Self-Released LA Rap Artist Stops In Newport During National Tour


Trizz plays a special show on board Mojo Yachts Oct. 25

Meet Trizz, a self-released rapper from the Inland Empire. He became a fan of music at a very young age and even started singing at the tender age of nine. He is currently on tour with Cuzzalo Ink and Brotha Lynch Hung’s – The Sicc Of Da Industry Tour with a stop in Newport Beach on Oct. 25 performing at Mojo Yacht.

Music was Trizz’s way of escaping boredom of living in the suburbs. He turned his boredom into talent. In fact, he began producing his own very own mix-tapes and beats under the moniker, “Young Trizz.”

His self-titled debut EP depicts the journey of an independent artist paving the way for music and creating a name for himself. The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to catch up with Trizz about his inspirations, dream collaborations and self-titled debut EP.

OCCG: How did you decide to title yourself as Trizz?
Trizz: Well my real name is Tre and back in like 2001 is when I began to “Rap” and one of my older homies called my “Young Trizzle” and as I got older, the!
name became corny so I shortened it down to “Trizz.” Nothing cool about it at all haha,

OCCG: You’re so incredibly young. What do you hope to achieve as a rapper in the long run?
Trizz: My goal is to run my own record company and sign my self in like the next 3-5 years. I want longevity and you don’t achieve that being under someone else.

OCCG: Whom have you always looked up to for musical inspiration?
Trizz: I was raised around the “west-coast”/”gangsta” sound. My inspiration came from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Dj Quik, Brotha Lynch Hung, which is who help fund and forward my career and a few other west-coast artists. I also get writing inspiration from legendary artist like Kurt Cobain, Tupac and Erykah Badu.

OCCG: If you could collaborate with any rapper, who would it be and why?
Trizz: I would collaborate with Snoop Dogg. I feel like Snoop is at the peak of his music career and I want to be able to vibe and knock out a solid record with him before he hangs it up. Like I said, I grew up on that “gangsta” sound so I want to work with all of my inspirations who paved the way for me.

OCCG: What is the significance behind your self-titled debut EP?
Trizz: The name of the EP is called “LeatherFace.” I came up with this title because for one, I’m a huge Texas Chainsaw Massacre fan but besides that, on this record, I present my self as two people, a “gangsta” and a “killa.” I give you a bit of smooth sounding, chill vibes with a mix of that hardcore, raw vibe. On the cover, its 2 faces, half of my face and half of somebody else’s face.

OCCG: What do you want for your listeners to gain out of your latest album, “Written in Smoke?” What was it like working with producer AC3?
Trizz: That album was reminder that I will not hold my tongue. I will say what ever, how ever, no matter how bad it sounds. I want my fans to know what’s going on in my head, so I paint pictures with words, some good some bad but its real and that above all is what’s important to me.

OCCG: What was it like for you to appear alongside Tech N9ne amongst others at the Independent Powerhouse Tour?
Trizz: Life changing. Going on tour with 2 of my favorite artist was literally a dream come true. I can’t say I didn’t expect it. I worked really hard to get where I am and that tour made me realize that anything is possible for me at this point. I’m only 22 years on and I’m already on a tour bus with Tech N9ne and Brotha Lynch Hung…unbelievable.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to at your upcoming show in Newport Beach?
Trizz: Mosh pits and crazy fans causing chaos. haha

Xu Xu Fang Set To Rock Silverlake

Xu Xu Fang

Xu Xu Fang plays The Satellite Lounge Oct. 17

Meet Xu Xu Fang, the California-based quintet that’s about to rock your world. Their latest song, “Noir State Beach” played during the premiere of CW’s The Originals. Xu Xu Fang will be showcasing more tunes at The Satellite in LA on Oct. 17.

They have been inspired by a variety of artists from The Beatles, Oasis, and The Smiths amongst others. The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Xu Xu Fang about how they got started, dream collaborations and upcoming shows.

OCCG: How did you come up with your title Xu Xu Fang and what’s the meaning behind it?
Xu Xu Fang: It is the most glam rock name I could think of. It means cool, cool breeze.

