All posts by Mattison Keesey

[AltWire Interview] Sebastian Lefebvre of Simple Plan

Simple_Plan_Taking_One_For_The_TeamOne of the most successful and popular pop-punk bands to come out of the pop-punk explosion of the early 2000’s, the Quebec based five piece Simple Plan are back with their fifth studio album Taking One For The Team, their first release since 2011’s Get Your Heart On! Featuring guest appearances by Jordan Pundik, R. City, Nelly and Juliet Simms, the band’s fifth album proves that even after all this time, the boys in Simple Plan still know how to have a good time and create a fun pop-punk record.

Earlier this month, in preparation for the album’s release (which came out this past Friday, the 19th of February), we sat down with guitarist Sebastian Lefebvre to discuss the upcoming tour, new music, and David Hasslehoff. Read what Sebastian said below.

[AltWire] Starting mid February, Simple Plan will be going on tour throughout multiple countries, starting in Canada and ending in France. Who will be accompanying you on this tour? What are you guys most looking forward to on this tour?

Sebastian Lefebvre [Simple Plan]: We have Ghost Town that’s going to be starting with us for the European part of the tour, and the bottom line as well. Honestly, it’s about time we go on tour. We’ve been working on this album for probably a couple years now. We’ve been writing and recording it and were excited for it to be released and to go out and play the new songs for people.

AW: Do you think you will be adding a US leg to the tour in the near future?

SL: We will. I think right now were just in the giant hurricane of putting the album out, so we just settled down on make sure the first tour was happening and that the album was actually coming out. I think a couple weeks from now everything is going to start rolling out, like tour dates for the rest of the summer and for the rest of the year. We want to go to the states, we also have South America and Asia and Australia and we’ve got like a year to do it all, so it’s all going to be coming together. As soon as we know, we post it on the website, so as soon as we do, everyone else knows too.

AW: Now you said that Ghost Town will be accompanying you for most of the tour. Has Simple Plan worked with these guys in the past?

SL: No, actually. We’re fans and I guess their fans so when we asked if they wanted to do a band tour with us, they said yes and we were stoked. Its interesting, you know, that people still love going to shows and there is a lot stuff to do. People can go to movies, they can buy video games everyday, but there’s always a couple bands that people want to see. So if one band is with another band, maybe people won’t get sick of going to the shows. If you’re touring with such a cool, and young band too, its different but it works. Some of the fans will be the same, and we’ll see ours, we’ll see theirs and when its all mixed together its going to be great.

AW: Simple Plan is about to release their fifth studio album, “Taking One For The Team”. Was there anything different in the recording or writing process for this album that maybe didn’t happen in the four before it?

SL: Yeah, I think every single album is a little bit different then the one before it. This is going to be very personal, but we always want it to be the best album we’ve ever made. What that means to someone can be different from person to person. Some people are always going to love ‘Still Not Getting Any’ because it was 2004 and they were in high school and that’s the album they were listening to then and nothing is ever going to beat that. For us, as songwriters and musicians, we always want the album to be the best possible. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but at the same time we take the time to make sure we nail it. We wrote for a year, we wrote about 70-80 songs and it sounds like a lot, but it just because we actually finish stuff. We finish the songs, then we sort through them and record them.

I think what’s different this time around is that we had a lot of songs and we were in the studio. Simple Plan is kind of a band that has deep roots and we love pop songs and love to see what Simple Plan will be in the future and keep evolving as a band.We always try to find the balance between taking care of ourselves and our shows and core fans. We want the “typical Simple Plan songs”, but we also want the songs that are maybe going to bring us more fans, put us on the radio, things like that so we can keep touring. It’s a very hard balance to find, and half was through the recording process, we kept writing and 3 new songs came out. We could have been done with the album, but we had these new songs and we were like, you know what, these new songs are really going to help the album come together. So, we went back in the studio and recorded more songs and added them last December. We did that just to make sure the album sort of had a unity to it.

AW: You say you enjoy pop, and with this album I can definitely still hear the classic Simple Plan side, but I also hear a little bit more pop in the album also.

SL: It’s a very interesting thing for us. I think something that sort of happened on its own with this album is that the pop songs are poppier then ever, but the rock songs are rockier than ever.

AW: Simple Plan included Nelly in the track “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed” off the upcoming album. How did the idea to include Nelly in this song come about?

