Thursday, February 25, 2021

DJ Interviews: Miki Bowles

Hello there guys DJ Dizzy here & this is my interview with singer Miki Bowles, Enjoy!

How'd you get started in music? 
I started writing lyrics when i was in my early teens, it helped deal with leaving home young. Music was my escape from feeling lonely. I started a course to learn the basics in Music Tech when i was 17 after completing the Prince's Trust course. Had some really inspiring mentors when it came to music.
Life took over and writing music just became a hobby. When my Mum got cancer in Jan 2020, it hit me hard so i packed in job as a stock controller and decided to do what i love, Now taking my HNC Lv4 in Music Tech.  

Who are your inspirations or influences? 
Eminem obviously had a huge impact on my musical influence growing up, was always looking out for his next song. Relatable, serious, conscious and fun.  There's so many people that inspire me now, every time i go online i hear so much amazing music from unsigned independent artists,  These artists are some of the most influential to me in my network 
Courtney Bowles, MartynB, Seany Collins and Nick Tara. 

What advice would offer aspiring performers? 
Believe in yourself, be yourself and work hard.  

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers? 
There's so many rappers and singers in the world. I'm not set out to be the best, but i push myself to be the best ME possible, My style, flow and content is authentic to how I'm feeling and what I've been through, I've got a passion for songwriting and story telling, I love a banging beat and I'm really enjoy giving back some raw energy after all the time i spent not believe in myself.  

Any new gigs or albums in the future?
I've got two albums to release over Feb/March 2021
A Hip Hop/Rap album and a high energy Club Mix album rammed with feel good vibes, 

Special thanks to them on this interview so until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

DJ Interviews: Rob D

Hey their guys, DJ Dizzy here & Here's my interview with Rob D so give a listen & enjoy!

 How'd I get started in music?

My first foray into music was at high school, I wanted to play saxophone, the teacher said I should learn Clarinet 1st as its similar fingering to the saxophone, so I tried clarinet for a year & then moved onto saxophone, by which time I had become bored playing & much preferred sports .My older bro at the time had asked to learn piano, folks bought a piano, he had 3 lessons & gave up, but they loved the piano, so it was kept at the house evermore. Later on, I became friends with a lad whilst we taught martial arts, he also played guitar & I decided I wanted to get into music. My folks were away for the weekend & I phoned around the local studio's asking if I could give any of their band's lyrics that I had written (I hadn't actually written any at the time, I was just trying to find a way in). One of the studio owners called my bluff & asked me to come round the next day, so I had to then write 12 lyrics & sing them directly into a stereo mic onto cassette, no instruments just me singing. I managed to do it & listened back, thinking they sounded ok & took the cassette round to the studio the day after. The studio owner said they had potential but instead of passing them onto a band, I should really go to college to do music & record them myself, I took his advice & phoned the local college & applied for the music course -having no real background in music- I looked thru my mums catalogues that summer & saw a guitar I liked, bought it, it arrived the day of the audition, so I took it with me & told the music teachers it was brand new, so didn't want to play it. The singing teacher said I had to sing acapella to him, so I did & then both teachers said if i was committed to following the course all the way they'd accept me onto the course. I started that September.

I seemed to have a knack for lyric writing & reading/writing music which many of my piers found hard, they could all play by ear whichever song they heard pretty much off first listening, I helped them with lyrics & reading/writing music & they showed me a few things on guitar. When i went home after college I transposed the guitar parts I was learning, onto piano & pretty much taught myself how to play guitar & piano. After a year at college, we were all applying for university courses & offered a place dependant on results, I gained a merit -kinda like a B- & got accepted to the university course for that October, as much a surprise to me as my family & friends & I carried on to gain a degree in music. 

Who are your inspirations or influences?