OCCG: Whom are you most inspired by musically?
Xu Xu Fang: It varies and depends on the time of day, weather, year, etc. Right now, The Beatles, Bernard Hermann, King Tubby, Kraftwerk, and recently lots of UK stuff like The Smiths, Stone Roses, Oasis, Depeche Mode. But this is difficult because at particular times of my life I’ve been inspired by different things, and that can filter into today’s inspiration. I can’t deny that listening to A Tribe Called Quest, David Lee Roth- era Van Halen or early Metallica years ago doesn’t creep back in today.

OCCG: How did you get started and where do you hope to see yourself down the road?
Xu Xu Fang: I started playing drums and eventually got to a point where I could play anything I wanted to – fast, slow, heavy, mellow, whatever. Over time, drums became less fun or rewarding. I picked up a chord book, sat down at a piano, and strung a few things together for no real reason. My girlfriend walked past the room where I was playing and asked what the song was. That’s when I realized I might be onto something. So I kept going. I hope to see myself happy down the road, but I’m not looking that far.

OCCG: If you could choose anyone to collaborate with, who it would be with and why?
Xu Xu Fang: An almost impossible question to answer. We collaborated with Michael Shuman on our new record and that was really cool. Writing a song with Pharrell would be fun because it seems like he knows every type of music really well, and is forward thinking with his production. I heard him discuss Kraftwerk in such detail I was like this guy knows everything! The songs I write are different from what he does so it would be cool to see what collaboration could produce. But then I’m leaving out, Robert Del Naja, Liam Gallagher, Gui Boratto, Frans Bak, and a million others. I can’t answer this!

OCCG: What do you want your fans to gain out of your music video for “Noir State Beach?”
Xu Xu Fang: Ghoulish entertainment. And, maybe, the idea that within the great city of Los Angeles, individuals are having their own unique, mind-bending experience that nobody else can witness or comprehend. And, if you’re unlucky, or maybe lucky, it could happen to you. Or are you talking about our latest music video, Friend to the Unknown? Reuben Wu from Ladytron directed Friend to the Unknown. In Friend to the Unknown we wanted to do something completely different than Noir State Beach, without a narrative or characters. A more abstract and formless idea. Working with Reuben was a perfect match. The song and visuals are as good together as I could hope for. It’s shot in California, but looks like Mars or another planet.

OCCG: How did you choose your genre and why did you choose to embody that type of music?
Xu Xu Fang: I didn’t choose a genre. Xu Xu Fang has no genre. We once won a LA Weekly Music Award in the Best New Genre category, so I suppose we have our own, new genre. That’s the absolute reason why I decided to write music. So, I could do anything I wanted to regardless of genre and satisfy all of my musical curiosities as freely as possible.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at The Satellite?
Xu Xu Fang: A party with 500 of our closest friends and the audience. Maybe a few tears.

OCCG: Where do your next step will take you as far as your music career goes?
Xu Xu Fang: We have a lot of new music ready to be released. So, probably push it into the atmosphere and see how it flies.

OCCG: What’s a fun fact you’d like for everyone to know?
Xu Xu Fang: I saw Danzig at my local market the other day, and I have to admit, you never get to see it, but the guy has an amazing, huge smile.

Australian Multi-Instrumental Duo Mixes It Up For Local Fans


Intergalactix plays the Constellation Room Oct. 18 and Roxy Oct. 22

Meet Intergalactix, an Australian multi-instrumental electronic and production duo that recently released their awaited debut EP, IWSOM. The pair will be playing two shows; one at the Constellation Room on Oct. 18 and in LA at the Roxy on Oct. 22.

Intergalactix consists of collaborators and long time friends Serg Dimitrijevic and Kristian Attard. These two have been working on countless projects behind-the-scenes for over 10 years with big names from Cool & Dre to Ariana Grande to Allen Stone, Jason Mraz and Good Charlotte. Be sure to check out their dynamic live shows this fall on their upcoming tour.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to speak with the duo regarding their title origin, upcoming projects and debut EP.

OCCG: How did you come up with your title? What’s the significance behind it? How did you guys meet?
Intergalactix: Our title basically reflects our interest in the possibilities of what may exist beyond what we know here on earth. We met in Sydney about 15 years ago playing music together.

OCCG: You have worked on various projects with some of today’s biggest artists from?
Intergalactix: Ariana Grande to Cool and Dre. How were those experiences? 
The experiences were obviously all very different but very inspiring to us as musicians and writers. I think being around such great artists and producers really helped us grow into who we are today.

