KickActs interviews the guys from “Water District”!

Posted onSeptember 11, 2015
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Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and were you can be found online.

Tice: My name Is Ticey Griffin, and I am the lead singer of Water District. You can find more info about us on www.waterxdistrict.com

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Who are your musical heroes and influences? Why?

Tice: The Beatles are kinda the go to heroes for me. Not just because they are an amazing band, but because of how they shaped the music industry.

Zack: My biggest music influence is John Frusciante, I love his minimalist styling and his phrasings are melodic and memorable. A musical hero of mine is Matt Bellamy. He is the ultimate showman; he has flawless style, musical ability and genius songwriting all while being one of the most entertaining front men.

Hunter: I started my musical journey playing guitar, and my first hero was Slash. I loved his ability to stay cool and play incredibly difficult solos. As my musicianship has expanded to bass, I have come to appreciate a few players, like Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes, Nick Harmer of Death Cab for Cutie, and of course my favorite bassist, John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin.

Ajay: Drummer Jon Theodore. His work with The Mars Volta changed, or at least partially redefined the instrument’s function in my head.

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

Tice: Ha! I was once told that making it in the music industry is like winning the lottery, but that’s not true. Because if you work really hard you can’t win the lottery, you either get lucky or you don’t. Music is a job, treat it that way.

Zack: Just focus on making music that you want to hear. If you try to make songs that you think other people want to hear, people will see through it and it won’t get you anywhere.

Hunter: Learn to play multiple instruments. It makes you more valuable to any band, and it helps immensely during songwriting.

Ajay: Be good at talking to people.  There are a lot of good musicians out there and it’s up to you to convince people you’re the best of them.

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

Tice: That typical “follow your dreams and don’t let your life pass you by” advice is something I didn’t take seriously until I was a burn out for 2 years after high school.  That’s two years wasted in my opinion, although some might say those two years of slacking off where necessary to build perspective on life, but I always wonder how much further along I would be if I was on the ball early on.

Zack: Having the most expensive gear isn’t going to make you write better songs.

Hunter: Learn music theory. Seriously, life would be so much easier if I paid attention in that class.

Ajay: Being good at talking to people

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

Tice: We have been fortunate enough to tour across the country, and that has made for some great highs and lows.  For instance, we’ll play a show in San Antonio, Texas for nobody at midnight, walk out of the club, look around and say to ourselves, “what are we doing here?” and then the next stop we hit in Nashville will be a packed house with strangers singing our songs along with us!  Life is like a box of chocolates, eat every piece until you throw up and wanna go home! Hahaha

Zack: My personal favorite show was in Chicago. We played a packed Empty Bottle and all my friends from my hometown drove into the city to see us play. It was really great to go back to my hometown and see all my friends and family and it was even better to have them come out and support us.

Hunter: Before I was in Water District back in high school, my band played a battle of the bands at a Salvation Army. The two other bands before us brought a bunch of people to watch them, but we had no fans. So everyone started leaving as soon as we started playing. The crew even started clearing the stage during our set. It was not fun.

Ajay: We played a gig in Austin next door to an industrial noise band.  That we could deal with, but it was the sound of prostitutes fighting right outside that got to us.[hmtad name=”Adsense Unit 2″ align=”floatright”]

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

Tice: I do enjoy passing judgment on others from afar as they walk by in crowded places like malls, movie theaters and the DMV! Haha, but to be honest I am looking into getting back into skateboarding, at some point in life I would skateboard for 4 hours and then go home and play guitar for 4 hours and then it slowly became 8 hours of music and no time for skateboarding. We will see.. Haha

Zack: Over the last few years I’ve really gotten into riding motorcycles which has led me to an unnatural love for vintage style helmets. Right now, I’m at four and I really love sparkle flake helmets so now the collection is mostly growing in that direction.
Hunter: Vaping and playing old school Nintendo games.

Ajay: I am a semi pro video game player, probably among the 30 best super smash brothers melee players in Southern California, though it’s hard to really say exactly where I stand.  Most of my time goes to practicing guitar and drums.

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

Tice: It really depends on where you are in the world. For instance, you can go to Echo Park in Los Angeles and find live music everywhere, but if you drive to the west side of the city like Santa Monica and Venice there are maybe two or three venues left that are still operating. Go an hour south to OC, and there are upwards of 3 dozen venues and only two of them are all ages. Well, I got some news for those venues; underage people are the people with free time and the open mindedness to go see a new band. Another factor is the amount of distractions and entertainment California in particularly has to offer. People have the option to go see John Mayer premiere his new songs at the Hotel Cafe, or watch people at the Promenade breakdance in the streets, but 2500 miles away in Pittsburgh people have nothing to do. So, they are more likely to go see a band they never heard of.

Zack: The biggest problem with the scene right now is more with people than the actual scene. People would rather sit at home and watch Pretty Little Liars on Netflix for the fifth time and thumb through pictures on Facebook and “like” one from a show rather than go out and support their favorite bands live. It’s a shame because if all those “likes” were people at the actual shows, it would be like the 80’s Sunset Blvd scene where you would have to wait in a line all the way down the block get into a show because every venue at every time is at capacity. I am not a fan of that music by any means, but it’s foolish to argue against the fact that music was more alive and thriving at that time. But the reality is that there are small scenes sprinkled around the country. In our own backyard, the Echo Park indie scene is huge, we were at Echo Park Rising and the streets were crawling with people. But if you are in Venice, there’s not even a trace of a scene. Which is a real shame because there are a ton of young people in that area and if we all just got together and forced a scene to happen, it would totally blow up.

Hunter: Something Zack told me is coming to me now. He said “All the music that’s on the radio today sounds like the Lion King soundtrack.” I think he’s right.

Ajay: Too much pay-to-play for shows. It devalues the product that musicians put hours into crafting.

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

Tice: It’s hard to say. Although we were asked to participate in America’s Got Talent a few years ago, we didn’t feel it would be a good move for us. Something about seeing a band do it all on their own over the years makes you really feel like they deserve what they are working for. Not to knock the participants of those shows, I’m sure they work hard. There’s just something glamorous about a band taking on the world and winning them over, going from rags to riches over the course of van tours and late nights in a studio. I guess what I’m saying is if they had to write a documentary or a behind the music on one of those winners of those talent TV show it would be a really short segment.

Zack: I don’t think it helps or hurts the industry. It’s just another sweaty finger attached to the clammy palm that is the music industry. On one hand, it’s good that music is in the spotlight on some level. But on the other it gives people the idea that being a great karaoke singer is the way to being a successful musician. I would blame the game show mentality for ruining rock n roll in the sense that it pushed people away from wanting to get a band together with their friends in the garage and growing organically. Now I’m also not saying that all the people in that show are not talented, because some of them truly are great singers and fantastic songwriters, but that’s not what the people get to see.

Hunter: Honestly, while it does give people an unfair advantage, I feel like those people would try to break into the music industry anyway. So I don’t think it really affects it.

Ajay: Probably more hurt than helped.  While the contestants are no doubt talented, I think it creates a false impression about what it takes to be successful, or that that what musicians do is easy.

What is your opinion of unauthorized music downloads?

