Soundtrack Review

EXPRESS YOUR PINEAPPLE: REMINISCING THE SOUNDTRACK
October 28, 2016 4:20 am

So, here’s the thing. I’m supposed to write a serious music review, and I totally could, except it’s 2AM on a Friday and I’m watching Pineapple Express on TNT (We Know Drama). I should really be sleeping. That’s what a sensible person would be doing. They’d be sleeping there all numbly-bumbly thinking how sweet it is being asleep safe and sound right as rain, all cozied up gaining valuable, usable energy for the strenuous day that may or may not be ahead of them, I don’t know, I don’t know who we’re talking about. But I cherish that thought, that sleepy paradise. I want it so bad. Dammit if I could only just produce some content first lickety split. And also dammit because this is a great movie. I will, without a doubt, watch this entire thing right now instead of sleeping. Can’t leave Dale and Saul hanging.

m-i-a

This soundtrack too though, this is a work of art. This is the real winner, all the way through til the end. This is a content goldmine staring me square in the face screaming “Hey what’s up let me just turn your whole world upside down for a second here thanks.” I’ve been thinking about this all wrong, what am I doing?! Well I guess about to review this movie soundtrack, that’s what I’m doing. Buckle up.

Okay first we have Paper Planes, duh. Gotta be first on the list. M.I.A. blew up that year, not saying all because of this movie, but hey I’m not saying otherwise neither. That was a great year for everybody. Stay woke. The song isn’t actually in the movie, but I mean everyone remembers that trailer, right? Fuck this is a good movie.

The real headliner is Electric Avenue from Dale’s sweet opening “you’ve been served” montage. Instant classic. The scene, not the song. It’s an old song. Eddy Grant was already “classic.” But the movie really brought him to the forefront, at least for me, and I’ll always be thankful for that. We need to focus on the good things in life. “Out in the streets!” That’s what he says in the song, and it’s pretty good, because it’s a song about a street. Pure genius.

Next up is the most dopety-dope song ever, and by “next” I don’t mean chronologically next, but rather in terms of my vaunted quality-assessment hierarchy, determined through my capacity as self-proclaimed official movie-soundtrack reviewer. I’m talking of course about Poison by Bel Biv Devoe, and if you don’t know that then you don’t know jack. Wake up. Your world is not as it seems. What a seriously good song, mad props to Pineapple Express. They really nailed it with this whole soundtrack. Jeez Louise!

9671_seth-rogen-pineapple-express

Uh oh, look out, we got a piping hot track coming fresh out the oven–Public Enemy‘s Lost At Birth. I like this scene because he says “melon farmers,” which is what they say instead of motherfuckers on TNT (We Know Drama). You’re not allowed to swear on television. Wow, Public Enemy really ties this whole scene together. Somebody did their job real good when they picked that song for this scene. What a sick nasty awesome so fucking sick movie soundtrack.

Damn there’s a lotta reggae on this mix. Wanted Dread and Alive (see what they did there? With the dread?! Cuz they have dreads!), a Bob Marley deep cut (well obviously), a reeeal laid-back Ring Of Fire cover (like Johnny Cash but way chiller). See, the movie is named after a kind of marijuana from the movie, and there’s a lot of people who sometimes associate reggae music with marijuana usage for some reason. So when a movie gets made about a hairy Mary Jane strain, they’re gonna mix up a little reggae in there. That’s just the world we live in. We didn’t choose it, we were born into it. Forced from the warmths of prebirth out into the cruel, unforgiving hellscape we inhabit every waking hour of our lives. I mean it’s just monstrous out here.

Well, that’s all the time we have for today. The movie is over so I’ve now fully exhausted my content resource. Thanks to all who participated, especially you still reading this and also the good people over at TNT (We Know Drama). Let it be known that this is a can’t-miss, won’t-disappoint, doesn’t-even-flinch-as-it-knocks-you-out-of-your-socks kinda flick, and if you haven’t seen it, well why did you read this entire review of a soundtrack for a movie you’ve never seen? Yeah, that’s what I thought, you’ve definitely seen Pineapple Express. It has a pretty awesome soundtrack. I know, right? Cool, glad we’re on the same page. Let’s be sure to always stay positive in the face of any near-universal suffering we might encounter on a regular basis. Okay bye!