OCCG: How was the transition of coming from Australia to America?
Intergalactix: At first it was tough but amazing, I think with any transition it takes some time to adjust and making new friends and starting over is always a challenge. We were quite established career wise in Australia but moving to the US opened up another world to us. Both countries are really great but for what we do the US feels right. We really love to visit Australia, as it’s definitely still our home.

OCCG: What do you want your listeners to gain out of your latest debut EP “IWSOM?”
Intergalactix: There are quite a few subliminal messages throughout the EP and people translate them in their own way, which is awesome to us because it makes the songs grow and have a life of their own. It’s our first release and I think it’s a good introduction to what we do. We are always working on new music and our style is evolving but I feel this is a great time stamp on where we have been at for the past few years.

OCCG: How did you know music is what you wanted to pursue and what inspired your genre?
Intergalactix: I knew music was what I wanted to do before I even remember knowing that I had a choice or even really had a chance to think about it. I was so young but I’m glad I stuck to it; I can’t imagine life without it today. Our genre is really just us being ourselves and fusing together everything we love.

OCCG: If you hadn’t pursued music, what would you be doing instead?
Intergalactix: I’m sure we would be artistic in other ways or at least passionately pursuing another career.

OCCG: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Intergalactix: That’s a really hard question and I don’t think we really have one person in particular we would love to work with. Prince is obviously a massive influence for both of us and we have crossed paths a few times so perhaps it would be him.

OCCG: What’s next on your music career agenda?
Intergalactix: In October we go on a west coast tour and we are excited about that. It’s great to get out of town and play some interesting places and see how the music relates. We are still working hard on new material and feel super inspired right now. We look forward to another release early next year.

Babes Join Russian Red For A Night In West Hollywood


Babes play the Troubadour in Hollywood Oct. 15

“We’re horny and we’re sad.” That is the main mantra claimed by Babes. Quite the combo, right? See them at Troubadour in West Hollywood on Oct. 15 with Latin Indie rockers Russian Red.

Babes is a group that embodies “hormonally charged music” intertwined with the past 50 years of pop music; from grimy LA punk basement bands to Brill Building. Babes is composed of singer and keyboardist Sarah Rayne along with her real brothers Zach Rayne and Aaron Rayne, and her fictive others Jeffrey Baird and Bryan Harris.

They are LA gypsies who have moved dozens of times around LA, from Hollywood to Venice to Echo Park. Each member claims to play a real life character in this surreal story of his or her band and music.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Babes about their name, music and upcoming shows.

OCCG: Why did you guys decide to call yourselves Babes?
Babes: Last year we went on a spiritual journey, we’re not at liberty to talk about the details, but after 3 weeks of this experience as a quintet, the name was given to us by our shaman/visions. We didn’t choose it. It chose us.

OCCG: Why did you guys want to have your own hotline? What’s the weirdest encounter you’ve had on there?
Babes: We are out on the road playing music and we crave human interaction. We have a few stalkers who send naked photos and call all the time. Hoping to have more soon. We always pick up the phone or respond.

OCCG: What do you want your listeners to gain out of your video for “ATMO” now on Stereogum?
Babes: We want them to cry like their dog just died, we want them to laugh like they’re on nitrous oxide and we want them to see the world like they’re a newborn baby.

OCCG: How does your self-titled EP on Harvest Records reflect your days of moving in high school from Hollywood to Venice to Echo Park?
Babes: It doesn’t. These songs would have been made if we were born in Beijing or Brooklyn. They’re love songs and the only correlation they have to Los Angeles is that my brothers and I were born here. More importantly, none of us attended High School.

OCCG: What is your ultimate goal with wanting everyone to cry with your music? What does crying signify to you?
Babes: You tell us. Listen to our songs and cry. Call us and tell us how it went for you, in detail and what you’re wearing.

OCCG: How do horniness and sadness go hand-in-hand to you guys?
Babes: Being horny powers us but is also the feeling of not being able to achieve something that the entire universe is compelling you to do. Have you heard anything as sad as that?

