Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Prude

Prude is every possible contradiction. Influenced by the sounds of breaking machinery as much as by a badly scratched copy of Roxy Music's first album, or "Funhouse" side two, as much by the chaos of the guitar as by the precision of The Computer Age, this paradoxical crucible  has produced something utterly unexpected: Machine Rock 'n Roll - broken robots with pretty faces, draped in pink leather and black feathers making retro-futurist music to riot to.

"the dark age of consent", their first album, is an intoxicating contortion of styles, hungers and disturbed experiences, a smear glitter, diodes and broken glass. recorded and produced between two continents and mastered by the genius of Sean Magee at Abbey Road, it's a glory hole peepshow of artists playing off each other's weaknesses and strengths to build a late night, post-rock, electro - experimental punk record of distorted proportions.

The band glistens with talent from varied genres. It boasts countless albums credited under many guises and its members have spent over twenty years on tour and in the studio.

Oil and makeup mixing in the heathen night, Prude swaggers on swivel - jointed hips through the cynical stream of packaged music "products" feeding the noise of the music industry back into the system to disrupt the status quo.


Self- indulgent, damaged, and covered in a film most would have washed off ages ago, Prude stands defiantly as the heart of unpop culture and raises their burning flag. I had to put on my romper stompers for this interview, and venture into the unknown... but surprisingly, with rosary beads in my back pocket I found myself in awe as I quickly discovered that these dark angels were merely saints of god. Here we managed to catch up with Jared Louche and Howie Beno for this exclusive.

R. Controversy is nothing new for you guys, but something tells me that below the surface you're all mommas boys, am I right?
JL. Sure, if that will help you sleep better at night to believe that weʼre just playing at being the people we seem to be on the outside and have nothing below the surface except more surface then you go on and believe that. Far be it from me to disturb your slumbers.

If what youʼre actually asking is: “considering the intensity of the music, are you guys always like that?” the answer would of course be “no”.The Jared that trashes the stage wearing high heels and a sparkly gold bikini, climbs onto the second-floor balcony with the mic in his mouth and then blithely swan-dives off into space is not the same Jared that takes his amazing son to school in the morning. I used to be that person 25 hours-a-day. We all were, but to navigate a course through life one eventually either makes the decision to take the wheel or drive off the road. Iʼve been off the road, spent most of my adult life there, and that disaster unequivocally still lives in me. Iʼm just more adept at controlling it, being able to use it when I want as opposed to it using me ... all of the time. Thatʼs true for all of us.

Jared Louche

R."the dark age of consent' is the title of your upcoming album. What's different this time around? talk to me about the over-production and arrangements.
HB. Well, this is actually our debut album under this moniker. I feel it's a departure and maturation from the waters where any of us had been swimming before. it's lean and bellicose. the production came about in stages. the germ of the concept as I understand it was formed many years ago in a dank German beer hall in south eastern Bavaria. I was brought in to oversee that the mayhem contained within somehow got sorted out and to add my own Maygar stamp collecting chackra to the tracks that needed sorting and seasoning. we all collaborated on our idea of the arrangements and they kind of grew out of a mutually experienced nocturne of the emission kind.

Howie Beno
R. For the sake of our audience, what are your songs are about? (what specific themes do they cover?)
JL. Songs About Fucking.
HB. Whatever it is, we are against it.

R. You've all descended from different paths... how did you all come together?
JL. Anally.
HB. Prude is masterminded by a vocalist named Jared Louche and guitarist Marc Olivier with Matt Fanale and Phil DiSiena and me. An MIT graduate with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Jared was living a split existence at the time his concept for Prude began to fall together. By day, he was a highly-touted member of the Product Design wing of a major Massachusetts-based corporation, helping to develop all sorts of media machinery that heʼs not supposed to talk about. By night he was a member of any one of a handful of constantly shifting bands on the Industrial club circuit in North America most notably as founder of Chemlab. Considering the day gig, when he bought 12-inch recording equipment and began experimenting with basement tapes, mastering the machinery at his disposal posed no great problem. With these extraordinarily homemade filth tapes, the band was soon better know to sleaze rockers in London and New York than it was to taste-mongers in its own hometown of Willoughby.

R. Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?
JL. We all do, actually. Thatʼs one of the most creatively fascinating and intellectually challenging aspects of this band. We all write the music and we all work on the artwork, so the stream of contribution is constant and enters the arena from all directions. The  bandʼs a hydra-headed affair of distorted proportion, each mouth providing more teeth to chew, each set of leering eyes capable of analyzing and a host of hairy ears incorporating and dissecting. I stitch together a lot of the lyrics, but that process isnʼt engaged in in isolation.

Marc Plastic 
Itʼs informed not only by the music but by the people involved in the process of writing said music. I absorb ideas from our conversations and discussions, sparks germinate and fester until they tumble into the light gasping for air. I snare phrases, lovingly and logophilically mutate them in an attempt to mirror what each of us feels, thinks and absorbs. One of the things that I find so creatively athletic about Prude is that itʼs an open arena for muscular experimentation. Thereʼs no leader, no dictator. Weʼre all the dictator. We approached this band without doctrines or dogmas, everything brought for consideration. Much of it stayed. All of our other bands operate under self-imposed limitations and caveats. Weʼve engineered Prude to be utterly open to any input, allowing for everything to be possible which engendered an atmosphere of almost hedonistic transgression and unadulterated possibility thatʼs both frightening and thrilling.

R. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on draped pink leather and black feathers. WTF is this all about? Aren't the 80s over? Is there a dungeon I need to know about?
JL. Thatʼs a very post-Soviet question that displays a certain revisionist illness, a typically Western running dog bourgeois defamation that would be rooted out if only Comrade Stalin were still alive. There is indeed a dungeon and you DO need to know about it. Well done, you figured out what no one else has managed so far to decode. The dungeonʼs called The Hydrogen Bar and itʼs located on Avenue D just off 3rd street as you head towards the East River. Go to the door and ask for Officer Freud. Tell him I sent you. Heʼll show you a good time. Everyone in there is draped in leather feathers and pink- black and you wonʼt get in there if you arenʼt displaying the right uniform. I guess you didnʼt  know. Itʼs all the rage in NYC, so you better get with it if you want to be the coolest kid in the Central Auditing Commission.

Matt Fanale
R. Is Industrial rock the over-all theme to your sound? Where do you think your largest fan base is located, and why?
HB. don't think, despite the fact that many of us have a mugshot in the industrial world that this record is an industrial one at all. we kind of knew that and embraced it from the start, at the risk of alienating some folk, we fashioned a record made of odd bits of asbestos, fructose, discarded party tassels and leftover bbq corn chicklets. it's a really weird amalgam of each personality infused into a toxic blend that somehow, in the end, seemed to really work well together. Call it the paradoxical primordial spew. i think our largest fan base is located in the same tents in which the barium brothers and pt barium first met. as they say, there is an enema born every minute.

Phil DiSiena 
R. What are your up-to-date performance plans? any tours?
HB. Presently, Jared and Marc, along with the drummer who played on the entire record, christophe deschamps, are doing select appearances as Prude in the UK. There are no US dates as of yet scheduled with the full complement of insanity, but we are cautiously optimistic that there shall be in the near future.

Last but not least...

R. I know you guys are all dark, gritty, and whatnot... but, if you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what would your slogan be?
JL.That slogan would be, and is: “Whatever it is, weʼre against it”. Itʼs been our slogan for a long time and is the aegis under which we function.That phrase is actually incredibly positive as long as oneʼs open-minded enough to see it that way, and all of us in the band are and do. Weʼve all been making music far too long not to be able to see the positivity in things around us, to be able to laugh at ourselves and the world. Just because people might not be able to see the radiant positivity of our message, our message of Eternal Peace and Boundless Love, doesnʼt mean that weʼre required to spell it out for everyone. What interests me most about the artists whose work I respect is that they donʼt attempt to explain everything theyʼre doing, they refrain from engaging in some intellectual, explicative framing for the public. To me, that makes the art much less vital, leaving no room for personal interpretation. ʻdark ageʼ required that we explore a lot, that we question intensely. 

