Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interview with Tooth and Nail Records' Director of A and R Conor Farley

Give us a brief description of what your background is and why you feel qualified to do this job?
I have been working in music now for about 10 years at the label level and also as a music publisher.  I feel like I have had the opportunity to gain a variety of experience that I hope helps me do this job effectively. I for sure do not think that I have the magic ear or anything, but through my experience have gained a perspective on how business intersects with ministry in this unique industry we are in.

How do you distinguish which artist will be a hit, and which artist to let be?
I wish I knew the exact answer I really try to listen to the music as a fan first. Does it move me emotionally?  Does it make me ask new questions about my faith? Does the live show inspire me?  I then will go through a broad mental checklist of the commercial viability of the artist, the market conditions, songwriting capability of the artist, what our current roster looks like, the time required to invest, as well as the work ethic of the band. This process gets more and more involved the further down the road we may walk with a band.

When approached by Tooth&Nail what was your initial reaction and what did this opportunity mean to you?
I was so excited and flattered.  I have been a fan of the brand for a long time and have been greatly impacted by a lot of the records from their past and current artist roster.

What artist's are you most looking forward to working with?
Well I work with a the majority of our roster, so that is a tough question, I would not want to leave any one out  As a fan I have loved everything Aaron Sprinkle has been a part of. Underoath's, They're Only Chasing Safety impacted me a ton so I am loving working with Aaron Gillespie on The Almost stuff.  I also get to work with one of the most influential core CCM acts in Jeremy Camp which is a total honor.  Those two statements sum up to me what I love the most about my job. There is a great breadth and diversity of incredible artists that I get to serve. Also, super excited about some of our newer bands like Icon For Hire and The Museum.

Are there any artist's you wish to try and bring back?
Poor Old Lu and Mae

Can we get a sneak peak as to who is up and coming or developing?
We will have a bunch of great new music this year–can't say too much at this point, but most of our biggest acts on on the BEC and Tooth and Nail side will be releasing or working on new projects.

Where do you hope to take Tooth&Nail while you're there?
I just hope I can be a good steward with the time I have here. I recognize the great responsibility we have as believers to make excellent music that is honoring of the God who saves us. I do not take that lightly and my expectations for our artists is to steward their incredible gifts as well. I think we will be successful if we do that.

Who's your favorite band or group of all time and why?
Impossible question...but the shortlist would probably include Wilco, The Beach Boys, U2, Nirvana, and Daft Punk. These were all so impact-ful to me in that they crafted songs with incredible melody that had broad appeal.  Also their songs connected me with emotionally at different stages of my development and faith.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Interview with Curious Volume Guitarist/Vocalist Andrew Paladino

What does the name Curious Volume mean, and how does it symbolize the band?
The name Curious Volume doesn't mean anything. It's from Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." It doesn't have any symbolic meaning other than that with a meaningless name, we can take our music any direction we want to and our name will still make the same amount of sense (or lack thereof). 

How did the band get together and what do you guys bring to each other that make the music work?
Trotta and I started the band in 2003 when we were in 7th grade. Since then we've had a few lineup changes. Our current lineup was formed in January of 2011. Brian and I were in bands together at school and would jam after school all the time. He was always helping us out, playing keyboards for our bigger shows and being my go-to "ear" to bounce my ideas off of. He was an unofficial member for a long time until we decided that he belonged in the band forrealz. Zach had been filling in on drums for us for a few months and the fit was just too good to deny. His old band had just broken up, so we stole him and now he's never allowed to escape. Both Brian and Zach have contributed so much within the past year and a half or so, it's really impossible to imagine where we'd be without them. Trotta and I would just be yelling at each other.

Describe your style of music? What is skate punk?
We've never been able to put a genre-label on our music. We've gone through phases where we were rock n' roll, punk, ska-punk, etc. I'm very uncomfortable with catering to one genre when I write. We all listen to so much different music that it usually comes out sounding like a conflagration of all of that stuff. When people ask me what genre we are, I usually just say, "punk," because I like to think that no matter how weird our music gets, we're always keeping things as raw as possible and thus maintaining that "punk" vibe.