Tice: It is what it is. I’m guilty of doing it. And I feel like this conversation is like beating a dead horse. If there are two things I’m certain of the last 20 years, is that Bill Clinton cheated on his wife and people illegally download music. Doesn’t make him any less of a president and it doesn’t make the fans any less of listeners.  We all need to move on! Haha!

Zack: It’s an interesting point because on one hand, it is completely stealing money, and its money right out of our own pockets. But at the same time, the goal of music is to be heard, and with illegal downloading you are getting to a larger audience. So at the end of the day, if they come out to a show or buy a t-shirt or something, I frown on it but it’s okay I suppose.

Hunter: I’ve been a broke musician for a long time. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Ajay: Music sharing has been going on for a long time. If you’ve ever made a mix tape or burned a cd to pass along you’re guilty of it. The shape it takes is different now.  Ideally though, people will support artists in other ways (merchandise, live shows, etc.).

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

Tice: Zack has long sun bleached hair, surfs every day and he is from Chicago born and raised. I was born in California raised in California and I’ve never stood on a surfboard! Haha

Zack: Ticey can slam dunk and Ajay and Hunter are currently in a beard growing competition.

Hunter: The first day I met Ticey, he got drunk and whipped out his nut sack. Ajay can pretty much play any instrument. And Zack puked on a girl once.

Ajay: Hunter started playing bass maybe a month before joining. You wouldn’t know it by just listening. Zack rides Harley Davidsons.

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

Tice: Mary Ann Summers. She is the kinda girl you bring back to Mom if and when you get off the island.

Zack: First of all, my first order of business would be to kill Gilligan because he effs everything up and they would have been off the island in like 4 episodes if they just drowned him. Then, obviously I’d go for Dawn Wells, if she was in her prime I would love to take her out to a seafood dinner and I would even call her afterwards.

Hunter: I’ve never watched that one, but from what I’ve seen Ginger Grant is the finest. So, her.

Ajay: Mary Ann is the cutest, but I’d have to go with the professor to guarantee a spot in his escape plan, in case his plan is only good for 2 or 3 people

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

Tice: Yeah, it’s funny who would have ever thought the solution to illegal downloading would be technology from the past. I’m interested in starting to collect vinyl, I just don’t want to be too stereotypical a hipster. The last vinyl I bought was a Pretenders extended play, I think it sounds better when you speed it up. Haha

Zack: Yeah I used to raid my dad’s vinyl collection for all his old blues records like BB King, Buddy Guy and Elvis. I recently bought The Hurry and the Harm for my girlfriend and that album has totally grown on me.

Hunter: Yes, I have a few. My favorites are Arcade Fire The Suburbs, All of the Strokes albums, and Queen’s The Game.

Ajay: I know what it is, but haven’t purchased one.  Never had the tech to play one.

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

Tice: I actually ran into Justin Bieber at the studio we were recording our latest album at. He was next door at The Record Plant and we were at Revolution 9. And in our parking lot 3 dozen girls waited outside for 14 hours just to meet the guy. I honestly am not a fan of his music, and I don’t think he would care for ours, but I do respect him. He is hated on so hard by some many people, but he came out and took pictures with every one of those girls and hung out for a half hour and made it worth it for them. So I guess what I’m saying is, we don’t have dozens of girls waiting for us outside of the studio while were recording, so I guess I’d ask him how he does it!

Zack: Nah, I’d work out some kind of deal where I keep him alive and then he will open up for us on tour.

Hunter: Nah. I’d just make him listen to his own music until he goes insane.

Ajay: I’d assert my dominance before making him do chores for us

What is your opinion of Miley Cyrus?

Tice: Her brother’s pop band is cool…. haha. In all honesty, I don’t have an opinion. Never met her.

Zack: I’d bang her to “Achey Breaky Heart”

Hunter: She’s a dumb girl who wouldn’t even have a career if it weren’t for her daddy.

Ajay: “Party in the USA” is one of the best karaoke songs ever

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

Tice: Real vocals, one can only watch one lip synching, it can’t be heard.

Zack: I wouldn’t be in a situation where this would be a problem.

Hunter: Real Vocals.

Ajay: Depends on the act and the abilities of the performer. If it’s a band, I want real vocals, but if it’s a pop star/entertainer, I don’t mind lip synching because so much of the entertainment comes from the spectacle as a whole.  More power to them if they can do all the dancing and costume changes while singing though.  It can’t be easy.

Who, or what, is the next big thing?

Tice: It’s hard to say. What is big in my world can be small for the rest of the world.  I think the band Chvrches has something special that a lot of pop bands are missing nowadays. I guess I should say my band…  Haha

Zack: The next big thing is rock n roll. The reality of the music world is that everything is cyclical. And now that you can hear dubstep at Ralph’s grocery store that basically means that that world is coming to an end. There’s only so many computer glitching sounds and whomp whomp drops that can blow people’s minds. The reality is that people can see through the bullshit of shallow music. That’s why people already stopped talking about Skrillex and all that other shenanigans. That music isn’t timeless, it’s for filling the empty minds of Americas troubled youth and giving people a reason to do drugs and dry hump everyone. People want true honest music. That’s why Zeppelin, The Beatles and the Stones have all stood the test of time. It’s because it’s real, raw and timeless. And I think people want to go back to that and it’s great because there are a lot of artists that are delivering it, you just have to look harder for them at the moment.

Hunter: Ned Flanders themed metal. Seriously, there’s a band called Okilly Dokilly that sings death metal about Ned Flanders. They’re gonna be huge.

Ajay: Folk and Soul influenced singer/songwriters, I think as a reaction to the popularity of electronic genres.

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

Tice: Love anything Death Cab. I don’t know if I just discovered that music at a point in my life where I was very impressionable or what but their stuff has stuck with me for the long hall.

Zack: Right now I’ve really been loving Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They are just a bad ass fuzzed out blues rock band that is killing it right now. And their drummer, who is a really talented woman drummer, is recovering from cancer. Their music is just incredibly soulful and I connect with it on another level. I saw them at The Observatory and I was blown away.

Hunter: The Strokes. They’re my favorite band, and their music just has the ability to turn me from an antisocial hermit to a normal person.

Ajay: Radiohead. It’s always exciting to see what they’ll do next.

Confession time. Share a secret about yourself.

Tice: I buried treasure in the Nevada desert. I give hints on at the exact location in all of the music I write.

Zack: I have an unnatural hatred of broccoli. I always try to be rational adult and just eat it but it really grosses me out.

Hunter: I LOVE My Chemical Romance. I was super into the emo scene in middle and high school, and they have been on my iPod since 7th grade.

Ajay: I used to be in a dance troupe, and that’s all I will say about it

Favorite movie of all time and why?

Tice: Back to the Future. Music, skateboarding and skinny jeans. Shaped my life haha.

Zack: Almost Famous because it’s obviously the best movie made during my lifetime. And I have my own Penny Lane.

Hunter: Empire Strikes Back. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and that movie is perfection.

Ajay: It’s hard to pick just one, but I think Back to the Future is one I can live with. The detail and charm just doesn’t get old .

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

Ajay: GO PACK GO.  Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league by far.  Tom Brady can suck it. Chris Paul deserves more credit for how amazing he is.

Hunter: STAR WARS EPISODE 7 COMING OUT IN A FEW MONTHS SO EXCITED! Also Water District is having a free show on September 14th at the Silverlake Lounge! Come by and have a good time with us!