That journeyʼs elemental to the very nature of the music. I think it would be a mistake to explain it all to death. Besides, who could possibly believe that itʼs somehow our sociocultural duty to provide a message of positivity to the listeners if thatʼs not already the core modus of the music? Beyond that, how would we decide what such a message sounded like? A message of positivity for someone suffering with profound pharmacological depression might find that sugary sweet “pabulums of positivity” would serve nothing save to aggravate. That same message that the depressed person on the roofʼs edge might find vexing could in turn be the most powerfully uplifting tool for someone else. Nothing serves more perfectly than the truth, and the truth for Prude is ʻdark ageʼ. It wonʼt be everyoneʼs truth, in fact I hope not, but it is ours. 

My main problem with your request is that it erroneously believes that a single statement can be some sort of global panacea. Thatʼs fallacious thinking. As Lincoln, or more likely PT Barnum, said: “you canʼt please all of the people all of the time”. Besides, why should we? Weʼre artists, not therapists. Weʼre making music for us not for the slavish appreciation of the public, and if we have some overarching “duty” it is to cleave as closely as we can to that edict. If the rest of the world likes what weʼre doing, if it resonates for them then they can come along and enjoy it with us. If not, well, thatʼs what the “On/Off” switch was invented for, and here is where I hit the “Off” side of the switch.  

Prude the dark age of consent is out now and available HERE


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alyssa Boggs


After the success of her first single "So Wonderful", Alyssa Boggs announces the release of her second single "City Girl's Country", from the country singer's upcoming EP, set to be released on September 30, 2013. Filled with prominent guitar instrumentals and catchy lyrics, this single will have every city girl wishing she was country.

Growing up listening to country legends like George Strait and Martina McBride, Boggs knew from an early age she destined to be a musician and began honing her craft in high school. After spending over a year in the studio, Alyssa is ready to release her debut album, she released her first single " So Wonderful", which was featured on both Art of the Mix Top 100 New Releases Country and iTop Chart Top 100 New Country Releases. The country singer also landed her talents to kick off the Cleveland Indians versus New York Yankees baseball game when she sang the National Anthem at Prudential Filed last July.

Check out the new single "City Girl's Country", available HERE


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Cooler by the Lake

Combine tight musicianship with a loose cannon and you get Cooler by the Lake. With a two-guitar attack, rhythm section, keys, flute and sax, a dedicated back up singer and raucous singer Rory Lake at the helm, Cooler by the Lake has conquered rock clubs all over the Midwest for the last 15years. It's more then music; it's an intense rock experience.

The groups isa shaken cocktail of classic rock, psych, prog and punk appeals to all fans of rock, especially when served by wildly charismatic Rory Lake. Due to their unique versatility and amplified entertainment factor, Cooler by the Lake has squeezed on stages with rock legends Molly Hatchet, The Fixx, Asia, and Adam Ant as well as punk and indie acts Sean & Zander, Drag the River, Nashville Pussy, Cherry Valence, Electric Frankenstein, Dank Jones, and Apocalypse Hoboken. Cooler by the Lake has also performed a live simulcast of a bacon eating contents on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Cooler by the Lake mark the end of the season with their 2nd studio album Summer's Over. We caught up with Rory Lake to talk about this infectious new album.

R. Hey, let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we... can we assume that the name of the band comes in some way, associated to living near Chicago's Michigan Lake? or are we off the beaten track?
RL. Hi. First of all, thanks for the Q&A session here and caring enough to get to know our band a little bit. Your assumption is partially correct. Yes, it's safe to assume the name of the band comes from living in the vicinity of Lake Michigan. In Chicago, it's a regular phrase you hear on the news. All the weather folk have their own little spin on it. Tom Skilling from WGN will say it's "Cooler lakeside," or Andy Avalos from NBC5 will say it's "Cooler near the lake." But everyone knows it's always "Cooler BY the Lake." My last name also happens to be Lake. So in our band's case, the name makes a lot of sense. And, if you stand next to me, or are in the near proximity of my person, well...you get the point. 

R. For our audience share with us how you managed to find such an ensemble talented group of individuals?
RL. Skinsman, J.M. San Miguel and I have been playing together since the mid 90s. We've been involved in the Chicago music community for a long time so we obviously have friends in other bands. Our first bass player and my long time songwriting partner of more than 20 years, Conrad Shore, passed away in 2009. So, whether they wanted to or not, we've had members come and go. Most of our 9-member monstrosity has been together for over 10 years. They're friends from other bands who saw something different about what we were doing. They knew our live show was as large as our riffs. And most of all, they knew it would be fun. If you got that going for you, then finding the right people ain't hard. Our latest members are Wendy Ann Lisa, who I call the Lakeside Singer, Teri Fountaine who plays piano, trumpet and French horn – she used to play in some symphony orchestra in South America – and Nigel Fripp a Hammond B3/synth wizard and Canadian. 

