Interview: House Handshake

#1: Has music always been a big part of your life or did it come later? When was that moment for you?

Darrell: When I was young music was something that was passively in my life, I can’t really remember it impacting me until I was around 12 years old. Something that stands out for me from back then is, my family and I used to travel from Winnipeg (our hometown) to our cottage which was in Grand Beach. It was only about an hour and 20 minutes of a commute, but that was a long drive for my brother and I who were restless children. My mother wanted to keep my brother and I occupied while making the drive and she thought up this wonderful idea of burning a CD almost the length of the drive and printing out all the lyrics into a book for my brother and I to read and sing along with her and dad. I almost feel like it implanted a thought in my mind back that music is an extremely entertaining way to pass the time and it will bring you and loved ones closer if you allow it.

Quinton: I can remember my dad playing his vinyls constantly. I always denied it for some reason. I was very stubborn when I was young. He also took me to the Winnipeg Folk Festival almost every year of my life one year I just started to notice the music. I started to follow my ears to the stages that pleased me. When me and my dad were watching an act on stage he pointed to one of the musicians who was improvising and said something like ”your brother can do that”. I kinda thought to myself ‘that’s easy.’ I really took to music from that point on and it became my identity

Sarah: My mom said when I was a babe (10-12months) I would hum perfect tunes .. from as young as I can remember music has surrounded me my whole life! Singing in congregation meetings 3 times a week, I ventured into songwriting young, played an organ for 3 years,  participating in chores in school, then as I got older I sang with my brother all the time (he taught me a lot) music has always been a spiritual and emotional haven for me. I feel very lucky to have had it encouraged all my life.

Tate: My parents were always playing music throughout my childhood at home, at the cabin and in the car. They both loved the same music and were always singing and enjoying it together, which rubbed off on me and my brother a lot. As I grew up I learned piano but got bored with it and took up guitar after being inspired by School of Rock. My dad showed me the basics and then I took lessons at Mar-Schell’s Music. I found artists that I was into and dreamt about performing like them while I was doing school stuff and playing basketball. Once high school was over I quit basketball and partied like a maniac and developed my musical abilities and discovered that I loved performing, jamming and writing music immensely. It grew exponentially at that point to where I am now teaching, performing and writing as much as possible.

Brennan: I took classical piano as a kid which was fine but it never really moved me. Then on a whim, my parents signed me up for a drum lesson and from the moment I sat behind the kit I knew this was the instrument for me. The sense of power and possibility was overwhelming. Played lampshades and frying pans for 6 months before my parents gave in and bought me a kit for my 16th bday. Never looked back.

Tanner: Music has always been around in my life, my old man taught me the basics with guitar at a young age of 12 or something. Always had fun jams with him growing up, got my first keyboard and practiced with his band, always listened to a lot of music as well, found my passion for it playing campfires late nights with good people. Laws of attraction have brought me where I am today with the people I love doing what I love.

#2: What are some of your favorite albums of all time?

Q: The Wall, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.
D: Hozier, Sublime – 40 oz, Alabama Shakes – Sound and Colors, Sigh No More – Mumford And Sons, Shakey Graves and the Horse He Rode in on.
S: Alabama Shakes-  Sound and ColorSupermodel & Torches  – Foster the People, The Sticks & Eureka – Mother Mother, Master of The Sun – Black Eyed Peas, Adele- 19
B: Maybe…Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA, Nina Simone – I put a Spell on You, Buddy Rich – Big Swing Face, Radiohead – OK Computer, Sting – Ten Summoners Tales.
Tanner: I Don’t think I have any favorite albums, always seem to be changing hearing new rehearing old ones. Frank Zappa’s Man from Utopia was pretty cool, I don’t really like a lot of his shit as well though, Mac DeMarco album two was awesome, find myself hearing him in my headphones often. What I want is to make my favorite album.

#3: What is the hardest and easiest part of making music for you?

Q: It’s always been the instruments for me. I can hear the music in my head, to sing it is no problem but to act it all out on the instruments has been difficult. These days it comes much easier but I know there is always much to learn. Something that comes easy for me is hearing the music in my head before I play it.

