KickActs interviews Russell Ray of VYCES!

Posted onNovember 28, 2016
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russ

Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and were you can be found online.

My name is Russell Ray drummer and Co-Founder of VYCES. You can find the band on Facebook under Vyces/Official. That is the same for all other social media sites and the website is www.vycesofficial.com.  I can be found under Russell Ray on Facebook, and skinzman on instagram.

Who are your musical heroes and influences? Why?

Well I always start with Motley Crue. They were the first Band that I got into as well as my first concert which made me want to pursue playing Rock music in the 1st place.

When I saw the video for “Wild Side” I knew immediately that I wanted to play the drums.  Over time I got into heavier music like Pantera, White Zombie, Korn, and Slipknot. Those bands inspired me to develop a more aggressive approach to playing. However I love bands like the Deftones, Starset, and Chevelle. I love the elements of rock songs through those bands.

Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in the music business?

Be open to everything and attached to nothing. What I mean by this is to explore, be creative, and find people who want to work as a team. Things don’t always work the way you think they will so be willing to adapt and keep moving forward. Every ending is a new beginning. Be honest, dedicated to your craft, and always listen and be observant. Everyone has different experiences. Learn from them, and keep your circle clean. Also-NEVER GIVE UP!

What piece of advice did you ignore that you wish you hadn’t?

Jumping the gun on signing a contract. I was advised not to sign for a project years ago that I thought was the one. I did anyway and it was a nightmare to get out of when things didn’t go right.

Do you have a greatest gig story or worst gig horror story you’d like to share?

Best gig hmmm…There are so many that are up there but if I had to name one it would be the very 1st VYCES show in San Diego. The reason why is because Dave and I have talked about being in a band together for the last 8 years. We were never been able to until now. Other than Mark I have played in bands in the past with Shawn and Evan and I always admired both of them personally and professionally. I loved being in bands with them so for me it was my dream team of a band coming together. When we all hit the stage together for the first time- I felt the band really fire on all cylinders and it was electric. Has only gotten better.

Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of peckers or boobs?  Make sock puppets? Sit in the dark and eat Cheetos?

Outside of music I write. I am working on a book and a movie script as well. I used to work at a magazine for a number of years, but I really just wanted to write for myself. As far as hobbies however it would be working on cars. I love rebuilding and fixing them. It’s therapeutic for me and I love doing it.

What do you think about the current music scene or lack of? Care to address that?

Sure! To me it always comes down to awesome bands that write awesome music.  If a band writes something they believe in and work hard to get it out there then people will get attracted to it. Everyone is different and like different things. It’s when bands copy each other or have no integrity that causes over saturation of nothingness. Keep it real-people will connect.

Do you think reality shows like American Idol, X factor and The Voice have helped or hurt the music industry as a whole?

I think it has helped TV more than music. I mean there are a number of artists careers that it helped, but how many can we really name and remember. I think the TV ratings are what has gone up. Plus that is not the reality of how bands start. It’s a TV show.

What is your opinion of unauthorized music downloads?

It is what it is. We want everyone to have access to our music so however they can get it they get it.

Hypothetical situation. You’re on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the survivors… Which one and why?

I have honestly never watched the show so maybe I should check it out. Ask me next time hahahahaha

Do you know what a vinyl album is and have your ever purchased one? If so, what was it?

I do! I collect vinyl. I have every Slayer record and Motley Crue record on vinyl, and a bunch of limited edition foreign and domestic releases from many bands.

You’re marooned on an island with Justin Bieber. Do you choke him out the first night in his sleep or what?

No…I wouldn’t choke him. If we were stranded I might need his help to get out of there.

What is your opinion of Miley Cyrus?

 I have never listened to any of her music, or paid attention to what she does so I don’t really have an opinion.

Which would you rather hear in concert?  Lip synching or real vocals?

Always real vocals.

Who, or what, is the next big thing?

Ooofff I don’t know. There are so many bands out there…..but check out There for Tomorrow, White Knuckle Riot, and Invidia. Awesome bands!

One artist you can’t get enough of and can’t live without is…

NIN. Trent Reznor never lets you down. How to Destroy Angeles is incredible as well.

