The Music Scene In Dallas Is Alive…… Or Should We Say Awake

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The Dallas/Forth Worth area continues to produce more talented bands, Awake In Theory is a band to keep an eye on. Coming at you with a rock/alternative sound, they have a 10 Years/Breaking Benjamin sound to put it best in my words. Vocalist Eric Hawkens, two man ax team Terry Kimmel and Brad McCain, bassist Adam Garcia and the timekeeper Raymond Chambers make up this team.  I wanted to find out a little more about this band so I hit them up with some questions. and I was able chat with Eric, Terry and Raymond, and this is how it went…….

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OTRTR - What age did you start get into music, and which band(s)/artist influenced you the most?

Eric Hawkins - I took piano and guitar lessons as a kid but music never really took hold of me until I got to college and realized that girls really loved a guy that could play guitar and sing!!! Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge and Daniel Johns of Silverchair were my greatest influences as a singer/songwriter.

Terry Kimmel - i started playing around 7 and i would have to say (wes borland)LIMP BIZKIT, and (clint lowery) SEVENDUST has influenced me the mostI

 

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OTRTR - What is the music scene like in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, and where do you see it going?

Eric Hawkins - Ft. Worth really supports bands well and it always feels like a hometown show there. Deep Ellum has gradually grown into a musician’s paradise with so many venues and clubs working together to make a better music scene. Deep Ellum is like 6th St. for rock bands.

Terry Kimmel - I’m from pittsburgh pa originally, and the scene here in texas is a lot better, “don”t tell my east coast friends that though lol.

 

 

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OTRTR - Any new tracks or album in the works, and if so, when are we expecting to see the album available? Is it going to be available as a digital download and cd?

Eric Hawkins - EP is in the works now and we are writing and auditioning about 15-20 songs to choose from. I feel that what we have come together to write has legs that could carry us beyond Dallas and into the national scene. The first track “Daddy’s Little Girl” is available now at shows as a tester to see what the response is and we are gonna decide where to go from there based on the response from the fans.

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OTRTR - Tell us about your writing process for your new songs and how you go about it?

Eric Hawkins - One of the biggest strengths we posses as a band is that we have 4 different songwriters who all come together to create each song from different perspectives. Terry has brought in some killer riffs and very unexpected atmosphere to each song while Brad and Adam create a straight-ahead structure. And I write lyrics on the spot half the time at practices but I also cannibalize my 100 or so songs I already have ready to piece together a full track. No idea is dumb and we set aside personal feelings to make the best music we can collectively.

OTRTR - Have you got any tours planned, if so where are you going?

Eric Hawkins - Does Six Flags count as a tour? At this moment, we are playing more locally while we get the EP together and make every song as tight as possible so we can blow people away with the live performance. We will pursue some regional touring opportunities at the end of the summer and you can count on a national run next year!

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OTRTR - How do you prepare yourself for a night onstage, do you get nervous?

Eric Hawkins - I’m a total diva and have a very set routine of grabbing a bite to eat after load-in(Cafe Brazil or Serious Pizza are my favs), preparing all the set lists for the guys, vocal warm-ups far, far away from anyone else and a bottle of Pedialyte. Rarely nervous, mostly excited! Anyone who has made as many mistakes as I have on stage loses all fear of looking like an idiot so there’s no point in being nervous anymore!

Terry Kimmel - I do a breathing treatment lol.. Dead serious lol.

Raymond Chambers - My way of preparing for a show is to get away from everyone! It’s not always easy to find a quiet spot so chilling with some music.

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OTRTR - Now we have all had these…… equipment failure, stage not as big as you thought, etc. What’s the most memorable onstage disaster you have to date?

Eric Hawkins - We played a Motocross event at Resistol Arena in Mesquite, TX and had all sorts of sound issues. They ran my vocals through the stadium PA so there was a delay but we ran our own in-ear monitors so we had no idea…and no one decided to tell us. I would talk to the crowd between songs and watched 3000 people just stare at me. Silence can be soooo scary. Crickets, man!

OTRTR - What’s your most memorable performance?

Eric Hawkins - We got to play the White Rabbit on San Antonio, TX and it was a dream of mine. I went to my first concert there and watched the Toadies and the whole time, I was smiling from ear to ear because I was playing that stage! And that was first time my mother ever got to hear me sing.

Terry Kimmel - Opening for Ill Nino for 3 dates straight back on the East Coast with a former band.

OTRTR - If you could perform with anybody, who would be your first choice?

Eric Hawkins - I have a list of 5 bands that I use as a goal for myself but, hands down, Alter Bridge is the top of the list.

Terry Kimmel - Limp Bizkit

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OTRTR - When not making music, how do you spend your time, hobbies/activities?

Eric Hawkins - I teach tennis during the day at a country club so that takes up most of my time but I still go watch friends bands(I’m at Trees watching Powerman 5000 and my buddies in Hazeland right now!). I played lacrosse in college and still play that or hockey when I get the chance.

Terry Kimmel - I’m a tattoo artist so i’ll usually be tattooing or just chillin at home with the girlfriend.

OTRTR - We believe you guys have built up quite a following, is there anything you would like to tell your fans and supporters what’s next for Awake In Theory?

Eric Hawkins - Thank you for listening and supporting us on this ride. “Barely Breathing” is a song I wrote for my wife but it applies to all of our families and friends and how they are forced to spend so much time apart from us when we’re gone. It will likely be one of the singles off the upcoming EP.

OTRTR - What is the one piece of equipment (*audio related please) in your possession that you just could not be without?

Eric Hawkins - I just switched to the Lampifier Pro Concert Vocal mic and I can honestly say that I don’t know how I did it before. It has built-in compression and noise-gates and is adjusted to my voice perfectly.