D:The hardest part of making music for me is being concerned about other people judgments. The easiest part? Releasing my emotions.

#4: When making music, what does the creative process look like for you and the band?

HH: The songs were usually written during an acoustic session. Sometimes a jam or just an idea that we pull out of the air and memorize it, Write down what it’s about and some lyrics. Then we take it to the rehearsal and we let everybody put their spin on it and we jam it till it feels rights.

#5: What is the biggest dream you have for the band?

HH: Hearing back from our fans and knowing that our music is making an impact on their lives is the biggest thing. Some of that is already happening and we just want to be able to affect as much people as we can.

#6: When did you first play music in front of an audience? What was that experience like?

Quinton: It was terrifying. But I turned it into excitement.

Darrell: Life-affirming.

Brennan: My first gig was at a house party in high school where we played Doors covers because that’s what the singer, who I was in love with, wanted to do.
The feeling of nervousness and exhilaration was one I’ll never forget, have been kind of addicted to it ever since.

Tanner: First time on stage was like smelling you’re grade one classroom or climbing a tree, familiar, odd, nervous, beautiful.

#7: Out of every show you have played, what are some experiences that stick out the most to you?

Darrell: Being on stage and playing for a bigger audience than we normally play for. Watching our lyrics sang back at us from even unfamiliar faces.

Quinton: The parts that really stick out in my head, are the parts that didn’t go so well. We’ve had an amazing time for the most part but there’s been a few hiccups where I’ve learned a lot.

#8: What is the dream tour or festival that you would love to be a part of?

Q: I’ve gone to the Winnipeg Folk Festival most of my life. as per stages to play, the main stage at Winnipeg Folk Fest is my ultimate dream.

Darrell: Now it may not be a festival, I would love to play NPR’s Tiny Desk.

#9: For the rest of the year, what plans do you have?

HH: Back to the studio for EP #2 this one is called Handshake. We’ll do another 4 songs which will be apart of the full self-titled album releasing next year.

Find out more about the band through their website.

Special thanks to House Handshake and Rogue PR for the interview.

Image provided by Rogue PR and House Handshake.

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Interview: CJ Krukowski of Threatpoint

#1: Competition is rough in the music industry, what is your band doing to grow and continue to reach for success?

CJ: We are always a stickler for playing the live… with all the modern day technology and advancements, performing live is still key to experience music and even win over new people. We’ve recently hooked up with Voodoo Queen Management and they have helped us to a degree with getting in front of some new people and throwing our name out there more, on social media especially.

Speaking of social media, we always do our best to make an online presence… you can find us pretty much everywhere. Do a Google search of “threatpoint” and we’ll come up. And we always interact/respond to our fans.

#2: If someone goes to one of your concerts, what do you think they should know going in?

CJ: We are very much a live band. From Chris up front to getting in everyone’s face, to Sam, Alex and Greg running around or even it in the crowd, to me spitting and spewing water, we aim to put on a memorable show that won’t be forgotten… we strive to stand out one way or another.

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#3: What is your dream tour or festival?

CJ: there are so many to choose from, whether it be to open for Metallica or Iron Maiden on a stadium/arena tour, play the Wacken festival over in Germany or do any of the big European festivals, really. Very difficult to pinpoint one… anything that gets us out in front of more people is always good.

#4: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would you choose?

CJ: Very tough one… I honestly don’t even have an answer for that. I certainly don’t think it’d be a metal musician though… if I were to do something like that, I’d really have to throw everyone for a shot in the dark.

#5: Out of every concert you have been to, who are the best live bands?

CJ: The ones that aren’t afraid to go nuts on stage and get in your face. Overkill, Testament, Anthrax, Kix, Metallica (back in the day)… I prefer seeing bands in a club atmosphere rather than an arena/stadium, there’s just no intimacy with that and it feels like they’re so far away and high up, you spend most of the show watching the screens.

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#6: Who are some of your biggest influences?

