LA Band The Knitts Are Ones To Follow


THE KNITTS play The Hi Hat Feb. 15 photo: Hadas

The Knitts are a tightly-woven band of three brothers and two of their childhood buds. Their music, oscillating between genres like garage-rock and post-punk, with influences from Blur to Sabbath and beyond, is less close-knit, but just as wonderful. Catch them at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles on Feb. 15.

With a new EP, Simple Folk due out this week, and a full album later in the year, The Knitts are in the midst of a magical time for any band, a metastasis where excitement and exuberant innocence are still mostly intact. This was frontman Justin Volkens’ first phone-interview, not apparent in his thoughtful answers, but in his easy laugh, palpable passion for all things music, and a doting love for his band. It’s this essence The Knitts wanted to capture on record before they lose it.

“The album is mostly songs we wrote about four or five years ago. We have at least enough material to fill four records, but this is the one we really want out. I think you have to maintain an adolescence. That learning curve. Writing music without it being a job yet. There’s an innocence to it from when nobody else was involved.

“We didn’t want any songs to fall under the radar because we know they’re good and people do enjoy them. Even though we’re sick of playing them live already [laughs], we always try and remember that when we first wrote it, how good did we think that song was? And the album speaks to that. I mean, you have someone like Lorde who wrote an album where she’s talking about not knowing what a diamond looks like, and now she has to write a follow up record? What the hell is that going to be about?!”

Do they fit neatly in a genre-descriptive box? No. Have people asked them to change their name (which, across the Atlantic means head-lice)? Yes. At any point in the near future are they willing to kowtow to the big bad music suits? Definitely not.

“The more attention you get, the more people are invested and feel sort of entitled to the process. When someone comes in with three years of us already working the circuit and tries to get us to change things, it’s like, ‘No. This is the identity.’

“I’ve seen a lot of bands change their name. All of a sudden, the venues they want to play don’t remember who they are. Our name is fitting for us. My brother Charlie worked at The Knitting Factory for years before it closed down. We were the kids who hung out there, so The Knitts, it sort of stuck. Not everybody can start off as Mookie Blaylock and still get to turn into Pearl Jam.”

The band intrinsically has the mentality of the San Fernando Valley that bred them. Fittingly, The Knitts have created a place in the LA music scene as unique as their homebase. Their mercurial music says, “this is who we are, this is what we do, if the rest of you guys don’t like it, we’re here anyways.”

“We all grew up listening to ska and punk, you know that San Fernando Valley scene, but we also each come from different genres of rock music. There’s metal fans between Charlie and Brandon, Victor is really old-school 70’s rock like Zeppelin, Sabbath, so it’s a vast array where each of us sort of found our footing and we all bring different styles to the band.

“We try to approach each song in a different format or structure. It’s frowned upon by most record execs. We don’t do the typical verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. It has to come organically. You try and allow the song to write itself, and if it doesn’t repeat that way, then so be it.”

This diversity keeps their music fresh, and is a testament to their studiousness. The Brit-rock slink of “Knives” sounds like it’s coming from a totally different band than the sunny fun of “Vamanos Mexico.”

“We’re music fans, we’re not just rock fans per se. I’ll listen to a hip-hop track and be like, ‘Ooh I like that structure,’ and I’ll try and incorporate that into what we’re doing. I just started listening to Os Mutantes, the Brazilian garage-rock band, and it’s like, ‘Oh dang! This is fantastic.’ We sort of study music as well as write it. We like to learn from it.”

This musical mixed bag can make live shows an interesting dilemma, but again, Volkens looks to the greats.

“The trickiest part for us about not really nailing down a genre is developing the set. Every now and then I like to watch Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars, just to see how he (David Bowie) turns it into a performance instead of just a show. He can breakdown in the middle of the set and play “My Death” and then do like, a rock ’n roll instrumental next, so I’m looking to see, how is that so easily transitioned? We look at each show as a journey, and who wants to come along with it?”

As far as “making it” Volkens remains charmingly optimistic, citing LA as a land of competition, but also vast opportunity.

“There’s the negative part where there’s so many bands and it’s hard to get booked a certain night because there’s just no openings. But there’s also no shortage of people you could meet. You could meet anybody at any venue.

“We play The Sugar Mill in Reseda all the time. That’s like a Dave Grohl hotspot and Tenacious D warms up their set over there before they go out on tour.

