Monday, April 30, 2012

Anticipating the End Interview by Paul Marino

Anticipating the End, you’re a band from New Jersey. I’m from New York, how would you describe your sound to someone who doesn’t locally know you?
I would describe our sound as something never heard before. We basically put our heads together with all of our influences and put them into this band. We are definitely alternative with some electronica and a mash of other genres because we have a lot of variety in our music. That's what makes our music and sound so unique esspecially at our age.

Your band is composed of six different members; is it difficult to maintain or does everyone play their own unique part?
Definitely; all I can say to anyone out there who's starting or is a starter in a band that it isn't easy. You can't just pick up an instrument and call yourself a musician, you gotta work your heart out and put your mind to the music. Getting everyone to practice is sometimes crazy because we're only 16 and well transportation is limited until we get our license. My message out to everyone is if you're gonna start a band with 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 guys just know you can't mess around, you gotta be serious and dedicated and you may end up like us, making a difference in the industry

Your song “Bravery” focuses very much on fighting against any hate or negativity. Was there a specific event that led to the composing of this song?
This song came together by one word, "3/4," meaning the time signature of the song. It's actually 6/8 but it's basically the same thing. The true meaning of the song was about bullying and how we all witnessed it infront of us. We just wanted to make a song people can relate to and be able to say "hey im not afraid to stand up for myself!" The lyrics say it all in the song, every word is true.

You recently got booked to play at Six Flags Great Adventure, how has that impacted you all as a band?
It has definitely pushed us to the point where we know we're on the verge to enter the music industry. Six Flags is a really big venue for us and only a few bands ever get to stand on that stage. We're honored to be one of those bands. we were always made fun of and told we wouldnt be anything so this is a big in your face to the people who said we werent good enough.

Is there a plan for an album release in the future?
Yes! The name will be announced very very soon, but we are anticipating for it to be released in the fall. Expect songs just as good as the ones we have up. We made sure they were all high caliber songs and that we add variety so people who like different sounds will have something of ours to enjoy.

Who are your main influences?
 Linkin Park, Muse, Pendulum, and Three Days Grace.

What’s the relationship with your fans like?
We love our fans so much. We are always open to more and having more activity on our facebook if it was possible. At this point in time I believe more will come and more gifts will be given to the really loyal ones.

Anthony, this is more of a personal question, rather than one for the band, but the song “Gone” is about a significant loss in your life. I don’t mean to ask a question that has probably been asked a thousand times but how did this event lead to the writing of the song and how has it affected your music career?
When I was 14 I loved to hangout with my neighbor, Adam. He was a drummer and he always loved jamming. So one day, I learned a song and we jammed. His friends and him showed me Linkin Park, and I was IN LOVE after I heard "Faint."

Two months later my dad passed away and I was crushed. It was such a bad time for me, but Adam was there. Then a month later he was gone, and I was all alone. Then I made ATE and added the members that are here today. We officialy started in January of 2012, but we were around in June of 2011. My dad was the real reason I came into music. I put passion and commitment into everything. I studied my butt off for two years and bam, I became who I am today. I wouldn't be anything without my dad, and thats why I wrote "Gone."

If there was a movie about Anticipating the End, which actors, if any, would portray each member of the band?
Anthony - John Travolta (young)
Russell - Matt Timmons
Tom - Michael Cera
Evan - Woody Harrelson (with glasses)
Danny - Ido Mosseri (from Zohan)
Kyle - Adam Sandler (maybe)

What are some bands that you guys would like to headline a tour or show with?
I mean, professionally I'd say Muse, Linkin Park, or Three Days Grace. Locally, I'd say Alter The Ending, 287, The First Law, Standby, and Forever Broken.

Is the band looking to get signed onto a record label or are you looking to produce your own music?
We're looking to get signed. We're actually on the hunt thanks to our promoters working hard on finding labels that fit us and also that will support us so we can make more music and be able to do more things. Right now we're in talks with some big labels but we aren't sure if we will choose them or the other one we find so you'll just have to wait and find out

Where does the song writing process usually start?
A melody or even simply someone presenting a new idea. We work off that,  dissect it, then rebuild it and add little things into it to give it that pop and ATE feel. We work with an underrated producer who reads our minds all the time and just makes magic happen.

