Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creator of Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman tries his hand at Country

Kevin Lyman creator of some of Rock Music's biggest tours, is now running the Country Throwdown Tour

Kevin Lyman's claim to fame is the now legendary Van's Warped Tour. Building on that success, he went on to help create Taste of Chaos, Mayhem Festival, Coachella, and now in its second year, Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour. Although these tours are all memorable for different reasons, Lyman states Warped Tour as his favorite saying, "Warped was the first thing I ever did. Punk rock in L.A. will always hold a special place in my heart." 

Lyman is now taking his experiences of the road and knowledge of successful tours and applying that formula to country. "It's a new age of country and these artists all put a great show out. I want it to be more than a music festival, but a life experience, something more," he said.

One of the major keys to Lyman's tour success have been the sponsors, "It wouldn't work, especially the ticket prices. We have no control of that. Thanks to sponsors and funding, we are able to manage," Lyman said. Warped Tour had originally just been the music with no corporate sponsors. Sneaker giant Van's, jumped on board the following year, and helped make Warped Tour what it is today.

On coming up with the idea of Country Throwdown, Lyman states it was just a matter of needing change. "I was at Down from the Mountain nine years ago doing production, and as I was looking at the audience, I noticed we needed more diversity." Lyman then took a trip to Nashville to become engrained in the music.

The main headliner of this year's Throwdown is country legend, Willie Nelson. "Having someone like Willie makes this is a big deal. It was like having NOFX and Pennywise on our second year. We were legitimate," said Lyman. The final stop of the tour is Texas, for Willie's Picnic. Lyman says, "It's a big thing in Texas, historic and a great atmosphere. You know, end with a bang." As a matter of fact, Lyman knows a thing or two about picnics, "On the first day of Throwdown, the country boys showed me how to BBQ a pig, some good old hog cooking," he said with a laugh.

"No Doubt, Sublime, Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, and even Katy Perry," are some artists that Lyman says have blown up on these tours. Asking Lyman what he looks for in a potential touring band he says, "Bands have to be patient, write good songs, and get a big local following."

What's sure to be a long and busy summer for Lyman and crew, with the simultaneous touring of Warped and Throwdown, there really isn't much to be said. When asked about any future tours in the works, he simply said with a chuckle, "We have 96 shows this summer, it's a little crazy."

For more info on Warped or Country Throwdown visit- and

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Incognito and DePalma, A'tris Video of the Week, Eric Sosa, and POF

This Friday at the Cup Complex in Jersey, is Romulus X Records recording artist, Incognito Theory's show along with the Debut of other Romulus X Records recording artist Incognito & DePalma featuring Peal. Incognito & DePalma just put there cd out, so will be on hand.

They also released their official lineup, adding- Daniel R Eng on Bass, Ralph Ricciardi on Drums, Andrew J. Prussack (Producer).

I.D. was also mentioned in the Aquarian Weekly, here

Buy the album here

Incognito & DePalma now have an official website!



Upcoming Shows

Sunday, May 22, 2011

BurnitDown Group: LIVE music event
Tammany Hall
152 Orchard Street, New York, NY
5:00 P.M. (EST)
Sos with The Maintenance Crew will be performing before special guests and performers which may include:
Fred The Godson, Cyhi Da Prynce, Joell Ortiz, Peter Rosenberg, DJ Clue, Tahiry, Raekwon, Lloyd Banks, Fabolous + more.
Keep it locked on next week for the reveal!


Sos had the pleasure of being a guest on the Soul Exchange via the popular Yonkers based InTheMixxRadio.
"You can't help but have a good time with 6 camera's on you during a LIVE interview!"- Eric Sosa

Soul Exchange airs LIVE every Tuesday from 9-11pm (EST) on


Sos was subtle in his mention of a crowd favorite track from Vol. 2 being remixed in his recent interview on True dopesness!

Writer Nshima had to share with Frank 151's followers her discovery of Queens MC; Eric Sosa!
READ full post here

Come see us on Sunday May 22nd at 7:30 at Starland for War for Warped Tour.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Interview with Chris Taranto of Figurehead by Jillian Long

L to R- Joe Scarsella (bass), Chris Taranto (guitar/vocals), Mike Sanbeg (drums)

Name: Figurehead
Members: Chris Taranto – Singer/Guitar
              Joe Scarsella – Bass
              Mike Sanbeg – Drums
Based In: Staten Island, NY
Influences: Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Dave Grohl, Iron Maiden, Alice in Chains
Genre: Grunge/Alternative
Interviewee: Lead singer, Chris Taranto
Quote: “If there’s one thing that’s always mandatory to writing, that’s honesty. I try to be as honest with myself lyrically as I possibly can be.”