“We always made sure to take any offer, even if that meant upsetting other venues. I still don’t think we’re allowed at The Troubadour because I think we owe them $800. They’re like, ‘Hey, sell these presale tickets’. So, we took ‘em and gave them all out for free [laughs].”

How very rock-n-roll.

The Knitts’ sophomore EP, Simple Folk arrives on store shelves on February 12 via Knitting Factory Records.

The Knitts Official | Facebook | Twitter

Buzz Band: Phantoms Amongst The Ruin


PHANTOMS AMONGST THE RUIN play Clash City Station Jan. 7 and Bridgetown DIY Feb. 3

Phantoms Amongst the Ruin is a local Orange County band that prides itself in being macabre. Their scare-filled gimmick and horror-based music can be experienced at the Clash City Station in Riverside Jan. 7 followed by an appearance at the Bridgetown DIY in La Palma Feb. 3.

The six-piece group prefers to be known by their stage names: Dimitri “Demon” Phantom (Guitarist/ Backing Vocals), Kreepy Phantom (Lead Vocals), Phantom Zero (Co Vocalist), Blitz Phantom (Lead Guitarist), Crimson Panic (Drums) and Phantom Panic (Bass).

“My most recent project was a band called Exordiom and things ended with them really badly,” Dimitri explained.” So, I decided to take some time off and write a good chunk of material.”

It was during this time that Dimitri produced nearly an album’s worth of material and decided to form Phantoms Amongst the Ruin: a name derived from the band’s love of graphic novels.

“Demon pulled it from one of our favorite comic books, ‘The Umbrella Academy’,” Kreepy Phantom acknowledged. “We were fans of the comic separately years before we started working together in the band. It felt like destiny.”

The group’s love of horror films and grim artwork such as that produced by H.R. Giger are credited for both the band’s gimmick along with their music. Musically they credit performers which include other horror-themed bands such as Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and the Misfits.

Dimitri also credits bands in the local scene too for helping shape his group.

“I continued to be inspired by my friends in the local scene. Bands like Our Frankenstein, The Culling, AKASHA, and In Urgency, to name a few.”

But each band member is allowed to bring whatever influences they feel to improve their group.

“We all bring our own artistic influences to the table. I personally pull a lot of inspiration from Slipknot,” says Phantom Zero. “This caters towards the mask I wear, and my stage name.”

Musically the band plays what it calls “gothic horror core” and is a unique amalgamation innovated by Dmitri but whom the other band members have helped contribute to.

“My initial vision was to take dead genres that I feel were underappreciated like horror punk and modernize them by mixing them with more relevant genres like hard core, death core, a little goth influence as well as a metal attitude.”

The band places a tremendous amount of devotion in ensuring all of their live shows are entertaining to concertgoers.

“We always do our best to keep things energetic and creepy. I want nothing more than to see people feel the music, move, forget about your real life, become the monster you have inside and have the time of your life.”

This effort sometimes pays off in memorable moments according to Phantom Zero.

“During this show, Phantoms Amongst the Ruin played as a two-piece (Dimitri and Kreepy). They played their cover of “I Kissed a Girl” and got the entire crowd to sing along. I must say, that was a pretty memorable experience.”

Their popularity is evidenced by the notable venues they’ve played such as Chain Reaction in Anaheim that Dimitri notes has marked two memorable performances for them.

“We have had our best show and our worst show there. The people, as well as the venue, are too kind and they really go out there and appreciate us and for that I love the place.”

Live performances have been the main focus of the band. However the band has yet to acquire a recording label and isn’t shy in admitting they have very few recordings released.

“We have some live tracks, some instrumental tracks, an acoustic session, a practice session, as well as a teaser spread over the platforms Facebook, YouTube, and Soundcloud,” says Kreepy.

But with the band’s reformation has come a new determination to make up for lost time in releasing new material following their upcoming Feb. 3 performance.

“We plan on recording our first EP, filming a music video, and much more,” says Phantom Zero.

Beyond that, Kreepy says that the band intends to continue improving and entertaining concertgoers.

“We are planning on getting better, for us, and most importantly for our Fan-toms. We love nothing more than seeing the sweat drenched and smiling faces at the end of our shows.”

