the-history-of-jazz-music

Passing of the Horn

Happy Friday.

A great thanks to all of our promoters for providing premiums for our pledge drive a couple of weeks ago . Our listeners thoroughly enjoy all of the new material, as well as their new gifts from our pledge drive.

I would also like to introduce myself as Jared “J Cat” Cattanach, I have been interning under Nicholas for the past year, and I will be the new Jazz Director here at KZSC starting now. I look forward to working with our wonderful promoters and artists in the near future. Please remember to change your mail labels accordingly.

What would you like to hear more of Santa Cruz?

Cheers.
J

clutchearthrockercover

Loud Rock Charts: 3/19

One of the better weeks in terms of Loud Rock Adds, this time we see Clutch drop what could be their greatest album to date, Finnish monster costumers Lordi release a “beastly” (teehee) record, and the highly anticipated Kvelertak album.

Also, I still have no idea how to pronounce that band name.  Kelvin Tack? Kevlar attack?

clutchearthrockercover

1 CLUTCH Earth Rocker Weathermaker
2 LORDI To Beast Or Not To Beast The End
3 KVELERTAK Meir Roadrunner
4 SIX FEET UNDER Unborn Metal Blade
5 CROSSFAITH Zion [EP] The End

 

 

Suffocation-Pinnacle-of-Bedlam-Small1 SUFFOCATION Pinnacle Of Bedlam Nuclear Blast
2 SOILWORK The Living Infinite Nuclear Blast
3 BLACK DRAWING CHALKS No Dust Stuck On You Self-Released
4 SHAI HULUD Reach Beyond The Sun Metal Blade
5 NEAERA Ours Is The Storm Metal Blade
6 WITHIN THE RUINS Elite eOne
7 KROKUS Dirty Dynamite The End
8 HATCHET Dawn Of The End The End
9 HATEBREED The Divinity Of Purpose Razor and Tie
10 PSYCHOTHERMIA Fall To The Rising Sun Self-Released

caspian

Caspian’s Drummer Joe Vickers Discusses Newest Album and Current State of Post-Rock

Post rock outfit Caspian recently stopped by Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco to close out the Noisepop 2013 Festival, and holy mother of god what a way to go out. Before the prodigious climax however, I was lucky enough to sit down with Caspian drummer Joe Vickers and converse about topics ranging from their newest album to his opinion on the present condition of post rock and where he believes the genre is headed. Read below for more! 

How do you feel towards the critical reception your newest album, Waking Season, has received?

I feel really good about it. It feels good to be validated on something we worked really hard on. It was a long time coming. We feel like our writing process is becoming more refined, and we’re just getting better at we do, so it’s nice to know that other people feel the same way as well. I mean, you always want people to dig what you’re doing.

Would you say it’s well deserved?

Yeah, I feel like we’ve been at this for almost 9 years now. So it just took us a while to figure out our way with an album that is exactly how we wanted it to sound, which was to bring the energy of a live performance to the album.

What did you set out to accomplish with the new record?

We just wanted as many people to hear it as possible, really. I think it’d be great to keep touring it. Obviously we’re going to write some more in the time coming up, but it’s been nice to tour in Europe and have people cheer for some of the songs for once. People are recognizing the songs before we actually play them. The ultimate goal is to just keep touring and keep playing to more and more people.

How long are you planning on touring for the new album?

I don’t really know to be honest. After this tour we have one show with Appleseed Cast and we’re playing the Boston Calling Festival in May, and after that there are literally no plans. Whatever comes up we just do until there’s a new album out there, and then we have to tour for that one too.

I’m going to get a bit more philosophical on you now. How do you feel about the “post rock” label that is often associated with bands such as Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Caspian?

Well, you have to call it something, right? To me, it was always just rock music. I had always played in bands that were instrumental because no one we knew could sing that well, so we would all get in my parents’ basement and just jam out all through high school. It sounded a lot like what we’re doing now. Back then, we were leaning more towards “jammy” stuff, but it evolved as we got more pedals and delay stuff and it started to sounds a lot more like “post rock” before I even knew what post rock was. I think the first post rock album that I heard was an Explosions in the Sky record in college. Cal, a guitarist that doesn’t tour with us, showed me the album and told me, “This is post rock!” I was skeptical at first, but now I don’t really see how you could label it as anything else other than something like…modern classical? Maybe? I think even that’s a stretch. I think people just don’t dig the label because it sounds pretentious, in the same vain as post modernism stuff. Honestly, unless you’re going to call it “crescendo-core” or “slambient”, you just got to take it as it comes. If people want to call it post rock, sure, but we’ll keep hammering away with the instrumental rock thing hoping that it will kind of catch. There’s always been instrumental rock, even back in the ’70s it was pretty big, so if anything it’s been around for a long time. I don’t remember when the term was coined, I think I read it on Wikipedia.

