Interview w/ Shiragirl

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Artwork by : Sophia Bonafide

The Camera Affect Promotions had the pleasure of sitting down with New York native Shiragirl before her set during Vans Warped Tour to discuss everything from the creation of her own stage to her EP ‘Brooklyn Goes Hollywood’ to playing with Joan Jett. If you want to find out more about what Shiragirl had to say, keep reading below:

What was your reaction when you found out that this was going to be the last year of Warped?

I was super sad. I actually found out in 2017 that 2018 was going to be the last full cross-country run. I was bummed, it definitely felt like the end of an era.

What was your reaction when you were asked to come and play?

I was so happy and so excited and just honored to be included. Yeah, really happy.

So, I know that the Shiragirl Stage came about in a really unique way, correct me if I’m wrong. You pretty much asked Kevin (Lyman) if he could include more female bands on the lineup and he said maybe next year and you just did it anyways. 

Yep that’s exactly it!

What was that like knowing you had kind of “defied” him and you ended up with your own stage?

So how it happened was I was on the tour the previous year and I had noticed there were no female musicians and I said “hey can we come back and host some girl bands maybe in the Girls Garage Tent and he said “great idea, maybe next year.” We just decided lets do it anyway. We drove into the gates and set up and we had a little punk-rock set up. We just thought a year seemed so far away when you’re a kid, you know, and we thought why not and he walked up and we kind of held our breath because we didn’t know if we were going to get kicked out or what not and he just looked around and said “alright Shira, so you’re on for the whole tour” and it was both kind of an invite and almost a challenge. It felt really good to be able to then come back the next year and we were invited back to do an official stage, which Kevin named the Shiragirl Stage and host all those bands including Paramore on their first ever tour.

That’s wild. I heard that and was like “she’s a badass.”

Aww thank you!

 So as a female in a predominantly male dominated scene, did you find that you had to prove yourself when you played your first Warped Tour? Do you find that you still have to prove yourself now?

Oh absolutely, one hundred percent. We definitely had to prove ourselves. In a male dominated space women definitely have to work twice as hard to get the respect a man gets and that’s just how it is, and when we first started out there were bets against us finishing the tour. We were not taken seriously. People would say “this area back here is only for the bands” and we would say “we are the band” you know? Even now there’s a lot more exposure and representation but it’s still not equal and I feel like there’s this misconception that we’re all equal now but if you look at the numbers it’s just not true.

Did they come to respect you more overtime or was there something that you did that made them respect you?

I think just working really hard absolutely, building relationships on the tour and also just kicking ass, playing our instruments well, rehearsing, taking our craft seriously, that’s important too, putting the hours in and being good at what we do.

 Makes perfect sense. I know you’ve been called the Punk-Rock Madonna, where did that name come from?

It’s so funny, actually this girl Rose who is in a band called Anti Hero who played our stage in Canada, she’s from Toronto, she first said that to me and it kind of just stuck with our team. I think that our manager put it into a press release or a bio that made its way to Billboard and then Billboard kind of coined it last year when they premiered our first single. After Billboard said it I thought “oh my gosh, it’s official,” and I love it. Madonna is a huge influence of mine so it’s a compliment.

Your EP Brooklyn Goes Hollywood showed the juxtaposition between Hollywood and New York where you’re from. Did the title come before the sound of the album or did the sound of the album influence the title? 

That’s a good question. I think it was a big theme because our whole band is from New York, at least my drummer and bassist, the three of us really co-wrote that record and we wanted to achieve this fusion of a sound that was like the dancy pop fun aspect meets this harder punk-rock sound. I actually wanted to write a song called Brooklyn Goes Hollywood, I’ve had that in my mind forever. As songwriters, you often think of the song title before you think of the song sometimes and so it never became a song but then when we were talking about the album name I just thought this is like, the perfect way to describe the duality of the record.

What was it like having Joan Jett play your stage?