OCCG: If you could tour anywhere in the entire world with anyone you wanted, where and who would it be and why?
Babes: Our dream would be if the cast of Seinfeld formed a band and we performed at Monks Cafe for three magical nights. George (Costanza) on bass.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at Troubadour with Russian Red?
Babes: We’re looking forward to playing like it’s our last night on earth, singing like our lives depend on it, beating our instruments like they owe us money, dripping sweat down our bodies and onto our fans, touching every person in the audience, shredding leads all over peoples faces, mixing their tears with our tears and licking it up. You should come.

OCCG: What’s next for you guys?
Babes: Music and music forever till we die.

French Surf Pop On Tour For A Week In SoCal

La Femme

La Femme play The Echoplex on Oct. 23, Beach Goth Festival at The Observatory 
Oct. 25, at the Bardot
 Oct. 27 and the Soda Bar Oct. 28.
Photo by: Alessio Boni

French punk rock band, La Femme, is coming to the U.S. with a stop in LA bringing their unique sound that has been described as hypnotic and synthetic. La Femme’s influences in their music by groups like Kraftwerk, Velvet Underground and other similar artists can be heard when they play The Echoplex on Oct. 23, Beach Goth Festival at The Observatory 
Oct. 25, at the Bardot
 Oct. 27 and a final SoCal show in San Diego at the Soda Bar Oct. 28.

La Femme released their very first EP in 2010. The OC Concert Guide got to interview the band about their origin, upcoming fall tour, inspirations and hitting the French digital charts at #1. Their deluxe edition of “Psycho Tropical Berlin” tape comes out Oct. 20 on Burger Records.

OCCG: How did you come up with the name La Femme? Why did you guys decide to call yourselves that?
LF: We was looking for a name, and the name of La Femme sounds aesthetically nice for us , like the woman are aesthetically.

OCCG: What musicians have inspired your music?
LF: A bunch, but the first song of la femme (sur la planche, telegraph) were like a cross between the cold wave / early electronic music of the 80’s, inspired by band like kraftwerk, deux, x-ray pop, and 60’s music, surf, early rock and roll, french yéyé like gainsbourg, or françoise hardy.

OCCG: How do you cope when things aren’t going how you hoped?
LF: Everything can’t be easy all the time, there is some period like in the recording of the album, where we was a bit lost, we was don’t know if we get the good sound, so sometime it’s difficult but in this period, you had to keep your mind focus , and think about what are you doing: it’s for the good cause, it’s art, and the goal it’s to make great art.

OCCG: What are you most excited about in regards to your upcoming Fall tour?
LF: We are excited to go back in USA, because we have always good time and good friends over there , for the music, it’s a great country, the grandma listen Elvis like in france they listen accordion or musette ! so it’s always good for the brain and the soul also we going to brazil for the first time, we are excited to go play beach volley on the beach with underwear.

OCCG: Your debut album hit #1 on the French digital charts. How did you react as soon as you found that out? we was happy to see that there is good reaction for the album , because we work a lot on it, so it’s cool, although, that can be more, but that could be less to.

OCCG: What do you want your fans to gain out of your music? What is your ultimate purpose?
LF: We want that people have fun and dance at the gig, and that they don’t care about everything, and when they listen the music in their headphone, we want that they travel far, forgot the problem about the real life, and follow the music, and fly over the ground ! for me, i want to feel the music all my life, and i don’t want to getting sick about this, because when I’m into music, it’s one of the best sensation that the life could bring me, so i think i prefer that 1,000 people listen my music, then i like what i do, and i feel the good vibes, than if 100,000,000 people listen it, but i getting sick of music, alone in my fucking hotel bedroom and to much work, and no time to look at the world around me.

OCCG: What is the deluxe edition of “Psycho Tropical Berlin” all about?
LF: It’s the same track of PTB with bonus, there is some little demo that we did on garage band, and other tracks, we did this to bring new stuff, when the album was coming out in England.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at Echoplex on October 23 in LA?
LF: We hope like everyone will be like in the 60’s, with flower shirt, and let’s start an orgy!

OCCG: Where do your next step will take you as far as your music career goes?
LF: We just continue what we did no: produce music, video, and do gigs, and try to go deeper into our art!

Ozzy Guitarist Goes Solo With Show At The Whiskey

Gus G

Gus G plays the Whiskey A Go Go Oct. 15

Gus G. has come out with a bang with his recently released solo debut I Am The Fire. Gus G. will be performing songs off his latest recording at Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood on Oct. 15.

