Tom Keifer And His Livewire Rock-N-Roll Come To SoCal

Tom Keifer plays The Coach House Aug. 30; photo James Christopher

TOM KEIFER plays The Coach House Aug. 30; photo James Christopher

High-energy. Dynamic. Fire and brimstone. Visceral. These words help define rock-n-roll, both on and off the stage. Tom Keifer and his band are on course to deliver all of that once again Aug. 30 at The Coach House.

Keifer sang in the Philly rock group Cinderella, and went on to release a solo album back in 2013 The Way Life Goes. It was a labor of love that took nine years to perfect, and was released to critical acclaim. Unfortunately, some legal trouble caused it to get pulled from the shelf. Simultaneously, Keifer had to have voice surgery which caused delays in touring/recording schedules.

All of that is overwhelming, but a recurring theme in rock-n-roll is perseverance through struggle. And without a doubt, he is a shining example. Keifer fought for and obtained the masters to The Way Life Goes – the deluxe version of the album (with the bonus of a few new tracks) was just released and he is currently on tour in support of it.

Heading to one of his shows, Keifer says to expect “a high-energy, loud screaming rock show; it’s a rock-n-roll show” complete with Cinderella classics as well as the tracks from his solo outing.

“I’ve always really liked playing “Nobody’s Fool” live, that one always feels good to me and I like singing,” Keifer said. “Out of the new stuff, lately we’ve been doing the title track, that one has been fun. There’s a couple there I’ve been having fun with, singing and playing.”

TOM KEIFER

TOM KEIFER and band; photo Tammy Vega

While the album was made over several years, the touring band has remained constant.

“When I started touring the record, it’s pretty much been with the first people that walked in the room the first night,” Keifer explained. “With the exception of this year, we have a new drummer and a new keyboard player, which was our first member change. Much like the first auditions, the two new guys were the first ones who walked in the room. It’s all been pretty effortless, and the chemistry has been great from the get-go.”

This chemistry even continues off-stage.

“On tours I have done before this band, everyone kind of stays to themselves, and watches movies, and there’s lots of distractions of different kinds of entertainment going on,” Keifer divulged. “But honestly with this band, every night we just get together and hang out and talk.”

Being a mainstay of the rock world for over two decades, Keifer has a unique perspective on the ongoing debate over rock being at death’s door.

“That question always comes up, if it’s not in vogue, say in certain media outlets or radio formats, then oh, its dying,” Keifer explained. “But as long as it’s being created, and it’s being enjoyed by the fans and the people out there, then it’s alive.”

Thus, Keifer remains determined as ever to continue bringing rock music to his fans.

“Playing live is my favorite part of what we do, it’s great to get out there and play live and share that moment in the music with the fans,” he remarked.

“I get nervous every night, brother, as long as I’ve been doing this. I love what I do, and I want to be, you know, give it my all every night. My main instrument, being my voice, it’s flesh and blood.”

All in all, Tom Keifer is amped for his dates on the west coast, commenting, “We are out rocking and love seeing everybody at the shows.”

Nightcallers Deliver The Wave Of The Future

Nightcallers

Nightcallers

There’s a new band hitting the sound waves, going by the name Nightcallers. Emerging out of thin air, they are now dropping a flurry of songs on us without any warning. With songs pulling from every style and direction, their album Who Calls At Night is a real treat for the ears.

“Phil and I have really put a lot of this together late at night,” explains Ben of Nightcallers. “We call each other late at night on the phone. We are heavily inspired by things like AM Coast to Coast and radio shows after midnight. So Nightcallers was one of the few connotations that connected to all of that.

“Another inside joke for us is that we have been friends for a really long time, and when we were in our very younger years, we used to do…..in the days before caller ID or whatever…….we used to call into the news and do prank calls and stuff like that in the middle of the night. So that’s another aspect to it,” elaborates Phil of this enigmatic group.

Once you hear their music, it’s readily apparent a lot of thought, urgency, and passion went into it.

“It’s something we have been working on for the last year,” says Ben. “Phil and I have known each other for almost twenty years and have come together on a myriad of projects. We never really worked together solely on one project and are both definitely on the same page on a lot of things about pop music and music history, and the things we appreciate and love. It was a challenge, in a way, to ourselves, to create something and not wait around for people to say yes or no to it, to not dilly dally around it. Pack something in with our full force and a singular vision to it.”

Nightcallers "Who Calls At Night" album cover

Nightcallers “Who Calls At Night” album cover

“We wanted the ability to move at the speed of creativity,” ruminates Phil. “And that’s something we are both really proud of about this. We have been able to get everything out there in a pretty expeditious manner without a lot of hang-up’s and waiting around.”

Every album is written differently, through the use of innovative methods and also by the personalities involved.

“The whole record was written chronologically, and it’s also a story that goes on throughout it,” Ben states. “So, it’s almost like we were working together to create this story, and then each song we knew had to be the next chapter to the story. We worked really fast back and forth and pushing each other on it. We only finished the record about two or three months ago and started getting it ready for release.”

Nightcallers have their eye on the button of the future, seeking new blends of disparate elements.

“One of the things I asked myself when making this record was how can we do something that feels modern and almost has an EDM sensibility sonically, and has pop song structures; and melodic elements that hearken back to much more vintage, classic lounge and pop and rock and new wave sensibilities that we feel are underrepresented right now in the pop/EDM artists,” conveys Phil.

