one.

LOL: Some light
stuff while on vacation, right?

DI: We’re all
still doing our own separate things. We’ll see after all that. Every time we’ve
recorded an album, we’ve always been together for it. Forever—in the studio, on
tour—and this is the longest we haven’t been in our little bubble where there’s
music constantly – constantly writing, constantly thinking of ideas,
everybody’s together. So we need to get used to the smell of each other’s feet again
before we start recording [laughs]

LOL: And I’m sure
that smell’s only gotten better over time, right?

DI: Oh I don’t
know about that… [laughs]

LOL:
I think this
is about all the time we have. Anything else you wanna add?

DI:
Oh god I’m
sure there is, but…no. I’m just loving being in New York. That’s all. It’s
fantastic.

LOL: Any of the
bands here you’re particularly excited to see?

DI: I’m excited
to see [Stephen] Malkmus. I think we played with [Malkmus’ former band]
Pavement in their last show in San Diego when they broke up the first time.

LOL: Oh wow.

DI: Back in
the…late nineties I think.

LOL: ‘98 or
something like that?

DI: Something
like that. I think we were supporting them in San Diego. I haven’t seen him
since. We’ve got mutual friends, so…

LOL: That’s
pretty cool.

DI: I’m looking
forward to seeing some of the kids as well!

LOL: All right.
This was a great talk. Nice to meet you.

DI: And you, man.
Take it easy.

Interview With:: Dylan Lloyd

Dylan Llyod is an amazing singer/songwriter who released the
first of two new EP’s to come out this year entitled Aria just this past weekend! We sat down with Dylan to discuss his
newly released EP, his most memorable moment thus far, and his connection with
his incredible fans. This is going to be one hell of a year for Dylan Lloyd and
we can’t wait to see what he has in store next!

Check out our interview with him below!

Your first solo album
“The Vault” was released in December last year and entered very
highly in the iTunes chart. What do you think it is about your music that
receives such a great response from fans? What sets you a part from other
musicians?
I think the reason the
fans are responding to my music so well is because I reach out to all of them
in an interpersonal way.  My “Fan
Love Fridays” honor them specifically, as well as my constant contact with
all of them personally through social media.
It keeps me involved in their lives more than in an “artist to
fan” level.  It keeps me involved in
their lives on a “family” level.
I consider my fans family, they support me and I support them.  "Artist to Fan" interaction is
something I’m trying to set the bar for, and in many ways I feel that I’m
achieving that, and it’s translating into the great reception I’ve been getting
for my music.

You’ve got two EPs
coming out this year starting off with “Aria” which just came out!
What can fans expect to hear off the new EP?
The “Aria”
EP has been my highest charting top 100 on iTunes, and it has been my longest
charting.  So it has officially become my
most successful project to date.  I
prepped fans to expect minimal production, and honest songwriting from me…not
to say that all of my songs aren’t “honest”, but these four songs are
different.  I wrote these songs during
the most difficult time of my life…So it became a mission to convey my state
of mind to the fans.  I needed them to
know and understand what I was going through…and I needed to have my message
relate to all of them.

You could consider
this EP to be acoustic, but there is no acoustic guitar on this EP.  Two songs have only electric guitar, and two
songs have only piano.  This EP to its
core, is a pure singer/songwriter project.
My favorite record on this project is “Let Go”, and is
seemingly the fans favorite as well.

Releasing two EPs in
one year is not something we see a lot. Is there any reason behind these two
releases?
Well the second EP
will be involving a talented friend of mine named Blaise Delfino and two very
talented girls who are a duo known as Niki and Gabi.  This EP will have similar elements
songwriting wise to “Aria”, but it will have more of a Pop
approach.  I think it will be something
just as refreshing as Aria was, and I think fans will digg it.

