New Years Eve With A Local Favorite At The Coach House

donavon frankenreiter

Donavon Frankenreiter will ring in the new year at the Coach House Dec. 31

American surf rock musician, Donavon Frankenreiter, ignited his professional life as a surfer initially. He’s also a good friend of fellow surf inspired musician, Jack Johnson, so how much cooler could he get?

Frankenreiter’s debut self-titled album was released on Johnson’s Brushfire Records label through Universal Music in 2004. He will be performing at one of his old local spots The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Dec. 31.

OC Concert Guide questioned Frankenreiter on his musical career, inspirations and future goals.

OCCG: What’s your most favorite part about doing music?
DF: Recording it and playing live and being able to take it where ever I go. I just love that u can play music with anyone anywhere at anytime.

OCCG: Why did you decide to pursue music as a career as opposed to surfing?
DF: I never choose one over the other. I still surf professionally and still make a living surfing with some amazing endorsement’s from Subaru, Billabong, Von Zipper, Sanuk, Hobie surfboards, Tea of a Kind, Martin Guitars, and more. It’s an amazing thing that both music and surfing work so well together. You can surf all day and play music all night; they just help each other for me. In so many ways and I am very happy that I never had to choose one over the other. I don’t know if I could of done that.

OCCG: If you weren’t doing music or surfing, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
DF: I don’t know. I am so full steam ahead with my music and surfing that I haven’t really thought of anything else.

OCCG: Who’s your inspiration when it comes to your sense of style?
DF: My wife has been an inspiration to me on so many levels and on so many things. I am a very lucky man to have met and married such a women.

OCCG: How do you balance out your family life with your work life?
DF: It’s one of those things in my life that I do struggle with. If I am out for more than 3-4 weeks and they are not with me it gets hard for everyone in my family. A lot of times they come with me and those moments are priceless to travel around the world together and share the moments together surfing and playing music.

OCCG: Where would you like to perform that you haven’t yet?
DF: The moon. That would be fun to jam in space and have a gig on the moon.

OCCG: Your mustache has become a part of your iconic look. Why do you think that is?
DF: I am not sure at all, Sanuk Sandals made a look-a-like stick on mustache which really made the whole mustache thing kind of get out of control. They would give them away at my shows. It’s been really fun actually. Who knows, one day I may shave it off, but it will just grow back.

OCCG: Are you happy with where you are today? What do you plan on doing from here on out?
DF: I feel like the luckiest person. I have an amazing wife, two boys and I am just having the best time in my life playing music, surfing, being a dad and husband. It all goes by so fast and you just got to hold on tight and enjoy ever moment!!!!!!!!!

OCCG: What advice do you give to struggling, aspiring musicians out there?
DF: Just have as much fun as possible and keep doing what you love. I truly believe if you are doing what you love that is a success in itself!!

Brown Sabbath Show The Funkiness Of Black Sabbath


BROWNOUT plays BLACK SABBATH at The Casbah Jan. 10, The Wayfarer Jan. 11, The Roxy Jan. 12; photo James Christopher

Brown Sabbath started off as “half inside joke and half psychotic” according to Brownout guitarist, Greg Gonzalez. The 8-piece band who are also part of the Grammy Award-nominated Latin small orchestra, Grupo Fantasma, bring the funk to their renditions of Black Sabbath classics and deep cuts.

Brown Sabbath has performed at a plethora of music festivals including Bonnaroo, and will be returning to SoCal in 2017 stopping first at The Casbah Jan. 10, then on to The Wayfarer Jan. 11, before appearing at The Roxy Jan. 12.

CGL: How did you come up with Brown Sabbath? What’s the meaning behind it?
BS: Brownout was doing a residency at a club in Austin this past Sept. and the goal was to do a different theme every week. We did James Brown’s classic album “Black Caesar” as “Brown Cesar” we did a BBoy night called “Brownout II Electric Boogaloo,” a hip hop night “Fear of a Brown Planet” and a Black Sabbath tribute night “Brown Sabbath.”

All the shows were great, but the Brown Sabbath show was the biggest hit of the four. We sold out the club, with a line around the block. That success inspired us to record an EP of Black Sabbath covers, one thing led to another, we got a record label involved, and the next thing you know we’re doing a run of shows to promote an album based upon the Brown Sabbath theme!