 

Kickacts interviews “Sonali”!

Posted onAugust 15, 2014
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LaFamos_Sonali_MAINWelcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and were you can be found online.

 

Hey! Well my name is Sonali, I’m a singer-songwriter from South Florida but I’m currently studying at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can find me on Facebook(facebook.com/ItsMeSonali), Instagram, Twitter (@itsmesonali), YouTube (youtube.com/sonaliargade), or on my website (www.ItsMeSonali.com).

 

Who are your musical heroes and influences? Why?

 

Ha that’s a long list! Well from the current scene one of my biggest influences is Ed Sheeran, he’s such a fantastic songwriter. I love how detailed and story like his lyrics are. And of course his voice is just absolutely angelic, so he could probably sing the alphabet and I’d be just as entertained. I also really like Colbie Caillat, Mumford & Sons, Passenger, all that folky, singer-songwriter type stuff! Most people would be surprised to know that I actually love classic rock and metal as well. Led Zeppelin is one of my all time favorite bands, they’re just incredible.

 

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

 

Well I’m just starting out myself so I have a lot to learn! But one thing that you really need is determination. My whole life I’ve been told how hard it is to make it in this industry and how the odds are against you, and that’s always been a reality I’ve come to accept. But theoretically hearing that and actually living it are two totally different things. My biggest piece of advice is to just stick with it. If you have a strong passion for something, as most musicians do, you have to just go for it and give it your all. That can be really hard sometimes, as success usually does not come for a very long time…if at all. But that’s all part of being an artist!

 

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

 

Hm…I definitely wish I had practiced more when I was in high school! Don’t get me wrong, I definitely did my fair share of playing, but more practice can never hurt! Still hear my mom’s voice ringing in my years!

 

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

 

I haven’t had anything too extreme happen yet! One thing I will say though is I am the clumsiest person ever! So you can imagine when you’re sharing a cramped small stage with several other musicians and a bunch of cables running all over the place…not the best situation for a clumsy person like myself. Needless to say I’ve done my fair share of tripping haha. And that’s definitely happened on more than one occasion.

 

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

 

I wish my hobbies were that interesting! I’ll have to take up hat collecting off the side of the road I suppose. But I’d say my hobbies are pretty typical for a kid my age! I love just hanging out with my family and friends, especially my dog Scooter! I also enjoy reading, and just walking around and exploring New York City.

 

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

 

The current music scene is a really interesting one, I’ll say that! Everything’s changing, it’s in a very transitional state. That’s both really exciting and also very daunting. It’s not as lucrative as it once was, and the old models of how to break new artists and stay relevant are becoming outdated. So now it’s kind of like all the rules have to be rewritten. While there’s a ton of grey area, it’s also super exciting because it’s a chance for us to invent our own ideas, and find new ways to make things work. I’m excited to be a part of it!

 

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

 

There’s both a good and bad side to reality shows. Some really phenomenal artists have been launched through shows like this, and they are really great platforms for exposure. The problem with reality TV is that it isn’t exactly reality all the time, a lot of it is staged, because it is at the end of the day a television show that is there to entertain its viewers. I wouldn’t say reality shows have hurt the music industry, but I do think it creates a somewhat unrealistic portrayal of what it means to “make it” as an artist.

 

What is your opinion of unauthorized music downloads?

 

I wish it wouldn’t happen, but I think it’s sort of inevitable at this point. I think the best thing as musicians is to just accept this. It kind of forces you to think of a different or more creative business model to survive. It also forces you to wear a lot of different hats, which can sometimes take away from the creative side of things, but it is what it is!

 

Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t expect to hear.

 

I’m a huge nerd, but I’m proud of it! I’ve always loved academics just as much as music, I was that kid in high school always taking a million AP classes and trying to get straight As haha. Also, I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan…that’s as nerdy as it gets, right?

 

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’m embarrassed to say I have never seen Gilligan’s Island and cannot even name a single character…except Gilligan of course haha. So I have absolutely no idea!

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

 

Vinyl? What’s that? Haha of course I know what vinyl is! I sadly have never purchased one though; I hope to change that soon.

 

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

 

Ha! Well no if I choke him I would significantly decrease my chances of survival, as I’m sure the world would be much more preoccupied with rescuing Justin Bieber from a deserted island rather than myself 🙂

 

What is your opinion of Miley Cyrus?

 

I think Miley is very smart! She took some time, completely rebranded herself, and came back to the spotlight with a splash. Her goal was to make everyone take notice, and that she certainly did. Love her or hate her, everyone knows her name and has an opinion about her, and that’s great exposure.

 

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

 

Real vocals! I actually love hearing slight imperfections when artists perform live (to an extent of course haha). It just reminds us that we’re all human I think.

 

Who, or what, is the next big thing?

 

Hm, I believe her name is Sonali…haha just kidding! Someone who’s starting to make it pretty big is Passenger, he’s such a great songwriter. I definitely hope his career continues to blossom, I think he could be big!

 

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

 

I would say Ed Sheeran but I think I’ve already gone on enough about him for one interview haha. I guess I’ll say Led Zeppelin though. They can write songs that are classic blues, reggae, folky acoustic, you name it, yet have a sound that is so distinctly them. It’s great, they’re all just tremendous musicians.

 

Confession time. Share a secret about yourself.

 

But if I tell you then it won’t be a secret anymore!

 

Favorite movie of all time and why?

 

Oh I hate this question haha, I can never pick just one! I love comedies, but at the same time I love dramas with really in depth characters and storylines, I guess that’s where the writer in me comes in! I guess one of the best combinations of that is Forrest Gump, that’s a great film.

 

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

 

Well I guess this would be a good time to talk about my music! Based on my influences and the artists I’ve talked about, you can probably guess my music is pretty singer-songwritery haha, I like to describe it as pop/rock with a folky twist. I’ve been told I’m some sort of a mix between Colbie Caillat and Mumford & Sons, which is such a huge compliment because they’re both great artists! If you’d like to hear some of it, visit my website! (www.ItsMeSonali.com).

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KickActs interviews “The Black Tibetans”!

Posted onJuly 11, 2014
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

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

 

Tammi Tibetan- I am Tammi Tibetan, aka TamaraRaye on IG, part time bassist in The Black Tibetans and full-time self-proclaimed professional motorcycle crasher.

 

Ryan KH is our drummer, Dinst sings and play guitar.

 

The Black Tibetans can be found:

www.TheBlackTibetans.com

www.Facebook.com/TheBlackTibetans

www.Twitter.com/blacktibetans

www.Instagram.com/TheBlackTibetans

 

 

Who are your musical heroes and influences? Why?

 

Ryan KH- Probably Fugazi. They did everything on their own terms by putting out their own albums and booking their own tours, etc.. They kept their albums interesting by always experimenting and not being predictable from album to album. Plus, keeping their shows at $5 was pretty great. I remember seeing them set up their own gear before their shows. They were the only bigger band I’ve seen that did that. Gotta respect that.

 

Dinst- I think my main influence from my earliest age is Elvis Presley. I’m talking 1956-1968 Elvis here though, not fat-bloated-deep fried everything Elvis. I could lie and say it’s because he was a musical genius blah blah blah, but it’s really because when he performed on stage, every chick in the audience wanted to fuck him.