He has embarked on various acoustic shows collaborating with Mats Levén and LYNAM on his worldwide tour where he will be playing in Europe and South America. Gus G. has performed with Firewind, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, and Dream Evil. He has also been a vital component in the backing band for Ozzy Osbourne.

The OC Concert Guide had the chance to chat with Gus G. about how he got into heavy metal, working with Ozzy Osbourne and his latest record.

OCCG: What got you into heavy metal music?
GUS G: As far as I can remember, originally it was watching Alice Cooper, Guns N Roses and Metallica videos on TV when I was a kid. But my life changed after I listened to Black Sabbath.

OCCG: Who have always been your musical inspirations?
GUS G: Obviously Black Sabbath. And all the classic metal bands – Iron Maiden, Priest, Ozzy, Dio, Scorpions, Megadeth. The list goes on.

OCCG: What are you looking forward to in regards to performing with LYNAM?
GUS G: Well, I’ve collaborated with their singer, Jacob Bunton, on a song on my album; we wrote a track together called “Just Can’t Let Go.” Lynam is a kickass rock band and these shows should be a lot of fun!

OCCG: How is it working with Ozzy Osbourne?
GUS G: It’s awesome! How else could it be? I always say that every moment around Ozzy is precious, and I’ve really enjoyed every day I got to spend with him and tour the world with him.

OCCG: What do you want your fans to gain out of your recently released solo album I Am The Fire?
GUS G: Well, it’s a record that has many “colors” so to speak. I believe there’s something in it for everyone. Whether you’re into guitar shredding music, heavy metal or good songwriting, simple and catchy rock tunes, this record is for you. There are lots of collaborations with different artists, from Jeff Scott Soto to Devour The Day and Michael Starr of Steel Panther!

OCCG: What excites you most about your worldwide tour?
GUS G: The fact that I get to visit many places, old and new, and play for the fans. Nothing beats that. Plus, it’s my first time touring as a solo artist, so it’s very exciting to see the feedback. It’s almost like starting over again.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to for your show at Whisky A Go Go?
GUS G: The Whisky is such a legendary place, and just playing on the Strip, there’s so much rock history there. All of my past shows in Hollywood have been awesome, so I can’t wait to get back there and present my solo band.

OCCG: What’s the next step for your musical career?
GUS G: I think that the attempt to go solo was the next logical move for my career. So far, so good. I plan on doing a lot more touring until early 2015 and then head back in the studio and work on my 2nd album.

OCCG: What would you be doing right now if you hadn’t pursued music?
GUS G: It’s funny ‘cause I never thought of that back when I was starting out. I always thought that this is what I would be doing in my life, there was never any Plan B. I’m grateful things went the way I thought they would, ‘cause I sure as hell don’t know what I’d be doing now!

Northwest Female Duo Joins Trust At The Fonda


Crater plays The Fonda Sept. 27

Crater is a female duo from Seattle, WA that’s been inspired by grunge bands they listened to growing up in the Pacific Northwest. These two will be performing at The Fonda in LA on Sept. 27.

Their genre is best described as an industrial electro-pop. They have released two songs so far so be on the lookout for more!

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to chat with Crater regarding their origin, musical career and upcoming fall tour with Trust.

OCCG: Why did you two decide to call yourselves Crater? What’s the story behind it and how did you guys meet?
Crater: We were tossing around a few other names for some time but decided to stick with it after a psychedelic experience we had in the San Juan Islands after staring at the moon for a couple hours.

OCCG: How did you guys know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Crater: You just know you know? Also, I think Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love may have had something to do with it. Voice of an angel.

OCCG: What grunge bands have played a role in inspiring your music?
Crater: KESSIAH- I have no shame in saying this – I am a huge Pearl Jam fan. As a guitar player, I am totally influenced by Stone Gossard’s writing style. Then there’s Mudhoney, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, etc. I grew up in Seattle so I’m a little biased.
CECI- Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey, and Hole.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to on your Fall tour with TRUST?
Crater: Seeing TRUST every night, hanging out with my best friend, and going to SLC for the first time.