As of recently, fans
can now find your music over on Pandora. If you had to create your own playlist
of your top 5-10 songs, who would be on it and what would your playlist be
called?
I am extremely excited
that I have a Pandora radio station now, it’s opening up so many doors for me
now that had not been open before.  If I
had to decide on my own playlist of 5-10 songs, it would definitely involve
artists such as Michael Jackson, Ben Folds, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews, Elton
John, Peter Gabriel, Sting, and Tears For Fears.  The songs would be “In Your Eyes”,
“Brick”, “Aurora”, “Leave Me Alone”, “Why
Should I Cry For You”, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”…to
name a few.

You’re a very gifted
songwriter. What tips or words of advice you can give to people who want to one
day be at your level?
Thank you for the
compliment I appreciate that very much!
My advice to aspiring songwriters, would be to write what you
feel…always.  No matter the format, no
matter how much experience you have, whatever you’re naturally coming up with
is the song you are meant to write.  Be
proud of the songs you write, and be confident in the songs you write, because
there will always be someone out there who will be impacted.

In your career so far
you’ve had some incredible opportunities. What was your most memorable moment
and what opportunities are you looking forward to this year?
My most memorable
moment by far was performing two nights on television in Ukraine to 150 million
people.  The television event was called
“Crimea Music Fest”, a multi-million dollar TV project that centered
around international competition between singers from all over the world.  I was the lone representative of the United
States, and to this day, am the only one in the competitions’ history.

Thanks for taking the
time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank you
so much for this interview, and for helping me get my message across to more
people about my music.  This means the
world to me.

For more on Dylan: Facebook
| ReverbNation | Twitter

Interview With:: Night Riots

image

Kara Kokinos, a new addition to the LOL team, had the opportunity to sit down with Nick Fotinakes, Travis Hawley, and Mikel Van Kranenburg of Night Riots this past Sunday (3/8/15) at the Brighton Music Hall during the East Coast leg of their tour with Draemings. The CA gentlemen, previously known as PK, released their “Howl” EP this January and have been featured on Sirius XM Alt Nation and placed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

Catch up on the band’s recent signing with Sumerian Records, Kickstarter, and SXSW and be sure to follow their socials for upcoming tour dates!

LOL: Hi guys! First off, I want to congratulate you guys on the release of the “Howl” EP! So how has the reception to that been so far?
Travis Hawley: It’s been great!
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, it’s going surprisingly pretty well. Well, not surprisingly, but you never know what to expect. It’s been received super well and all these shows we’ve been playing have been really great, people are responding to the new stuff. So better than anticipated.

LOL: Very nice! You guys premiere the first single, ‘Contagious’, a while back and did a video for that. Can you tell me a little bit about that process?
Travis Hawley: Yeah, I mean we have a certain aesthetic that definitely follows us, it’s just how we like to see the world in general. But we’ve been working with a music video director named Chris Buongiorno and he has kind of captured that for us and it’s really helping realize that. We’re discussing different ideas, we had some really elaborate plans before and then, with the label, we wanted to put a simple, solid performance video out first before we got into the crazy stuff, that’s for the future.

LOL: You guys are a newer Sumerian Records signing, how’s that been going?
Travis Hawley: It’s been amazing, it’s been a platform for us and we’ve been surprised how many people have been greeting us with open arms. Especially because we’re an alternative band on a metal label, it’s very different. But it’s cool, we’re not the black sheep, we’re set apart and we stand out, which is very cool.

LOL: You guys actually crowdfunded the last EP you did before signing to Sumerian, “Young Lore”, how was that process for you guys? Did you enjoy it or was it more of a struggle?
Travis Hawley: I think that the decision to do it was a little bit of a struggle. Just because it’s hard to ask people who have always supported you and they’ve already given so much coming to your shows so it’s hard to say, “Would you give us money?” We really tried to give cool, unique rewards out. We tried to make it worthwhile for everybody and put everything we could into it. We figured that’s the only way people would give back to us. And they did! It was huge, we didn’t want to be one of those bands that starts a Kickstarter and then gets halfway through and then just dies. So for us it was amazing because we got our goal really fast. And it wasn’t even a rich aunt or uncle that came in and was like, “Hey, here’s five grand. We’re gonna give it to you.” It was just a bunch of little purchases all over the United States. All over the world, really. So that was really cool.