I'd always listened to a big variety of styles/genres whilst growing up -part of the reason I wanted to learn saxophone when I was young was because of the Robert Palmer song with the girls playing saxophone in the video-. My folks listened to everything from Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel to Eric Clapton & Van Morrison, I got them into Dire Straits, Queen, Gomez & few others with some of the singles & albums I bought.
When I finally got into music seriously, I had this soundtrack from growing up so I started chatting with friends of the courses I was on & found a lot of music that wasn't in the charts in the UK & it opened a whole new area for me, bands like Counting Crows, Matchbox 20, Live & heavy metal that I'd never really listened to before. 
I started buying all sorts of music & learning how to write songs/lyrics & hone my craft, reading through lyrics of artists/bands I was into. I'd say my inspirations & influences range from Incubus, Counting Crows, Bjork, Damien Rice, Goo Goo Dolls, Ben Howard, Alanis Morissette, Portishead, UNKLE, Jack White, Black Keys, Korn, Tan Dun to name a few. 
The first song I learned to play on guitar was I wouldn't believe your radio by a band called Stereophonics, first song I learned to play on piano was ColorBlind by Counting Crows, so depending what I'm writing on piano/guitar & also if I'm writing on my own as a solo player or when I was in one of the bands, that would also have influence on what I was writing. Lyrics always seemed to come first though.
With regards other inspirations & influences, I love the movies & also artwork so write songs & lyrics from watching films or looking at paintings or photography, they really help you to get a different perspective on things & life in general. Soundtracks & scores can send you off into a totally different headspace when writing songs, as can looking at paintings & photography, so I'd say they are as influential when it comes to writing songs as listening to other artists.

What advice would I offer aspiring performers?

I'd say the best thing to do before getting out & performing would be to get into the practice of writing songs -either music or lyrics, or both- once you feel comfortable playing them, then performing them will be easy
If you're getting into a band, write & rehearse before you go out to play. If you're going it solo, look for open mic nights to start in as they have up & coming musicians at all levels who are very supportive of performers just starting out. 
From the outset I wrote original songs & although I picked up a couple of cover songs just to try out or give me ideas for my own songs, I played my own material 95% of the time with a cover thrown in very occasionally. It would seem that most bands/soloists learn cover songs first to play, which can help gauge the audience you're playing to but also show your own vibe when it comes to what they can expect from your original songs too.
If you're going to a music venue & there is an audience there, they are in there to listen to music, so don't be nervous playing to them, you all love music. 

How do you set yourself apart from other bands or singers?

As mentioned before, I only play original songs -always felt that when listening to songs to cover, the original artist would always be the best, so I never really played cover versions- I've written probably over 2000 lyrics & put music to about 500. I think from starting with the lyric, I felt if it was strong enough to stand alone without music, adding music to it would make it even stronger, so always try to start from this point (although some of the lyrics, at least the earlier ones used too much line rhyming for its own sake as opposed to writing a story & full song). 

Yeah, so if people come to see me play, expect original songs

Any new gigs or albums in the future?

I've been in bands that made albums but as we split up, I've not used those songs we wrote or put out the albums, as they weren't my solely own work. When the venues & other places open up, I'm hoping to get out & play more open mic nights, record some of the songs I have up on youtube professionally & put out an album or 2 for sure, maybe even work with my musician friends & get a band going again or at least record things with them.
In the meantime, there will be my demo's on youtube as & when I'm able to put more up I will do.

Special thanks to him for doing this interview, & I wish him lots of luck so until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

DJ Interviews: The One They Fear

 Hey there guys, DJ Dizzy here & here's my interview with The One They Fear. Enjoy!

How'd you get started in music?
We have been playing music since we where kids, around the age of 15ish. As a band we formed in 2013, some of our members where new to the local scene and some came from other bands like A Breath Of Mercury and A Wanted Awakening.

Who are your inspirations or influences?
We are inspired by life, if that's not to cliche to say. Our goal as song writers was to make catchy, hooky songs that would inspire people lyrically. We tend to point problems we see in society, in a way that is meant to inspire people to change. Musically we draw influence from awesome bands like Killswitch Engage, In Flames, Soilwork, and Children Of Bodom.

What advice would offer aspiring performers?
Keep at it, and never be afraid to stuff your music down the throats of the masses.  Nobody will ever be a bigger advocate for your music then you.

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers? We do what we do, we dont try to conform to whatever the scene is doing. And we write music that we would want to listen to. Hopefully our fans appreciate it.

Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Still fighting lock downs and the pandemic so no live shows for the foreseeable future. We are working on our next release, but probably still another 6mths to a year before that will come out. As for now just pushing our current EP Persevere. This is our time, our revolution. Join Us.

Special thanks to him for this interview & lots of luck on their music, So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Monday, February 22, 2021

DJ Interviews: Malicious Intent

Hey there guys its your old friend The DJ & I  had the pleasure of interviewing a band who call themselves Malicious Intent who shared their musical origins. Enjoy!


How'd you get started in music?


I started when I was really young, my mom signed me up for piano lessons and I really enjoyed that. I’ve kind of had music around me my whole life with my mom being a musical theater person growing up. I stopped piano for a while and picked up drumming and stuck with that for years, and more recently I’ve been playing guitar and bass. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by fantastic people that have helped me grow and learn how to better create, compose, mix, engineer, and do everything that I have to do for my music. About a year ago I really started to write and publish my music and ever since I’ve been improving and continuing in everything I do.


Who are your inspirations or influences?


My biggest influence is definitely Nine Inch Nails. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had that music around me with my dad playing Year Zero in the car on my way to school. I love and connect with Trent Reznor and his music in such a unique way that I feel many other fans of his music can understand. As far as the heavier, less experimental stuff I do I would say I’m influenced by the likes of Slipknot and Mick Gordon since I love the hard hitting and sometimes simple but incredibly effective riffs and beats they use.


What advice would offer aspiring performers?


I can’t say much as a performer as I have yet to perform live due to covid shutting things down. However as an artist and someone that’s had to learn how to go from unmixed noise filled garbage to clean effective impactful songs, all I can say is keep going. I’ve felt like giving up and like I wasn't improving sometimes but I just forced myself to continue even when I was down. If you love music and love making music and really want to create, then you will always find a way.


How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?


I like to think my band is unique in the fact that it’s made up of characters. At least for now while I have no band members, every instrument is played by myself and portrayed by a unique mask, costume, and personality of a character I’ve designed. They’re really only seen in music videos when I make them but I do plan for these characters to show up more and more and really have them be the image and face of Malicious Intent.


Any new gigs or albums in the future


I have a new album in progress right now with some of my most honest and open songs I’ve ever written. It doesn't have a release date or anything yet but I’ll post updates as I always do on my social media as it comes along. The new album is called “Devolution” right now which is subject to change, I would highly recommend keeping an eye out for this one.

Special thanks to them for doing this interview & I wish them lots of luck in their music. So until then I'll catch you on the Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

DJ Interviews: Gary Hunter

Hey there guys DJ Dizzy here, & I had the pleasure of interviewing a sing whose name's Gary Hunter as he shared his musical origins. (Taken from Twitter) 

How'd you get started in music?

I come from a family of musicians so I can't say I had much of a choice. Although I am not a pianist I've always had access to a piano to help me write. I found that writing music was a particular strength of mine quite early on so it's something I decided to pursue. Who are your inspirations or influences? Most of my musical influences come from film music. If I had to chose a top 5 that have inspired me through the years I'd be looking at: James Horner, Thomas Newman, Michael Nyman, Philip glass & Danny Elfman. What advice would you offer aspiring conposers? Just listen to music and try to find what inspires you. If there's a quote I'll take to my grave it's "Good composers borrow, great ones steal" (Stravinsky). I think we live in an age where it's very easy to compose a great melody and after 10 minutes realise you've accidentally re-written someone else's music. There seems to be a fear of that these days because people end up getting sued. I'm pretty sure Mozart didn't get sued after re-writing one of Hayden's Symphony's, but that's the world we live in now... How do you set yourself apart from other composers? Tough question... I don't think there's anything particularly different that I'm doing compared to anyone else however I do try to find my own timbre just for a bit of originality. Any new gigs or albums in the future? I'm currently working of a few projects, some of which are in collaboration with some great musicians. I'm hoping to release another album by the end of March 2021.

Special thanks to him for doing this interview & I wish him lots of luck in his music. So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Friday, February 19, 2021

DJ Interviews: Jim's The Man

Hey there guys, DJ Dizzy here & this is my interview with a band called Jim's The Man Enjoy!

How'd you get started in music?