“Phil and I are pop aficionados in like all genres of pop,” Ben discloses. “There’s a lot in certain styles of music where the sounds are so cool but there aren’t a lot of pop songs in that style or genre. So, we almost wanted to take some of the sounds from different areas and create more classic songs using them. We also had no rules a little bit about what could or couldn’t be a part of it. We weren’t necessarily starting a punk band that had to stay within certain lines. We wanted to create a band in the future that could pull from music that has and even hasn’t happened yet.”

And they pulled out all the stops to make something truly postmodern in today’s music world.

“This album is a story and a concept,” Phil asserts. “What is the soundtrack to the not so near distant future? So, what is music going to sound like in the near future but what are going to the be classic hits of that near future? And those are the soundtracks to our story.” Phil explained.

It doesn’t end there with the surprises of this band. There are still the live shows to anticipate.

“We haven’t been playing any shows yet, but we have been planning on what we might be doing for that,” reveals Ben. “It would definitely entail a production, like a stage production…we might spend a few dollars on lasers, and we would bring out all of our smoke machines.”

“A lot of the instrumentation on the album is live innovation and live performance, but done in a way that sounds more programmed than they are,” says Phil. “It wouldn’t be hard to do, but it has to be a big concept, it has to be worth doing that production.”

With plenty of live experience between the two of them, their excitement to bring the album to the stage is there in spades.

“The great thing about playing live, and what we would really look forward to with this project is……Phil and I kept this really under wraps so now the best part is sharing it with people, and share the entire experience you are trying to create,” Ben maintains. “Bringing them into the fold and sharing this moment that everyone is a part of. The cool thing about live performance is that it’s different than records, different than movies, different than what you watch on YouTube; it’s still this combustible organic thing that happens, people come together and get on the same wavelength. It’s a special thing about music no matter what genre you are talking about.”

“What I really look forward to is because the record tells a chronological story, and it’s written chronologically….I think it would be fun to have things that would help tell that story and get people in on our concept of how we are envisioning it – what the story, the visuals, whether it’s having a film playing behind us or have rockets that lift off or a spaceship,” Phil explains.

With an album that hearkens back to many of our favorite things of the past, such as fifties pop songs and new wave postpunk delights, while also fusing that with new sensibilities, their music often feels like you already know it yet surprises you with things you aren’t as familiar with. No matter your taste in music, this is one release not to be missed!

“One thing we want to warn people about is…. Nightcallers are real so you better watch out!”

WATCH: “In A Bad Dream” Video

Airglo: Storming LA And Beyond

AIRGLO

AIRGLO

“It’s basically the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” describes Mikael Oganes, better known as Airglo, of his namesake. “It’s when you’re in the desert at one of the raves and you look up and see this giant beautiful sky and it’s all glowing and everything. But honestly, its cuz there was a show I was performing, and this chick comes over to me and says, ‘When you perform, the air is glowing around you!’ And I was also thinking about my new project and what I was going to call it and everything, and was like…Airglo, sounds cool. It’s very majestic.”

Airglo has been pumping out a flurry of music in the last new year, from remixing GOT to releasing his own productions. As a classically trained musician, he has a unique lens to look at drum and bass, with a serious passion for the genre and its high production standard.

Oganes has had an epic and storied path to get to Airglo as well. “I’ve always been in music, graduated from universities being a classically trained piano player,” he reveals. “Then transitioned into being a keyboardist/producer and started producing on Ableton as soon as I graduated around age 24. I started continuously started finding more and more inspiration from, and was very hard into the techno world for at least two and a half years. Actually, went to Texas and worked with this band called Seek Irony, and that’s where I kind of going more into electronic rock/metal and everything.”

“I always loved Drum and Bass, it was always in the background,” says Oganes. “Always listened to Dilinja, Roni Size, always, always. I wandered off of techno cuz I wanted something faster, kind of more…. I was always a metalhead and DnB is kind of like the metal/punk of EDM. So distorted bass, distorted riffs with a nice fast beat, it was just a total no brainer getting into producing DnB.

AIRGLO live

AIRGLO live

And a short time later, that’s exactly what happened. “Somehow, I started working with this band and they had this drum and bass track I really, really loved; I kind of made a remix of it, my own drum and bass remix, and remember thinking this is so cool!” explains Oganes. “When I came back to LA after working with that band in Texas, I started going to Respect shows, Xcellerated shows, and getting more and more active in the scene.”

“I released my EP called Spring, not the time of year but the coil spring, because I’ve always felt drum and bass has this spring inside,” conveys Oganes. “People ask what do I like about it and I tell them ‘I like the spring.’ They ask, ‘What do you mean?’ And it’s that every time that drum and bass plays, its like wearing spring shoes…like being elevated.”

Like many artists in the DnB scene, his love for the studio knows no bounds. “The endless possibilities!!” he declares. “Endless possibilities of mixing everything…. genres, sounds, sound design. Basically, for me the most fun part about it is grabbing something that not necessarily would be a drum and bass track and reinventing it as a drum and bass track. Or even as a bass track.”

