Anuhea

Anuhea & Justin Young Interview

I had a wonderful chat with Hawaiian reggae music stars Anuhea and Justin Young as they were passing through Northern California, performing at the Reggae in the Hills Festival in Angels Camp. Hear the interview here.

Anuhea & Justin Young have a new song together called Forever Summer; see it below.

 

 

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Interview with Katherine from Mystic Roots Band

Check out this interview I had with Katherine Ramirez of Mystic Roots Band. They will be performing THIS weekend at Reggae in the Hills Music Festival out in Angels Camp, CA. Their new album Campfire came out tuesday June 4th. This is volume one of a two part album so keep your ears tuned for the second half coming out this september.

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Sea Wolf Drops by KZSC

KZSC’s Program Director Lois Rosson had a chance to sit down with Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf to discuss their latest album, Old World Romance. Sea Wolf played at Moe’s Alley on May 21st, the 3rd stop on a five-week tour promoting the new album. Listen to Church talk about Sea Wolf’s origins, influences, and evolution:

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KZSC Jazz Charts 5/6 and Featured Artist Sarah Elizabeth Charles

All of the cats at KZSC have been enjoying a huge influx of the finest jazz in lieu of the recent JAM (Jazz Appreciation Month) of April. Now that April has ended, the fun hasn’t stopped in May and we continue to recieve tons of titles from our promoters!

Here, some of the most popular plays are listed:

1 ELDAR DJANGIROV Breakthrough
2 MARC BERNSTEIN Hymn For Life
3 HEATHER MASSE AND DICK HYMAN Lock My Heart
4 JANE MONHEIT The Heart Of The Matter
5 ANTHONY BRANKER AND WORD PLAY Uppity
6 LISA HILTON Getaway
7 MADELEINE PEYROUX The Blue Room
8 MICHAEL BLANCO No Time Like the Present
9 SARAH ELIZABETH CHARLES Red
10 MIKROKOLEKTYW Absent Minded
Among these is a very talented artist recently featured here at KZSC, and goes by the name Sarah Elizabeth Charles. Emerging from the vibrant jazz scene of New York City and producing through Truth Revolution Records, Sarah recently completed a tour of the west coast going through Seattle, San Francisco, Berkeley AND she even came up to our lovely little KZSCabin in the woods! Her recent recording of the album “RED” with her quartet is certainly something worth listening to. We completed a studio interview last week, which should air on my show Stirrin’ the Soup on Thursday 2-4pm.
Sarah has already played some of the greatest venues in NYC, including Dizzy’s, the Blue Note and the Iridium. Her expression doesn’t stop at RED- I’m told that there is more to look forward to the end of this year and the the following.As usual, the jazz/blues department at KZSC is committed to keeping things fresh…We are receiving nothing but the newest recordings from all over the country and we want to spin them for YOU! If you want to hear it all, tune into some of the great shows throughout the week:Your favorite kind of American folk music on American Spirit, Wednesdays 9am-12pm
A mix that contains non-GMO soul on Stirrin the Soup, 2-4 pm Thursdays.
See how it’s all related on Not So Distant Relatives, Fridays 2-4pm.
The finest women of jazz on Jazz Kitty, Saturdays 12-2pm.
Still want more??? We know you do. Check out the program schedule in the tab at the top of this page to see what else is cookin’.We thank you for listening, we thank the artists for swinging, and the promoters for mailing. Until next time.

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Intronaut Vocalist Sacha Dunable Discusses New Album, New Tour, New…Dolphin T-Shirts?

As one of the quickest risers in metal right now, Intronaut has been maintaining a very healthy fan base and a very solid discography. Recently, they added to that collection with Habiutal Levitations (Instilling Words with Tones), and apparently it was good enough to get a headlining tour with master instrumetallers Scale the Summit (which, by the way, comes to San Francisco on July 5th). Yours truly recently got to talk with the lead vocalist from the stoner metal outfit and chat about their newest album, their tour with Scale the Summit, and their latest additions to their shirt catalog.

What were you looking to accomplish with the new record?