OCCG: What do you want your listeners to gain out of your single, “Gross Relations” and what’s the meaning behind it?
Crater: There’s something kind of gross about how primal sex is yet it is inescapable. It’s only natural and that’s totally OK.

OCCG: If you could tour with anyone and go anywhere, who would it be with and where and why?
Crater: Bjork or Radiohead. They are both musicians we greatly admire who inspire us daily. Definitely an Icelandic or South American tour.

OCCG: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in this industry that you wish you had known beforehand?
Crater: Don’t drink the Redbull no matter how good you think it tastes.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at The Fonda on Sept. 27 in LA?
Crater: Just playing The Fonda in general. It’s such a beautiful venue.

OCCG: What’s your next plan of action for your music career?
Crater: Release a full length and tour.

Oregon Duo Brings Their DIY Sound To OC Fans

Portland Duo Priory

Portland Duo Priory opens for the Kooks at the Observatory Sept. 24
Photo by: Nick Walker

Portland-based duo, Priory makes nothing less than a band that embodies electronic beats and gracious harmonizing vocals. While living in the same rundown bachelor pad, Kyle Sears and Brandon Rush decided to make Priory  a reality. Priory will be performing on Wed, Sept. 24 at The Observatory opening for The Kooks.

The band just released a new video for their single ‘Weekend,’ starring Bailey Noble (True Blood) and Nick Krause (The Descendants, Boyhood). We filmed it at a roller rink that closed down a week later.

Rush and Sears met in a flophouse; sold everything they had (including their own blood), built out a studio in an old cement factory, and made a record they felt represented everything they were capable of. They dealt with hardships during the recording process – family members with cancer, friends that died of drug overdoses – but turned their life experiences into positive songs with meaningful, cut-to-the-bone messages.

The OC Concert Guide spoke to the pair about their music and touring with the Kooks.

OCCG: Why did you guys decide to call yourselves Priory and how did you guys meet?
Rush: Kyle and I met at a Pretty Girls Make Graves show and hit it off. Shortly thereafter we ended up randomly living in the same flophouse in SE Portland. That is where we started writing music. Our musical connection was obvious from the first time we sat down. The Priory is a rehab clinic in London, and it is also by definition a place where monks live. Neither of those things influenced the name decision. We do, however, identify with separating yourself from the outside world in order to focus on a singular goal. We quit our day jobs and locked ourselves in a basement studio for a year and a half.

OCCG: How did you know that music is what you guys wanted to pursue?
Rush: Kyle and I have both been playing in bands since we were kids. It is the only thing either of us has ever wanted to do. I bought my first guitar when I was twelve, with lawn mowing money. I went to a public art school instead of a traditional high school where I focused on upright bass and guitar. I went to three different colleges for music, but never really liked learning music that way. Kyle and I both went through music engineering programs as well. I honestly think music school is valid, but the real growth happens when you start making music every day, all day.

Sears: My first guitar was my mother’s old classical that I strung up with electric guitar strings, I played trumpet in jazz band and took bass and guitar lessons at about 12 years old.

OCCG: What do you want for your fans to gain out of your latest video for the single, “Weekend?”
Sears: Weekend is a song about feeling marginalized and acting out in turn. We have definitely done our share of acting out. I think everyone feels oppressed by an authority figure at some point in life. It could be a strict parent, a boss at work or the standard forced upon us by western culture. We use escapism to feel momentarily empowered. The sad skating rink job was a great way of highlighting the message of the song. We hope that people have fun and can laugh as well as relate to the awkwardness of wanting more and trying to escape to someplace better, even if that place is in your own daydreams.

OCCG: How does it make you feel to be praised by top media outlets from Entertainment Weekly, Billboard and Time who have recognized you as “Artist You Need to Hear?”
Rush: The positive reaction from everyone has been overwhelming. We worked on the record for well over a year so it feels amazing to finally have our stuff out there. It is still pretty surreal to hear our songs on the radio when we are touring.

OCCG: How did you cope with all of the hardships during your recording process?
Sears: The best way to cope with hardships is to channel that energy into songs. There is something very freeing about being able to explore emotional moments in life through art. We both had parents dealing with late stage cancer treatment during the time of creating this album. The journey took us down to the last 5 cents in our bank accounts many times even giving plasma to pay for the week’s groceries. We are lucky to have the outlet we do and it continues to be a source of renewal and calm in both our lives.

