Interview: Brett Detar of The Juliana Theory

Juliana Theory

This week I was excited to connect with Brett Detar (vocalist) of The Juliana Theory to discuss what went into making their expansive re-imagining of past songs called A Dream Away, out everywhere today. In this interview I asked Brett about the longevity of the band and its legacy, what stood out from the recording process of these songs that made the album, as well as the band’s relationship with their new label Equal Vision Records.

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Interview: Adult Mom

Adult Mom

It’s been quite a long journey for Stevie Knipe to release their third album, Driver. After calling out royalty discrepancies and other issues with former label Tiny Engines and being granted the release from their contract, a pandemic shut down our world and further delayed the release of the album. But armed with a new perspective and a new label in Epitaph Records along with the support system of their partner (and drummer) Olivia Battell and guitarist Allegra Eidinger, Knipe is ready to unleash Driver to the masses – a record that elevates Adult Mom’s knack for infectious and poignant indie-rock to new levels. Here, Knipe and I discuss Driver’s sonic diversity, being a non-binary role model, and our favorite show Grey’s Anatomy.

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Interview: Ben Walsh of Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw’s new album I Won’t Care How You Remember Me serves as a re-introduction to the Scranton, PA band. For starters, guitarist Colin Gorman and drummer Teddy Roberts were made permanent members, solidifying the band as a quartet once again. But the biggest wrinkle was including Gorman and Roberts in the songwriting mix with original members Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins – fostering a more lively and collaborative setting for the record and resulting in Tigers Jaw’s most ambitious and personal album in their discography. Tracks like “Can’t Wait Forever” and “Lemon Mouth” showcase the new writing dynamic while the title track serves as an all-time highlight – a song that uses its slow build and Andy Hull guest vocals to set the tone of the record. “I think having a group dialogue about each song, and what ideas we had to make each one special and have a distinctive place on the record, was super beneficial to creating something that sounds fresh but still feels authentically like Tigers Jaw” says Walsh. Below, we discussed working with Will Yip, how the Andy Hull collaboration came about, and I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’s writing process.

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Yo Kinky – ‘Self-Titled’ EP Track-by-Track Breakdown

Yo Kinky

Recently I was able to get a hold of a brand new pop-duo called Yo Kinky to provide a track-by-track breakdown on their self-titled EP. Yo Kinky is a Queens, New York, post-pop duo that layers seductive patter lyrics over shimmering angular guitars and drum machines. Following the premiere of their first single on the Tower Records site in November and positive coverage from several outlets, Yo Kinky is already forging a name for themselves among the disillusioned and hopeful.

Tom Unish and Laura Wight met at the start of 2020, bonded over shared musical interests, and immediately started working together on songs. Over the course of the pandemic, they recorded and produced their self-titled debut EP out today. These songs touch upon themes such as truth, adaptability, love, and anticipation as Wight’s bright vocals are delivered with a conversational precision calling to mind acts like X, Sleaford Mods, and Blondie. I’d recommend checking out this artist if you’re a fan of similar acts such as Metric and Le Tigre.

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Most Anticipated of 2021

Last month we shared our favorite albums of 2020, and as we’re ramping into 2021 it’s a good time to look at what we’re anticipating throughout the year. What records do we think we’re going to fall in love with over the next few months? What albums can we just not wait to hear? A bunch of contributors have written up blurbs about the albums and artists we’re most excited about, and we’d love to hear what’s on your most anticipated list as well.

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Interview: Brian McTernan of Be Well

Be Well

Recently I had a chance to talk with Brian McTernan (producer, vocalist) of Be Well. McTernan has a storied past of producing legendary records from bands such as Thrice (Illusion of Safety, The Artist in the Ambulance), The Movielife (Forty Hour Train Back to Penn), and Senses Fail (Still Searching, Life is Not a Waiting Room). These are just a few of the many producer credits to McTernan’s name, and we discussed his process for producing bands as well the advice he would give to young producers looking to make their unique stamp on an album. Not to be lost in the shuffle, Brian McTernan also released a solid album from a project called Be Well this past summer, and he shared his favorite tracks from The Weight and The Cost, and what he’s most looking forward to once its safe to tour again.

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Interview: J.R. of Less Than Jake

During the week of the release of the new Less Than Jake record, Silver Linings, I had the chance to sit down with J.R. to discuss everything that went into the recording process of the new album. The conversation also captured J.R.’s perspective on looking back on his band’s album anniversaries, what he misses most about touring and the venues he’s played at, as well what he draws inspiration from to continue his growth as an artist.