R. Can I ask what's with those teeth? Is this some kind of alter-ego character that you're living out on stage?
RL. What you see up there is 100% USDA Choice Rory Lake meat. Take me to your next barbecue. I come with my own sauce. 

R. Musically speaking, Summer's End is your second studio album. What's different this time round? What can the audience expect to hear?
RL. The album is called Summer's Over. And I released it on my label, Rory Lake Presents, just like all the other releases we have. One thing you gotta know about me, is that I always go big. That goes with performing and with releasing material. Our first album was ambitious, to say the least. I mean, sound-wise, we were still developing. It was really all about our live show. That's why I produced and directed a feature-length rock-YOU-mentary to go along with it. It was a self-titled CD/DVD release. Summer's Over is a different story because we took care to not only write interesting songs, but also the musicianship is off the charts. Once we started recording the basic tracks at Johnny Z's Riverside Resort, I knew we had something special happening. I knew the direction I had to push was in production. So I enlisted some heavy-hitters to help complete the mission. John Hiler helped with production, recorded overdubs and mixed the album. He's worked with Slayer, Cynic, Hedwig & The Angry Inch, and The Frogs, among many others. The album was mastered by Bob Ludwig. Turn over a classic record from the last four decades and you're bound to see his name attached to it. I wanted to inject crazy energy into the long forgotten AOR format, and I believe I achieved that goal. You're able to hear all the turns and cranks of every instrument as it falls into place on this 9-car thrill ride.

R. Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
RL. A lot of things are born out of thoughts or phrases that stumble out of people's mouths. One person in particular who was really good with seeding a song was Conrad Shore. On the new record we have a song called, "Singing Along With The Riff." Conrad really liked that idea of just humming along to whatever it is you're playing at the moment. It's as natural as can be. I took some of his initial thoughts on it and, after he passed, molded it into a bittersweet journey of the artist's relationship with a song, and the hardships that may come with it. Many of our songs evolve like this. For us, however, they generally start out as a nugget of a story and wind up being epic adventures. For better or for worse, we like to push things to levels that no other band would imagine doing in this day and age. We literally imagine a "Cooler" button to hit when it comes to songwriting. You've got to push it. Cue Salt-N-Pepa.

R. Describe your show, visually and musically.
RL. I'll start by saying that we usually have to cram onto every stage we play. Somehow we always make it work. Personally, I like to use tight quarters to my advantage in my performance. I could break out of that cage at any minute. Usually, what ends up breaking is a mic stand. Having 9 people on stage is a spectacle in and of itself. I mean, we have Johnny "Jingles" McCann who floats effortlessly between flute and sax. He's got mad skills. Hell, everyone does. (Quick shout out to bassist Eddie Waters, and my axe men, Chad Lee Pepper and Brad "The Wiz" Wyzowski.) And I will say, that regardless of your taste in music, everyone walks away from our shows a little wobbly from the sheer entertainment factor alone. I stopped doing my straightjacket escape, so don't go asking for it.  

Last but not least...

R. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
RL. We were asked to headline Revolution Brewing's Oktoberfest on Friday. October 3rd. It's at their brewery here in Chicago. They also got an AC/DC tribute band and a German Polka band to round out the show. It's gonna be fun! Revolution Brewing has always been good about supporting local music. They donate kegs every year to the annual block party at the American Legion FDR Post 923 that I produce. As far as shows, that's it for now. 
I'm hoping to do a regional tour of sorts to promote our new album, early next year. Keep up with me at rorylakepresents.com. Thanks you so much.