“You can break ground with drum and bass more than any other genre right now,” Oganes elaborates. “You can do anything. Like with the Urbandawn remix of Come Together, that was crazy the first time I heard it. That’s what I love about production. With all the DAWS’s, the newer tools, and these crazy plugins; when you start going into them, you realize its unlimited. It’s literally a rabbit hole of ‘I can do anything I want.’ You can create a whole track from recording yourself going ‘Aaaah’ and you can create the whole track out of that.”

AIRGLO live

AIRGLO

Yet, he also has an intense love of the dancefloor and the live energy found at shows. “Reading the crowds, getting them to…. cooking them slowly but surely, going with them, taking them on a journey,” he affirms. “Having people go with you, like as an artist performing, and watching them go with you and respond to every little trick that you do. I’ve been through my years in different formats: as a band format, as a classically trained pianist format, there’s different formats and for a while, was even a wedding DJ! But still, when you get people dancing, and moving, and move crowds with your music…. great feeling, it’s the best feeling ever. You feel like we are all in this together and its very tribal, and it’s a very good feeling.”

Throughout rock and dance music history, classical and street music has intermingled to create some highly unusual and entertaining art. Airglo is no exception, “When you’re creating a drum and bass track, it’s more like making a collage than writing a score. You have more leeway, freedom, and movement as you’re the one telling everyone where it’s gonna go. In drum and bass, you have everyone telling you how they want it to be and you have to be, ‘here’s how it is.’

“So, I find myself writing more melodic drum and bass because I have that musical thing,” Oganes explains. “I put little harmonies in, cuz people underestimate harmonies. Harmonies and melodies, they move your soul…they get you to feel that beautiful energy, and then you crush it with a crazy drop, so it’s like a beauty and the beast thing.”

Airglo is fired up and set for a busy year of releases. Having already released the first video Chase My Desire and also recently dropping the second video of his 3-part horror series, “Rings of Saturn” you can look forward to the final installment on September 1st. Make sure to check out his remix of The Grind by Keekz along with his upcoming release on Impossible Records, Bob – O with Armanni Reign “Sick (Airglo Remix).”

In addition to all this, he is trekking cross country to spread DnB to new places as well as furthering its strength back home. You can catch him at Ernie’s Bar in Shreveport, The Green Elephant in Dallas, CAMP TRIP in September, and a Momentive later in the year!

Keep an eye on Airglo, via Soundcloud and his website!
Soundcloud
Facebook
Airglo Music

Blowin Smoke Volume Two: A Shining Example Of The LA Underground

BLOWIN SMOKE VOL. 2 cover

BLOWIN SMOKE VOL. 2 cover

Bubbling beneath the surface of Los Angeles, jungle, DNB, and bass music has long been simmering…. slowly leaking out into the culture of the city. Once a small scene found only at obscure venues, it is now a force to be reckoned with that attracts talent from across the globe. Huge acts such as Andy C, S.P.Y., Noisia, and Spectrasoul all come to DJ small clubs and big festivals alike. Even underground acts such as Ewol, Homemade Weapons, Phase, and Hyroglifics make their way to play L.A. as well.

However, the underground scene in LA has and continues to play a vital role in this: making it possible for these acts to come here, providing support for the shows, and overall keeping the vibrancy of the scene alive. And it is one far more vibrant than most people realize, at times making it confusing to traverse.

Luckily, a crash course in LA DNB just dropped in the form of Blowin Smoke Volume Two by Voyage Events, and it perfectly encapsulates the quality and diversity found within it.

It starts out with a heady intro of hip-hop viewed through the lens of jungle, thrown together in a dizzying fashion that’ll make your head spin. With smooth transitions and a deft sense of timing, Jah Bliddie’s “Intro” sets the stage for the rest of the release; one full of surprises, unique vibes, and genre bending delights.

“Styles” by Tank Dubz keeps the jungle momentum going. The snap of jungle breaks sets the mind ablaze on an introspective journey, as the deep and dark basslines pull you with the force of a blackhole. Reggae vocal samples give an air of nostalgia, harking back to the roots of jungle; while the crisp chatter of the high end reveal a modern production sense, revealing a love for both new and old.

Following all this wild and heavy music comes the deep moody number known as “Dark Cloud” by Cranial Superfood. Menacing atmospheric vibes sit next to chiming melodies, with a hypnotic driving beat pulling everything forward. Dark and infectious, it is a prime example of how DNB infuses danceable beats with experimental sounds to create a distinctive palette.

Changing gears yet again, the next track opens with a hypnotic soothing melody that seems to climb endlessly, until it gets absorbed by the huge wall of bass that suddenly drops. “The Grind” by Keekz continues, and becomes even more intertwined inside the click of the cymbals and the layers of fuzz tones. As the break hits, it’s as if you are launched weightless into space as the next drop brings you right back to Earth; a little confused, a little tripped out, and with a mind blown wide open.

After the last two trips into outer space, some earth-shattering basslines are heavily desired. BC Rydah gives us exactly this with “Nyce Up Da Dance.” Full of deep throbbing basslines and intricate beat patterns, the song throws you around like a ragdoll on the dancefloor. Upon repeated listens, the clashing layers reveal the precision of every sound and the careful thought placed into each moment.

Next up is the fierce rolling sound of pure DNB. “Irieness” by Nodsy perfectly captures the tempo and vibe of the best old school DNB tracks, with a rolling bassline that would make anyone’s feet start moving. Armed with the precise production style characteristic of the deep underground side of DNB, Nodsy delivers a heavy dose of what defines the LA style: blending the past and present in new and exciting ways.