SL: It was a special song from the get-go. It came about is probably the first batch of songs we wrote for the album. Let’s say it was in the first 20, and we decided wow, this is one of the really good ones, we have to keep it. It’s still one of the really good ones, and we love it! When we recorded it in the studio, it felt different. It also felt like it needed something to, not spice it up, but make it sit with itself, because the song is different so we needed something else that was different to put on it. We added Nelly because he’s not just a rapper, he has melodies for the way he sings and he’s pretty badass. Also, we both sort of came up together in the early 2000’s and we played video shows together. We were on the radio, he was on the radio, we were on TRL when he was on TRL, so we kind of just reached out and he loved the song and wanted to be on it.

Simple-Plan-Main-Pub-2-Photo-Credit-Chapman-Baehler

“It’s fun to mix it up. We don’t want to just be the type of band that just recreates the same thing over and over again…”

 

AW: Listening to the song was like a little piece of history and it was great to see two artists I grew up with colab together. I’m sure many of your older you fans would agree.

SL: Yeah, because on different songs I can switch guitars no problem, but we barely switch singers. We did it on our first album, and it took into the fourth album to get some more. It’s really fun, it’s just different flavors here and there.

AW: I think the icing on the cake to that song was adding David Hasselhoff into the end of the music video!

SL: It’s crazy! Baywatch was such an iconic show, and this was before the internet, so if you wanted to see ladies in bikinis, you basically had to watch Baywatch. It may not be acceptable now, but it was a huge show and it’s kind of a spoof, but not really because we’re very serious. It’s just goofy stuff that happens in the video. Basically, Pierre is a young Hasselhoff and we did want we wanted to do and he was all for it. We actually shot it at his house, which is like a Hoff museum. He’s got his plaques and Baywatch stuff. It’s basically like a tribute to himself.

AW: Simple Plan has already released a few singles off the album, like ‘Boom!’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed’. How has the fan reaction been thus far to the new music?

SL: It’s been interesting because when we released ‘Boom’, not to sound too confident, but we knew people would get into it because ‘Boom’ is the type of song that usually connects well with our fan base and that connects when we play live. Ever since we released it we’ve been playing it at every single show. It’s one of those songs that has the sort of Simple Plan spirit in it and that reaches our fans. With  ‘I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed’ we knew it would be kind of a curve ball for everyone, but we still wanted to do it and sometimes maybe they sort of think “ Oh My God, is our whole album like this?” Not that their worried, but they don’t know what to expect. We just keep telling them, wait for the album to come out, it’ll all make sense. We love to have those types of songs, and when those types of songs stand out they end up playing on the radio, which is fine. Then when you come to our show there’s going to be 3 or 4 of those songs in our set, then there’s going to be 15 other kinds of songs as well. It’s fun to mix it up. We don’t want to just be the type of band that just recreates the same thing over and over again. Some fans may be a bit worried, but most of them understand and know that they’re going to be happy when they hear the album.

AW: Personally, I think the album is great, and for a band to be around for so long there is bound to be a little change, and I think overall your fans are really going to enjoy this album.

SL: It’s a interesting position with us as a band with this album because we’re mid 30’s and most of us have families, were not 20 year olds anymore and there’s always pop songs that 20 year olds are coming out with, and they’re awesome. But it’s sort of like, where do we fit in now? Where’s our spot? We’ve always had one spot in the Warped Tour world, and one foot in the “Maybe we’ll play Kiss FM with JLo” world. We’ve always been in the middle of it all and we love both. It’s like were trying to create something that’s in the middle, we genuinely love both and I think people love that about us.

AW: We let some of our readers and followers on AltWire know that we would be doing an interview with you today, and gave them the opportunity to suggest some questions for us to ask you. One fan would like to know if you have any guilty pleasure while on the road?

SL: I do tend to go on Instagram and look at the “pictures of you” section. So I basically go on and look at all the picture people took and I like them. I recently starting reading a lot, but that not necessarily guilty though. Something I have been doing that is actually kind of funny, is I post something on Instagram and I geo-tag it, say like “Hey, I’m going to be here for the next half hour”, even though I have no idea what here is, but I’m there, and eventually someone shows up and we take pictures and chat and everything.

AW: That’s all I have for you, is there anything else you would like to add?

SL: Just that the album comes out on February 19th, it’s amazing so get it and come check us out live!