Tell me about your music style.
I try not to categorize ourselves too much musically, because we continue to write new music. My goal is to challenge myself and expand our sound. So in order to keep us from being pinned down by a label, I’d say we’re an alternative band, because so many different styles can fit under that label. 

Tell me more about how you construct your music.
As far as writing goes, it gets done in two steps. For the most part, I write the guitar and vocal parts, demo them, and then we [Figurehead] work out the rest of the parts at practice. For instance, one of the songs on the record, “Grace”, was written by Joe. I put the lyrics to it and then there were still things we didn’t like about it, so we jammed out on it and re-wrote the chorus, adding the bridge section. 

How did you decide on your band’s name?
I came up with the band name before I even had a band or music- A “figurehead” is a political term that I heard in Global Studies class my freshman year of high school. I doodled it on books and whatnot. So when I started writing music by myself and recording the song in my basement on an 8-track, I decided to call it the “Figurehead Project”. Eventually, I used those demos to find the original lineup of the band, and when we talked about naming ourselves, John DeMaio (former bassist) and Alex DiVito (former drummer) both liked the name. So it stuck. Hopefully, people don’t think we’re a political band, though… I don’t write about that stuff.

If your lyrics don’t focus on political agendas, what do they focus on?
I believe that when you write lyrics and music, you should be 100% honest with what you’re writing. So when I write lyrics, I write about how I feel. When I started writing, I tried to write about politics, but I couldn’t do it because I don’t like them. So, I started by writing like Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana; that was my favorite type of music.

All the songs on the record, besides three, are about girls I dated. There’s a lot of anger, angst, sadness, and depression. And I don’t necessarily like that as much anymore, so the new music I’m writing is much less sad and depressing, much more angry and finger-pointing. But that’s what I write about. I write about me and I hope that people can relate when they read the lyrics and listen to the music and come away with their own meaning.

What does music mean to Figurehead, as a collective whole?
Music means the world to the three of us. We play music for fun, to forget about anything that’s going on in our lives. It’s a really creative, healthy outlet for any negative energy we have. It’s great!

When is the new LP due out, and has the band tried any new style techniques with the new music?
This is our first full-length album and it contains a handful of songs that have been on prior EP releases. We’re hoping to put it out in either June or July. As far as style goes, the whole thing is very varying. It’ll be a testament to our creativity and will be the groundwork for what we work on in the future. It’s got some short, thrashy, riff-oriented songs. It’s got some low key, mellow songs that turn into dark, heavy rockers before they get quiet again. There’s some catchy tunes for sure, and a lot of crazy guitar effects. 

Does Figurehead have any plans for touring with the new LP?
As far as promoting the LP with shows goes, we really want to tour. We’re probably behind the eight ball right now, for waiting until now to book something. But, we’re looking into playing Asbury Park (with Process of Fusion) and Brooklyn, as well as other sections of Jersey.
I still feel like there are people out here that we could reach on Staten Island that we haven’t tapped into yet, and I want to reach them first.

What are the long-term goals for Figurehead (where do you want to be in five years)?
In five years, I want to be touring, possibly signed to an indie record label, and being on the rise. Maybe have a second record out sometime during that period, an EP or two, and still be having a lot of fun doing the things we love. 

If you could say one thing to all of your fans, what would it be?
Well, we’re coming up on our second anniversary in a couple of months (July 9th) so I’d just like to say that I really appreciate the support we’ve gotten over these two years. Some of the people who were at the first show are still coming to shows and I love them for it. We promise to give our fans the best we possibly can, especially our Staten Island fans! You guys can expect a bunch of surprises over the summer and we just really hope to keep growing and receiving your support. We love you!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

NYC band Ghosts of Eden are finally starting to materialize

(L to R) Benny (drums, keys, backing vocals), Tom (lead vocals, guitar),  Rich (lead guitars),  Miles (bass, backing vocals)

"Lead singer, Tom’s voice is absolutely strong and spine tingling.
- Tim Louie, The Aquarian Weekly (Mar 16, 2011)

"Ghosts of Eden, a hard rocking combo...slicker than an oil spill..."
- Michael Musto, Sundance Channel (Jan 11, 2011)

"As of now Ghosts of Eden are unsigned, but I predict that it won't be long at all before the record label bidding wars begin."
- A Geek Girl, Blog Critics (Jun 19, 2010)

"Unable to suppress its taste for melody, Ghosts of Eden blends elements of hard-core punk with commercially minded heavy rock. The band hits hard as its songs build to anthemic crescendos..."
- JIM FUSILLI, Wall Street Journal (Oct 13, 2010)  

That is just some of the press Ghosts of Eden has been pumping out over the last year or so, and deservedly so. GoE exudes passion and seriousness through every one of their tracks. The quality of the recording, the catchiness of the songs, and the level of musicianship is fantastic and greatly appreciated.