Terry Kimmel - Line 6 Delay pedal

Raymond Chambers - My 13″x 7″ 20-ply Maple Thumbprint Customs Finishes snare drum!

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OTRTR - The internet has bought us many things that benefit us all. The music industry is changing fast trying to keep up. Band/artist seem to promote themselves on social media. However musicians are human too, they have families to feed, mortgages to pay, equipment to replace, the list goes on. Consumers now or at least a large number of them believe they should receive all this creativity for free, have you guys any thought on how your band are going to combat this?

Eric Hawkins - Musicians are artists and we all seek to have our work and message heard/seen/enjoyed by a wide and diverse audience. The Internet and social media have given us an outlet that’s so much more powerful and has such a broad reach across the world than we could’ve ever imagined but that exposure comes with a cost.
The music fan has an infinite number of choices and a finite amount of money so I understand people not wanting to be “sold” a new song when there are other “more economical” means to get the same song. This is an expensive hobby but it is on us, the artist, to find a way to make ends meet. We have signed endorsement deals with 4 equipment sponsors this year and discovered many investors who believe in us and are helping fund our careers until we can become better established. Ultimately, if we make music that is worthy, people will gladly pay for it someday… Or not! Either way, we’re happy that someone is listening.

Terry Kimmel - Who wouldn’t want Free music?? But you try to make it to where they can’t download your music for free as much as you can. If not we call CHUCK NORRIS.

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OTRTR - You guys are somewhere between youth and prehistoric and I just love asking this question in a room full of musicians after a few drinks and kick back and watch the show…. digital or analogue?

Eric Hawkins - Can’t it be both? I’ve been lucky enough to record the Aformatic album “Your Disease” with Hank Charles III at Valcour Sound in Tulsa, OK on a vintage analog soundboard and we’re using Alex Gerst at Empire Sound Studio for the Awake in Theory EP and his killer Pro Tools setup. The amount of production value you can put into a digital recording is almost unlimited and gives us access to sounds and ideas we couldn’t possibly do with analog but remember this: There is nothing that replaces a good performance recorded by a good producer at a good studio with good equipment.

Terry Kimmel - Digital although the sound of analogue still kills it.

OTRTR - As a band, do you see the need to be signed to a label or would you be happy just to be in charge of your own affairs and control your own destiny?

Eric Hawkins - I think the worst thing for a band is to be signed before they have really cut their teeth on a thousand stages. Opportunities are earned through filling small venues on your own, playing a show after working a 12-hour day, creating music that people love without assistance from professionals and learning from your mistakes along the way. At a higher level, a record label can make or break you and open doors that you would struggle to get through on your own. Each band is different and has different needs. I feel we are approaching that “label-ready” phase of our musical careers because we have a ton to offer but accept that we need help from people much smarter than us. We will always control our own destiny because we treat every show like it’s a showcase and our live performance is our greatest strength. Either a record label agrees or disagrees but we have to create the opportunities with blood, sweat and tears on stage.

Terry Kimmel - In no way would I ever give full writing control to a label. They strip you down and put a stamp on you and once they do that, we start sounding like every other band out there. There are modern labels that work with the band 100% that are blooming everywhere so it all depends on the label. But look at 10 Years. They left their label and are doing it themselves as we speak. and it’s actually working out a lot better for them this way.

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OTRTR - Out of all the songs written in the world, doesn’t matter which genre. What song do you wish you had written?

Eric Hawkins - What Goes Around by Justin Timberlake, Beautiful With You by Halestorm, Watch Over You by Alter Bridge and Freshmen by Verve Pipe

Terry Kimmel – Man…. im gonna name 3 sorry lol… SEVENDUST (angels son), (STAIND) outside, (LIMP BIZKIT) my way

Raymond Chambers - “Bring Me Down” by Pillar

And I couldn’t finish without adding in another answer to question “Now we have all had these…… equipment failure, stage not as big as you thought, etc. What’s the most memorable onstage disaster you have to date?”

Awake In Theory -  Adam fell off stage during a song a few years ago and kept playing. It hasn’t gone viral yet…yet!
http://youtu.be/9ZWPz7SXhqE

 

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There Is Something Shaking In Hollywood

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If your looking for a blues band, here you go. If your looking for a rock band, they do that too. You want a jazzy sound, they have that base covered too. What ever style you want, they can do it and do it well! I’m talking about the L.A. based band called The Shakers. Vocalist Jodie Schell is a true entertainer, with amazing vocal range. Guitarist Chris Lee lays down some tasty licks on his Lucille. Drummer Nick Woods takes drumming to the next level, he reminds me of “Animal” from the Muppets with his playing style at times. And then it brings us to the newest member of the band, bassist Kyle Kozlowski, who seems to be the perfect piece to this puzzle. I was able to have the band answer some questions and here is how that went down…………..

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OTRTR – What age did you start get into music, and which band(s)/artist influenced you the most?

Chris Lee – My Mom encouraged me to play piano from a very young age, but I truly hated it lol. I wanted to play guitar like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future. My Aunt and Uncle used to secretly give me dubbed cassettes of Metallica and Nirvana albums and got me into grunge when I was at the spry age of 8, which was the same age I started playing guitar as well. I was immediately hooked to grunge and rock and roll, Aerosmith, Nirvana and Metallica were the first bands I ever listened to. By high school I was a complete Smashing Pumpkins freak.

Jodie Schell – The first time I got to chose my own Halloween costume, I was 4 years old and I chose my hero: Cyndi Lauper. I definitely had every Madonna album too, and watched The Chipmunk Adventure movie thrice daily. In all honesty, my Dad’s record collection was phenomenal, and my mom was The Song Lady for Sunday school kids at our church. I felt like I had an apprenticeship to them from a very early age.