I got my first guitar whan I was 13, and started playing in bars when I was 15.
Our lead singer, Grant, was 18, so he could drive at night.
We would go to the club and set up our equipment during the day,
then Grant would drive us all to and from the gig in his Buick.

Who are your inspirations or influences?

The Beatles has to be number one, but the Stones, Creedence, Tom Petty, Elvis, Chuck
Berry, Zeplin, Johnny Winter, Moody Blues, Buddy Holley, Beachboys, Youngbloods,
Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Jerry Garcia, Yardbirds, Doors, Eagles and many others!

What advice would offer aspiring performers?

The only way you will be successful and happy is if you do it for the love of the 
music. Money and Fame are rarely obtainable in this business, and even when they are, it is
often an empty reward.

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?

My band doesn't cater to the top ten. We do pure Classic Rock and Brit Pop so we are
obviously popular with the over 40 crowd, but we have a lot of support from the 20
and 30 year olds, who have never been exposed to a lot of this era of music, but
instantly enjoy it!

Any new gigs or albums in the future

Like most bands, we lost all our shows at the begining of covid. We were able to play
a show last month, but currently we have 2 members recovering from the virus.
We are hoping that 2021 will be a good year for everyone in music!

Links: Please use what you like:

Jims the Man, #JimsPromo,  Glen Fox Band,  @yesjimstheman

We have an album of our previous year, all recorded live.

videos at:

Re-mastered live music by Marky H.

Special thanks to them for doing this interview, & I wish them lots of luck in their music, so until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

DJ Interviews: Weather Advisory

Hey there guys, DJ Dizzy here & here's my interview with a band who call themselves Wather Advisory, Enjoy! 

How'd you get started in music?

Our Drummer (AKA Dad) started playing drums in a band with his father back in the 70’s.  Sarah and Sam grew up playing multiple instruments each (ranging from fiddle and tin whistle to brass, woodwinds, guitar and piano) with the family and school bands.  Our interests all collided as we became exposed to a wider range of genres.  The band originally was formed to play for local dances and at times has had other personnel but the three of us have been constant.

Who are your inspirations or influences?

We have a long list of influences, but to summarize we mostly draw from the likes of Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, AC/DC, George Thorogood, Albert Ammons, Michael Kaeshammer and Otis Spann.

What advice would offer aspiring performers?

Find a good instructor who has experience with performance.  Study your instrument, as nothing makes you more comfortable on stage as confidence in your abilities. 

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?

For us, we feel it is our combination of styles with our blues/rock and slide guitar playing paired up with Sarah’s left hand keyboard technique.  In our live performances we try to maintain a high energy level with fast paced boogie and rock songs in our set.  We feel that our first album is a unique combination of heavy slide blues, straight up rock and boogie songs with a delta styled blues tune.

Any new gigs or albums in the future?

Like many other performers, our shows are affected by the lockdowns but we do have some tentative bookings for outdoor shows in the spring and summer.  We are currently working on our second album.

Special thanks to them for doing this interview & I wish them lots of luck in their music. So until then I'll catch you on the Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

DJ Interviews: Danny Kean


Hey there one & all DJ Dizzy here & this is my interview with singer Danny Kean, enjoy!

I got started in music at the age of two when the family doctor noticed that I had large hands for my age, and suggested that my mother start me on the piano.
My father’s uncle (a noted Brooklyn Monsignor) gave me my first keyboard.
I wasn’t a great student right away.
But the music bug would get me later around 11 years old.

My main influences are Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joe Sample, Dr. John, D’ Angelo, Prince and Lucky Peterson.

I would advise other performers to study their craft as much as they can.
The minute we decide to make our respective contributions in the pantheon of music, we are asking to be compared with the greatest.
And the line between good enough and great is the hardest to cross.
We may never get across it.
But striving to do so will bring us places we may never have gone, and hopefully we will have made some people happy along the way.

I set myself apart from other bands and singers by being myself.
Even though what I do is part of a long tradition: I’m from a different time, with my own particular experiences, separate influences and ideas.
I work hard to be both true to the tradition, and to bring as much of myself into it as I possibly can.

