Hot off the heels of his recognition by The Grammy Awards Committee in 2016 in the “Best Traditional R&B Performance” and “Best R&B Song” categories for his single “For Realski’s,” New York based Singer/Songwriter Mick Hayes has released the Official Music Video for his newest single, “Hard 2 Explain,” originally premiered on Huffington Post.
Please take a second to read our recent interview with Mick Hayes. And go to his website, www.mickhayesmusic.com, to get links to purchase his music and check out the latest news and tour dates as they come.
I usually like to ask if music was always something you knew you wanted to do, but in reading about you, it is a no brainer. Were you the kid who was showing up all the other kids at the school talent shows?
Hey Christy, you have uncovered a few funny stories there! First one goes back to when I was 9 years old I was in the school talent show playing guitar and singing a song I wrote. I had a neighborhood friend who played drums and we rehearsed the song as a duo. That night in the wings of the stage, he backed out because of stage freight. LIKE, with his drums already set up on stage. So, I walked out with my shoulder length hair and black Members Only jacket and did my song alone. The second one goes back to when I was 17 years old. I’m from a smaller town in NY and in our High School there weren’t to many musicians so age really didn’t play a factor. I had a close friend who was two grades ahead of me and when he graduated, he asked me to accompany him at his college talent show. We absolutely brought the house down and won the cash prize. Later that evening was my first dorm room party experience.
Was there ever anything else that peaked your interest, or has it always been music?
Yes, actually I have been working on cars since I was 11. That was my initial goal to build muscle drag cars, actually my senior quotes say nothing about my desire to be a professional artist. One of my parents told me at a young age that being a “recognized artist” was like trying to win the lottery. Well, today I’d like to think that I did win the lottery cause truthfully, I can’t believe some of the things music has done for me.
You have shared stages with some impressive acts. Was there any time specifically that you were completely star struck?
Yes, two in fact! When on stage with Stevie Wonder, you think to yourself “hey I’m on stage with Stevie Wonder” what a career accomplishment and then whenhe opens up his mouth and sings a riff there’s a mind-blowing moment when you remember every time you heard that voice in your life and you can only thank God for such an opportunity. You can see it on one of the videos. I literally throw my hands up in the air and look upward. The other would be while I was on stage with Steve Vai and his band getting some songwriting advice on an original song I was stuck on. About 5 mins later he and his band were playing my song and helping me harvest the melody line. That’s a really special moment. The song ended up being “Discovery Divine” on my 2016 GUITAR&B CD.
Do you have any plans to tour anytime soon? If so, where would you like to go?
I’ve got some more writing and recording to do at the moment, the goal for me is September. I’m working locally, regionally and doing fly dates for the next fewmonths. I hopefully want music to take me all over the world one day. Europe, Japan and South America are in my immediate hopes! Also, Maine, Washington State and Texas are “unconquered” states for me, I have to get there eventually.
I saw the nod from The Grammy Awards Committee, was that a surreal moment?
It really was because it was a song that I let get the better of me. That song (For Realski’s) went way over budget. It was a big production/throwback tune where Irented a B3 organ and Leslie speaker cabinet, paid for horn charts and a 4-piece horn section and multiple other costs including documentary video. When it came out as a digital only release, the sales were very low in the first 6 months. I did all I could at that time, but eventually pulled back on the heavy promotion, thinking maybe I was being too in your face about it with people. Then someone submitted that song for nomination in 2 different categories and I was like whoa! Unfortunately, it only made it to round 2 out of 4, but that’s a HUGE pat on the back and I intend to keep trying!
Since the release of the video for Hard 2 Explain, what can we expect next from you?
Another single/video release is being discussed possibly with some special guests and then a new CD release in September-ish of 2017. I have a trip to Nashville thismonth to meet some people and possibly another if I’ll attend the Summer NAMM show in June. It’s a great time to follow me on Twitter/Facebook and on my website at MickHayesMusic.com. This way you’re along for the ride.
Please let everyone know where they can pick up your music.
My music is available on iTunes. If you are old school like me and prefer a CD, please buy from MickHayesMusic.com. My last CD GUITAR&B is currently ON SALE the entiremonth of April.