CJ: So many… but drumming wise: Lars Ulrich, Scott Travis, Nick Menza, Dave Lombardo, Vinnie Paul… I even like Ringo. I personally like the guys who are not overly technical but make their band pulse and lay it down solid and smooth.

You can follow Threatpoint through their Facebook and website

Special thanks to Rogue PR for setting up the interview.

Images provided by Threatpoint and Rogue PR

Interview: Clint Kesinger of Good Times & Company

1.     Competition is rough in the music industry, what is your band doing to grow and continue to reach for success?

We are writing music the way we want and doing things the way we want. Having spent some time in the game and previous management to learn from, we’ve learned creating an original product is a huge part of being competitive and ensuring long term success. We engage with fans on our IG a LOT and understand the importance of social media. It’s a “necessary evil” as Shad calls it. But we are growing and reaching for success by staying true to us and our sound. If we achieve anything of notoriety, we would want it to be because people like us for our who we are as a band.

2.     If someone goes to one of your concerts, what do you think they should know going in?

You should grab a drink and kick it.

3.     What is your dream tour or festival?

Shit, honestly playing that Beach Goth fest with The Growlers would be dope. If we could get The Strokes, Mac Demarco, Cage the Elephant, and like Royal Blood on that would be ideal.

4.     If you could collaborate with any musician, who would you choose?

Probably Julian Casablancas.

5.     Out of every concert you have been to, who are the best live bands?

Panic! At The Disco, Paul McCartney Radiohead, Cage the Elephant,

6.     Who are some of your biggest influences?

The Strokes, Mac Demarco, Royal Blood, Highly Suspect, Arctic Monkeys, The Growlers, The Kooks, Queens of the Stone Age

7.     When did you first start playing music and how did that come together to lead you to where you are today?

When I was about 14, I got out my dad’s Peavey electric guitar and plugged it into his old PA system. I started making noises and was hooked. At the same time, I was going to local shows hosted by Scott Wyatt, a local musician in my small hometown. Me and Shad were from the same town, so I eventually heard he was into playing bass. We gigged all over the place for years in a moderately successful metal band and eventually I started an acoustic act called Good Times. Later as I turned 21, I started gigging around the country and decided to go full band. In 2015 Good times & Company was made official when Kyle and Shad both joined in. Its been a blur after that. We added Keagan after our second release and that brought things up a notch. Each year seems to get a little crazier.

8.     What are your plans for the rest of the year for the band?

We are releasing new music very soon and finding a new drummer. This new music is something we are very proud of, we think you will enjoy it very much! We plan on dropping a new album and hitting some key points in the country where we have been getting some great responses already. Hope to get across the pond sometime too.

Follow the band through their Facebook and website.

Special thanks to Rogue PR and Clint for this interview.

 

 

 

Interview: Days to Come

1. Competition is rough in the music industry, what is your band doing to grow and continue to reach for success?

A: Justin – We use social media a lot. It is such a wonderful tool – especially for indie artists and bands. We live in the golden age for indie artists. For the first time, indie artists are able to produce, distribute, and market their work completely DIY and without a major label.

This is huge.

Social media and the connection it brings just helps that cause. We’re able to connect with people at shows and continue to develop those relationships online.

2. If someone goes to one of your concerts, what do you think they should know going in?

A: Brandon – We try to be as wild as possible. We put on a high energy show and try to have as much participation as possible. It’s a lot of fun.

3. What is your dream tour or festival?

A: Jalen –  I would love for us to support Sevendust. They’re legendary and some of the hardest working in the genre.

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4. If you could collaborate with any musician, who would you choose?

A: Brandon – Plini. He’s such a talent. I would love to collaborate with him.

5. Out of every concert you have been to, who are the best live bands?

A: Justin – Nothing More. A few years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to see them in Atlanta at the Masquerade when they were touring on their first record.

Their energy and showmanship completely captivated me. They’re phenomenal performers.

6. Who are some of your biggest influences?

A: Jalen – I’ve never had any main influences. Anyone that strives to create and inspire is an influence to me. I do enjoy The Rev, Mike Portnoy, and Joey Jordison.