SUICIDE SQUAD ALBUM REVIEW: RUN, DO NOT WALK TO THE WILD SIDE
August 17, 2016 6:37 pm

 

Whether you loved the colorful action or hated the bland villains and plot, Suicide Squad is out and strong opinions are flying everywhere. Rotten Tomatoes is famous for in depth/no shame ratings of movies, their Critic Score stands at an abysmal 26% rating while the fans score is at 69%. This split on the movie either being horrible or mostly good is everywhere. But with all this controversy over the film, nobody can deny that the soundtrack is amazing. This magic mixtape of artists and styles is impressive, creative and in reality is far better than the movie.

I would describe the attitude of the album as heroically rough around the edges. Just like the villains gone hero in the movie, the songs have a dark intensity while being oddly uplifting and easy to relate to. The album is basically split into two song types: reflective and slow or fast and powerful.

Starting with Skrillex’s and Rick Ross’s Purple Lamborghini could not have been a better choice. This song seemed underwhelming at first for me, but the more I listened the more I saw their subtle teamwork to make a brutal dubstep/hip-hop/rap song. “Wreak Havoc” by Skylar Grey is the perfect punch to the face pop song and Grimes brings her electronic magic right after it. The second to last track is Panic! At The Disco’s cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which is obviously not better than the original, but comes close in reality. From the similarity in the voice to the modernized rock section with added emphasis in the orchestra parts, Panic! At The Disco does it incredibly.

As for the mellow side of the album, “Sucker For Pain” slows it down with a more personal song that speaks the the darker sides of people, but in a good way. With Imagine Dragons, Logic, Lil Wayne, X Ambassadors, Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa all packed into this song, I was genuinely surprised how good it turned out. Twenty One Pilots continues the slower and deeper reflection tones from movie with the odd and beautiful “Heathens”. “Gangsta” and “Know Better” by Kehlani and Kevin Gates respectively are the weakest songs on the album, but they’re not bad, just not up to par with the others. The last track is “I Started a Joke” by ConfidentialMX featuring Becky Hanson, and this song is not that complex when it comes to instruments or vocals, but that’s the best part of it. It starts slightly innocent sounding and then gets darker and more grim as it goes, a true black rose: dauntingly beautiful.

This album is awesome, but there are flaws for sure. Some songs are sound like filler or too geared toward pop culture appeal, but overall it’s worth your time. Being a compilation album with so many artists, I’m impressed that it turned out to be so good. To summarize all this, I would honestly recommend skipping the movie and watching it when it comes out on Netflix or RedBox and then using that ticket money to go buy this album, totally worth it.

 

10 BEST TV SOUNDTRACKS
July 19, 2016 12:24 pm

We are lucky to be living during what many call, “the golden age of television.” Our options have come an incredibly long way. Shows like Mad Men, The Wire, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos are just some of the recent programs that have propelled our viewing landscape into an art form. As independent television slowly overtakes the throne from mainstream cable channels, the story telling chops from filmmakers and writers have never been more original and creatively charming.

Along with this great shift in the television world comes the original soundtracks that accompany them, composed by people who ensure the story and integrity of the show is preserved.

This is not an easy task to take on. Some shows do it better than others. For some, a soundtrack is given little value. For others, it’s one of the more prevalent things to the program. I’ve taken time out of my weekend, time that I would have spent watching TV, to capture our pick for the top 5 TV show soundtracks.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 12.12.40 PM

10. Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is an underrated show on Netflix about the Irish mafia in the 1920s. The soundtrack to this show, which is accompanied by Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand, gives the show a feel that is more western cowboy than pompous turn of the century U.K. The soundtrack gives the show a feeling of danger that helps culminate the overall tone of the show.