New York singer/songwriter Mick Hayes is looking to bring rock n’ roll back to its soulful beginnings in a big way; continually evoking a classic sound more akin to 70s R&B. In a seemingly effortless blend of rock and soul, Hayes’s sound is at once nostalgic and fresh, from his arena rock guitar style to his sensual yet commanding lead vocals, Mick’s music transcends the boundaries of genres. – Chris Bianchi – Huffington Post
Music carries a different meaning for each of us. We all long to hear those songs that can bring us back to the roots of true American artistry; when it was about who we are, where we’ve been, and where we were heading. The kind of music you heard from the backseat of your parents’ station wagon, full of life and originality, harkening back to its beginnings while still being fresh and new. That’s where Mick Hayes comes in today. He melds our history, our present, and creates the future of the genre with his somehow familiar yet innovative sound influenced by styles from across America.
Having been recognized by The Grammy Awards Committee in 2016 in the “Best Traditional R&B Performance” and “Best R&B Song” categories for his single “For Realski’s,” Mick is looking forward to what the future brings.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi-based Power Pop / Alternative Rockers Paul Johnson and The About Last Nights have released the Official Video their single, “Burn It Down.” Originally premiered on Relix, “Burn It Down” is the first single off of their forthcoming, debut EP, Give Up The Ghost, due Spring 2017.
We recently interviewed Paul Johnson about the new release and the band. Check out out interview:
How has the feedback been in the new EP so far?
We have released our first single, and music video for our single “Burn It Down” independently. So, it’s an up hill climb for any band trying to blaze a trail on their own. I’ve been very happy with the feedback so far, and look forward to the full EP release on May 1, 2017. We want folks to give this band a chance. It’s only a matter of getting in their face, playing live, and making our music available.
How long have you been making music? And have you always known that music was what you wanted to do?
I have known I wanted to make music since I was very young. I fell in love with it very early, and would sing, and dance around my house. I started my first garage band while I was still in high school. No-one knew how to play, but me. They all smoked weed while I wrote songs. It never went anywhere.
If you weren’t a musician, what career path do you think you would be following?
If I wasn’t doing music any job where I was able to still live life, and not be a slave to cooperate America while still paying bills would work for me.
We have dear friends from Hattiesburg who are musicians, so we know that not every musician from that area has the “Southern Rock” sound. Did you find that was a difficult stereotype to get out from under, or was it a non-issue?
It’s sometimes very difficult to understand the climate of any city. It’s a collage town so taste change rabidly as each passing day. I started “The About Last Nights” with the idea that we were gonna be different. We are not a collage band, we aren’t a cover band, and we aren’t folk or bluegrass. That puts us in a very small demographic, but that’s okay, we love being the underdogs, and making everything we do count for something.
How do you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard your music?
Rock n’ Roll… Power Pop with the emphasis on the power. High energy power pop with an emotive attitude.
Do you have any plans to tour to promote the new album? If so, hopefully there will be an Oklahoma stop in there.
We do plan to tour for this album, we can’t wait to get on the road, and give people something different. We hope to hit Oklahoma for sure.
Please let everyone know where they can pick up the new album.
Our current single is available on iTunes for download as well as all popular streaming services. The “Burn It down’ video is on Youtube, and we encourage everyone to check it out.
Check out the video for “Burn It Down”
Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights may be from Mississippi, but this isn’t your traditional “southern rock. Singer/Songwriter Paul Johnson and Drummer Zack Lewis had a vision in mind, which was to play songs people want to sing, a kind of “Power Pop”, with the emphasis on “Power.” They unified on the principle of a “song first, honest music” mentality. High-energy rock n’ roll that draws from their influences like Cheap Trick and the Foo Fighters and at times the band recalls the performances of Weezer and Sloan in full-on rock mode, but never neglecting the art of the power balled. This is a band with a purpose, which is to make great music and have fun doing it and their live show prove that with reviews like:
Potent AC/DC-ish riffage kept aloft by crisp Tom Petty-ish harmonies, a passel of radio-ready rock songs built to appeal to everyone from fans of Pyromania-era Def Leppard, the anthemic paces of Smashing Pumpkins as well as the music that erupts from Active Rock radio today . — Mik Davis,The Chronical
Passion, the new music, and Live show are an example of that! I look forward to seeing/hearing people’s reaction to this great music from this great Rock n’ Roll band! – Kevin Mckay, WKSM.COM, 99ROCK
Their Debut Album\EP Give Up The Ghost is on the way. Their new single and music video “Burn It Down” will be released March 2017. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia at RCRD Recording Studios and engineered by Dan Dixon (Pls Pls, The dropSonic) with 1st engineer Patrick McConkey, and produced by Tuk Smith of The Biters. The band’s debut video and first single, “Burn It Down” was directed by Rahim aka “Video Rahim“, with videographers Chance White, Matthew Hurley 2nd, and Ashley Simpson as Producer. Special effects makeup and creature by Shane Morton from Silver Scream FX Lab.