Year of the Dragon Brings Their Full Force Sound To Hi-Fi Rockfest


YEAR OF THE DRAGON play Hi-Fi Rockfest Sep. 26

Hitting the stage for the first Hi-Fi Rockfest in Long Beach is Year of the Dragon. The festival will take place at the Queen Mary Sep. 26.

“We’re most excited to be alive and kicking!” lead singer Dirty Walt said. “We are really excited to check out the great lineup with acts like the Dead Kennedys, Naked Raygun, Suicidal Tendencies and of course, Richie Ramone.”

Year of the Dragon made their appearance in the music scene in 2012, which also happened to be a Year of the Dragon. Coincidentally enough, they established their name due to two of the members also being born in a Dragon year.

“We try to keep our music as powerful and aggressive as we can, as a dragon would,” Walt said. “We also want to burn someone’s face off with our music.”

Since starting the band, Year of the Dragon has overcome their fair share of obstacles.

“The biggest obstacle with this band is that we all live in different places so getting together to practice is always a challenge,” Walt explained. “But, we get musically better everyday. We also have really good chemistry, and we have done quite a bit of writing together, so we always look forward to making more music together.”

Being in the music industry isn’t exactly the easiest, but Year of the Dragon has managed to find the motivation to keep them going.

“Seeing the guys in the room, I can feel the talent, inspiration and influence,” drummer Kerim Imes said. “Now is our chance to let all of that out. I’m excited when Walt comes up with something and as a band we do something special with it.”

According to the band, we can expect a lot of energy from their live show. Walt describes the band in three words as “red hot fire” and Kerim as “blunt force karma”. This is exactly what they want you to feel from their performance.

“It’s the legacy of the rock-n-roll business that keeps me going,” Walt said.

Local Buzz Band The Workday Release Play Troubadour


THE WORKDAY RELEASE play the Troubadour Sep. 4

Love guru musician David Ottestad has found his niche with his solo project, The Workday Release. As an alternative pop singer/songwriter, Ottestad has created a sound entirely his own, with beautiful acoustic melodies and an array of personal lyrics (often about love). As part of his current tour, following the release of 2015’s City Lights EP, The Workday Release will hit the Troubadour on Sep. 4.

His break into the music industry came when he released his hit “Love in a Box” from his album, To the Beginning. This acoustic gem is a collection of Ottestad’s breathy lyrics, and simplistic, catchy guitar riffs.

“My first record is all over the place if you listen to it,” he said. “Every song is a different style because I didn’t know what I wanted it to sound like. Then I had a love song called ‘Love in a Box’ that kind of took off on YouTube and Pandora. That gave me momentum with an audience.”

Breaking away from the love song quota, the latest EP reveals his transformation from a young, musically uncertain 18-year-old, to a strong musician with deep lyrics. The last track, “The Other Side” is the final mark of Ottestad’s success.

“I feel like it sums up seven years of doing music,” Ottestad said. “From being a kid who’s just a dreamer who wants to pursue music and become a rockstar, whatever that means, and then going through the reality of what that takes.”

Love song or not, Ottestad has a confidence about him that makes all of his songs, even the first releases he found so unorganized, to be something penned from a musical veteran.

“The Workday Release has been my baby since I was 18, since I started it alone,” he said. “I like to be very detail-oriented. I’m a songwriter, that’s what I am, and what I do.”

Baby In Vain Take On The Echo


BABY IN VAIN play The Echo Aug. 11 photo: James Christopher

It’s been a rather exciting year for the members of Baby in Vain, the Danish band comprised of Benedicte Pierleoni (drums), Lola Hammerich (guitar / vocals) and Andrea Thuesen (guitar / vocals). First, their heavy as lead, gain saturated guitar and melodic melancholy harmonies had them in the studio recording their debut full-length album. Then their blues-rooted, sludgy sound earned the trio a second invite to play a series of cross-country shows with critically adored band, The Kills. The two-week tour will culminate with Baby in Vain headlining their own crowd-worthy gig at The Echo in Los Angeles on Aug. 11.

En route to their next stop in Cincinnati, Ohio, just a short three-day drive from LA in a crammed SUV, Hammerich explains how the second tour with The Kills came about; “We played four shows with them last October. The first time we somehow came into the pile of bands that they could choose from, and they chose us .So they just invited us to come again because I think they liked us, ha-ha!”

