“The internet has changed the world, let alone the music scene,” an Interview with Camisado

Interview written and conducted by Rhyan Gaspari

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Welcome back existing readers and hello to the new ones! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and we are looking forward to bringing you all new content in 2014!

After a short break, we are back and better than ever! This week, Metal and Melodies caught up with Patrick of Camisado to talk about new music, their Michael Jackson cover, and tour tips for new bands!

Hello! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello my name is Patrick, and I play drums for Camisado.

 
You’ve released a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Can you tell me a little bit about it?
When we decided to do a cover song, we didn’t want to just do one that was currently popular, we wanted to do an iconic song and what’s more iconic than ‘Thriller’?! To this day, kids of the up and coming generation know of this song because of the huge impact it had on the entire world, not to mention we all love Michael Jackson!
 
Your last record, Faceless, was released in 2012. Can fans expect a new record any time soon?
Absolutely! The writing process is a long and complicated journey. Ideas are floating back and forth constantly and collaborations from all our members make the songs more unique. We’ve been working on a few things and have some plans. Nothing set it stone for now but there is more Camisado coming very soon!
 
We’ve seen fans posting on your social networks saying that they want to see Camisado play a shows in their town. Are there any touring plans for 2014?
That’s what being in a band is all about right?! Touring, bringing your music to all your fans worldwide and sharing the experience with them. Unfortunately the engine of our current tour van has blown up so we’re going to have to figure something to getting back on the road in 2014.
 
Speaking of going on tour, do you have three tour tips you can share with bands that are just starting out? 
BRING LOTS OF SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR. Nothing’s more important than staying clean. Next, prepare as much as you can ahead of time and save up as much [money] as possible, you never know what will happen out on the road. Third is to just have fun. There will be a few bumps and rough patches out on the road but the important thing is to have the best time of your life!
 
What sets your band apart from the other bands in this scene?
One cool thing about our band musically is that we all come from different backgrounds. Joe and Juan come from a more post-hardcore style, while Quincy and myself (Patrick G.) come from a more metal/metalcore style. Pat M. fills the gap with his death metal style of music. With all those different combinations we’ve created a sort of ‘melting pot’ of music.
 
How do you think the internet has impacted the music scene?
The internet has changed the world, let alone the music scene. Everything has become more accessible and discovering music has never been easier. It is an extremely helpful tool in building your audience.
 
Looking back, what advice would you give the 16-year-old version of yourself? 
I personally would’ve told myself to either stick with baseball or start drumming at an earlier age. I starting drumming at 18. I’m 23 now and I would’ve loved to have had two extra years of experience.
 
What is one life skill that you believe everyone should know?
To be patient and to work as hard as you can. As long as you believe in yourself and give 100% effort with anything you want to accomplish, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
 
What job do you think you would have if you couldn’t be in a band?
I would be designing video games for a living, like Battlefield or Call of Duty, etc.
 
What do you think is the biggest issue with the youth of today? How can we fix it?
I just think everyone needs to think before they react. Today, social media is so easily accessible and kids will throw anything and everything into social media sites without thinking how that may impact themselves, others, or others perspectives of them. Before you hit the tweet/status update button, make sure you’re thinking about what you’re saying because anyone and everyone can potentially see it.
 
Is there a funny story you’d like to share with me?
One time when we were in Grand Rapids MI, we were crashing at our friend Klu’s house before a show at the MXTP. We had been doing some drinking (legally haha) and towards the end up the night, Quincy had drank to the point where he ended up crashing on her kitchen counter. A little while later, he ended up on the kitchen floor and was KNOCKED OUT COLD. When Quincy sleeps, nothing can wake him!
 
What do you do for fun when you’re at home?
We all just kinda kick it. We all have our favorite TV shows, video games, etc. Sometimes a few of us may get together and go hang out at the bar for the evening. Just regular stuff.
 
In closing, is there a message you would like to share with your fans?
Be on the lookout for new Camisado material coming very soon. We’ve been busting our asses off preparing for a HUGE year in 2014 and we are so excited to share our upcoming works with our fans. Stay tuned you guys, we do this for each and everyone of you! Keep it up with your amazing support and we will see you guys on the road!

RG

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A Real Wonderwoman: Franccesca De Struct

Interview written and conducted by Rhyan Gaspari

This week, Metal and Melodies spoke with Franccesca De Struct. This woman is definitely more than a triple-threat. She may be a dancer, fire-breather and a bassist, but she has a very good sense of what’s going on in the world.

With a good head on her shoulders and a bass in her hands, there’s nothing this girl can’t do.

Credit: Blackula Photography

Credit: Blackula Photography

This is all the intro this needs.

—–

How are you today?

I’m doing pretty well! Definitely busy… then again, I’m always busy. It’s a curse and a blessing.

Please introduce yourself. 

My name is Franccesca De Struct. I’m the bassist for two amazing bands: Kuza and Ginger V. I’m also a published model, fire performer, dancer and all around weirdo.

When did you know you were destined to be in a metal band?

I’m not a big believer of destiny. I decided I wanted to be in a metal band from the moment I started avidly listening to music and discovering which genres spoke to me. Somewhere around 14, I suppose.

Do you think the internet has harmed or helped the music industry?

I think the internet is harmless; it’s the way that people choose to use it that decides whether or not it helps or hurts the industry. In many ways, the advent of the internet and the increased connectivity between people allows spreading music and ideas exponentially easier.  However, with the increased ease of access, the industry has become flooded. These days, anyone with a music program can be a band, and sometimes what matters to people is strictly dependent on some internet popularity contest. I can easily say that the internet has helped me, personally, but as far as the industry goes; that really depends on from which side of the glass you are looking.

What is the biggest struggle you face as a woman in the metal genre?