CGL: “Hand of Doom” with Alex Maas of Black Angels has been getting a lot of great responses and feedback from USA Today and Noisey/Vice. How do you guys feel about that?
BS: We’re stoked to be getting so much positive feedback on the track. Alex Maas did a great job on that song and it’s a pretty obscure Black Sabbath track to begin with. Whenever you try to play Sabbath there are a lot of “Sabbath purists” out there who consider it sacrilegious to do things like add horns and percussion to a Sabbath song, but overall most people have been super receptive.

CGL: How would you guys describe your sound?
BS: Heavy Psychedelic Afrofunk

CGL: What was it like earning your third Austin Music Award?
BS: It was like winning our second Austin music award, not so much like winning the first one. Definitely an honor, like always, plus our guitar players got to take part in one of the inevitable 15-guitar-players-on-stage-blues-jams that seem to happen every other year.

CGL: What has been your favorite music festival that you’ve played at?
BS: That’s a tough one. Probably Bonnaroo, backing up the GZA, or UtopiaFEst jamming with Bernie Worrell. Or Bear Creek jamming with Antibalas, maybe High Sierra… We recently played Psych fest, that was awesome. So many festivals, so little time.

CGL: What are you most looking forward to for your shows in Southern California?
BS: California weather (beats the Texas heat)

Golden Gods Award Winning Aussies Rock House Of Blues Sunset

Twelve Foot Ninja

Twelve Foot Ninja play the House of Blues Sunset Dec. 17

Twelve Foot Ninja is a rock band formed in 2008 in Melbourne, Victoria. The band broke a world record for the most amount crowd funded for a music video, raising $52,600 to make their video for “Ain’t That A Bitch.” They will be performing at The House of Blues Sunset on Dec. 17.

In early 2013, Twelve Foot Ninja embarked on their first headline tour of Australia and sold out every capital city. The band is independent, self-produced and self-funded. Their music encompasses a wide variety of musical styles (metal, alternative rock, funk, jazz, Latin, dub and reggae). They are also well known for their visually striking and comedic music videos.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Twelve Foot Ninja about their origin, tour and upcoming shows.

OCCG: How did you come up with the name Twelve Foot Ninja and what is the meaning behind it?
TFN: The name came out of the “would you rather ̨ game; “Would you rather be a twelve foot ninja or the only person in the middle ages with a machine gun and unlimited ammo? I got the idea for a twelve foot ninja after seeing a
wax statue of Robert Wadlow in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Then I wrote a short story about the Twelve Foot Ninja, which snowballed into what it is today.

OCCG: How is life different in America compared to life in Australia for you guys?
TFN: America is 10 times bigger in every way and American audiences often drive 3 hours to see a show on a weeknight & hellip. This rarely happens in Australia.
Cheese has a strange colour, an entree is viewed as a main and Australian accents are unique (vs. ordinary in Australia ha ha).

OCCG: How did you know that metal was the genre that you wanted to pursue? How would you describe your sound in your own words?
TFN: I personally never really set out to pursue metal . . . I just wrote heavy music mixed with other styles. Weirdly, I don’t consider us a metal band. Sixty percent of what we do is heavy and inspired by various incarnations of metal but Forty percent is something completely different – often seemingly diametrically opposed. We describe our sound as heavy fusion ̨ for this reason.

OCCG: How have you enjoyed touring with In This Moment, Starset & 3 Pill Morning?
TFN: It has been awesome! All of these bands are very different to the kinds of bands we usually play with but it’s been cool. Weave really enjoyed the experience. Everyone has been very friendly and accommodating.

OCCG: What are your most and least favorite parts about touring?
TFN: Most favourite part of touring is locking into a routine, smashing shows night after night, meeting fans and sharing our music. The least favourite would be the lack of toilets; food options, showers and missing loved ones back home.

OCCG: What was the significance behind your song, “Coming For You?”
TFN: Interesting question! Not quite sure how to answer that one . . . If by significance you mean the meaning. Kin writes the lyrics inspired by the Twelve Foot Ninja story and they’re metaphorical in many ways, not intended to have the meaning dictated but interpreted subjectively by the listener. Musically: it literally came out the way it came out.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to in regards to your show at The House of Blues in LA on Dec. 17?
TFN: House of Blues shows are always epic. Also I hear it might be one of the last shows there? If so, it will be an honour to perform in such an iconic venue.

OCCG: What keeps you going as musicians?
TFN: Exceeding our own expectations and the encouragement we receive from fans.

OCCG: What are you plans for after your tour?
TFN: Head back to Australia for Christmas, I’m getting married and then we’re working on album 2 and a whole bunch of other interesting TFN related projects!