I think the first time I saw it was when someone was writing an article about either Tortoise or Mogwai.

That makes sense. Tortoise and Mogwai are totally post rock to me. They’re definitely staples of the genre. Especially Mogwai. When I think of post rock I think of Mogwai. They’re the one band that everyone in our band agrees on as a good model for what post rock should be. To answer the question though, you can call it whatever you want, the point is we’re still going to make music that sounds good to us.

So what’s your opinion on the current state of “post rock”?

I think everyone is starting to move away from the twinkly guitar thing and beginning to incorporate more electronics into their sound. At least, that’s what I would like to see. Maybe I’m keeping my ears open to only what I want to hear, but the whole “quiet loud” thing might not be quite as popular as doing some more “verse chorus” type of stuff in the future. Who knows? I think it’s certainly going to continue to be the thinking man’s type of rock and roll. I hope it gets bigger, for the sake of us and a lot of our friends who are still doing this thing, people in the trenches working really hard to make sure the music stays relevant and progresses.

caspian19

Joe Vickers rockin’ it at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.

Who would you consider some of your main influences?

When I was first learning, I would just put on Led Zeppelin albums next to my head on a big stereo and try to play along with John Bonham, which I was horrible at at first, but a lot of his beats are really groove oriented. Early hip hop sounds a lot like his drumming, and I just really like that groovy stuff. I also listen to a lot of electronic music. So for me it’s more groove oriented stuff. I know Phil (guitarist for Caspian) is a big Zeppelin fan too. Aaron likes 90s rock, like Bush and Live. Johnny likes emo stuff. Cal, who we started the band with, listens to country a lot and that shows through his playing, he utilizes lots of finger picking. So our taste in music is definitely diverse. I think it’s important for us to listen to different types of music and to expose each other to these vastly different things. For example, I have a soft spot for Skrillex, and these guys hate it, but they can get something out of my experience with that music and vice versa.

Would you say you pull influences from media not of the musical form?

Yeah, I read a ton of books. Recently we started getting into the Game of Thrones series because of the show. I read through everything. We even have a song based off of it called Fire Made Flesh. So I draw heavily from that because I spend a lot of time in books, so thematically when we’re writing our demos it helps me to think of where it’s going to get a storyline in my head, and I know Phil thinks along those same lines as well. He watches a lot of HBO television, which still has some of the most amazing storylines ever, and still a very immersive media. We also draw from a lot of personal experiences, from the atmosphere of where we come from. We’re all home town boys in Beverly, we just kind of hang out in our town. It’s a little seaside town, so we spend a lot of time on the beach in the summer. It’s nice. We like the ocean, and I think that comes through the most in our music. The vastness and expansiveness of the sea. I think everyone gets their influences from whatever their passions are, whether it be in that field of media or the music that they listen to causing them to create a painting or write a story or something. I’ve heard a lot of times after we’ve played a show people tell us, “Oh man, I just want to go home and write!”, and that’s awesome. It’s great to inspire people like that. We do a ton of traveling and see a lot of different places, and that affects our moods which comes through our music as well. I don’t know, I’m probably rambling at this point.

I’m here to let you ramble!

Haha, yeah I guess so!

Who or what are some of your favorite bands/acts out there right now?

These guys Native, who we’re on the road with, everyone should check them out. They are badass. They have a new album that they just finished, and their new stuff sounds ridiculous. It was a real cool thing for us to tour with them. I think in 2011 we did a short run with them on the way to SXSW and I had never even heard of them before our first show, and I was just blown away. So everyone should check them out and see them play with us on this tour!

Caspian is currently on tour with Native throughout the United States. If intrigued, please help support an awesome band and check out their newest album Waking Season which, in this humble writer’s opinion, was one of the best albums of last year. 

cover_KROKUS

Loud Rock Charts: 3/12

Unfortunately, last week there as a mix up with KZSC’s CMJ subscription, hence the lack of charts and adds. With this week, however, KZSC is back in business, and boy what a week. This time around sees hard rock band Krokus release their 17th studio album. Yeah, you read that right. 17. As in the number after 16.