Skate punk is I guess one of the genres that could fit our music. When I think "skate-punk" I think of Suicide Machines, NOFX, The Offspring. We're definitely hugely influenced by that type of music.

To people who say, "real punk" is dead, how do you respond?
It depends how you define "punk." I think if you're looking for every band that falls into the category of punk to sound like The Casualties or The Ramones or something, that's a very unfortunate way to look at it. Punk's sound has evolved over the years, as has the appearances and the mannerisms and activities. But at the root of it, the DIY rebellious attitude could be found all over the place in music and shouldn't be taken for granted. You can't go to a local show with 14 year old kids running around beating each other up, having the time of their lives and tell me punk is dead. Also, one could say I'm an anarchist. I'm not an anarchist for the punk cred, but obviously that's been a relevant facet of a lot of punk movements over the years.

What is a Curious Volume performance like?
We usually have a loose idea of the songs we're gonna play. I myself usually do a lot of running around and hurting myself. Everyone else plays with a lot of life and energy as well. Usually kids know the words to our songs so they help sing along and stuff. Nothing fancy, just heartfelt performances. We also prefer to have Biggie or Wu-Tang blasting before we start playing.

Any crazy band, show or fan stories?
It's difficult to choose just one! This past January, we went on tour with No Such Noise! from South Jersey. The whole tour was wild and we became best buds with them. The highlight of craziness was definitely, believe it or not, North Carolina. We played at this venue that used to be a movie theater, and found out during the show that our sets would be followed by a dubstep rave. Needless to say, we fully embraced this and went all out. Danced to dustup music the whole night, some of us got pretty drunk, and we made some friends with the locals. The whole night was a sensory overload. The details of the craziness should probably stay within the bands, but yeah. Gotta go with the North Carolina dustep rave. 

Biggest rock star moment as a band?
I can't think of any. I consider any time that I get free booze a "rock star" moment, but that definitely doesn't speak for the whole band. Whenever Trotta walks away from the rest of the band and does his own thing (when we're at the merch table or watching another band play, for instance), I send him a text that says "rock star." He does the same thing to me. He actually deserves credit for starting that. I hate giving him credit though, so forget I said that.

Biggest failure as a band?
We have lost two battle of the bands. But we won one. Battles of the bands are stupid, and usually aren't taken very seriously, for good reason. But yeah, we've failed at those.

Tell us about Mumbles & Whispers.
Mumbles & Whispers is the album that I wrote from 2006-2009. We first released it in 2010 with our old lineup. Recently we recorded it again, to do it justice with the new and improved lineup. We took our time and Brian did an awesome job of engineering it. We improved the songs and re-pressed the CDs with new art. We give it away for free online. The lyrics range from ridiculously depressed to deliriously optimistic. 

What are the main differences between the first recording and now?
The main differences between the old and new versions are the recording quality, a generally more daring and tasteful take on a lot of the music, and the fact that I know how to sing now. Listening back to the old versions, it's embarrassing that I allowed my horrible squawking to be released for people to listen to. This new version is like the "grown-up" take. We think it's the way that these songs were intended to be heard. Also, we made the transitions between songs cooler and totally redid the track Fifteen Minutes.

Any plans of touring in the near future? New album?
We will be announcing two tours very soon. We can't say who we're going with just yet, but we can say that we'll be venturing out further than we ever have. Also, we're currently recording a new single that will be released on a 7" split record. Again, we're not at liberty to say who's putting that out or who the other band on the split will be, but we are extremely excited to be making these announcements in the near future. As for the next full length, I'm done writing all 11 songs. We've pieced about 3/4 of the record together as a band so far, and the writing process has been both challenging and rewarding. We have no idea when that's coming out, but definitely not until we get these next couple of tours under our belts so that we could release it to as many people as possible.