LOL: Have you guys seen a lot of those people who donated when you’ve come through on tour?
Travis Hawley: We’ve seen the shirts and sweatshirts!
Nick Fotinakes: Part of the rewards for it was doing a string of acoustic, private shows so it was a good chunk of those people that we see at shows all the times and have become friends with too. We basically went over to their house and played and ate dinner with them.

LOL: Very nice, how is this tour going?
Nick Fotinakes: Good! It’s been cold.
Travis Hawley: Best tour.
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, that’s for sure.
Mikel VK: I like it, it’s a nice change of pace.

LOL: Well you guys are going back down to SXSW next week-
Nick Fotinakes: Is it that close?
Travis Hawley: Yeah, and that’s usually hot and humid. But last year it wasn’t too bad.
Nick Fotinakes: It was pretty cool.

LOL: How was your experience there last year?
Nick Fotinakes: It was good! We weren’t there for too long, it was a pretty quick trip.
Travis Hawley: It was perfect. We played really good shows and that’s actually where we met Sumerian for the first time. They came to a show and we had some perfectly packed performances.
Nick Fotinakes: We were there for three days, we weren’t there for the whole time. So we came in, played a couple cool shows. We had a hotel right down town and we got to come in and get out of there really easily. Got to get out of there before all the bands and before we got too tired so that was the perfect SXSW experience.

LOL: What does this year’s SXSW look like for you guys?
Travis Hawley: I think it’ll be a good one.
Nick Fotinakes: Pretty similar, we’re only there for two or three days.
Travis Hawley: You know what I think it is? I think that everybody in the industry is so pumped on SXSW. Everybody is, except, and I can’t say this for all bands, but I will say that for our band, we’re not super pumped on it. This thing is that it is amazing, you get to see a lot of great artists but it is so overwhelming. And we do this all the time, we’re on tour living that lifestyle, the party atmosphere, all the time. So for us it’s just another one of those except to the tenth degree.
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, times one hundred.

LOL: And you guys just did CMJ.
Travis Hawley: That was different though, that was cool cuz it’s kind of spread out over the city, which I thought was cool.
Nick Fotinakes: SXSW is that whole party crammed into that one street so it’s just like a Mardi Gras for bands and no one cares that you’re playing music because everyone’s i  a band there so it’s like, “’Oh, I’m playing a show, you should co- oh shut up.”
Travis Hawley: Well how we did it last and year and how we’ll do it this year is really fun if you come in there and you’ve got a place to stay. We went the year before and we stayed in our van, we had bunks in the back, and we were about two miles out.
Nick Fotinakes: {groans} It was really hot.
Travis Hawley: So we would park outside of the downtown and just hike.
Nick Fotinakes: About a mile out.
Travis Hawley: We would carry all of our gear, it was humid and hot. You would wake up and you’re drenched in sweat and then you have to load in gear. We were playing shows at around ten in the morning at a bar on the outskirts and there would be nobody there.

LOL: Looks like it paid off though!
{all agree}
Travis Hawley: I was just about to say that.
Mikel VK: It’s not to say that SXSW is a terrible place, there are upsides to it as well.
Travis Hawley: There are so many rad bands.
Mikel VK: You get to see awesome bands, there are awesome people, you make tons of connections, and we’re super grateful for the showcases that we do have this year, they’re going to be awesome. It goes both ways.
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, I think it’s about how you go into it. That first year we had no idea what to expect so we did it completely wrong so now that we’re going into it knowing things –
Mikel VK: That first one just put a sour taste in our mouths.
Nick Fotinakes: But we have good showcases, we get to see a lot of friends. We get to see bands that we never cross paths with and hang out. We saw some cool people last year like The 1975, CeeLo, Young The Giant, it’s great.
Travis: I really liked CeeLo.