Simple Plan – “Boom”:

Simple Plan – “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed”:

Simple Plan – “Opinion Overload”:

[AltWire Quick Hits] Q&A With Luke Spiller of The Struts

the-struts-have-you-heard-epWith lead vocals that have often been compared to the late Freddie Mercury, and a flamboyant sense of style to boot, The Struts provide a refreshing journey back to rock and roll’s glory days, when sex, drugs and rock and roll ruled the music world. Signed to Interscope in late 2015, The Struts released their debut EP in the states titled Have You Heard and are currently working on a brand new album.

We recently caught up with the band’s vocalist Luke Spiller for a Quick Q&A and an introduction to this fantastic band. See what Luke had to say below.

AltWire [Mattison Keesey]: Tell us a little more about yourself. What made you want to get into rock and roll, and what was the catalyst for The Struts forming as a band? How would you best describe your music to new listeners?

Luke Spiller [The Struts]: It was bands like Queen, AC/DC, and The Darkness that made me want to be a front man in my early teens. There was no catalyst, we just started and began to play shows across the UK. Our music is fun, dirty and sexy.

AW: The Struts have been described as “having a chance to spark a real rock revival with their hooky glam sound, which manages to pay tribute to the classics, while remaining impeccably modern”. What is your take on this statement? Would you say this was something the band pushed towards from the beginning?

LS: I don’t have a big opinion on that statement, I’m just doing what I want singing the way I want. I wear my influences on my sleeve.

AW: In the past, your band has said that you felt the last band to truly do something new were The Libertines. Would you say that you’re disappointed with the current state of rock and roll? Do you feel current rock bands lack the courage to truly innovate and try something new, and do you feel The Struts are the answer to that problem?

LS: I have no time to ponder on such issues to be honest. Let bands do what they want to do. If they don’t care about showmanship and great songs then that’s fine with me. That means more tickets to struts shows. I don’t care.

AW: Luke, often, you’ve been compared to Freddy Mercury and Mick Jagger. Is it crazy for you to hear that about yourself, and how does it feel to be compared to musicians that helped change the face of rock and roll?

LS: It makes me laugh! I don’t think about it to much, I’d be lucky to possess half the talent of any of those guys.

AW: At the end of December, you guys joined Motley Crew on stage for their last 4 shows in Las Vegas and LA. How does it feel to know you will be the last band to share a stage with Motley Crew?

LS: It’s a huge honour, I’m sure a lot of bands would kill for this and that makes me feel very special.

AW: You guys say you have a very diverse fan base, which can be somewhat rare among bands these. In your opinion, what is it about The Struts that makes your fan base so diverse?

LS: Our music reminds older generations of bands they love, the young kids think it’s something new because they’ve never heard it before.

AW: It’s been a little over a year since the release of your EP ‘Have You Heard’, and I’m sure the fans are itching to hear some new music from you guys. Have you been working on any new material? Can we expect another EP or even another studio album in the near future?

LS: We will be re-releasing ‘Have You Heard’, with new songs and it’ll be remastered etc. Album 2 on its way.

AW: Traditionally, what is the songwriting and recording process like in The Struts?

LS: Fun and creative!

AW: What’s your favorite gear to use in the studio and in live performances? Anything you’re partial to at the moment?

LS: Not really, but a microphone is always handy.

AW: What can we expect from The Struts in the near, or distant, future?

LS: Touring, touring, touring and a new album!

The Struts – “Could Have Been Me”:

Coheed And Cambria Release ‘Eraser’ Lyric Video

To all the Coheed And Cambria fans who are sick of going to A-Z lyrics and/or some other lyric website that takes way too long to load and uses up way more cell phone data then you’d like it to, your prayers have been answered. Coheed And Cambria have recently released a lyric video to their song “Eraser,” a track that will be on their upcoming album The Color Before The Sun, set to be released tomorrow, October 9th.

The song is super catchy and although this may just be considered a lyric video, it could easily be called a music video as well given that the video behind the lyrics fits perfectly with the meaning and words of the song.  Drummer Josh Eppard commented:

“To me, ‘Eraser’ embodies the music we grew up on maybe better than any other Coheed song to date. We were little sponges in the ’90s when the Pumpkins and Nirvana were creating a landscape all their own. I heart those bands in our song ‘Eraser’ and I’m extremely proud of that.”