Go to www.pauljohnsonmusic.com to keep up with news and info as well as links to social media sights.
BleachBANGS was able to catch up with Alex Grossi to discuss his latest project “Maps to the Hollywood Scars”. Teaming up with vocalist James Durbin, they released Vol. 1.
This E.P. Is a breath of fresh air and I for one can’t wait for Vol.2.
Check out our interview here and go get Maps to the Hollywood Scars Vol.1
February 17th, 2017 – AMERICAN IDOL finalist James Durbin and QUIET RIOT guitarist Alex Grossi have announced a collaboration entitled Maps To The HOLLYWOOD SCARS. Their first 5 song EP Volume One is being released worldwide via NEW OCEAN MEDIA today. It can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon and all digital and streaming outlets.
The first single being serviced to radio is the song Till Death.
Recorded at Desert Moon Productions in Las Vegas, (a state of the art studio owned by Danny “The Count” Koker, star and creator of the History Channel’s hit show “Counting Cars”), Maps To The HOLLYWOOD SCARS showcases the darker side of Hollywood and the music industry as experienced by 2 people that have taken 2 different paths, yet ultimately found many common themes throughout their respective journeys. Volume One features a guest appearances by longtime GUNS N’ ROSES keyboardist Dizzy Reed, as well as programming and engineering by A.J. St. James (The Big 4, MTV).
“VOLUME ONE” track listing:
01. Roads 02. Till Death 03. Lost Boys 04. Abomination 05. Never Ending Ride
In 2011, James Durbin released the album, titled “Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster”. The album debuted at number 36 on the Billboard 200, at number eight on the Billboard Rock Chart, number 25 on the Digital Album Chart, and sold 28,000 the first week, The album went on to sell over 123,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Most recently, Durbin released “Riot On Sunset” in the summer of 2016.
“I have been a fan of James’s for a while, and after we got an impromptu chance to jam together in Las Vegas last fall, we kept in touch and the ideas just started flowing back and forth” says Alex Grossi “I feel that Maps To The HOLLYWOOD SCARS is a true labor of love and reflects a lot of where we have both been, as well as where we are both going musically” outside of what we are both known for”.
Alex Grossi has been a member of QUIET RIOT for over a decade, having been chosen by the late Kevin DuBrow and Frankie Banali to fill the guitar slot in 2004. The award winning QUIET RIOT documentary “Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back” has been airing on Showtime since January 2015, and appeared at multiple high profile film festivals including the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is currently available via iTunes and on DVD at www.quietriotmovie.com.
James Durbin adds “It’s not very often that a project like this goes from nothing to something in such a short amount of time, without a slough of industry BS. Alex started sending me instrumental demos & gave me free range to just write! We started churning out songs one after the other & they weren’t losing their quality, they were getting better. I think that we stumbled upon a winning team and its only fair that we let our collective fans hear what we’ve been having so much fun making!”
The band is already putting the finishing touches on “Maps To The Hollywood Scars – Volume 2”. Set for a spring release, as well as their first video, which will be released in the coming weeks.
For more information, check out the band’s website:
Shallow Side is currently on the “Rebels and Renegades” tour with Seasons After, and we were lucky enough to catch them again when they stopped in OKC last week. To say these boys have had an eventful tour would be an understatement. From being overcharged by a hotel for their stay, to their RV breaking down and it taking longer to fix than they were told, then continuing the tour in a pickup towing their trailer, these boys were still in great spirits and delivered OKC with a kick ass show. They drove overnight after getting their RV in St. Louis in order to make the show.
Shallow Side released their newest EP in January , and they played the current single from it titles “Can You Hear Me”, as well as my favorite song “Rebel”. The OKC crowd went crazy when they played their version of “Renegade” by Styx. This cover is absolutely amazing. Eric’s vocals were meant for that song.