Being taken seriously. I hate to say it, but there is still this huge stigma facing women in the industry; especially women who are just starting out and trying to gain a foothold. It’s almost as if the industry sees a girl playing an instrument and thinks, “Awe, that’s cute! Look at her playing her little instrument.” I have a lot of friends in the industry who are in successful bands, and to this day I get the sense that they don’t take me seriously as a musician. Women in music (especially metal) aren’t seen as much more than a gimmick, or a sex object (excluding, of course, the women who have already made it and cemented their reputation as legitimately talented). When I first started out, I was offered spots in numerous bands only to discover that the offer was really a cover for more sinister intentions. It got to a point where I became incredibly discouraged and almost stopped pursuing music as a career. I can’t blame the men entirely though; over the course of time that rock n roll has existed, women as a whole have put themselves into the position to be viewed with less respect. Be it groupies, or crazed fans, or jealous girlfriends, constant complaining over work, or whatever the case may be- the general lack of respect women pay themselves has definitely played a role in developing the stigma against them. It just means women have to work all the harder to prove themselves.

What about the bass appeals to you?

Truthfully, I like the way it feels to play the instrument itself. I started off by playing guitar, and the strings felt awkward and dainty. I like the sturdiness of the bass, the thick strings and large fret board. I like the flexibility of not being the forefront of the composition. Because the bass line tends to be less technically complex, I feel as though I have more freedom to focus on the showmanship during shows. Besides, there are countless lead guitar players all vying for a shot at the spotlight, I felt the bass was more unique and would afford me more opportunities in finding a band. My love for the bass also has a lot to do with the musicians which influenced me when I was younger. The music I loved, and the musicians I idolized tended to be the bass players. There is also something to be said about the visceral feeling of a bass so deep it vibrates your chest; a show wouldn’t be the same without one.

What are your other interests besides music?

Ha! So many, it’s absurd. In general, I’m a person who never ceases to find new subjects which interest me. The world is a place of wonder, and I feel like what makes life worth living is experiencing as much as I can of it. My life is a serious grab-bag of random and obscure interests, definitely more than I can name.

Your fan, Tyler, would like to know what your favorite memory of the UK was?

My favorite UK memory? Oh man, that’s a difficult question. The issue with answering that question is that so many of the experiences I had were amazing for different reasons. I have my favorite moments from being on stage, or meeting the fans, or even just the hilarity of sharing a tour bus with Motionless; and they’re all so different it’s difficult to pick a favorite.

Looking back, what advice would you give to the 16-year-old version of yourself?

Practice more. Learn discretion; the world doesn’t always need to know everything you do. A reputation takes a lifetime to build, and as much as the immortality of youth wants to throw a middle finger up and scream “fuck you, I don’t care what you think”, you have to keep in mind that people are judgmental, and sometimes their judgments can affect your ability to get work.

What is one life skill you believe everyone should know?

Personal accountability. Personal accountability encompasses so much of what I feel are the most important tools to success. Personal accountability means that you accept your limitations, and make the decision to change them. It means knowing who you are, what you stand for, your own self-worth, and not allowing the outside world to affect those things. Taking personal accountability prevents a person from becoming a victim of circumstance, and empowers them to change the world around them. It’s much easier said than done; it takes a lot of self-exploration, self-esteem, and wisdom to be able to see both the positive and negative traits you possess, and the responsibility each action has on your situation.

What was your first concert experience like?

You’d laugh. The first concert experience I ever had was when I was 11 years old. My mom took me to see BackStreet Boys. To 11 year old me, it was amazing. Haha.

Why do you think body image has become such a big issue? What can we do to fix it?

I think the reason it’s become a problem is that the “need” for perfection isn’t about positive reinforcement anymore; now the price that’s paid for imperfection is ridicule and shame. Sadly, I don’t think there is a fix. For some reason what has become important is something entirely insubstantial. Beauty fades, youth fades, and as people get older what really constitutes someone as a person is all that really matters; unfortunately None of us are guiltless; not even myself. Vanity is natural; carnal- it’s an evolutionary left over from the days of needing to attract a suitable mate. I struggle with body issues and insecurities, just like everyone else. It just seems that lately there is too much of a focus on physical attributes, and that shift has made body image an actual problem.

What is in the immediate future for Kuza and what can fans expect later on?

Immediate future? The video release is coming soon, and a new EP is in the works, plus a tour in 2014 is a certainty. I try not to focus on too much further in the future than that.

Do you have a personal message for your fans?

I don’t want to be a preacher; the path that worked for me won’t work for everyone. I’m still figuring out life for myself, so I don’t feel like I’m in any position to tell anyone else how to lead their own life. The only thing I can really say, is that it’s important to do things which make you happy; whatever those things may be. Learn as much as you can and make your own decisions, forge your own path, and be whoever it is you want to be.

RG

You can find Franccesca on the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/FranccescaDeStruct

@FDeStruct on Twitter

franccescadestruct on Instagram

One Bite at a Time: an Interview with Mike Silentts of Chomp Chomp Attack!

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Interview written and conducted by Rhyan Gaspari

Chomp Chomp Attack! isn’t only an amazing Canadian band. They’re a band with a great sound and a massive internet presence. Nowadays, with social media being a huge part of getting noticed, this is one band who’s really doing it right. Through various posts on a bunch of today’s hottest social media sites, this group of boys is committed to being gigantic in the metal scene.

Through this interview, Metal and Melodies found that Mike Silentts, the band’s vocalist, loves his fans more than anything. Every post on Facebook and Twitter spreads the heartwarming message of love and hope. In a society where many teens struggle because of bullying and trying to fit in, Mike is there to tell his fans that everything will be ok.