 

Tammi Tibetan-This is a difficult question to answer, as I tend to be a bit of a Music Nazi.  There are just so many to name that are equally important in their own right and for very different reasons.  But overall, there are a handful of musicians that stand out in my opinion.  A good originator and a good imitator are both good to keep in the musical knowledge banks.  For that reason, Lightnin’ Hopkins and The Makers are always on my list of favorites.  Beyond that, well- that conversation would be a bit of a time vampire.

 

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

 

Dinst- Always do it for the music and always for yourself. Oh and if you are forced to change and do something you hate, make sure all the chicks in the audience will still want to fuck you.

 

Ryan KH – Get a real job and a simpler hobby. This shit is rough.

 

Tammi Tibetan- Don’t.  Just don’t.  The business end of music is not what you should get into.  The music end of music is what you should concentrate on.  Listen to and play what you love.  Do what you are passionate about.  Play shows, as many shows as you feasibly can- even if you get paid in pizza.  Fans and management will fall into place at some point when the time is right.

 

 

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

 

Ryan KH – Never fry bacon in the nude.

 

Dinst-  “You probably shouldn’t take that, it’s made to put Rhinos to sleep.”

 

Tammi Tibetan-I’m not particularly sure how to answer this one, but I think it is safe to say that I was told at some point not to listen to your idols’ music in the same time frame you are trying to compose originals.  You’ll end up inadvertently ripping something off.

 

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

 

Dinst- I once got slightly intoxicated before a show we played in Brooklyn and I can’t remember much. I do recall running into the audience and falling over my friend Charlie in his wheelchair. We both ended up rolling on the floor with a concussion. He loved it, I got a broken nose. His sister still hates me with a passion since that moment.

 

Ryan KH – On tour, we once drove 9 hours from Portland, Oregon to Reno, Nevada for a show that didn’t exist. It’s always great to get to a venue only to be told there’s no show booked for that night. Call ahead folks.

 

Tammi Tibetan- The Black Tibetans have been fortunate enough to have had the privilege of playing some amazing shows, with bands like Arctic Monkeys, X and The Eagles of Death Metal.  I could go on forever about those fantastic nights… but that’s not as entertaining as when things go horrifically wrong.  Like that one time, in the middle of the desert somewhere well off the 15 Freeway, where we were asked to play an event that was synonymous with mayhem.  Following a three-plus hour drive through traffic and equally unpleasant high velocity sustained winds, we arrived at the location- which was already staked out and surrounded by law enforcement.  Despite the event patrons encouraging us to play, we decided it was a bad idea as the cops told us that our gear would be confiscated and citations issued at the first peep of a PA system or strum of a guitar.  Needless to say, we packed right back up and drove another 3 hours home.  Wow. Super fun.

 

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?

 

Dinst- I think I might just steal that whole sentence for the name of our next record. I really like riding old motorcycles but I can’t really say that here because it’s so cliché and people will think I’m a complete knob…so let me see what I can make up to make me sound interesting…Um…yeah you should see my epic stamp collection bro.

 

Tammi Tibetan-First off, who DOESN’T draw pictures of boobs?! Secondly, I occupy a lot of my time tinkering with and crashing motorcycles.  I love pushing the boundaries of my limited two-wheeled skill set, and it has taken me a lot of neat places- from being the Monkey in a Formula 1 sidecar rig, to racing Vintage MX in Japan.  Also, I like cats. Duh.

 

Ryan KH – Tennis, playing it, watching it, and deeply and feverishly smelling the scent that comes pouring out of a freshly opened can of balls. I’ve yet to meet anyone in music that has any interest in tennis and I’ve yet to have met any tennis players that has decent taste in music. Tennis playing rock n roll drummers are apparently not too common.

 

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

 

Ryan KH – It’s a bit strange right now. There’s always been 1st, 2nd, and 3rd waves of bands copying each other, but it seemed like those 3rd waves never got respect and never would really hit years back. Now, in popular music it seems like these 3rd and 4th wave copycat bands are getting huge and sustaining careers. That’s very strange. That’s on a big scale, though. Local wise, it seems like a decent time for smaller bands. Scenes seem a littler looser and bands are more varied. The less “rules’ in the scene, the better.

 

Tammi Tibetan- Insert jaded comment here.

Remember when you had to go to a record store and get made fun of for hours before the guy behind the counter would reluctantly introduce you to something worth listening to?  It was like a secret club you had to claw and earn your way into.  There’s limited culture these days, because there is minimal effort.  The internet tells you what is cool, and what you should listen to.  The process of developing musical taste and culture has been circumnavigated by convenience of information.

 

Dinst- I think there is a lack of good Rock n Roll bands these days. It makes me sound like I’m 83 but we need better music on the radio because 99% of it absolute shit balls!

 

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

 

Ryan KH – Probably more hurt than help. First of all the type of music they represent on those shows is obviously just watered down pop, so it doesn’t really much impact music that interests me. As for the genres that they’re showcasing, it’s probably cheapened them, but likely only for a period of time. The reach of those shows is dwindling, and as a result, their impact on the music industry is following suit.

 

Tammi Tibetan- I don’t think it matters one-way or the other.  There will always be mainstream popular culture.  Look at American Bandstand and other shows that used to disseminate watered-down versions of all the good rock & roll that was emerging from Midwestern basements and dark clubs at the time.  The concept is the same today.

 

Dinst- As I was saying above, these things are the reason the music industry is total shit right now! The positive side of this is that there are more and more independent bands that are realizing that it’s about doing everything on your own because the major records have their heads up their ass because all they care about is selling music to 6 year old girls.

 

What is your opinion of unauthorized music downloads?

 

Ryan KH – It’s not totally a bad thing. It worked well as a “try before you buy” thing for me. If I downloaded something and loved it, I would go out and buy a physical copy. Some people of course don’t care about physical copies anymore, so that’s detrimental. Of course now there’s so many streaming services, so that operates as a good “try out” for albums, and hopefully influences sales. Even though artists get a fraction of a cent per stream, it’s better than the nothing at all that you get from an unauthorized download.

 

Tammi Tibetan- I have to call a spade a spade here… I can’t say I don’t own unauthorized 7”s or bootlegged records.  So how could I possibly say that illegal downloading is killing the music industry?  That might be a tad hypocritical.

 

Dinst- Fuck it, if it gets music to people around the world then that’s great! Money is the last thing I think about when I make music. It means more to spread the word of Rock n Roll and I would rather have someone love our music than the $0.08 worth of sales through iTunes.

 

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

 

Ryan KH – You wouldn’t expect to hear bird calls with a Greek accent while a gentle rustling of tangerine colored receipts being tossed about in a gas powered dryer drifts in the background. But you might. What was the question?

 

Tammi Tibetan- I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and lead a double-life as a full time engineer for the Disneyland Resort.  NERD ALERT!

 

Ryan KH is kind of a total badass at tennis.  Seriously.

 

Dinst likes hedgehogs.  Tiny, insanely cute ones.

 

Dinst- Ryan KH is a total Diva with a lot of rules and Tammi Tibetan is never late.

 

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

 

Tammi Tibetan- Ginger.  That should be fairly obvious. Red-heads are the best-heads.