Confession time. Share a secret about yourself.

I read allot of self help books. I like educating myself on controlling your thoughts and emotions to help grow as a person instead of going backwards in life.

I prefer to live with a peaceful mind.

Favorite movie of all time and why.

Rocky 3. It’s the first time that I have ever felt the feeling of inspiration. Also it shows that when you get knocked down there is always a way to get back up and fight. I apply that to life and most of my experiences. Rise Up!!

Our last question is called “Shout It Out Loud”. It’s were you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about. So go ahead and “SHOUT IT OUT LOUD”!

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has checked us out live, listened to our music, looked us up online, promoted us, and given us any time of the day. We are putting ever ounce of our passion and drive into VYCES and we are so thankful for the response, and inspiration from everyone. We hope to see you all soon and thank you Kick Acts for your time as well.  Peace and Love…….

 

KickActs interviews the guys from “Adage”

Posted onSeptember 19, 2014
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adage

Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and were you can be found online.

Thank you. We are Adage out of North Carolina. We are a 4 piece group of just normal guys who love to play music; Justin Doyle on vocals and lead guitar, Luke Petree on guitar, Alex Hough on drums, and Johnathan Stowers on bass.

www.facebook.com/adageband1

www.soundcloud.com/adage-band

Twitter- @adageband

Instagram- adage.band

www.youtube.com/AdageRocks

www.reverbnation.com/adageband

 

 

 Who are your musical heroes and influences? Why?

Justin: I would have to say that it all started with a band most haven’t heard of. PFR; (Pray for Rain). My upbringing was very church oriented and I was unable to listen to most things. So I had to improvise. I basically heard them one day, and for some reason I really liked it. They reminded me of a funny Christian Beetles. But it was musical, and it turned me on to singing and playing guitar.

 

Alex: Some of my biggest heroes are the members of Sick Puppies. I love everything that all of them do, and I’ve met them before. Put one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen.

 

Luke: I always have a hard time admitting my heroes and influences. Mainly because I sound nothing like them! Really it changes for me pretty often. Over the years I have drawn from Metallica, Korn and Disturbed. But In Flames has been my most recent influence.

 

Johnathan: Green Day was the first rock band that really caught my attention and diverted me towards that genre of music. I use to put the cd on repeat and listen to it all afternoon while skateboarding or playing basketball in my driveway. After seeing Shinedown in concert a couple years ago in charlotte I would have to say that they are who I look up to the most these days.

 

 

Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in the music business?

Justin: Never give up on the dream. But you have got to work hard and really take care of yourself. Get together with like minded musicians and friends. If you are trying to make it into this business, make sure your demo rocks! Good quality makes a huge difference. Take that extra time and money and get it done right. You will thank yourself later.

 

Luke: Stage performance and excellent gear are both a must!

 

Johnathan: I agree with Justin about spending the extra money on a good quality cd. Also before making any big decisions make sure you check with a trusted entertainer lawyer. The music business can be a mean animal.

 

What piece of advice did you ignore that you wish you hadn’t?

Justin: Don’t rely on talent alone. It is talent plus it takes hard work. As most great things in life do.

 

Do you have a greatest gig story or worst gig horror story you’d like to share?

Justin: The greatest gig I have ever been a part of was Livestock in Tampa Florida. We played in front of 35,000 people, and graced the stage with some of our hero’s. The worst gig memory is of a show in Arkansas. We rode out with a fellow band from our area and while on the way the transmission in our van went out. We finally made it to the gig on time, but fixing the transmission had nearly wiped us dry. So we go in to play and realize there is only 3 people here and one woman so drunk she is humping the monitor I’m supposed to be singing directly in front of.   Good times.

 

Luke: Ha….I gave Justin some bad batteries for his wireless system once, and his guitar dropped out during the opening song….Oops

 

Johnathan: Before our very first gig as “ADAGE” we were at luke’s house loading up the gear around back into the trailer. It was pouring down rain and after loading the trailer down we realize that the hill to get back out is extremely slick when wet. So after about 30 minutes of digging up grass in the pouring rain in our show clothes…we had to get a tractor to get the trailer up the hill and pulled around front. This whole incident nearly made us late for our first gig.