9. Orphan Black

A scifi thriller about a group of clones that are all trying to find exactly who they are. The show’s soundtrack, composed by Trevor Yuile, captures a relevant dystopian sound for the show. The scifi elements are highlighted in this soundtrack, and sounds like some of the more enigmatic Radiohead songs.

pablo-escobar-1

8. Narcos

Narcos’ soundtrack is one that I personally grew to love. It is one that is familiar to me as a Latino who understand the inherent vibes and the subtle South American instruments that are used in combination by Pedro Bromfman to make the sounds of Narcos a deadly 90s mix of latin salsa and imminent danger.

7. Marvel’s Daredevil

I am a yuge dork for Marvel’s Daredevil, but this is not the reason that I am putting on this soundtrack. The soundtrack stands to make the list on the merits alone. It is the most rock-sounding one out of my list. It is the most action packed. It utilizes the heroic aspects of the show, but also the hopelessness of the fictitious Hell’s Kitchen. The music by Joe Paesano does really well in capturing the fear that is present, not in the character, but in us as the viewers every single time the devil of Hell’s Kitchen goes on a mission.

6. Transparent

The Amazon TV show, categorized as a comedy but could just as easily been a drama, has a beautiful soundtrack. Its melancholy tones in the theme by Dustin O’Halloran has a way of making you feel like you’re at home. The pianos and the flashing pictures of 70s home movies are just part of the immense soundtrack which includes music from the late 20th century. It’s music that helps Transparent show us the sadness that goes along with the subject matter.

5. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones has been on for over 6 years now and the phenomena is ridiculous. Hearing about Game of Thrones before watching it was reeeeally annoying so of course I was skeptical at first about this overly hyped show. Once I started watching of course, I sang a different tune. It didn’t help that the soundtrack is so masterfully done in a way that the immersion into the fantastical world of game of thrones becomes so effortless.

206977-Fargo

4. Fargo

Jeff Russo composed the music for the latest season of the bloody brilliant Fargo. The soundtrack captures a sense of mundane and danger of the suburban life that our heroes find themselves in. This juxtaposition is executed so flawlessly that it really goes to show just why actors of a caliber so high, come off from movies to do TV shows like this.

3. Stranger Things

A new Netflix original, Stranger Things takes place in an 80s suburban town, borrowing a lot from the decade in which it is taking place, just as the soundtrack does. Riddled with synth music and other 80s giveaways, the soundtrack is intriguing and is able to help keep the mystery of the show alive, as well as Wynona Ryder’s career.

2. The Leftovers

I cannot say enough good things about the leftovers. It is one of the best shows that I have seen in a long time. It is so sad and so good and it is able to be this good because of Max Richter, who’s soundtrack is a secondary character on this show. “The Departure” song plays every other episode and just like the guilty remnant, it won’t let us forget that we are not spared. That the fact that our protagonists are alive is not cause for celebration, because nothing good ever happens on the leftovers. I leave every episode sadder than I was going in, and I love the show for it.

1. Mr. Robot

If you’re sick of hearing about Mr. Robot then you are shit out of luck because this is the number one. The show’s tech centered mind fuck drama has been an instant hit, just as the soundtrack, which came out last month. The music, full of synths, is dystopian in nature but in a more subtle way. It’s a bit creepy and does that to help keep the listener on their toes, ’cause fuck society. The music, by Mac Quayle, does highlight its techy sounds in a chaotic way, reflecting the mindset of our hero Elliot.

BAT FOR LASHES’ ROMANTIC TRAGEDY
July 13, 2016 6:11 pm

Hey! Guess what? It’s wedding season everybody! Oooh boy, nothing gets me going like weddings, know what I mean? Big crazy ones like they have on TV, with drama galore and maybe people ending up not getting married after all. As long as it’s not mine or my family’s, all bets are off. I want dresses on fire. I want karaoke-related violence. I want Todd from Wedding Crashers screaming at the ocean.

I don’t want death though, that’s usually a little too much for me. Well except maybe in Game of Thrones, then that shit [SPOILER ALERT] happens all the damn time. “Hey, I’m Robb Stark all cool and handsome thinking I’m gonna marry th-” NOPE he gets knifed dead and so does his mom and wife and army. Whoops! Also Joffrey dies at his wedding so there’s that which… is good because he sucks.