OCCG: What’s a random fun fact you’d like everyone to know about you guys?
TFN: We have an impeccably clean tour bus because weave invented a system that punishes untidiness with 30 burpees or a $10 fine. Damon our bassist is leading the charge as the worst offender with 180 burpees paid and $50 in the crime jar.

Corrections House Brings Sweet Sounds Of Horror To LA

Corrections House

Corrections House play The Complex Dec. 17

Corrections House released their Last City Zero debut full-length via Neurot Recordings last year. They will be showcasing songs off their first release at The Complex on Dec. 17 in LA.

Last City Zero is the “audio end product of government conspiracies, societal ruin and psychological decay” that was produced by Parker at Electrical Audio, Soma Studios, 60 Psycho Hum and Nodferatu’s Lair. Last City Zero is at once beautifully hideous, graceful and terrifying and continues to raise the brows of exploratory fans and critics globally that travels far beyond the traditional confines of any one specific genre.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Corrections house about their origin, musical inspirations and upcoming shows.

OCCG: How did you guys decided to call yourselves Corrections House and what’s the meaning behind it?
CH: It happens that the so-called “Houses of Correction” in this country are facilities that we have all spent some time in. Some of us more then others, and some of us more recently. It doesn’t really matter does it?

OCCG: You recently put the finishing touches on your forthcoming new full- length. What do you want your fans to gain out of it?
CH: It’s wholly up to them to gather their own sense and perspective from what we do. We certainly don’t claim to guide them on their journey. It’s always in the hands of the King. And everyone is their own King, or Queen for that matter.

OCCG: Last year you released you Last City Zero full-length debut. How is it different from the one coming out next year?
CH: Time has passed. We have survived. We have grown or we have shrunken our vision. Time tends to bring like minds such as ours closer in many ways. For us it’s almost solely artistic. But nonetheless the time has shown the difference in the cohesion of the sound. This record envelops the previous one in its black wings and sucks the life straight from it’s jugular.

OCCG: How did you pick your genre style and what inspires your music?
CH: WE didn’t pick anything, IT chose us. And IT is what inspires us.

OCCG: What was it like being a part of the Housecore Horror Film Festival?
CH: It was an honorable event that met with a tragic loss in the end. We would love to have the opportunity to play with more bands such as these. The people treated us very respectfully. It was my first time out in the general population for about 18 months. It was very hot.

OCCG: What’s your most and least favorite about touring?
CH: I do not tour with the band. I used to tour back in the early 80’s and I hated the constant contact with filth and the lack of any place to be without police hassling you. I can’t think of anything that I liked about it.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at The Complex
on Dec. 17 in LA?
CH: Leaving the L.A. area.

OCCG: What is your ultimate purpose as artists?
CH: We are external hostile vibrations honing in on any heat source to be the receiver of our unwanted attention.

OCCG: What’s a fun fact about Corrections House people don’t know yet?
CH: I’m facing aggravated assault charges for a situation that developed with an uninvited guest IN MY OWN HOME! I spent 3 months trying to get the situation sorted out properly and eventually was picked up in Arizona where they promptly threw in a Mental Hospital for 90 days.

Famous Rock Bassist Joins Ace Frehley’s Side Group

Chris Wyse

Chris Wyse play bass in Kiss Ace Frehley’s side band.
Photo by: Jim Gilbert

Chris Wyse’s bass playing has been widely acclaimed as a member of The Cult and has also performed with Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger, Tal Bachman, and countless others, as well as his own heavy alternative trio, Owl.

He profiled at the tender age of 17 in Guitar Player Magazine for his innovative approach to playing the bass. He uniquely utilizes both the bass guitar as well as the electric upright bass. While in grade school, he admired Kiss, The Doors and Led Zeppelin.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Chris about his musical beginnings to his latest EP to working with Ozzy Osbourne.

OCCG: What enticed you to pursue music in the first place?
CW: My cousins played me the Kiss Alive! album when I was a kid and I was blown away. I begged my parents for Kiss Alive II and used to play it constantly. I knew I was destined for music then. At first I thought maybe I was into the drums because I used to set up boxes and things like a drum kit and try to mimic Peter Criss’ drum solos.

OCCG: Why did you choose the bass?
CW: When I heard Number of the Beast from Iron Maiden I knew I found my instrument. Steve Harris is a pioneer with ferocious chops and power. He wasn’t afraid to push boundaries and be different. The sound of his bass is so punchy and aggressive I knew I had to play bass. It is a bit of an under dog approach to take the bass up front and I love that. Iron Maiden and Kiss definitely helped pave the way for my band Owl.

