Sphere Music Podcast #4

Peter Chains

Here’s the result of this Saturday’s podcast with special guest Peter Chains.

Farewell to Childhood- Eternal Keys 
Matchstick Girl-Joel Sarakula

Interview with Peter Chains:

Days Long Gone-Peter Chains
Reflection-Peter Chains 
Mistress of Death-Peter Chains 
Miss Razorblade-Johnny Normal 
Sweet Sweet Super Sweet-Happyendless 
Digital Fields-ElectroCelt 
Trainbridge-Eternal Keys 
Self Realization-Korien Daniel Csernei

Bloody Diamonds : Interview with Sara and Jake

Bloody Diamonds

released 12 March 2013
Sara Elizabeth – Vocals / Organ
Ian Bennett – Guitar
Jake Seaward – Bass
Kenny Myers – Drums

Music and lyrics written by Bloody Diamonds
Engineered and mixed by Andrew Wiseman
Additional engineering by Nick Jones
Mastered by J. Lapointe – Archive Mastering
Album artwork by Fish Bone Prints

I had a chance to catch up with Canada’s rising rock band Bloody Diamonds. They are touring to promote their new release Monsters 7. We all know that the big country up north has produced world class musicians. So what’s this excitement about Boody Diamonds? I tell you this: My experience with their music is an hour of visceral glory. A kind of aesthetic explosion that seems to come from the depths of your guts as it channels something primal, unsettling but beautiful at the same time. Sara and Jake, the band’s core duo answer questions I asked on your behalf dear readers. They are young, beautiful and full of raw energy. You don’t want the fear of missing out so here they are!

 Hard Rock, Bluesy and Dark. These are the three terms that stand out when I listen to your music. How did you decide to combine these elements and attain consistency from the first album They’ve Got Secrets up to the current Monsters 7”?

Jake: We’ve always written rock music, and in my opinion the blues scale simply has all the best notes in it. I don’t care much for major scales. The rest just kind of happened. In the beginning we didn’t aim to be a “dark” band, but it definitely took that shape within the first few songs we played together. We love dirty riffs, crunchy chords, and tasteful dissonance so I guess it was inevitable. There’s consistency from our first album to Monsters, but I feel like the two tracks on the 7” are more focused. We wrote them in a shorter time frame than the songs on the first album, and had more experience playing them live. We recorded our first album after playing just a couple shows. When we went to record Monsters we had a couple of tours playing together under our belt. We actually recorded the Monsters 7” mid tour during a couple days off in Toronto. We had a much better idea of what we wanted to do.

You and Sara have this amazing musical chemistry. How did you two and the rest of the band make it work?

Sara: The two of us write the majority of our songs, it’s just always been that way and what has worked best. Jake has the riffs and I’ve got the voice. Once we have a song written, we have a pretty good sense of what everyone’s parts should be to complete the tune. We bring them to the rest of the band and everything usually falls into place. At this point we can pretty much read each other’s minds, as soon as I start singing a new line Jake knows what to play.

Lady of the Night, She Aint Pretty and Twisted are tracks that would be appropriate for bloody horror flicks. Are you guys big fans of horror films?

Sara: I’m actually horrible at watching horror films. I get way too into it… I don’t sleep for weeks afterwards. I love creepy and dark, but not actual horror. We get this question a lot and it always makes me laugh.

Jake: I don’t watch a lot of movie movies, but I’m big into documentaries, often on horrifying subjects. Does that count?

Halifax is the home of great bands. Is there a fierce musical competition where you came from?

Jake: It’s definitely an interesting scene. There are a lot of really great, hard working bands in this city. So many bands and people we find super inspiring come from our own city which is great. Considering how small Halifax actually is the music and art scenes are incredible. But at the same time it can be very cliquey. Being “cool” is relative. But we don’t really look at this as a competition, it’s our lives. Afterall we play music, not hockey. It’s not like any music fan ever likes one band and one band only anyways.

You are  touring and promoting Monsters 7”. What inspired you to write the title track and also Bright Lights Darling?

Sara: Lyrically, Monsters was inspired by a bit of an overwhelming point in our lives. Dedicating yourself to the musician lifestyle can really take a toll on you, you know. Sometimes you just want to run away, you feel like you’re stuck and have been running around in circles. There’s always people (or “monsters”) telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, it can drive you to insanity. The second verse is more about letting go of it all. There’s always going to be monsters, you just need to learn how to deal with them.

Bright Lights Darling was a bit of therapy for me. Blame sneaks up on you pretty easily. Blaming yourself and other people, it’s easy to do. For me this song is about making mistakes, facing the truth, and then kicking ass. Though following your dreams can result in years of “failure”, it’s real. Living life is a thrill.

October and November will be exciting for the band starting with the Halifax Pop Explosion. Are you nervous? Confident? Impatient?

Jake: It’s our first time playing Pop Explosion so it’s definitely exciting. I wouldn’t say we’re nervous but definitely anxious. I would say I’m more so excited to get back on the road again though. It’s been two months since the last tour but it feels like forever. There needs to be a word for the opposite of home sick, thats what I’m feeling pretty much everyday we’re not on tour.

Where can listeners buy and download your records?

Jake: For one stop shopping Bandcamp is pretty kick ass. You can listen/download/buy our records all in one place, and you can get other merch there too. But we have an online store on our website, our music is available from iTunes, Amazon, and most other major digital music retailers, and if you live in Eastern Canada our records might just be available at your local independent record store.

What’s the best thing about touring this time of the year?

Sara: There’s a lot of reasons why fall is our favorite time to tour, though spring is a close second. We sleep in our van a lot. Every night to be more specific. Not all of us, but at least one or two. It’s the best/cheapest security system possible. Fall is ideal weather for that! Not too cold, not too hot. The van doesn’t have snow on it when you wake up and the sun isn’t beating on you through the windows at 5am. Sometimes it gets too hot in the summer (yes, even in Canada) and we have to worry about our records warping. Sometimes its too cold in the winter and we have to worry about our gear freezing. Fall and spring are the ideal times for touring Canada. It’s also great weather for boots and leather jackets.

www.bloodydiamonds.com
www.strangebloodrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/bloodydiamondsband

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/bloody-diamonds/id580655692

http://www.youtube.com/BloodyDiamondsBand

Walk Laugh Live Die by Alex Pardini

Alex Pardini

Alex Pardini gives us slices of life though Walk Laugh Live Die

My idea of  good music is something that  becomes part of your life. I think songs become part of our existence because we listen or use them to convey different things. We play songs to tell someone what we feel inside, especially when we can’t say it. Songs are time machines that take us back to that  time when we felt safe and loved. It could also be for dancing or relaxation. We also use songs  to channel whatever negative emotions we have inside. With their different uses in our lives, musicians are magicians casting spells to transform our reality into something bearable if not totally beautiful.

Walk Laugh Live Die by Alex Pardini is like a musical essay about what life is all about and what it should be. This isn’t just your typical funky lounge music. This is an album of songs that challenges listeners to either agree or contemplate. What I admire about Walk Laugh Live Die is this sense of cohesiveness that embraces the ten tracks. He is a great mix master and producer. The overall tempo seems to melt into each track and yet the individuality is preserved in terms of styles across songs.

The vibe is for slow dancing. It’s easy but not slow, elegant but has rugged edges courtesy of the funky guitar embellishments.  It’s an album of urban landscapes. That moment when you are done with work and you hangout with your crew and party the night away. My favorite tracks are Unknown Girl and Make Me Feel This Way. The former reminds me of Suzanne Vega’s Caramel (from Nine Objects of Desire) due to the classic synth sounds. Make Me Feel This Way gives me the feeling like I’m  floating at dusk.

Walk Laugh Live Die is a stylish album with a stylish music video. This is expected from an artist with photography as his other passion. This is an album that will linger in my playlist for a long time. Official release date is September 30.

Track listing:

Live to Live

Trouble in Paradise

The Storm

Beautiful Liar

No One is Like Everyone Else

Make Me Feel This Way

Unknown Girl

Sad Little King

Lost

You can buy the single from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-to-live-single/id684958332

As for his complete catalog: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/alex-pardini/id269952993

Album notes:

 Promo Text

Alex Pardini’s album “Walk, Laugh, Live, Die“ starts where “Made of Diversity“ ended a little over two years ago (2011). Though, it creates a world of it’s own by fortifying old paths and discovering new ones.

„Walk, Laugh, Live, Die“ is a colorful musical journey that will make you travel way further than from a to b.

Hop on!

About Alex Pardini

Alex’ musical world is a living and breathing playground of magic and surprises. His wide musical output is astonishing, but more importantly, a personal necessity.  A philosophical approach to music – a metaphor for his life.

Alex is constantly perfecting his art, experimenting and expanding his musical diversity, in order to find that all-embracing and unifying golden middle.
His photography takes his music one step further and extends his creative work into the visual realm.

A true one man operation flourishing in his cozy apartment studio. From the first shy sparkle of inspiration to the mastered song – always accompanied by his visual art.

Discography

http://alexpardini.com/readdiscography.html

Contact

alex@alexpardini.com

#SoulRecall by Dennis McCalmont.

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Lending from the atmospherics of Style Council and Marvin Gaye #SoulRecall  is a great contender for this year’s top indie albums. Irish singer/songwriter Dennis McCalmont has created an album with solid tracks and great sonic quality to deliver a kind of listening experience geared for sophisticated ears. The funky execusions and 70s rhythm style are just some of the reasons why you should get this album. The title itself has a kind of familiarity for lovers of social networks in which Dennis is doing good communicating to his fans. The heart of #SoulRecall is its ability to reflect your sentiments. It is an album for everyone in need of something reflective but with urban appeal.

Everyone has a personal favorite in an album. Mine is Speeding Train. It just sweeps through you easily. There is elegance and verve in every note of his tracks. All the songs in #SoulRecall are stunning and  they demand to be listened to again and again. I have to admit that Speeding Train is a perfect opening track for this album in a sense that it summarizes all the things you can hear in the album. The mood, the supple vocal style and also the lounge atmosphere all work. It is a perfect music to come home to while you unwind.

Other favorites are Let the Spirit for its breezy and jazzy style. There are other tracks that I am sure you will love when you give #SoulRecall repeated listens. I know that because there are tracks that have grown on me. This is the first album I played today upon waking up and I feel good!

About:

Dennis McCalmont  is a singer/Songwriter based in Ireland. New Album #SoulRecall available on iTunes. ‘Speeding Train’ ‘Let The Spirit’ Play-listed on Radio Stations across the Globe!

Backtray Outside (2)

http://www.youtube.com/dennismccalmont
http://www.soundcloud.com/dennis-mccalmont
http://www.myspace.com/dennismccalmont
http://www.breakingtunes.com/dennismccal…
http://www.reverbnation.com/dennismccalmont

 

Interview with Dane Di Pierro of Radiolab

Dane Di Pierro

Dane Di Pierro

Meet our featured artist Dane Di Pierro. He is also the brainchild of experimental noise pop/space rock band Radiolab whom you have read about in my earlier post. This interview is essential to other musicians because of the wealth of musical information that Dane shared with us. I am always curious about the kind of music that musicians listen to in their spare time so you will find out the bands on top of his playlist. So read along my dear readers and put Radiolab on your list of the important indie bands of the year.

1. Was it a challenge to sculpt the songs in Radiolab considering that bands no longer make music like that. People seemed to prefer simplicity over complex layers of sounds.

Some songs came together rather quickly and easily and others have gone through quite a few different arrangements. I have a backwards way of working. Most of the songs start with a simple drum or synth loop and I just add different things until it sounds right. It makes a editing a challenge and I’ve come to hate that part. Only “Emotive” was written just an acoustic guitar.

2. How did you venture into music making?

I started out playing bass in a grungy type band when I was 18. Our singer got into some drug problems and often wouldn’t show up for practice so we spent hours making experimental music and recording everything. After I moved to Maryland I bought some recording gear and kept going. Over the years I taught myself new instruments and drum programming in order to get new sounds.

3. Please share your musical heroes and how they influenced you

Nick McCabe is a huge influence on my guitar sound and his band The Verve was my introduction to shoegaze music. Also, Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead) cause he’s a musical jack of all trades. He made me want to take up the synthesizer.

4. What are the top 5 albums you are listening to this month.

Voyager One – dissolver
The Verve – A Northern Soul
Primal Scream – Vanishing Point
Foals – Holy Fire
Warpaint – The Fool

You can probably hear bits of Radiolab ripping off each of these records.

5. Ok let’s discuss gears. What are the studio gears you are proud of?

I guess I’d be most proud of the Moog Voyager OS, cause it was hard to find and hard to figure out what each of the little knobs do. Most of the really wild sounds come from that gadget. My ’92 Telecaster Plus is my go to guitar which I use through a Mesa Stiletto. The Roland Space Echo gets used a lot too. My friends will tell you I have an effects pedal addiction. The drums are all from Reason 4 or FL Studio 7 and occasionally filtered through a Korg Koass Pad.

6. You both have the knack for choosing interesting song titles. What’s the story behind The Objectivist which happens to be my favorite track in the album?
I was looking for good samples to set to that song and I was reading Atlas Shrugged at the time. I felt the interview with Ayn Rand and Mike Wallace captured her living out that philosophy for the audience. Rand is a controversial figure but whether or not you agree with her, she’s been influential in our culture and I tried to get the essence of objectivism as best I could into a 4 minute song.

7. You strike me as the kind of guy whom I could talk to for hours covering history, religion, film and literature. Do you consider yourself an erudite?

Not really, I try to be well rounded though and keep up to date on what’s going in the world. I just started reading a lot more in the last year and a half, but I do love movies. Especially documentaries.

8. How’s the promotion going for Radiolab?
It’s tough for a DIY band trying to get people to notice your music, but the responses we’ve gotten so far have been positive. Most of our promotion has been oriented towards blogs and college radio. Blogs like this one have been a big help. We’ve gotten some label interest now so maybe we’ll have some more help soon.

9. Where can fans buy and download your songs?

The record is available on most sites that sell digital music. iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody are the big ones. We also have a bandcamp page at http://radiolab.bandcamp.com

10. It’s been three years with four albums to boot. How do you continue being creative?
I get inspired hearing other bands all the time. Maybe it’s a cool effect, or a certain sample, but I look for different ways to combine those elements into new music.

Misc
Fave film: I like crime movies like “Reservoir Dogs” and Guy Richies’ early films “Lock Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels” or “Snatch”. I can’t pick just one, they all have great dialog.
Pet peeve: Flakey band mates. In general anytime when you’re committed to something and being held back by others who don’t care.
First musical experience as a child: My Dad playing Steely Dan tapes while driving me around as a kid. He was always drumming along on the steering wheel.
Zodiac sign: Aries
Fave place to go: Queenstown, New Zealand. I went there on my honeymoon earlier this year. I hope I make it back there someday, it’s a beautiful place.

Radiolab, by Radiolab