“Eraser” is the third track to be released from the album, and if you have yet to check out the previous two, you’re surely missing out. For those who would like to pre-order the album, you  can do so via the band’s official website. Check out the super awesome lyrics video to “Eraser” below.

 

Album Review: Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic

Nate Ruess’s first solo album is a compilation of songs that focus solely on the subject of love, in one way or another. The album begins with the track ‘Grand Romantic (intro),’ which is short, sweet and a great start of what’s to come; an even better intro to the following song: ‘AhHa.’ ‘AhHa’ is the second single Nate released from the album and is, in some ways, a counterpart to the hit Fun. song, ‘Some Nights.’ ‘AhHa’ takes the following well known lyrics from ‘Some Nights’ and puts a spin on the song:

“Oh, it’s for the best you didn’t listen, It’s for the best we get our distance (oh oh woah oh), It’s for the best you didn’t listen, It’s for the best we get our distance”

Nate does this to show that this is his solo album and preemptively dispels any potential comparisons to his solo work and the band Fun.

Towards the end of ‘AhHa,’ Nate Ruess is reflecting on his past decisions in a note to his mother, telling her that he’s ready to let out the ‘Grand Romantic’ that’s been kept within himself. Again, this lyric is a breakaway from Fun. and foreshadows the following songs on the album.

“Mom, I think they’re trying to keep the grand romantic in me, Now that we got bottom lines, But mom, I think I’m ready to free this grand romantic in me”

The remaining 10 songs on the album follow the theme of a ‘Grand Romantic’ and tell a story from one song to the next. The third song on the album, ‘Nothing Without Love,’ is the beginning to a failing love story, but one that may be worth the fight. He refers to both himself and their relationship as a sinking ship in a storm; a metaphor that can been seen in other songs throughout the album.

“Three years at sea after the storm, On this sinking ship that love had put me on”

The fourth song on the album, ‘Take It Back,’ begins with yet another metaphor, comparing the love to two ships. This song tells the story of lovers drifting farther apart, and wanting to get back to where they were, but both are struggling with the task.

“Well we’re just two ships passing through the night”

‘You Light My Fire’ is the fifth song on the album and is a little more upbeat then the ones before it. This song is more about the reason a failing relationship is being held onto; even though the lovers may be drifting apart, their fear of being alone and the fighting might be the only thing holding them together.

The Sixth song on the album, ‘What This World Is Coming To’ (featuring Beck), continues along the storyline of a failing relationship and shows a bit of the selfishness of holding onto something that has been taking a big toll on both sides. On one end, we see the female counterpart bruised and beaten down, yet on the other side, the male is holding on because she has made him who he has become by being his inspiration and solace through some dark times.

“I watched as your wrist began to bruise, Threading ribbons, weaving patterns, Beautiful and blue”

“You know that I can’t stop thinkin’ ’bout you, You’re the source of everything I do, You brought faith to songs I sing, So I went and bought a diamond ring, I wanna spend each night here with you, Yeah you took everything I was, And you turned it into something I’ve become”

Following ‘What This World Is Coming To’ is the song, ‘Great Big Storm.’ Here we see yet another comparison to the sinking ship in the storm. The song suggests the realization that maybe it’s time to let go because the fight has become unbearable on both sides, yet, neither is ready to cut the cord.

“Because we’re holding our own in a great big storm, And though we’re cutting it close, We won’t let go”

‘Moment’ is the eight song on the album which brings the part of the story where the relationship ends. Its sad for both ends, especially for our male character. It shows a realization that some things that may have appeared to have been right, have been wrong all along. This is a sad part of the story and may even show a bit of vulnerability from our male side.

“Well, I’m fine, I just need a moment of your time, To get all my things and let go, Well, I’m fine, I just need a moment to say goodbye”

The next song on the album, ‘It Only Gets Much Worse,’ starts with another metaphor to the storm and shows the regret to ending the relationship, along with the potential outcomes of the future. This song is sad, slow and goes straight to the heart. It’s beautiful and tragic, making it one of the best songs on the album.

“And no, I didn’t mean to let you go, I didn’t mean to bruise but I lost control, What didn’t mean a thing destroyed us both”

The tenth song on the album is ‘Grand Romantic,’ and again, it is a slow, tragic yet beautiful song. In this song, we hear our grand romantic’s pain and struggle since ending their love.