That was a dream come true! So Joan was on the tour, she used to bike over to the side of our stage and watch the girl bands and she actually gave me a pep talk because about halfway through the tour half my band quit, first my drummer then my guitarist quit. I was super upset, we were hosting all these bands, and she knocked on my RV door, sat on the couch next to me, looked me in the eye and said “you’re doing a good thing and you have to keep going.” She said “girls like that make girls like us look bad and you’ve got to keep going” and I said “okay I’ve got to keep going because Joan Jett told me to.” The last day of that tour was when it had kind of been discussed that she would do a special appearance with her manager and it was Cleveland, Ohio and they said “Joan wants you to sing and she’s going to play guitar and do backup” and it was crazy. Right before we went on we were rehearsing on the side of the stage it felt like I was in the Runaways. It was really a dream and I was so honored, just recently they put a Warped Tour exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I got included and in it is our set list from that day and a photo of us performing with Joan Jett next to her bra and her setlist and my shirt so it’s really cool. What an honor. This was before Instagram and stuff so someone had captured a video of it on Youtube somewhere but I wish I had gotten more of my personal footage from it, from that moment, but nothing can replace that memory. Just looking out and seeing Kevin Lyman in the crowd.

I bet. Did you ever think you would get from where you started to playing on the same stage as Joan Jett singing one of her songs as the main vocalist?

It was an honor. We did actually open up for her band earlier that year and I just have to say it’s a great example of how Warped Tour has opened up so many doors for up and coming artist because if it weren’t for Warped Tour I never would have met her because she was playing the tour and we got introduced. So yeah, huge honor and definitely inspires me to keep going.

What has been your best or craziest memory?

Oh my gosh, there’s so many but one that comes to mind is that I got to perform Lori Meyers with NOFX and that was super cool. Any time you’re on the main stage the crowd is so big and the energy is amazing and I also got to perform with The Transplants and that was super cool. Anytime you get to do a special guest performance like that is amazing.

Last question. When they announced that Warped Tour was coming to an end I noticed a couple pop up tours start happening and they started traveling the country. Do you think there’s ever going to be anything on the Warped Tour scale again or do you think Warped Tour is kind of the “Mecca” of everything. 

Great question. Personally I think there’s only one Kevin Lyman and Warped Tour is one of a kind and I don’t think there will be another Warped Tour. I know Kevin hopes to see someone else pick up the torch and do what he did but you just can’t duplicate it. I do hope to see other tours, like Sad Summer tour and Disrupt and I would love to play any of those and be part of it but nothing is ever going to be like Warped Tour. The way that Kevin really brought together all these baby bands and big bands in one plane and made them feel like a family with the after parties and barbecues, his involvement in non-profit organizations, making sure the tour recycled, getting involved with charity organizations, such as FEND, you don’t see that a lot in the music industry. He’s a humanitarian and a lot of people in the music industry are more about profit or whatever it is, fame, and he’s really just a great person. While I hope there will be another Warped Tour, I think it really is one of a kind. That being said.  Kevin is advising me, I’m actually working on starting a tour of my own, kind of based on a similar mission we had with the Shiragirl Stage to promote women in music and platform for female artists. It’s going to be called Gritty in Pink and it’s going to start off as an event series, monthly in LA and eventually we’re hoping to build a whole tour off of that.

 I love that, I’m definitely coming back just for that!

Yay!

Keep up with Shiragirl on Twitter| Facebook | Instagram

Show some love to the graphic designer Sophia

Interview courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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Interview w/ Jack Klatt + Photos Included

 

As a teenager in the late 90s and early 2000s, Jack grew up with the birth of the internet, as well as one of the first popular music sharing services, Napster. While many kids his age were using it to download popular music, Jack took a different approach. “I just started following things backwards, just kind of how I think it went…Rancid was one of my favorite bands when I was really young, and I started kind of just tracing their influences. That was just like a natural thing for me to do because I was curious of how they got to where they were. And I just kind of kept going back in time and back in time and wound up at the country blues and Woody Guthrie and all this folk music that was super fascinating to me, and I kind of just stuck around there for a while.

Being a child of the 90s when it’s just like N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys in all these neat little packages, it’s really nice to hear someone really raw like Woody Guthrie who’s just singing a song about how the Dust Bowl has affected his life. There’s something super honest about that that’s really real that rang a bell.”

