Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview with Soul Control

Bridge Nine boys Soul Control are ready and willing for their first appearance in Ithaca, NY at this winter's Big Day In on Dec. 4th, 2010 with Young Widows, Bridge & Tunnel, and 9 other bands from around NYS. You may recognize some familiar faces from bands like Achillies, Verse, and What Feeds the Fire but the band has been setting themselves apart from their former/sibling projects over the last few years with their slew of EP's and last year's kicker, "Cycles".  Bubba Crumrine chats with them regarding the past, present, and future of the band...sort of, but not really.

IU: To start things off, lets get a little history on the band. You guys each spent (spend) time in quality bands like Verse, What Feeds the Fire, etc - how did you meet and what brought you to birth a band like Soul Control?

SC: We met at the top of the empire state building after Eric's son called into a talk radio show and said he wanted his dad to find a new band.

IU: How did Rory come to be in the band later on?

SC: Well, we'd just parted ways with our singer and begun the process of auditioning new ones. Meanwhile, Rory had been working a shitty day job and at night singing in a Soul Control cover band called "Dance of Shadows." I guess some SC fans heard we needed a singer and they sent us a tape of Rory performing with his band. We were impressed and got in touch. He came down and belted out "On Survival" in the booth and blew us away.  That was that.

IU:  How did you get hooked up with the folks at Bridge Nine?

Meet The Band: Cattle Drums

Band Name:
Yeah…well, we’re cattle drums. But if that doesn’t suite your liking I don’t see any problem you fiddling with it. I don’t know much about London but I hear in the east end there’s some form of colloquial speech… cockney rhyming slang…here you take a word, “cattle” in this case, then another that rhymes, “saddle” for instance, and then shorten the derivative word…so here you’re left with “sad.” This word replaces the initial word completely. So, no more cattle drums…just sad. I don’t think I like this anymore. Well, anyways, cattle drums, no association with kettle drums…but, if it comes to pass that cattle drums is drafted into war and thrown into their own battalion, you can bet your ass we will use kettle drums and forty pound sheep head mallets as a means of threatening strategy, and that we will all die.

If cattle drums were a dog, we’d be pure bred mutt...as well as blind, tumor ridden, back legs replaced by wheels. We all connected at SUNY Oneonta. Upstate NY in general is home to all of us but Pat Moore. He claims Long Island his birthplace and current place of residence but…we all know he’s from outer space and makes frequent trips there.


We formed sometime last year…fall ’09. It was cold and smog blocked out the sun. I had never sung a word…stuttered a note…still haven’t really as far as I’m concerned. The dudes had a few songs and needed someone to do vocals and I worked as a dish washer at the time and thought it was something I could get into if I just kept the mic real low and found someone else to do the recordings. We’re still together for the most part…like…a geo missing its bumpers with dirty oil…it still drives…maybe a little rough…its visit to the crushers..the bone yard…it’s not all that far away, and if it gets into an accident it’s going to blow up. But we’ve still got gas in the tank so we’re not going to stop until that runs out.

Darin on bass, Pat Moore on guitar, Gulab…also known as Jarusha, Jarad Needham did the drumming on The Boykisser Sessions EP and our two song demo we have yet to put out.. co-founder of collapsed records, and is ultimately cattle drums himself. He moved to Brooklyn upon graduating and now….now cattle drums is kind of like a grilled cheese without buttering the bread first…so now you just got toasted...probably burnt bread with melted cheese in it. What a shitty sandwich. Barely worth eating… I mean if you’re starving…on the verge of keeling over… it’ll do the trick but…damn. Well, Jarad is missed terribly but we had the beautiful Sean Scully (listen to his band classic tribe!) fill the void for a while. He’s a great sport, nasty drummer, all around good dude, but now he’s got an internship to look after and we have landed Matt Hambone Payton who will help pick up the back, boost morale, be the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, and since our anatomy…well speaking for myself, maybe darin… is closest to dogs, Payton, being a vet’s assistant, can fix our broken bones.

So far just The Boykisser Sessions, recorded at dickbutt studios. CHECK THEM OUT if you want your music to sound like paradise. We’d be lost without them. Mike Natoli and Jon FatMan Hernandez of Timeshares, who rule the earth (please listen to this band unless you’re an enemy of our country) run this studio and make magic happen. We will be releasing a two song demo in a couple weeks or so. Full length out in spring we’re hoping. Stay tuned for good and miserable things. PIG OUT.