“And I, I just wanted you so bad, I don’t know where I’m going, don’t know who to trust anymore”

‘Harsh Light’ is the next song on the album and shows our male having a bit of fun at a bar by becoming very inebriated. In a way, this could be a song about him finding happiness again by going out and having fun, yet, it could also be a song about putting his pain into the bottom of a bottle.

“My eyes are drained from the one that got away, So tonight I’m going out, tonight I’m gonna stay out, In walks eighty long boots, looking for a date, I would make the first move, but I’m too drunk to enunciate”

The twelfth song on the album is entitled ‘Brightside’ and is the last piece to this love story. We see our male character convincing himself that leaving was the right choice, yet at the same time, thinking that on ‘the Brightside,’ maybe things could have worked out. The song is a perfect end to a wonderful album, and leaves us wondering what will become of the two loves we’ve learned so much about.

“You know, I think it says a lot, That I could wake myself up from this dream, Grab the things that are most dear to me, And although I could have loved you better, I had to get the fuck out of the bed”

“Oh God, I wish that I was on the bright side, These friends of mine could spend the whole night dreaming, While you’re holding me tight under the moonlight, Just you and me, babe, we’ll spend our whole lives singing”

Overall, this album and it’s story is truly a work of art. It’s beautiful and tragic. It’ll bring you up and take you down. That’s what is so genius about it. Anyone can enjoy the songs Nate has created for us and anyone can feel the pain; maybe even the joy in each lyric. One can only hope that this is not a tragic love story that Nate Ruess himself has experienced, however, if this is true a true story, to the girl who broke his heart, we thank you.

[AltWire Interview] Marc Martel – “I’m Ready To Go Full Force on Touring and Writing New Music”

marc-martelMarc Martel, as an artist, has been described in many ways. Many publications have considered him to be THE Freddie Mercury incarnate, while an equal number of admirers have considered him to be “the kind of voice that comes along once in a generation”. Whether you’ve known of Marc Martel and his talents through the Queen Extravaganza, his original band Downhere, or even through his solo work, there is no denying the absolute raw power and amazing pitch control he exudes through his one in a million voice heard on his major label début “Impersonator.” Named, due in part to the many comparisons he’s received over the last decade to the late Queen vocalist, ‘Impersonator’ shows the confident vocalist ready to step out on his own to make a brand new name for himself in the rock music scene. No longer just a ‘Dead Ringer’ for Freddie, Marc Martel proves that he can stand on his own among the rock and roll greats as ‘Impersonator’ is definitely an album that shouldn’t be missed.

Late last month, we had the opportunity to talk to Marc about his rise to success, his thoughts on those nagging Freddie comparisons, and the inspiration between his début album and his upcoming promotional tour. Read below!

AltWire [Mattison Keesey]: To start, for those of our readers who were not fortunate enough to be introduced to you with Downhere or your stint with The Queen Extravaganza, could you please tell our readers a bit about yourself? When did you first realize you wanted to get into music?

Marc Martel: I’ve been a professional musician for about 15 years now and rock-pop is my main thing. I love to sing, it’s my favorite thing to do. I’ve been a singer/songwriter for all those years. I’m actually Canadian, but I’ve lived in Nashville, TN for the last 15 years.

AW: What was is like to be a part of The Queen Extravaganza?

MM: It’s awesome! It’s ongoing, we’ve actually got another tour coming up in the fall in the UK and Australia. It’s a blast! I think my favorite part of the whole thing is the sights and the friends I’ve made, we’re a pretty tight group now. I get to walk on stage with my microphone and sing some pretty awesome songs. We’ve got a great crew that does all the set-up and tear downs, which is something I don’t get to see very often. It’s just a really great experience.

AW: Much talk has been put on your vocal (and even somewhat physical) similarity to the late Freddie Mercury. While some would be really honored to receive such a comparison, have you always been happy to receive this comparison, or has it sometimes bothered you?

MM: Well, that’s mainly the theme of my album, ‘Impersonator’. It’s obviously an honor, and I’ve been getting that comparison for a while, over 12 years now, on a regular basis, no matter what music I’m singing. Even when I try not to sound like Freddie, people will come up to me and there was a point where I was counting how many people would say that to me after a show, like “Hey! Has anyone ever told you that you sound like Freddie Mercury?” It was at least 5 every time, without fail. It is an honor, there are far worse singers out there to be compared to. I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve accepted it, and it’s something I’m never going to escape, so why bother? If I tried to escape it, or kind of morph my voice into something unnatural. It’s the way I sound and thankfully it’s someone who people genuinely love to hear.