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Nick Wood – I was a late bloomer. I really didn’t start getting “into music” until about 17. I had played drums before then but never took too much interest in it for any lasting period of time. It was The Mars Volta and Led Zeppelin that had the biggest influence on me early on. Specifically Jon Theodore and John Bonham on drums of course.

Kyle Kozlowski - Really got into music around 8 years old. Early influences were 80s punk, 90s punk/alternative bands and Early bebop. Later on, got heavily into classic and prog rock, Rush, Yes, King Crimson, Zeppelin, etc. and modern death-metal bands and indie groups: Converge, Suicide Silence, Poison the Well, White Chapel, Portugal. The Man, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie, Dillinger Escape Plan, etc.

OTRTR – What is the music scene like in LA/Hollywood, and where do you see it going?

Chris Lee – The music scene in LA is just straight bizarre. I love/hate it. There’s a lot of great talent but even more “all show no go” bands. Bands that are more concerned about their “guy-liner” than good technique or soul.

Jodie Schell – I think the ratio of between boys and girls will continue to shapeshift in LA – across all genres. On the bill of bands for our Satellite show in May, there are no ladies except for myself. I think that will grow increasingly rare, which would be a GREAT thing.

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OTRTR – Any new tracks or album in the works, and if so, when are we expecting to see the album available? Is it going to be available as a digital download and cd?

Chris Lee – There’s a great mix of some tunes we’re pulling out of the bottom drawer and wiping the dust off of, so to speak. And some brand spanking new songs never before seen the light of day! Through the years and the INSANE amount of shows we’ve played we’ve come to fine tune our sound quite a bit and this record sounds like the energy you can find at a shakers show. Fans can get their hot little hands ready to grab this record on their computer via digital down load, pop it in their car old school via CD or if they’re sitting at the cool kids table, you can go ahead and snag this new record on VINYL BABY!!!! YEEEEAAA!

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OTRTR – Tell us about your writing process for your new songs and how you go about it?

Chris Lee – There’s no real formula for how we write. Songs for us seem to happen in a very organic way, they just seem to come to us more than us seeking them. Whether we get into a room and stumble onto a jam or whether one of us comes into the room with an already finished product that the band naturally helps arrange. There’s no set way to how it happens, it just happens.

Jodie Schell – Our newest songs on RESCUE TEAM have taken The Shakers’ tasty, gritty, soulful flavors and amplified them; touching deeper into our fears, our victories, and our joy to be in this together. We have also revisited and reignited a few of our first original songs that haven’t been recorded since Chris Lee and I were only a two-man team. We’ve learned from our mistakes, and the next album is going to be extraordinary.

OTRTR – Have you got any tours planned, if so where are you going?

Chris Lee – We’ll be hitting Utah, Arizona, Southern Cali, NY, Boston, Philadelphia and more!!!

OTRTR – How do you prepare yourself for a night onstage, do you get nervous?

Chris Lee – Most nights we’re going right from the car to the stage, but on nights that I do have time, I like to stretch out and warm up my fingers. I enjoy a few beers or a glass of whiskey before playing, I find a few drinks keeps my muscles loose and warm. I never get nervous for a show, I will however get extremely anxious. Sometimes I just will be ready to explode out of my skin waiting to play.

Jodie Schell – In an ideal world, I would have hours of time to blare my favorite tunes and get super-girlie in some bathroom near the stage. But the reality is I’m usually jetting from some day job to load in, and spending most of the pre-show taking care of the merch table. As long as I have a cold beer in my hand by the time it’s show-time – I’m happy.

Nick Woods – It really depends on the show. If we are playing a casual bar gig, my preparation may only include setting up my drums and having a beer. For the bigger gigs I definitely like to get on my drum pad to loosen up. I also enjoy putting on some loud music and rocking out on my steering wheel on my way to the venue. And I’ll even sometimes close my eyes backstage and visualize owning the stage in front of the large audience. Anything to pump me up and get in the right mainframe. And I will also still have a beer As a band we also will have a little huddle to aline our energies.

Kyle Kozlowski - Usually prepare with some simple warmups and stretches that I learned from a Berklee Music School bass book. I used to get extremely nervous before performances (like most people would), but after playing consistently (with The Shakers), all the anticipation and anxiety goes away.

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OTRTR – Now we have all had these…… equipment failure, stage not as big as you thought, etc. What’s the most memorable onstage disaster you have to date?

Chris Lee – My gear is unfortunately prone to signal loss lol. A lot of connections and a lot of time being jostled around, not just in the car traveling but also when I’m rocking out on stage. I’ve had multiple occasions where I’ve rocked so hard that I’ve broken my wireless unit from shaking it to death or even shaken soldering connections loose on my guitar. worst moments is a tie between two different shows, both with the shakers both at the same venue. The Legendary Dobbs in Philadelphia is a CURSE for me. Both times we’ve played there, two COMPLETELY separate amps totally and utterly shit the bed during our set. Like full on died to where the song actually train wrecked and had to stop. The first time was with a small electro-harmonix portable guitar head that just completely fizzled out to death in the very first song. The band before us was a life saver and ran up a new amp immediately. The most recent time we played there, I was able to pick up my old Peavy Classic 50 4×10 combo I’d been lending to a friend. The thing totally sputtered out and died right in the middle of my guitar solo for “Set My Sights”, I gave it a few swift kicks to try and rattle it back to life but it was done. That was probably the worst for me because I was so utterly helpless at that moment. I walked off stage to find a spare amp but there was none around. It took a REALLY long time before someone brought me one and in the end it was Walt, the lead singer of Philly super group Silvertide who came out to save the day with a spare guitar head. Still owe that guy a big old thank you hug. I try to recover from those moments as best as I can but it rattles me to my core to have major technical failures. I hate it but commend myself at being able to deal with them efficiently and usually without anyone knowing it happened. Most times the only way you’ll be able to tell I had technical difficulties during a set is if I walk off stage after wards and dont have the biggest smile ever on my face.