 

Dinst- Yeah big time, I would totally hook up with Gilligan….wait what was the question?

 

Ryan KH – Why only the survivors? Corpses need love too.

 

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

 

Ryan KH – Yes, I have all of them.

 

Dinst- I have a lot of records, mostly old Rock n Roll crap…Elvis, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry, The Sonics…etc

 

Tammi Tibetan- What are these strange black disk things… and why won’t they fit in my MacBook Air??

Close examination of the picture below should explain the answer to the first part of your question.

 

vv

 

 

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

 

Dinst- But isn’t he supposed to be all tough and shit now? I mean, look at the way he wears his jeans! And I hear he drinks sizzurp.

 

Ryan KH – Depends, does he have any sizzurp on him?

 

Tammi Tibetan- While he sleeps??? … I have to wait that long to choke him out???

 

What is your opinion of Miley Cyrus?

 

Dinst- Have you seen her brother with all the face tattoos? Holy shit! I googled him once…ok maybe more than once…anyways, mans a freak. Miley? There is no way I would sleep with her… Well, not again anyway.

 

Ryan KH – Zzzzzzzzz

 

Tammi Tibetan- No comment.

 

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

 

Dinst- Neither, I more about the synchronized dance moves.

 

Ryan KH – Real vocals, of course. Although, I don’t think there’s anyone worth seeing that would have lip-synching as a viable option or even consider doing that.

 

Tammi Tibetan- Who are we talking about here?  Milli Vanilli or Mick Jagger? The answer to that question is very situational.

 

 

Who, or what, is the next big thing?

Ryan KH – Probably the MERS-CoV virus, it entered the US in May of this year. It’s pretty intense and about 30% of people that have it have died. It’s gonna be big.

 

Tammi Tibetan- Pet Rocks.  Good clean fun for everyone.

 

Dinst- The Black Tibetans! Haha just kidding, we are total shit.

tbt

 

 

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

 

Dinst- Elvis Presley for obvious reasons. I could actually shed a tear right now just thinking about how amazing he is/was.

 

Ryan KH – Greg Dulli projects, Twilight Singers, Afghan Whigs, Gutter Twins. Everything Dulli does is instantly recognizable as Dulli. Those bands, and those records never get old.

 

Tammi Tibetan-R.L. Burnside.  I can throw on any and all of his discography all day, errrryday.  There is nothing better than listening to an artist progress over the breadth of their career, and I can think of very few that did so in such a way as he.  From his hill country blues to the raucous unyielding ‘anything goes’ style he was so well known for in his later years… there is nothing like this man.  That swagger in his playing style and voice remain so exciting every time you throw on his records.

 

 

Confession time. Share a secret about yourself.

 

Tammi Tibetan- I once stayed up for over 24 hours, sober, learning a series of algorithms to solve the Rubik’s Cube. I fucking love that cube.

 

Ryan KH – Nein!

 

Dinst- I’ve never tried Wheat Thins, is that bad? I’m from England and it seems all you Americans are obsessed with those gross little dry shits.

 tbtd

Favorite movie of all time and why?

 

Ryan KH – Three O’Clock High. Fight of the century: Buddy Revell VS Jerry Mitchell.

 

Tammi Tibetan- Anne of Green Gables.  Don’t judge me.  I’m a girl.  And a red-head.  And a social reject.  What’s not to like about that 4-hour epic?

 

Dinst-  I really like the film Sexy Beast it’s a great movie! All I will say is  ‘Don Logan’

 

 

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

 

Ryan KH – It’s impossible to go from an upper floor to a lower floor on an elevator. If it’s an elevator, it can only elevate you. If you’re going down, you’re de-elevating. You’d need to get on the De-Elevator. Its name needs to change depending on its current trajectory. If someone tells you they’re taking the elevator down to the lobby, let them know they will need to get on a de-elevator to accomplish their goal.

 

Dinst- WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS HYPE ABOUT HOW GREAT WHEAT THINS ARE??? PLEASE TELL ME!!!

 

Tammi Tibetan- Well, now that you have KISS stuck in my head… we should really have a nationally recognized holiday to celebrate the greatness that is KISS.  The rules would require that every man, woman, and child don the makeup of their favorite band member.  We should do this as an exercise in character, because whomever you choose says so much about you.  Shit, man, who the hell actually wants to be Peter Criss?!

The Black Tibetans – You’re Cold – (Official Music Video) from SRCE production on Vimeo.

 

KickActs interviews Carrie Lane!

Posted onJune 27, 2014
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

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

 

10486114_885371284823455_2454522163130425484_nWhat people don’t know about me is that I am a complete goofball. I have been getting messages from people I haven’t seen in years saying how impressed they are by all the things they see me doing and it makes me smile. Not just because they see that all of my hard work is paying off, but because they don’t know that behind the scenes I am still a total weirdo.

 

You can find me at www.CarrieLaneMusic.com

 

Who are your musical heroes and influences? Why?

 

My musical heroes are The Beatles. They are a group that is always timeless in my mind and that is hard for me to find in artists. I love all types and genres of music, but there are very few songs or groups that I can listen to no matter where I am, what I’m doing, or what I’m feeling. I can always listen to The Beatles and I can always find something to relate to in their music.

 

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

 

Anyone who starts out in the music business needs to be passionate because there is no doubt that it is going to get hard and the business is going to test how badly they want it, repeatedly and consistently. You need that drive and that will to stay strong when everything is not going as planned. You need to be hardworking and patient. If you do this and don’t try to cut corners, your time will come.

 

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

 

My issue is that I take in all the advice that people give me. My mind is like a sponge and I soak in every bit of information people give me. So my issue is not ignoring advice that people give me, rather listening to people that I shouldn’t be!

 

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

 

Once, there was someone who opened for me who was dressed in a full skeleton suit and played the same song over and over for his entire set. I don’t know if that is my greatest gig story or my worst gig horror story… you choose.

 

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?

 

Wow! Okay that question definitely made me blush. Oddly enough I like to color. Is that okay? I’m like a little kid when it comes to hobbies. I like to just sit with a coloring book and crayons. I find it very soothing whenever I’m stressed. Judge me.

Carrie Lane Album art

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

 

I think there has never been a greater time for music in my opinion. Although, people can still argue that only a specific type of music is on the radio… there are so many types of sub genres that are emerging that never could have come about years ago. The possibilities more music are multiplying and artists should be taking advantage of all of the opportunities out there.

 

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 that they are a unique part of the music industry that has never been able to really thrive in previous generations. I think with the way technology has evolved, shows like this are inevitable. They are interactive and make America believe that they are in control of picking the next big artist. However, little do they know these people are being hand picked to fit specific demographics that television networks are trying to promote.

 

What is your opinion of unauthorized music downloads?

 

What is anyone’s opinion of this? Don’t do it. Buy music, support artists. Period.