In this interview, Mike speaks about everything from the state of the music industry to his biggest struggle as a musician. On top of all that, he even has a special message for YOU – the fans.

How are you?

Today was rough. I am a little bit under the weather but good in other aspects. Thanks for asking.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Mike Silentts, I am the vocalist for Chomp Chomp Attack!

How did Chomp Chomp Attack! start?

It was thought up and created early in 2010 with some members of my old band and some members of Omer Valentine’s old band coming together. Omer and myself are the only original members left in the band.

What is an essential life skill you believe everyone should know?

I think everyone should have good basic social skills. In life, no matter where you go, you have to deal with people. Having the skills to socialize will make getting through interviews, meetings and other important things in life so much easier.

What makes you proud to be Canadian?

We aren’t necessarily proud to be Canadian. It’s just where we came from, where we met each other and where we had our first tour that makes this country special to us.

Who or what inspires you?

My band members and our past experiences is the biggest inspiration I have. Watching certain movies or hearing certain songs will get me going but not as much as when my band says “let’s do this!” and then we get it done.

What do you think makes you different from other bands in your genre?

Let’s face it – these days, it’s very hard to be different from the bands around you. So much has been seen and done already. But I will say that we aren’t afraid to be different or stand out. In fact, we want to stand out! We love our fans to death and I will do whatever it takes to meet every single one of them. Let’s not forget that they are the reason I’m here.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music scene?

I love it. There is so much you can do and so many things that are now acceptable to do. Rockers that like to rap no longer have to choose between two genres. Once second you can be moshing to a really heavy part and the next second, dancing to some electronic stuff in the same song. I think it’s incredible and a huge thumbs up to the artists that were brave enough to do it first. That’s what I call heart.

What is the theme song of your life?

“From Dreams to Reality” – Chomp Chomp Attack!

What has been your biggest struggle as musicians?

Holding on through the rough patches is always hard for any band. I think that’s the hardest. Those rough patches are probably the reason so many bands start then break up. But – hold on and continue through them and it will all work out one day.

Looking back, what advice would you give to the 16-year-old version of yourself?

I’d say “the next 5 years of your life are gonna be a living hell. You’re gonna make mistakes and go through shit that someone your age should never have to live with. But don’t let it bring you down; stay strong because you will get through it and after those 5 years you are gonna experience a life you have only dreamed of. You’ll look back at all the pain and hurt but you won’t want to change a thing because what you’re going to go through in the next 5 years will one day save lives and make you who you are now.”

What can fans expect from CCA in the future?

So so much! 2014 alone is going to be a huge step in this band for both us and our fans. What I can tell you is that you can definitely be expecting new music in the coming year.

Is there any personal message you would like to give your fans?

You guys have given me a life that was once just a dream. Even while working hard at it, I could have never done this without you all. Follow your heart because it will give you the best memories of your life. Thank you, I love you and I will meet you one day.

RG

Check out Chomp Chomp Attack! on the following sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chompchompattack

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCAOfficial

Metal and Melodies also wants YOU to submit your questions for artists below!  All interesting questions will be considered for future interviews. Thanks!

Insanity with Tyler Dawson of Sanity Loss

sanity 

Hailing from the UK, Sanity Loss combines metalcore elements with technical ability and skill. This band is going to be a force to be reckoned with. The band is energetic and has the ability to capture the interest of anyone who walks into the venue. Sanity Loss has something that will appeal to everyone, whether you’re a metal or rock fan. Give the band a listen, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Tyler Dawson, the band’s bassist and clean vocalist answered some of your questions in the following interview.

Tyler Dawson

How are you doing today?

I’m great thanks! So stoked with our tour we just played and excited to record and hit the road again.

Introduce yourself to our readers.

I’m Tyler, I play bass and do clean vocals. I like heavy music, alternative clothing, food, movies and shopping! I wear a lot of eye makeup and love everything rock and roll!

How was Sanity Loss started?

Well, I departed from my previous band and was introduced to Dan (our guitarist.) I saw his previous band and saw how much talent he had, so we got talking and tried putting together a band. We had many lineup changed, but we have finally found the right people and I couldn’t be happier. [We are all] like-minded people who have the same vision for the band.

Where did the band name come from?

The [band] name has been with me for a while, but never in any serious bands. I really wanted to use it, so when we formed, I suggested it and the others liked the name as well. I think it’s a pretty cool name, right?

When did you first know that you wanted to be in a metal band?

I’ve always wanted to be in a heavy band ever since I was a kid. Music is all I wanted to do! My dad was always in bands and touring and it made me want to live the life as well. I started off as a drummer then moved to bass. Music is like a disease, once you choose the path, you can’t leave. I don’t want to do anything else, just keep making music with my brothers and meet all our amazing fans!

What do you love most about metal music?

Everything! The in-your-face attitude, the life style, the fashion, the lyrics, and the fact it’s true musicians making it [the music.] I like that it’s not just some pop artist sitting at a laptop making computer beats, they [metal musicians] took time to learn their instrument and write songs from scratch.

Can you please tell me about the shows you’ve played recently? Could you describe the crowd reaction?

 They were all amazing! I mean, people came to our shows not expecting much to happen and we killed it and won the crowd over every night.  I am so proud of everyone in the band! Even the people who hated on us at first were won over by the end of our set. They were very successful shows and I can’t wait to hit the road again very soon!

Who or what inspires you?

My family inspires me a lot; all the people who believe in me. Love is a big topic that inspires me as well, so does my past because it made me what I am today.

Which album is the soundtrack of your life?

This is a very hard question. Well, because I can’t choose just one album, I will say the Sanity Loss EP since it discusses all my past experiences.

What is the message in your music?