Woody Guthrie’s influences are clear in Jack’s earlier albums, through his storytelling lyrics, solo fingerpicking guitar style, and simple, raw sound. But for his latest album, Ain’t It The Same, Jack decided to take a new approach. “That first solo record is recorded was in my friend’s basement, just basically live. The second record I did, The Shadows in the Sunset is just recorded in an old church live as well. We had two days on this track to record everything straight without any overdubs. [For Ain’t It The Same] I just I kind of planned out a year of my life and decided it was something I wanted to do and put together the best band I could think of and found the best studio I could think of. I really just wanted to get into the studio environment and see what happens. I had a lot of fun with it.”

A big difference on Ain’t It the Same is the addition of the band, something Jack was very excited about, and rightly so. Ain’t It The Same features a huge amount of talent: John James Tourville (fiddler for The Deslondes) on guitar, Casey McDonough on bass, and Alex Hall on drums, as well as studio engineer for the album.

“Basically, all these all these guys had a huge hand in it. I know my bio claims production status, but in a sense, it is a very anarchistic, kind of production in that I wrote the songs, I put the band together, I booked the studio time, arranged travel for everybody and then we had two weeks in the studio. And they had never really even heard these songs before. We just kind of worked them out together and kind of just worked to find what felt good and what felt right and what felt fun. That’s what came out of it and it was such a fun process of collaboration”

But Jack has made sure to stay true to his roots, even with more people and more polish. “The post-production phase was a little bit more involved to where [Alex Hall and I] did spend a lot of time and just got to play around in the studio like little kids, adding a little effects here and there.. But yeah I did kind of keep true to the live aspect that the old CDs had, just with a bit of trickery.”

As Jack’s career continues to grow and change, his thoughts on music stay the same, echoing himself as a teenager downloading blues jug music in a world of boy bands and bubblegum pop: “It’s kind of like that Louis Armstrong quote, ‘There’s only two kinds of music, good music and bad music.’ I think any music has to have soul. Something behind it, something real to make it move somebody. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.’

Jack Klatt – Interview + Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Rajchart Instagram

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Interview w/ Songwriter & Rapper Whitney Peyton |Vans Warped Tour 2019

On the last day of Warped Tour in Mountain View, CA The Camera Affect Promotions had the honor of sitting down with Philadelphia rapper Whitney Peyton. With her yellow pineapple pinata in tow, we discussed everything from headlining tours and released albums to the rap industry and being an independent artist. Check out the interview below:

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TCAP: What was your first reaction when you found out that Warped Tour was ending?

WP: It felt like a new chapter I guess, because Warped Tour is a very nostalgic thing, so it was just one more thing cementing that I was not a kid anymore, so that’s kind of sad. This is why I have things like this (holds up a pineapple pinata) to keep me childish. I think Warped Tour is just a big staple in the music scene so it definitely felt like the end of an era. 

TCAP: And what did it feel like when you were invited back to play the last Warped Tour?

WP: I was surprised because I didn’t know it was going to happen again, they resurrected it. I was stoked to be playing it because I did play last year which was the final one where they did the full tour and I just had no idea that I was going to have the chance to do it. I was like “okay it’s over, I won’t get the chance.” It was kind of a bucket list thing to do, you know, and then being invited back this year made me feel like they liked me last year, they must have liked something, I did something right which is rare, so yeah it felt really good. 

TCAP: Well that’s good!

WP: “It was terrible, why am I here, I hate it.” Don’t do that, don’t make that the clickbait, I’m going to be looking for the title.

TCAP: I will not make that the clickbait, I promise I won’t make that the clickbait. So last year was your first headlining tour, correct?

WP: Yes! Full country headlining tour.

TCAP: I know you toured with Twiztid before. How did that feel going from a supporting act to a headlining act ?

WP: It was so weird because you know what, besides Twiztid I’ve done over a dozen national tours and I’ve toured with Three Six Mafia, Cottonmouth Kings, acts like Blood On The Dance Floor, so yeah, I’ve even done shows with Borns of Osiris and that’s super heavy for me to be on. I’ve always been such an eclectic like, every single lane, because when you see me they don’t know where to put me, booking agents don’t know where to put me. They’re like ‘okay here’s this rap-rock chick, what can we put her with,’ so I end up going out with everybody which is awesome, but at the same time when I went to headline I was like ‘oh my god, what’s this going to be like?’ Is this going to be like a melting-pot type of all different people which would be dope, but then I’m hoping that they’re able to mesh together and not just be segregated like the high school kids tables. Like those are the Juggalos and those are the punk kids and I just want everyone to kind of mesh, but luckily with the way music is going now with everything being a fusion, with MGK being rock-rap and Yungblud being like an emo-rap-rock thing it’s kind of like blurred lines and there’s no rules anymore.