 

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

 

Aha! Yes, I get some revenge on my boys. Well let’s see I have three members of my band Dan Traglia, Dan Rufolo, and Vin Landolfi. Dan Traglia is my drummer and he’s the band leader, what you wouldn’t know about him is that every time he sits down for a meal he eats for a small village. Seriously, the guy eats his body weight in food every time he sits down it’s the most un-human thing I’ve ever seen. Dan Rufolo plays piano and is good at everything… I’m not even joking, he’s good at everything… it’s insane. That’s why I have to pick on him a bit because it’s just not fair. I decided that because there are two Dan’s in my band that I would call him Buttercup. So that it what he is called. And Vin most people think is the quiet one, but once you get to know him he’s hysterical. Sometimes (most of the time) he and Dan Traglia talk to each other in this weird other voice, it’s like their own language… it’s very strange. Bottom line, they’re all amazing and I love them because they’re super talented guys and insanely talented musicians, what more could I ask for?

 

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

 

Ok… you are seriously dating yourself with this question! I am too young to have ever seen Gilligan’s Island! Although, I do know one character and that’s Ginger so I pick her because she’s hot.

 

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

 

Yes I know what a vinyl is! I have never purchased one. However, when my grandfather passed away he left me with his collection of vinyl records because he knew how much I love music. I still have all of them to this day.

 

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

 

What’s with you and islands? I am not a violent person, nor a hater. I don’t think I would be anything but nice to the Beebz. He’s only human too…

 

What is your opinion of Miley Cyrus?

 

I think Miley Cyrus is an absolute genius. People can sit here and criticize her and scoff at everything she’s doing, but everything about what she is doing is calculated for success. As we’re sitting here judging, Miley is laughing all the way to the bank.

 

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

 

It depends on the type of concert. If you are going to hear some acoustic music or some rock and roll you want a live performance. If you want a large production with dancing and all that jazz, you’re going to lose quality of the voice. Sometimes backing vocals enhance the performance and that does not mean that the artist can’t sings, it means that is their choice to make that specific performance the best they can. Everyone uses backing tracks at one point or another; it is not something to be ashamed or criticized.

 

Who, or what, is the next big thing?

 

Me… Duh. Next Question!

 

Confession time. Share a secret about yourself.

 

One time I wrote #nofilter and I totally used a filter…

 

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

 

I think this goes back to The Beatles man, can’t live without them.

 

 

Favorite movie of all time and why?

 

My favorite movie of all time is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It is a classic and I laugh just as hard every time I see it, there are not very many things in life that can manage to hold that timeless charm.

 

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

 

I just want to take my “Shout it Out Loud” time to encourage everyone to Pay it Forward. I think this movement is incredibly important. It does not have to be through money necessarily, just through the goodness of our hearts. If we continue to help others and breed positivity around us, positive things will come to us as well. That’s just the way of the universe. I am a strong person. And the best way to utilize your strength is to lift people up, not to put them down.

10343009_541251462650757_5392546485167856649_n

 

Ten questions with “Dynasty Electric”!

Posted onDecember 27, 2013
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

 

Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and where you can be found at on the web.

DE main photoJenny: Hello everyone J I love life- music, art, nature, beautiful people. Seth & I run an artist friendly community-centric label called NewSonic. I sing and play theremin in our band Dynasty Electric. http://www.dynastyelectric.net/

Seth: We’re an electronic duo from New York City.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, iTunes and SoundCloud.

  Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?

Seth: The Beatles have been a major influence on both of us, both musically and spiritually. When we first started the project we were listening to artists like Bjork, Gang of Four, Radiohead, Talking Heads, and Gorillaz.

Jenny: I’ve always been so inspired by Bjork. She is a pure channel for cosmic creativity- always ahead of the curve and always genuine.

  Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?

Jenny: Believe in yourself. Develop your own unique gifts. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Seth: First of all, do it for the love. Secondly, don’t give up.  Quitting won’t get you anywhere, just stick to it if you want to succeed.

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

Jenny: Opening up for Girltalk at Summerfest, Milwaukee was an incredible experience. The energy was electrifying.

Seth: Recently we were performing at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, Massachusetts at the Connecting For Change Conference. The crowd rushed on to the stage and started dancing like crazy during our set. I think we had about 50 people up on the stage, it was wild!

 Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?

Jenny: I love photography and creating visual projections. I’ve also recently become a video editor. I’m thrilled about how “Supersonic” came out.

Seth: We practice yoga and mantra meditation. We have a growing collection of Tibetan singing bowls.

DE art

What do you think about the present music scene or lack of?

Seth: We have been focused on building our own label and musical community in New York City called NewSonic. We believe it’s important for musicians to come together and to expand opportunities rather than competing against each other for scarce resources.

   Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear… (Like their hobbies or something like that)

Jenny: I crochet hats and magic capes.

Seth: I love creative cooking. I want to start my own vegetarian restaurant chain.

Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls. Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

Jenny: Ginger- Love the red hair and the leopard prints.desexyn

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

Our new album “Euphoria” is out now. It was crowd-funded and co-produced with producers from the UK, France, Italy, Jamaica, Canada, India, Japan, and NYC. Check out the video for the new lead single “Supersonic”

 

Thank you!

 

Ten Questions with Aaron Childree!

Posted onNovember 14, 2013
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your music and where you can be found on the web.

photo_5My name is Aaron Childree and I’m a pop, singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, GA. My goal is to use music as a way to instill hope and inspire action. My new album is called “Above the Norm” and you can find it on iTunes or any other digital music store. You can also follow me at facebook.com/aaronchildreemusic or on Twitter @aaronchildree.

 

Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?

Two of my biggest musical heroes are Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. They were both able to create great music and also use their songs to make a positive impact on society. Some other artists that have influenced my sound are One Republic, Coldplay, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, and Jason Mraz.

 

Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?

The advice that I would give is to take every opportunity you get and to enjoy the journey. Not only is this good career advice, but also it can be beneficial in all areas of life. The biggest pitfall that I’ve seen (and had trouble with myself) is getting so worried about success that you become creatively stifled. Create the kind of music that you love and don’t worry too much about how it is received. People will often be hesitant to accept something that is original and different but that’s not your problem. Keep making music that you love!

 

 

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

I had the opportunity to perform for the GATE convention this past February and it was an amazing experience. The Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE) is an organization that brings together musicians, artists, writers, etc. who are all seeking to make the world better through their art. Jim Carrey and Eckhart Tolle are two of the organization’s founders. It was such an honor to be able to share the stage with so many amazing artists.

 

And in the same token as the above question. How about a “worst gig” ever story.

The first one that comes to mind is last year when I was scheduled to play a show on the same night as the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. I didn’t realize this scheduling conflict until it was too late to back out or reschedule, so I ended up playing a set for just a few friends and the other musicians. I’ve learned that whenever attendance is low you can make it sound more positive by saying that it was an “intimate” show. So that was a very intimate show. You live and you learn.

 

 

Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?

I try my best to stay healthy so I love to jog and practice yoga. I’ve done some P90X and Insanity as well. I’m also a little bit of a nerd so I really enjoy reading and watching documentaries on NetFlix.

 

What do you think about the present music scene or lack of?

I think all the new technology and means of distribution that we have today make it a very exciting time to be a musician. On the other side of it all, the innovation is that it can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. I’ve been blessed with lots of amazing people in my life to help me find my way and in my opinion that is a very important thing to have. I would love to see pop music move towards a direction of more lyrical substance and I think we’re already seeing that happen. Music has a unique power to bring people together and my opinion is that we should use that power to share a message of love and hope.

