What was your pre-production like on this project?
We had a direction and an idea for where we wanted the album to go. We concentrated on writing and did quite a few demos in our rehearsal space. This was great for ironing out changes and harmonies, but it also enabled us to listen to the songs early on and decide to add horns, strings, and accordion – basically anything we wanted.
In the middle of Harvard Square, Boston metal quartet RULE is set up in a corner table upstairs at Charlie’s, a kitschy bar that would have probably been filled with cigarette smoke before the Massachusetts smoking ban of 2004. They’re sipping beers, reflecting on how metal has changed since the ’80s and how bands today are failing at recreating the genre.
For one, says singer Mike Soltoff, it’s the “Cookie Monster” vocals heard on some newer extensions of the genre. “Screaming,” he says, clarifying. “It’s screamo. People don’t sing anymore.” Continue reading →
It’s a quiet, warm Saturday afternoon in downtown Louisville, and the lobby of the city’s most iconic display of Southern grandeur, The Seelbach Hotel, is bustling with road-worn and seemingly infrequent visitors stirring about.
One of those visitors is Lexington-native Ben Sollee, one of Kentucky’s up-and-coming “musical” displays of Southern grandeur. A classically trained cellist, Sollee is a one-man orchestra, who owns his instrument and is known for playing it with a combination of passion and grace. He has managed to breed a whole new style of playing his centuries-old instrument, where the end result is a little rock and roll, a little soulful, a little bluegrassy, a little jazzy, very modern, and all Americana. Continue reading →
Three years ago, Frank Hoier and Moselle Spiller probably didn’t picture themselves here: 1,200 miles from home, killing time between tour stops in a Kansas City bowling alley. The duo, known today as rock outfit Crushed Out, began as so many musical projects do: two friends sharing a mutual love of music (in this case, early rock and roll) jamming for nothing more than the fun of it. Yet it’s progressed in a way that many projects don’t, spawning four national tours, a well-received 2010 EP and now a debut full-length, Want To Give (released November 6th via the band’s own Cool Clear Water imprint). What’s made it work? Making sure it never felt like work in the first place. We recently sat down with Hoier to discuss… Continue reading →
On His Life as a Side Musician & The Importance of Dynamics
Blake Mills can currently be seen on tour with Fiona Apple. Well, to be fair, at any point Mills can most likely be seen on tour, period. The young gunslinger is incredibly in-demand these days as one of the top sidemen in the world of live music. What touring artists recognize in Mills, and what was apparent to this reporter within seconds of hearing him turn on an amp, is his innate ability to evoke humanity out of six strings, a plank of wood and some coiled wires. One of the biggest mistakes young guitarists make is focusing too much on playing the right notes and the right rhythms, with little thought to how those notes and rhythms should be played. The name of the game is dynamics – it’s what can set a good musician apart from an amazing musician, and what adds that human element to what could otherwise turn into a robotic series of meaningless sounds. In his twenty-odd years on the planet, Mills has more than earned his reputation as an amazing musician.