I recently came across this Italian pop-punk band called NOW.HERE. Usually when I hit play on a band labeled “pop-punk” cynicism gets the best of me. My history with the genre is as old as my history online and most of the time I just sort of feel like I’ve heard it all before and that nothing can excite me in this space anymore. Then I stumbled onto the new EP by NOW.HERE. These four songs, crafted by 5 kids from Italy, hit me in a way that very little in the genre has in years. There’s an urgency and energy that reads as authentic and fresh to me. I went from “man, this would be my favorite find if I was in high-school” to “I keep coming back to this more than I expected” to “fuck, this is really good” to “see, I still do like pop-punk” to “yeah, this is one of my favorite finds in a while.” If you’re looking for a great pop-punk EP or maybe just looking for something to relight that air-guitaring jump-kicking part of your soul — start with NOW.HERE.
Miguel Pimentel discusses wanting to establish an identity on his third album Wildheart, what being wild-hearted represents, how he’s grown as a songwriter and live performer, and why his L.A. roots will always play an important part in who he is.
Nate Ruess explains the decision to go solo on Grand Romantic, why he always ends up writing about heartbreak, and how lucky he’s been to work with the people he’s met throughout his career.
Lead singer Keith Goodwin and guitarist Dan Schwartz discuss Good Old War’s new album Broken Into Better Shape, the challenges of continuing as a two-piece, their positive outlook on songwriting, and how they are able to get all those gorgeous harmonies.
Frontman Sam Harris discusses the autobiographical concept behind X Ambassadors’ debut album VHS and its hit single “Renegades,” how a love of film influences his music, what it’s like co-writing for Rihanna, and why endurance is the key to success.
Vocalist Aaron Weiss unpacks the apocalyptic imagery inside mewithoutYou’s newest release Pale Horses, why he likes to explore each album from a different perspective, and how that left him at his most unguarded while trying to reconcile his love/hate relationship with religion.
Jon Foreman discusses his new solo undertaking The Wonderlands, the challenges of writing a song for each hour of the day and working with 24 different producers, why embracing the chaos in life is important, and what’s next on the horizon for Switchfoot.
Guitarist Eli Maiman discusses how Walk the Moon’s sophomore album, Talking Is Hard, differs from the band’s debut, what attracts them to the ‘80s, and why they pride themselves on their live show.
Cartel hit the studio with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount to record some acoustic renditions of their favorite tracks off their classic album, Chroma. You can find a playlist featuring a special video performance of these five songs after the jump.
Last week, I got a chance to chat extensively with a personal hero of mine, Butch Walker. We talked about Butch’s new album, Afraid of Ghosts, including how the recent loss of his father inspired a new direction for his music, why he decided to have Ryan Adams produce the disc, and why his trademark sarcasm and upbeat songwriting is nowhere to be found. We also touched upon Walker’s back catalog, the woeful reasons why no one should be expecting to find Letters on vinyl anytime soon, whether or not The Black Widows will be making music again in the future, and why Butch’s protege Jake Sinclair took over most of the production duties on the new Fall Out Boy LP.
On December 2nd, 2014, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Aaron Marsh of Copeland about their new album Ixora, the band’s future, and what it was like to get back together.
2014 ended up being one of my favorite years for music in a long while. It just seemed like every few weeks there was a new album to dive into and experience. There were times where it felt overwhelming, as if there was so much to listen to I felt ashamed I couldn’t give each album the time it deserved. But, here we are at the end of the year, and here we are tasked with trying to put numbers to the madness. I’ve done my best to put my favorite albums of the year in some kind of order … I hope you find as much to enjoy here as I have.
Frontman Nathan Willett talks about getting loose and chaotic again on Cold War Kids latest record Hold My Home, not overthinking during the writing process, what’s he’s learned from side project French Style Furs, and how a high work ethic has kept the band going strong for 10 years.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne talks about his No. 2 charting debut album, performing on Saturday Night Live, his Irish background, and reflecting on the human experience as honestly as possible.
Lead singer Jordan Pundik discusses New Found Glory’s transition to becoming a four-piece, the cathartic nature of latest album Resurrection, and what still excites him about making music after 17 years.
Andrew McMahon explains why his new Wilderness project is the most focused thing he’s done in years, touches on the themes of storytelling and fatherhood, and unpacks his lifelong obsessions with dreams and the sky.
My relationship with Yellowcard begins over a decade ago and the musical connection and ensuing friendship now runs deeper and longer than many of my “in real life” relationships. On October 7th, 2014 the band will be releasing their most ambitious album to date, Lift a Sail. I had the chance to sit down and talk with lead singer Ryan Key about everything that went into crafting this album, the stories and inspiration behind the musical direction, and so much more.
Frontman Mike Kerr talks about the natural origins of Royal Blood, how not having a guitarist is similar to making a pizza, and what the band’s first time in the studio was like recording their debut.
Jean-Philip Grobler chats about his lifelong musical journey, from a boys choir in South Africa to commercial writing in New York City to then starting St. Lucia, as well as the tension of his ‘80s influences and what his version of perfection sounds like.
Kimbra discusses the unusual influences behind her second record The Golden Echo, why songwriting is like making a tapestry, and the importance of balancing the technical with the creative.