OCCG: What do you expect to gain out of your upcoming national tour with the Kooks?
Sears: It is really exciting for us to be playing with such a great band like the Kooks. This tour gives us a great opportunity to showcase ourselves in front of a new audience. Nothing is more thrilling than winning over a crowd that has either not heard all your songs or, in some cases, not of the band.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at The Observatory on Sept. 24 in Santa Ana?
Sears: One of the big things we are looking forward to is playing songs from our upcoming full-length album. We spent so long working in the studio on this record that it’s great to be back playing live and experiencing the music in a different way.

OCCG: What’s next for you guys?
Sears: We finish the Kooks tour and will be playing some shows on the east coast and Midwest. We then head back and play a festival in Vegas and San Diego on our way home to Portland. Brandon and I will be spending some time in our home studio, Loudwar, working on new ideas for a few weeks then back out on the road. We are going to be touring a lot in the next year with the release of our EP on Oct. 14 and album later next year.

One-Man Band Plays His Unique Sound For LA


Satellites plays the Hotel Cafe Sept. 10

Satellites is a highly talented studio musician and one-man show who’s been touring for years now and constantly on the road. You can catch this one-man act perform at Hotel Cafe on Sept. 10 in LA.

Satellites is actually writer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Johnny Vic, an Englishman living in Copenhagen, Denmark, who has spent most of his professional life touring the world as a band member and musical director for other more famous artists. He’s slipped some disks throughout record stories around London and his music is now going viral.

This year, Vic is finally making his long-awaited jump across the pond, releasing 02 for an American audience. The American release will be available as a “producer’s cut,” featuring four more tracks than its UK counterpart and will be available in the states on Oct. 7.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to talk to Satellites about his accomplishments, musical inspirations and upcoming endeavors.

OCCG: Why do you call yourself Satellites if you’re a one-man show? How did you come up with it?
Satellites: I wanted a project that was faceless and anonymous, to make the music the focus. And I chose Satellites because they don’t belong anywhere and never stay in one place for long. They just report back what they see. I was on a 16-month world tour playing bass for James Blunt when I wrote and recorded the first Satellites album on my laptop. I had my newborn son at home, so I felt so far away – it felt like an appropriate name for where I was at that time.

OCCG: What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far and what has been your biggest challenge as a solo musician?
Satellites: Playing Glastonbury main stage with Blunt was a lifelong ambition ticked off. Playing on Leona Lewis “Run” was the first number 1 I played on. But my biggest accomplishment to date was when my band Budapest released its first album. I wrote, sang and co-produced the album and it was the first album I released.

OCCG: You’re always writing records! Where does the inspiration for your music root?
Satellites: lyrically, anything that affects me inspires me. And as soon as I became a father, the state of the world suddenly came on the agenda. I was kind of apathetic about world issues prior to that. But what was OK for me to let slide is not necessarily acceptable for my son. Musically, I have little melodies, beats and chord progressions running around my head 24 hours a day. Which can be annoying at times…!!

OCCG: How do you feel about featured on the live cover of Kraftwerk’s “The Model?”
Satellites: I chose that cover because firstly, I loved the song when I was younger, and secondly, the subject matter is incredibly dark for such an upbeat song as the original is. So I slowed it down and made the lyric the focus.

OCCG: What was it like being noticed by Rough Trade?
Satellites: It was a great pat on the back for me, as up till that point, I had no idea how Satellites was going to be received. I knew that I loved it. And My manager and my girlfriend. And even my son. But for such a cool brand as Rough Trade to give it the thumbs up gave me huge confidence. Especially as I was recording the 2nd album at the time the first was released. I think you can hear the confidence.

OCCG: Are you happy with you are as far as your career goes?
Satellites: Yes. I would of course love to be able to make a living from just making my own music but, in this day and age, to make a living from just music is rare and I feel very privileged.

OCCG: If you could go on tour with anyone you wanted to, who would it be and why?
Satellites: I would love to tour with Radiohead. Or if Talk Talk every got back together.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at The Hotel Cafe on September 10?
Satellites: Playing in LA is always a thrill. And this place has hosted a lot of artists that I absolutely love. So I cannot wait to take my Satellites project to LA for the first time.