AW: When were you first made aware that some people felt you sounded like Freddie? Did you realize it yourself or did it come from somebody else?

MM: It actually came from someone else. I didn’t grow up on Queen’s music. I was vaguely aware of ‘We Are The Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ and stuff like that. But it was my bass player in Downhere that brought that to my attention. He said, “Ya know, you sound a lot like Freddie Mercury, I don’t know if you know that”, and I said, “Hmm, Freddie Mercury. I think he’s the lead singer of Queen or something like that?” Then I started getting into them, and this was maybe 12 or so years ago and I started getting into Queen a little bit. I thought, this guy really pushes himself beyond the limit of what a lot of singers would even attempt and it’s encouraged me to explore the boundaries of what I could do vocally.

AW: With your album ‘Impersonator’, it seems as though you are trying to stray away from the Freddie Mercury comparisons; however, after working with The Queen Extravaganza and being compared to Freddie for so long, I can imagine it would be hard to completely leave him out of your album. Would you say that there was still a little Freddie Inspiration in the writing of ‘Impersonator’?

MM: There is definitely a few songs that are a bit of a throw to Classic Rock in general. I really like guitar rock in general, and there’s some in there. Anytime you put my vocal on straight up guitar rock, I can’t escape the Queen comparisons, so it’s there definitely. I would never say that Queen is one of my biggest rock influences, as far as songwriting goes. I’ve lived in Nashville for 15 years and part of the Nashville singer/songwriter thing has worked its way into who I am as an artist, and there’s a lot of that in there. I wouldn’t consider myself a straight rock artist, I’m more of a pop-rock artist. I grew up listening to the top 40, just like everyone else. I like catchy, simple melodies and I think there’s a little something for everyone in the record.

AW: In a press release your publicist sent to us at AltWire, one quote that really stuck out to me was: “He possesses the kind of voice that comes along once in a generation, an uncanny instrument that gives each song unique life and emotion”. I think that’s rare to find in an artist and I’d just like to know where you stand on that. How does that statement make you feel?

MM: I don’t know, it’s like tooting your own horn! Someone else said it, it’s not like a quote that I said in some drunken stuper at one point! What do you really say about that? I agree with it, but I never realized that the comparison to Freddie Mercury was anything special, really. People said that I sound like this guy, and I’m like yeah sure, what’s the big deal? Everybody has this category of voice that they fall into and it happens to be a high thing, like a lot of rock singers can sing high. I just never realized it was anything special until this video when viral of me singing a Queen song a few years ago. I guess it is kind of unique based on the whole public’s reaction of it, it’s kind of hard to deny that. I just kind of keep using my gift and singing as much as I can off any old stage. It’s a day to day thing for me, I just try not to let it go to my head. It’s ironic that it says unique, because everyone compares me to someone else, who is more unique then I was! It’s a weird thing for me.

AW: To be completely honest, when watching your video of ‘Somebody To Love’, I could cover your face and think you were Freddie Mercury, but when listening to your solo album, the sound of Freddie is minimal to me.

MM: I never took any singing lessons. The way I learned to sing was by imitate guys who were sort of in the same vocal range as me. When I was in grade school/elementary school George Michael was the big pop-star and I figured out that I could morph my voice into what he could do on the record and later on, when Pearl Jam came along, I was like everyone else and jumped on the rock bandwagon. Honestly, I forgot what the question was and I kind of went off on a rabbit trail there!

AW: That’s okay, I’m interested in what you’re telling me! Keep going!

MM: I think the first artist that came along that really helped me find what was closest to me was Jeff Buckley in the 90’s. I started listening to his music and his songwriting was so crazy! It seemed like there was no format to it, and that helped me open my brain and my artistry to new things. He’s my favorite rock or pop singer of all time, and he’s just a pro.

AW: Now that were talking a little more about your roots, I’d like to go back to when you made the Freddie audition video. How did you hear about it and, aside from your voice, what made you want to do the audition?

