Knitting Factory

LUCKY CHOPS, ON A MISSION TO BRIGHTEN UP THE WORLD
July 27, 2015 10:00 am

Born and bred in Brooklyn, boy band/brass band Lucky Chops is on a mission to change the world. This band formed by members Josh H, Daro, Leo, Kevin, Josh G, and Buyo came to be in the year of 2006. Their passion and desire to bring positive music that can heal and inspire others is what drives this band to perform in a multitude of places. You can find them occasionally jamming to covers of your favorite pop songs in your local subway station. This is when you look around and realize that this is where the party is at, and everyone is talking about it. People watching all have their phones out recording and snapping photos ready to share across the social media board! This band is truly taking New York by storm.

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I got the opportunity to interview Lucky Chops and learn more about this amazing live band and what sets them apart from other brass bands around.

How did you guys meet, and how did the band form?

We actually formed while in high school together at LaGuardia Arts in Lincoln Center. We were all in band class (obviously very popular kids) and Raphael decided to put a band together to perform at the NYC Filipino day parade. He promised us fame, riches and glory. We were duped. Regardless, we’ve been together ever since!

Why the name ‘Lucky Chops’?

One of our original members just came up with it one day. It had no meaning actually, ha. Since then though it’s come to mean a lot. Chops is a slang word for lips and when we play our lips get extraordinarily bruised and battered, before each show we all desperately hope for “Lucky Chops.”

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One of your subway performances just got more than 1 million views! How happy are you about this and how do you think this will affect the band artistically?

We’re pumped! A few months back the same video circulated around and got almost 6.5 million, so we’ve got our fingers crossed with this one. It’s been great to connect with a global fan base and it’s awesome to see brass music lovers all over the world.

Are you signed to a label yet and if not, who would you like to sign with?

We’re the house band for a new weekly talk show on MTV called “Girl Code Live,” airing late this summer. We’re excited to work with MTV and it’s going to be a great show!

If you guys weren’t doing music, what other career paths would you have picked?

We all have diverse interests and that’s a fun question to ponder. Raphael is a registered nurse, Daro has a degree in anthropology from Columbia, Kevin would most likely be a pro wrestler, the Josh’s would open up a pizza and wings restaurant together called “The Josh’s’s” and Leo would take the modeling world by storm.

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Who are among ‘Lucky Chops’ main influences?

We draw all of our inspiration from the people we meet every day. We believe that music is a medicine of healing and we play our music to affect the hearts and lives of our audiences. That’s our mission and it’s a joy to work at it every day.

What inspires your compositions/songwriting?

All sorts of things. We have eclectic taste and it all comes through in our compositions and arrangements. I wrote most of our songs while commuting back and forth between Queens and Manhattan, it gives me a lotttttttt of time to think!

Best/worst part about performing?

Best part: we never know what we’re going to do next

Worst part: we never know what we’re going to do next

What would you like your fans to know about you that they may not already know?

Raphael’s sousaphone is named Walter and he’s got quite a personality!

What are you most likely doing when you’re not busy performing? (Hobbies, interests, sports, etc?)

Camping, enjoying nature, reading, watching Battlestar Galactica, talking with people and trying to spread positivity.

Most memorable performance thus far? Good or bad.

Too hard to choose! We play every Thursday night at our home base, Five Mile Stone, and each night is always awesome.

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Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

We’d like to continue spreading positive and encouraging music across the globe. Our plan is to open centers for music therapy and fund research about the relationship between music and mental/physical health. We want to do our part to make the world a better place.

Any collabs you’d like to do?

We’ve recently begun working with Ivan Jackson, a fantastic producer known for his work with Brasstracks. Stay tuned for exciting releases of our collaborative efforts!

Finally, where can we expect to see Lucky Chops in the next few months? Any tours?

We just got back from the Ottawa Jazz Festival (which was awesome!) and we’re about to head to Denmark/France for most of July. We also have a new record coming out and we’re playing a big cd release show at the Knitting Factory. It’s going to be CRAZY!!

Sounds exciting! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you guys!