Jodie Schell – There’s a particular show in San Diego that will always make me cringe. It was a sports bar, so not ONE patron stayed after they turned off the ball game and turned on the stage lights. To add insult to injury (errr, injury to insult), I split my hand open on my tambourine during the last song. Getting the stitches hurt so bad, and the hospital didn’t numb it enough when they started. God it was a nightmare. And I think the sportsbar didn’t wanna pay us either. All kinds of horrendousness.

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OTRTR – What’s your most memorable performance?

Chris Lee – Zion Canyon music festival was incredibly magical and great. But I love just about every time I get to be on stage with my 3 best friends.

OTRTR – If you could perform with anybody, who would be your first choice?

Chris Lee – I would love to open for Foo Fighters

Jodie Schell – I wanna open for Heart.

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OTRTR – When not making music, how do you spend your time, hobbies/activities?

Chris Lee – I enjoy spending my VERY infrequent time off hanging with my dog, drinking mimosas and spending time with a pretty lady or good friends never hurts either.

Jodie Schell – I work too much. I have 2 jobs, and count the hours in between band roadtrips.

Nick Woods – Outside of playing music with the band I work a lot. When I’m not working, I have a second love for golf. Whenever i can I’ll get out on the course with some buddies and get a little competitive (while enjoying a beer or two). I can also get very competitive shooting pool. Besides that, I enjoy hanging with friends, family and my dogs.

Kyle Kozlowski - When not playing with the Shakers, I enjoy reading, eating and Hockey!

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OTRTR – We believe you guys have built up quite a following, is there anything you would like to tell your fans and supporters what’s next for The Shakers?

Chris Lee – We’re going to continue to carry on with the good fight and take this to further levels we never dreamed possible.

Jodie Schell – We have a lot of work ahead – releasing the album, increasing the travel, promoting… We are constantly being forced out of our comfort zone. We welcome that challenge, but we need support now more than ever from our fans.

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OTRTR – What is the one piece of equipment (*audio related please) in your possession that you just could not be without?

Chris Lee – I absolutely love my Gibson Lucille. I’ve been without her, but I just absolutely love everything about that guitar and don’t think I could ever go back to playing anything else.

Jodie Schell – My gold tambourine is very important to me emotionally. I’ve had fans jokingly pick it up and start to play during the show, but they don’t know how much it means to me. I try to be a good sport but I cringe.

Nick Woods – Well, I couldn’t do without at least my sweet little Gretsch Catalina Jazz series drum kit. Perfect for any size stage and easy to travel with.

Kyle Kozlowski - I know its cliche, but I could never do without my Sadowsky PJ5 bass. It was the perfect find, sounds incredible, and is build like a rock!

OTRTR – The internet has bought us many things that benefit us all. The music industry is changing fast trying to keep up. Band/artist seem to promote themselves on social media. However musicians are human too, they have families to feed, mortgages to pay, equipment to replace, the list goes on. Consumers now or at least a large number of them believe they should receive all this creativity for free, have you guys any thought on how your band are going to combat this?

Chris Lee – We are still a growing business in a very tough world. There is still a good way to make income through TV and music placement, and at the end of the day a hit single still sells. We want to continue to strive to be completely independent to keep every little nickel we can scrape out of this sinking ship called the music industry. If you work at something hard enough and believe in it enough, you can accomplish it. We’re forever keeping on top of the happenings in the business and doing our best to find new ways to pull in extra cash from touring and merchandise.

Jodie Schell – Amanda Palmer recently had a very good spin on this that I found inspiring. The preoccupation in trying to MAKE PEOPLE pay for music is a failing business. The preoccupation should be: How do we LET PEOPLE pay for music. The difference is as an artist you provide more than the songs and lyrics. You provide an experience. And that IS your responsibility. If you open that experience to music lovers, and share it with them, they will feel a part of the responsibility too. There’s no trick. Our fans have seen us play for 4 hours, until we collapse completely. They’ve been right with us. They were there with us when Kyle proposed to his girlfriend onstage at The Roxy. They were there the first time we stepped onto the TLA stage in Philly. …I believe in my heart if I dropped my act that I don’t need help, and asked for someone to lend a hand – The Shakers fans would be there.

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OTRTR – You guys are somewhere between youth and prehistoric and I just love asking this question in a room full of musicians after a few drinks and kick back and watch the show…. digital or analogue?

Chris Lee – Sign me up for prehistoric… analog. all day. every day. there’s a reason this new record sounds better than any record we’ve done before. two words. analog tape.

Jodie Schell – Digital is a fantastic tool, and easier tool. It’s a short cut. It sounds great, but I take a lot of pride that we are tight enough to track to tape.

OTRTR – As a band, do you see the need to be signed to a label or would you be happy just to be in charge of your own affairs and control your own destiny?

Chris Lee – I feel that we already are our own label. if an indie came along and offered us a distribution deal i dont think we’d turn it down if the terms were right. But we don’t feel the need to pay attention to the labels or what they’re doing. I don’t want anyone having control over what we can do.

Jodie Schell – It would be lovely to have label backing, but the hunt to find someone we can rely on would be a long sad journey, I fear. When we started The Shakers LLC, we always approached it as our own Music Label. We wanted to create a mold for more than an independent band. It’s empowering to do it on your own. Even when you have to make a few mistakes.

OTRTR – Out of all the songs written in the world, doesn’t matter which genre. What song do you wish you had written?

Chris Lee – I honestly don’t find myself thinking that much about modern music. Usually when I put on a classical record to take a bubble bath (true story.. this happens…. A LOT) is when I find myself in forlorn of music.

Jodie Schell – ooo I remember this question from our Kibitz Room interview. I said (Sittin On) The Dock of The Bay. STill do.

