I sent Patrick “Paddy” Brazel jr an email sometime within this week for an interview. It’s for my radio show called The Baxteria on Radio Happy. He was cool in replying me asap about Friday as a perfect day. Since I live in the Philippines, it took place Saturday morning around 10 A.M. my time. He’s currently in New York, still in the middle of their American tour. Everything was doing fine until I discovered the audio was not working. That was a crappy situation considering this never happened before. I then found out the problem. It’s my USB mic that was not configured correctly. He said it’s ok and I should not make a big deal of it. But I was making a BIG deal of it because that’s Paddy of Von Shakes! I mean hey this band is really fantastic and I’ve been a supporter since they got introduced to me two months ago. So I did some fidgeting then I look for my old headset and wala! It worked.
The guy was really awesome. The interview was like a normal conversation that you would have with someone young, knows his stuff and likes many things. We had this nice rapport talking about the super storm that hit my country recently, and how they were worried because their friends experienced Sandy when it hit the east coast of the United States. Then we talked a bit about Ireland and I love how he tested my basic knowledge in common Irish phrases. He said he would be recommending more Irish alternative rock bands when he has the time and would email me the list. I told him that would be awesome!
The interview covered things I meant to ask about the band that was not covered in my email interview. It was a wonderful moment and yes I am so excited putting the audio on my show. I am going to edit it after posting this blog and see what happens later. Check out that new video of their latest single above.
Happy, wacky, philosophical, inspiring and rambunctious! Take your description but there is no doubt, Von Shakes members are making waves across two sides of the globe: Ireland and The United States. And their fame is spreading across Europe as fast as their single Robinson Crusoe!
But don’t let their huge personae cloud you. Deep inside they are good-hearted Irish lads who miss their friends and home. But I guess like any band who is climbing the charts they have to do what they must for the music and also the fans that are embracing the music. Here’s an interesting interview with lead man Patrick (Paddy) Brazel.
What is the unifying theme that holds the album Bohemia together?
That on every song all you will hear is vocal, guitars and drums. Nothing else. It’s that simple; we hate synths and want to bring back indie rock.
Patrick Brazel – Vocals/Rhythm
Ryan Besch is responsible for that over at Your Cinema. He’d worked on some BRMC and Kills stuff that we loved. Then we found out he was friends with the owner of the studio we recorded in, so the stars aligned. We told him the title, gave him the songs to listen to, and he nailed it in one attempt.
I have several favorites, including Robinson Crusoe. What’s the inspiration behind this track?
This is a track about longing for something or being confused etc. Like most songs I write, they come from the subconscious so you never are entirely sure what you are on about haha. I guess the metaphor to Robinson Crusoe being the fact that he’s in a dire position, isolated and alone.
What’s the selection process in the final track order of the album?
No secret that we drove ourselves mad trying to pick one. But then we said, ‘fuck it.’ Let’s list the album them way we would play it live and boom. After all the album was trying to capture our like show anyways.
How was the experience working on your debut album?
Awesome. We’d wake around 10/11. Fall in to the studio. Makes music, drink beers, tell stories and have fun. No stress and no time pressures. If the magic wasn’t happening then we’d take a break. We recorded it to tape, live, all together with only a handful over overdubs so it was a nicer process.
Can you describe each band member in one sentence?
Hugh is Lazy and lacks punctuality. Cillian loves food and Howth, our hometown. Ryan is confused by daily tasks.
Where can fans buy the album?
It drops 11/19, but iTunes for purchase. Cd’s and Vinyl from our shows or website. Listen on Spotify.
What’s great about being in the music business?
There is no such thing as the music business, so I wouldn’t know, but playing music is pretty fucking great.
What can you see the band doing in two years?
From Dublin to New York. How does it feel being in both worlds now?
We miss home. We miss our friends. But it’s not a place you want to be in right now especially in your early 20’s. New York fills our voids and has the energy we need.
I’ve been a big Anne Rice fan since I was in my teens. And through the years I’ve read whatever she put out there. There is no denying that in every book she makes, the characters are always the focal point. Yes the stories are wonderful but to add to that, there is this great humanity she always puts in her characters. You might say it’s ironic considering the stories always involve blood, violence and occasional taking of life. But such is life after all. The shadows always define the light and there is always sense of redemption in all her stories.
I remember that at the same time, I discovered this wonderful music from a band based in New York called October Project. At that period I was listening to many Irish musicians and you can say it became an exclusive experience for me. And this American band took me out of my little basket and made me pay attention. It’s the rich drama that is found in every track of their albums that I really took to heart. Yes it’s a transporting kind of music. And the center of it all is the rich heavenly contralto voice of Mary Fahl. It’s a voice like no other. Some call it ‘the kiss of a vampire’ because at that time Interview with the Vampire became a big hit. In fact, the band was inspired by the book that they wrote a song Take Me As I Am:
Take me as I am
Someone you don’t know
Even in the dark You may not be sure
Take me while you can
I can see you standing in
the smoky entrance
Giving up your good intentions
I can imagine the song to be an appropriate theme for Lestat and Louis. Anne Rice love it but the song never made it to the movie version of the book. Fast forward to the present. Anne wrote a sequel to The Wolf Gift, a story about were wolves and there’s this scene where the main character Reuben hears the October Project song “Take Me As I Am'” playing where there’s no presence of any music player, thus understanding that the song could be part of the ‘haunting’ itself. And what da surprise! Mary wrote and performed a song for the audio book version. That song is called Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter.
Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter has that trademark of Mary Fahl’s soaring full-bodied voice that is like no other. And she sums up all the reasons why I love blogging about music. She’s a priestess of music and for me music is a communion of souls. When something is powerful to touch the soul and takes you to the depths of your guts up the height of your spiritual ecstasy, then it has done its purpose. As what she sings in the chorus: We belong to eternity!
Artist: Cosimo Erario ( Italian guitar player/singer songwriter living in Cologne /Germany).
Album: “C’È” ( it could be translated as “To Be There”).
What’s inside: Basically it’s a pop rock music project (Italian lyrics)
Listening to the operatic arias of composers like Verdi and Bellini made me appreciate songs that aren’t in English at an early age. For me, though lyrical content is necessary in songs, I feel that beautiful music will always transcend language. Well, these days there’s Google translate and it is easy to look up non-English songs so that we can get the general idea if not the correct translation.
The album is called “C’È” by Italian singer/songwriter Cosimo Erario. The first track Senza Bussare confirms one’s reason to listen to this album. The optimistic rushing of sonic tide washes over you. The CD has thirteen tracks and plays to a total of 52:34. If you know Italian then the lyrics are something you can look into with gusto. If you are just listening for the sake of pleasure then have a go. This is a pleasurable CD with pop/rock sound that’s radio-friendly but at the same time interesting.
The artist also gives huge thanks to his musical influence Duke Ellington in the CD liner notes. I love the colors of orange (back) and aquamarine(front) on the CD artwork because they convey the sentiments behind this album. It’s like gazing at the sky and letting that joy seep into your veins. I haven’t heard any ‘joyful’ album as this one in months and it just sparkles with different shades of moods. The textures of the tracks seem to mesh flawlessly into these interlacing lines of his diverse musical influences.
Production wise I give this a 4 star out of five for clarity of every instrument and the emphasis on brightness of the mixing. My table speakers love this album! I really enjoyed Passato Prossimo because of the reggae influence. Hey, everything in this album sounds awesome. Really worth your time, ears.
Cosimo Eratio has given us an album filled with instrumental cornucopia that continues to overflow as you listen again and again.