In my interviews I like to randomly pit two pop culture and/or media figures against each other and find out the bands opinion on the outcome. So here it goes, in a bare knuckle brawl, who would win The Terminator or Iron Man?
I'd have to say the Terminator. That guy is crazy! He'll be back so.....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Verbatim Album Review on 'What We're Made For'

Verbatim is a Staten Island band that I have had the pleasure of working with and playing shows with. They are a fantastic hardcore/metalcore band that blew me away the first time I saw them live. Comprised of vocalists, Keenan WIlliams and Peter Martingano, guitarists, Joe Bushman and David Lefcort, bassist, Marcin Hamielec, and drummer, Mike Giglia; these guys are doing exactly what they said they were on their Tumblr: "…We're here to take the world by storm."

Last week they released their first EP, What We're Made For, and as expected, it did not disappoint. 

The opening track of the EP, "Desire & I" is a strong foray into everything Verbatim has. It alternates between soft melodic parts with echoing vocals into transitions of heavy guitars and drum driven breakdowns through deep growls. The song is a plea to a girl name "Desire," before we learn of unfaithfulness and letdown spiraling the song into a frantic thrash breakdown with the singer whispering under the screams matching the themes perfectly.

"The Untamed Animoid Pt. 2" opens up much punkier than the rest of the album. However, the term punky is used loosely here as the song quickly changes into their metal core roots for the chorus. Throughout the track the dynamic of the vocals switch back and fourth nicely between the clean vocals and screams.

While this first track was almost seven minutes long, this song takes the listener further on a musical journey in shorter time making for one of the most unique musical experiences I've heard. Three minutes and on in this song is one of my favorite parts of a song ever.

Just when the song starts picking up, it cuts into a small dub step part, which then jumps into a quick breakdown followed by a slower one. Clean vocals come back in spoken word style while the music thrashes in the background. A bluesy interlude leads the song into perfect chaos, as it closes out melodically. 

The EP closes out with, "Deliverance." A monologue fits nicely over good guitar and bass work in the intro before erupting into screaming over wailing guitars. 

Toward the middle of the song, everything drops out and the song seems to end. Then a softer musical part enters in almost like a hidden track. At the end of this little interlude we are introduced to vocals going back and fourth along with a pulsing breakdown ending the song aggressively.

Overall this EP is a great dive into the local music scene and a great contribution to the metalcore genre. The production and quality is great as well as the skill and talent from the band. 

I've seen the band live before and they put on a great show, as well as show off their knack for dabbling into other styles of music. Live, I've seen them play some hip-hop/jazz instrumentals for Kenan to rap on, and they also used to have synth in their music which added so much to the sound. Overall my biggest complaint is that it was only three songs, but averaging around six minutes a song will have to do for now. So look out for Verbatim, and support them as they try to get on Warped Tour! 

Listen to the album on Soundcloud -

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mikey Wax Interview by Paul Marino

How and where did you get your start? 
Well, if we're gonna be specific, I was eight. My dad was a piano player and taught me how to play my first piece of classical music. I started writing songs that were really bad, but I loved playing. Fast forward ten years or so, I released my first album in late 08' that spread pretty well on Facebook and Youtube. I got featured on the YouTube homepage and my album made the top-40 on the iTunes pop charts. I started touring based on that initial online fan base. 

At what point did you feel that what you're doing now became a full-time career? Providing that's how you feel about your music. 
After I released my first album I was working a day job and kind of sitting around in my apartment waiting for something to happen. I soon realized that I had to be touring and growing my fan base outside the online world to really have a future in music. I was able to support a few bigger artists on some east-coast tours due to the support I had from fans online. I started building it one fan at a time. What really made it full-time was when I put the word out about my first house concert tour two summers ago. I couldn't believe the response. I did around 60 house concerts in the span of two months, often doing two shows a day on Saturday's and Sundays. I started selling out of CD's and merch at these shows, and I was traveling solo so expenses were low. It turned into a full-time thing. 

You've been playing annual house tours; what were some experiences you'd like to share about them? How do they differ from other types of shows and tours you've done?
House shows are different in that there are no rules. They can be as basic as no amp, totally acoustic,  just 25 people squeezing together in a living room.. or it can be 200 people in a backyard. I leave it up to the fans who book me how they want the evening to be. It's usually very loose, and you can connect with your fans on an even more personal level. Whenever I'm back in their town playing a venue show, I find that the fans I made from the house concerts are always in the front seats. 