Summer's Over is out now and available HERE


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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Adversary

Review: There are obvious and not-so-obvious comparisons to call on when trying to capture The Adversary on paper.  They might come on when you put in “The xx” into your Pandora, but that line is not to be drawn. If anything, they are more like a retro- M83-meets a male-fronted Polica. Yet, some underlying 80’s influences such as Erasure and New Order appear in their poppier moments. In their darker depths, the moments that I really connected with in the new release. “Starry Night” has all the promise to be brave enough to go their own direction, while “Top of the World” just begins to scrape at the dangerously infectious electronic hooks that a less-depressed and trouble-free Trent Reznor would have been proud of. If Bono was going to do an electronic project in 2014, it might sound a lot like this, and if The Matrix (or the Twilight Saga for that matter) was going to make another release in their respective franchises, The Adversary would find a perfect niche in that movie. But Bono is not sitting around playing with synths and programming, and as far as I know there is no new Matrix… and thank God no new Twilight… So, where does that leave The Adversary?


Up to the fates of a soundtrack-producer that would be wise to include these up-and-comers.  In a world of electrorock, EDM, and chic indie bands with guitars and computers, it is more important to say what this group is not:  They are not Toro y Moi, The Naked and Famous, or Home Video.  They have chosen their name wisely, it suits them, and they should embrace it fully and dive into these moments where they sound like no one else… because they have them. Even though the lyrics are typical and searching romantically, it doesn’t change the fact that  James Saint James and Tony Wilson would be happy to turn up to a club playing “We Need”, and Ben Gibbard would (at least claim to) enjoy “Yoshimi” for its Postal Service-qualities.  Don’t judge Andrew Mistier by his first single. I was lukewarm to “Ritual Dream”, and very pleasantly surprised that just because he could do very poppy and inviting music, this release is no one-trick pony. Self-proclaimed “music for aliens & cavemen”, and endorsed by my Oasis-and-Verve loving friend Umaar, The Adversary at least deserves a listen where most electronic projects these days really don’t. 

Chapter 2: Ritual Dream is out now and available HERE


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PA. Correspondent
Johnny Saint - Lethal

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bill Madden

Bill Madden is a musician and activist who lives in the Lower East Side / Chinatown neighborhood of New York City. Spirituality, human & civil rights, the environment and stories of fearless, open -minded people who challenge tradition fuel his art. A politically engaged poet and world citizen, Madden's work reflects an individual in search of truth and justice.

Madden's musical influences are wide - ranging and include the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, Bill Holiday, Serge Gainsbourg, Violeta Parra, Silvio Rodriguez, and nueva canción and nueva trova. His lyrical influences the poetry of Dylan Thomas, E.E. Cummings, Pablo Neruda and Arthur Rimbaud, as well as the philosophy of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Joseph Campbell and Albert Camus.

His recently released new album titled "New Religion", is a beautifully crafted piece of work. One that resembles that of Aldous Huxley "Brave New World". It should come as no surprise that much of his lyrical ability not only is a reflection of his great talent, but a personal insight into Madden's active life as an activist for human rights and global issues.

Madden is best known for his environmental song and music video Gone which was in rotation on television networks, mtvU in American and MuchMusic in Canada. His socially conscious films/music videos have received numerous international awards.

We were fortunate to meet up with Madden this week in his own neighborhood of Chinatown to chat about his new album and have him share with us in his own words - what's the meaning of life?

R. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Going right to the heart of the matter... What's the meaning of life?
BM. Life has no meaning. It's up to each individual to bring meaning to their own life. As Joseph Campbell said, "It is a waste of time to be asking the question when you are the answer."

R. Musically speaking, would you say the new album is your greatest masterpiece? 
BM. I'm very fond of all my albums, but "New Religion" is the most musically adventurous. My intention is always to keep moving from what I've done before. As an artist, I think it's important to evolve and continue to be reborn.

R.You've hit a lot of topics in this album. Share with our audience a little about what "New Religion" is about, and what it means to you. 
BM. I was looking to move away from traditional instrumentation and create an ethereal, atmosphere and ambient landscape that I could wrap my poetry and vocals around. I see "new Religion" as an art album -- a collection of poetry, metaphor, social commentary and stories about fearless, tragic and forgotten people. While the title track "New Religion" deals with common folks being ravaged by corporate avarice and greed, there's also a motif within the album that people can arise above circumstance and resurrect their lives.


R. Do you use your activist career to help you write all your songs or are you influenced by other things, say like Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory?
BM. As a songwriter, as in life, I see each day as a blank page, a naked palette in which I am free to color any way I choose. I like to use all the colors available to me, not just activism, and allow life, spirituality, art and action to suffuse with each other.