Jah Biddle brings us another jungle workout, rife with ethereal vocals and moody atmospherics. Showcasing a talent and natural grace towards the complex patterns of jungle, the crisp snares and crystal-clear crescendos of cymbals slowly build the atmosphere of the tune. Ethereal vocals create a kind of exploratory jazzy atmosphere, making it perfect for the dancefloor or just chilling.

Further exploring the boundaries of bass music, DCML ft. REFT deliver the lo-fi beauty of “Keys for Days.” Reminiscent of smoky bebop jazz clubs and early hip hop shows, it effortlessly fuses the two into a uniquely modern mix of analog as well as digital vibes. With the repetitive patter and clicks of the cymbals and snare as well as a meandering jazz guitar, it provides a great respite from the intensity of the previous tracks with its artful musings.

Bringing in the heavy beats and trippy vocals of trap and footwork, “Snowden” by Liquid Giraffe (ft JTRA) widens the scope of the album even further. Everything is carefully placed, from the warbling vocal line to the space between the beats; this gives the track that push and pull feel between beats to move your feet and spacey melodies which instigate wandering thoughts.

Giving us a heady dose of addictive melodies and hazey lo-fi beats comes “Screaming for an Echo” brought by Alia Atreides (ft. ATMAAN.) An introspective pattern of beats enters along with a simple motif that creates a kind of swirling sensation, slowly pulling you towards the ambient center of the track. When it all hits with the drop, all you can do is helplessly enjoy the journey back home.

Deep sub bass is a hallmark of nearly all dance music, from DNB to House to Dubstep. Sawdust brings us an excellent example of the dubstep variety in “Raspek.” Hailing from LA, he expertly fuses the west coast bass love of hip hop with the throbbing vibes inherent in dubstep. Glitchy sounds, hypnotic cymbals, and the lurching pace all come together to create a track that bashes you around incessantly… and makes you feel eternally grateful for it.

This is a release not to be missed! Thoroughly exposing the flexibility and fluidity of the underground bass music scene in LA, it has something for everyone and certainly demonstrates the promising future for this genre of music. Blowin Smoke Volume Two is currently available through Voyage Events bandcamp page, so get yourself a copy ASAP and support the local DNB scene!

Taelimb – Granite EP

TAELIMB; press photo

TAELIMB; press photo

The deep, dark side of Jungle/DNB has long been known for its experimental and challenging nature. One of the most exciting producers in this vein is Taelimb, who has been dropping tracks for the last several years. With releases on labels such as Flexout Audio and Demand Records, he has firmly established a signature sound characterized by a fierce attention to detail, diverse soundscapes, and a growling timbre of low end all his own. With his latest release, the Granite EP, from The Chikara Project, he pushes even further the boundaries of his own sound.

On his first exposure to drum and bass, he was hooked. “Around the age of 18, I met a number of guys that I used to hang around with in Brixton, South London,” says Max Taelimb. “They were a good few years older than me and were all into making Jungle/Drum and Bass. I remember the first time I went over to one of their houses, they were all sitting around together making tunes on a very old version of Reason.

Taelimb - Granite EP cover

Taelimb – Granite EP cover

“This was the first time I had ever seen people making music in this way and was blown away. It had never occurred to me that people could make music on computers like this in their own home; so, after that, I started going ‘round regularly to watch and learn how to use the software and make the music. Conscience was one of these guys and I still make music with him to this day.”

Although getting exposed to various forms of electronic music, DNB grabbed his attention the strongest.

“A big part of it was the people, as mentioned before, and the other was the energy at the raves,” Taelimb explains. “Back then, it was mainly house, garage or jungle/drum and bass, and people were just going mad in the jungle rooms! I found there to be far less ego in the jungle raves too. People were there to rave and have fun, and that was that.”

However, one of the more difficult aspects to launching a music career is figuring out a name.

“Taelimb doesn’t actually mean anything,” laughs Taelimb. “I was struggling to settle on a name when I was starting out and had so many different ideas of names I should use. The problem was anything I thought of was already taken, and in many cases used by multiple people over the world. This created problems when searching for me online, etc. So, I made up a name that no one else could have; this way when searching for ‘Taelimb’ the only thing that comes up online is me.”

Not only does he have a unique stage name, but many of his song titles (such as “Breath Mint,” “The Wookie Song,” “Flo,” “A Clean Cut,” etc) seem random yet entirely intentional.

“Most of the time I just call them the first thing I see or think of,” Taelimb points out. “A lot of the time, the names of the tracks have little to do with how the tune sounds. When starting a new project, you have to call the track something to save the file; and I make so many, coming up with names for them all is a nightmare!

Taelimb; press photo

Taelimb; press photo

“My passion lies in production first. I was never massively into DJing, although I find I enjoy it a lot more nowadays than I used to! But if I had to choose one, I think I would definitely choose producing. It’s like an escape for me…I can sit on the computer for hours at a time, quite happily making music and not get bored. I get bored much faster DJing at home, it’s much more fun playing to a crowd. There is only so long I can DJ to my wall; but with production, it’s purely for me and I don’t need anyone else to make it entertaining.”