>>>Don't miss Cattle Drums live this Saturday at Big Day In with Young Widows, Bridge & Tunnel, Soul Control, Zona Mexicana, Beach Parade, Why The Wires, and more! Only $5 12/4/10 noon til 10PM.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet The Band: Zona Mexicana

Band Name: Zona Mexicana

Location: Purchase, NY

Formed: Late 2008

hart seely - guitar + vocals
cameron wisch - drums + vocals
zephyr prusinski - bass + vocals

3 song CDEP demo thing from January 2009
2 songs on a split 7" with Elemeno for summer 2010
both were self-released 

Tell us about yourselves!
Zona Mexicana was "come forth"-ed in october of 2008 by Cameron and I when we met at SUNY purchase. we started writing songs pretty quickly, and when we got a few "down pat" i asked Zephyr to come play bass with us sometime. he did, and then he joined the band. Don't tell anyone but we're named after a shitty mexican fast-food chain. We went on a short tour that winter after we'd recorded 3 songs and put together our first release. we toured that summer as well from NY to Minnesota and back with our friends in Monster Machismo. I believe we toured for a bit the winter after that, not sure about that though...but we
definitely toured this past summer for 40 days and 40 nights after releasing a split 7" with our friends in Elemeno - we worked our way over to the west coast and played a show in Mexico and went back up
through the south. as for what's next...we've been recording some new stuff, our best material thus far i think, and pretty characteristic of how we actually sound live. Some of it's a lot darker, slightly more vocally oriented, a little heavier. we're hoping to be able to release this new stuff ASAP, and we'll be looking around in the next few weeks for a small DIY label who'd be into helping us do so. If we can get that squared away then we'll be booking a long tour for next fall. anyways...that's basically it, I also play bass in Sirs, Cameron's got some of solo stuff that he's working on, and Zephyr's a l33t h4x0r. We're down for show trades at our school, talk to us! zonamexicana@gmail.com

Catch Zona Mexicana at Big Day In this Saturday with Young Widows, Bridge & Tunnel, Soul Control, Beach Parade, Like Wolves, Cattle Drums, Why The Wires, Ailments, Speak Daggers, and more! 12 bands, 10 hours, $5 all ages. Starts up at noon at The Haunt, 702 Willow Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When we last spoke with Oscar, it was 2009. FREE! was still in print edition, Oscar's storied band, Nakatomi Plaza was coming to a close with their last tour, and he was looking forward to fresh start with some new projects. Fast forward to present day where we're heading to close out 2010 and his two new projects Ludlow Lions and Ghost Robot Ninja Bear have already begun to make their mark on the underground music community. In this interview we'll focus on the later of his two newest loves and discuss how the project came about, their new material, Red Bull's poor choice in marking campaign, and more. Bubba Crumrine interviews. 

IU: When did you first know you wanted to form a band like GRNB?

Oscar: For a couple years now I knew I wanted to do a solo project.  I had worked with many songwriters on their own projects and just thought it might be nice to do a something where I could play solo if I wanted to, or have a band, or half a band, or cowrite sometimes, and have a revolving door where my friends (who all happen to be amazing musicians) could walk in and do their thing.  It's been great so far. 

IU: Was the foundation for GRNB underway while you were still in Nakatomi Plaza or formed afterwards?

Oscar: Yes, I started recording demos for GRNB while NP was figuring out how to release our final album, "Ghosts".  We actually played our first show ever at Piano's on July 20, 2009, a few months before NP's The Coda Tour.  That lineup included me, Geoff Kraly on bass, Rachel Rubino from Bridge and Tunnel on guitar, Christopher Enriquez from On The Might Of Princes on drums, and Brendan Coon of Ludlow Lions on vocals and percussion. 

IU: How did the lot of players come to be performing together?

Welcome to another addition of "Meet The Band" here on FREE!, where bands give us the essentials in their own words.

Band Name:
We are BRIGHT SHINY OBJECTS. Matt and I often like to play on words, we chose a title that represents what everyone seems to be looking for nowadays in our material world. As a band we write tunes to address and express our radically generated outlook in spit of this reality. In this spirit, Matt and I chose to write and perform with minimal means - that means NO guitar or vocal FX!!!

Christian's a Jersey Boy from Ocean County.
Matt is from Long Island.
We have both lived in and around Ithaca for sometime.

Matthew Kelly Vox/Drums
Christian deBrigard Guitar/Vox

We first met and began performing together in 2009, in THE SYNDROME. Matt had always sang and fronted bands but never played drums in one. We've always had an explosive chemistry both on an off stage, and to us Bright Shiny Objects was a natural development that began for us as we became increasingly involved in the Ithaca Underground scene. In the angst of the of the youth movement - pertaining to what is "indie' and what is "not", we found another way to push ourselves, always in an honest effort to shatter the "status quo" and punking it up.

The first song that we wrote together is "Wake up and Die". Bright Shiny Objects is scheduled to record their debut album locally at Moving Box in late November, and hope to have some bootlegs and merch available for the BIG DAY IN on December 4th. Right now we're busting down hard and booking shows in cities throughout New England for early 2011.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Interview with Iron Thrones

So, you're a DIY metal band trying to create music that challenges you and is an expression of yourself, while trying to put your art in front of those who will actually enjoy it, on top of trying to fund releasing said material and keep the band on the road.  Suddenly, after a bit of a whim, your being flown out to record your follow-up EP, surrounded by PR reps, engineers, and producers and suddenly positive attention is being thrust upon the art you love on a national level, virtually overnight. Sound like a band's day dreams?  This is basically what happened to Minnesota metalers, Iron Thrones who, after pushing their we'll received and self released "Visions of Light" CD, worthily won Scion's "No Label Needed" contest. The band recently released their latest EP "The Wretched Sun" as part of winning the contest. Now, they're on tour with recent Relapse Records signees, Hero Destroyed.  The two will appear Sunday, Nov 14th at The Haunt with Engineer and Thirteen South. Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine syncs up with Steve to get the skinny on what winning the contest meant, the new album, and the ashes the band rose from.