Also dropping is stoner metal outfit Orange Goblin’s first ever live release, which promises to appease fans for a short time until they come to your local town on their tour with Clutch.


cover_KROKUS
1 KROKUS Dirty Dynamite
2 ORANGE GOBLIN A Eulogy For The Fans Candlelight
3 MORTILLERY Origin Of Extinction Napalm
4 OFF WITH THEIR HEADS Home Epitaph

 

 

 

soilwork-the-living-infinite1 SOILWORK The Living Infinite Nuclear Blast
2 SHAI HULUD Reach Beyond The Sun Metal Blade
3 SUFFOCATION Pinnacle Of Bedlam Nuclear Blast
4 HEAVEN’S BASEMENT Filthy Empire Red Bull
5 WITHIN THE RUINS Elite eOne
6 NEAERA Ours Is The Storm Metal Blade
7 PSYCHOTHERMIA Fall To The Rising Sun Self-Released
8 PISSED JEANS Honeys Sub Pop
9 BLACK DRAWING CHALKS No Dust Stuck On You Self-Released
10 DARKTHRONE The Underground Resistance Peaceville

Everybody Wants To Be A Cat

Charts and Adds 3/8/2013

Here are KZSCs latest jazz charts and adds for the week. We had an error in our CMJ subscription the past week, but it is now fixed and here are the results for the past two weeks.

Charts:

1    JOSE JAMES    No Beginning No End    Blue Note
2    LAUREN DESBERG    Sideways [EP]
3    NEXT COLLECTIVE    Cover Art    Concord
4    AARON NEVILLE    My True Story    Blue Note
5    BAD PLUS    Made Possible    Entertainment One
6    CHRIS POTTER    The Sirens    ECM
7    DONNY MCCASLIN    Gasting For Gravity    Greenleaf
8    KURT ELLING    1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project    Concord
9    MADELEINE PEYROUX    The Blue Room
10    WAYNE SHORTER    Without A Net    Blue Note

Adds:

1    ROBERT HURST    Bob A Palindrome    Be Bob
2    JOE CLARK BIG BAND    Lush    Jazzed Media
3    MIKE PRIGODICH    A Stitch In Time
4    JOHN STEIN    Bing Bang Boom!    whaling city sound
5    NEW WEST    Sleeping Lady

 

Dan Briggs

Between the Buried and Me Bassist Dan Brigss Talks New Tour, New Band & Album

I recently was given the opportunity to chat with the bassist from progressive metal giant Between the Buried and Me. Below you can read highlights of our conversation in which we cover Russian Circles, Dan’s new band Trioscapes and even an AMA they conducted on reddit not too long ago. 

Brootalisk: How did you feel about the critical acclaim towards The Parallax II? Do you think it’s been a long time coming, or were you surprised to see it atop many year end lists?

Dan Briggs: Definitely not. We set out to kind of make our own version of a rock opera, just trying to make an over the top, thematic, progressive metal, operatic story, and it ended up being 70 something minutes long. You never know how something is going to turn out and be perceived. So we in the studio really felt like it was the best thing we had done, and that’s a hard thing to try to instill on people before they even hear the record. With all that in mind, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with how it’s been received. It’s definitely a bit of a shock for such a long record to be embraced by so many people. For me, when I listen to it, it doesn’t quite feel as long. The important thing about it was the flow, and I think there’s a lot of that that contributes to the theatrical feel that we were going for. We’re definitely excited about it.

Brootalisk: Were you surprised at all to see it atop of many year-end lists?

Dan: You know, I didn’t really see that it was, but that’s cool!

Brootalisk: Oh yeah, it topped a lot.

Dan: Oh wow, that’s awesome! [laughs]

Brootalisk: Your upcoming tour with Coheed and Russian Circles is obviously in support of The Parallax II. How much of your set will be devoted to new material, and can fans expect some of their favorite old tunes to make it into the set list?

Dan: It’s gonna be about half new stuff time wise. We didn’t want to do too much off of it. Of course, for us we just want to got out and play the whole thing, but we can’t. It’s kind of a matter of picking out songs that we were really excited about and that we wanted to play, and that we though would be a good balance for this tour, and finding older songs that compliment those well. We have such a big catalog now that making a set list is almost like creating an album. You want to have a good flow and have it come down at the right moments to give yourself and the crowd a break. Our music has a lot of those dynamics naturally, so it’s just finding the right mix of songs. It gets harder and harder because we keep putting out records, so we just have more songs to choose on. But, it’s the first tour we’re doing in America since the album came out, so hopefully people will want to hear new stuff.

Brootalisk: How much time are you given for your set?

Dan: We have around an hour.

Brootalisk: I’ve heard some unique and downright strange ways band members ready their bodies for a set. Do you have a preshow warm up? If so, what does it consist of?