Nick Woods – This question is nearly impossible… BUT the first thing that came to my head was “Billie Jean.” It is simple, tasty, groovy, recognizable to pretty much everyone in the entire world, and also has an edge because of it’s controversial lyric content at the time. But you could hear the first couple notes of that bass line and immediately know the song, and that is when you know its legendary.

Kyle Kozlowski - This is a hard question, but I suppose I with I wrote the entire 18 minute Rush “Hemispheres” A SIDE. It has everything a song could want: Tremendous musicianship, great lyrics, movement, and an epic ending.

 

If you would like to hear the audio interview with Jodie Schell, just click on the youtube link below!

 

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That Lone Star Shines Bright In El Paso

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Rock and roll is alive and kicking out of the great state of Texas! BASH is group of four talented young men that want to make their mark in the world of rock. Vocalist/guitarist  Sebastian Felix, has such a powerful voice that you would not of noticed just by talking to him. Fellow six string gunslinger O.J. Lara, bassist Michael Russo and drummer Adrian Nava, make up this Alternative/Rock band. I was very lucky to catch these guys play live at famous Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, CA, and they blew me away! I was able to get some questions out to the band and here is how that went…….

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OTRTR – What age did you start getting into music, and which band(s)/artist influenced you the most?

Sebastian Felix (Vocals, Lead Guitar) - I was always into music, even at a young age my mom always exposed me to great artist and band and it was always part of my life. I started playing and writing music when I was about 11 years old. Bands that have influenced the most are Guns n’ Roses, Nickelback, Blue October, Muse, Audioslave and much more.

Michael Russo (Bassist) - 11 and Linkin Park, 10 Years, Hoobastank, New Medicine, Chevelle and Deftones.

O.J. Lara (Guitarist)I started playing at 13, at that time I listened to a lot of Blink 182. Currently Tool and Deftones are my biggest.

Adrian Nava (Drums) - I started playing guitar at 8 years old, had my little sis sing along. I sucked at singing. Santana, Boston, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin were my influences as a kid and some mexican music but my dad was my biggest influence, he was a singer for his band back in the days.

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OTRTR – What is the music scene like in El Paso/Dallas, TX, and where do you see it going?

BASH – The scene in El Paso and Dallas are pretty different. El Paso is great if promoted right, and also seems pretty divided as far as genres, but it seems to be heading in the right direction with a lot more music festivals happening more often. Usually people either love you, or hate you, but we’ve been able to break out pretty quickly and expand into the scene in other cities like Dallas. Dallas has a lot of amazing venues that we have played at multiple times, and the scene there is great. We’ve seen some pretty great bands play in Dallas as well, you have to be on top of your game.

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OTRTR – Any new tracks or album in the works, and if so, when are we expecting to see the album available? Is it going to be available as a digital download or cd?

BASH – We have definitely been focusing on lots of new material, we’ve been writing songs like crazy. We’re really excited to get these new tracks and more into the studio, they are definitely better than anything we’ve ever done before, and we’re always striving to reach the next level as a band in every way. There is no set date yet as far as a new album, probably within the next year or so. There will be both digital and physical copies available as always.

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OTRTR – Tell us about your writing process for your new songs and how you go about it?

BASH – Our song writing process right now can be described as very spontaneous. We have reached a new level of musical chemistry, better then we’ve had before and it’s quite apparent in the new material which we’re really excited about. The music is usually started by a single idea from any one of us, and just snowballs from there into a full blown kick ass tune. Sebastian writes all the lyrics once the music is complete and is usually the final piece of the puzzle to a new song. The songs are always evolving, and we never settle for anything that we know can be much better. We’re making sure that every song is the absolute best it can be.

OTRTR – Have you got any tours planned, if so where are you going?

BASH – We’re very proud to say that we are part of the Ink Life Tour 2013 this year that hits Amarillo, TX., Oklahoma City, OK., Albuquerque, NM., El Paso, TX., Longview, TX.,and Tulsa, OK., with huge festivals in each city with more to be announced. We have a lot of tour dates in the works between the Ink Life Tour dates as well that we are always posting on our web page to keep fans up to date. We are looking to be hitting Dallas, Houston and San Antonio towards the end of May with our good friends The Chimpz. There’s a lot more in the works.

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OTRTR – How do you prepare yourself for a night onstage, do you get nervous?

Sebastian Felix – For me, my focus is always my voice. When you tour and play lots of shows, you realize that the vocal chords are the most sensitive instrument in the band and can make or break a performance. I always make sure to be at the top of my game by getting at least 8 hours of sleep the night before so that my voice is well rested, and I always make sure to stay hydrated, no caffeine or alcohol. I always make sure that my voice is properly warmed up as well and make sure to get loosened up to give it my all on stage. I rarely get nervous, but it is usually when we are playing festivals and in cities that we have not played before.

Michael Russo – I usually go over my stage presence in my head….. but I don’t know why because I usually do whatever I want.

O.J. Lara – I like to yell a lot ha ha…. you always get a little nervous, but once your on stage it goes away.

Adrian Nava – Usually stretch a lot and go pee before…lol! Definitely feel nervous before a show, but as soon as the first note is played its all good.

OTRTR – Now we have all had these……. equipment failure, stage not as big as you thought, etc. What’s the most memorable onstage disaster you have to date?

BASH – We’ve had a couple of times where the power goes out on outdoor shows. Those are always the worst because once the power goes out, there’s not much you can do but wait until they’re able to get it back on. The worst is when it happens over and over, it cost you a good show.

OTRTR – What’s your most memorable performance?

BASH – The first date on the Ink Life Tour in Amarillo, TX. The biggest crowd we’ve played to date, and the most incredible response we’ve ever had. We’re very excited about the rest of the tour!

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OTRTR – If you could perform with anybody who would be your first choice?