OCCG: Why did you title your trio as Owl?
CW: “Chris Wyse Owl” followed me my whole life. “Wyse” is Old English for “wise,” and owls have always been associated with wisdom, so it just seemed an appropriate name for a mystical, envelope-pushing band.

OCCG: What was it like recording with Ozzy Osbourne and playing on Mick Jagger’s solo album?
CW: Ozzy was incredible, and it was an honor to play with him. Mike Bordin of Faith No More, who was in Ozzy’s band at the time, suggested me and there was no audition. Mike just said, “I spoke to Ozzy, and you’re in.” Bordin is such a cool guy. I just showed up to the studio and we had a blast recording Under Cover. I have stories for days! Mick was great too. His bass player had an issue, so they called me. I hurried to the recording studio and got to work on a song called “Visions of Paradise.” Funny enough, the bass parts they wound up using were of me playing the bowed upright bass in cello range.

OCCG: What do you want your fans to gain out of your new EP when it’s released in 2015?
CW: Owl’s forthcoming EP, Things You Can’t See, is a metaphysical and very musical journey filled with emotion and ground-breaking music. We really take chances just like the greats: Led Zepelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, etc.

OCCG: You’ve been a band member in The Cult since 2006. How are The Cult and Owl both similar and different?
CW: The Cult is different in sound and style. I’m the lead singer and seed-planter in Owl and I often start the songs and get to utilize my unorthodox approach to the bass with upright bass playing. In The Cult, Ian and Billy start, and I dress up the songs and maybe come up with a part here and there. Owl is progressive at times and takes you on wild musical jams and instrumentals. We also hit on some hardcore heaviness and banshee screams with very catchy melodies. There is no band that does what Owl does, so I created it. Check us out at:

OCCG: How do you enjoy working with Ace Frehley?
CW: Ace has been such a great blessing. I get a bass solo every night, there’s lot of singing – which I love, and I get to be a real part of the show. The thing about Ace that is so impressive is that he has a laugh, but he works hard. Ace and I, and the whole band have a great chemistry together. Ace is a ground breaker, just listen to his solos on Kiss’ Alive albums! He’s doing two-hand tapping before Eddie Van Halen was even out.

OCCG: If you could perform with anyone anywhere, who it would be with, where, and why?
CW: I would have to say it would be performing with Ray Manzarek, Jimi Hendrix and John Bonham in NYC because those musicians are so truly talented and amazing, and NYC is the greatest city in the world.

OCCG: What’s next on your agenda?
CW: The next chapter will include more with Ace, The Cult and unveiling Owl’s Things You Can’t See.

OCCG: What’s a random fun fact you’d like for everyone to know about you?
CW: I am very psychic. I often see ghosts in the older hotels and venues we play. I live in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, and have been visited by many lost souls with broken dreams. The Cult was in a bus crash in Croatia back in 2012, and I had actually had a reoccurring dream warning me about it. It was about 5:30am, and I was in the downstairs of The Cult’s double decker tour bus and recognized the scene I was looking at, and ran upstairs to my bunk. To my horror in the minutes to come as I laid in my bunk, sure enough we lost control and crashed, and almost went off the side of a bridge with a 100 foot drop. I was the last one in bunk and was lucky because if I stayed downstairs the impact of the crash could have thrown me and smashed my head open. My bunk and the dream saved me. It really comes down to things you can’t see! Thanks for the interview.

Michigan Metal Band Make Their Way To Fans Out West


Battlecross plays the Whiskey A Go Go Dec. 9 and Chain Reaction Dec. 11

Battlecross is an American heavy metal band from Canton, Michigan. They will be performing live at Whisky A Go Go in LA on Dec. 9 and Chain Reaction in Anaheim on Dec. 11.

The band was founded in 2003 when the childhood best friends and neighbors formed the earliest beginnings of Battlecross while attending Salem High School. The band describes their sound as “Blue Collar Thrash Metal.”

Although a multitude of members came and went, together, they played local shows around Detroit and in the Midwest and opened for such acts as Dying Fetus, GWAR, DevilDriver, The Absence, Vital Remains and The Faceless.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to catch up with Battlecross and discuss their metal genre inspiration, working with producers Eyal Levi and Mark Lewis and their upcoming shows in LA and OC.