INDIO, CA - APRIL 16: Singer Bat for Lashes performs onstage during day 2 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Club on April 16, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella)

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella)

But for real, non-HBO death at a wedding is a downer and is too sad. These are difficult times we live in with all sorts of tragedy and stuff, so I like to separate my cry-time from my consumption of media and entertainment.

If you are, however, going to recklessly dangle your negative emotions into the abyss for others to manipulate, you couldn’t do much worse than Bat for Lashes aka Natasha Khan, British “baroque pop” starlet (if that is indeed a genre of music) and creator of The Bride. This is a concept album about a woman whose fiancé dies in a car crash en route to their wedding.

Whoa, that’s a lot to take in all at once. Glad we got all the heavy details out of the way, don’t wanna get too bogged down with the feels. But that’s exactly what you’ll get if you listen to The Bride: a phat-whopping double-dose of straight-to-the-anus emotion. Better strap on your cry-diaper ’cause this shit hits you outta nowhere. Cocked and loaded, ready to blow your bloated heart out of the water. The music is sparse, vocally-centric and rhythmically atypical, almost ambient. The sad-wedding motif is quite clear; song titles like “I Do,” “Honeymooning Alone” and “I Will Love Again” make it hard to forget. But the sadness is deeper than that, more universal than this specific sob story.

Maybe it’s Khan’s history of studying Steve Reich sound installations that makes her music sneak up to your heart like a turtle at a tollbooth. Maybe it’s because her father was once the #12 squash player in the world. Yeah I googled her, so what? Fuck you. Or maybe music is a strong drug not to be taken lightly by anybody, and when you find something that hits this hard you gotta know why before you can move on.

Maybe you should just go listen for yourself and see what this beautifully dark piece is all about.

ELLIOTT SMITH HEAVEN ADORES YOU SOUNDTRACK RELEASED
February 5, 2016 11:53 am

I was a youthful thirteen years old when I first heard Elliott Smith for the first time in August of 2002. I had just left the Alaska State Fair with a mix of friends and strangers. We all laid around a room listening to a mix CD, and the first track happened to be Smith’s “Say Yes.”

Though it seems it’s one of his more simple songs, it hit me like a brick to the gut and psyche. Music was forever changed for me that day. I couldn’t get enough of him from “Miss Misery” to “Christian Brothers” and then I stumbled on the whole Figure 8 album which figuratively brought me to my knees in amazement. This man was a fucking genius. At that time little did I know his life was riddled with addiction, mental illness and that this creative genius was a cathartic spew of his deepest pain. So, as nostalgic and beautiful as those memories are it’s also melancholic because a year after I discovered his light at the end of his tunnel, he took his own life.

elliott

The throes of addiction, mental illness coupled with the deep claws of a major label seemed to have thrown Smith over the edge. Fast forward to today, there was a documentary released about his life’s work in his music and genius titled Heaven Adores You. From the Heatmiser days to the latest and greatest album that served almost as his suicide note to the world From a Basement on a Hill. There were some songs on the film that had not been previously released, and also some good oldies that everyone can relate to such as “LA” and “Going Nowhere” from his previously released albums. Today, they released the soundtrack to said documentary and it is fire for anyone deeply involved and even mildly obsessed with his craft – like me.

It is a montage of his work from unreleased songs to rarities and live versions of songs we all know as well as earlier or altered versions.  I think my favorite song off the album is “True Love,” though his version of “Plain Clothes Man,” a song he did with  in his earlier days is a masterpiece as well. Smith has a way of roping you in with his humming melodies, overlapping paper thin vocals and completely enthralling guitar and piano. His guitar style hardly needs any back up, he’s the type of player who has
his own rhythm section within his guitar playing style which makes it more dynamic and full. The kicker is that this man is fully capable and very talented at playing just about any instrument you could imagine and recorded a majority of his work by himself. There are some songs on this album that are strictly instrumental.. which to me is almost a travesty because his vocals make him such an icon, though his distinction lies everywhere.