7. When did you first start playing music and how did that come together to lead you to where you are today?

A: Justin – I’ve wanted to be in a band since I was 17. I was a military brat and spent my teenage years moving around a good bit and wasn’t able to commit to a group until I was in my 20s. I spent years playing solo acoustic gigs. I tried to join bands and find other musicians to start one, but nothing worked out until I found the guys and started Days.

The band officially formed in 2014. I met Brandon at a local music store one afternoon before a gig and we hit it off pretty quickly. Jalen joined us in early 2018. We’ve had a few lineup changes over the years but we feel pretty confident in the team we currently have.

Days To Come

8. What are your plans for the rest of the year for the band?

A: Jalen – We just released our single Siren (January 25th). It’s such a fun song to play at shows and, so far, the reaction to it has been great. If you’re a fan of hard rock with clean, melodic vocals, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it.

We’re playing a few dates in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in April and June with our friends in Ventruss. After that, we’ll embark on our biggest tour yet in July for Rockfest! It’s gonna be a doozie.

We’re planning on releasing our next single Wolves in April and we’re shooting to release new music every 10 or so weeks. This is an exciting year for us and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Follow Days to Come on their website to keep up to date with their music.

Special thanks to Rogue PR for the interview

Interview: Vaya

  1. How did the band come together?

Vaya: Step by step we met each other around the same passion for the music.

Raphael: I met  Vaya through a music store in Gland (CH), and she heard that I play the drums. One day, she called me to record the first drums of VAYA’s album. I’ve never left since. It was a big pleasure when Philippe joined us for the live shows. Playing with so talented and connected people is amazing.

Phil: The band started 2 years ago, with Raph’ and Vaya first, they recorded a studio album with other musicians and shortly after that, I joined them.

  1. What are some of your most memorable moments with the band?

Vaya: Every little thing I mean, we are sharing not only the stage but also life together. I bite less now because I moved in Toronto and the two others one are still actually in Switzerland, but I can’t wait to see them back here in Spring:D it’s always reconnection with friends or more family.

Raphael: During a day off in Europe we wanted to sleep in Bielorussia, but we had no visa to cross the border. We lost much time at the border to finally go back and find a last minute hostel during the night. Thanks a lot to our driver Albert who was good crazy to drive us during tour.

Phil: When we played at a bar called “The Dukes” the public was amazing, so full of joy, happiness and with a great energy just like us, probably the best concert we’ve ever done.

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  1. When going to one of your concerts, what should people expect?

Raphael: The powerful voices and rhythms are incredible. It wakes up the little native there is in all of us.

Phil: A very energetic music with a good dynamic, a great loud voice, a great rhythm section, a good contrast in the songs and a good sound.

Vaya: a real authentic powerful trip.

  1. Out of every band you have seen live, who are some of your favorites?

Raphael: Coldplay is one my favourite. They are so honest on stage, even when they are doing wrong. U2 in Glasgow (UK) has been a great memory too.

Phil: Oh I’ve seen many bands: My favorite band I’ve seen is “Extreme” cuz’ I really like the guitar player, he’s so amazing, he’s my idol, my guitar hero! I also really liked Joe Satriani when I saw him and other guitar players were very great too.

Vaya: Jack White in each project he does.

  1. What are some of your biggest influences that have shaped your music?

Vaya: Classical music mixed with Jim Morrison

Raphael: The energy of mother earth.

Phil: Lot of musicians specially guitar and bass players in many different kinds of music: Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, Hard-Rock and Heavy Metal.

  1. Have you met any of your favorite musicians and what were those experiences like? If you have not met anyone, then who do you want to meet the most?

Vaya: still Jack White:D

Raphael: I would love to meet Jack White in order to discuss about the music industry. He is so talented and has so much experience.