We are all about everyone being themselves and believing in themselves. If you have a dream and work hard enough at it, you can make it a reality! We want our fans to know that they always have us. We love talking to them and helping them out as much as possible. I like to let them know that things will always get better, they just have to stay strong and never lose their smile.

What are your goals for the future?

I have a lot of goals! First of all, I’d like to get the EP perfect before release and set up another tour. I’ve wanted to be on Warped Tour for so long, it would be a dream come true.

Tell me a funny story about yourself.

I don’t know if it’s funny. I mean, I guess the drinking made it funnier for me. I had some friends over at my house and we were partying and drinking. I might have had a few too many and we soon ran out of alcohol so we had to pop over to the supermarket and get some more. I spent half of the time on the floor [in the supermarket] unable to stand and the other half of it with security, trying to carry me outside and put me in a taxi. Once I was able to stand again, my close friend and I decided we’d do some Indian dancing down my road, waving our arms around. I really wish someone would have filmed it, I’ll never forget that night.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music scene?

There are a lot of really good bands starting to be noticed such as Motionless in White, Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides. However, I feel not enough bands put on a ‘show’ when you see them anymore. I also feel pop, rap and whatever else is on the radio is overplayed. It’s a shame that so many good bands can’t even get exposure on the radio because people would rather listen to some ‘hot’ girl who is a pro at using autotune.

What do you feel makes you different from all the other metal bands?

We have a wide range of influences, everything from [Motley] Crue to metalcore bands such as Asking Alexandria. We chuck all those into the mix and have breakdowns, solos, and rock and roll lyrics being screamed. We have a unique style and it’s pretty hard to explain. People just need to check us out and you’ll see what I mean.

Looking back, what advice would you have given to the 16-year-old version of yourself?

Keep strong and don’t let people walk all over you! They’ll end up working at McDonald’s while you go touring and doing what you love. 

What can fans expect from Sanity Loss in the near future?

We have one more show to play, then we’re hitting the studio to record our EP. We’re also sorting merch, so expect shirts, wristbands, and lighters! We will also be booking another tour for this year or early next year and we would like to play as many places as we can. If people have a suggestion of a venue they’d like to see us at, let us know! We also have a music video on the way.

I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Do you have any closing words or anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Thank you for the interview and thank you to our fans! Thanks to everyone who gave me the chance to do what I love and for being so supportive. I want to meet and hug every single one of you. If you haven’t got a clue who we are, please check us out!

www.twitter.com/SanityLossBand

www.facebook.com/SanityLossBand

RG

Walking the Wild Side with Daniel Dekay of Diemonds

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Interview written by Rhyan Gaspari

Warning: Daniel gets a little crazy in the following interview. Read at your own risk. Seriously.

This week, Metal and Melodies met their match while interviewing Daniel Dekay of the Toronto-based rock band, Diemonds. Daniel gave us the biggest, baddest interview we have ever published on this site. Speaking like a true rocker, he lets it all fly and responds with answers that will leave you shocked yet incredibly entertained.

In the following interview, rock n’ roll gets the exposure it deserves and desperately needs nowadays. If there is one thing you should learn from this interview, it’s that Daniel represents what rock n’ roll is all about; walking the wild side.

Now is the time where we would introduce Diemonds as a whole but there’s no need. After reading this interview, you’ll know all about them and you’ll fall in love with them so much that you’ll go check them out on your own. This is all the intro this interview needs.

How are you today?
Fuckin’ excellent. Thanks for asking. Just had a wicked burger and now backstage waiting to destroy Montreal.

Please introduce yourself.
Daniel Dekay – I play Flying V guitars in a rock n’ roll band from Toronto called Diemonds.

What is the message in your music?
DRINK WEED, SMOKE BEER, AND EAT P***Y. But on a serious note, the message is all about…weed, beer, & p***y.

You’re currently on the Skeletour. Can you tell me a little bit about that? 
The SKELETOUR is our first time out on the road in a while. We took the summer off to write, record and play minimal shows. We ended up getting sick of the studio so we’re out on the road for the next month playing all over North America for our Die-Hards coast to coast. We will invade your city, drink your booze, do your drugs, fuck your girlfriends, then crash on your couch.

What do you think sets Diemonds apart from other bands in your genre nowadays? 
We’re in it for the right reasons. We leave everything we’ve got on the beer soaked stage at the end of the night. Give us a stage big or small, don’t give a fuck, we rock ’em all. We’re in this for YOU.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry?
Nobody buys records anymore. There’s a ton of corporate bullshit hoops to jump through in order to “make it”. We couldn’t care less – we are road dogs and enjoy nothing more than playing as many shows as we can anywhere we can. Meeting new fans and experiencing new parts of the world is the best pay I could ask for. We play the way we like and we hope you like it too. SUPPORT HARD WORKING BANDS.

What is one band that fans would be surprised you listen to?
Waka Flocka Flame

You played Warped Tour this summer. What was that experience like? 
Load in at 8AM in the pissing rain after not sleeping all night, pay $15 for a beer, have 6 minutes to set up and line check our gear, and play for a crowd of underage females. I couldn’t have asked for a better day and honestly… it was the highlight of shows I played this summer!

Looking back, what advice would you give to the 16-year-old version of yourself?
Do more drugs.

What is the hardest part about being a touring musician?
Nothing. Best job in the world. If you don’t love traveling with nothing but the clothes on your back, having no clue what could happen to you each day, and sleeping in the most ridiculous places then you need to get your head checked. Oh yeah, I also get to do it with my 4 best friends.

Halloween is less than a week away. Do you have a Halloween memory you’d be willing to share?
I had an orgy after a Halloween party and I still had my Gene Simmons makeup on. I woke up and everyone in the bed was covered in black/white paint and fake blood.