Make sure you check out their website or Facebook page for tour dates and get one of their shows. They will blow you away. If you give their Facebook page a “like”, you will see that they go “Facebook Live” every Sunday at 5 o’clock in whatever time zone they are in, and I will speak from experience…you don’t want to miss these. These Alabama boys are hilarious!!!
Shallow Side is a rock band hailing from Alabama. Combining the driving rhythms that push the core of pop music with aggressive guitar work, carefully constructed bass passages, and a voice that smashes into focus atop the platform laid down by the music, Shallow Side has crafted a new sound with the same “no holds barred” attitude that has kept rock n roll alive and kicking since its inception.
With 5 members, an EP recorded with Evan Coffman, at Starlight Studios in Orlando, FL, and 2 years of consistent tour experience, averaging 200+ shows a year, Shallow Side continues to push the envelope, providing a viable outlet for anyone looking for the future of hard rock..
Seasons After celeased their latest album “Manifesto” back in November and they are Currently on the road with Shallow Side on the “Rebels and Renegades” Tour. Jim reassured us that Seasons After are in it for the long haul despite the challenges that come along with being a totally independent band. As a matter of fact even a canceled show won’t stop Seasons After from bringing music to their fans as in the case at a recent show in Texas where they took to the parking lot for an old fashion acoustic jam for the fans that came to see them. Check out this awesome fan video documenting this once in a lifetime experience!
The record truly is a roller-coaster ride that will draw the listener in with every dynamic change. Seasons After uses massive choruses and hooks mixed with heart-wrenching melodies and shrieking, chugging, glass shattering brutality to convey the true spirit and personality of the band. Front-man Tony Housh adds, “This album is the culmination of everything we have learned both as a signed and independent band, and as individuals over the years. We all stepped into this commitment together years ago, and this truly has become our Manifesto”.
Listeners can expect to experience a variety of emotions ranging from rage to bliss and everything in between. The band has truly arrived in thunderous fashion with this record and successfully bridged the gap and improved on their already vast catalog of songs. The desperation and longing for something more truly translates on this record. Having toured coast-to-coast multiple times, the band is primed and ready to do it again to further grow their already rabid fan-base, and showcase what their hard work and dedication have brought forth in the form of their newest release, Manifesto.
Blacktop Mojo, from Palestine, TX, is set to release their new album “Burn the Ships” on March 10th, 2017 0n Cuhmon Records. To say these guys are great would be an extreme understatement. I honesty have not heard an album this good in a long time. There is a reason why these guys won the contest to open for Bon Jovi at the Dallas stop of the “This House Is Not For Sale” Tour. The album open with the song called “Where the Wind Blows”, and it is a great introduction into what you are going to get throughout this album.
In my opinion, most bands now a days cannot pull off a good ballad. The song “Prodigal” is the first ballad on this album, and it is phenomenal!! The vocals in this song are out of this world. This song is everything you would want from a ballad. The last song on the album, “Underneath”, is the other ballad, which just proves that Matt’s vocals are no joke, and this band can pull off anything.
The song “8000 Lines” has a laid back and cool vibe to it. “Pyromaniac” kicks ass with its slow intro and the progression into the heavier chorus. They cover Aerosmith’s “Dream On” on this album as well. They stuck with the original arrangement of this song with just enough of their own stamp on it, that you want to listen to it over and over.
This 13 track album has it all. You would be hard pressed to find a single bad song on this one.
Blacktop Mojo is made up of: Matt James–Vocals, Ryan Kiefe– Lead Guitar/Vocals, Kenneth Irwin–Rhythm Guitar/Vocals, Nathan Gillis-Drums, and Matt Curtis-Bass.
“If Soundgarden and Lynyrd Skynyrd were to take a roll in the hay, nine months later, out would pop Blacktop Mojo.”
Formed in September 2012, armed with a simple demo and a dream, they set out to play as many shows as they could, touring and sharing the stage (with the likes of Aaron Lewis, Saving Abel, & Puddle of Mudd, among others.) During that time, Blacktop Mojoself-released their first studio album ‘I Am’ back in 2014. Time has not been wasted since their debut album release. Everything on this journey has led them to this most important moment in their career. The band’s latest offering, “Burn The Ships” is an instant rock n roll masterpiece. Featuring the soon to be classic songs Where The Wind Blows and Dog On A Leash. Produced by Philip Mosley and mixed and mastered by Austin Deptula. This latest album release will launch Blacktop Mojo into the elite company of some of the great rock bands of all time.