MM: It was a friend of mine here in Nashville who used to record for my old band and he found out about this contest that Queen was having to put together this Queen tribute band. He emailed the link to me and I thought it was a crazy opportunity that seemed like it was meant for me. So I checked it out, and I had a band at the time, we were doing fine and had a lot of work, but I thought what if I tried out for this thing and it could be sort of like a cool part time gig. So I just went for it. I went up to my studio and recorded myself singing this song and after 4 or 5 takes I thought the last one was the best, so I uploaded it. My old band would put YouTube videos up all the time, and we would get 2-3 thousand views on a good one, so I expected no different with this one. The next day, it was already up half a million views. It was just a really strange, I mean really strange, two weeks for me. It still feels like that didn’t really happen.

AW: With the release of ‘Impersonator’, you will be embarking on a follow-up tour, which will be your first time touring solo. How do you feel doing your first tour as Marc Martel?

MM: Yes, this will be my first time touring solo. I’m excited, and nervous, but I’ve got a great band together and we’re well-rehearsed. I’ve actually reached my goal or rehearsing so much that I’m starting to get bored with the songs already, which is great, because now I can really focus on the audience and the show. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

AW: What do you thing the fan base turn out will be? Do you think The Queen Extravaganza and Downhere fans will be attending the shows?

MM: Obviously I’m always trying to reach a new fan base and get the word out there, but since it’s my first one, I really have no idea what to expect. I’ve got a lot of people out there who know me for my Queen stuff, and a lot of people who know me from my previous band, Downhere. I’m expecting there’s going to be a pretty great mix of those people and some new people coming to find out how incredible the show is, so then more people will come! Again, I don’t know. I’m really looking forward to getting this tour under my belt and re-assessing from there what kind of people my music attracts. I’m more excited about getting on the road then I am about releasing the album, because on the road I’m really going to connect with people and see who is really connecting with my music.

AW: Will you have any supporting acts accompanying you on the tour?

MM: It’s going to be all local openers. I’m actually really excited about some of the openers. There’s some really cool music that I’ll be playing after.

AW: That’s great! Local openers can be a great way to attract fans.

MM: Yes! Hopefully I can succeed at converting, stealing, some fans!

AW: Where are you most excited to go?

MM: I don’t get to the northeast that much and the first leg is DC, Boston, New York City so I’m looking forward to that. I haven’t played New York, very much ever, so that’ll be a lot of fun. Doing a couple of cool, media outlet stuff which I’m there too so that’ll be a lot of fun. I’ve got some family in Boston, so I might see them. I’m really excited for everywhere. We’re covering a large slot of the eastern states and its being awhile since I’ve even toured in the states.

AW: What else can we expect from you in 2015?

MM: The first tour, then I’ll be doing another leg at some point, hopefully over the summer. In the fall it turns back to The Queen Extravaganza, and we won’t be in the states at all. We’re doing Australia, UK, some Europe. In the past we’ve done a typical Queen concert where we just play all the hits, but this time we’ll be doing a new thing where we playing through the entire album ‘A Night At The Opera’, which ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is on. That’ll be interesting to see how that goes because it’s a really intricate, intense body of music. I’m ready to go full force on this touring and starting to write for the new record and all that!

Marc Martel – “Stalemate”:

 

Marc Martel – “Dead Ringer”:

 

[AltWire Interview] Dashboard Confessional – “The Audience Is So Powerful To What Dashboard Really Is. ”

Dashboard3bAfter being absent from the rock music scene for nearly five years, the recently reformed Dashboard Confessional have announced plans for a massive 30+ date reunion tour with Third Eye Blind beginning later this month, sparking talk and prayers among their fans that the band will hopefully follow this tour with a new record. Formed in 1999, the highly influential godfathers of modern emo rose to stardom with their infectious hit single ‘Screaming Infidelities’ (originally released on their 2000 debut Swiss Army Romance before being reissued for their 2001 album The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most). The band would go on to release 6 studio albums, a live album and 5 EPs before going on hiatus, with lead vocalist Chris Carrabba keeping himself busy with his other band Twin Forks during Dashboard’s five year downtime.

In anticipation of the Dashboard’s upcoming US tour, we here at AltWire took a moment to sit down with Chris Carrabba and discuss the band’s legacy, their future and the inspiration behind the reunion. Read below.

AltWire [Mattison Keesey] Your reunion was dearly wanted by your fans, however, what was the main drive to come back to come back and do this tour after a nearly five year hiatus? When did you and the band first realize it was time to do a reunion?