OCCG: How did you come up with your title, Battlecross and what’s the meaning behind it?
Battlecross: Honestly, the name Battlecross was chosen simply because it sounded cool. No real meaning behind it other than that. It wasn’t until after the fact that we realized that it’s a battlefield symbol for a soldier buried on the field. Knowing that, we feel we carry a certain obligation with us – one that we’ve always had, to support and rally behind our troops and brothers in the armed forces. Coincidence or serendipity, call it what you will, we stand behind our guys!

OCCG: What inspired your metal genre and who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Battlecross: There’s no question that Pantera and Metallica definitely inspired us from an early age and continues to inspire us now, including our own brand of inspirations. For myself, GWAR has and will always be a huge inspiration. Some, if not most, would call that strange, but to each their own. From our individual inspirations comes a collective mindset to bring the heaviest and catchiest metal we can provide.

OCCG: What was it like working with producers Eyal Levi and Mark Lewis?
Battlecross: Fantastic! Both are great guys, very knowledgable and intelligent. Mark and Eyal know what they want to hear, and they know exactly how to push us in the right direction. Eyal has a knack for getting the best out of us without being too pushy, which is a great feeling. It’s one thing to have a schedule, but each artist is fickle in their own ways, and the dudes at Audiohammer wisely insists and a very calm, but matter-of-fact manner. It was a treat recording with them and we can’t wait to do it again.

OCCG: What’s your most and least favorite part about touring?
Battlecross: The best part of touring is doing what we love, and having the opportunity to travel the world and share our time with our fans. Without them, as it is with any metal band, we are nothing. The worst part, of course, would have to be the long drives and lack of a decent diet. It’s not exactly easy to find healthy food at a gas station, save for a select few fruits and vegetables available.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to at your upcoming shows at the Whisky A Go Go in LA on Dec. 9 and Chain Reaction in Anaheim on Dec. 11?
Battlecross: WARM(ER) WEATHER, haha. I packed shorts solely for our brief stay on the west coast. I can only hope that there won’t be a sudden polar vortex or some nonsense that we’re accustomed to in Michigan. In all seriousness, we’re stoked to see friends and fans and have some good shows. Touring life is a simple life, if not harsh at times.

OCCG: Despite the recently cancelled Machine Head tour, you guys have confirmed the Winter Warriors Headlining Tour honoring America’s Veterans. How did you feel about the cancellation and how did you guys overcome it? Battlecross: Things happen, man. Simply just have to roll with the punches and get out on the road. This, our first major cancellation we’ve had to deal with, and though it may not be the last, we just hope it doesn’t become a trend. We were looking forward to hanging out with the MH and CoB dudes, but perhaps another time. Though, I must say, I’m impressed by our team. With our manager Velda and our booker Tim busting their asses to secure a headliner in such a short amount of time is no easy feat. We’re grateful to be out on the road doing what we do best.

OCCG: What’s next for you guys?
Battlecross: After the Winter Warriors tour, we have about a week and a half to finish up pre-production and then it’s off to Orlando to record album number three. To say we’re excited in an understatement. The parser is on! Everyone told us how important our sophomore release was going to be, and after that was said and down, we’re being told just how much more important our third will be. We have to come out gangbusters on this one, and from what I’ve heard from the rest of the dudes in the band, you will not be disappointed.

OCCG: What’s a random fact your fans don’t know about you yet?
Battlecross: None of us own a boat? Haha. I guess what throws a lot of people off are our ages. Aside form our drummer who’s still a baby at 21, the rest of us are in our late twenties to early thirties. We don’t have many secrets, really. Just a bunch of average dudes who got lucky with our passions for music and live performance.

LA Rapper Back on Tour With New SoCal Show Dates


LA Rapper Murs plays The Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara on Nov. 24

Hot off hosting this year’s hip-hop stage at the Sunset Strip Music Festival, LA rap veteran and entrepreneur MURS is on a national tour with local show dates at The Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara on Nov. 24, House of Blues Anaheim Dec. 26 and The Roxy Dec. 27. MURS hits the concert circuit joined by fellow rap artist, Mayday round out 2014 with more Mursday! Tour antics.

The rapper initially appeared as a solo artist in 2003, after almost 10 years of working with a variety of groups in the underground. His first single was released in 1993, and came from a self-released album by his first group, 3 Melancholy Gypsies.

Just within a seven-year period, Murs rapped on several influential indie rap albums, appearing on more than 20 records, EPs, and singles. The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to talk to Murs about his accomplishments, inspiration and upcoming shows.

OCCG: Why did you decide to title yourself as Murs? What is the significance behind it and 316?
Murs: Personally? It’s just something that came to me. There’s no meaning behind it. There’s nothing to it. 316 is my birthday!