With the young median age of 20 years old, the ladies of Baby In Vain are making a name for themselves, and picking up momentum with their reinvigorated take on 90’s stoner rock and grunge, a genre normally dominated by the middle-aged men of yore. They may be a welcomed addition to the reemergence of noise rock that’s found its home in the LA music scene, but in Copenhagen the group remains a musical outlier.

“There’s a lot of different stuff, we’re not really a part of anything,” Hammerich said. “We have some friends who play, but it’s not like a scene. There’s a lot of hip-hop and a lot of R&B, Danish R&B kind of thing. And then there’s a lot of electronic. There’s a lot of rock, but not the kind of rock that we play, it’s more like punk.”

Inspired by albums from artists like Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, Baby in Vain found their sound after their formation in 2010, and evolved to become the enigma of the Danish music scene that they are today. Tunes like 2012’s “Sweetheart Dreams” drip with dangerously ominous guitar riffs. Slow and steady vocals float atop like witches singing while stirring a black cauldron’s thick brew. The effect is hypnotic, to say the least.

Though heavy sounds permeate the group’s performances, their music tastes outside of the band remain eclectic, even lighthearted.

“We just listened to Neil Young and I wanted to find this song ‘Traveling Soldier’ by the Dixie Chicks, but I don’t have it,” Hammerich said when asked about their music choices on the road. “I want to listen to it. If I had it, it would have been the first song we put on because it seems perfect for this desert drive.”

Like their taste in road trip playlists, the band’s character is not defined by their heavy recordings either. Though in music videos and performances they can present a mean mug and sinister glare, it is only one dimension of their image. In reality, though serious about their music, they are three friends enjoying the opportunity of touring and playing together with goofy moments and bizarre anecdotes following their every move.

“We kind of just try to have fun, but I mean we’re also aggressive on stage,” Hammerich said. “It’s not like we put on some character for the stage. I just think it’s more interesting to make music that’s not, you know, just all happy. That’s at least the music I listen to myself, but that’s only one part of who we are as people. So we can have a laugh even though our music is serious, but also our music can be humorous. It’s not all dark.”

With new songs to be released on their upcoming album, Baby in Vain continues to see their sound evolve and mature. “Old recordings, I can’t stand,” Hammerich said. “Like the old releases of ours I never listen to because I don’t think it’s good enough. But the new stuff we’re doing is a lot better.

“It’ll be our first full-length. It was the first time we’ve had more than five days in the studio! So we’ve taken our time with making it right and also for the first time we are working with a producer who we feel is taking songs where they are supposed to go.”

As with most artists, Baby in Vain can be their own harshest critic, but if past singles are any indication of what is to come with their 2015 album, listeners are in for a treat…and hopefully another (longer) U.S. tour.

Evil Maria Gives LA A Taste Of Dark Indie Pop/Rock

Evil Maria

EVIL MARIA play International Pop Overthrow Festival at Fais Do Do on Jul 31

Local LA Band Evil Maria brings you the dark side of Indie/Pop. With their spellbinding vocals, mesmerizing guitars, synth pop keyboard, solid bass and killer drums, Evil Maria is sure to leave your ears pleased. They are set to hit the stage at Fais Do Do on Jul. 31 for the annual International Pop Overthrow (IPO) Music Festival.

IPO Festival features over 180 of the best pop bands around the world in 16 different cities. Evil Maria’s line-up consist of Evren Göknar (vocals / guitar), Mike Avenaim (drums), Zach Ingram (bass) and Kevin Roberts (keyboard / backing vocals).

Evil Maria stemmed from the solo career of frontman Evren Göknar, who released two solo albums in 1998 and 2000.

“Its easier to get people more interested in what you are doing when you already have an established sound, that’s how I found my band. You start jamming with people and you can create something cool,” Göknar said.

Göknar’s Turkish roots are captured in the Evil Maria sound and reflect in his writing as well. “It’s fun to find yourself writing in more chromatic tones from the Turkish cultures,” he said. “I like to write songs that engage people and paints a picture and adds emotion — for me a lot of that emotion and imagining comes from my culture. A good example is our song “Along the Way,” we translated that into Turkish.”