Ghosts of Eden have been making the rounds throughout NYC playing bigger and bigger shows as the year has gone by. Now with their release of a new ep this July around the corner, they are looking to gain new fans in whatever way possible. So go ahead, take a listen, read what they have to say, because I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Where'd the name Ghosts of Eden come from?
It comes from a presence we felt at our very first rehearsal studio. We weren't really sure if it was a good band name or not, but we needed one badly at the time and this worked. A lot of people seem to dig it though, so I guess it's not too bad after all!

Where do you draw your sound from? Describe "Velvet Grunge".
"Velvet Grunge" is a term one of our crew members came up with. We define it as "Grunge/Alternative Rock laced with a little bit of sexy, hints of hardcore, punk and metal." Many of our fans tell us we have a unique sound which is really flattering. We're really not trying to sound like anything nor are we trying to reinvent the wheel but it's nice to be recognized as having an original sound. We just try to write songs that we'd want to hear ourselves. We're definitely children of the 90s so we're pretty heavily influenced by the Alternative and Grunge scenes. However, there are a ton of other bands that we draw from too, like: The Cure, Dream Theater, Incubus, Genesis, Pixies, The Cars, Metallica, etc.

How did you all get together?
Well we were all in our own bands to begin with, but one day Rich and Dean, our old drummer got together and started this new project called The Ghost is Lost. Originally it was post-hardcore influenced with melodic vocals. They invited me [Tom] to come jam with them since they were both tone deaf and we eventually evolved into this "Dark Pop" sorta thing, like mellow Brand New. It definitely took a while to nail down our own sound and vision but in time we had it. We didn't think it would become anything serious until we started recording demos and sharing them with people. Everyone would tell us "Damn guys, this is really good." We knew it was good but didn't know what to do. Eventually we just decided to get a bass player and make it a real band. Dean knew Miles from playing in bands together in high school so he invited him over one day and eventually we stole him away from his metal band. After a year, we were in need of a new drummer and since Benny was good friends with Miles and familiar with our music, he stepped in as a stand-in because he was already playing guitar in No Change for Machines. Eventually he came on as full time and the rest was history! It's been true love ever since!

Describe the NYC music scene, and how do you fit in it?
It's a melting pot of sound. There are theatrical bands, pop bands, metal bands, bands with violins, emo bands, etc. You wouldn't think any of those would go together, but we're all pretty supportive of each other. I think Facebook also keeps everyone in tune with the goings on of each other. There is definitely a sense of community thanks to social media and people like Gotham Rocks and No Mercy Metal. How do we fit in? Good question. We definitely have a great rapport with the people in the scene. We try our best to support everyone and help build the community. We also try to pull in other bands who aren't a part of it yet. It's a great feeling knowing that you don't have to look far to find a group of like minded artists who you can just grab a beer with, catch a show or talk music.

What are the long term goals for the band, and what have you accomplished thus far?
I think the long term goal is to play in front of as many people as humanly possible. We want our music heard by everyone. We are very proud of the songs we have written and we want to grow our family of fans who feel the same way. When we play to 100 to 200 people, we can always hear everyone singing along to our songs. I think it would be amazing to hear 10 or 20,000 people singing along. I think we've accomplished a lot considering we have only been playing live for a year and a half. We've played sold out crowds at Gramercy Theatre and Highline Ballroom. We've also played Six Flags Great Adventure which was a blast. We also sold out of the first 1,000 copies of our first record, Ignorance and Lies. I think our fans can relate to our music and that's what we want to keep conveying moving forward.

Biggest rockstar moment/biggest failure?
Biggest rockstar moment was definitely playing for a sold out crowd at Gramercy Theatre. There were so many damn people. The adrenaline was insane and 30 minutes seemed to go by in 30 seconds. We can't wait to experience that again. I really don't think there are any failures if you're doing what you love. I think you can make mistakes but you should learn from them. We've played some horrible shows though where there were 5 people there. That kinda sucks, but we still go up there and play like it's the Garden regardless.

What's the coolest fan story you have?
Our fans are awesome, but hearing one of our fans say that our music saved her life has definitely got to be on top of the list. You do this stuff because it's your passion and you love to create and you love to hear back what it is that you made, but when you see someone's life actually moved by it, it's overwhelming. At first you shrug it off because you think "Seriously?" but then you think about the music that changed your life and the songs that you hung on to during tough times and you realize that it is possible. I think no matter what our future holds, we'll always be grateful for at least touching that one person's life.

