I recently had the chance to chat with frontman and guitarist Pat DeFrancisci from a band called Tru, located in New Jersey. The group has recently released an EP called Growing Pains that reminded me a lot of a mix between Weezer’s instrumentation and Stone Temple Pilots’ vocal-approach. In this interview, Pat discusses their approach to songwriting, their key influences, and the story behind the creation of the EP.
The 2018 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival did not let weather or controversy damper its spirit. In every great show, a little rain must fall and a little angst must reign. Sunday’s festivities were delayed but not hampered after heavy rains pummeled middle Tennessee all morning. Eminem’s pyrotechnics that sounded like gunshots drew concern. (I personally was quite close, at the main rails, and ducked the first time the sonic blast happened–but not during the other two.) Some critics argued that main acts Eminem, Muse, and The Killers were not enough to pull in fans; another dig since the show was bought by Live Nation, but attendees seemed to disagree. Next year’s festival is slated for June 13-16, 2018 (purposely the weekend after the Country Music Awards).
You’ll find video interviews with a bunch of artists that played the festival below.
I recently had the opportunity to interview a bunch of artists at the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find those all below.
Night Riots are an alternative rock band who have toured extensively since the release of their debut album, Love Gloom. The band has also released two EPs prior to the LP, as well as two singles from their sophomore album. Last week, I had the chance to sit down with front-man Travis Hawley (front/center in picture) from the band Night Riots prior to a show on their Dark Violet tour. This interview took place at a small venue in Washington, DC where the band has played several times before, but this was their first official headlining stint. Travis talked about how they prepare for a tour and also their upcoming full length album.
In a year full of promising debuts, Mighty’s self-titled LP stands out. It captures the gritty energy of the debuts by fellow southern indie rockers All Get Out and Microwave – look no further than lead single “Safe and Sound” – but with a charm all its own. Last week I had the chance to speak to bandleader Angelo Fiaretti about writing this album. The album is out this Friday and if you’re interested you can pre-order it through their label.
As listeners, we typically assume that a debut album is an artist’s mission statement. Simply put, an artist’s first album is supposed to establish what that person or band sounds like. It’s supposed to lay the foundations for the rest of their career and give listeners some idea of what to expect later on down the road. But what happens when a debut album proves to be an anomaly? When the first record establishes a sonic identity that the artist doesn’t want to chase on future releases?
For more than a decade now, Cary Brothers has been asking precisely that question.
Brothers burst onto the scene in 2004, with a December release called All the Rage. It wasn’t until the next year, though, that he got his big break, thanks in large part to the Garden State soundtrack. Brothers’ beloved contribution, the song “Blue Eyes,” had already been a Hotel Café favorite when Zach Braff scooped it up for his quirky coming-of-age dramedy. Garden State took the song and immortalized it for listeners and movie fans who were of a certain age at the time. While the song gave Brothers the kind of boost that just about any songwriter would kill for, though, it also meant that he got the musical version of typecast. “Blue Eyes” was a singer-songwriter song, and Brothers’ full-length debut, 2007’s Who You Are, was a singer-songwriter album. You could hardly blame early Cary Brothers fans for making the assumption that he was an acoustic singer-songwriter, period.
Austin, TX, math rock band Honey and Salt will be releasing their sophomore album, Honey and Salt, next week via Spartan Records. I got the chance to sit down with vocalist/guitarist Wade Allen and bassist Austin Sears about the writing of the record, fighting nihilism, and the best band that ever was, Fugazi.
I wrote about Animal Flag at the beginning of the year for our most anticipated albums of 2018 and predicted their new album being “a stunner.” Now they’ve announced that album – it’s called Void Ripper and it comes out on April 13 via Flower Girl and Triple Crown Records – and I can assure you it’s a stunner indeed. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to frontman Matt Politoski about the writing of the record and the break away from Christianity that inspired it.
Spanish Love Songs will release their new album Schmaltz on March 30th. It’s one of the freshest and most honest punk rock records in recent memory. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with vocalist Dylan Slocum and he told me about the delicate art of opening a record and embracing dad punk.