What is one essential life skill you believe everyone should know?
Changing a flat tire and knowing how to make proper weed brownies.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere I look. The world is a beautifully fucked up place. Take a minute to stop and look around – take it all in.

Any final words?
Sell your soul – do it for rock n roll.

RG

Catch Diemonds on the Skeletour on the following dates:

October 24 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s
October 25 Sherbrooke, QC Woodstock Bar
October 26 Montreal, QC Le Piranha Bar
October 27 Quebec City, QC L’Agitee
October 30 Kingston, ON The Mansion
November 01 Flint, MI Soggy Bottom
November 02 Chicago, IL Double Door
November 03 St. Louis, MO Fubar
November 05 Denver, CO Herman’s Hideaway
November 06 Las Vegas, NV Vamp’d
November 08 Los Angeles, CA Whiskey A Go-Go
November 10 San Francisco, CA TBA
November 11 Medford, OR Music Head
November 12 Portland TBA
November 14 Vancouver, BC The Roxy
November 15 Calgary, AB Dicken’s
November 16 Edmonton, AB The Pawn Shop
November 19 Winnipeg, MB Windsor Hotel
November 20 Thunder Bay, ON Black Pirates Pub
November 22 Sudbury, ON The Townehouse
November 23 Toronto, ON The Garrison

10 Questions with Adam Blasco of Last Call

Interview written by Rhyan Gaspari

Last Call, a punk rock band from Las Vegas has had their fair share of hardship but still remains an inspirational band for many. With their lyrics being based off of actual life experiences and thoughts, fans can connect with the band on a more personal level. In a world drowning in the over-saturation of the music industry, Last Call comes out on top.

This week, Metal and Melodies spoke with Adam Blasco of Last Call and found out his thoughts on Last Call, halloween and his personal theme song. In this 10-question interview, all is revealed.

How are you today?

Hey! I’m doing pretty alright. I’m sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee, listening to Spotify, and working on getting my day going… It’s pretty much all downhill from here.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Adam Blasco – I play drums and sing in Last Call. I’m doing this interview on my own this morning, which could be a really good thing, or a horrible thing, but I’ll introduce the rest of my band since there’s nothing they can do about it [insert maniacal laugh here]. Austin Jeffers sings and plays guitar. Ryan Stokke plays guitar. Kyle Peterson plays bass.

How was Last Call started?

Last Call got started in the winter of 2008. I met our original guitarist, Fidel Romero, through some mutual friends who were in another band. We started jamming, and we had some pretty awesome musical chemistry. We had a really easy time writing songs that we really enjoyed (at the time), and we had a lot of fun doing it. We introduced some other people into the mix, and began playing shows in February of 2009. Since then, we’ve gone though a million members, put out a few records, played a few hundred shows, met some amazing friends and seen some really rad places.

What is the message in your music?

I think that the messages in our music have kind of swayed since the beginning of our band, but that’s to be expected with the amount of members we’ve gone through over the past 5 years, and just growing as individuals and as a band. Austin and I have written all of the lyrics for our last few releases, and being that we’re fairly similar people and personalities, we seem to mesh pretty well when it comes to a message we want to convey in a song. On one end of the spectrum, we’ve written a few… more light-hearted songs, and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum is where you’d find the majority of our discography. That’s not to say we’re a completely negative band who writes completely negative songs. For quite a long time, Austin and I have both suffered with depression, demons inside of our own heads, and a lot of other situations that I’m sure many people go through in their lives. So a lot of our music is how we’ve dealt with those situations, both internally and externally.

I think that Austin and I would both agree when I say that I think we’re most proud of our full length ‘Dog Years’ and the messages, thoughts, and emotions that we were able to get out into those songs. For every one of our records, we’ve worked with one of my best friends, Producer & Engineer, Paul Miner. Because of that, being in the studio is always one of the most comfortable places that we have ever been as a band. We’re free to say and do whatever we feel, without (very much) criticism, and there really aren’t feelings of apprehension or awkwardness. I think that really allowed us to produce a record that was extremely personal for us. Dog Years was written at a time in our lives when there was a lot of shitty situations going down around us, so there are a lot of depressing undertones that accompany the otherwise upbeat and catchy instrumentation. On top of that, if you were following our band at the time we were recording Dog Years, you probably know that a lot more shitty things happened to us around that time, which ultimately forced us to stop recording for the next 6 months. In those 6 months, we wrote a few more songs from scratch to add to the record, and rewrote the lyrics for some of the songs to make them more relevant for the spot we were now in. Every song is about something personal that either he or I, or our band was dealing with during that time. There are songs about girls and boys, coming to terms with growing up, dealing with loss, realizing that the person you want most in life doesn’t want anything to do with you. I wrote a song about homophobia, and dealing with the criticisms and ignorance that much of the LGBT community is faced with. “No Bridge Back” is about dealing with depression, being trapped inside of your own head… There’s a lot of heavy shit on Dog Years, and I only touched on a handful of the songs. I’ve never been more proud of anything up to this point in my life, and I don’t think we would change a thing if we could.

What do you feel stands out in your music compared to other artists in this genre?