Check out the band’s website www.blacktopmojo.com for more information, including links to their social media pages, merch store, and a link to pre-order “Burn The Ships”.
1. How do you feel your life would have been different if you weren’t introduced to music at such a young age? I was at that time, what would be commonly referred to as a “wild child”. It wasn’t destructive or over the edge lunacy, however let’s just say there was a hyperness and lack of focus about me that pervaded my ever day existence. The “doctors” suggested to my parents that it would probably be a good idea to try and get me involved in something that I could positively focus on instead of torturing those around me. My father, believe it or not, made his career as a square dance caller; keeping in mind that this is in New Jersey, not Memphis or Austin. That certainly had some musical influence upon me, however country was never my route. Good news was, I was around a performer whom had a great musical work ethic and was quite engaging on stage. My parents felt that perhaps a musical instrument and associated lessons might be the way to go. They gave me a choice, with the exception of drums of course, of any musical instrument I wanted to play. The accordion became my weapon of choice. I think the complexity of the keys, knobs, bellows and buttons resonated with my own internal chaos. Simply put, music became my best friend. No matter what else was going on around me, I always had that to fall into. Never bored, always engaged. That bled into the rest of my endeavors and provided me a foundation to excel at any activity that I engaged in, or at the least, exhausted myself trying. The ADHD part of me could never focus on the actual notes in front of me, although I could hear a song once and then instantly replicate by ear. As a result, I started writing my own material right out of the gate, much to the chagrin of my music teachers and parents. My entire BIO can be found at (www.stevenjvertun.com/bio) 2. What made you decide on traveling to Orange County California right out of college? About two months before college graduation, my sister called me from California. She and her husband had moved out here about a year earlier. She wanted to know what my plans were, post-graduation. I was plan-less. She said, “Well, why don’t you think of moving out to California.” Took me less time to answer than her to ask the question. I knew they lived near Los Angeles, THE music mecca icon and that was exactly the direction my mind went. Time to pursue my musical quest. Loaded up my VW bu, 2 guitars, 1 beat up Fender Amp, a sack of clothes and $751 of dough. What I didn’t realize was that although Mission Viejo appeared to be 1/8 of an inch away from LA on the map, it was, in reality, traffic light years away in terms of getting there. So, here I was, locked and loaded, and nowhere to go because I didn’t have the money or a job to afford moving there.
3. How would you classify, or describe your brand of music to others?
I think it is best described the way a recent reviewer of “Ghost, Shadow and Sun” chose to voice it: “It is an extensive mix and variety of grunge, heavy metal, blues and power-pop, heartily crafted into one pertinent, human tale.” I think that statement nails it. I listen to a wide selection of music and always have. I believe that I have dragged these influences into each next decade and have succeeded in remaining current while carrying the past into the overall mix. I don’t believe that you could point to any single band and say;’ “There it is! He sounds just like them.” I like to write in a variety of styles, however I don’t think there is ever mistaking my sound. It all seems to flow with a continuity song to song, album to album, without being redundant. Everything falls into this wide open filter of my mind and comes out as it does.
4. How does your songwriting transpire, do you have a certain “recipe” you follow when writing? For me, the writing comes fairly easily. While I don’t feel I was gifted as a technical musician by the music Gods, I was provided the ability to write and construct without a tremendous amount of writers anxiety or road blocks. It has always flowed easily or naturally for me. Establishing the proficiency of playing the chords properly and in the right timing and meter is where the challenge has always existed. Because of my lack of focus, diligence and adherence to the academic side of instrumental proficiency, there were some interesting outcomes that resulted. You know, I’d always pick up the instrument, put the music stand front and center, set the metronome in motion, all with the intention learning my scales, proper fingering and instrumental execution and all of that. However, after 10 minutes (or sooner) I’d be off banging away a bunch of chords and writing something new. That was the part that came easy and where my inspiration lied; on the fly. I’d have these strange and broken chords that I’d accidentally find and like to write from.
