F R X N S Divided by Eight Questions(an Interview)

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I wrote about FRXNS a few days ago. This time let’s get to know the duo behind it. Yes, from musical group that can turn heads because of that distinctive sound? Why not?!  I have an imagery of this sonic tidal wave: a raging sheath of drums, bass, guitars around a vocal style that can sound a bit like Thurston Moore or the late  Ian Curtis. 

What’s the origin of your band name?

We we’re @ Karina Broce’s art show “Ashes to ashes dust to life” where she did installations of the remains of their ancestral house that burned down when we saw an interesting article on the wall written in coal. It goes something like “The fractions of a legacy…” we cannot recall exactly what it said but that was the jist. The word struck us as something positive – that you can create something beautiful out of fractions. The pseudonym FRXNS came to life when we realized Fractions was not a very smart choice on a digital marketing perspective. It’s funny cuz when you search “Frac/tions” youtube, math stuff comes up and who wants that? Haha.

Out of the five songs you wrote and recorded for the EP,  what’s the longest to complete?

I wrote and arranged all the songs on the EP years before it was recorded except for “Other Half” and “Now, Somehow” which was a collaborative work between me and Kara so those two took time to complete. Other half was the longest because we had to fill it in with different riffs to make it aptly sound like new wave.

How did you form the band together?

Music is the only thing Kara and I like doing. We have a lot of outside the box ideas that we want to materialize and perform so the decision to be in a band together was just automatic.

What are your top 5 bands today?

Top 5 bands today would be Fazerdaze… Uhhhh… This is a hard question, can’t think of any. We listen to a lot of new bands on Spotify. Their songs are good but nothing has really struck us to worship a whole album yet. But if you ask our top fave bands of all time that would be The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Morrissey, New Order, Joy Divison and, Rico Blanco.

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Describe a typical frxns jam session.

We like having people over to our home, coffee, drink, jam… Old school. If it’s just Kara and I, we purposely put guitars on our bedside so we can just grab it incase a random tune comes up.

Where can fans get your EP?

We are out of physical copies but our EP is still available on digital format (Spotify, iTunes, Youtube etc) just type “FRXNS”.

Any future gig you want to promote?29133197_1895727777134891_8393799996985573376_n

We have a regular set at Tippy’s Bistro every last Saturdays of the month from 9pm – midnight. We play originals, new wave, alternative and indie covers. Everyone’s invited!

What’s next for the group musically?

We have a new song “Timeless” which we recorded with Nicolo Abadiano on Bass and Shaolin Javier on drums. We’ll put it up on Spotify soon. We are also working on 2 new songs. We tried to inject muffs/shoegaze/dream pop to our sound which is very melodic and melodramatic. The gameplan is always to keep playing. It’s all about the music.

There you have it folks. Be sure to like their Facebook band page for updates. 

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fractionsbcd@gmail.com

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http://bit.ly/2j8Lnhe

Hip Hop artist Aero talks about his new song Love and the rise of Indieka Bacolod.

  

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Rapper Aero

Aero took the stage in top form during the Indieka Bacolod gig. He delivered his tunes with candor that can only come from someone who is passionate about his craft and knows that his audience love it. He rapped about the street culture and the beauty of Sugarlandia. Surely, everyone who ever tried living outside of this place knows that sense of nostalgia and also experienced a kind of reverence from strangers when they know where you came from.

I was with my two friends Hannah and Jess. The guys of Bacolod Fixed gear were there as well. It was a great night of music and Aero worked the crowd up with his familiar songs. One of them was Cold Beers which is my favorite. I was tipsy but still aware of every band that performed that night. And they’re all good! Indieka started something that’s really exciting because it’s been a while since I last witnessed a musical event like that.

So I did a Q & A with the man whose real name is Albert Temporosa Peñafuerte. So much respect for the guy who can make those who don’t like hip hop music love the genre. He is not telling you. He is showing you why his music is so good.

You always feature Bacolod street culture both in songs and music videos. What started all this love?

Hip-Hop culture started in the streets. I was fascinated with the four elements — MCing, DJing, B-Boying and Graffiti Writing as early as I remember watching Breakin’. Biking, like what you guys do, is also done on the streets.

You used to be a DJ right? Is it still part of your hobbies or work on the side?

I worked at a local radio station while I was in college, and I even had my own urban music show every Saturday. Currently, I’m learning how to DJ like the ones you see at parties and festivals so I may be able to use the skills in the future. It can be another way to earn through my passion.