LOL: Is there anything you want to tease after the end of festival season?
Nick Fotinakes: Aww man, is there anything we want to tease?
Travis Hawley: Do a little tease.
Nick Fotinakes: I don’t know if we have anything teasable, we’re playing a couple of festivals, one in FL after this, doing something in NY too. Hopefully maybe some UK stuff, that’s a tease.
Travis Hawley: We’re also at South By So What.
Nick Fotinakes: Oh yeah, that’s at the end of SXSW for us, we go there. I guess the only tease is that we’re going to be touring all of the time, you won’t be able to get rid of us. We’re going to be in your backyard all of the time, in your ear like a little bird chirping.
Travis Hawley: It’s true.

LOL: Sounds great, thanks guys! Anything you want to leave us off with, social plugs?
Nick Fotinakes: Oh yeah, follow us on Facebook.com/nightriots. Instagram is @nightriots. Twitter is @nightriots. The website is nightriots.com. It’s really easy.
Travis Hawley: Night Riots across the board
Nick Fotinakes: You can follow Mikel’s personal account as well.
Mikel VK: Oh yeahhhh.
Travis Hawley: You can also find that @nightriots 😉

Interview with:: Mizgin

We
recently sat down with Mizgin, to discuss her musical influences, her remix EP,
her music video for “Get You Off,” and what we can expect to see next! You can check
out the interview below!

First
off, thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us! Can you introduce
yourself and tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks so much for having me. My Name is Mizgin, I’m a recording artist and I
love to tell stories through my music.

You were born and raised in a small town
in Sweden and played as many shows and events that you could from school shows
to small venues. How do you think the music scene differs in Sweden versus
the US? Do you think you were limited with what you could do with your music in
Sweden?

I was definitely limited by growing up in a small town when it comes to music.
I mean the biggest thing you could do was to perform at the school show and the vision
I had for myself was way bigger than that. 

Where did your passion for music and
performing come from? Some people have family members who played and inspired
them to start performing while others just felt like it was their calling
in life. What inspired you to begin your singing career?

I simply can’t function without music in my life. It’s just something that’s
always been a part of me, I’ve always felt that way. I remember being a little girl
and imagining myself on stage performing, dancing, just being an artist. I
think it’s been in my blood since birth. The funny thing is that no one in my
family was very musical so I don’t know where it all comes from.

Your single, “Get You Off,” is a super
catchy and high-energy track and your vocals on it sound incredible. You
recently released a remix EP for the track on February 12th. Where did the
idea come from to release a remix EP?

Thanks so much! It was really a team effort. We shared some great ideas and
that’s what ended up turning into the remix ep. The original record is such a
good song, it was interesting to flip in different ways.

Some people have said your sound is
reminiscent of Rihanna & Skrillex. What artists have influenced you and
your song writing?

I love and respect a lot of great artists out there, but I try to build a sound
that’s more my own. Of course as an artist you’re always going to be influenced by
what’s around you, not just music, but I think creating something that’s unique
to who I am is what inspires me the most.

Speaking of song writing, you’ve been
sharing tons of photos and posts about being in the studio. Can you tell us a
little about what the writing and recording process has been like?

People might think that you just go in the studio and sing and that’s it. But
it’s much more than that.  One of my goals is to break down the segregation
in music and to create music that’s influenced by everything. I want to
make music that dominates pop culture.  I spend days sometimes with the
producers working until every word and line evokes the emotion we want it to.
As a singer, you need to bring the truth, the emotion, the story of the
song so that is what I try to do.

The video for “Get You Off” is
definitely edgy and a little scandalous, but it works really well with the
track itself. The video actually went viral within only a few hours, which
is amazing! What was your reaction to that?

It was surreal! It feels great to have so many people liking the song and
video… I am really thankful for the support.

I know in the past you’ve said that this
video was something you are proud of because it’s something you wanted and in
the end it’s your vision. What would you say to people who are afraid to
be a little more edgy because they are afraid of what people might say about
them?