Sebastian Felix – Avenged Sevenfold

Michael Russo – Linkin Park

O.J. Lara – Jesus ha ha

Adrian Nava – Muse

OTRTR – When not making music, how do you spend your time….. hobbies/activities?

Sebastian Felix – I work with my parents at their company. Viva Enviromental, Inc. doing toxic waste and bio hazard spills which is interesting. I love spending time with close friends and family. I’m a host by nature, and love throwing cook outs, parties, etc. I also spend a great deal of time with computers, and am a bit of a computer geek.

Michael Russo – Usually running or hanging with friends….. Sometimes I party, but not too often. I also like to draw, so that helps to calm the nerves when stuff gets to me.

O.J. Lara – Gym, gym and the gym.

Adrian Nava – I do graphic design in my spare time. Spend time with my wife and baby girl. Go out to eat and go check out shows.

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OTRTR – We believe you guys have built up quite a following, is there anything you would like to tell your fans and supporters what’s next for BASH?

BASH – First and foremost, we have to thank every single fan, family member and friend that has supported us. You guys are the reason we are able to do what we love. Expect lots of new music, a new record, lots of new tour dates near you, and a whole new live show. We’re making sure we’re constantly evolving for you guys, we love you!

OTRTR – What is the one piece of equipment (audio related please) in your possession that you just could not be without?

Sebastian Felix – My microphone, Both singing and guitar have always been my passion, but I don’t know what I would do without my mic. It gives me the power to broadcast our music to the masses.

Michael Russo – My ’92 Fender Jazz Bass!

O.J. Lara – My MP3.

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OTRTR – The internet has brought us many things that benefit us all. The music industry is changing fast trying to keep up. Band/artist seem to promote themselves on social media. However musicians are human too, they have families to feed, mortgages to pay, equipment to replace, the list goes on. Consumers now or at least a large number of them believe they should receive all this creativity for free, have you guys any thought on how your band are going to combat this?

BASH – Technology is constantly changing every aspect of our lives, and it’s not going to stop. Social media has been a huge part of our promotions and an incredible new way to connect with fans and people who live thousands of miles away that is absolutely crucial to the success of a band today. Music is something that everyone should be able to enjoy. You can’t really fight the progress of technology or the way times are changing, and we’ve learned that most bands today are making most of their money on live shows and merch sales, and we’ve been able to excel in that sense as well. Hopefully there will be a way for this problem to be resolved to make both the artist and the fans happy.

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OTRTR – You guys are somewhere between youth and prehistoric… digital or analogue?

BASH – I feel like we have a few preferences for both. We’ve always kept a genuine rock and roll sound, but are always looking to experiment with new technology to create new music.

OTRTR – As a band, do you see the need to be signed to a label or would you be happy just to be in charge of your own affairs and control your own destiny?

BASH – The bands that are making it today are actually the bands that do a lot of the groundwork on their own, and that do not depend on a label. However, those are also the bands that end up being signed because the label sees this. Being signed to a good label is definitely a goal of ours, but there have been a large number of bands that have been taken advantage of when they don’t know what is going on in the business side. We’re very lucky to have our manager, Peter Felix, who has been a business owner for over 20 years to help guide us in this sense. We always want to be in control of our music and our band, and hope to find a label that will help us do this in the best way possible.

OTRTR – Out of all the songs written in the world, doesn’t matter which genre. What song do you wish you had written?

Sebastian Felix – “Hey Jude” – The Beatles

Michael Russo – “Stay Together For The Kids – Blink 182

O.J. Lara – “Wonderwall” – Oasis

Adrian Nava – “One” – Metallica

 

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The Lone Star State Is A Ticking Time Bomb

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And the talent continues to to grow in Dallas TX! There is a school called THE SOUND FOUNDATION in that city that is doing some great things, helping young musicians grow. One of these groups are an all girl band, vocalist Katie Duke, guitarist Kenley Turner, bassist Carrie Cohen and former drummer Aubrey Smith. These girls bring spicy, energetic and attitude to their music. Put it all together and you have The Bombs! I had the pleasure in meeting these young ladies and their mentor vocalist/guitarist for Murder FM Norman Matthew, who also teaches at THE SOUND FOUNDATION. I was able to get in touch with 3 of the members Katie, Kenley and Carrie to ask them some more questions, and here is how that went.

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1. OTRTR: Whay age did you start getting into music, and which band(s)/artist influenced you the most?

Kenley: Age 12, probably Andrew Van Wyngarden. I though he was so cool and I named my guitar after him and everything.  Do I regret this? No. Should I? Yes.

Carrie: I started piano when I was 9, and I was influenced mostly by Disturbed.

Katie: I started to get into music when I was about 9. As for influenced, it’s a lot of different bands, but Le Tigre, Bikini Kill, The Smiths and Best Coast above most.

2. OTRTR: What is the music scene like in Dallas/Fort Worth, and where do you see it going?

Carrie: There is a pretty lively music scene in Dallas and it’s growing a lot with all of the new bands.

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3. OTRTR: Any word on new tracks or album in the works, and if so, when are we expecting to see the album available? Is it going to be available as a digital download or cd?

Katie: We are hoping to put together a full length album during this spring/summer. Definitely available digitally and cd as well….. maybe even vinyl!!

4. OTRTR: Tell us about your writing process for your new songs and how you go about it?

Kenley: Most of the time, I will just be playing around on my guitar. And if I hear something I like, I build on it. Then I take the riffs to Katie, who is extremely angsty, and is always pissed off at someone new. So were always able to get a lot of emotion and energy into our songs.

5. OTRTR: Have you got any tours planned, if so where are you going?

Katie: Not as of yet…..

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6. OTRTR: How do you prepare yourself for a night onstage, do you get nervous?

Kenley: I’m almost never nervous, I just have to make sure that I’m pumped.