Let’s face it – Last Call is part of a genre that’s become so fucking over-saturated over the last few years, but it’s a genre full of amazing artists, and some of our best friends that we’ve had the privilege of meeting. So many bands, including ourselves, bring something unique to the table, but there are also plenty of things that we all have in common, and I think that’s what makes this community of punk rock so tight-knit and supportive. I don’t regard our band as a group of some amazing lyricists, but one thing that I’ve heard countless times is that our messages seem to set us apart from a massively more “happy” genre, and I’d have to agree. At a time when a lot of bands are writing about happy thoughts and wanting to go on tour with your best friends, I’m sitting in my basement on the verge of tears, trying to put onto paper why I feel so fucked up inside my head. How no matter how hard I try, I can’t remember the last time I felt genuinely happy. Austin’s writing about similar situations he’s facing, or how “the man” (some may call him “the bank”) who’s trying to swipe his house right out from underneath his family’s collective feet. We’re writing about trying to let go of someone that you love so much, but by sticking around, they’re just extinguishing the flame that is your quality of life, over and over again. We’re writing songs about touring too, just from a much darker perspective. In no way is this me trying to discredit anyone’s emotions, or artistic expression. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying that I’m extremely proud that an aspect of our music that is so personal to us is one of the things that allows us to stick out to some of the people who listen to our records. The feeling that you get when someone you don’t even know tells you that that song you wrote… that song about a really really dark time in your life… how it helped them get through a the lowest point in theirs. There’s nothing more gratifying than hearing that your music touched someone emotionally, and to a life-changing extent.

I feel Rock ‘n’ Roll is dying and that there’s a lot more hardcore music coming out now. How do you think the scene can be restored and revived to its original glory?

I think that the world of music is constantly evolving and genres come and go in cycles. I also feel that the internet, and how easily accessible music and artists are has severely hurt all music scenes. Obviously, record sales are nowhere near where they once were. Kids aren’t going to shows to watch bands they love anymore because they “can just watch their videos on youtube.” In all honesty, I don’t think any music scene (or industry) will ever be what it once was. Hardcore music, and really all of the sub-genres in this vast community of punk rock, are pretty niche. Just like our music isn’t for everyone, neither is metal, neither is hardcore, and so on. Simultaneously, mainstream popular music isn’t for everyone either. Fortunately, in our little community, it’s less about record sales and the amount paid at a show, and more about the energy and experiences that take place during that 40 minutes in that disgustingly sweaty loud room. I don’t think that that will be going anywhere any time soon.

Looking back, what advice would you give to the 16-year-old version of yourself?

Wow. I’ve always loved this question in interviews I’ve read, and it’s the first time that I’ve ever had the opportunity to answer it. I honestly don’t even know where to start. I’d do a lot of it the same if I could go back, but I would definitely sit 16-year-old Adam down and tell him not to sacrifice his own happiness and quality of life just to make other people happy. Don’t be afraid to express who you truly are… Fuck what other people think about you! I’d tell him to open up more, because it’s so unhealthy to keep your thoughts and emotions bottled up inside. You’ve got tons of people that you can talk to about anything, and people who care about you more than you can even imagine. Don’t be afraid to cry… you’ll stop when you’re ready. Start that band… Through it, you’ll have some of the best experiences of your life, and you’ll meet your best friends. They’ll change your life in ways that you’ve never imagined. Try to relax more, and don’t sweat the little shit so much.

Then there are some more obvious bits of advice I’d give 16-year-old Adam like… Don’t take that class in college… the teacher fucking sucks. Don’t let him tattoo you. Stay away from Growlr, and lastly, liquor before beer.

What is your personal theme song?

Hmmmmmm. This is a tricky one. I think I’ve listened to the new Into It. Over It. record ‘Intersections’ at least once a day since its release… So I think it’d have to say that my current theme song is IIOI’s ‘Upstate Blues’. It’s just a really good sad song… and who doesn’t love a good sad song?! I may be biased, as Evan Weiss is my favorite songwriter, but that’s what I’m going with. I strongly recommend check out that record, and the rest of his amazing discography. Fall Out Boy’s ‘Miss Missing You’ from their recent LP ‘Save Rock And Roll’ is a close runner up.

What are your musical influences?

I think that our band has such an eclectic range of musical influences, ranging from metal to post-hardcore to emo to acoustic to pop, and the list goes on. Going back to earlier when I discussed what I think sets us apart from other bands, I think this is one of those factors. Because all of our individual influences vary so much, I think that they all come through somehow somewhere in our music.

Since it’s now October, can you tell me a memory you have about Halloween?

I’ve personally got a lot of memories about Halloween, mostly because it was my favorite holiday growing up, and because my birthday is the day after. I think one of my most memorable Halloween’s was in 2011. Last Call was on tour with Such Gold, KOJI and Former Thieves, and we were in Jacksonville, FL. We spent all day before the show going to different thrift stores trying to gather different items for all of us to dress up for the show. We succeeded, but I wasn’t surprised when we rolled up to the show, and we were literally the only people that night dressed up. That pretty much sums up how awkward our band is. But it was a blast. Austin was dressed up as the comic book character, Deadpool. Ryan was dressed up as a Smurf, and he pretty much nailed it. Our guitarist at the time, Tim, was dressed up as a classic sheet ghost. Our touring bassist, Lyle, and our mercy guy Chris were dressed as Juggalos, and I think they were fucking perfect. Their costumes were hilarious. I was dressed as “I Get Wet” Andrew WK, which was probably my favorite, most spot on, and cheapest costume I’ve ever had. The only downside – during one of our songs, my drumstick go caught in my sweaty wig, and I fucked up one of our songs. I played for at least 4 minutes with this chopped up stick dangling from my head. It was punk as fuck. I wish we had more pictures of that night.

What do you think of the current state of the music scene?

I think my thoughts on the current state of the music scene is tied into the earlier question about a revival of the scene. I think that media has kind of put the metaphorical nail in the coffin of the music scene… but at the same time has significantly helped the music scene. I think it’s a very complicated, very thin line. Without media outlets like Youtube and Facebook and Bandcamp, many amazing bands would never get the attention that they deserve. Simultaneously, like I mentioned earlier, those things also contribute to all of the reasons why the music scene is suffering so much more than it ever has. As artists, we must recognize change, roll with the punches, and learn to grow and change with the times. We need to find things to use to our advantage, and sway away from some of the things that may no longer be relevant to what we’re doing artistically.