I would say that it doesn’t matter what people might say about you. You have to
believe in what you’re doing, otherwise you’re living someone else’s life. I
think it’s a really powerful when young people can stand behind their ideas and
be like…’this is what is good’ and if someone else has a different opinion
it really shouldn’t matter in the end. Some people will love you for you and
others will judge, in the end you have to believe in yourself.

What can we expect next from Mizgin?
Maybe a full length?

I have a new single coming out in the next few weeks and I am in the studio now
finishing up the album which is dropping this Summer. The records we are doing are
really exciting and I can’t wait for the world to hear them. This album
will be like nothing you have heard before.

For more on Mizgin: Facebook
| Twitter
| VEVO

Interview With:: Nick Santino

We recently sat down to chat with Nick Santino about success, playing with Hanson and his latest release, Savannah. We recently reviewed the album, which you can read by clicking here!

You can read the interview below!

The last time we spoke with you was right before you hit the road for the Vans Warped Tour where you played in the Acoustic Basement. Following that, you hit the road again on your own headlining tour, The Long & Winding Roadshow -which is such a great name, by the way. What drives you to constantly tour and hit the road?
I love being on the road. It’s where the songs really come to life and become something special.  I love interacting with all of the people who come out to the shows.  I love it just as much as I love being in the studio making new music.

You previously shared with us that being solo allows you to be more honest and more yourself. What other positives and negatives are there in touring solo compared to touring in a band? How are you adjusting to it?
I enjoy playing solo shows yeah. It gives me a bit of practice to get my stage banter right and to be honest and true to myself as well as the people there.  I love playing with a band for the energy it brings and the over all good time it is.

I think everyone has a different way of defining how and when they make it, whether it’s a radio single or playing sold-out shows.  How do you measure your success? 
I think if you are able to do what makes you happy then that is being successful. If you want a family, a nice house, a good job and you eventually get that and you’re happy, that is success.  I think some people have big dreams and goals and that’s great to have. I just like to set mine a bit lower and gradually work my way up the ladder.

Savannah has a more melancholic theme to it than your previous album Big Skies. How was the writing process different for this EP?  Can we expect more songs like this on your next album?
I went into writing Savannah with the feeling of wanting to do an EP that would fit the season.  Something cold and wintery and I think I accomplished that.  I’m sure I’ll continue to make this kind of music but theres no telling what I’ll write next. I don’t set out to write in a certain genre. I don’t like having rules or guidelines. I let the songs write themselves.

My favorite track off of Savannah is “How to live with a Ghost”.  It’s kind of hauntingly beautiful, just to be punny.  What was your mindset writing this song? 
I wrote this song a year ago and I wanted to put it on Big Skies.  I’m glad I waited til now
because I wasn’t sure how exactly I wanted it to sound.  I think when I was gonna use it on Big Skies I made it more upbeat and had sort of a shuffle to it.  I think it was the best move to wait.  This song has such a strong message and I think it speaks louder with this chilled out vibe it has now

In your song “Rio” you talk about heading out to Mexico, and you happened to go to Mexico to play with Hanson.  Was that strategically planned or just a coincidence?
Just a coincidence .  I had actually never been to Mexico before I wrote that song. I for some reason kept singing the line/melody “We used to go to Mexico” and thought it sounded pretty so I rolled with it..

Speaking of Hanson, how excited were you about playing with them and how was the experience?
They are great.  That whole getaway was great and I hope we can do more things together.  David Ryan Harris was also a part of it and him and I were talking about writing some music together.  Everyone there was amazingly talented and I was honored to be a part of it.

When you’re not writing new songs or playing gigs, what do you like to do during your off-time?
I’m lazy.  I do normal boring people stuff.  Netflix, laundry, cooking, design work.  I try and stay busy. I like taking guitars apart and rebuilding them. Just anything to keep sane.

For more on Nick Santino: Facebook | Twitter