Evil Maria currently has two music videos in which you can capture their sense of dark humor. Göknar tells us a bit more about how artistic he got with Evil Maria’s Rabbit Run video. “The idea behind Rabbit Run was creating a scenario where the bunny was doing things he normally wouldn’t. He was drinking, he was driving, he wasn’t really present or involved. We have a perception of how we think a bunny should actually act. That all gets taken away. There was a lot of symbolism in it.”

Check out the video here:

Local L.A. Band Some Type Of Stereo Hits The Road


SOME TYPE OF STEREO hit the road

Local rockers Some Type of Stereo are heading out for their summer tour, hitting nine states that include Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and North Carolina, where they will reside to record an album for two weeks before heading back to play in California.

Some Type of Stereo is an L.A.-based band composed of John Garside (bass), Evan Matthews (guitar), Michael Szymczyk (drums) and Marco Toledo (vocals). The band plays a mixture of rock, funk, Latin and R&B with just enough flavor for everyone to enjoy. They track all their music live and on tape so they have to be well prepared before they head into the studio.

“We hope this tour gives us more experience and practice before we go to cut the full-length album,” Toledo said.

According to the band, they all play a role in the creation of the eclectic sound.

“The cool thing about this band is that we all take part in helping develop a song,” drummer Syzmczyk said. “A lot of us are multi-instrumentalists so we switch to different instruments sometimes.”

Some Type of Stereo seems to be keen on the fact that music is a universal language and can bring people together.

“We know we aren’t going to please everyone, but it’s about a common connection that people share with the music,” Garside said.

Aside from music, the band has different hobbies that they enjoy, such as sports, reading, being environmentalists and cooking Peruvian Dishes. Just ask Marco when he is available to make you dinner.

As for Matthews, he enjoys breaking couches — the quiet ones are usually the most trouble!

Be sure to catch Some Type of Stereo in a city near you. For a list of dates, music, videos and to connect with them on social media go to:

Talk In Tongues Fantasy Life Continues With 3 So Cal Shows

Talk In Tongues

TALK IN TONGUES play Soda Bar Apr 30, Bootleg May 1, and Wayfarer May 2.

Talk In Tongues circles through So Cal in the midst of a massive U.S. tour, stopping at Soda Bar on Apr. 30, Bootleg on May 1 and Wayfarer on May 2 then the tour will travel north.

“We just got the van packed and we’re about to head off right now,” guitarist/singer Garrett Zeile said. “Cleveland is our first stop. We’ve never been to Cleveland before but I’m sure they all rock out there.”

The Los Angeles group hasn’t been together very long but have managed to play a good amount of live shows.

“We’re still a young band so we’ve played maybe 50 shows at most,” Zeile said. “I’ve loved playing live. Especially when you have a record that you’ve just worked on, it’s fun to figure out how to play it live.

“When you’re playing in front of a crowd it’s kind of a good confirmation of whether you’re doing it right. Or like, some songs don’t work live and sometimes you’re surprised at what works live.”

The quartet’s debut album, “Alone With A Friend”, on Fairfax Recordings was produced by Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids, Edward Sharpe) and comes out May 19.

Zeile and the rest of the band, Waylon Rector (bass/vocals), McCoy Kirgo (guitar/vocals), Bryan De Leon (drums), and Cassandra Jensen (Keyboards), were all acquaintances but were aware of each other’s bands.

“We knew everyone was a really good player and did cool stuff,” Zeile mentioned. “So when we joined we just had this sort of mutual admiration for each other and the friendship came afterwards.”

Talk In Tongues recorded their first single “Still Don’t Seem To Care,” in Zeile’s home using the gear that he had over the course of a week or two. Once they put it out, they started talking to Fairfax Recordings.

“It’s funny because we had planned to make this EP, well, it’s not really an EP, but just start making really good recordings and putting stuff online,” Zeile explained. “We were all like, ‘you know, maybe in two years somebody will catch on or something’. And then it turned out like a week and a half later we were all ready getting hit up. We made up our minds that we wanted to go with Fairfax.

“Then all of a sudden we had access to Fairfax Studios which took over Sound City Studios about a year or two ago. The old Sound City, the classic recording studio where “Rumors” and “Nevermind” were made.

“It became really different, and fun, and interesting. It was also good hanging there because some of the pressure was taken off us and we were working with an awesome engineer.