Prior to my recent solo excursion, I’d introduce a song to the band and the lead guitarist, a very accomplished musician, would invariably say, “You can’t do that”. Do what? “Play those chords in that order” Why not? “They don’t make technical sense”. Do they sound good? “Well yes”. Okay then what’s the problem? “They don’t make technical sense”. Look, just play the damn song then. “Fine. (long passive aggressive pause) What chords are you actually playing?” I don’t know; here, look at my fingers”. And the battles would rage on and on, but eventually we’d get there and I think it’s what gives my music it’s unique sound. I can be inspired by many things. Often times by a rhythm of some kind. Might be the sound of the tire of a truck driving next to me. I hear the cadence and a song might start playing in my head. Once I’ve got the very beginning of the thread, the ball of yarn just naturally unfolds. The lyrics usually start out as jibberish imitating words and just naturally start to fall into place. Definitely coming from a place of the subconscious. It may be months before I am even aware of what the song is specifically about. And then it will just hit me where it came from or what prior experience initiated it. I have had this epiphany moment on stage a few times over the years. It is a very unnerving, out of body experience when that has happened.
5. How did you come up with the name of your cd Ghost, Shadow and Sun? For the longest time I had the working title “Innocence and Confidence” (one of the songs on the CD. I was on a long plane ride traveling to and from Sydney, Australia. I had just gotten the mastered, final version right before I began the trip. It had been a long, adventurous, but exhausting trip. On the return home, I had the phones on and the CD was playing continuously. I don’t typically sleep on a plane, however I found myself in a sort of half dream state. At some point, there were certain words that just kept flashing out at me while I was fazing in and out of consciousness. When I emerged, many hours later, the new CD name was clearly formed and imprinted on my brain and I knew this had to be the title. It fits the overall vibe, the foundation of the CD and there is quite bit of symbolic wordplay going on in it.
6. You have been though a lot in the last decade, do you feel that music and songwriting has pull you through some of the darkest times? Without doubt. I am not prone to drugs and alcohol abuse. I have had some of the common challenging times in my life that befall many and I have experienced unfathomable tragedy experienced by far fewer. In all cases I have managed my away through in a sober state. It has always been the music that has provided me the required avenue of cathartic expulsion that kept me balanced, vertical and moving forward. It has been my way through as opposed to trying to go over or under that which has been placed in front of me. What has been most awesome for me has been the Ghost video (https://youtu.be/OWE3MElJf3Y) . It was crafted as a vehicle to send a message of hope for anyone that has found themselves in situation where they have lost someone and are in a grieving situation. The responses that I have gotten, from many people that have found comfort, a new paradigm, or an increased level of peace from viewing the video has been humbling and overwhelming. From this standpoint alone, I have accomplished my main mission.
7. The album has been out for a couple of months now, how are your fans and critics responding to it so far? The album was actually released exactly two weeks ago (Feb. 3rd), although it feels as if its’ been many months, with all of the surrounding clatter and clang surrounding it. The response thus far has been beyond what I could have expected. The video for “Ghost” has been racking up the views on Youtube and the CD “Ghost, Shadow and Sun” seems to be going well, however it is hard for me to know because the music sites don’t tend to report sales numbers for up to 2-3 months. If everybody that tells me they have purchased has or does, then I expect it to do well. It is interesting to note that When I started this, I had no fan base as a solo artist. My FB/ Social media was extremely compressed with only 130 friends. In the past 6 weeks, since the initial release of the Ghost video, my friend base has grown to almost 2000 friends. The responses from these people has been inspiring and 100% positive.
Additionally, I’d like share that 30% of the proceeds are going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and The Wounded Warrior Project. The balance of the sales dollars will be invested into additional musical projects that will benefit these same organizations. I’ve had two Critic reviews this past week. Both gave the CD 4.5 and 5.0 ratings (out of 5) and they were extremely complimentary about the work. So far so good! The CD can be purchased/reviewed at:
iTunes and most major music outlets @ Steven J Vertun
After spending the last several years living, performing and thriving in the greater Los Angeles, CA area, punk-influenced French-American rock band SINNER SINNERS – founded by husband and wife duo Sam and Steve Thill – have incontrovertibly found their groove. After marching their way onto the national scene in 2014 with the release of their raucous, aggressive Nic Jodoin-produced (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) second full-length, XI, SINNER SINNERS return in 2017 with Optimism Disorder – an auditory Molotov cocktail exploding with the intensity of early ’80s hardcore fused with an incendiary ’70s goth punk ethos.