OCCG: How did you get started with your rapping career? How did you know music is what you wanted to pursue?
Murs: I’ve always felt like it felt right.

OCCG: Which rapper would you like to collaborate with if you could choose anyone?
Murs: 2Pac.

OCCG: How do you enjoy working with the producer 9th wonder?
Murs: He’s definitely like a brother to me. I enjoy working with him. I’ve learned a lot from him.

OCCG: What do you want for your listeners to gain out of your music?
Murs: Hmm. That’s a good question. Happiness and comfort just in inside.
OCCG: What has been your biggest accomplishment and struggle thus far?
Murs: I would have to say being married and staying married. You just make it work. My wife is aware of getting herself into. I try to be amazing.

OCCG: What’s your next career move?
Murs: I’ll be rapping for quite sometime. Rapping and my first feature film will be out this year. It’s called Mauldogs. We started last August. It’s supposed to come out in October.

Jersey Based Band Tour West To Rock New Fans


Gates play the Chain Reaction Nov. 26

Gates is a New Jersey based 5-person rock band that formed in 2010 in New Brunswick, NJ. Gates will be performing at The Chain Reaction in Anaheim on Nov. 26

The band released their latest record, Bloom & Breathe, which was produced by Mike Watts. The band melds beautiful sweeping atmospheric, post-rock riffs with strong alternative rock choruses and verses for an intense listening experience. The band has toured with acts like Prawn, Gifts from Enola, Frameworks, Have Mercy and The Gaslight Anthem to name a few.

The band originally formed while guitarist Dan King, bassist Mike Maroney and drummer Daniel Crapanzano were playing in a previous band and decided they wanted to start a new project in 2011. Eventually they hooked up with guitarist Ethan Koozer—who had moved to New Jersey from Nebraska—and guitarist/vocalist Kevin Dye, who had recently relocated to the East coast from Michigan.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Gates’ guitarist Dan King about their title origin, latest record and working with producer Mike Watts.

OCCG: Why did you decide to call yourselves Gates? What’s the meaning behind it?
Dan King: The name “Gates” was considered alongside a graphic identity for the band. We knew we wanted something simplistic, and open to interpretation, so I created a typographic/ logo treatment that I felt would convey exactly that. We work on maintaining cohesive visual output throughout the band’s progression and the original concept of Gates set in Caslon became a platform for that we continue to expand on.

OCCG: What do you want for your fans to gain out of your latest record Bloom & Breathe?
Kevin Dye: This isn’t something we ever really thought about before, but ultimately we hope that listeners enjoy the record and are able to take away something from it. We make the music out of our own need and desire to do so, and so how people are going to react to it is the last thing you think about, when the record is finished and you’re ready to release it. We’ve had a lot of extremely positive things said to us about Bloom & Breathe and it’s incredible to see people feeling so strongly about something we spent so long on and put so much of ourselves into.

OCCG: What’s the significance behind the title, Bloom & Breathe?
Kevin Dye: The album title, like our previous album titles, changes meaning depending on context. In the song “Bloom,” the lyric is referencing accepting failure, and as the album title, it tends to sound more hopeful or echo the sentiment in the final track, “Again at the Beginning.” I think this duality was important to highlight. We all live a life, no matter how long or short, and we all grow from experience, whether positive or negative. This is often driven by the choices we make, and Bloom & Breathe is mainly about grappling with the reality of that fact.

OCCG: How did you know that music is what you wanted to ultimately pursue as a career?
Kevin Dye: We’ve all been playing music for many years, and as we’ve progressed more and more opportunities have arisen. We’ve been fortunate enough to have jobs that have allowed us to pursue these opportunities thus far. That being said, it’s been our passion for the music and the art itself that’s pushed us forward and not the potential for this to be a career for us. As long as we can continue to strike the balance we have now, we’ll continue to be as active as we are. Of course, in the future if we had the chance to play music full time, we absolutely would, but I don’t think any of us expect it.

OCCG: Where in the world would you want to tour and perform that you have not yet?
Ethan Koozer: We would love to tour the Pacific Rim and Japan.

OCCG: If you could choose anyone to collaborate with, who it would be with and why?
Kevin Dye: The band, Vasudeva, are some of our closest friends and we’ve been throwing around the idea to do a collaborative effort with them for quite some time. Doing a split record where we work together on a track or two would be really fun, and we’ve even talked about filming the entire thing as I think it would be an interesting process.