“I think when you make an album if anyone tells you they made something they set out to do they’re probably lying because there’s just so much stuff that comes up in the middle where directions change and you have new ideas. You know we set out to do something and I think what we ended up with was as good or better than what we set out to do.

“It started to feel like we were in Abbey Road or something. We had the nicest studio available to us and we could treat it like it was our own. It was fantasy life!”

Talk In Tongues

TALK IN TONGUES play Soda Bar Apr 30, Bootleg May 1, and Wayfarer May 2.

O.C.’s Favorite New Wave Band Take Red Leather To The Viper Room In L.A. Apr. 2

Flashback Heart Attack

FLASHBACK HEART ATTACK Play The Viper Room April 2.

Flashback Heart Attack is the red-leather-wearing ‘80s new wave band that has been energizing crowds across Orange County for the last five years. Starting at the beginning of March 2015, the hard-hitting cover band from the O.C. started expanding its audience into L.A., with shows at the legendary Viper Room.

Notable not only for their high-energy and spot-on renditions of the biggest hits of the ‘80s, the band has been able to capture a cult following. Their regular performances at local clubs are always packed wall-to-wall. The fun loving bunch has also scored gigs like Tre Cool’s wedding and the Green Day holiday party, performing with Billie Joe Armstrong.

As a backing band they’ve played with Terri Nunn from Berlin, A Flock of Seagulls, Bow Wow Wow, Missing Persons, Dramarama, Linda Perry, Tommy Tutone, Naked Eyes – a “who’s who” of ‘80s artists. They also come with an endorsement from Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has personally recommended the band for gigs.

“It’s a really cool thing that these guys are interested in us,” says Don Bronze – whose real name is Jason, “these are musicians that have been around the world and seen a lot, so we appreciate their support.” The band’s appeal reaches both the casual fan of ‘80s pop and rock, as well as the actual ‘80s rockers whose songs they cover.

Special guest appearances are part of the norm for the men in red. And they’ve brought this element of their performance with them to the Viper Room residency. Their first gig at the beginning of March was hosted by famed radio DJ Richard Blade, known for his flashback programs on stations like KROQ. John Easdale from Dramarama sat in and sang his timeless rock hit “Anything Anything” with the band at their second Viper Room gig. You never really know who will show up at a Flashback Heart Attack gig, and that’s part of the fun.

As for branching out of Orange County and hitting the Sunset Strip, Flashback is bringing some new elements to the stage. From the potential for special guest-star appearances, to a selection of the more edgy rock anthems of the ‘80s, the band is gearing their performance for an L.A. audience.

“We’re going to play all of the big new wave hits that everyone wants to hear, but we’re going to throw in that L.A. wrinkle. We’re going to play songs from some of the early L.A. bands that got their start playing the Viper Room – a lot of bands came through there and we’re going to pay homage to that,” says Don Bronze, “We’re also going to play more of the metal stuff since it’s the Sunset Strip. We’re going to play some Motley Crue, Whitesnake and AC/DC, so the show will have a little more of a rough edge to it.”

Why has the band just now decided to make a move into the L.A. market? Though they have played many private and corporate gigs around L.A., they haven’t really done many club gigs. Don Bronze explains, “We wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing and getting all the bugs worked out while playing in Orange County. We wanted to do something at the Viper Room about two years ago, but we finally felt the time was right to get up there and play.”

Though Flashback Heart Attack is just now opening the door to the behemoth that is L.A., they actually have a lot of experience playing the region. It goes back to the time before they were an unabashed ‘80s cover band in red leather.

It all started sometime between 2007 and 2008 with a band called The Damn Automatics. An original alternative/punk/rock band formed by Jason (Don Bronze) and a couple members of what is now Flashback Heart Attack. “We put some songs together and did the whole thing up in L.A. and were courted by all the record labels,” says Jason.

“They [record labels] loved the songs – a lot of the songs are on movie soundtracks and stuff like that to this day. Just this last football season, one of our songs “Loser” was picked up by the NFL Network and ran the whole season,” says Jason of their original work. “It’s cool that our original music still has legs, but the industry being what it is now, we decided to go our own way and do it ourselves. So we decided to do the cover band thing and use it as a Trojan Horse to get attention.”