What is coming up in the near future for Last Call, and for fans who haven’t heard of you before, where can they check you out?

Not much excitement is planned for us right now. We’re spending the remainder of the year at home, with one hometown show planned for the beginning of December. We may or may not be doing some writing at the beginning of the year, which may or may not lead to some recording of music in 2014. In terms of touring, there are no plans of any of that right now.

For those of you who may just be hearing (or reading) about our band for the first time, you can check out all of our music at: http://lastcall.bandcamp.com

Physical copies of our records, merchandise and more can be found at: http://store.brokenarrowcllctv.com (US/Worldwide) and http://struggletown.co.uk (UK/Worldwide).

Probably the best place to keep up with what’s going on is via Facebook. Like us at: http://facebook.com/lastcallnv

Thank you!

—–

RG

“Hustle hard and be patient,” an interview with Nick Zoppo of Heart to Heart

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Interview written and conducted by Rhyan Gaspari

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Deciding that metal wasn’t what the band wanted to do, Heart to Heart is changing the game. Rock driven music with metal elements are combined to create something really cool. In a scene where lots of bands sound the same, this band is really mixing it up. One listen and you’ll instantly know that this band is actually different from the usual.
This week, Metal and Melodies spoke to Nick Zoppo of Heart to Heart. In this interview, Nick shares his thoughts about the current state of the music scene, his theme song and even news about the bands next tour.

How are you doing today?
I am doing great. The day is still young. Thank you for asking.

Please introduce yourself for the Metal and Melodies readers.
My name is Nick Zoppo. I am the vocalist for Heart to Heart.

How did Heart to Heart start?
Heart to Heart started in 2009. We all came from local bands that had been playing together for a while. Some of us used to be in metal bands. I’ll admit it. We wanted to play something different and that is how Heart to Heart came together.

When did you know that you wanted to be in a rock band?
I knew when I was 12 years old. There was nothing else that caught my attention like music did. I went through different instruments and many little bands that I don’t think even practiced. Then finally playing a first show. That’s when I truly knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Who or what inspires you?
Shit, life inspires me. I have to have an outlet and just writing about shit I normally don’t talk about helps me. I always liked music that I could feel. I am a fan of many different styles of music. Just that fact that people care about us inspires me.

What do you feel makes you different from other bands in your genre?
Hands down, our live show. I would like to say it is one of a kind.
I’ll leave it at that. Come see for yourself.

Is there any personal message you would like to give your fans?
Follow your dreams. Don’t give up. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. You live once. Make it count.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music scene?
It has changed that’s for sure. It seems to me that people don’t care too much these days about going to shows. Well, at least not how they used to. There are so many different styles of music out there these days and people have many options which is great but I feel that bands have to work a lot harder to get recognized and start to get a following. Not to mention downloading music but hey it’s 2013 what did ya expect?

Looking back, what advice would you give to the 16 year old version of yourself?
Hustle hard and be patient.

What is the theme song to your life?
Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls.

You’re going on tour with The Story So Far soon. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
We are pumped. I just talked to the fellas about our plans and I get so anxious thinking about it. It’s the biggest tour we have done to date and we are ready to go. We are buds with TSSF so it’s going to be cool spending a few weeks with them. I’m excited to see all of the bands every night and make some new friends.
We are grateful to be where we are so we are going to make the best of it like we always do.

What has been your biggest struggle as musicians?
Money. Money sucks. We have always been broke kids in a band because it is what we love. But money ruins everything. We get by and we work hard to get what we need. But sometimes I wish we could catch a break. I’ll win a poker tournament one day or something.

What can fans expect from Heart to Heart in the future?
New jams, more touring, ect. We always have tricks up our sleeves so be ready!

Thank you for your time, Nick.
Thanks for taking the time to interview me. This interview was a lot of fun. Talk to and see you soon!

You can catch Nick and Heart to Heart this fall on tour with The Story So Far and Stick to Your Guns in the following cities:

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Also check out their Facebook page for more information here:
https://www.facebook.com/hearttoheartca

RG

“Andy says it’s about equality, I say it’s about bitchin’ guitar solos,” an Interview with Average Andy

Interview conducted and written by Rhyan Gaspari

All the way from Scotland, Average Andy is an alternative rock band with great grooves. When I first heard their music, I was really drawn to how unique it was. While every band is focusing on ‘being heavier,’ Average Andy combines intricacy with melody to create something different from the norm.

Photo credit: Stuart Irvine

Photo credit: Stuart Irvine

In the following interview, we spoke with the hilarious guys from Average Andy. You’ll find out which member of the band loves Steel Panther, who believes there’s an oversaturation of “artists,” and when the next Average Andy tour is.

Firstly, please introduce yourselves to the Metal and Melodies readers.

Jaime: AKA, Big Tam

Graeme: LEAD guitarist – unbelievably charming.

Andy: Hello, I am Andy or Mediocris Andicus if you are interested in my Latin name.

Michael: Drum fill intro.

What is the message in Average Andy’s music?

Jaime: Feminist bashing

Andy: The main message is equality. I also like to play games with the lyrics to try to mess with people’s standard way of thinking. Then, there’s a lot of political rants and some pop music.

Graeme: Andy says it’s about equality, I prefer bitchin’ guitar solos – a bit of fun and melody.

Michael: Paradiddles!

When did you know that you wanted to have a career in music?

Jaime: I have a degree in Music Technology after studying session work. I just want to be close to the media industry.

Graeme: When I first saw the wages… and I really enjoyed playing gigs back when I was in school.