Further exploring the remote reaches of their experimental skillset, Optimism Disorder is set lyrically in front of a sunny backdrop of societal hypocrisy. The 11-track album grabs you by the neck with the swinging new track, “California”.
We were lucky enough to be able to interview Steve with Sinner, Sinners. Please check out the interview below. And check out their music. Head over to their website at www.sinnersinners.com to find all their news, merch, and links to their social media sites. Let’s show them some love.
1. Where did the name Sinner Sinners come from?
When we started out we had a song called Sinner Sinners, it’s kind of a tribute to Damned Damned Damned which is one of our favorite records. It also worked with our initials Sam and Steve. And more obviously since we don’t believe in any divinities and a lot of our songs are about this, it most likely makes us sinners to religious people.
2. I read that you both met in junior high. Were you both already into music at that point?
We were 15 years old and we were already going to lots of shows and spending a lot of time at the local record store, butI was just starting to learn guitar, it came a lot later.
3. What was it that made you decide music is the path that you wanted to follow in life?
The city we were living in when we started out was somewhat of a big hub for music, we were going to a lot of shows and somehow all of our friends and everyone we knew were in bands . In a small town of the french country side there’s really not much to do but play music, so it came naturally and it kept us out of trouble.
4. If you weren’t in the music business, what career path would you have followed?
Honestly that’s not something we ever thought about, we never really had a plan B, if we didn’t have a band we’d probably be working in a venue or something related to music anyway.
5. When it come to writing music, it is a continuous process, or do you set aside time to write new material?
It’s a pretty long and lonely process. I write all the songs, so I usually start by a guitar or bass riff, demo stuff at home and tweak it for months. It takes me a while to write all the parts because I try as much as possible to harmonize everything, both guitars, the bass, the keys and the vocal melody…coming back to the same song sometime 50 times, some of these songs took me years to complete and I dumped well over 40 songs ideas in the process.
6. How would you describe the new album “Optimism Disorder” to people?
It’s a mix of all the kinds of music we are into, it’s influenced by 60s garage rock, early glam, psychedelia, soul, hardcore, early punk rock…It was written and recorded during a very hard time in our lives, writing and recording worked as an escape and kind of a therapy for us and even though it sounds very dark, it was made with a lot of love.
To put it in situation, let’s say you’re having a party, it’s the end of the night, you want everyone to leave but you don’t own Pornography by the Cure, put on Optimism Disorder, problem solved. Also, we guarantee it will ruin your day in just 30mn.
7. I saw you are heading to Europe to tour in a couple weeks. Do you have any plans for a tour in the U.S.?
Absolutely we are trying everything we can to tour the U.S. We really want to be able to stop in every state, we’re crossing all the fingers we have and hope we can make it happen this year.
8. How do you go about choosing the musicians that you play with? Do you use the same ones each time?
Usually it’s because we’re friends or friends of friends. We try as much as we can to bring in people from different musical background together, if we’re gonna play some punk rock, we want to be sure that no one in the band comes from a punk rock background, if that makes sense.
The format of the band can be confusing because Sinner Sinners is actually two separate entities.
First there is the recordings, it starts with us two as a duo. We record all the guitars, bass, vocals, keys by ourselves and then we bring in friends to feature on the record, different drummers, guitarists, etc…
The other is the live band, which is what matters the most to us. There, we do try to have a constant line up but we did have different band members over the years mostly because we’ve relocated to Los Angeles and because being in a band is very time consuming and costly. Since we all have day jobs, sometimes the band schedule doesn’t work for everyone. Luckily, due to this band format there’s always been an understanding that if someone wants out, the band will keep going and even though it’s always sad to see someone go It’s always been pretty drama free, all of our past band members have all invested a lot of time in this band and it means a lot to us, and the most important is that we’re still all good friends.