 

Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of peckers or boobs?  Make sock puppets? Sit in the dark and eat Cheetos?

Justin: I’m a video game nerd. I play shooters and sports games, really anything where I can destroy someone else online.

 

Alex: Whenever I get the opportunity I do a lot of charity work.

 

Luke: I used to spend a lot of time in nature cause I grew up pretty redneck..LOL, but now days most of my time is focused on this band and finding ways to make us successful. And yes I have drawn many a boob on dirty windshields!

 

Johnathan: I actually have quite a bit. Gaming, Shooting, Hunting, Fishing, Kayaking, Basketball, Golf, Billiard, Darts, Ping pong, beer pong, corn hole, arrow head hunting, just to name a few.

 

What do you think about the current music scene or lack of? Care to address that?

The rock scene around here has been very warm and inviting to us. It’s not thriving. But it’s not dead. Hopefully we are breathing some life into the rock scene!

 

Do you think reality shows like American Idol, X factor and The Voice have helped or hurt the music industry as a whole?

Justin: That’s a tricky question. It helps in a way that young people can get themselves out there and make it happen so quickly. It’s a hindrance also because it creates a mindset that it’s easy. And in most cases it’s not. And for a band, it’s a whole different beast

 

Alex: I don’t think there has been much of an impact at all in the music industry. They’ve given us a couple stars like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, but it’s not really shaping the music industry. The Voice has extensively furthered the careers of the judges primarily with the large success of Maroon 5’s latest two albums.

 

What is your opinion of unauthorized music downloads?

Alex: We all do it. Everyone has either downloaded, listened to, or acquired a pirated song, whether they know it or not.

 

Johnathan: whatever you decide to do, just make sure you buy our cd. And when your friends ask about it, tell them to buy it too!

 

Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear.

Justin: I played soccer for the ODP; (Olympic Developmental Program) and played in Holland for almost 2 years until I got injured.

 

Alex: I’m a pretty big nerd. In my spare time I like to watch Doctor Who, and play retro video games such as Zelda or Final Fantasy.

 

Luke: Perhaps the fact that I was an F-16 Crew Chief in the USAF and I also have an FAA Airframe & Powerplant

Certification!

 

Johnathan: I show up for practice early just to fish the bass pond that is there. And on nice days, I even stay late after practice.

 

Hypothetical situation. You’re on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the survivors… Which one and why?

Justin: Mary Ann. She was still kind of hot and was funny. Gotta love those pigtails.

 

Alex: None, because I’m too young to know any of the characters.

 

Luke: Eunice…..on the count shes loaded! Dont judge me…….

 

Johnathan: Umm…did they have a way of shaving?

 

Do you know what a vinyl album is and have your ever purchased one? If so, what was it?

Justin: I do know about vinyl. I have never purchased one but my dad had a lot when I was growing up. He also had a couple of Laserdisc’s with those.

 

Alex: I play vinyls at my friends’ and families’ houses all the time. But I’ve never bought one because I don’t own a record player.

 

Luke: This would go way back to Eddie Rabbits “I Love A Rainy Night” on 45!

 

Johnathan: Never bought one, but I do remember my mom always listening to “achy breaky heart” all the time when I was a tot.

You’re marooned on an island with Justin Bieber. Do you choke him out the first night in his sleep or what?

Justin: Only if he starts talking or singing. I may need him alive later.

 

Alex: Why would I? His search team would coming looking for him instantaneously, and we wouldn’t be on that island for long.

 

Luke: What Alex said…..then I would choke him!

 

Johnathan: Nah, maybe he would save me a seat on his private jet when it arrived. If not, then choking him while he is awake would be the only sensible solution.

 

What is your opinion of Miley Cyrus?

Justin:……. She has skin….

 

Alex: I’d rather personally not talk about celebrities, but her new music doesn’t interest me. If I were to listen to her, I’d listen to what came out in her solo career right after Hannah Montana.

 

Luke: Never heard of her…..