Carrie: I don’t get nervous, and to prepare I make sure all my equipment is working. And run through all our songs.

Katie:  I don’t get nervous, but I prep myself with lots of green tea. There is also some silly dancing around with my band mates.

7. OTRTR: Now we have all had these….. equipment failure, stage not as big as you though, ect. What’s the most memorable onstage disaster you have to date?

Katie: Kenley was borrowing this guy’s amp, from like 1975. I don’t think its wiring was all right…… the feedback off of it was horrible and when she wasn’t playing, it could easily give one a headache.

8. OTRTR: What’s your most memorable performance?

Katie: A show at Across The Street Bar. Not only was this the show with the whacked out amp, a woman threw her shoe onstage, and the drums fell apart,(but it was cool, and we got it back together in no time at all.

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9. OTRTR: If you could perform with with anybody, who would be your first choice?

Carrie: Avenged Sevenfold.

Katie: The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Their songs are so rambling and there are so many people on stage, not to mention Joel Gion seems like a wild guy.

Kenley: Uh, The Beatles…. duh.

10. OTRTR: When not making music, how do you spend your time?

Carrie: Hanging out with friends.

Kenley: I’m really into Theatre production, so I’m usually working on a play.

Katie: We’re all still in school, so there’s that, but I’m in a dramatic arts program. I also really like fashion and drawing a bit.

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11. OTRTR: We believe you guys have built up quite a following, is there anything you would like to tell your fans and supporters what’s next for The Bombs?

Carrie: I don’t know what’s next for The Bombs, we will keep making music and just see what happens.

12. OTRTR: What is one piece of equipment (*audio related please) in your possession that you could not be without?

Kenley: All I need is my guitar, Andrew Van Wyngargen II and a pick.

Carrie: My distortion pedal.

Katie: I’m not attached to any of my equipment. However, I have a guitar that I like a lot that I named Mordecai, so there is that.

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13. OTRTR: The Internet has bought us many things that benefit us all. The music industry is changing fast trying to keep up. Band/artist seem to promote themselves on social media. However musicians are human too, they have families to feed, mortgages to pay, equipment to replace, the list goes on. Consumers now or at least a large number of them believe they should receive all this creativity for free, have you guys any though on how your band are going to combat this?

Katie: I’m not saying we aren’t professional musicians in any way, but we don’t make a sizable profit from what we do. Right now, we are just happy that our music is being heard at all.

14. OTRTR: You guys are somewhat between youth and prehistoric, digital or analogue?

Carrie: Digital, because it is more popular and I like the sound more.

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15. OTRTR: As a band, do you see the need to be signed to a label or would you be happy just to be in charge of your own affairs and control your own destiny?

Kenley: I really don’t care as long as we’re with Norman. Norman will be handling my “affairs” and “destiny” until I die.

16. OTRTR: Out of all the songs written in the world, doesn’t matter which genre. What song do you wish you had written?

Kenley: Probably either “A Day In A Life” by The Beatles, because that song is so beautiful. Or any song by Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats.

Carrie: “The Infection”by Disturbed.

Katie: “No More Tears” performed by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand.

 

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On The Rise In The Lone Star State

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Dallas, Tx based band Murder FM, a Rock / Alternative band is a band to watch for. They have toured the US and UK with Korn, The Used and Black Veil Brides just to name a few. Murder FM has been making it’s way around different parts of the world, and making new fans along the way. Songs like “We The Evil” pack a rough and hard punch, and then take it down just a bit on songs like “The Breaking”, but still keep it on a rough edge. Singer/guitarist Norman Matthew is a very bust fellow. Not only being in Murder FM, he also works helping out other bands. He teaches at a school called Zounds Sounds out of Dallas, TX. Guitarist Matt X3r0, bassist J6 and drummer Brandon Arpin make up the rest of the foundation of this group and keep this machine running. I had some questions for Norman and the boys, and here is how that all went down….

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1. OTRTR: What age did you start get into music, and which band(s)/artist influenced you the most?

NORMAN MATTHEW: I got into music at 5, according to my mom it was since i was in the womb though haha! KISS, lit the fire, Guns N Roses, kept it burning and Moltey Crue, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure really kicked it up for me.

Brandon: Slipknot. I feel as though I grew as a musician in parallel with their career. Their sound was years ahead of its kind and today I feel they are last of the a special breed; a world dominant band as Kiss and Metallica once were.

Matt: I cant remember a time in my life where I wasn’t surrounded completely by music, my influences span from Queensryche to Skid Row and Metallica.. I try to let all music influence me.

J6: Around 13yrs old I got into misfits, slayer, rush,metallica and of course KISS.

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2. OTRTR: What is the music scene like in Dallas/Fort Worth, and where do you see it going?

NORMAN MATTHEW: I have always been enamored with the Dallas music scene. I grew up in El Paso, we didn’t have much of a scene. Austin was too artsy fartsy for me,so I naturally gravitated toward Dallas, it was darker and heavier..COURSE OF EMPIRE, PANTERA, DROWNING POOL,THE TOADIES. Dallas has always been cool to me and I’ve always been in love with it. i see the scene blowing up, especially with soooooo many bands I am personally working with, it’s really quite amazing!

3. OTRTR: Any word on new tracks or album in the works, and if so, when are we expecting to see the album available? Is it going to be available as a digital download and cd?

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NORMAN MATTHEW: Next thing to be released is our new single “We The Evil” dropping on 2/26 before we open for ORGY / VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE in March. We are always working on new material and a new record, but the way we release may be different. The days of “record cycles” are over and the way people are absorbing music and music listening habits have changed and we want to grow with it and not get stuck in old philosophies, so we are toying with the idea of releasing a new single once a month! This gives the fan time to take it a track one at a time, we are able to keep things fresh and the music can grow, we don’t have to settle for whatever was created between a certain span of time, we can write,record and release a song on a whim and being that i have my own studio in Dallas, THE SOUND FOUNDATION, we have all the amenities at our disposal, so we want to play that in both the fans favor and ours.