elliott-smith

There are a few rare songs, like “Don’t Call me Billy”and “I love my room” that are borderline hilarious and not his usual cynical and melancholic style. (Think Sliver by Nirvana.) There are 20 tracks that are rare or pivotal to his life in this soundtrack and you absolutely need to take a listen, even if you have never heard Smith it’s important that you do. The last song I want to talk about on the album is called “True Love.” It has to be the song that blew me away the most. The lyrics ‘I just need a safe place to bleed is this where it’s at?’ in which it seems he’s pleading for the world to leave him to revel in his vices, which in the end took him far too soon. His memory lives on in his heavy hearted musical genius. Take an hour to rip your heart out with the Heaven Adores You soundtrack by the late, great Elliott Smith.

TOP 5 INDIE FILM SOUNDTRACKS
November 17, 2015 8:00 am

No good movies out in theaters? Looking for something not so “popular on Netflix” to stream tonight? We’ve compiled our 5 Favorite Indie Movie Soundtracks below for your viewing (and listening) pleasure.

maxresdefault

Cruel Intentions– a 90s staple starring young Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and and Ryan Phillipe, this film’s soundtrack has every mood and all your favorites. Highlights include Blur’s “Coffee & TV,” Counting Crow’s “Colorblind” and The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

High-Fidelity-Portable

High Fidelity- This John Cusack movie is LITERALLY all about music; an inside look at the protagonists past relationships one soundtrack at a time. A must-see for all new couples looking for something cute and not-so-basic to watch. Highlights are “Oh! Sweet Nuthin” by The Velvet Underground, “Cold Blooded Old Times” by Smog, “Ev’robody’s Gonna Be Happy” by The Kinks and Jack Black, actually being funny.

Blue-Valentine-2010-1024x614

Blue Valentine- Who can resist Ryan Gosling, especially in this heart wrenching indie classic? The soundtrack consists of mainly instrumental releases of previously existing Grizzly Bear songs, including “Lullabye,” “I Live With You” and “Easier.” Highlights include Ryan Gosling playing ukulele and singing “You Always Hurt The One You Love.”

kids_57222535-3000x1936-3000x1936

KIDS- The intentionally provocative film (with a young Rosario Dawson!) is all about kids taking drugs and having underage sex in a grunge-era Manhattan. It’s realness is cringe-worthy, but “Good Morning Captain” by Slint and “Jenny’s Theme” by The Folk Implosion provide the perfect poetic backdrop.

pretty_in_pink_
Pretty In Pink- Best soundtrack. Best fashion. Best cast. The soundtrack is impossible to pick favorites from, but highlights are “If You Leave” -Orchestral Manoeuvers, “Do Wot You Do”- INXS and “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths. 

Written by Alessandra Licul 

Grapell’s Soul Is Spilling
September 9, 2015 8:47 pm

Grapell was created from the longtime Stockholm friendship of Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygardh. The Swedish duo released their newest single “Arrows in July, and it proves they have grown into their true, smooth style this past year. There is a soulfulness to the single; the warming sax brings in the simplicity of jazz, melting it together with the dreamy pop guitar and synth. “Arrows” is a compassionate intimate song with depths of despair in the lyrics. Their first EP ‘Grapell‘ was released with Swedish indie label Strangers Candy in June 2013 and contained a folk pop feel. They quickly became one of the most popular bands in Sweden with their 3 part EP and had people all over the world start listening.  Following that came the EP “Friends in October 2014 with the loops and the synthesizer, continuously congregating new sounds to their evolving style. Still with Strangers Candy, the band is experimenting, bleeding into the consciousness of every kind of listener around the world.

Grapell1-690x460

LEWIS LANE AT BROOKLYN BOWL
August 10, 2015 5:09 pm

Last Friday Lewis Lane dominated Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn’s quirky bowling alley turned bar turned music venue. The bill also featured performances by edgy indie pop rockstars Hank & Cupcakes, and King Holiday.