OCCG: How did you enjoy working with producer Mike Watts?
Kevin Dye: I’ve been a fan of Mike’s work since I started studying audio engineering in college. He was one of the reasons I got into the field. Working alongside him on a record was an awesome experience, and we all learned a lot from the process. Having someone there who you trust and can objectively judge the music is such an important part of making a record, and Mike was that person for us. He went above and beyond to make sure the record was exactly how we all wanted it to be.

OCCG: What was it like touring with acts from Prawn to Gifts from Enola to Frameworks to Have Mercy and The Gaslight Anthem?
Dan King: The guys in Gifts From Enola were the first friends we made on our very first tour. A year later we ended up doing a run with them which went really well, seeing them shred on their instruments every night was such an inspiration. Unfortunately they are no longer playing, but they had us play their final show, which we were incredibly honored to be a part of.

Prawn are our buddies from Jersey, we’ve known them for years and played with them in the NJ/NY a bunch of times. Touring with them was such a good time, those kids can rage and we love their music. We got some good wallball games going until their drummer Jamie threw the ball onto the roof of the venue.

We met Frameworks on our tour with them and Tiny Moving Parts. This was our first full US tour so we got to hang and get to know them while traveling all over the country. They joined us on the recent tour with Pianos Become the Teeth, which was a lineup we were extremely excited to be a part of. The shows were awesome and it is definitely one of our favorite tours that we’ve done. Frameworks is the band that we’ve toured with the most to date, those guys are our brothers and we can’t to meet up with them on the road again.
We recently toured with Have Mercy and Pentimento and the vibes were great the entire run. The tour package was awesome and we really had a good time not only playing shows together, also hanging out in between. We all had new albums in the works and showing each other early mixes/demos was really sweet.

The Gaslight Anthem are good friends of ours and touring with them was an incredible experience. Being a band from New Jersey, we just have so much respect for what they do and how much work they put into creating music. Mike and I actually play in a hardcore band called “Bottomfeeder” with their drummer Benny, which Kevin is producing at Vudu Studios.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at Chain Reaction on Nov. 26 in Anaheim?
Kevin Dye: I remember watching a lot of live videos when I was younger of some of my favorite bands playing sets at Chain Reaction, so I think it’ll be really cool to finally get to play there myself. We’ve also never played in Anaheim and it’s always awesome playing somewhere new and not knowing what to expect.

OCCG: Where do you see yourselves down the line with your music career? Where do you hope to be?
Kevin Dye: I just hope to be making music in some capacity for as long as I’m conscious, and to have the same passion about it the day I leave this world as I did the first time I picked up a guitar. I’ve definitely had my moments with music; we’ve had our disagreements. It’s a tough love and it’s very one sided, sometimes you feel like you’re putting everything you have into it and you’re not quite getting that back in return. Stepping back, I’m not sure anyone can even define what a “music career” will even be in five or ten years. I personally choose not to think about that as often as possible, and to really take every opportunity we get and cherish it. Even the most successful musicians rarely get to proceed in this capacity forever. I’m just grateful for every day I get to do what I love, from touring the country down to sitting in my room with an acoustic.

Cleveland Hip-Hop Return To LA With Show On Sunset Strip

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony play House of Blues Sunset Nov. 20
Photo by: Darkness 1999th

Cleveland-based hip-hop group, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony formed in the mid-90s and kickstarting their music career with the mega hits, “Tha Crossroads” and “Thuggish Ruggish Bone.” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will play on Nov. 20 at The House of Blues Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

The group consists of rappers Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Flesh-n-Bone, Layzie Bone, and Bizzy Bone. In 1994, rapper Eazy-E of the group N.W.A signed Bone Thugs-n-Harmony to Ruthless Records. They will be auctioning their last album, “E. 1999 Legends” for $1 in early 2015.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to talk to Bizzy from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony about their origin, influences, and their “Get Loud Tour” for Monster Energy Drink.

OCCG: How did you come up with your title Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and what’s the significance behind it?
Bizzy: Collectivley as a group and it defined the kind of music that we were doing. Looking inside of us. We are thugs that love to harmonize. We’re family.

OCCG: What is your most favorite album and why so?
Bizzy: East 1999 eternal, the way it changed the industry as far as how people delivered their music.

OCCG: What do you believe sets you guys apart from other artists that you have become so tremendously successful since the ‘90s?
Bizzy: It’s the style of music and its expectancy of the fame. People expect top-notch innovation from us.

OCCG: Who had always been your biggest influence in music?
Bizzy: First tenor and first soprano.