Your music has been used in shows like Ghost Whisperer and The Real World. Those honestly seem very different from each other in terms of genre and the audience they're reaching out to. How did you and your music get involved in these shows? 
Most of these placements are the work of 3rd party licensing companies that work directly with these shows and provide music. If the music happens to fit a specific scene, you might get lucky and get a placement. 

Your relationship with your fans, whats it like? Do they influence your music to some effect or is your sound coming solely from you? 
I'm very thankful to have the support of my fans and have been able to put out a couple records now. Through outlets like Twitter and Facebook posts, my fans play along well and are very responsive. I'm always excited to hear feedback or read tweets from them, and hopefully they are happy to hear from me too on a daily basis. Influences for songs can come from all over, but I just want to write good music that moves me and hopefully will move a few other people too. 

What would you say to someone who has never heard you before? How would you get them to listen? 
I would kidnap them in a cop car, lock them in the back seat, and play my record over and over. 

If you wouldn't mind, what has been one of your embarrassing on-stage moments? And in contrast, have you had any "Super Star" stage moments that you'd like to share? 
I'm lucky I've never had any really terrible embarrassing on-stage moments yet. I think the worse was a big show in New York City at an up-scale venue called City Winery. It was a sold-out crowd opening for Howie Day, I walked on stage, and of course, the battery in my guitar felt like giving up.  I had to entertain the crowd with jokes while we looked for a 2nd guitar. However, I cracked some kind of joke like "I like to start every show like this…it's all good." I find if you're real with the audience, they will most likely forgive you and cheer you on. A recent super-star moment was a 100 or so fans in Corpus Christi, TX singing along to the chorus of my single "Counting On You." I was so surprised they all knew the words and sang out loud. 

I keep asking two part questions, my apologies, here's a single one. Whats next up for you and your music? 
That's like one and half questions. I'm currently writing a lot of new music, and I'm touring pretty often through the Summer. The song I mentioned earlier "Counting On You" is right now #41 on the Hot AC charts. I'm hopeful that song and my new album Constant Motion will continue to grow so I can tell you more super-star moments next interview. 

How would you say you've evolved as an artist from your first entry into the music industry to now? 
I think whatever career you pursue, you just naturally get better at what you do on a daily basis. I think I've improved in all areas of music, from the songwriting process, to recording, performing, and the business side. 

How has your most recent album Constant Motion been doing; Has it met your expectations? 
I think it was the right album for me at this point in my career. My first album, Change Again, was a slower-paced, moody album, and Constant Motion is a bit more of an up-tempo pop album. My fans have been reacting really well to it, and radio has been playing the first single, so I'm happy with the response so far. 

On whichever mp3 player you may own, who do you find yourself listening to the most? Are they an inspiration to you? 
I usually do Pandora cause I like to go for runs and not have to create my own playlist. Lately I've been putting on Fitz and the Tantrums. Great songs and I love the throw-back 70's vibe. 

Are you spontaneous in song-writing or is it something you work on slowly until you approve? 
I think it's a combo of both. If there is something I come upon and it's "wow this can be all mine," I'll probably go with it and finish it on the spot. Due to all the touring I've been doing though, that isn't as easy now as say when I used to sit in my college dorm room avoiding doing a paper. 

In the time between touring and composing, what do you usually find yourself doing for fun? 
I was joking with my friends the other day that I've become pretty boring. It's always nice to see my friends and family back in NY, but even if I have a weekend off and I'm home, I won't really party too hard with my buddies, cause right now I'm so focused on my career and I don't want to risk losing my voice on an off-night for a show the following Wednesday. So for fun I like seeing movies, running, drinking coffee and reading the paper. Real rockstar-ish. 

Since we've already talked about your fans and their support, what would you say to anyone who speaks negatively of you? 
Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk about me. 

Final question, who do you think would win in a fight, Cordell Walker aka Texas Ranger or Bruce Lee? 
Texas Ranger, every time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Interview with The Gallery by Paul Marino

How did you guys get your start as a band?
Ryan, Brendan, and I (Dave), met in 2004 and have played together ever since. We got the opportunity to go on a national tour pretty early on that really pushed us out of the nest in terms of touring. It was an awesome experience and we learned a lot. We put out Come Alive in Feb. 2011 and then Ben joined the band this past fall (2011), while he was attending Berklee in Boston.