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4. OTRTR: Tell us about your writing process for your new songs and how you go about it?

NORMAN MATTHEW: Most of the time when a song hits me, it hits from top to bottom all at once and them I’m spastic running into the studio trying to lay down all the ideas before i forget them haha! its quite a quick process when it goes down and can be magical in its own way when it takes on its own life form.

5. OTRTR: Have you got any tours planned, if so where are you going?

NORMAN MATTHEW: We are working on going back to the UK, opening for ORGY in March and performing at SXSW 2013.

6. OTRTR: How do you prepare yourself for a night onstage, do you get nervous?

NORMAN MATTHEW: I do a 20minute workout, 15minute cardio, vocal warmups and try to remember the lyrics ha ha! i like to be left alone a good 2hours before we play just to get in my “zone”

Brandon: Stretch, hydrate, stretch, and hydrate. Many lessons learned by not doing so. Nerves always set it. Its nothing you can get used to. Every crowd, venue and show is different. All the experience in the world couldn’t stop SOMETHING from going wrong.

Matt: Easy smoke 7-10 cigarettes drink 3 energy drinks and call my mommy.. Never been nervous in my life.

J6: I wouldn’t say nervous but more like a stoked kinda feeling. And of course I always thank god right before we hit the stage.

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7. OTRTR: Now we have all had these…… equipment failure, stage not as big as you thought, etc. What’s the most memorable onstage disaster you have to date?

NORMAN MATTHEW: We have been pretty fortunate quite honestly..i think the only weird one for me has been our first show in NOTTINGHAM,UK when we couldn’t find a power source for in our mixer because i had blown the one we had in the hostel the night before in London trying to charge my phone,use the mixer and run the flat iron all at once ha ha.

8. OTRTR: What’s your most memorable performance?

NORMAN MATTHEW: Sold Out show in London,England @ Underworld was by far the most standout show for me.Kicking into “Machine Gun Kisses” and hearing everyone sing it was amazing! That and opening for KORN in my hometown at the El Paso Coliseum. It was surreal to be on the same stage I saw KISS on so many years before.

9. OTRTR: If you could perform with anybody, who would be your first choice?

NORMAN MATTHEW: Depends what you mean. If u mean open for a band, id die to open for KISS or GUNS N’ ROSES, if by collaborate, I’d love to work with Trent Reznor,Butch Walker,Robert Smith or Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode!

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10. OTRTR: When not making music, how do you spend your time, hobbies/activities?

NORMAN MATTHEW: Video games and movies, otherwise music my life,love and hobby. anything i do always leads back to music.

Brandon: I’m a huge European car enthusiast. The guys will tell you, I never shut up about it. I enjoy modifying, researching, driving, etc. I have a small nerdy dream of one day owning my own exotic car dealership.

Matt: I moonlight as a father. You think “touring” is rough try “teething”

J6: I’m very family oriented so any free time I have, I spent with family.

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11. OTRTR: We believe you guys have built up quite a following, is there anything you would like to tell your fans and supporters what’s next for Murder FM?

NORMAN MATTHEW: We could not have gotten this far without each and everyone of you! 2013 has already begun amazing jumping on the BLACK VEIL BRIDES tour and the release of the new single “WE THE EVIL” on 2/26, we cant wait to see what happens in 2013 and we hope to see ALL of you on the road!

12. OTRTR: What is the one piece of equipment (*audio related please) in your possession that you just could not be without?

NORMAN MATTHEW: My laptop. its the center of my universe in the studio and on the road.ive got a full Cakewalk x2 Sonar recording rig.That and my new Ace Frehley Les Paul.ha ha

Matt: I’ve had the same wireless unit for 7 years.. Only just recently did I have to replace a part for the first time. I’d be lost without my freedom.

J6: Ha my tuner!!! Not only for me but really for others to use…lol

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13. OTRTR: The internet has bought us many things that benefit us all. The music industry is changing fast trying to keep up. Band/artist seem to promote themselves on social media. However musicians are human too, they have families to feed, mortgages to pay, equipment to replace, the list goes on. Consumers now or at least a large number of them believe they should receive all this creativity for free, have you guys any thought on how your band are going to combat this?

NORMAN MATTHEW: We tour. Thats the one things that can never be replaced. Im a firm believer in true fans will buy and support and “get it”. its the short term fan that likes the freebie, but the die hard fans are in it for the long haul and those are the ones we care about,strive for and are around because of \m/
14. OTRTR: You guys are somewhere between youth and prehistoric and I just love asking this question in a room full of musicians after a few drinks and kick back and watch the show…. digital or analogue?

NORMAN MATTHEW: digital. i miss analog, but we couldn’t even afford 17minutes of 2inch in this business climate ha ha!

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15. OTRTR: As a band, do you see the need to be signed to a label or would you be happy just to be in charge of your own affairs and control your own destiny?

NORMAN MATTHEW: We started MURDER FM with the intent of NOT getting signed quite honestly..4 dudes that don’t take to authority very well, so we have our own sort of organized anarchy. we are that chick in school, we don’t ask…we GET asked ha ha..we play by our own rules. yolo! aha

16. OTRTR: Out of all the songs written in the world, doesn’t matter which genre. What song do you wish you had written?

NORMAN MATTHEW: “Welcome to the Jungle” or “Head Like A Hole”.

Brandon: Smells Like Team Spirit. That song revolutionalized what genre of music Im in today. Once again, ahead of its time and nothing like it. To have taken credit of that song would have taken credit of breeding a whole different kind of animal.

Matt: Splinter by Sevendust (its flawless)

J6: “The End” by The Doors or “Happy Birthday”

 

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