This passion is obvious and on full display on the Granite EP – from the glitchy textures found in “Titan,” the deep subterranean explorations of “Cold Outing,” the hypnotic drum work of “Granite,” to the infectious vibe of “Grot Bag.” His expertise in using space and sparse layers of sound only call even more attention to the tones and off-key vibes in the tracks.

“I have known Will and Mike (of Mystic State) for some time now through the DNB scene. When I heard they were starting their own label, I thought it would be a good fit for me so I sent them some tracks. Thankfully they liked them so they agreed to release an EP for me!

“I just wanted to keep the tracks a bit different, I try to mix it up a bit with each release I do. It would probably do me more favors if a I found a sound and stuck to it, but I get bored that way. There is rarely a theme with any of my releases; I have so much music on my computer at the moment that I will send a bunch over, and then let the label decide what they think works best together.

Taelimb; press photo

Taelimb; press photo

“In terms of being particularly proud of my music, it’s hard. Generally, by the time I have finished a track and it’s got a release date, I have heard it so many times I no longer like the tunes! To be honest, I’m always left thinking that they are not good enough and all I can hear is what’s wrong with the tunes. I think this is common with a lot of producers though and not just me! Or maybe not.”

Keeping music and the making of it fresh, innovative, and exciting is no easy task. Especially since there is no foolproof method or one solution that works for every person.

“I’m not sure…I try not to let what other people in the scene are doing influence me too much,” analyzes Taelimb. “It’s impossible not to be influenced by what you hear, especially when you think it’s really good. But I try my best to draw these influences from other genres, rather than DNB. I try to listen to a big range of music, see what people are doing in other genres and then bringing that to drum and bass.”

Still a relatively young genre, the state of DNB and its future is a hotly debated issue. As a DNB producer and having toured in the States as well as the UK, Taelimb has a unique vantage point on it.

“I’m not sure, there are some things I love about it at the moment, and some things that wind me up,” he says. “I don’t like the fact that people want everything for free nowadays, but I guess that’s just a problem with how we consume music generally and not specific to DNB.

“I love the fact that it is growing in the States, and that underground dance music in general is starting to take off more in the USA. I remember coming over to America, and all dance music was just referred to as techno. But now there seems to be a much stronger following.”

Taelimb is one producer to definitely keep tabs on! Make sure to grab the Granite EP – out now on The Chikara Project, available on the label’s own Bandcamp, as well as all the other usual streaming sources. And to stay up to date with everything Taelimb, follow his Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and usual social media culprits.
taelimb-logo2Bandcamp
SoundCloud
Facebook
Twitter
Flexout Audio
Chikara Project

Silver Snakes Spread Their Hypnotics Far And Wide

SILVER SNAKES play Regent Theater May 10; press photo

SILVER SNAKES play Regent Theater May 10; press photo

“I grew up in a very musical household,” states Alex Estrada of Silver Snakes. “My dad’s a musician, he’s a producer, and my mother was a dancer; so, from a very young age, it was already instilled in me for the most part. It was kind of…I don’t wanna say expected, but it was a no brainer for everyone, me included, that I would do music in some shape or form.”

An enigmatic band with an amorphous sound, Silver Snakes has carved out their original sound that pulls from a diverse range of elements. Drawing from industrial, rock, electronic, hardcore, and more, they continue to explore and test the limits of what their music is capable of.

Since its inception, the band was destined to incorporate numerous styles.

“It just came from being in different bands over the years, styles that shifted around,” explains Estrada. “I was doing a really heavy band, like a really metallic and kind of crusty punk band called Cathedral for a long time. When that was done, I wanted to do something a bit different and get back to my roots more, do a more straight forward rock project.

“So, I started Silver Snakes as a solo thing many years ago. I wrote a couple of these really melodic rock songs, and as time went by it turned into a real band. I started finding my footing and really figuring out what kind of music I wanted to do with the band. Time goes on, and I feel that now we have really found our niche and what we are doing with the music.”

The desire to experiment and try different things even extends to the live show itself.

“They are always different,” illustrates Estrada. “Previous tours have definitely been different from this one because with this one we are doing a lot more with production and other new things. We teamed up with this local visual artist, who goes by Cloaking in LA, and sent him our set. He designed an entire projection show which coincides with the songs. It really ties into the electronic aspect of all of it.

“More than anything, what we set up to do really is to be a hypnotic band, to say the least. We don’t expect people to be jumping up and down during our sets. But we really like to suck people in and draw their attention, you know what I mean? Just make it really cinematic, in that sense.”

Bringing this elaborate show to their fans is a driving force behind their passion and success.

“With this set, it’s very different than other ones we have done because we are playing new music, and with the new music comes a lot of new stylistic differences. So, it’s been really fun just feeling it come together, because we have never gone out on tour before with these kinds of samples and synthesizers. Again, the production and all of that….so the nights where it all locks together is a lot of fun.”

Currently on tour behind their upcoming album Death and the Moon, the band is excited to bring it to their fans for the first time.

Silver Snakes "Death and The Moon" cover art

Silver Snakes “Death and The Moon” cover art

“Right now, I am really enjoying playing all the new stuff cuz it’s the first tour we are playing them on,” says Estrada. “And for the most part, they are still some of the first times we are playing them together as a band, because so much of the record was recorded in the studio. It wasn’t us hunkered down in a space practicing; literally getting up on stage and playing these in any capacity has been really cool.