Anything else to add?
Please go ahead and download our music for free at Share it with your friends, come see us on tour, follow us on twitter, like us on Facebook, come over to meet my parents, etc. Thanks so much for the great questions, and thanks to the readers for either reading through all of my rambling answers or just skipping ahead to the last question to find out what a badass note I ended this interview on. I did it all for the Nookie.

Check out Curious Volume at these sites:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Behind the Scenes of The Bamboozle Break Contest

Bamboozle Break Contest Article   
By Paul Marino       
Videos filmed by Lauren Parks and Brittany Peters

The Bamboozle Festival; an annual three day long music event that showcases some of the most recognized and established names in the music industry, is celebrating its tenth anniversary since their inception and thus will be returning to its roots in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

With the likes of Blink-182, Bon Jovi, and, Skrillex headlining, on top of more potential bands and artists not yet announced for the show, the hype for the 18th through the 20th of May comes as no surprise. Ticket sales are racking up, with both excitement and disgust being discussed as a hot topic among us concert goers. But, while we all complain about a favorite artist not being on that list, or take days off from work and school to go see our favorite band play the main stage, and even start booking hotel rooms close by the venue, why haven’t we really heard about some of the up and coming bands playing their way for a shot to perform at one of the biggest festivals in the nation?

Since January these young bands have been in competition with each other, playing weekend shows, selling tickets with little profit other than getting their name out to the public. From solo artists to diverse bands fusing different styles and genres into one package, theirs has been a fight for chance to play alongside idols and a chance to make it in an industry few even consider possible to break through. For some, this contest is their first shot at glory, for others this is a retry from previous years of not making it, and for a select few who have won in the past, it is another chance to play at the Bamboozle.

Saturday, March 3rd I travelled to New Jersey to support the bands in the semi-finals of The Break contest. While pacing the rooms of the Stone Pony (where the first ever Bamboozle in 2003 took place) I met and spoke with a handful of artists; all easy-going and friendly, showing no signs of diva attitude or exaggeration. Even after the interview/intro videos my crew and I found ourselves conversing with almost all the artists about our favorite music and stories, among other things. It is apparent that this group is just as down-to-earth bunch really striving for their goals. It was a pleasure speaking with all of them and I wish them nothing but the best for their future in music; good luck to all.

The Finalists for The Stone Pony are: 
    Fixed At Zero
    Political Party Crashers
    Kid Felix
    Rachel Miller
    Xero Gravity
    Until Holy
    The Perfect Gentlemen
    A Balance Between
    Money Green Gang

Four piece from Wall, New Jersey Funky Punk Jam 

Bandmates Zach Henry and Charlie Throckmorton had recorded acoustic tracks well before becoming the band Halogens. After some time they came across drummer George Saives, who recorded some beats for them. After seeing how well George worked out they finalized the band by recruiting Tim Wuestneck on bass. They are influenced by bands like Umphrey's McGee, Blink-182, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Front Bottoms. Be on the look out for their first album, coming soon. Halogens will be advancing to the finals of the Break Contest.

Process of Fusion 
Five Piece Rock/Rap Experimental from Staten Island, New York 

Process of Fusion has successfully brought together Coheed & Cambria-like vocals with Linkin Park-esque rapping. Singer Justin Sarachik along with singer/bassist Patrick Wakie mix both rock and rap vocals with the guitars of Rose Couchon and Dylan Klein. Though unable to make it to the finals they have not slowed down on their music careers. Showcasing their newest song “Closer Then I Thought,” and performing a fantastic cover of the Incubus song “Pardon Me” were the first in many new things they have planned for themselves and their fans. Process of Fusion has been planning tours and shows in the coming months including one for The Broken Records Collective that occurred on March 10th at 9pm in the Lizard Lounge of Staten Island. The bands Facebook is also telling everyone to “keep June 22nd on your calendars!” Could this be a possible show, tour, album, or something entirely different? Visit their page for more updates and a look at where the band is heading in the future.