TCAP: Did you find that people don’t take you seriously as a female in a predominantly male dominated industry?

WP: Yeah of course, I mean my DJ is a girl and I work with Gina over here who’s also a girl if you can’t tell. I work with a lot of women and I think it’s kind of like, I even tell these guys, on my set when I come out, I make sure I don’t even step onto the stage until I’m actually rapping so I don’t even show myself until I’m doing my vocals so they’re being hit with that at the same time so they have no time do prejudge what it’s going to sound like, they can only go off of what’s happening right there. Yeah you’ve got to prove yourself a lot more. A lot of people think it’s an advantage because you’re the only chick, so everyone gravitates toward it because it’s different, but being a girl can make them interested in it, it’s not going to make them stay. The music is going to make them stay, so that’s what we want, the ones that stay. 

TCAP: And you were primarily an independent artist but you were just signed to Tragic Hero Records, correct?

WP: Correct. I did my last album Iridescent with Tragic Hero with Warner Brothers Distribution but my next album is going to be independent again. It was cool, it was like this metal label so that was dope. I just like being independent. I wanted to try something new with them and they did awesome for me. I charted on Billboard, I was Top 10 in rap albums first week. We were on Heat Seekers, like 4,200 copies first week and that’s pretty crazy in a day and age where everything is digital because most of them were physical albums, so I’m blown away by that. 

TCAP: Is there anything that drove you more towards being an independent artist?

WP: I’m a control freak! Yeah, I just don’t like being told when I can drop things and being told this is who’s producing you and this is who’s writing your songs. I write all my songs. I’m up to co-write songs with people and stuff but no one can tell my story. I want it to feel genuine to the fans. The type of fans that I have currently I’m so thankful for and it’s because I connect with them and I don’t want to risk losing that connection by having someone else write what I’m saying. 

TCAP: Yeah, you want to keep the authenticity.

WP: I think it’s achievable to do both. I think a lot of people believe that you have to have these writers and you have to have these producers to be able to have a breakthrough song or something and I just completely disagree. I think maybe it’ll be harder because you have to get the platform yourself and you’re not just grabbing their platform but I think the genuine stuff will shine through at the end. 

TCAP: Last year you released your sophomore album, Iridescent. What was the process like going into writing your second album that was different from writing your first?

WP: Man, the thing is that I tour so much. The last couple years I was touring like ten months out of the year so the Firecracker album I did in like eight days or something like that. The Iridescent album was pretty similar in the sense that we did it in less than two weeks. Sometimes that makes me upset because I like to take time to write and sometimes I’m like, it captured a moment in time, so it was a snapshot of a moment in time. As much as sometimes I’m like, ‘I wish I had more time to do the album,’ I’m the kind of person where if you give me too much time it’ll just never come out because I’ll be like no we can make this better, no we can do this, no we’ve got to change this and it’ll just never end up coming out because no one is forcing me to put it out. In a way there’s got to be a middle ground where I have a little bit more time for the next one but someone is still giving me a deadline so I’m not like, ‘no we can make it better,’ ‘no let’s rewrite it,’ because it’ll just never come out dude.

TCAP: What has been the most difficult part of your career so far? Have you ever questioned if this is really what you want to do?

WP: I’ve never questioned if it’s what I want to do because it’s a great release but I think the hardest part is that I have a lot of anxiety especially being on tour, which you wouldn’t think because I tour so much, but I do have a social anxiety a lot of times so it’s difficult at times to be surrounded by people and also in the genre I’m in I feel like everything is competitive, like there’s a competitive air around hip-hop. I especially like playing Warped Tour because I think a lot of the rock dudes are just kind of more laid back and like ‘yeah we’re in it together,’ and I wish hip-hop was a little more like that. Hip-hop stems from the era of battling and battle raps and it still has a lot of that sense about it where everything is like ‘I have a better car than you, I have a hotter girlfriend than you,’ you know, so sometimes it gets really tiring feeling like you have to step out with this confidence that you might not always have. 

TCAP: They try and one up each other.

WP: Right, and that’s pretty exhausting. 