“There is a song on the record called ‘Gone is Gone’, it’s the last track on the album and has been a lot of fun to play live. It has a really big ending, with a lot of moving parts to it…has a really slow build and a really big outro. We have been closing with it every night; even in terms of the production and the visuals we are doing for that one, that song seems to be very hypnotic for people.”

An added bonus for Silver Snakes and their fans is their tour mates, the notorious Combichrist.

“It’s been awesome,” describes Estrada. “They are really, really great guys and one of the coolest bands we have ever gone out with. It’s been a cool new experience. With this new record, there has been a stylistic shift and they are a little further down that direction. But it’s been really cool edging towards their crowd, and kind of bring what we do. Which is more on the traditional rock side of things and bringing that to a crowd who is expecting more of an electronic show. Overall, its been a really cool experience.

“I dropped their name like a year ago, saying it would be really cool to do a tour with Combichrist. The next thing you know, it kind of came to fruition. It’s a long tour, and also our first tour in a year and a half. It’s the tour for our new record so we are just really grateful for the opportunity.”

Don’t miss Silver Snakes as they bring Death and the Moon back home to LA, playing it live on May 10 at the Regent!

Ruby Boots Raw Fire Hits SoCal

RUBY BOOTS plays The Wayfarer Apr. 26; photo Stefani Vinsel

RUBY BOOTS plays The Wayfarer Apr. 26; photo Stefani Vinsel

“I started playing guitar when I was working out at sea on a pearl farm,” explains Bex Chilcott, better known as Ruby Boots. A singer songwriter whose world travels and passion towards music have helped her carve out a unique voice in today’s musical landscape. Born in Australia and a nomad of the world since fourteen, her journey from then to her current success has been a long and winding one.

“So, when I first picked up the guitar, it was a means for staying sane and just passing the time cuz I’d be living out at sea for two or three weeks at a time,” she elaborates. “But when I wanted to start doing it professionally after traveling around Europe and the UK for a couple of years…. I had been traveling around playing open mics cuz that was the sort of scene I had fallen into, with some friends who had been doing that, to start playing on a stage.

RUBY BOOTS; photo Aly Fae

RUBY BOOTS; photo Aly Fae

“When I got home to Australia, I started feeling maybe I could do this at home. From there, I was just getting local shows. And essentially the snowball kept getting bigger: Right now, I can do this, now I can record an EP….and from the very beginning to where I am now, it’s all been really incremental which has been nice. The journey has just been really steady.”

Having begun traveling at an early age, she has spent time living and playing all over the world. And how that has affected her music is a complex subject.

“I don’t know if traveling the world has affected my music,” Chilcott ruminates. “It has affected my perspective on life, and maybe that’s why it has affected my music, in terms of how I see things and then write lyrics. Traveling the world from Australia to American to India…. There are all kinds of cultures and just disparities in how people are living. And I feel having that kind of culture shock and that kind of empathy is just really good for any kind of songwriting, and to apply it to any kind of songwriting; that you’re not writing from a single view. Traveling the world hasn’t really affected the sound. But digging into different parts of the world definitely has an effect on things over time sonically.”

RUBY BOOTS; photo Aly Fae

RUBY BOOTS; photo Aly Fae

Currently on tour behind her album Don’t Talk About It, she details the ups and downs of tour life: “It’s very tumultuous. You’re playing Phoenix on a Tuesday night and like “Oh my God, why isn’t anybody at my show?” And then you come to Denver and play to a full house, and everyone’s on fire and it’s a Thursday night. You got the rock-n-roll horns up and you’re on your knees and the microphone is collapsed and you’re screaming into the microphone because it’s the last song. And you’re like, ‘This is what I live for! I can take on the world in this moment’, you know?”

Like most musicians, the live show is a favorite aspect to playing music for the artist. “My favorite aspect of the show is when all the stars align with it,” describes Chilcott. “When audiences are present, and they don’t have to be loud and vocal, just present; you can feel…it’s not tangible, you can feel this energy in the room. When you have this immediate rapport with people who are ready to be with you…it’s so much more attainable to get that feeling of ‘here, have every little piece of me tonight. I’m going to leave every piece of me that I put into the songs’. Because you want to feel something different, aside from standing there and watching a band play. You get to reach that next level, and that’s my favorite part of live shows.”

Catch the fascinating songwriting and surreal sounds of Ruby Boots when she plays The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on April 26!!

BBB: Back In DTLA!

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

“I’m really looking forward to this warehouse party,” says Adrian Herrera, one of the many people behind the group known as Big Booty Bass. “We’ve booked a couple people from out of state, something we haven’t done since we booked Flite for BBB last April. So we booked Bebe Breaks from Miami and Relyt from Denver. It’s gonna have two stages and go all night!”

Big Booty Bass event flyer

Big Booty Bass event flyer

BBB has been operating for almost a decade, and in that time has garnered a solid reputation for their diverse artist lineups as well as the unique vibe of their shows. “I’d say its more a kind of movement; its more than just the music, its like family,” explains Herrera. “I feel like when you come to our shows, you get that kind of a vibe, more of a family thing. It’s about the experience.