Rachel Miller
Solo Artist from Lodi, New Jersey Rock

Beginning her career at three years of age, she has been involved in music before she even started school. Being the only solo artist I saw, I must commend her bravery in tackling the stage alone. This is her first time playing in the Break Contest and has made it to the Regional Finals. She is an avid Green Day and My Chemical Romance fan and draws inspiration for her music from them as well as other artists. As an interesting fact, her original song “Johnny” was written about one of the Joker’s henchman from The Dark Knight movie’s opening scene. She is also in the process of recording a demo and says that she will be releasing a single soon so check out her Facebook to stay updated.


Silent Perfection 
Four piece from Hazlet, New Jersey Rock/Alternative/Acoustic 

Another band hailing from New Jersey, Silent Perfection uses every members vocal chops on top of their instrumental talent. Upon meeting them they allowed me to sample their music by giving me a demo and I must point out their astounding vocal range during their songs harmonies. Guitar is played and Main Vocals are sung by Jim Long, while Lead guitar is played by Robert Engel. Jordan Bowen is on the drums and Carmine Flumano rounds it up on bass. The band came together early 2011 and has not stopped performing since. Aside from the Break Contest they plan on playing more shows leading up to Bamboozle. Check out their facebook page for details. Silent Perfection has advanced to the Finals of The Break Contest.

Four piece from Fort Lee, New Jersey Alternative/Rock 

Suburbia hails from New Jersey like many of the other Semi-finalists from the Break Contest. Playing lead guitar and singing for the band is Zen Thomas, followed by Marco Rojas on Rhythm Guitar, Luis Pimental on Bass and Max Samouhos on Drums. Bassist Luis also plays the keyboard for the band. The band is influenced by Guns ‘N Roses, Aerosmith, and Muse, among others. The band unfortunately did not make it to the finals but check out their Facebook page to see where the band stands on moving forward.

Until Holy 
Five piece from Marlboro, New Jersey Metal

Until Holy was the last band I saw perform before I had to part ways with the Stone Pony. From their first song to their phenomenal cover of "Chop Suey" by System of a Down, Until Holy won over the crowd and the judges and moved on through to the finals of the Break contest. Going from a “regular” singing voice to gritty screaming howls is one of lead vocalists Mike Drake’s specialties as shown in the songs performed. The band is completed by Matt Herman on Bass, Artie Lee and Joe Capalbo both on Guitar, and Anthony Tritto on Drums. Until Holy also has a few tracks on iTunes, so if you like what you hear from Facebook or Reverbnation, go check it out. 

Kid Felix  
Six piece from Laurel Springs, New Jersey Rock
Kid Felix, which had its start in 2011, is composed of Singer Jake Falana, Guitarists John Ambrutis and Brett Hagen,  Keys Player Ken Baxter, Julian Ungerer on Bass, and John Szachewicz drumming it out. The band has made a stamp in Philly and hope, with the help of their first official EP, that they’ll be able to tour around reaching out to new fans. They will be advancing to the Break Contest Finals at the Stone Pony.

Six piece from New Jersey Hip-Hop/Hard Rock/Reggae

Forming toward the end of Vocalist AJ Mahyar’s freshman year of high school, X-Phaze consists of Blake Szostak on Guitar, Tim Henshaw on Bass, Alex Herbert on Drums, Austin Riddoux playing both the bongos and keyboard, and Denzil Chambers playing the Keytar. Though they are from the same high school the band is a mixed bag from different parts of New Jersey; Aj, Alex, Blake, and Tim are from Mendham, while Denzil and Austin are from Parsippany and Sea Girt, respectively. The band plays around with many genres including pop and reggae but mainly stick to a hip-hop/rock fusion. Though they did not make it to the finals in the Break Contest, they were chosen by Yuuzoo to perform at the Yuuzoo VIP tent at Bamboozle. They currently have a video for their song “Enemies” up on their Youtube channel. For more info on the band, check out their multitude of social media websites.