Andy: I have always been an artist at heart. My natural forte is drawing. I was in a comic book/anime face when I was 15 until I realized I would have more luck with women as a musician. I have several years of music study under my belt and I am involved with Scottish local music scene but my cultural equity far exceeds my financial equity. Music to me is definitely much more than a hobby to me but currently, not quite a career.

Michael: After my first flam drag.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music scene?

Jaime: I think on the surface it is poor, but if you look back at the best of times for edgy, boundary-pushing music – be it punk, metal, or Detroit techno, the charts had slumped into mediocrity.

Graeme:  Abysmal.

Andy: There’s an oversaturation of “artists” right now. I am against elitism so I am glad everyone can get a bash but overall, standards have become low. The internet is so cluttered. people with talent have to should a little louder to be heard. Now, presence is everything. You could have created the best piece of music the world will ever have the chance to hear but if your profile sucks, then chances are, no one will click play.

Michael: I dropped my stick.

Who inspires you?

Jaime: I love hard playing or a mentality with a harsh reality – the likes of Nick Oliveri, Klaus Flouride, and Johnny Cash.

Graeme: The man in the mirror and Slash.

Andy: Artists of all media, family, friends, nature, human nature… off the top of my head. Bowie, Johnny Cash, Billy Corgan, Kurt Cobain, The Rolling Stones, Lennon…

Michael: LOUD NOISES!

What song best describes you? Why?

Jaime: I think the band is pretty well summarized in Pretty Constitutions which will be on the new EP which will be finished soon.

Graeme: Pretty Constitutions – I had a lot of freedom (FREEDOM!) to go nuts.

Andy: Thriller [by Michael Jackson]. Most people who don’t get me find me animated, creepy, dark, eccentric and sometimes frightening, but never boring.

Michael: The Eastenders theme tune. TOM TOM TOM TOM TOM triplet SNARE!

What is a struggle you face as a musician?

Jaime: It’s making time to be a business person dealing with shady relationships, collecting fans online, and then finding the time to grow and develop your craft.

Graeme: Getting taken seriously. It’s a cynical world.

Andy: [Laughs.] The world wanting me to mature and definitely money.

Michael: Not having enough things to hit.

Tell me a funny story about yourself.

Jaime: I particularly liked our first gig with the current lineup. I had only met Andy before previously and I had two practices with him, just guitar and bass leading up to the gig. On the gig night I met Michael and Graeme. I was running late so we didn’t get to sound check. We literally went right up on stage and straight into it. The PA system blew up, my guitar strap snapped, and I kept getting minor electric shocks from my mic when singing backup. We made it though! Afterwards, a fan who found us online came up and gave us some nice praise.

Graeme: The ex-drummer’s rack tom rolled away in the middle of a set. Classic drum roll!

Andy: On my graduation day, I bruised my groin on a bollard (a short concrete pole – like the ones in parking garages or parking lots.)

Michael: I hit a cowbell. It went clang clang.

What are three bands you really like?

Jaime: Oh boy! I’m enjoying Manic Street Preachers, Black Sabbath, and Metz just now.

Graeme: Steel Panther, Guns N’ Roses, and The Offspring.

Andy: The Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo, and The Rolling Stone.

Michael: Marching, rubber and belly.

What’s in the future for Average Andy?

Jaime: We are self-producing our first recordings with this lineup. I am mixing it, and we’re looking for mastering then hopefully it will straight up online.

Graeme: Gigs, gigs, food, gigs.

Andy: We will be releasing a new EP soon and playing some charity gigs. (Dates to follow.)

Metal and Melodies also wanted the fans to submit questions. Below are questions asked by you!

What song got you into music? -Stuart-John Irvine

Graeme: I started taking guitar lessons when I was about 11. I eventually started learning other songs at home. I think the first song I learned myself may have been Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven.

Andy: I had always loved music as a child and I can’t exactly name an artist that started me off. Maybe Nirvana, Green Day, Blink-182, Crowded House, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, etc.

Michael: Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat!

Hey guys, what has been your favorite gig you’ve played so far? -Chuck Lodes

Jaime: Walkabout gig, (which is available on YouTube.)

Graeme: Walkabout.

Andy: I would say out Buff Club gig, supporting Thermal and a Quarter. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone India magazine that month and the crowd response was fanstastic.

Hey Andy, just a quick question – do you all get along well? Who’s the most annoying member? -Ashley Paton

Andy: I would say me. I am constantly messaging/calling the guys with information about the band. I am very obsessed with gaining bigger and bigger audiences for our music and I don’t reallywant to have a proper job.

Yeah Andy, I was wondering if you could tell me how you got the band together and what are your main influences. -Jaime Wilson

Andy: I knew the other boys were talented players and creative so I thought I would try them out. We have been progressing well, so the lineup was a good choice. I think the whole band enjoys a punk ethos. We are all into fun pop/rock and hooks. Then we also have our individual influences which we bring to the band.

I notice a lot of political themes in your songs. Where do you get your ideas for lyrics from? -Phil McEwan

Andy: For the political themes, I just have to look into injustices around the world. I read loads of books and watch different movies which give me a lot of inspiration. Art and nature inspires me. I am a huge people-watcher and super sensitive so I write about personal reflections and write about relationships between people.

You can catch Average Andy this month playing a few charity gigs here:

Oct. 16 @ Ivory Blacks (Glasgow)

Oct. 19 @ Oxjam Dundee (Glasgow)

Oct. 20 @ Hangar 18 (Glasgow)

Oct. 27 @ Classic Grand (Glasgow)*

Nov. 30 @ Baker’s Nightclub (Kilmarnock)

*Supporting The Ratells

You can also find Average Andy here:

www.facebook.com/pages/Average-Andy/141853925872377?ref=br_tf

www.twitter.com/AverageAndyMuso

RG