“I had just moved back from San Diego, and started going to shows,” describes Herrera of the group’s genesis. “Rene Moreno, of Kronology, and I got the idea, ‘Hey, let’s do a show, throw our own show.’ You go to shows all the time and sometimes you get to a point of ‘I wanna do one myself.’ I DJed, and he DJed, and we kinda knew people who DJed, so we started going from there.

Big Booty Bass event flyer lineup

Big Booty Bass event flyer lineup

“Originally, the shows were by Splat Media and Big Booty Bass was the name of the actual show. But as we started getting bigger, the word Big Booty Bass caught on a little more and we started going with that. A lot of time when things don’t go your way, you just quit. But we started in 2010 and just kept going; around 2016 was when we started getting more of like this following. Now, people know it’s a good party and know you will have a good time.”

In addition to his work with BBB, Herrera also DJs under the moniker Ekin. “Everyone is always playing drum and bass, and I’m always the guy that wants to be different,” he says. “So I play more dubstep and grime. What really got me into DJing was when I heard Skreams BBC essential mix from 2007. Just these tunes after tunes spinning and I just thought, ‘Damn, this sounds dope. I gotta try this’. That mix really changed everything.”

It doesn’t stop there either, being quite notorious as the MC Pookie P, who has a loyal and devout following.

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

“I’ve always been into hip-hop ever since I was little,” explains Herrera. “I was the dude who went to school with a Walkman, always recording stuff on radio, and knew every lyric to every rap song. But it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I started performing at BBB shows. At first, I would just do it at small parties or with friends. But then I started doing it at the BBB shows and it just went from there. I started writing lyrics and working on tunes. Nick Kronology and I released a tune about a year and a half ago, and I’m currently working on one with Famburglar for a compilation album coming out in August.”

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

This dedication and pursuit of diverse interests is a huge part of what makes BBB events so enjoyable. The lineups are always solid, with an inspiring range of genres represented. This upcoming show is no exception. Furious and frenetic, Des Mcmahon, Consouls, Shadowsniper, and Replicant bring their heavy DnB stylings while Gabriel Habit, Zere, and Chief Jesta unleash the hidden potential of the deep and dark side.

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

The soulful sounds of WHYS should not be missed, nor should the halftimey explorations of no puls or the enigmatic vibes of BeautySchool. MELAY and JK SMILE always bring the best smooth grooves and deep rhythms of House. Bebe Breaks, Mista Maxx, and Ryan Forever will bring us all the creative beat permutations that is Breaks. And make sure to catch the lyrical flow of Pookie P himself throughout the night, along with Jtec, Dino, Landoe, Slim, and Relyt.

You don’t want to miss this BBB show, going down Friday Apr. 12 in DTLA!!

BASS LIFT Descends On Los Angeles

Photo: Alex Varsa

Photo: Alex Varsa

BASS LIFT is finally here!! Orchestrated by the people behind CAMP TRIP, this is a highly anticipated event featuring a lineup solely consisting of local artists. Intense light shows, excellent music, and live art all come together to create a night full of festivities.

“BASS LIFT started as a fundraiser for my burning man camp, that I’m still a part of,” explains Devan Marydyks of CAMP TRIP. “It was designed to raise money for an art car. But this idea never came to fruition. The project fell through, and since the BASS LIFT brand was specific to LA, and the camp had done separate fundraisers with separate names…I decided to use the name and essentially adapt it to CAMP TRIP’s needs.

Photo: Alex Varsa

Photo: Alex Varsa

“We were looking to do a warehouse party fundraiser for CAMP TRIP. We took the name and we didn’t…. well, it is a good word for it, we recycled it. More tangibly now, it is a fundraiser for the CAMP TRIP event. Its essence is a warehouse party, so it very much caters to the underground scene. There’s a lot of after-hours parties in LA, so it is very LA in a way.”

For those who don’t know, this begs the question: What is CAMP TRIP anyways?

Photo: Alex Varsa

Photo: Alex Varsa

“CAMP TRIP started as a literal camp trip, a camping trip,” states Marydyks. “A lot of people think the name is a double entendre…but it’s not. It’s literally named because it was a camp trip among friends. It IS a funny entendre, but it definitely wasn’t intentional.

“So, we went out as a bunch of friends essentially, just had a couple of studio monitors with a handful of people. We just had a good time in the desert, everyone was contributing a little bit in their own way, and it was really memorable. I remember as we were leaving, we all were talking about how we needed to do this again. And it has all just snowballed from there.”

Photo: Alex Varsa

Photo: Alex Varsa

Now, it is a full-fledged 3-day event in the desert with fascinating productions and a reputation for curating lineups of highly eclectic artists.

One of the purest distillations of the spontaneity and excitement which surrounds CAMP TRIP is best illustrated in the story of an ice cream truck: “The second time we went out, they ended up bringing this wooden cutout of an ice cream truck that got used as a DJ booth,” reveals Marydyks. “And it ended up being the inspiration for a real ice cream truck I ended up buying. I remember saying I would buy one and no one believed me. But I found this old 1982 used Chevy on Craigslist, which I got for very little money.

Photo: SERVEEZY

Photo: SERVEEZY

“I showed it to everyone, and they just lost their minds. Just couldn’t believe I did it. We used it for a couple different shows. And I’m in the process of turning it into a real food truck now, which is why it hasn’t been at the CAMP TRIP events. It’ll be its own art car when its ready…called Mother’s Milk Truck. It will be a licensed soft serve truck you can DJ out of….so it’s gonna be ‘Frozen Treats and Nutritious Beats’. It’s set to premier at this upcoming BASS LIFT!”