LEWIS LANE pic

At 8PM sharp, Lewis Lane stepped on to the stage looking classy as hell in all black and rocking a short hair cut. The band blended perfectly with her sexy and smooth vocals. Her voice is naturally powerful and blew me away. Her indie pop sound reminded me of Adele- emotional lyrics that will take you right down memory lane. The deep and booming drums backing the songs are simplistic and the perfect touch on slower more personal tracks like “Low” (I’m a mess you made that clear/ I’ll get drunk and spill your beer). The crowd was grooving to each song, even if they were just sitting at the bar or eating diner. She performed her most popular track “Hunter” which is currently receiving a lot of attention from prominent indie blogs like The Wild Honey Pie. I came anticipating her performance of that track in particular and she nailed it to perfection. Lewis Lane puts on a great show because she is a natural performer. I definitely enjoyed myself and recommend all you #Beasts go support her at a show near you.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

FALLING FOR HOWARD
July 13, 2015 2:32 pm

Six years ago while in college, Howard Feibusch, Myles Heff, Chris Holdridge, and Alex Chakour wouldn’t have imagined they’d leave their hometown Massachusetts to live in New York in pursuit of making their musical dreams a reality; but they did. The Howard band members now all live in Brooklyn and they’re one step closer to their goals.

Howard band

Howard officially formed in 2009. Their first record Religion released this January, produced by their fourth member Alex. Gaining the attention from multiple indie music enthusiasts and blogs, Howard is making their mark with a very unique sound. Soothing vocals, calm guitar riffs that make you reflect on everything that’s ever been good in your life, Howard just has that magic.

While chatting briefly with the band back in June, I got the chance to learn what influences have played a major role on these guys’ unique sound. I found out a variety of genres have influenced the Brooklyn rock band (besides rock of course), from electronic music to folk to classical. Bands they listen to and have been inspired by include Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, and the Fleet Foxes. Growing up in a Jewish household in Brooklyn also influenced a fair share of what they are all about.

The band hopes to be touring more nationally and internationally in the next couple of years. This summer you can see them touring locally in the city, and in nearby locations. We hope to see them participate at the CMJ music marathon again this year, the band is currently working on making this official as we speak. We can expect new music from them by early next year.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

Shakin it up with Big Mama Shakes
2:15 pm

No matter what you call them—“Soul Rock,” “Americana,” “Southern Rock with Bluegrass Harmonies”—Richmond’s own Big Mama Shakes is a force to be reckoned with. Their music is fun and captivating, and their live shows are powerful yet personal. Singer/guitarist Brady Heck, singer/keyboardist Elijah Righter, singer/guitarist/mandonlinist Caleb Austin, singer/bassist Peter Cason, and drummer Chandler Matkins have developed an impressive musical chemistry and recently went on tour down the Atlantic coast, stopping to talk with me before their show at NYC’s Pianos. We stood on the sidewalk together and discussed their Southern roots, Northern adventures, and life on the road.

So you guys are from Richmond, Virginia?

Elijah: Yeah, we’re based out of Richmond, but most of us are from Williamsburg, Virginia, about an hour south. Brady, Peter and I went to high school together—Chandler too actually.

Peter: We just threw Chandler on because he knew how to play drums and… why not!

Elijah: But we three were in a band in high school together that went through a number of phases and eventually turned into this. Caleb and I go way back too.

bigmama

And you just released your new album?

Peter: Yeah, May 5th.

Brady: Cinco de Mayo, baby.

Peter: Cinco de Mama! (laughter)

And this was your first album?

Peter: Our first full album. We had done a four song EP that wasn’t really released—I mean it was on soundcloud—but this is our first big venture into really releasing an album.

How do you come up with your material?

Elijah: Most of it’s Brady, actually.

Brady: Yeah I write half a song, then I go to Elijah and say “hey what order should these parts go in?”

Peter: Elijah does a lot of the arranging.