Tell me a little about the new EP coming this summer?
In short: it's badass! We went in knowing what songs we wanted on it, and then we wrote a new song specifically for it and now that we're done recording we're pretty blown away hearing it all back and we haven't even began mixing or mastering yet. We knew the songs were good, but I think our fans are going to be very happy and I think we're going to make new fans because of it as well. It's definitely a bit heavier and more rocking than the first record. Also, I think there is more of a theme and the songwriting has more focus. People will definitely be able to relate more. However, you can still sing a long to all of the songs. That part of us will never go away. We like to write songs that we would want to hear. The choruses and guitars are bigger than the first record and I think that's going to stand out.

Are there any touring plans with this album?
Absolutely! We are in the middle of planning and scheduling our tour right now. We're probably only going to plan out July, August and September along the East coast, and then we have a few out of the box ideas for the fall which we hope work out the way we have planned. We're coming to a city near you though!

The EP is called, Ignorance and Lies, any story behind that?
We called our first record Ignorance and Lies for several reasons. First off, it comes from the lyrics in the song "Eliot Ness" but it certainly has its own meaning. It especially has its own personal meaning to each of us, but in short, we went into making this record after a short dark period with some people who thought they knew what was in our best interest as far as our career and our music goes. We didn't see eye to eye and we felt like they were misleading us and taking advantage of us. We felt that it was best to start from scratch and make our first record on our own; the way we wanted it to be; the way we knew it could sound. It was a risk and we lost quite a bit of money but the product we got far surpassed our expectations. To me Ignorance and Lies represents what we fought our way out of in order to get to where we are today.

Where do you guys hope to be in 5 years?
On a beach in Fiji, sipping Mojitos brainstorming the next record (laughs). But seriously, we just want to be able to be playing for more people. We want GoE to be a household name, relatively speaking. We want to be able to say we busted our ass to make our dreams come true and do what we love for a living.

Anything else you want to add?
We just want to thank you for taking the time to put this interview together with us. We appreciate the support. Stay tuned for our new record which comes out in July 2011!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Full Cup and S.I. Welcome Jolly

Lineup for the night will include:
Betrayall - 7:15-7:45
Euphoria - 8:00-8:30
A Vegas Marriage - 8:45-9:15
MorningStarlett - 9:30-10:00
Four Nights Gone - 10:15-10:45
Process of Fusion - 11:00-11:30
Lenny Cerzosie of The Infinite Staircase (Front Stage) - 11:30-12:00
JOLLY (InsideOut Records) - 12:00-1:00

Full Cup
388 Van Duzer Street
Staten Island, NY

After the bands are finished playing there will be a DJ keeping everyone entertained until 4AM!

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, so get them now!

You can get tickets in advance from the bands playing or online at . The tickets sold in advance will help determine the order of the performances, even if purchased online (as you can purchase a ticket for the individual acts online as well), so make sure to get your tickets soon!

Everyone come on out to the Full Cup to check out up and coming band Jolly, as they are making new waves with the release of their album The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1. Check out there preview video below.

I'll be interviewing Jolly that night before their performance. For info on the band, their name is linked to their Facebook above.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Interview with rapper Eric Sosa, and a review of his new album Rhyme and Noodles 2

NYC hip-hop holds a special place in everyone's heart, mainly because it was invented here. However, over the last decade or so, we've seen NY replaced on the rap throne by artists from other cities: Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, L.A., and even St. Louis to name a few. Of course, we always have our Hova and 50 Cent to an extent, but these aren't exactly the essence of East Coast hip-hop at the moment. Now it's all about the "Dirty South," club bangers, and Young Money hits. 

This leads us to Eric Sosa. Sosa is an up and coming rapper whose roots are in NY, heart is on the music, and mind is on the prize. He has out shined nearly every other rapper he has come in contact with and was even rewarded the Sucker Free MTV Freestyle champion. This is no easy feat, but surely someone with so much range and diversity in his craft can roll with the best of them.

Sosa's newest mixtape, the cleverly titled Rhyme & Noodles 2 (get it?), is a perfect blend of that classic New York hip-hop sound along with the mainstream Hot 97 vibe that dominates the airwaves now. The single worthy tracks of the album are without a doubt "Came Along Way" for it's smooth easy going radio friendly sound and "My Life" for its catchy hook, female sang chorus and big sound.

In typical rapper fashion, Sosa of course has one song where he can show off his rhyme game with some swag on "Sammy Sosa." "Too Much" and "Celebrate" are the dance club tracks of the album that get the body moving, while "How Does it Feel" is the LL Cool J, make love in the club track of the record."Hate" features Sosa changing his flow to be a little more aggressive and a little more tough. "Is it True Remix" features some reggae vocals throughout, and tells a gritty story. 