A new music video is in the works. It involved our local cyclists (Bacolod Fixed Gear, Munchies Riders, BMX riders etc). What took you to that direction?

LOVE is the name of the brand new music video. Christer Isulat, the director, envisioned a scene with my son and I riding bikes in the sunset. After I posted an inquiry about a bike on Facebook, I was directed to all of you wonderful people, and yeah, big thanks to Newry.

Can you tell us more about your latest album?

As a solo artist, I’m just working on singles right now. I’m in a duo, Drinking Man’s Hip-Hop, with my producer CHRiZO and we recently released The Year Of The Drunken Monkey on Spotify. Aquarius Sessions II and Son Of Eve Sessions III are on the way, also.

You are involved with Indieka Bacolod. What are the things that we can expect from this music project?

I’m proud to say I was part of the very first meeting when we created this brainchild. We have 7 core groups: The Gutfeel, Rust Pocket, Frac/tions, Katumbal, Cali Island, Scroll Down and I, but we’re open to artists who play original compositions. As a music collective, we plan to play plenty of shows in the city and tour other cities with a do-it-yourself mindset to show and prove we have what it takes to be heard by a bigger audience.

Message to your friends and listeners?

Say hello at a show!

www.aeroWithADot.com

www.facebook.com/aeroWithADot

www.youtube.com/aeroWithADot

www.soundcloud.com/aeroWithADot

www.twitter.com/aeroWithADot

www.instagram.com/aeroWithADot

 

Stay tuned for the next Indieka Bacolod gig.

Swallowed by the New album Q&A with Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket.

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I was in college when I heard Something’s Always Wrong and Fall Down. They were massive hits and I rushed to the record store to buy Dulcinea. It was the height of The X-Files, Beavis and Butthead, Grunge and Neo Folk. I started following the band through music magazines and other publications, absorbing their tour updates as well as recording activities. There’s something special about their sound. And the center of it all was and still is, the charismatic Glen Phillips.

There is this irresistible optimism in this aura even if he was singing the saddest songs. Just watch Walk on the Ocean and All I want(for their album Fear) and you will see what I mean. The band was on a hiatus, the World Wide Web reached me and I started looking for his solo releases. That’s when I ‘discovered’ him again via MySpace. At that time, MySpace was huge and I cared about the musical aspect of the site as much as my networking activities. He released Mr Lemons to positive reviews. I remember Everything But You became my theme song before going to work at a call center. I thought the video was edgy, not the typical Toad the Wet Sprocket stuff, as this was purely Glen Phillips.

Swallowed by the New bolted out of the studio last month and I am honored to finally correspond with my musical idol. I was literally jumping up and down when I got his answers.

 

 Hi Glen, can you say that *Swallowed by the New *is perhaps your most honest album to date?

These songs certainly handling their subject matter in a pretty unveiled way. It’s head on about dealing with change and loss. All songs are little works of fiction, though. You start with something true and honest, but you end up serving the song itself more than the inspiration for the song, so they aren’t usually direct factual narratives, even though the emotional content is authentic. Songs have to have their own integrity and balance.

 Your fans are cheering that you are back with new music. What was it like to record the new album?

This record was made with more intent than much of what I’ve done as a solo artist. I felt like I knew what I wanted it to feel like, I knew what I needed to say. Paul Bryan was a great collaborator. He came at the recording from an angle that felt in total alignment with what I was after. Simple parts, minimal overdubs and ornamentation. He brought in some really great players but we kept the circle small enough that it had a real band feeling from top to bottom even though the songs are fairly disparate in style. I was in a pretty fragile space at the time – it was about 6-7 months after my marriage had ended. Paul gave me a lot of support without coddling me.


Can you tell us a bit about the string arrangement in Leaving Oldtown?

Paul did the arrangements on the record, and Eric Gorfian and the Section Quartet played the strings. Leaving Oldtown is written almost like a number from a musical. It’s pretty visual, not really a pop song. He was able to emphasize that more classic attitude with the strings.

Speaking of Leaving Oldtown, it is also your first single right? What’s the story behind the music video?

It’s the third single, but the other two were probably easy to miss. Don’t have much of a promo budget these days. The video was shot on trains in Japan. I took my middle daughter Zola there with me for a little tour in the spring. I put my iPhone in slo-mo mode and we would take turns holding it against the window as we would pull in and out of stations. It came out looking pretty great for a phone recording. The lion’s share of the work was sorting through the footage and editing. I enjoy that kind of trancelike work. Editing video is like writing and mixing a song at the same time. I would like to do a lot more of that.