Photo: Alex Varsa

Photo: Alex Varsa

There is no doubt that events such as this take a lot of planning and work, but in the end, it is completely worthwhile for Mardyks: “I think my favorite aspect to putting them on is the collaboration. What you get to witness when everyone comes together, has an idea, and actually pulls it off. When we all pull through and come together, when you get to watch all these different moving parts act as one…it’s a great feeling. I think that is one of the most rewarding parts about throwing shows in general.”

Photo: SERVEEZY

Photo: SERVEEZY

It promises to be a massive night, with an incredible lineup of LA’s finest bass music talent: heavy DnB vibes from Kronology, APX1, AIRGLO, Keekz, and Soothslayer; masterful grooves of house/breaks by Shleebs, Hardknocker, Johnny Darko, and a special b2b set from Jufro and Jn9ne; a secret headliner; plus, all the crazy visual art and stage productions the group has become infamous for.

Don’t miss the adventure that is BASS LIFT, taking place March 30th in DTLA.

The Irresistible Draw Of Queensryche

QUEENSRYCHE play Observatory/North Park Mar. 27 and The Fonda Theatre Mar. 28; photo Reuben Martinez

QUEENSRYCHE play Observatory/North Park Mar. 27 and The Fonda Theatre Mar. 28; photo Reuben Martinez

“It’s a great opportunity man,” declares guitarist Michael Wilton of Queensryche. “This is my hobby, it’s awesome having a job that is a hobby.”

Having released a slew of albums throughout their nearly forty years of existence, the band recently released The Verdict, further cementing their legacy as one of the most powerful heavy metal acts of all time.

This is no small feat, as this kind of longevity for a band is a rare commodity. “The uniqueness of the music, just believing in what we want to be, and having the steady communication with our fans. Not fitting into any trend or genre, kind of having a little bit of everything and that’s how we have always been. Just seems to work out that way,” says Wilton on how the band has achieved this.

Michael Wilton of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

Michael Wilton of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

“My advice for bands starting out is really take advantage of multimedia, really connect with your fans, and just keep building the communication with the fans. Just tour your asses off and build a following,” suggests Wilton for any struggling bands out there.

His passion for music has always been strong, even choosing it over a potential baseball career in high school.

“It wasn’t hard to choose,” recounts the guitarist. “When you’re in your teens, you know, you don’t know what’s going on in your mind. Wasn’t like I flipped a coin or anything. I went to a Black Sabbath show and saw Van Halen; saw Edward Van Helen open with the song “On Fire” and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.”

Todd La Torre of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

Todd La Torre of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

Delving further into his story, he describes how he got his nickname “The Whip”: “When I was in my single digits as a young lad and hanging out with my friends, they said I whipped on the guitar and thus started calling me “Whip” at parties. Everybody caught on and it’s been a nickname for me ever since I was a kid. I kept it out of amusement, you know, it’s a pretty cool nickname.”

Ruminating on the bands’ recent album title, Wilton explains, “It’s the bands’ fifteenth album. The Verdict is kind of a strong statement; and if one looks at the picture on the album, he is a red hooded figure holding the scales of justice. And one realizes it’s a bit out of balance and you see the turbulent scene behind it. It’s kind of our view of the bits and parts of the world that we have seen. So not knowing what the future is gonna tell.

Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche; photo Reuben Martinez

Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche; photo Reuben Martinez

“I like playing all the new stuff, and it’s great to see the fans reactions to both the new and old stuff,” he conveys. “I think anything off The Verdict is my favorite right now cuz it’s so fresh.”

The bread and butter of almost any rock band is the live show, with its visceral energy and communal interactions. “The connection you get from the fans, seeing the joy in their faces. That is a high you can’t do with medicine, you know. It’s a real connection, and that’s what’s great about being in a band; connecting with the fans, getting that live access, and the fans reciprocate. That’s what keeps the whole thing rolling,” describes Wilton. “Whether it’s a hundred people or a thousand people, you give the same intense show.

Eddie Jackson of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

Eddie Jackson of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

“I think it’s gotten to a point where bands like ours tour so much, and that aspect of playing live starts to infiltrate the creative process,” Wilton points out regarding the live energy to the studio environment.

“The intensity found its way onto the music on The Verdict. And when you’re on the road all the time, ideas come up and you just put them into your computer, document them, and just keep them organized. When it comes time to record, you pull them out and we all start working on them as a band. It’s something I’ve been doing over 35 years, and it works the same way on each album.”

Parker Lundgren of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

Parker Lundgren of Queensryche; photo James Christopher

Speaking about coming to LA, he states: “It’s always fun to play in the LA area. Because obviously you have seen everything over and over and over again. Nothing is ever new in LA, but it’s just a good strong base. The fans are very respective of our heritage and legacy, and the support is just amazing. We get the hardcore fans, the new fans, the young fans, we get all ages.

“LA has been the springboard for so many fans; even though we are from Seattle, it’s always great to play LA. And I love playing the Wiltern, cuz it’s so close to my last name.”

Don’t miss the animal magnetism and feverish energy of Queensryche’s world tour when they hit the Fonda Theatre on March 28!