Elijah: We all come from a broad range of influences, so a lot of that comes out in the music. This is probably the most collaborative creative process that I’ve ever been a part of. Even when we first started working on material it was apparent how every member had something creative to contribute, which is really cool. A lot of the time you just have two people in a group trying to spearhead their ideas, but with this Peter writes a lot of stuff and Chander writes stuff too.

Peter: Yeah we all come from different musical backgrounds, and it all meshes together really well.

That’s awesome. Are you happy with the album?

Brady: We think it came out beautifully.

Peter: We’re very, very happy with it.

Elijah: Yeah we’re real proud of it. A lot of the songs there we’ve been kicking around since high school, so it’s great to see them fully realized here.

Congratulations! Now you guys are touring down the East Coast right now right? How do you like touring?

Brady: Well, we haven’t killed each other yet. (laughs)

Peter: Yeah that’s pretty good. We attempted to grab some dates in between our Portland and Hartford shows, but it didn’t pan out so we just kind of had a mini vacation in Portland with some friends and then went on tour.

Elijah: Yeah the first show in Portland was really successful. We had people hoppin’, we made a killing on merch, so that really kicked it off with high morale.

Brady: But this is the first time that we’ve done this. I mean, we’ve traveled before…

Peter: …we’ve gone to a city to play a show, but we haven’t gone city to city like this before.

What’s your favorite part about it so far?

Brady: It’s a bonding experience, more than anything. I mean, I’ve learned more about Chandler in three days than I would like to have known. (laughs) But yeah, getting to know each other is really fun. I think the most important part of touring isn’t making money, but really for this first tour it’s about seeing how we work outside of our comfort zones, how we work as a unit.

Elijah: I really like seeing the reactions of people. Like, a crowd in Virginia is really different from a crowd in Hartford or a crowd in New York. So the different cultures of people is great, you really get to see who your music resonates with.

Brady: From our experience I’ve learned that Richmond people are head bobbers whereas Maine people go fucking crazy jumping around and stuff.

bigmamalive

What’s your favorite city to play in?

Brady: You mean other than our hometown?

Elijah: Maybe New York!

Chandler: DC has always been a great reaction. We’ve never played a bad show in DC, they’re all so much fun.

Brady: I think it’s because the DC kids don’t know what the fuck we are, they’re like “what are these country bumpkins doing here?!”

Chandler: If you’re gonna go anywhere in DC—like if you’re gonna drive from point A to point B—it better be a good show. So outside of Richmond, probably DC.

What would you say is your least favorite part of touring?

Brady: Peter snoring.

Elijah: Yep! (laughs)

Peter: They all bought earplugs. I’m fine with it though, I don’t know what they’re bitching about.

Chandler: I bought a second round because I lost mine and they’re completely necessary.

Of course. So just the hassles of touring: long rides, close quarters, etc.

Peter: Yeah, basically.

Brady: The great part about being with everybody is also the shitty part about being with everybody, really getting to know each other good and bad.

Classic. So you’re going down the coast, you’re ending up at home again, and then what?

Brady: Then we take a short break…

Peter: We have like a mini southern tour at the end of the month, going down to Charleston, SC, and then up to Boone, NC…

Chandler: …2 shows in Richmond and a show in Charlottesville, at UVA, which should be fun. And then we have a fair amount of festivals coming up in August and September around Virginia. We’ve been playing quite a few festivals.

Do you find that you’re growing in popularity?

Chandler: Locally? Definitely. We’ve had an absolutely amazing reaction and support system from Richmond. They’ve been absolutely wonderful to us. We actually just started selling our CD back home in a record store, a very popular store in Richmond, so that was a cool thing.

Who’s in charge here? Who does the logistics?

Peter: Chandler like 80%, 12% me and 8% the rest of them.

And who’s car?

Peter: Mine and his [Elijah’s].

Elijah: Yeah the gear is in my car and the people are in the other car.

Well, that’s lonely for you

Elijah: Well I have a copilot (gestures to Caleb).

That makes sense. So you drove all the way up from Virginia to Maine? What is that, like 15 hours?