This is a band who is truly passionate about music and who understands the unique effects it can have on your mind and your soul, because music is more than just lyrics and catchy beats; it’s therapy. Music can make you feel things. This is the message this amazing brass band from Brooklyn, New York is trying to send out to the world, in hopes of a more positive and brighter world. And I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t support that.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

MADE VIOLENT ROCKED OUR SOCKS AT NORTHSIDE FEST
June 29, 2015 10:45 am

Heart thumping; check. Head banging; check. Socks rocked sideways; check. These are the things that Made Violent did to me, and they’re 100% guilty of all of it. That’s right, Made Violent rocked everyone’s world this past Friday night (besides mine) and I’m still thinking about their amazing performance at the Knitting Factory.

Keeping the energy alive, crowd-surfing Made Violent performed with Drenge as part of Northside Festival and they freaking killed it! In every song, every guitar solo, you can tell they gave it their all- and didn’t disappoint. This was my first time listening to them live, and I walked away a new fan.

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Rob Romano (vocals & guitar), Joe White (vocals & bass), and Justin Acee on drums, this trio started back in their high schools days. One day, they casually released “Wasted Days” online and instantly grabbed the attention of UK’s NME Magazine. Soon after, they found a home with Columbia Records’ Startime International and nothing would be the same again. They recently released their self-titled Made Violet EP this February and showcased with their first time appearance at the world famous SXSW.

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Now, they are unstoppable as they travel from city to city alongside acts such as Cold Fronts in July and Wolf Alice in August.

“We can’t wait to hop in our shitty van and drive across the country to play for anyone and everyone,” Roman quips. “Two things really matter to us- making as much good music as we can, and touring as much as we can. We never want to stop doing this.”

Romano, guys, you are surely on the right track to doing what you love. Keep on giving your fans the joy of listening to you and we promise to return the love. The beasts are excited to see where this journey takes you!

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

POSITIVE VIBES HANGIN WITH LAZYEYES
June 14, 2015 4:10 pm

Brooklyn natives Lazyeyes is a three-piece garage/shoegaze/dreampop band made up of guitarist/vocalist Jason Abrishami (The Twees), Paul Volpe (Triple Cobra) on bass, and Jeremy Sampson (Eastern Hollows) on drums. They met through mutual friends and formed during the summer of 2012. After starting out timidly testing the waters of performing, you can barely peel them away from a stage. Very soon we’ll be able to see them as they embark on their first North American Tour, stealing your hearts along the way.

Their self-titled EP released in January 2013 with 4 tracks that give you a bold taste of what shoegaze styled music is. The Deli Magazine described them as “Best Psych/Shoegaze band in New York.” They received widespread acclaim from a multitude of underground NYC music bloggers, setting them as an example of a band that has the capacity to erupt at an explosive level. Both moody and anthemic, this record gives you the perfect balance of shoegaze and dream pop melodies that you can’t help but rock out to! Their sophomore EP released this past January, titled New Year with 5 tracks.

I got the chance to chat with vocalist Jason Abrishami about their new album before their show this past Friday at The Knitting Factory, which was perfect. It was also Jason’s birthday – Happy Birthday Jason!

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How did Lazyeyes meet/form?

We met through mutual friends. Started out testing the waters and here we are now!

That’s awesome. Can you tell us more about your New Year EP; what inspired the songwriting?

Lots of things! Life experiences, friendships, love. Basically everything we’ve been through in the last years.

Favorite song from New Year?

‘Islip’

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What’s your favorite city/state to have played so far?

New York! (laughs) Everywhere has been great, honestly.

As a band, what message do you want to send out to your fans?

Good question. Positivity, for sure.

Definitely something worth spreading. So, what are the future goals for Lazyeyes? What is your next step?

Hopefully to tour more, maybe go overseas, to the UK. And record a full-length album!

The Atypical Sounds team would definitely like to see that happen. So you were at the SXSW music festival this year, how was that?

Insane! In between all the drinking and technical difficulties, it was so much fun. I’ve always wanted to go. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for four years and it finally happened!

Wow four years, that’s awesome! You were also in last year’s CMJ. Can we expect to see you guys there again this year?

Yeah hopefully – I need to check with my booking agent, but yes!

Hope to see you there! So you’re heading off to your first North American Tour. Where can we expect to see Lazyeyes?

We’ll be touring all over the Midwest for 2 weeks.

So there you have it, beasts.

Lazyeyes is an amazing band hailing from Brooklyn just looking to spread positivity and good vibes all around. Expect to see a lot more from them in the near future. The ABA team will definitely be keeping track of their footsteps.

Written by Lupe Ramirez