I plan on making a band record, recording the drums and bass to tape.
I haven’t played in front of an audience in almost a year.
But I continue to do live streams on Facebook and Twitter, and occasional virtual concerts for venues when requested.

Special thanks to him for doing this interview & I wish him lots of luck in his music. So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!
But I look forward to playing live again post pandemic as there is nothing quite like it.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

DJ Interviews: GIFTSHOP

Hey there guys DJ Dizzy here & I had the pleasure of interviewing a band who call themselves GIFTSHOP as they shared their musical origins. 


We all grew up with music.   One of Meghan's fondest childhood memories is of her dad singing in the car.  Matt's father plays bass guitar and Jordan's dad is a drummer - both still performing in bands.  Damian's father was an amateur classical pianist.  Music was fun and important in everyone's home. 

Meghan Taylor, Vocalist:  Missing Persons, INXS and John Denver.  I love John Denver.  He is my favorite artist. 
Matt Santoro, Guitar: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Metallica
Damian Eckstein, Bass: The Cars, Depeche Mode and The Clash 
Jordan Kramer, Drums:  Chicago, Toto,  Led Zeppelin

Damian: Remember that it's a stage - people are watching you.  As a performing artist it's fun and important to interact with the crowd and also to interact with each other on stage.  GIFTSHOP gets a lot of energy from their audience and gives that energy right back. 
Meghan:  Have fun!  Don't be discouraged by the inevitable mishaps -  performance venues are not your living room so you have to adapt.  

We are seasoned performers.  GIFTSHOP does not put out anything that does not feel 100% GIFTSHOP which is how we get such an authentic sound and performance.  If a song doesn't feel right we don't work it to death - we table it and move on.  We know when something is ready.

We just released a new tune and video this past December: STYLISH JUNKIE.   Looking forward to our live streaming event for CultureLab Sessions, Long Island City on March 5th.  Our first LIVE gig is scheduled for September 18th at The Delancey in NYC.  Visit our website for scheduling and more info on GIFTSHOP:

Special thanks to them for doing this interview, & I wish them lots of luck in their music. So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

DJ Interviews: Twelve Years Today

Hey there everyone, DJ Dizzy here & I've had the pleasure of interviewing a band who answer to the name Tweleve Years Today as we spoke on their musical beginings.

How'd you get started in music?
JAMES: We both started in separate bands in the early/mid 2000’s. Always made music a priority in our lives growing up and knew that eventually we’d be making music in some capacity. The trick was finding like-minded people to play with. This was always a struggle. Eventually we met through mutual friends, but it took years to carve out the path that lead us to forming Twelve Years Today. But once we did, we knew this was the connection we needed, and the result is what you’re hearing today. 
Who are your inspirations or influences?
JASON: Basically the entire Nu Metal era. Bands like Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Sevendust and Slipknot. 
JAMES: Really take a lot of influence from Shaun Morgan of Seether. But equally as important have been David Draiman of Disturbed, and Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin. We’re also very influenced by Metalcore. Even though we aren’t as fast or heavy, we take a lot of elements from bands like Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive. The blend of the two genres inevitably became our sound. 

What advice would offer aspiring performers?
JASON: Do NOT quit your day job. Lol. We both still have full time jobs.
JAMES: Ya, lol, don’t get too cocky or “put the cart before the horse” as they say. Be passionate about what you do, just don’t come off as “superior” or “ungrateful”. It’s takes the support of a LOT of people to get you noticed. ALWAYS be thankful. And don’t try to be a copy of someone else. Be yourselves.  

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
JAMES: That’s a tough one. Originality is very tough these days. We just try to make the best music we can. I don’t think we’re “trendsetters” or anything, or that we work harder than anyone else. We’re just trying to put out quality music. There’s already a lot out there. We just wanna be in the conversation. 
Any new gigs or albums in the future 
JASON: BIG plans for 2021!  We’re going to release a really cool cover song in the next couple of months that we’re really excited about. Also, we have an acoustic performance set for May 1 for YouTube and Instagram, and a 4th EP planned for the end of the year. 
JAMES: Yes, we’re super excited about all those plans. We JUST released our 3rd EP In Times Of Madness on January 29, and we’re already in the advanced stages of that NEXT EP. Also, we’ll be pushing a new single soon. Debt Of Sin has been doing so well, we’d like to keep that momentum going. 