Phil: Yes I met one of my other guitar hero a few times! He’s a Rock-Jazz, Funk-Fusion guitar player called Mike Stern and I met him a few times after his show! First time I met him, I was so impressed, coz I was only 19 lol and I didn’t think I could go to him and talk to him! He was really nice I talked to him for a while and I asked him an autograph. I saw him a few times later and then, I bought his new album and he dedicated it to me!

  1. What are some long-term goals you have for the band?

Raphael: Performing all over the world to share our music and energy to the maximum audience.

Vaya: To conquer the all world?

Phil: Still play together, make concerts, go on tour all around the world and record new albums!

  1. What is the biggest accomplishment you have had so far?

Phil: To go on tour in many different countries!

Raphael: Release a double album with this beautiful welcome from the audience.

Vaya: I am actually on my way of it.

  1. What plans do you have for the rest of the year?

Vaya: A song really tripping online announcing the second album color. I will go to Japan for making the video clip of it in Spring. So a second album in process. And tours: USA (California) and South of America and of course Canada this spring

Phil: To go on tour to Canada on April, to The States on July, to Brazil at the end of the year and by the time record a new album!

Raphael: We are performing for the Bout Festival in Toronto on 13th April. After almost 40 shows in 8 countries between Europe and North America, we are planning a beautiful Canadian Tour in April 2019. We will be part of the Bout Festival in Toronto on 13th April, all, in order to promote the first double album. We will be in San Francisco from 14th July to perform at the Californian Women’s Music Festival. We should tour for a few weeks in California and Nevada then. We are also planning a tour in Brazil and South America for the end of the year.

You can follow Vaya through their Facebook and website.

Thanks to Rogue PR for setting up the interview. Images via Vaya

Interview: S. Peace Nistades

#1: Competition is rough in the music industry, what is your band doing to grow and continue to reach for success?

            Everything is about world building these days from Marvel/DC/Star Wars universes to how we perceive celebrities and the musicians and bands we love. We want to be a part of their world, to be a fly on their wall. But equally and perhaps more importantly, it’s what is at the core of their worlds that we respond to. Of course there is aesthetic and style and form but if there isn’t strong content, then ultimately there can be no longevity. Of course time will tell, and with that the change in cultural and societal moods. Having said this, there is of course one’s definition of success. For me, if I’m able to reach someone, to truly speak to one person with my music or my writing, then I’ve reached my goal. Of course, the more the better. In the end it’s all about communication. Why tell a story if you don’t wish to tell it to someone? To move them, or provoke them, or to make them laugh or cry. Telling stories, communicating is what keeps us connected as human beings. The same is of less verbally specific artforms like music or fine art. Of course I believe in the advice of writing only for oneself but again there’s a difference, albeit a thin fragile one, between self-indulgence and writing for oneself in the sense of being true to one’s thoughts and point of view; not writing to please another or to appeal to a group of people or the Billboard charts. That’s really about all one can do and that in itself is a mountain whose peak we never quite manage to see.

#2: If someone goes to one of your concerts, what do you think they should know going in?

            I’d hope that they won’t have to know too much and can go in without preconceptions but of course everything is very boxed into genres and categories these days and things are often quite segregated for easy mass consumption; in which case I would say this is not your typical electronic fare nor is it quite avant-garde in the sense of contemporary classical music. For me, with this album, I feel I’ve finally arrived at writing in the present, being grounded in my present, my perception of it as opposed to being lost in the nostalgia of the past.

#3: What is your dream tour or festival?

            I’ve never done a tour, my main work is in the studio and I’ve done a number of one-off performances in different places, but I would love to tour Europe one day. It’d be very interesting to me to see how the audience reacts especially with the musical history there being such a part of my own upbringing.

#4: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would you choose?

            Objekt.

#5: Out of every concert you have been to, who are the best live bands?

The Vienna Philharmonic. I saw them when I was in my mid-teens in Thailand. Amazing orchestra. I would love to see the Berlin Phil live as well.

#6: Who are some of your biggest influences?