R. Walk us through the production of the album. Other than yourself who else did you collaborate with?
BM. The only other person involved in the recording process was my long time partner Billy Mohler. Other than "Chillin' In Hades", Billy's been involved with every album I've recorded and has produced the last three. It's very egoless and collaborative. It's all about making great music. The recording process was very zen-like and in the moment. No Over analyzing or rehearsing. Just setting up mics, picking up instruments, and laying it down.


R. What one thing have you learned in compiling this album that surprised the pants off you?
BM. That Billy Mohler is able to read my mind! Also, that stream-of-consciousness applies to the creation of music every bit as much as it does to literature.

R. Lets get a little deeper shall we... What do you think about reincarnation? 
BM. Years ago I attended a dialogue by the Dalai Lama. After the talk, there was a discussion with people in attendance and the Dalai Lama gave an answer to a woman 's question that to this day resonates with me. Since Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is the 74th manifestation of Chenrezi, it would logical to assume that the Dalai Lama would be somewhat of a fundamentalist regarding reincarnation.  When a woman in the audience asked him, "Your Holiness, I am depressed and very unhappy with my life and since I will be reincarnated, I am thinking that it would be better if I kill myself so that I may be reborn." The Dalai Lama replied, "I would not do that. We really don't know is that's true, do we?" To me, that's wisdom. Not being attached to the dogma of your own religion.

R. What is your opinion of ignorance on inequality in the USA?
BM. Since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1981, America has slowly been moving toward a corporatist plutocracy of have and have-nots. "Trickle-down economics" or 'Reaganomics" has been a total scam and has accomplished the complete opposite of what it portended to achieve. I'm not so sure it's the ignorance of people, as much as it is is willful adherence to blind ideology.

Unbeknown to most middle class and lower income ideologues, when they vote Republican, they are voting against their best interest. Today's Tea Party infused GOP has morphed into a predominantly white, neo-confederate party of right-wing extremism that strokes fear by manipulating the darkest of bigotry that lurks in a human heart.

The obscene treatment of DREAMers is a perfect example. In reality, it's not immigrants who are oppressing them, but rather the politicians whom they vote into office. The same politicians who sadistically keep them from receiving higher minimum wage and lifesaving health care. Also, women make only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. it's seldom said, but when it comes to inequality, historically, no group of people have been discriminated against more than women. Men have been fucking up the world for thousands of years. It's time we give more women a chance to lead.


There's an existential war going on between the right-wing and progressives that asks the question, what is the purpose of government? While the left believe a function of government is to serve the best interest of it's citizen, the right seeks to abolish it to the benefit of their corporate benefactors in hope of a free, unregulated and unfettered market. This of course, is the same mentality that led to the 2008 financial crisis, the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unfortunately, very few regulations have changed and we are setting ourselves up once again for  disaster. Either way, corporations and the  wealthy win and it is you ad I who are stuck with the tab.

Last but not least...

R. When the aliens land on earth, why will you be the first person they talk to?
BM. I don't know if I'll be the first human being they talk to, but they'll definitely recognize me as a kindred spirit!

New Religion is out now and available on iTunesbandcamp & soundcloud

Artwork by Héctor Falcón

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Claire London

NYC based electro-rocker Claire London is gearing up to release her sophomore EP, Hit The Switch, set to drop later this fall. The latest from London builds upon the dark, Trent Reznor inspired aesthetic established on 2011's Like A Machine.

With a rock & rock edge and a powerhouse  voice, dynamic singer-songwriter Claire London combines  haunting melodies dark-tinged electro pop on her highly anticipated new EP "Hit The Switch.  With influences ranging from Jack White to Depeche Mode to Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, London has been blowing up the music blogs with her newly released single, garnering high praise for it's edgy, empowering sound. produced and mixed by Robert Lux (Pegasus Warning, Ella Riot), Hit the Switch is the follow-up to her debut album, Like A Machine, released back in 2011.