How do you manage to preserve your amazing voice through the years?

Some years are better than others. I’ve moved the keys of a lot of songs down. I try and rest and stay hydrated, and warm up before I play. I didn’t use to warm up, just out of embarrassment, but I’ve had to get over that – it makes a huge difference. Cutting out alcohol really helps, too. Also just being more aware of how I sing and where I’m holding tension. Toad shows impact my voice way more than solo shows. It’s not just how hard I sing, it’s how I hold my body and how much emotional tension I bring in. My oldest daughter is taking a course in the Alexander Technique right now and I’m hoping to dive into that this year. It’s all about how we hold tension and it’s effect on the voice and body.

You are not afraid to address life’s weighty issues in you songs. Do you feel you are privileged to be able get away writing the songs you want and maintain a strong fanbase?

I’m really lucky that there’s people who are interested in my songs. I don’t think I’d to a very good job at chasing success. I’m not that kind of a writer. It needs to feel worthwhile, like I’m providing something that’s more than simple entertainment. I realize that the attention I got when I was young makes it so that a few more people listen to me, that I’m a poor enough salesman that I wouldn’t compete very well in the current market. I’m also aware that some people barely listen to my new music because they judge me by my past or just want me to cater to their nostalgia. I’m ok with all of that – I write music that I think is useful to people, and enough people seem to still find it useful that I can continue to do it professionally. I do think I might need to start learning some new tricks, though. I’d like to tour less some day, or tour at a level where I could bring more of home with me. We’ll see how all that pans out in due time.

 What can we expect following release of the new album?

I’ll be touring as a duo in 2016, trio in 2017. I’ve got a few ideas for projects in the works. I’m just getting my life together after a couple years of massive change. I’ve been divorced, lost my old home, had to work to love my new life and move on with gratitude. I moved out to Nashville a couple weeks ago, and go back to Santa Barbara for a week each month. I’m trying to not make any grand statements about what will come next, and just remain open and keep moving forward. It’s the beginning of a new life, so who knows where it’ll lead?

Your message to fans?

My dentist says you should all floss more than you probably do. And use soft bristles for your toothbrush!

And here I go, starting to listen to all his songs again.

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Hungarian Musical Phenomenon Koryan Daniel Csernei Talks About His New EP

Hungarian musical artist Koryan Daniel Csernei dabbles between writing music that is suited for films or computer games. Then there’s that singer-songwriter aspect that makes his works accessible to a wider public. Following his musical career, I can safely say that he falls in the  category of the composer/artists who are comfortable writing in the background. They more concerned with the craft and they don’t usually care about the fame aspect of the field. They seem to be satisfied with the output.

His new EP Emberibb maszk is out. If you haven’t yet, you can read about my review here.

He handed me the answers in this interview after sometime as he is currently working on several music-related projects-a follow-up to the EP, the building of his recording studio

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and his day job.

 

1. What inspired you to make this new EP?


The reason is too complicated. Actually it started with a demo song (Emberibb maszk) that was inspired by someone, who was close to me. The title of this song is talking about a human mask to hide the symbol of the lies, hypocrisy, the charade.
Then the momentum carried me with itself and I made two other songs too, in it I’m talking to the people. So the theme is similar.
 
2. What was the process involved in creating this recording?
There are two types. When I have a new idea, and write/compose a complete song, or when I have a theme, or a half music, or lyrics from the past and I finish it because I get idea, or I find it good and I want to make it complete.
Most often I write sheet music for the instruments, then I learn it and record. I insert a drum machine, and record the guitars at home. The vocals are recorded usually in my friend’s studio / Power Source Studio. Then I do the after-works and mastering at home.
 
3. Your songs are personal but some are also filled with social commentary. What are the topics close to your heart?
There is not a favorite topic. I compose from inside, my current feelings, my current opinions.
4. I love the way you sing and arrange the songs. Who influenced your singing style?
Thanks, but I think there is nothing extra. I sing the way I can. I have no qualification. I didn’t learn to sing. So I don’t think I’m a good singer, rather I know I’m not. I just like to do it. I have some favorite performer, but I cannot and I don’t want imitate them. As I said I sing the way I can, as the actual music requires.
 
5. Thanks for translating some tracks from your native Hungarian to English. Are you planning to record English songs in the future?
You are welcome. Yes, I’m currently working on that. My next EP will be in English. With my bad accent. 😀
 
6. Can you explain the title of the EP? Why Human Mask?
 
Actually, it’s More human mask, or Humanest mask. I don’t know which is right. As I made mention in the first answer it’s started from a demo. In this song I asked someone to wear a more humane mask for hiding her bad properties, features, such as lies, hypocrisy, charade, untrustworthiness. I asked her for more humanity. 
I cannot explain it better. 😀 Sorry. So this song gave the title for the EP.
What I like about Mr Csernei is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and he is really down to earth. He is not your typical metalhead/rockstar. He is actually an artist in a true sense of the word and a good friend of mine. I am posting his new stuff which is a different  take on a Katy Perry song.

Popes of Chillitown : An Interview

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My approach in doing interviews for bands has not changed. It is still made in the spirit of spontaneity. You know, that moment when you meet your favourite band and you scribble questions in a piece of paper (or ask them impromptu) and let them answer it shortly. I think it also depends on the occasion. There are times when the interview is complicated due to the schedule or the availability of the artists. But I always try to strike at a moment when I can get my answer out. Because it is fun that way. And I am darn sure you my readers will enjoy it.

I want to keep it simple and that thought made me decide to have a brief chat with Matt, the singer from Popes of Chillitown. They are a 6-piece band from London. They play a variety of Ska,Dub and Punk. They’re originally founded in 2006. This interview is a continuation of something I’ve written a few weeks ago.

Enjoy the answers and explore the music!

1.Tell us about your new album To the Moon.

Our new album to the moon…it’s our journey through space (uk ska scene and dance floors) and time (a year of line/up changes and our first European tour) What we wanted to do with to the moon was give people something that they could either dance to or sing along to as consistently as we could across 11 tracks.

2.Your new single Wisdom Teeth is out how was the experience shooting a music video?

Doing the music video with Craig from the snare was jokes. We’re all mates so we just had a laugh and ate monster munch and drank red stripe. It was nice that he knew what he was doing too. Check it out on the YouTubes.

3.You’re touring Europe promoting your album. What keeps you all energize while being on the road?

I’ve already mentioned monster munch and red stripe so add ginsters and walkers sensations to that list of energy giving fodder. Not that we’re looking for sponsorship or anything…More spiritually it’s an altruistic Bill and Ted style vision of musical utopia that drives us on. That. And Munroe.

4. How do you decide that the song is ready for recording?

When we finally get round to recording stuff we’ve usually tried and tested every could-be song at live shows. We feel that is the test of whether it should go on a recording. And that’s what we’ve done with this album. Other songs maybe fun to play or whatever but we were only after dance music on this one. Aside from that when a song is ready is a weird concept as some things burst into existence and some things linger and fester so you have to sympathetic to this and adaptive in the creative process.

5. What can the audience expect when they go to your gigs?

At live shows we try to bring as much energy as possible to the entire time that were on stage. We want people to dance so we have to take the lead in it, innit. We have sing along bits and we try to get people moving. Sometimes me and Tom go wandering on the wireless. Which is fun. Especially at festivals when you go too far from the stage and you’re trying to sing in time with an echo.

6. Are there other bands you hangout when you have the time?

I said The Snare and Millie Manders. We hang out with any of the bands we play with around the country. There are loads of safe people in the ska scene. People who have recently been safe; Tree House Fire, Riskee, Call me Malcolm, Stiff Joints, Cartoon Violence, Mad Apple Circus and Counting Coins.

7. Can you list down the band members and what they play?

Popes of Chillitown are:

Popes of Chillitown:Attitude, melody and energy- the reasons why I like these guys.

Popes of Chillitown:Attitude, melody and energy- the reasons why I like these guys.

Jck – drums / vox

Arv – Bass

Tom – Electric Guitar / vox

Jimmy Pingu – Trombone / vox

Classic Trev – Sax / Melodica / vox

Matt – Vox / Acoustic Guitar

8. What’s great about being in Popes of Chillitown?

Being in Popes is great because we get to live the glamorous life style of eating shit, driving all day to Germany and then sleeping on a strangers floor. We get to listen to a lot of music in the car though. We just love gigging and playing shows with other bands we like and can have a laugh with. We’ve had a really fun time this last year making the album and we’re enjoying playing it – as well as a few of the dancier tracks from the first one. We’re still exploring the continent one gig at a time and that’s fun too.

Yes, these fellas are fun. Be sure to visit their official links below:

http://www.popesofchillitown.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PopesOfChillitown