A lot of my influences are literary, Samuel Beckett, Martin Amis, William S. Burroughs, Thomas De Quincey, Virginia Woolf, though I find inspiration from most artforms. To name a few, art: Turner, Caravaggio, Giacometti, film: Lars Von Trier, Michael Haneke, Luchino Visconti, musically everyone from Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler, Berg, Penderecki to Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Trent Reznor to electronic artists like Happa, Objekt and Stimming. What’s most interesting is always looking at them and their times and how they responded to their times, what provoked them, what they rebelled against. If you trace trends and styles back you can start to see lines and connections. That always fascinates me.

#7: When did you first start playing music and how did that come together to lead you to where you are today?

            I would count my first performance within music as playing the Prince in the Nutcracker when I was six though I of course was dancing and not playing music. However, that was the formative experience particularly in the merging of music and storytelling. A year later I started studying piano, though I must admit I never particularly wanted to, and that ended up leading to the opera choir at the Bangkok Opera and other performances in the classical music world in Thailand. Alongside that, one of my big dreams, which seemed oddly completely unreachable at the time, was to become a writer. I’d grown up with Dickens, Dumas, Wilde and Robert Louis Stevenson among others, and novels in particular were always of supreme importance to me growing up; that and film. The turning point was towards the end of high school when I decided I wanted to pursue the other love and moved to Los Angeles where I’ve worked in film music for most of these past ten years. But of course, as one grows and lives one generally struggles with finding out what one has to say and why (it all comes back to the question of purpose and meaning in life) and that came to a peak for me about three years ago when I decided, though it was a tough decision in many ways, to return to writing and began work on my novel set in Thailand following the 2014 military takeover. This was the first major step creatively and psychologically dealing with my exile from there ten years ago and without that I would have never been able to create this album, which is the most personal, autobiographical and raw of my musical work.

#8: What are your plans for the rest of the year for the band?

Going back to our first question and the idea of world-building, though it was not intentional, I do feel that within the forest dark of the album there is a world that encapsulates the past and present for me and I feel I’ve finally found the vocabulary to express in music, without the help of lyrics, what I haven’t been able to until now. So I have a few ideas and plans to explore this world a little further. In the meantime, I’m working on drafting a new solo piece so we’ll see where that goes and I’ve got a few feature films coming up that I’ll be scoring so it’ll be an exciting year ahead.

You can follow S. Peace Nistades on his website and Twitter

Thank you to Rogue PR for this interview and collaboration. You can find them on Facebook.

Interview: Tim Graham from Rozu

#1: Competition is rough in the music industry, what is your band doing to grow and continue to reach for success?

In such a competitive industry we are really taking a different approach with the idea that content is king because honestly, it is. We have not stopped writing for a year now and continually creating more content and releasing bits and pieces here and there to grow our fanbase and avoiding wearing ourselves out too soon. We have 3 songs released now, have another EP still to be released and are currently finishing the writing sessions for an album.

#2: If someone goes to one of your concerts, what do you think they should know going in?

Really as anyone should at a show go in with an open mind and let yourself feel the music. Going into our show I think anyone should know that we leave it all out there and write music that is incredibly honest to us and we put that emotion into our show.

#3: What is your dream tour or festival?

Right now, our dream tour would be going out with our bros in Noble, Oceans Ate Alaska, and Outline in Color. That tour would honestly be the best times all around.

#4: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would you choose?

I would love to collaborate with the dudes in Underoath, their songwriting is just incredible and are living legends of this genre.

#5: Out of every concert you have been to, who are the best live bands?

Tool is always incredible to see live. In the scene, Architects and Plot in You are incredible live every time.

#6: Who are some of your biggest influences?

We draw a lot of influence from Underoath, Like Moths To Flames, Saosin, and Chiodos.

#7: When did you first start playing music and how did that come together to lead you to where you are today?

We all started playing at a young age individually. We just all have this fire inside of us and this drive knowing this is what we want to do. It is not an option anymore this is just what we need to do.

#8: What are your plans for the rest of the year for the band?

Well, we are going to continue writing with hopefully releasing this album by the end of the year and we are planning some tours right now for summer and fall. We are staying as busy as we possibly can.

Find more information on Rozu on their social media accounts and website:

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