Tell us something about each of you that we wouldn’t expect to hear… (Like hobbies or something like that)

When I was in 5th grade I did an Elvis impersonation for the Christmas play at my church. I had an Elvis costume and even researched the role by watching one of his movies. It went well but I just remember being extremely nervous for days.

 

Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls. Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

It’s a close call between Mary Ann and Ginger but I’m going to go with Mary Ann. I’m a fan of the “girl next door” look she has going on. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Gilligan’s Island though!

 

 

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

I’m always looking for ways to use my music as a vehicle to raise awareness for different causes and charitable organizations. The music video for my new single “Above the Norm” features four charities and I would love for everyone to check out the video as well as the organizations. You can find the video at youtube.com/aaronchildree and there are links to all the charities in the video. Thanks so much for having me!

 J100

 

KickActs interviews “Harmful If Swallowed”

Posted onMay 10, 2013
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Be sure and check out their new album! It drops on May 14th!

1.   Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and were you can be found at on the web   

Harmful If Swallowed  Photo Shoot

A: We’re a punk rock band from LA, we like sunsets and unicorns and long walks on the beach. Friend us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HarmfulIfSwallowed

 

2.   Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?

A: Bad Religion, Face to Face, and Fugazi are big influences due to their unique song structure and melodies. We also like to sample rap songs from the 90’s, which sample songs from the 70’s.

 

3.   Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?

A: Do it for yourself, for the love of music, not for the money, it’s not about the money or the fame…unless you get signed then do it for the money, the girls and the drugs but mostly the money!

 

4.   Do you have a greatest gig story you’d like to share?

 

A: Opening for Bad Religion, was just an amazing experience.

 

5.   On the same token as the above question. How about a “worse gig” ever story.

A: playing at a club in Signal Hill, it was the bartender, bar back, door guy, the other band and us….all night.

6.   Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?

 

A: Visual Art, foreign films, fine wine and cheeses

 

7.   What do you think about the present music scene or lack of?

A: As long as there’s alcohol, the music scene is alive and well.

 

8.   Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear… (Like their hobbies or something like that)

A: Josh is a spot on Michael Jackson impersonator, Greg is an amazing hip hop DJ, and Carlos draws with sick kids.

 

9.   Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls. Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

A: That’s easy, Mrs. Howell because you don’t have to put so much work into it plus you know she’s gotta be crazy in bed, refined ladies of culture often are!

 

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

A: Why the Hell isn’t Rick Moranis in more movies?!

KickActs interviews Phil Swann!

Posted onMarch 22, 2013
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Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and where you can be found at on the web.

I’ve been knockin’ around this whacky racket for over 30-years. See:

www.philswann.com – Did you read that? Sweet Jesus, I’m 180-years old!

Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy influences vary widely and wildly. When I was a kid, my dad listened to Sinatra, Dean, Sammy, etc, you know, the standards, the tunes penned by the amazing Tin Pan Alley guys and gals. I think that’s where my first appreciation of really great songwriting was formed (listen to my CD Stale Scotch & Cheap Cigars). But, being a child of the 60s & 70s, I was, of course, drawn to rock ‘n’ roll, and the singer / songwriters of that era (Listen to my new EP, Age of Opportunity). To complicate matters further, I was raised in a small town in West Virginia therefore exposed to a lot of country music…by the way, not what’s called “country music” today, – I’m talkin’ the real hardcore stuff i.e George Jones, Ferlin Husky, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, and of course Hank. So, I’m a bit “sybil-esque” when it comes to musical influences. I really do love it all and have learned from every genre.

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

Yes, marry well.

 

Any pitfalls they should avoid?

Yes, don’t get married.

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

See below

On the same token as the above question. How about a “worse gig” ever story.

I’m combining questions 4 & 5 and here’s why: I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve been able to make a living in music since I was about 15-years old. Gigging was my part-time job growing up and gigging put me through college. I knew a lot of old WWI & WWII songs and that allowed me to play about every restaurant and piano bar in the NYC. After college, I hit the road in bands and never looked back. Believe it or not, a musician used to be able to make a pretty decent living by just gigging – I know, crazy talk, right? I think the biggest suck-factor for young bands and artists today is the lack of paying gigs. This concept of “play your music for free” or worse, “pay us to play your music” is ridiculous, insulting and just f**king wrong! What the hell is that about? When and how did that happen? But I digress. Anyway, back to best and worst gig question.

It’s hard for me to answer because 1). There are just so many gigs and stories, and 2). I’m not sure the statute of limitations is up in some states. But here’s what I do want to say and what I want my younger colleagues to hear: Looking back, I find that the good gigs are (as they were then) still good gigs, but the bad gigs are the GREAT stories. And trust me my young friends, the stories are everything. The stories are why we do this. The stories are what keep us plowing forward with a smile on our faces when the business just makes us want to cry. The stories we tell each other from the life we lead in this stupid stupid stupid business is what makes a life in the creative arts SO rewarding. Look, it’s like this: gigs will come and go; deals will come and go; fame will come and go; money will come and go. But if you’re living the creative life, you will always have stories. And not just amusing little anecdotes but incredible odysseys that mere civilians (non-creative folk) can only dream about. And trust me, that means something. It actually means everything, especially the older you get and longer you live this crazy life. So, embrace the bad, hellish, nightmare gigs. Don’t let them zap your energy, or suck your spirit, or worse, drive you out of the business. They’re going to be the great stories you talk about for years to come. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is: “Today’s tragedy is tomorrow’s joke.” God, is that ever true. I have that quote over my desk and look at it everyday. Just keep me on track.

But…there was that night in Joplin, MO when the girl crawled under my keyboard rack and..uh…never mind.

 Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?

Well, who doesn’t like to draw a nice boob picture from time to time? You know, it’s weird, I’ve never been a person with hobbies because my hobbies have inevitably become my job ergo I guess you could say I’ve never had a job. Hmm, I should talk to my shrink about that – I’ve never said that out loud before.

PHIL ART_silhouttedman

But it’s true. I started playing music as a kid because it was fun; suddenly, I was getting paid for it. I started writing songs because it was fun (and a great way to make girls like me), before I knew it, I was being paid for it. I started holding songwriting workshops because I loved hanging out with songwriters and talking about songs; again, before I knew it, I was teaching songwriting at UCLA. I liked working with artists in the studio and…yup, you got it, I started being hired to produce records. More recently, it’s been writing novels (which I’m loving). I wrote a suspense thriller a few years back called, “The Mozart Conspiracy.” The book was published and has been selling pretty well. I’m working on my second book right now. FYI, I signed a deal at the beginning of this year with an Italian book publisher who is releasing an Italian translation of “The Mozart Conspiracy.” They call it, “Il Codice Amedeus.” Cool, right? So, no, I don’t have any hobbies. I’d get one but I’m afraid it’d become my living and I don’t have time for anymore jobs. Jesus, I’m tired just hearing all that.

What do you think about the present music scene or lack of?

Oh crap, here’s where I start sounding like my dad. Okay, here goes. We all are aware of the trials and tribulations facing the music industry today. Hell, guys like me sit around and bitch about it on a daily, if not hourly, basis. I talked about it earlier when addressing the problem of “free music” instead of good paying gigs. I guess my frustration today is I feel that music and we who create music just need to be respected more. But – and this is really what I feel – I think we creators must respect ourselves more. Lord, guys, stop GIVING IT AWAY!!! It’s not helping anyone – least of which you.