Special thanks to them for doing this interview & I wish them lots of luck in their music. So until then I'll catch you on the Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

Friday, February 12, 2021

DJ Interviews: Kwepie Doll


Hey there guys, DJ Dizzy here & although its been a while I had sat down with a singer who answers to the name of Kwepie Doll who had so much to share on their success.

1) my family always played music when I was a little kid and creativity has always been in my blood as my dad is a writer and my mum is an artist.
I first started learning guitar when I was 11. I did my first gig when I was about 12. 

2) hmmm that's hard I have a lot of them from a lot of different genres
My main one is Robert Smith from the cure 
Others include: nick drake, John martyn, Tom waits, iggy pop, Patti Smith, john Coltrane, Kim Gordon, viv alberteen, Damon Albarn and Tim Smith from cardiacs

3) stick to what you love and have a schedule for recording your music. Find what make you unique and hone it be proud of it. Turn your nervous energy live into something be it dancing or intensity while singing/playing. 

4) I use my unique view of the world as an autistic in my lyrics as i feel things very strongly and I interpret things differently. I write about animals and space a lot as it is things I'm interested in/things I understand. I'm not good at writing emotions as I don't really understand them. 

5) gigs I don't know when everything will start opening up again. I am planning on live streaming 

Album wise yes! I am working on one at the moment actually! It doesn't really have a name yet but it's a kaleidoscopic view of how I see the world. Some are happy some are sad and some are strange. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

DJ Interviews: Pandora's Bread

Hey there everyone DJ Dizzy here & this is my interview with a band who call themselves Pandora's Bread. Enjoy!

 How'd you get started in music?

I've been playing guitar since I was in middle school. My dad and brother played it, and it made sense for me to try to pick it up as well. I took a break during college where I focused on electronic composition though. I picked guitar back up and needed something to keep me playing, so I've been making video game soundtrack covers since then.

Who are your inspirations or influences?
My influences are all over the place. I didn't listen to a lot of bands my parents listened to growing up, but I did listen to a lot of music that my older brother enjoyed. Bands and artists that got me interested in guitar would be Blind Guardian, Vintersorg, various campfire bards when camping with my family, and John Petrucci. Nobuo Uematsu and his compositions for Final Fantasy 7 are what really kicked off my interest in music. 

As of right now, I just like music that's entertaining to listen to and makes me go "woah". I am currently influenced by the rowdy melodic death metal of Æther Realm, the juicy energy and expert musicianship of Polyphia, the dense electronic and metal compositions of Mick Gordon, and other VGM artists such as Darren Korb, and (still!) Nobuo Uematsu.

What advice would offer aspiring performers?
First, just put out music. It's going to sound bad at first. But you'll improve. I understand that the first step, making music, is difficult. As of right now I don't have that many listeners. But it's rewarding on its own to throw something personal out into the ether.

Second, find a community that encourages you to keep creatively engaged. It helps motivate me when I have supportive friends.

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
So far, many of my video game music covers start slow, but explode later in the song. I strive to have my compositions and arrangements tell a story through the duration of the song with emotional peaks and valleys. I'm not sure if it always gets across that way, though!

Any new gigs or albums in the future
No gigs and no album plans, but I do plan on going harder next year In general. This year was very musically involved for me and next year I want to lean into it more. I want to release more covers as singles, more interesting arrangements, and higher quality music videos. 

Special thanks to them for doing this interview & I wish them luck in their music. So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n rol!

Monday, February 8, 2021

DJ Interviews: Octavate band

Hey there guys DJ Dizzy here & this is my interview with the band Octavate.

How'd you get started in music?

 Josh: I have music in my family. My Uncle Rick Clayton was in a band called Willow, who once opened for Aerosmith/ My cousin Stephen Epstein was in a punk band while attending Harvard University and later moved to South Korea and did a documentary (now on Amazon) about Punk Rock in South Korea. 