I understand that a few months ago your guitarist Shea took a leave from the band, if you don't mind me asking how has this effected you and how has your new guitarist Ben been holding up?
It was tough to lose Shea who we had been playing with since 2007. He is our friend and a great guitarist, and he just felt he needed to leave this past summer, so there's no hard feelings at all.

We had played with Ben only a few times when he decided to move/tour with us to LA. He's been a welcome addition to the group. With a new member comes new influences and tendencies. Ben's are all right in the direction we've wanted to go for a while. He's bluesy and rocky, so we're having a blast writing and playing together.

Has everyone in the band wanted a career in music from their youth or were their other plans in store?
We've all played music since we were young, and if you keep at that sort of thing, it tends to become something you want to do. We realized it was possible to make a career out of music right before we embarked on, and during, that first national tour. Although we were hardly out of the red. We were attending college right up until that tour, creating a "safety net" for ourselves, but once we got a taste of touring and recording full-time, we haven't looked back.

You've worked with Warren Huart in the past; was this a learning experience for the band?
We learned a ton working with Warren on Come Alive. He had great insights that taught us a lot in the process. The entire recording experience was different than any we had had in the past, so it took us to a new step as a band.

If you search "The Gallery" on any search engine of choice you will receive a variety of "Galleries" other than your group. How would you guys make sure that your "The Gallery" is the one that everyone is looking for? 
In hindsight, maybe we could have been more specific [laughs]. No, we like it. We hope our songs speak louder than we do. Just remember: Google a song name, along with our band name, for best results.

Building on the topic of your name, how did everyone agree on "The Gallery"? Is there a meaning behind it?
There were several things that influenced what became our band name, but none were terribly personal reasons or connections. We eventually came to "The Gallery" from some other ideas, and everyone agreed, so we kept it.

You have a Facebook, Twitter, your own page, etc. How else do you interact with your fans and what would you like to say to them right now?
Other than coming to a show, those are the most readily available places to connect with us. We hope one day to actually play for all the people we've connected with on various social networks, but in the meantime, hit us up on any of them, we'll respond.

In your travels have you met any bands or artists that you would like to collaborate and/or tour with? Give them a shout out.
We've met so many awesome bands since we started this thing, made great friends that we'd love to tour with. We were recently at SXSW in Austin, TX, and we met up with some friends from home that now have a band:

Mercies ( They're awesome guys. We'd love to tour with them and many others. Just to name a few: 

Our amazing friends in Asper Kourt ( 

We saw States ( played SXSW this year too, and thought it would be a lot of fun to tour with them as well. 

We also played with a great band a few years ago, The Canvas Waiting ( who are great guys.

In terms of collaborating, we haven't given that much thought to be honest. It would be a lot of fun to do some collab projects with the bands I just mentioned as a matter of fact. 

Now, say each member of The Gallery were to switch instruments and vocals with the other members of the band, how do you think would work out musically?
Funny you ask that. We were practicing the other week, took a quick water break, and as we individually walked back into the practice room, Ry (drummer) had picked up Bren's guitar, so our friend Zack hopped on the drums, and Bren stood out front just to sing. Not a full mixup, but it actually worked out alright, and proved to be helpful, in a way, to hear the song from a different perspective like that.

To date, what would you say your greatest accomplishments as band has been? 
I would say each song is an accomplishment in itself. We can't do anything without the songs.

Does song-writing come naturally to you guys? 
Songwriting is definitely a learned and honed skill. Everyone has tendencies as well, so it's the combination of what's already inside, as well as what you choose to practice and learn.

Would The Gallery like to share any plans they may have for future tours, albums, or anything of the sort?
We're writing songs right now to be recorded in a few months. We plan on releasing those couple songs for free and making a few west coast tour loops to promote them. We're playing in the LA area as much as we can as well in the meantime (4/6 - On The Rox, 5/10 - Viper Room).

Who do you think would win in a fight, Batman or James Bond? If there's any disagreement,well, what's your reasoning?
Batman has a lot of cool gear, a "suit of armor," and a mask, but James has a gun. There's an old saying about this sort of thing...