Look, I understand YouTube, Internet radio, Spotify, yada yada yada are not going away. Nor should they. We artists and writers can (and always have) embraced new technologies as a way of getting our music out to the world, but we have to stop de-monetizing it. It doesn’t serve the art form; it only devalues its importance. We can find a balance. I hope there are smarter people than me out there working on this. We can’t keep going down this road.

Also, we (the creators), in the midst of all this new technology at our disposal, must never lose sight of the purity of the music. I fear sometimes we’re not “writing songs” these days as much as we’re “making records.” Don’t get me wrong, the records we’re making sound amazing! Technology continues to blow my mind and there are some very gifted producers and engineers making those records – hell, they’re practically scientists! But sometimes I miss the pure and simple craft of songwriting. You still hear it occasionally but more and more it’s about the production and less about the crafty-ness of the song. Here’s what I mean; I believe the great songwriters from the Tin-Pan Alley era created pop songwriting as we know it today. They were just such fine craftsmen and women and we’re still basically doing what they perfected…just not as well, at least I’m not. I think it’s forgotten that they had to write songs that would be hits from the sale of the sheet music. The songs had to work on paper alone! I think a bit of that way of creating might be a good thing to remember as we’re downloading our cool new plug-in or latest upgrade of ProTools.

Sorry. I told you I was about to sound like my dad…or your dad.

Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear… (Like their hobbies or something like that)

I don’t have any band members but I do have many many many imaginary friends. They’re all named Fred.

Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls. Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

Well, Mary Ann is definitely the hottest but I fear I’d fall in love with her after the sex and, well, let’s be honest, this is a deserted island and who wants to be in a committed relationship on a deserted island? So no on Mary Ann. Now, Ginger, yes, hot, and probably a hellcat in the ol’ hammock. But I think I’d have to take a pass there too. I mean, she is an actress after all and my experience with actresses is they’re all a bit bat-shit crazy; I’d be afraid she’d freak out in the middle of the night and stab me in the face with a shiv made out of a coconut. So, pass on Ginger too. Which, I guess, leaves, Mrs. Howell. Yes, Mrs. Howell is who I’d hook up with. Besides, I think she’d be grateful and isn’t that what all any of us are looking for? Someone to be grateful? Plus, it’s a deserted island…who’s going to know. (editor’s note:This is the best damn answer I have received so far for this question)

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

“No,” he whispered.

 

Kickacts interviews Daniel Robinson!

Posted onMarch 15, 2013
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

 

Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and were you can be found at on the web.

danI’m Daniel Robinson, I am full of pizza, and weird ideas. I write songs with keyboards, sounds from your childhood video games, and sometimes guitars.

iamdanielrobinson.com

facebook.com/leinadrobinson

twitter.com/leinadrobinson

youtube.com/leinadrobinson

soundcloud.com/leinadrobinson

 

Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?

There are so many! I always feel that I am a listener first. That said, I look up to LIGHTS very much. I think she’s great at what she does, she’s got a strong sense of self, and she never ever compromises that. Plus, she writes some of the best songs I’ve ever heard! Other than that, my influences are fluid. My sounds tend to line up with whatever I’m listening to. Right now, I have been tracking some demos, and letting myself draw inspiration from Now, Now. They’re a band from Minneapolis, and they have an awesome lo-fi, etherial sound. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard! I’ve also been listening to my friends, The Breathing Tree. Their record, Traveller, is gorgeous. I’d love to be able to capture that sort of emotion.

Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?

I have found that other people are very dangerous. Don’t concern yourself with what anyone else has to say. Being an artist is very possible, it’s an attainable dream, and a noble goal. Go for it, and never give up.

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

One time, I played this skate park. It was super weird, and I didn’t fit on the bill at all. Throughout my entire set, kids kept wiping out! It was all I could do to keep from laughing.

Daniel Robinson MAIN

Daniel Robinson

I mean, that show was pretty bad. Nobody was into what I was doing at all, but I was definitely having a lot of fun!

Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music?

I make a pretty good latte, all of my Pokémon are above level 50, and I can run a mile in 7 minutes. I don’t know if that’s a long time or not, but I’m pretty proud of it.

What do you think about the present music scene or lack of?

Locally, Buffalo’s not really into pop music, which makes me pretty sad! I feel that a lot of good songs aren’t being heard because they don’t have enough electric guitars or screaming. It’s not 1998, pop music isn’t low-brow anymore. It’s grown up, it’s intelligent, and real. In general, I think there’s a lot of good going on. I’m constantly on the hunt for something interesting to listen to, and it’s not so hard to find lately!

Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear… (Like their hobbies or something like that)

I watched about 6 hours of The Jetson’s the other day. It’s weird to see what people in 1960 thought today would be like. It’s not as cool, is it? I watch a lot of cartoons.

Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls. Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

It’s the professor.

Our last question is called Shout It Out Loud. It¹s where you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about. So go ahead and SHOUT IT OUT LOUD.

If anybody knows where I can buy a tamagotchi, and they could tell me, that would be great. (editor’s note: I have a drawer full of them:)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhlZGgTNWCU

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Kickacts interviews Bob Pressner!

Posted onFebruary 26, 2013
google.com, pub-2427795083793513, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

 

 Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and were you can be found at on the web.

My name is Bob Pressner.  I’m a singer-songwriter out of Boca Raton, FL.  You can find my catalogue of music and music videos on YouTube.  I have over 20 million views on a lot of my music videos and have really made my mark in music through YouTube and social media.  I also had a Comcast Live OnDemand special which can also be found on YouTube air last year and it ranked #1.

 MAIN_bobpressner-0142Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?

Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Michael Hedges are a few of my favorites.

 Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?

Avoid anyone who tells you that you can get rich quick.  Music is a business just like any other and it requires work, commitment, persistence, and patience.  For the most part you don’t become a huge success overnight.  Beware of those who tell you that you will…

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

I played the Sundance Film Festival last year that was quite a thrill.  That was probably my favorite.

 On the same token as the above question. How about a “worse gig” ever story.

Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  I guess when I was younger and inexperienced I had a couple of bad shows where maybe I didn’t know how to handle playing a set right or a drunk crowd or something like that…no great stories come to mind.

 Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?

I love watching almost any sport, but really love playing golf. No stamp or hat collection…and sure, I think I could probably draw some nice lookin’ boobs if necessary.

 What do you think about the present music scene or lack of?

Looks like music has really blown up on the Internet and in all things social media related.  However, even with the success of YouTube, it’s still a struggle to monetize music today, even if you have millions of fans who subscribe to your channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m-4i02K-TE&feature=player_embedded#!

 Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t expect to hear… (Like weird hobbies or something like that)

I once hosted my own TV show.  That was pretty cool.  It was years ago, but I still got it!  In fact, I’d like to host my own show again down the road!

 Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls. Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

Can I not have all 3?

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

GO TO iTUNES AND BUY MY ALBUM!

Bob Pressner’s Social Media Sites:
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/rrH0kw
Twitter: http://bit.ly/Kb1L4f
iTunes: http://bit.ly/Livw5a
Official Website: http://www.bobpressner.com

BobPressneralbum

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