Hit The Switch is available HERE 


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QVALIA

QVALIA (pronounced "Qualia") is a New York - based cinematic alt pop band, formed in 2014. Its lineup consists of Michael Hazani (bass and vocals), Pier Luigi Salami  (keys) and Shawn Crowder (drums), three musical soulmates who met while attending Berklee College of Music and have been playing together for years,

QVALIA's first album, "This Is the Color of My Dreams", was released this September of 2014; the promo singles are accompanied by interactive, immersive 3d songscapes inspired by 90's PC adventure games which QVALIA also incorporates into its live show, creating a one -of-a-kind juxtaposition between the emotionally open, heart -on-your-sleeve music and the pixelated, artificial, CGI-based songscapes.

QVALIA was conceived by Michael Hazani, a songwriter and music producer, as a musical outlet that did not need to conform to the strict demands of the pop market. "This Is the Color of My Dreams" proudly wears its influence on its sleeve - analog synth and 80's inspired guitar - laden melodies, percussive war drums a-la action film scores, the constant interplay between the intimate and the large-scale epic - while its overreaching themes of mortality and hope are lyrically influenced by the likes of Keats. TS Eliot, Saint-Exupery and the Book of Psalms.

The resulting effort is a concise, diverse song cycle which - while being accessible from the first listen - rewards multiple spins and calls for a repeat visits to its wide pallet of sonic and emotional colors. We caught up with Hazani to chat about his wondrous soundscapes.

R. What type of band are you?
MH. We're a cinematic alt-pop band; our sound is primarily influenced by videogames, classical music, filmscores and 90's rock.

R. What inspired you to do what you do?
MH. I's created QVALIA after several years of writing songs for other artists, TV commercials and indie films. At some point I realized that I really wasn't making the music I want to make: the result of my own experiences and influences, i.e reading a particular book, or seeing a particular landscape, or just being in a unique mood. So I dropped everything else, gathered some of my favorite collaborators and set to make this album - music that, for the first time, expresses what i want to express.

R. I'm sure most people will want to know. What is the meaning of QVALIA?
MH. QVALIA is a Roman stylization of the word Qualia, which is a term in phenomenology; it simply means the different way in which we perceive sensory experiences. The way you see the color red, that's different from how I perceive it. How chocolate tastes to me, which isn't necessary how it tastes to you. Qualia is that personal, unique, emotional response.


R. How does music affect you and the world around you?
MH. I see music as a pathway for deeper personal exploration. You get to know yourself better by the way you respond to certain songs,certain melodies. Music certainly makes me feel emotions that I didn't know existed within me, and I think that applies to a lot of people. At its best it's likes a map, or rather, like the feeling of being lost in an entirely new place.

R. This Is The Color of My Dreams is about what? Is this about you? Share with us the over-all making of the LP and the message behind the title.
MH. This Is The Color of My Dreams is a more autobiographical than anything I've done to date. But it's not about me, about Michael, as its sole subject; the songs area series of explorations of ideas such as mortality, growing up, obsession, and letting go when you can't or shouldn't hold on any longer - ideas that are external to myself and involve other people, places and experiences, but that also contain me in them.

R. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
MH. I was born and raised in Israel, so I had the fortune of being exposed to a wonderfully diverse combination of local and international music. There are thriving music scenes in Israel and our version of American pop and rock has a unique flavor to it; that said, growing up I also listened obsessively to several "bigger" bands - Queen, Radiohead, U2, the Police, the Cure.
Aside from music, I'm a bookworm, and my favorite writers - those who also influence our music - are Borges, Ende, Poe, Kafka, and Neil Gaiman. Artists who let their imagination roam free while not losing touch with the human experience have always been my favorite.
R. Describe your show, visually and musically?
MH. Musically, our show is very faithful to the record, with little variance - although we do add a couple of creative covers for seasoning. But since we're very happy with the songs as they are, we see little reason to change them. Visually, our shows feature the Songscapes we've created for the music: 3D, immersive, interactive environments that resonate with the emotion of the music while providing a physical imagined location for it. It's hard to explain but you're welcome to check out the first one for yourself, here: songscape1

Last but not least...

R. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there...
MH.We have a busy winter schedule ahead of us, that will see us playing shows in and around NYC while also extending our reach and touring in much farther places. Our debut show (and album release party) is October 12th at Arlene's Grocery in NYC, where we'll be premiering our live 3D songscapes and sharing a bill with some great bands who are also dear friends of us. We can't wait to share this live experience with the world!

This Is The Color of My Dreams is available at: iTunesbandcamp & soundcloud


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