But perhaps the most unique and best track on the mixtape is "Interesting Encounter," because it certainly is. This track has a guest rapper from hip-hop duo, Oxymorons. The beat for the song is kind of spooky and the story line is kind of like a Halloween scary story. It's fun and uniquely different than what you'll hear on most mixtapes and even introduces a little screaming on the track at the end. It's got that Gym Class Heroes feel to it, but is still definitely Eric Sosa.

Overall this mixtape is phenomenal and leaves the listener wishing there were more tracks. In the end however, look out for Sosa in the marquee playing somewhere big sometime soon.


Why not come up with an emcee name?
Well Eric is my real first name, Sosa is my alter ego. I've come up with hundreds of names as I grew as an artist, but Eric Sosa was always there. It was sort of like what Frank White was for BIG, up until I came to the conclusion that this is it, Eric Sosa is it, not only from an artist point of view, but from a business point of view as well.

How important is being an NYC rapper to you? Do you feel there are certain expectations?
In this day and age, being a rapper from NYC is the most difficult in my opinion. Besides this city being a sardine can of aspiring rappers, the odds are against us if you base it on the traditional New York sound, being that its not particularly the sound that's currently popular. So it's important being an NYC rapper, because we have the power to break the routine that's currently on the radio. Besides that, I think the only expectation for us is to continue to be lyrical.

How did it feel to win the Sucker Free Challenge and what has it done for your career?
That whole thing just kind of fell in my lap (laughs). I'd have to say winning the Sucker Free Challenge was definitely a blessing, ultimately it proved to me how many people actually support me. Shout out to Dro and everyone that voted.

Do you think there are enough Latino rappers in music, and do you feel they are stereotyped in any way as far as topic or style?
Definitely not, definitely not enough Latino rappers. When you think of Latino rappers, you think of Fat Joe, Terror Squad, and last but not least, the late great Big Pun. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I get stereotyped. I always get the whole "Yo, you do Reggaeton?" (laughs). I mean it's not a ridiculous assumption being that my name is Eric Sosa, so it doesn't upset me, I understand where it comes from, but I must say I live for the reactions I get when they finally do hear my work...priceless.

Who did you listen to growing up, and who are your biggest inspirations?
I have four sisters, grew up with two of them, so as a youngin', I was kind of forced to listen to whatever it was they were blasting...Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Madonna etc. Then aside from my Naughty By Nature and DMX cassette tapes, the barber shop I use to go to would bless me with demos of artists like Tragedy Khadafi, Ill One, and Canibus. I guess that explains the sound of my music now. I'm literally inspired by any and everything, their isn't just one inspiration, and their isn't any one inspiration that's bigger than the next, but if I had to choose a favorite, I would have to say know, that R&B sh** (laughs).

If you could do a song with any rapper who would it be? Singer? Producer?
Rapper, Nas...singer, Melanie Fiona...producer, Timbaland.

When constructing a song, do you feel it's better to work off the beat, or do you have lyrics in mind first and build around that?
90% of the time I feed off the energy of the beat, soak in the emotion it emits, become the emotion, then begin writing.

What makes you different or unique compared to other up and coming rappers?
Besides being Hispanic, I think my versatility and the fact that I don't have a style is what makes me different and unique amongst the up and comers, and even those already established.

Do you think there's an advantage of playing with a live band as compared to throwing on a beat or having a DJ?
Absolutely! The traditional "two turntables and a mic" is always dope, but to be able to perform with a band is a whole other ball game. As humans, we all exude a certain type of energy, with that said, rocking out with a DJ is cool, but when you're up there with four, five other musicians, and they're all playing a part of the song behind your vocals, to make one big complete organized sound...the energy that that exudes, can't be matched.

How do you feel about Rhyme and Noodles 2, and how do you feel it stacks up to your previous work?
I think Rhyme & Noodles 2 displays my growth as not only a rapper, but as an artist, as well as the ability to reach commercial success.

Where do you hope to be in three years?
In three years? I couldn't tell you, although I can say that I hope to be on a world tour in a year or so.

Best three rappers dead or alive in your opinion and why?
I came to the conclusion that I don't have a "top five" nor a "best rappers list", and I honestly feel that I'd have to hear every rapper in the world before making that decision. It's only fair, but from who I have heard, I can say, whether good or bad, each one of them impacted the game in their own unique way.

What's in the near future for Eric Sosa?
In the near future you can expect more shows, more music, and last but not least, more success!