OCCG: What’s next on your agenda in terms of your career?
Satellites: I am recording the final pieces of the 3rd Satellites album next week in the UK. Then mixing it in September for a release next year. I’m incredibly excited about it as it was written in LA, when I spent 2 months there last year, so to mix it in the same city brings it full circle.

For a chance to win a pair of tickets to his show follow this link, 

Indie Pop Group The Ocean Blue Returns To LA

The Ocean Blue

The Ocean Blue plays The Troubadour Sept. 6

The Ocean Blue is an all-American indie pop group that was formed in Pennsylvania over two decades ago. In fact, The Ocean Blue‘s debut record on the well-known Sire Records label accomplished widespread acclaim and MTV along with radio airplay back in 1989. Catch them at The Troubadour in LA on Sept. 6.

The OC Concert Guide had the opportunity to speak with Ocean Blue regarding their origin, upcoming fall tour and latest release, Waterworks.

OCCG: How did you come up with “The Ocean Blue?” What’s the story behind it?
OB: Well, we were young when we started the band, and had several goofy names before we settled on “The Ocean Blue”. As I recall, the name came to me late one night while driving home from a practice through a long stretch of Lancaster county (PA) farmland. I was looking out at the dark, rolling fields and was reminded of the ocean at night. I always liked the deep, dark, vast and mysterious side of the ocean. The poetry, the constancy, the sound and the effect of the waves on the shore. In the early days, a lot of people thought we were from England or California. But no, we weren’t sailors or surfers.

OCCG: How did you guys come together and what do you ultimately want to accomplish as musicians?
OB: We meet in Jr. High through a shared love of new wave, post punk, British and American underground music of the 1980s. The band was an extension of our friendship but eventually became a more serious thing in high school when I started writing songs and we did recordings, and Steve (our original keyboard/sax player) started reaching out to managers and agents. We didn’t know what we were doing in many ways, and certainly weren’t that good. But we loved making music together, and I really began to love writing and recording. That’s always been the driving force for me. I like to make music. The public performing and business side of things was less appealing, though we’ve had incredible experiences and good fortune as a band over the years. And I am very grateful for those things.

OCCG: How would you describe your music in your own words?
OB: That is always a difficult question. I guess I’d say simple, melodic, atmospheric, impressionistic, and mostly melancholy.

OCCG: What do you want for your fans to gain out of your latest release, Waterworks?
OB: Waterworks was an EP we did about 10 years ago on our way to a full-length album. At the time, we didn’t have the bandwidth to finish up the record as a full length so decided to just release it as an EP. When we sold out of copies of the release last year we thought it might be interesting to re-release it with some additional tracks that didn’t make the original release. So we went back and finished them up and included some of them on the latest release. Another big thing is putting this one on vinyl. It was wonderful to work with our partner label, Shelflife, to release our 2013 record, Ultramarine, on vinyl, so we asked them if they’d work with us on this one too.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to on your upcoming fall tour?
OB: I love traveling with the guys in the band, and playing the shows without all the fuss and production of the big tours we used to do. We have a nice, manageable set of dates, in great cities and venues. And of course, it is fun to play the music for people who want to hear it.

OCCG: How did it for you guys when you found out that the video for “Sublime” became an MTV favorite?
OB: By the time Sublime came out on MTV, we’d already had quite a few videos on MTV and did some “live” performances, so in one way, it wasn’t a big jolt. But it was I think the first time we ever had a video in MTV’s normal/heavy rotation, and that was really helpful. It reached a lot of people in the mainstream who’d never heard of us. The coolest thing about the Sublime video was getting to spend a mid-summer’s week in the sublime country of Iceland. What an incredible experience that was. You see some of that in the video.

OCCG: What are you most looking forward to your show at The Troubadour in LA on September 6?
OB: Playing LA has always been one of the highlights of our tours. We know so many wonderful people there, and our fans in Southern California are just great. We played the Troubadour in 2004 when we released the Waterworks EP, so it will be great to go back there for the release of the Waterworks LP.

OCCG: What’s next on your agenda in terms of your career?
OB: I am working on 2 side projects at the moment with some friends, which should be out within the next year. And The Ocean Blue has started work on a new full-length record. We don’t want to take another 10 years on this one!