 

Johnathan: I like her dad better.

 

Which would you rather hear in concert?  Lip synching or real vocals?

Justin: Real, live, and slightly off vocals please! If I wanted to hear the cd I could have at home.

 

Alex: I’d rather listen to real vocals. Lip Synching is used primarily for theatrical shows…..or parades.

 

Luke: Has to be real!

 

Johnathan: Real for sure. No doubt about it.

 

Who, or what, is the next big thing?

Justin: Rock has got to be the next ‘big thing’, again.

 

Alex: It seems like garage styled rock is coming back. Distorted vocals and simple catchy riffs.

 

One artist you can’t get enough of and can’t live without is…

Justin: Breaking Benjamin; (Ben Burnley).

 

Alex: Probably Sick Puppies or Mayday Parade

 

Luke: Probably Cold or In Flames

 

Johnathan: Shinedown

 

Confession time. Share a secret about yourself.

Justin: I like to warm my voice up to Andrea Bocelli songs.

 

Alex: I don’t have any secrets. I named my drumset Jennifer? Does that count as a secret?

 

Luke: Ha ha ha….nice try!

 

Johnathan: I play call of duty till 3 am or later almost every night

 

Favorite movie of all time and why.

Justin: Monty Python and the search for the Holy Grail. In my opinion it’s funniest/dumbest movie I’ve ever seen. It’s a close tie with Young Frankenstein.

 

Alex: Either Forrest Gump, or anything with Mike Myers.

 

Luke: Caligula or Eraserhead……….cause they both blew my friggin mind!

 

Johnathan: Most all of Adam Sandlers’ movies. Big Daddy would be my favorite of his.

 

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Our last question is called “Shout It Out Loud”. It’s were you get to talk about

whatever you want to talk about. So go ahead and “SHOUT IT OUT LOUD”!10561683_1457741034484297_7970558882553670462_n

Really we just want to give a big shout out to the whole Pavement Entertainment team and thank them for helping Adage really get the ball rolling. We would also like to thank all of our fans. You guys are what help make this adventure so awesome for us. We are totally stoked about our EP “defined” hitting the market on Aug. 19 and look forward to seeing you guys on the tour that will soon follow!

 

Former Badlees And Breaking Benjamin Members Announce New Band

Posted onMay 21, 2014
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“GENTLEMAN EAST”

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Having recently stepped down after twenty odd years as The Badlees, one would think Bret Alexander and Paul Smith would take some time off from making new music. One would be wrong. Since 1990, they have been the driving force behind thirteen Badlees records, one solo release and a CD with The Cellarbirds. Never ones to rely on their past, the duo have been busy putting together their latest band, Gentleman East. Comprised of Alexander and Smith, violinist Nyke Van Wyk, drummer Ron Simasek and former Breaking Benjamin guitarist Aaron Fink, the band is ready to step into the limelight.

 

“I am very proud of the work we did with The Badlees over the years. There was lots of great music and memories,” says Alexander. “But I’m really looking forward to an extremely prolific period coming up, both in the studio and on stage. I’ve already started putting new music together, it’s going to be great.”

 

Longtime band mate Paul Smith chimes, “I’m excited to start working on new music with a new focus. I’ve been a fan of Bret’s writing for years, and after having been on both sides of the glass, I can tell you it’s a thrill to continue the creative process. After 23 years with The Badlees I feel fulfilled, however it’s time to move onto new things. This change for me, feels right.”

 

Sharing Smith’s enthusiasm, guitarist Aaron Fink adds “Just got the call from my long time friend Bret Alexander to fire up my amplifier and start working on writing some brand new future classics. Can’t wait to re-unite with the boys and make some noise! Stay tuned folks…”

 

The band is currently writing and rehearsing new material for an upcoming release. Look for tour dates in the very near future.

 

Find Gentleman East on the web at:

www.facebook.com/GentlemanEast

https://twitter.com/gentlemaneast

http://instagram.com/gentlemaneast

 

For more information on Gentleman East, please contact:

Jeff Sipler

Another Fine JS Production

(570) 592-2724

jhsipler@gmail.com