9. Please tell us where we can pick up the new album, and can it be pre-ordered?
It will be available on all the digital stores you can think of, itunes, google play, amazon… and available on limited edition colored vinyl via Last Hurrah records here:
Members Eric Boatright – Vocals Cody Hampton – Bass/Guitar Seth Trimble – Guitar/Keyboard Heath Fields – Drums
Shallow Side is releasing their brand new EP “One” Friday January 13th in their stomping grounds, Birmingham Al. We were fortunate to be able to get an early preview and I must say, these guys have hit it out of the park with this release! *“We roll” is destined to become a huge pregame anthem celebrating the bands love of their home state. You can just hear the party starting as Eric sets the scene. *”Rebel” Most Shallow Side fans have already been enjoying this song, this is the band bringing the FUN back into Rock n Roll…as well as a big middle finger! *”Renegade” is one of the best covers I have ever heard. This song just gets the adrenaline spiking with Eric’s phenomenal vocals and Seth’s killer guitar Styx has got to be proud of this version of their song. *”Fight or Flight” is inspiring and has relentless guitar grooves! *”Can you Hear me” will definitely encourage crowd participation I can already see every hand in the air and jumping in unison. *”Start a Fire” includes multiple elements of digital as well as straight up blues and grooves.
When we interviewed Eric before their Oklahoma City show in August he told us prior to being in the band “he wasn’t even sure if he could sing”. I dare you to listen to their music and question that boys abilities. His vocals are amazing! This band has some of the best music we have heard in a long time. Check out their website at www.shallowside.net for any and all things Shallow Side. Let these Alabama boys show you what they are all about. And if this EP gets you wanting more, don’t worry they will be releasing a full length album later this year.
Steve Zimmerman – Drums Tommy Blardo “The Beast” – Guitars/Vocals Frank Morin – Vocals Jeff Curtis -Bass Scott Kadish- Guitars
BleachBANGS was able to speak with Steve Zimmerman of the band “Enemy Remains” about their upcoming release of their newest album titled “No Faith in Humanity” due for release January 20th.
If you are into heavy, driving metal mixed with melodic vocals and hooks that will keep you singing them all day at work, then this is the album you will have to own!
Trust in No One
Divided by Hate (Feat. Nick Bellmore)
No Faith in Humanity (Feat. Joey Conception & Jeff Curtis)
Originally formed in 2005 by original Fates Warning drummer, Steve Zimmerman, and guitarist extraordinaire, Tommy Blardo, Enemy Remains began as a project for two musicians looking for a new outlet and has since grown into a hard rock force of nature. With driving rhythms and a progressive edge, Enemy Remains quickly set themselves apart from the vast majority of hard rock/metal hybrids. Enemy quickly added vocalist Kevin Flowers to the mix and began the process of writing new material, which would eventually become their highly acclaimed, six-song, 2007 demo.
Their first studio offering would be followed by a string of successes which included sharing the stage with such rock luminaries as Alice Cooper, Queensryche, and Heaven and Hell – otherwise known as the Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath – and having their song “Live For Today” featured in the Rock Band video game for XBOX 360.
2014 saw Enemy Remains rounded out their line-up with the addition of two new members in second adding a new mix to the music. This new and improved line-up would be the first local act to be invited to play the massive XL Center (20,000 capacity) in downtown Hartford, performing in an opening ceremony for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate.
Enemy took a brief hiatus in 2015 for Steve Zimmerman to focus on reuniting with original Fates Warning members, Zimmerman, fresh off a four album stint with one of the most influential prog-metal bands in existence – recently being behind the kit for the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame album & 30th Anniversary, “Awaken The Guardian” at True Fest in Germany – & for Tommy (The Beast) to focus the developing of his Digital Radio Station “Metal Fortress Radio” now a known station worldwide by both National and Regional bands around the globe. Upon returning from Vans Warped Tour with the station and witnessing new Artists, both Zimmerman and Blardo sought out to revamp a new lineup with new material by the addition of new vocalist, Frank Morin, lead Guitarist Scott Kadish, keyboardist Bobby Bryk. Enemy Remains now has arguably their most stable and powerful line-up yet. Some bands take a long and winding path to their best successes and 2017 sees Connecticut’s Enemy Remains poised to reach for the top of the hard rock mountain with their newest EP set to release in January of 2017 with the highly anticipated single “Trust In No-one” ; Joey Conception (Armageddon & Dead By Wednesday)- Guest Guitars & Jeff Curtis ( Obsession & StikPin) – Guest Bass