TCAP: Alright last one. I know since they announced that this was going to be the last hurrah for Warped Tour a couple of smaller pop up tours have been touring the country. Do you think that there’s ever going to be anything like Warped Tour again or do you think that this is kind of it to this level?

WP: I definitely think we’re it to this level because we’re in such a digital age and every festival is getting smaller I think. You have a lot of artists touring too because they’re not making as much money digitally, so they’re touring to make up for it. You have so many options so you’re like ‘oh I could see this person tonight or this person or this person, they’re all coming through town.’ Before it would be like ‘this is the show we’re all going to.’ I think Warped was kind of bigger when it was more about being there and now it’s like ‘well we can watch it on YouTube.’ I mean there’s nothing that’s ever going to replace the sense of a live show, but I do think that’s going to be on a smaller scale unfortunately. 

TCAP: I know Kevin (Lyman) has said that he’s kind of hoping that someone steps up and takes the reigns for Warped Tour, do you think that will happen?

WP: I think people will step up and try and do something similar but I don’t think nothing will ever be able to imitate it, you know what I’m saying? I think it’ll happen, I hope it happens, so we can keep it going and keep it punk-rock. 

You can keep up with Whitney by following her on social media and find her music on both iTunes and Spotify when you search Whitney Peyton.

Whitney’s socials: Twitter | Instagram| Website

Interview & photos courtesy of Linette  |** full photo gallery to come **

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Photos + Interview w/ Highwind

Recently, I got a chance to ask musician and friend Chris Russo of Highwind a few questions. Highwind is an alternative rock band from New Jersey, who just put out their debut ep “How’ve You Been?” earlier this year. If you haven’t, I highly recommend this checking out this band.

 

What’s your favorite show you’ve ever played? Who was it with? Where was it?

I have two answers for this. When I was in My Lonely Heart, we played a memorial show for our drummer after he passed away. And there was no other feeling quite like playing that showing and feeling all of the love that everyone in attendance was showing towards one of my best friends. The other answer being the release show for, “How’ve You Been?”. The feeling of hearing and seeing so many people singing back the lyrics to a record that came out THAT DAY was magical. It was surreal. And really gave me faith that Highwind was special.

 

What’s your favorite show you’ve ever attended? 

I have SO many answers for this. Yellowcard’s final New Jersey show was flawless. It was the most emotional I have ever gotten at a show for multiple reasons. When I was in MLH, we opened for the Jersey show of As It Is’ O.k.a.y. USA tour, and I think that was my favorite As It Is show to date. Seeing them play a floor show to 500 kids was WILD, and I crowd surfed probably every song. Seeing The 1975 sell out Starland Ballroom was pretty mind-blowing too.

 

Who in your life influences you to keep creating music the most? 

I have a lot of friends that give me a new reason every single day to keep writing and keep playing. My producer for “How’ve You Been?”, CJ Rarela, constantly inspires me to keep pushing myself and move forward. My best friend, CJ’S brother Adam. He was the best musician I have ever had the honor to play music with. Who he was inspires me to keep pushing forward every day.  Listening to my favorite bands and seeing how far they’ve come is always a really good motivator for me.

 

What is your songwriting process like?

It…just kind of happens. I get the idea for a new song and I just let it happen. The lyrics and music just kind of happen it at the same time. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a chorus and I’ll build a whole song around it. Sometimes I’ll start from the beginning of a track until the whole thing is finished. Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to write a song, sometimes it takes a month or two.

 

What song took the longest to write off of “How’ve You Been?” ? 

Technically Afterlife. I wrote the song a year before I recorded it. And then re-wrote the chorus mid-way through recording the EP. Bi-Polar took months because that song went through 3 or 4 lyrics revisions.

 

What song was the quickest to write off of “How’ve You Been?” ? 

Wednesday, 2 O’clock. I wrote the whole song in a half hour to try to calm the nerves I was feeling about seeing a therapist for the first time. The anxiety drove that song. I just felt so nervous of what I didn’t know and that feeling drove that whole song.

 

How was it working on Bi-Polar with Nina Schrimer?

Nina is an absolute angel. I’ve known her for a few years now. And she has always been a very kind soul. I knew she had to be on Bi-Polar. I told her about the song and she was super excited about it from day one. Actually seeing her and hearing her in the studio was wild. I’ll always support anything and everything she wants to do in life. She deserves so much happiness.