I used to sit on the floor and play with my Legos while my mom cooked dinner every day, blasting Led Zeppelin II, III, The Doors Morrison Hotel, Hendrix Electric Ladyland, Dark Side of the Moon, The White Album... Good music was always happening in my family.

I started playing guitar in late high school, and later moved to the bass. Now I'll play anything with at least one string. I like alternate tunings, and I LOVE playing my Danelectro Baritone. It has a unique feel to it, and it creates tones and voicings that you can't get anywhere else. 

I was in a band in college that won talent shows and battle of the bands. After we graduated, our band Common Senseless used to absolutely pack a club called Bishops in "The Alley" of Boylston St., Boston every Friday night.  We had a great following, and we were getting good. We played a lot of originals, and I remember having tears stream down my face when the crowd was singing our original "Achilles" with us. There is nothing like that feeling. Nothing.

Shawn: My parents told me that I’d pull the pots and pans out of the cabinets as a toddler, and set them up like a drum set.  Then band on them with wooden spoons. They got me a kids drum set when I was 6. I started lessons in 5th grade, and have never stopped. 

In high school, I started a rock band, with friends. We tried singers, and couldn’t find the right fit.  So the rhythm guitar player and I took responsibilities of co-lead singing, me on the drums and singing. I’ve been singing ever since. Many years into my singing, I started taking vocal lessons to help me become the best I can be, and help me open new avenues of singing that I never considered.

I started to explore electronic drums and guitar in college, to create the music for a rap group I helped create. Since then, I got into a little piano, and some music recording.

Who are your inspirations or influences?

Josh: The Beatles, Led Zep, Floyd, Aerosmith, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Def Leppard, Soundgarden, Beastie Boys, Dave Grohl, Tool, Radiohead, RHCP, Alice in Chains, NIN, Mastodon, Chevelle.

Shawn: As far as singers, I’m inspired by male (and female) vocalists that belt; often in pop or rock genres but that get into operatic stylings. Such as Freddy Mercury (Queen), Steve Perry (Journey), Axl Rose (Guns N Roses), Brendon Urie (Panic! At the Disco), Ann Wilson (Heart).

Other influences include, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, 311, Dave Matthews Band, Twenty One Pilots, Two Feet. 

What advice would offer aspiring performers?

Josh: Bands, bandmates, goals, influences, genres may constantly be changing for you. This is a good thing. The more windows that you can look into, the better you can see the whole room. Keep moving forward. The journey is a beautiful thing. Learn how to work with others. If you can do this, your time while collaborating will be much more valuable, and will last longer. It will also help your personal brand, which is important. People will more likely want to work with you if they know that you are not a jerk.

Shawn: There is no easy button. Put in the time, and get comfortable always learning your craft. There is no good or bad time to start...and there is no level of skill you need to start performing. Just get going, and start performing as soon as you have something that is “good enough”. You’ll always be improving, and you may never reach perfection.  Just get started, and keep going.

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?

Josh: For me, bass drives the rhythm of most of the songs I write. The bass is more like a rhythm guitar or a riff factory. It's not just the bottom end and the percussion's best friend. It's something more. It's more melodic. Not many bands feature the bass as their rhythm guitarist, and that sets us apart.

I also believe in our lyrics. They aren't just the rhymes and the melody within the scale of the song. They are meaningful, sometimes playful, and the melody is sometimes unexpected. My lead singer has often looked at me and said, I would never have done it like that. Where do you come up with this shit? It may not be the compliment that I'm taking it as, but that's what I want. To be unique and unpredictable, but not so obscure that we can't be followed!

Shawn: I push my singing to the limits, always pushing to get to a new level with each creation. I like working with my vocal tone, and am open to explore new techniques. As for my musicianship, I focus on what fits and feels right for the song. I trust my ear, and try not to dwell on perfection. Sometimes, I purposely leave a mistake in a final recording. I like the organic feeling in songs; even though I often bring in electronic sounds in.

Any new gigs or albums in the future

YES! Octavate has our third single about to be released on December 28. Then we have two more songs almost completed. Once we have our five, probably in the early spring, we will release them as an EP.

And once COVID is no longer the threat it is now, we will be back on the scene in Boston!

Special thanks to them for doing this interview & I wish them luck in their music. So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll