This will be our second album featuring styles of Goth, Punk, Death Rock and Synth-Imbolg.
Gothic rock is alive and well. Though the genre went underground several years ago, their’s a renaissance lately. Thanks to millennials who want to try cool bands before any of you heard them, I think it is ok to say that this decade is a healthy time for Gothic rock.
Nate Dal Cais started Imbolg 10 years ago. Apart from the robust and alluring music, they’re also posting up a Pledge Music link for fans to help support their upcoming project. According to Dal Cais:
We are taking preorders for our new album and offering some limited time perks, plus some of the money goes to charity. I may have asked you before, but we just made lots of updates.
They’re proving to me day to day that it is OK to have a dark heart but still show a little kindness inside. Well, in fact most of the cool people I know are gothic rockers and they’re really amazing. which is why I really support the genre.
They also got awesome followers who can say great things about them:
“Truly tantalizing”-Mick Mercer
“Once you have heard them, the only thing left to wonder is why you haven’t before”- Jessika Hulse, Gothic Beauty Magazine
Check out the Pledge Music link under this post, but let me share this little bio I got from their site:
NYC based band has been performing in the Northeast region for close to a decade noted for their ritualistic stage show and undying spirit that helps all in attendance capture the true meaning of the Pagan Holiday the band was named after. This particular album has an eclectic feel to it, where as some some songs are slow, others are fast, some are heavier and some are lighter, and a few songs are instrumental pieces like “Echoes on Water” and “Tragedy in the Key of A major”. All however state powerful messages whether it is based off a traditional story such as in the case of the song: “Tieg O’Kane & the Corpse”, or the song played early on in the album about the simple feelings of disdain for being alive called: “Duisigh(awaken)” . All these songs are ensured to bring out emotions that one and all can truly relate to. Except in the Case of the song called : “Thy Dark Gift”, unless of course you have just become a Vampire
Their live shows are really like nothing else you’ve seen before.Do check them out when you are on the East coast.
Musicians have the best jobs in the world. They get to do something they enjoyed very much without the need for incentives, promotions or big cash. It has been a dream to talk J.R. Richards, original lead singer of Dishwalla. Thanks to my blogging and social media I was able to slip a few questions his way.
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Photo :Taken During the “Opaline” Sessions…. photo: Eugene Pierce
His involvement with Dishwalla was a massive success. Their Pet your Friends album came out during the time when alternative rock was at its zenith. Counting Blue Cars was a massive hit and it was cool to include at least one Dishwalla album if you happened to call yourself a rocker. I remember how the album which was in cassette form got passed around in college. Local bands covered their songs. Who would have thought that years and years later I would finally secure an interview with him(jumps up and down)?
Richards continues to be passionate about music and still releasing records even as a solo guy. He also branched out to other creative endeavors including humanitarian efforts.Like a biker in full speed, he continues to overcome headwinds and obstacles along his creative road. There are also several facts about him in case you are not aware:
*He has appeared in the films like Almost Anything, 2:13 and Morning (which he also scored) and he guest starred on Charmed as himself.
*His band had a No. 1 hit in 1996 & 1997 with Counting Blue Cars,and they won a Billboard Music Award for Top Mainstream Rock Track of the Year.
*In 2013 The City of Los Angeles awarded J.R. a Proclamation for Dedication to Enhancing Lives of Families Living in Extreme Poverty for his work in El Salvador with 20k Watts
His new album is “Honore et Amore” which is also available on Vinyl.
Read the interview below:
Now that the new album( “Honore et Amore”) is out, are you excited playing the new songs live?
Yes, definitely! I have done a few internet streaming shows via Stageit.com as well as played a few new songs acoustically live on Facebook. And now I am in the process of putting together a show. At this point I am not sure yet if it will be a solo acoustic show to start with or a full band…. whichever I do first though I plan on doing both.
You gave us a sneak peak of the new album and also new tracks via Pledge Music. Who encouraged you to take this independent route?
I wanted to avoid going the Label route and try the Independent route this time. Being signed to a label puts a lot of constrictions on an artist as well as a lot of pressure….. something I am trying to avoid these days. My wife Min and discussed it and decided to look and see if there were any other options other than the usual label path. Times have changed. We found Pledge Music a few years ago and decided to watch a few bands go through the process. In fact a band that I had recently produced (and Min shot 2 videos for) Britroyal, used it to fund the making of there 2nd full length album, “London”. It worked really well for them.. so we decided to try it ourselves.
Other than your solo career, are you going to make new music again with your band Dishwalla?
Hard to say at this point….. the band basically disbanded in late 2005 after releasing our last album but I continued writing and started recording my first solo album “A Beautiful End” in 2007. Around 2008 some of the original members wanted to start touring again but I was in the middle of making that record. So I was unable to join them at that time which prompted them getting a new singer. Now its 8 years later and I have released 3 albums solo and Dishwalla has been touring off and on and honestly I think we all are happier doing our own thing for now.
How’s it like to work in Air Studios London for this album?
Amazing! I had a chance to work in both A.I.R. Studios and Abbey Road for the these last 2 albums which was simply amazing. Both studios carry an incredible amount of history – both then and now. At A.I.R, I was in studio 2 and happened to notice that on the schedule for that room during the week I was there, Muse was there and Adele and Ryan Tedder from One Republic were working together right before I came… the day after I left Cold Play was in the studio… I was blown away to be in the middle of all that talent!!
Abbey Road was just as amazing. I recorded in studio 3 where both the Beatles and Pink Floyd recorded in the early 70s…. and it really doesn’t get any cooler than that. When there was a break in recording, I would sneak off with Min to explore the rest of the building’s rooms and studios. Good times.
How do you stay passionate and creative all these years? What are the secret ingredients that may inspire other musical artists?
I try to appreciate what life offers and do my best to take on its challenges…. those moments make for great songs I think. My suggestion to other artists is to take time each day and write down on paper how you are feeling and / or pick up an instrument and just play what ever comes to you in that moment and record it. Even if its on your iPhone. I think that its important to capture what you feel each day in some way where you can then listen and look back on it. Most likely you are going to be surprised. The key is nit to try and write a song….. instead just let your thoughts drain away onto the paper and whatever melody or chord progression just let it be.
What’s your creative ritual before going to the studio?
I don’t really have a ritual. I just make sure to have gas in the car, a guitar or two, my phone, my wallet and a hard drive or two. Oh… and I generally warm up my voice before I get there… still, if I forget something, Min usually reminds me.
What is it that you love about your musical career?
I haven’t had a real job in 25 years.
Your message to fans?
Gosh… I guess I’d like to say “Thank you”. I would not be making records without their support. I hope that I can continue to make music that they enjoy.
Listen and buy the new album:
He also released a new album called ‘Stripped.’ According to Richards: To commemorate 20 years since Dishwalla Pet Your Friends Album was released, I am releasing an acoustic, stripped down version of the songs in the way I initially wrote them.
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.
Pressures is the new album by Avid Light available now.
Avid Light releases an irresistible new album Pressures.
They grew up playing together in their church. And now they have a new album out. Pressures was released late October. Their sound is wrapped in beautiful melodies and anthemic harmonies. It is alternative rock in the style of bands like Muse, Coldplay, The 1975, Switchfoot, and Radiohead. In their quieter moments, their atmospheric sounds is comparable to Sigur Ros.
Pressures opens with Fear with sweeping chords and the tidal waves of sounds in the chorus part. Singer Chase Castleberry has awesome pipes especially when he hits the high notes with intensity and also sing in heartbreaking nuance. Fade Away is a potential radio hit as it is great to sing to. I found myself singing along and even though belting is not my strong point, it is really fun to do it with this song. I noticed that the guitars have luminous sound courtesy of Tanner Terhune. Strong Enough to Last is another fave ballad. I like the robust drums of Colton Baum. Journey has that soft intro that sounds like church bells but the beats catch you by surprise. It’s really awesome. It’s a nice track move your body to. And yes once again Castleberry steals the show with his amazing singing. I don’t know how they make it, but every song is catchy. I think you can play their record everywhere and get a positive response from people. Like they would say ” hey I just listen one time and I already memorize the melody.”
Walls has an operatic rock quality. It is due to that melodic line from the guitar that repeats all throughout the song. 110 has a warm cello and strings. The song is wrapped around the acoustic guitar. The poignant subject is further enhanced by the melody that reminds me of the sky lightening after the rain. This is the band’s masterpiece in my opinion. Ethereal instrumental sounds gather in Dream of Fire. Like wading a pond steeped in flowers under the noon sun, this song shines brightly with each listen. Rise and Fall is typical mainstream rock. Not really my favourite but I am sure it will appeal to people who are into complex rock melodies.
I like this band. Next assignment is to listen to their Christmas album!
One of the influential bands in the darkwave genre, the March Violets have an album coming out. And this is possible because of your help. There are many things coming up from this beautiful band. There’s the Mortality tour(which happens to be the name of the upcoming album) and also goodies that they are giving out when you make your pledge.
October is a good month for this type of music. The Goth in me loves it. And I am sure the children of darkness out there are going to like the new album, Mortality. Here’s the message from the band:
The ‘Mortality Tour and Album’ is the new Pledge from the March Violets. Throughout October pledgers get to experience a month of touring around the East Coast, with Backstage Action, Road Movie high jinx and other Purple nonsense. The Violets will be playing classic tracks live, then recording them in November in Chicago. With exclusive daily footage and a virtual Access Pass pledgers will be able to participate in the highs and lows of the entire Tour and Studio Saga. The involvement continues right up to Xmas, with an Advent Calendar with interesting Violet goodies behind each door, culminating in the Album download on Xmas day! Physical ‘exclusives’, that will be shipped after Xmas, include a Double CD, a Vinyl LP and a double DVD with a full concert, a road movie, and footage from the entire life of the band, right back to the early Eighties. It’s a new way of touring that DOES come to your home town, social media at its rocking best. Support the Violets, Pledge Purple! Many Thanks.