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Left Field Messiah – “Fuzz Machine” (Video Premiere)

Left Field Messiah

Today I’m thrilled to share the brand new video from Left Field Messiah called “Fuzz Machine.” Left Field Messiah is comprised of lead vocalist Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat), Jeremy Ruzumna (Fitz and the Tantrums) and Erik Janson (Wildling) who have come together to create some great, energetic, genre-blending tunes. The band had this to say about this latest single:

Fuzz Machine was the third song we wrote for the record. It was also the song that inspired our band name because of the chaos and freedom we felt while working on it. It was a late night in the studio after finishing work on our second song when Jeremy started playing a nylon string guitar sample on his keyboard. We began laying down parts with odds and ends around the studio—a banjitar, harmonica, and then we frenetically recorded the intro vocals, which led to Steve grabbing a handheld mic and recording his vocals with the studio speakers on full blast. It felt raw, it felt right, and it helped the three of us to see through the haze of some toxic relationships we were in.”

Left Field Messiah will be releasing their debut full-length LP called In Praise of Bombast on February 12, 2021.

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Who Will Meet Me At The Gates – “Wet Cement” (Song Premiere)

Who Will Meet Me At The Gates

Today I’m pleased to premiere the brand new single from Who Will Meet Me At The Gates, called “Wet Cement.” Who Will Meet Me at the Gates is the latest installment in the ever-expanding universe of The Inevitables. Initially conceived as a soundtrack album and comic book, The Inevitables is evolving into a multilayered, multimedia project that extends into toys, art, and branded collectibles. On October 16th, the first single “Good Grief” dropped from a new five-song acoustic EP, featuring a veritable punk rock supergroup featuring members of Pears, Less Than Jake, The Jeff Rosenstock Band, Big D and the Kids Table, and Westbound Train.

As with the rest of the Inevitables project, the group was not satisfied stopping with music. For the graphic side of the concept, they brought in Portland-based artist Tomo77 to lend a visual experience to the songs. The result is a 6-print series reflecting the impact of the pandemic amid a tumultuous and changing social and racial landscape. Rendered in isolation, Tomo77’s images explore themes of racism, police brutality and a society in the throes of political chaos and disease, entwined with symbolism reminiscent of the middle ages. The art will be made available in a limited run of numbered and embossed prints. 

If you like what you hear, you can stream the album here.

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The Biggest Memories Are Always Chaos


First of all, thank you to everyone for the massive feedback from last week’s article about dealing with the collapsing ad market due to the pandemic. All of the kind words made a time of uncertainty a little more bearable, and it was the best week of membership signups we’ve had since the first week I launched the website. Everything is still very much up in the air, but the last week gave me a feeling of comfort I haven’t had in a few months, so thank you for that.

While I was putting together the “Back to” and “My Nostalgia” series, I tried to capture as many of the significant memories as I could about the years and, specifically, the music. However, as I finished, I realized something was missing. While I felt good about documenting the music and what was going on behind the scenes of running the website, I couldn’t pull in as many of the other random anecdotes or bigger things that were happening around the website and our community through those years. Various moments stand out to me, usually related to a dramatic event, that felt almost as memorable as the music itself. This week I’d like to reminisce about five of them. I don’t always remember the specifics of the years and timing, but I’ll try and pull in what I can track down.

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Interview: Ali Tabatabaee of Fear No Empire

Fear No Empire

A few days ago I was able to have a conversation with Ali of Fear No Empire, and we chatted about why he decided to form a new, politically-charged rock band after so many years with pop-punk band Zebrahead. Fear No Empire is Ali Tabatabaee – Vocals (Zebrahead,) Ben Ozz – Bass (Zebrahead,) Dan Palmer – Guitar (Zebrahead, Death By Stereo,) and Mike Cambra – Drums (The Adolescents, Death by Stereo and Common War). Their new single, “Revolt” captures their punk rock spirit with some hip-hop elements thrown into the mix. During my conversation with Ali, we discussed the formation of this new band, what makes Fear No Empire unique, and the recording process of their new self-titled EP that will be released this October.

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Barely Civil – “The Worst Part of December” (Video Premiere)

Barely Civil

Today I’m happy to share with you the exclusive video premiere of “The Worst Part of December,” the great new single by Barely Civil. Frontman Connor Erickson had this to say about the direction of the record, “I feel like our music revolves around the process of analyzing who we are and where we come from. Possibly, even, where we belong.”

Barely Civil’s new album, I’ll Figure This Out, will be released on September 4th via Take This to Heart Records. Pre-orders are now up.

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Interview: Derek Zanetti of The Homeless Gospel Choir

The Homeless Gospel Choir

This past week, I was able to connect with Derek Zanetti (aka The Homeless Gospel Choir) and discuss everything that went into making his new album, This Land is Your Landfill. I asked Derek about how he is staying connected to his fans during this pandemic, his take on the current political climate, his cassette collecting passion, and what he is most looking forward to when things return to normal.

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