Dan: I stretch before we play. I always stretch to get my body looser, but I’ve also employed deeper stretches for my legs and IT bands. Aside from that though, we don’t do anything weird. We just sit there and practice our instruments. Maybe some casual stretching on the side. I think Blake does some push ups. So that’s kind of weird, I guess. [laughs]

Brootalisk: I was surprised, but very happy, to see that Russian Circles were chosen as the supporting band for the tour. Did you have any influence in choosing them to support your and Coheed’s tour?

Dan: We did! What originally happened, we were supposed to be in the middle of a headlining tour at this point that was going to involve Russian Circles as well, and I think Coheed had some tour packages fall through, so they picked up our tour package and added it to theirs. Russian Circles was a band that we picked to go on tour with us, and now they’re going on tour with Coheed and us!

Brootalisk: What’s your opinion of the band?

Dan: They’re cool! I’ve been getting into some of their more recent stuff. I remember listening to their very first record when it first came out, and I thought it was cool, but I just kind of fell off after that. Not for any reason, I just kinda stopped listening to them. They’re a very interesting band and very interesting kind of instrumental band, so I think it’s going to be a very neat package. I think every band has their own crowd. I’ve been a huge Botch fan, so I’m extremely excited to nerd out on their bass player a bit.

Brootalisk: Going off topic a little bit, you conducted an AMA on reddit before your newest record released. Can you give some insight on what kind of experience that was for you?

Dan: It was fun. I had never been to reddit before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea. I didn’t know the format at all. When it started, we weren’t together at all. We were at our respective homes, so I didn’t really know what to do! But it was fun! It was cool. There were a lot of people that asked questions, and we tried to answer as many as we could. Paul’s personality definitely shined through. He’s a very sarcastic and funny guy, something that people might not necessarily get just from watching him play on stage or reading his interviews. We did it with the hope that it would be a bit more laid back and teach the fans more about us than they normally would get.

Brootalisk: Would you ever do one again?

Dan: Yeah totally, now that I actually understand the format!

Brootalisk: Speaking of internet popularity, are you aware of Protest the Hero’s attempt to go independent with their latest album? What are your thoughts on that? Do you think it’s a potentially viable way for bands to start funding an album?

Dan: It seems like it, if they raised that much money! To make an album, we’ve probably only ever had about half that much. I guess you don’t really need that much to make an album nowadays. But, I’m glad it’s an option for people to come out with their own stuff. Artists have been doing that for decades. Peter Gabriel has been putting out his own records since the ’80s, so it’s nothing new, but I think it’s reached the point where people who are underground can do it. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that you don’t necessarily have to rely on making a CD that has a national distribution that’s going to be in every Best Buy or whatever. I think the fact that you can get your music out through the internet, from either digital files or even your own webstore, that’s a huge thing. And maybe you can get a smaller distribution deal to sell at indie stores. That’s perfect, what else do you need?

Dan Briggs

How metal? Dan’s so metal he shoots laser beams out of his instruments.

Brootalisk: What are your plans after the tour?

Dan: BTBAM is going to Europe in the Summer, but right after this tour my group Trioscapes, which is a three piece fusion project with bass, saxophone and drums. We’re doing a couple weeks on the East Coast and we’re going down to Puerto Rico to do a masterclass and a concert of course. That’ll be fun. I’m going to be working with my third group Orbs. We just finished writing a new album that I’m probably going to try to and record the guitars, bass, and drums in May before BTBAM goes to Europe, and hopefully I can finish that in the fall. So, you know, staying busy.

Brootalisk: Do you think Trioscapes would ever tour with Tosin Abasi’s side project, T.R.A.M?

Dan: Yeah, you know it was really funny because we’re all good friends, and we all went to different countries touring, so we hadn’t seen each other for a long time. So we find ourselves in Europe together after a year or so and we ask them what they had been up to, and they were like, “Oh we started this fusion group with a saxophone player!” and when they asked me what I had been up to, I was like, “Oh I started this fusion group with a saxophone player!” That was weird. It ended up because we just have similar influences. Tosin and Javier are big into Mahavishnu Orchestra and John McLaughlin, and John McLaughlin is a big influence to me and everyone in Trioscapes, and that was sort of a chance thing. However, I don’t think they have live ambitions. I kind of made it pretty vocal from the get go. Trioscapes started as a live band, after all. It’s very much an active group. So, I would love to, and I think that would be super fun. I’m sure kids would love to see that, but I think there’s a better chance of seeing us on tour with Animals as Leaders than seeing T.R.A.M.