As to why the band stopped being The Damn Automatics and became Flashback Heart Attack, “It was probably because we were at a crossroads with the music industry,” says Jason, “If you didn’t have the right amount of plays on Myspace they [industry execs] thought differently of you. People in the industry were telling us how much they loved our songs, but no one was taking chances. That’s around the same time I had the idea of the red leather suits. That’s how we transitioned.”

You have to credit the guys for taking a creative approach to making it in today’s turbulent music industry. And it seems to be working given the crowds they attract, the private events they book and the rock ‘n roll top brass who join in the fun.

Flashback Heart Attack still has big goals as they continue to move forward in 2015. “We’re just going to keep going and doing our corporate gigs and private parties and club gigs, and eventually we’re looking to sneak our original stuff back in there. When that time comes we’ll have our package put together, where we’ve been able to bring a lot of people out to our shows and play good music, but also have the originals up our sleeve.”

Check out Flashback Heart Attack at the Viper Room Thurs., March 26 to catch all the ‘80s rock and new wave hits you love. You never know who will show up.

Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Viper Room is located at: 8852 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

To find out more and stay up to date, visit

David Rosales Of David & Olivia Takes New Solo EP On Tour

David Rosales

David Rosales plays Saint Rocke Oct. 8
Photo by: Dori Savino Lawrence

Singer-songwriter David Rosales, who is also known for being half of popular local Americana duo David and Olivia, will be playing his solo music with his own band at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach Oct. 8 opening for Dustbowl Revival.

Rosales is the youngest of eight children and recalls music always being played around his home from his father’s love of big band era hits, his mom’s love of country radio and his older siblings blasting rock when their friends were around. After college, he was the lead singer of an LA hard rock band called Silent Treatment, which came to end at the same time the band members were turning 30.

“When I was in Silent Treatment, I was writing songs about death, sex, partying and girls cause that is what you write about in your 20s,” explains Rosales. “But when the band broke up I couldn’t stop writing music, it was just about more mature topics like love and emotions I was not comfortable with before. So once I had some of these new songs, I went into the studio to record them and see where they would go.”

Fall seems to be Rosales’ creative season when he holes himself up at home in Huntington Beach, CA with his wife, Kendra, two year old daughter Amelie, a pen, notebook, and his guitar. After a month of writing and organizing, Rosales comes up for air and begins fine-tuning the songs by playing them in a live audience setting.

“I find that I get really creative and catch a writing bug around the Fall,” explains Rosales, “I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s that I was born around that time, but I just get into this writing groove and settle in with a good batch of songs.”

Rosales spent most of 2013 promoting David and Olivia’s EP, On the Sea, and last year he released his first solo recording, Smile.

“I had seen a girl at a bar in LA and I asked her to play on a few songs on my first solo album, her name was Olivia,” Rosales remarks. “I knew she was the voice I was looking for on one song I had written so I started bringing her along to do gigs and people really responded well to us together.

“I always start out writing songs for the duet, but once I had a few songs written I felt they were better suited for a solo album so I told Olivia I was going to keep the songs for my solo project went into the studio to record my second solo album.”

Rosales’ sophomore solo album was recorded with the help of Night Owl Recorders’ producing partners, musicians and friends, Matt Grundy & Paul Clark (Donavon Frankenreiter). This new EP begins with the first single, “Too Young to Know Better.” With a serene, dream-folk vibe and a touch of country, the track swings into the EP’s up-tempo second single “Slice of Heaven,” featuring an infectious, fun-loving pop hook.

“I write hard rock songs, punk songs, I love song writing,” Rosales says. “My solo works are 100 percent completely me and there are so many facets of me that on this album I have blues songs, rock songs, country tunes, folky tunes. This seven song EP spans a whole sonic spectrum of music and I am really proud of that.”

Rosales just completed a tour playing several shows throughout California, including a special charity benefit with Sea Wolf. After touring through his home state, Rosales will celebrate the official release date of Along The Way with a featured North By North East (NXNE) showcase and Northeastern tour starting in Toronto then Montreal, Quebec and ending in Philadelphia.

“This is my first time on Canadian soil for NXNE, and it is just me and a guitar promoting the new solo album,” said Rosales. “This trip gives my wife and daughter an opportunity to join me on tour, which I am also really excited about. Otherwise I would be sitting alone drinking at a bar before and after my shows.”

For updates on Rosales’ tour or to purchase any of his solo or duo releases visit his website at