Chandler: 12 or 13 with a little bit traffic here and there. We had a really nice time. Portland was amazing. We went to this river called the Saco River and had a blast rope swinging and jumping off cliffs and stuff.

Brady: Yeah you want to see something great, watch him fall off a fucking cliff.

Peter: Yeah, I didn’t fully extend my arms, so when my full weight hit my arms it snapped the rope out of my hands. My chest still hurts!

Brady: These guys [Caleb and friend] jumped off a 60 foot cliff.

Wow!

Brady: Yeah, I mean you gotta get the jitters out before the first show.

How long have you guys been a band?

Brady: It will be two years in August. But we didn’t play our first show for awhile.

Peter: We’ve been playing shows since… not this past February but the one before that.

So you guys spent what, eight months in rehearsal?

Peter: For the first six month we were just practicing.

Brady: So when we hit the stage we hit it like we knew what we were doing.

Elijah: Again though, we were in a band since high school. And so we already knew each other. Caleb and I have been playing in bands off and on since middle school. Chandler… the way we actually got hooked up with Chandler was he played in the “other band” when we were in high school.

Peter: Yeah there was our band, and then there was “that other band.”

Brady: To be fair though, this all started with that handshake outside of the gas station.

How do you book most of your shows? Just however you can?

Brady: A lot of them have been people contacting us.

Peter: Yeah, like all of our recent Richmond shows have been people coming up to us being like “hey we want to play with you guys”, and then up here we had a friend’s band that we played with in Portland, in Philly we had some friends that we played with, and the whole last leg of our tour we’re with one of our friend’s bands from DC.

Brady: Are you familiar with In The Valley Below?

Yeah!

Chandler: Yeah, we opened up for them a little while ago in Richmond. They hit us up about it. Well actually the radio station hit us up about it, but it’s basically the same thing. We didn’t go begging for it.

Peter: Tell him about Big Field Day

Brady: We opened up for Incubus…

Elijah: That was the thing, though. That was the thing that got us hooked up.

Do you guys take all the shows you can? Do ever say no to show?

Brady: We’re trying to stop playing Richmond so much, just to not oversaturate it.

Peter: Most of the shows we have to say no to are simply because one or two of us actually can’t do it. Like we turned out a festival because he’s on vacation so… can’t do it.

You guys seem to have a lot of fun together. One question I like to ask is: which of you is the best dancer of the five of you?

Peter: Caleb, definitely. (laughter)

Caleb: Yeah, it’s true. The mashed potato is my specialty.

Brady: He gets those hands going and the ladies just faint.

Caleb: I get a lot of moves from Elijah.

Elijah: We got kind of a duo routine going on.

bigmama3

Do you guys stand next to each other on stage?

Caleb: Yeah

Elijah: Well I sit at the keyboard.

Brady: He gets to watch. He gets to judge—he’s the one who holds up the scorecards for everyone. (laughter)

How would you define your sound in as few words as possible?Elijah: Oooh, we talked about this.

Brady: Americana Rock (unintelligible arguing) No, never mind. Strike that from the record.

Peter: Soul Rock.

Elijah: Well we have to have “Southern” in it somewhere… so it’s Southern Rock…

Caleb: What’s wrong with Soul Rock?

Chandler: Soul rock was the moniker we were going by.

Brady: Richmond Magazine dubbed us “Soul Rock.”

Chandler: So Soul Rock would be the best way to put it. We have influences from so many different artists that it’s hard to put a label on it.

Elijah: When we started out it was kind of the Allman Brothers and Leonard Skynyrd, then we picked up The Head & The Heart influences.

Chandler: Yeah it started off super bluesy and Southern Rock, but now also we’ve got our bluegrass harmonies down pat.

Peter: Chandler’s weird hip-hop beats.

Chandler: We’ve got some Kings of Leon in there, Black Keys here and there, stuff like that.

That’s awesome, I’m excited for the show. Anything else you want me to know?

Peter: Check us out on Facebook and Instagram and all that shameless plugging stuff.

Brady: We have T-shirts and CDs for sale. It’s on iTunes, it’s on Spotify.

Awesome, thanks so much guys!