IU: What was the process of you guys winning the "No Label Needed" contest from Scion?

Steve: We originally heard about the contest through metalsucks.net, although we didn’t really look into it too hard until a few of our industry-savvy friends mentioned it to us and said it was pretty legit.  I went ahead and uploaded our longest song, “Cover of Smoke” from our first album "Visions of Light", because we all really dug that song and figured if we were going to submit our music for a contest like this, we wanted to win because of a song we really liked, regardless of length or supposed marketability.  Apparently it was a good choice!  From what we heard, the majority of the people involved in the contest really dug the tune, and were happy we won.  Obviously, we were as well!

IU: Was it a strange transition moving from doing everything yourselves to a full PR campaign, radio promo, new web layouts, merch, etc.?

Steve: It certainly took some getting used to.  We like to keep complete control over everything we do so, having teams of people working on PR, promotions, design, and everything else was really strange.  We didn’t really know what to do with ourselves.  It definitely opened up a lot of doors for us, and confirmed what so many have often said about the music business: it’s all about who you know.

IU: What do you feel was the beneficial aspect of winning the contest for the long term?

Hailing from Syracuse, NY; Engineer (Blackmarket Activities) are preparing their latest onslaught of sludgy, noisy hardcore. Despite the band residing around the bend from Ithaca, the band has never performed in our fair city. We figured it's long over due. These CNY titans will be headling The Haunt on Sunday, November 14th with recent Relapse Records signee, Hero Destroyed, Iron Thrones from MN plus Thirteen South. Engineer guitarist, Ryan chats with Ithaca Undergound's Bubba Crumrine about their in-process LP, "Crooked Voices" and doing it their damn selves.

IU: How is the new album coming together?

Ryan: It's recorded and mastered, but it's been the slowest artwork process for us EVER. We usually have a hand in either the artwork itself, or at least the design and layout. This time we opted to let someone else do all the work. We thought we were taking the easy road because it can be stressful doing the layout yourself (I've done a couple of our layouts in the past: "Suffocation of the Artisan", "The Dregs" CD and rework of the vinyl release), but it turned out to be more stressful having to wait so long. Matt Loomis did the cover and Mike Wholberg is finishing up the layout for the rest right now. We're all really happy with the recording and the layout so far, we're just dying to get it released!

IU: Where and with whom did you record?

Ryan: We recorded "Crooked Voices" at More Sound Studios here in Syracuse, NY with Jocko (Jason Randall). Our split with Achilles and "The Dregs" were also recorded at More Sound, but each record, including "Crooked Voices", is much different than the rest.

IU: Any timeframe we might see it released in?

The core of Hero Destroyed came together in 1998 when Zach Moore and AJ Falcione formed a local Pittsburgh metal band. By 2005, after playing the local circuit for several years, the band reemerged as Hero Destroyed. New material, shows, and recording their debut followed.  In winter 2007, members of Don Caballero tipped Relapse to the band and forwarded along the self-titled CD, urging for a listen. Fast forward and its 2010 where their official Relapse debut "Thrones" (a metallic mechanistic, low-end crunch with plenty of head) and the steel city reps are hitting the road with Minnesota's Iron Thrones.  Zach More throws down the Q&A with Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine

IU: How has the response been to the new album since it was released back in August?

ZM: The response to the album has been really great.  You never know how people are going to look at it, or even get what you are doing, but it seems people are digging it.  Most of the reviews have been very good, so that's pretty reassuring.

IU: What are your personal thoughts on the record?

ZM: I wish we would have had just a little more time to iron out a few things, but what musician doesn't say that?  We're very happy with the album and the work we put into it. 

IU: Any favorite tracks or riffs?

Favorite track?  That's like picking your favorite child (if you had kids, I sure don't!)  One of my favorite songs is one we don't play very often, 'Dom Wampus.'  It's about 2 minutes long, but it just doesn't let up.

IU: Any special techniques that were used during the recording or stories from the whole process you'd like to share?

ZM: Well one of the reasons we had a time crunch was due to that huge snow storm.  As many areas did, Pittsburgh got hit with almost 4 feet of snow in 2 days.  Dusty, our bass player, was stuck at his house for 4 days until the plows came.  We lost about 6 recording sessions due to the snow, so it was sometimes hard to pick up the continuity.  And there were definitely some sketchy drives home after recording sessions.

IU: Your bio mentioned members of the band first started collaborating in 1998 but took until 2005 until the band became Hero Destroyed. What was involved in the transition process and how did the band evolve?