Xero Gravity 
Three piece from Marlboro, New Jersey Hard Rock/Metal 

Xero Gravity is made up of Guitarist Alex Peragine, Bassist/Vocalist Jack Rose, and Drummer Steven Rago, Fifteen, Fourteen, and Twelve years old respectively. During the Stone Pony Semi’s they pulled out all the stops and covered Seasons in the Abyss by Slayer, not an easy task. This fantastic cover, along with their natural talent and loyal fans, is what has brought them into the Finals of the Bamboozle Break Contest. Steven has played drums for four years, Jack has slapped bass for five, and Alex has played guitar for around six years. Collectively they have been a band for a half a year.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

InDisguise News

Check out the tour dates above and go support!


"And finally, it sounds like Dave Incognito
might’ve finally solidified a lineup for his
band, InDisguise, after many, many
changes, and it couldn’t come at a better
time. InDisguise is about to release their
debut CD, Ashes Divide, so they would
need to solidify a live lineup to promote it.
Joining the InDisguise staples of Dave
and guitarist Jay Prussack are bassist
Wayne Sparacino and drummer Tim
Protsman, who was the original drummer
fromMiddletown’s Core Device.For now,
InDisguise is a solid unit, so be on the
lookout for themlive in the coming months!" - Tim Louie from the Aquarian

First Singles

I.D.'s first album, Ashes Divide will be coming out summer 2012, self-released on Dave Incognito and Jay Prussack's own record label Morbidian Records.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Link Drop- New Music, Free Music, and More!

Check out Omnia's first official music video. I've done two shows with her in the past, extremely talented and nice!

"Grace" Official Music Video

Michael Giordano (It's Not Over)
Mike took everyone's favorite Jeremy Lin and dropped the bass on them!

Not From Concentrate
Vote for this S.I. ska/punk band for the Warped Battle of the Bands!

Broken Records Collective Artists

The Rappers of BRC 'Stay Schemin Remix'

Vinny Jett and Justin from POF remix Atmosphere's classic song, 'God's Bathroom Floor Remix.'

Also be sure to check out Broken Records Collective's first show. INFO HERE

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Interview with Producer Joe Josh

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Joe Josh. I'm a banker by day and music producer by night.

What is your background in music?
first played piano at 6 years old by ear...then starting learning how to read music. From there I began playing in recital's in front of hundreds for the next couple of years. I got bored fast playing other people's music...I wanted to make my own songs. At 20 years old I started learning how to take my piano skills and make songs using computers and programs. Now I'm working with more and more artists every day and the names are getting more and more famous.

How long have you been producing beats and what drives you to do so?
I've been producing beats for almost 8 years now. I started making House/Club music with VTone, a friend/ major DJ in the Club Scene. Everything I do drives me to make a song out of it...I listen to all genres of music, I think its all work of art.

Who are some of your influences in production?
Some of my influences are AraabMuzik, Timbaland, Dr Dre, Scott Storch, Ryan Leslie, and many more but those stick out the most. You can listen to a track and like it...but when u listen to a track and it gives u goosebumps and moves you–that's what I strive for in my music.

If you could produce for any well known rapper, who would it be and why?
I would want to work with every mainstream artist available but what really matters to me are the artists that have the talent to take our songs to the next level and put in the same amount of love, sweat and tears I put into my music.

What gear do you use?
I use an iMac and a M-Audio midi keyboard. On my iMac i have thousands of dollars of sounds, plugins and effects, but you never have enough. From there I will go to my studio where I can mix and master my beats.

Where do you hope to take your production work?
I want to hear my music on the radio, TV, and Internet. I want to have such an impact on music that people will automatically know when they are listen to a jOE jOSH production. I want to be surrounded by music, whatever it is!

Where do you see yourself in five years as far as music?
5 years from now I can see myself working with major artists in the game...helping the hip hop/rap genre come back to life. Bringing back the talent that this industry is missing.

Top 5 best rappers dead or alive?
Eminem, Biggie, Jay Z, Drake, Big Pun.

Anything else to add?
I do this because I love to do it and I'm going to continue making HIT after HIT. So either hop on for the ride or GET RUN THE F**K OVER!


Joe Josh is the newest member and official producer for the Broken Records Collective.