 

Do you plan on collaborating with anyone else soon? 

I have so many bands and singers that I would LOVE to collaborate with. Nothing is in progress quite yes, but I plan on shooting out a few emails down the road and seeing if it gets me anywhere.

 

I know “How’ve You Been?” just dropped this year, but any new music in the works?

Yes! I have some new music in the works for later this year. It’s going to be out a bit later than originally planned, but I want to give these songs the time and attention that they deserve. Very excited for everyone to hear these songs!

 

Photos + Interview by Madison Boyce | Highwind : Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Interview with King Soloman

KING SOLOMAN 4

 What made you get into music, and what are your inspirations?

I always had a niche for music. When I was younger I started playing the guitar and then later switched to the drums. I started taking private lessons and went to Edward R. Murrow high school for music. Every now and then professional musicians would come in to give a demonstration and I would be very inspired by their talent. It made me want to learn more about music and it drove me to practice more. Growing up in Brooklyn, I was inspired by Jay-Z and Biggie, but truth is watching Joey Badass, Powers Pleasant, and other Murrow heads make it, really caught my attention. Watching them really taught me a lot of lessons.

Do you have any new music coming out or working on anything new?

Just last week I dropped a new single called, “I Need That.” You can follow updates on my Instagram @Kingsoloman_ . I also have more songs that I’m working on for the album dropping this June. Everyone will have to wait for that. I’m sure the new song will get people hype.

 What do you do if you find yourself in a musical rut?

Usually I try my best to avoid it but sometimes its inevitable. If it happens I just relax, take some time to myself. I revisit whatever song I’m working on and try to continue the vibe. If it flows smoothly then I know I’m out of it.  If I still cant write lyrics, rap, or just focus on the music in general then I wont even try to record that day. You want everything to make to be with good energy so if the vibe isn’t right then it isn’t my night.

What is your ultimate goal?

I want to get better as an artist and grow everyday. Im always working and practicing my technique so my goals constantly change. I have a lot of goals so its hard to focus on one. I guess you can say my goal is to get signed by a major label within 3 years after my debut album which will be coming up this June.

Who do you consider the pioneers of your genre?

DJ Cool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Hands down Biggie & 2-Pac. Tribe Called Quest. NWA. I mean the list goes on because rap and hip hop is always changing.

How do you feel about music pirating/ fille sharing?

Its just a big mess. I understand why people do it. Its free. But people don’t realize how much work actually goes into a song, album, or music video. They don’t realize the hours put in to producing, mixing, and editing. For creators we want recognition and credibility along with an income from our investment which is the music. I don’t like it. People deserved to get paid for their work.

What is the music scene like for you in South FL?

Everybody is trying to be a rapper. I feel like its very common in Miami. A lot of artists are making it by doing shows in Wynwood and south beach. For up and coming artists, Wynwood is great. Every weekend there is an opportunity to do a show and get recognition.  Its very different from what I’m used to because in NYC everyone is hyped up and energetic in the club. Miami is mostly has a laidback and chill vibe but if you know your spots you will get a good crowd. Events happen every weekend so If you are really determined to make it as an artist you can get your music out there.

 If you could dine with any muscian in the world, dead or alive, who would it be? Tough question, I know, but you have to choose one!!!

Honestly it has to be my boy Heavenly Thoughts. He is a local rapper in Hollywood Florida and my dude can keep up a conversation for days. I know I will entertained and he will probably pay for dinner so I’m good. You need to check out his music on SoundCloud. Heavenly Thoughts is his name.

What’s one music memory you’ll never forget?

That’s tough. I would have to say when I recorded Brighter Side. It was like a Tuesday and I was visiting new York. At the time I didn’t plan on rapping or releasing any music. I was just playing basketball with my friends Tariq & Paulie then afterwards we went back to Tariqs house to make some beats and then he showed me brighter side. I looked a paulie and I was like we making a song right now. Mind you that paulie never recorded before. Everything came together and that was the moment that started the pursuit of making an Album.

What do you love most about music?