OCCG: Besides music, what do your other passions include?
Bizzy: Food, painting, collages.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to in regards to your Southern California tour and your show at The House of Blues on November 20 in West Hollywood?
Bizzy: We love performing in LA and The House of Blues is a very reputable place. Performing there and being a part of the history of the venue, it has a special vibe.

OCCG: Why did you decide to title your last album, “E. 1999 Legends” and why did you choose to only auction off one copy for $1 million next year?
Bizzy: We chose the name because Bone wants to go out the way that they walked in. And our most prominent record was that. It’s letting the people know that it’s exactly the kind of record that they will be receiving. We want the people to understand the importance the last CD we will have as musicians as a group. Technology is going to take off, so we believe that this is the way we want to go, to say goodbye to the compact disc.
OCCG: What did Krayzie Bones mean when he said that the forthcoming album is “gonna be like a domino effect?”
Bizzy: I imagine he meant that people are going to be following suit. The Compact Disc industry is changing. They will be replaced with something way more convenient. Everyone else will follow, like dominos. Moving on to 2020. The CD will be gone.

OCCG: What’s a fun fact you want your fans to know about you guys that they don’t know of yet?
Bizzy: We have a lot more to offer musically. Entertainment and legacy.

Grammy Winning Jazz Artist Brings New Orlean Sound To LA

Irvin Mayfield

Irvin Mayfield plays in Lancaster Nov. 21 and Northridge Nov. 22

Grammy and Billboard-winning jazz artist Irvin Mayfield represents the continuity of the unfolding Jazz legacy of New Orleans at only age 36. Mayfield will perform at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center on Nov. 21 and the Great Hall of the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge on Nov. 22.

Mayfield is considered one of the most recorded and decorated Jazz musicians of his generation due to his tremendous devotion and virtuosity. Mayfield created a performing arts institution dedicated to presenting engaging and transformative Jazz experiences in 2002 called the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO).

NOJO won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for its critically acclaimed CD Book One on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label under his highly acclaimed artistic direction.

The OC Concert Guide had the chance to chat with Mayfield about his initial involvement with jazz music, his biggest inspirations and winning his first Grammy.

OCCG: How did you initially start getting into jazz music? Was it instinctive or did you develop a taste for it?
Irvin Mayfield: When I was nine years old, my best friend played trumpet. I thought he was cool and that all the girls liked him, so I wanted to play trumpet, too; life’s pretty simple at nine.

OCCG: How did you learn to pay the trumpet? Were you self-taught or did you take lessons?
Irvin Mayfield: My dad initially taught me how to play trumpet as a kid. Then I was able to attend the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), where so many incredible musicians and artists have gotten their start in New Orleans. My teacher there, Clyde Kerr Jr., will always be one of my heroes.

OCCG: What inspired you to create the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO)?
Irvin Mayfield: Jazz music is important; it needs to be celebrated and advanced, with its integrity preserved, in the city where it was born.

OCCG: What was your immediate reaction when you won your first Grammy and Billboard Award?
Irvin Mayfield: Well clearly I was excited! It’s an honor to be recognized at such a high level and among so many artists whom I respect and admire.

OCCG: Who have been your biggest inspirations throughout your music career?
Irvin Mayfield: There are too many to name them all, but a start on that list would be Louis Armstrong, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lionel Ferbos, Dr. John, Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Pete Fountain and Germaine Bazzle.

OCCG: What do you want your listeners to gain out of your first cut, “O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)” from your upcoming album A New Orleans Creole Christmas?
Irvin Mayfield: Christmas music is important and ceremonial. I hope that listeners like it, thinks it’s authentic, and incorporate it into this holiday season, and those to come.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to at your upcoming shows at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center on Nov. 21 and the Great Hall of the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge on Nov. 22?
Irvin Mayfield: Thus far this tour has been a blast; the band is having as much fun as the audience. Each show is a bit more wild and crazy than the last, so I can’t wait to see what happens this weekend.

OCCG: What advice would you want to give to other jazz musicians out there?
Irvin Mayfield: Practice hard, be professional, and have fun.

OCCG: What’s next for you on your agenda?
Irvin Mayfield: Opening the New Orleans Jazz Market! NOJO’s new home in Central City New Orleans will open in March as a performing arts venue and Jazz community center. It’s the first space built specifically for Jazz in the city that created this music. Construction is almost finished, and we’re excited to show it to the world.

OCCG: What’s a fun fact you’d like everyone to know about you?
Irvin Mayfield: I ride motorcycles and my favorite food is spaghetti.