Well, I don’t know if there was any one “goal” that we had in mind to accomplish necessarily, but I guess the thing that you’re always going for is to make a better record than the last one and to let ourselves evolve and progress into something new and fresh each time rather than putting out the same kind of record over and over again.

Habitual Levitations doesn’t feature the “growly vocals” that were present in your past records. What made you decide to do this kind of transformation?

Like I said, it’s just evolving as a musician and a person, really. Especially with the new record, and partially with the last, writing music where you’re just growling into a microphone after spending all of your time writing well thought out instrumental parts just seemed like it didn’t quite fit anymore.  The music isn’t really coming from an angsty place at this point, if that makes sense? It’s hard to explain to somebody that might not be in a band, but if you’re on stage screaming into a microphone, it just doesn’t feel as natural. Expressing that kind of angry, angsty side wasn’t what I was after, it just doesn’t feel natural anymore. Not to say that it will never happen again in our music, but while we were writing that record, that’s where we were all coming from.

How do you feel towards the reception you’ve received towards your latest album?

It seems fine, about the same as always really. Most people are into it, and there’s always some people who aren’t into it, which is to be expected if you’re changing things up from record to record. This time however there’s been more passionate hatred, and I take that as a good sign *laughs*. It shows that people care enough to say something negative about it. Everything else has been really good I think. I haven’t really noticed anything out of the ordinary as far as that goes.

You’ve always kind of been the “poster boys” for stoner metal. How do you feel about that label? Do you embrace it or try to shrug it off?

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I don’t really care. I mean, I would be lying if I said a lot of our music wasn’t written while under the influence, but personally I’m not what you would call a “stoner.” I think we’ve just played into that because we think it’s kind of funny, you know? It enables us to do ridiculous things, like a dolphin in a spacesuit smoking pot *laughs*. Also, when you’re on the road, you end up smoking pot with random fans. It’s just a good way to interact with people. So I don’t know if one would say we’re the “poster boys” for stoner metal, but we’ll play into it. It’s funny.

Is that why you guys made those shirts? I mean, I find them hilarious, but I really have to ask: whats with the dolphin t-shirts? 

*laughs* I don’t remember exactly where it started, but basically whenever we’re writing records, we’ll name our recordings in the hard drive with a joke title, and a few records ago one of those joke titles was “Barbecued Dolphin.” So, that became our funny little inside joke, and finally I just decided to ask this guy to make a barbecued dolphin t-shirt. He ended up flipping it around and turned it into a bunch of dolphins barbecuing, which is still to this day my favorite Intronaut shirt ever. We just loved it so much we started incorporating dolphin stuff into other things. This one time, we were playing at Budapest, Hungary, and this guy brought us this beautiful carved dolphin out of soapstone. And on this last tour, someone brought a dolphin glass pipe *laughs*. I don’t know, I guess it’s kind of become our thing.

Speaking of excitement, how pumped are you guys for the upcoming Scale the Summit tour?

It’s gonna be awesome man. We’re really excited to get out and do a real proper headliner, and we have Scale the Summit coming along too. It’s gonna be sweet. We’ve never actually played with them, I don’t think, but we’ve known them for a really long time. They actually used to live here in L.A., so we would always go to each others shows and whatnot. So we’re excited to be out with them. And then Mouth of the Architect, which is a band we’ve played with a couple times, and Joe, our bass player, actually filled in with them a few times over the years. So yeah, it’s gonna be a killer tour, for sure.

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What are your plans for the rest of the year, and what do you hope to accomplish as a band?

We’re working on getting more tours lined up. So we’re going to be touring more this year, and into next year, I’m sure. We’re already starting to think about the next record, but of course that’s going to take a while to get put together. As far as our goals, I don’t know man, we just want to keep doing this band. It’s just what we love doing. We’ve gotten to a point where it’s pretty much sustainable and we can hopefully just keep making records. Who knows what the future holds as far as the music industry goes, but I think we’re in a pretty good place. We have a nice small fan base that are devoted enough to help us do this. Hopefully for as long as we want to do it.

Intronaut are headlining a tour with Scale the Summit and Mouth of the Architect/Castle, starting in June. If you’re interested (which you should be) you can find more information here

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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.

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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.