The fact that it brings people together. No matter what background you come from, music will introduce you to people you would never meet through your daily interactions. I know from personal experience. I remember one time when I traveled to London I met someone from France who loved Biggie, and I was in shock that he knew so much about the music. He might have even been a bigger fan of Biggie then me. It was a crazy experience. We grew up in 2 different countries. Just from talking about music we instantly become cool with one another and its hard to get that interaction from most people. Shout out my boy Fred.

Listen to King Soloman on Soundcloud

Interview by Ashley Grace

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Interview with Times Like These

Times Like These is a 4-piece pop rock band from Long Island, New York, consisting of vocalist Mike Acampora, bassist Zach Dyer, guitarist Eddie Giuffo, and drummer Cody Omage, have toured throughout the East coast, finding new fans everywhere they go with their energetic and intimate live performances.

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What was is like working with Hope ( Vista), while covering Panic ! At The Disco ?Hope is amazing! She’s super talented and her band is phenomenal! Working with her was amazing and we would love to work with her again.  You can view the cover here.

You worked with Rian Dawson ( All Time Low ) on your song, “Take me Home “.  How did that go ? We clicked with Rian and his assistant Dan right off the bat. It was such a smooth process and it honestly couldn’t have went any better. We can wait to work with them again.

Where did the band name come from ? Did you have any others chosen first ?
Times Like These actually comes from a lyric in the old All Time Low song “Noel”. We had a few other names in mind but we didn’t like any of them as much as we liked TLT. Two that stick out to me are Sound The Alarm and Easy Target.
What was the very first show you played, who was it with, and how did it go ? The very first show we ever played was in our friends backyard and it went pretty well for our first show. Our friends in Break Down The Walls and Suburban Zombie also played. Everyone killed it that night.

Out of all of your releases, which is your favorite song, and why?
My favorite song we’ve ever put out at the moment is Take Me Home. Writing it came so natural and it’s so much fun to play live!

Times Like These | Interview questions by Madison Boyce

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Interview w/ Gabe Fleck

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Photo courtesy of Alex Norris
1.) What inspired you to start a career in music?
I think a huge part of getting into music for me was impersonating what media was showing me about “being a rock-star”. If we go back far enough, my mom still has a picture of me in sunglasses rocking a dope, Gibson Explorer-looking toy guitar when I was like 6 years old. Same for my sister. My mom is kind of a bad ass like that.
2.) How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
For Bliss, my latest EP, it’s like if MGMT stumbled into a night club. Weird indie pop vibes.
3.) To a new listener, what song would you suggest they listen to?
Take a stab at any of them! But I’ve gotten lucky with the numbers on Colder Shoulders. So if you do check that out and like it, let me know why because I’m curious and still can’t justify the numbers.
4.) What is your biggest goal for this year, musically
Figure out why I’m doing music for sure. That’s usually the biggest goal always. Making sure I’m secure in my messaging and my sound I’m bringing to the scene. It takes a lot of work on your life in general. Art imitates life so if I wish to put out an honest message I must be living that lifestyle and surrounding myself with aesthetics and experiences that influence that message.
5.) What is the meaning behind your most recent release?
Easy is about the inner conflict that occurs around a one night stand ordeal. That experience can be hard to navigate and I was introduced and educated in it mainly in college. Declaring that you’re super into someone but don’t have the energy to invest in them all the way because you have your own critical pursuits is never a fun discussion. But it makes for a fun, open, honest time.
6.) What inspired the visuals to the “ I Want To Be With Myself” music video?
Blade Runner and the magic of Alex Robino. I gave him the back story to making Bliss and some of those aesthetics and he ran with it perfectly.
7.) Will there be any upcoming new releases or tour dates in 2019?
Probably not any personal releases and definitely no touring for this guy. There are many people in the local PDX scene I want to contribute to before coming back to a project of my own. It’s just about approaching collaboration with the same seriousness and importance as my own personal music career. I’m inspired by some of the people around me. I just need to start working.
8.) Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m not sure. I can whistle fairly loud but I can’t do that thing where you make a pocket with your pointer finger and thumb. I’m also a graphic designer if that counts?
9.) Something you want your fans to know?
Every single person is insecure about something. Don’t care about the irrelevant. Be imperfect in the pursuit of your best.
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Photo courtesy of Alex Norris
Interview by Cristine Trimarco
Gabe’s socials  : Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify |Soundcloud 
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