Chris Carrabba [Dashboard Confessional]: It’s a long time when you say it like that! It’s hard sometimes to measure as such because I would go out and do some solo work as Dashboard, and doing a lot of stuff for Twin Forks, and the other guys in the band were still touring. What made us come back? It had a lot to do with these two festivals we did last summer. I had already been booked for Twin Forks on one festival in Annapolis, called Silopanna, which is just Annapolis spelled backwards, and then they invited Dashboard to do it, and were all friends with each other, so it seemed like a really fun way to hang out and have a good time together. Get to watch each other play, I had to play both times, but it was fun. It wasn’t a hard thought, it was a gift. Then we got to do the Riot Fest, and I looked at the bill, and thought “these are all our friends.” We started to find that everybody we knew would be there, from all parts of the business, like roadies, or managers of other bands. We were all going to be at this thing, and we just thought, hey, here’s a great opportunity and at both of these events, specifically Riot Fest, when we rehearsed it felt fantastic, but when we got up in front of people, we came to realize again, that the audience is so powerful to what Dashboard really is.

We never neglected that, but the reason we slipped away when we did, was looking at each other, like, does anybody need a break? I think it was because we thought that at some point we weren’t going to be as good, or as excited as the audience, if we burn out. We won’t be as good as the audience is if we don’t take this break. So, after this break, we play at Riot Fest and the numbers of people was a huge surprise because we were playing with other big acts at the same time. I would say arguably bands that are as big as or even bigger than us, that I wanted to go see, but couldn’t because I was playing. It was evident to us that we really had outgrown them. It was kind of quizzical, like, can that really be true? Or maybe they’re just waiting for the next band? I can’t remember who was up after us, but maybe it was for them? But then they started singing, and it was a lot of singing! It might have been the loudest sing along in our history, and for a band that has a history of loud, loud singing, that might be the loudest I’ve ever heard the audience.

So, that’s what precipitated us coming back, because when we left there, people started inquiring about us playing and the whole time we were away, the only questions we’ve ever asked each other is are we ready to say yes? Is anybody ready to say yes? Nobody had been ready, we all needed to recharge ourselves in different way. I wish maybe we decided to play a year sooner. However, I’d say the band was eager to have the chance to really do this. I turned to the rest of the guys, following Riot Fest, and said “Are you ready to say yes?” They were dying to say yes. So we did.

AW: Having been involved with Twin Forks for the last few years, a lot of fans are curious to how far you plan to go with this reunion. Have there been any talks of writing/recording a new album, or do the plans for the band only include this tour?

CC: There’s always been talk of a new record, but there’s no plans for a new record. I don’t think we’ve ever made a plan for a new record. We’ve always just suddenly, started writing songs and eventually we’d have a record full of songs, next thing we know we have a record on our hands. Let me just say this, we don’t have plans, and aren’t making plans for a new record, and part of that is our own resistance to do it. We want this tour, specifically, to really be about showing the fans how grateful we are to them and acknowledging to them that we know these specific songs are what they’re invested in, and what we’re invested in. We need to be only invested in them. The way the tickets sold, or whatever way we found out that people were excited, that’s what makes us think about doing it, and that’s as far as I can get right now. I think its most important to remain focused on the task at hand and that’s to play the hell out of these songs that were born in such a fiery manor, and not let them become the focus on them become diluted.

AW: With six studio albums worth of material to choose from for this tour, what can fans expect the set-lists to be like? Will you be dusting off some of the really old or rarely played tracks, and are there any songs in particular you’re the most excited to be getting out there and playing again?

CC: I would think everybody’s going to get what they most want to hear. I’d say what the audience wants to hear and the cornerstones of what built our popularity as a band. We love those songs too. Then there’s just an enormous quality of songs, and from our EP’s too, so what we decided to do is just learn everything and recognize we don’t have 6 or 7 hours to play a night, so we better know all of these songs and if the moment feels right to play any one of those songs, we will have no excuse not to play them. One thing we discovered along the way is that we put some songs in the vault that we can only speculate now, that maybe my voice got burned out at some point during the tour. So we would maybe pull out some songs and forget that it existed and never put it back in. But my voice is stronger now than it’s ever been, so I don’t expect that will ever happen again. But when we revisited those songs, I can understand why people were asking for them again. I think we found a set-list that favors our most popular songs, crossed over to when the net was growing really wide. I think we found which ones cut deepest to the audience, and the original die-hard audience. We know them all, and were just really excited about that, first of all, that we have the ability to say yes. We want to say yes! The answer should always be yes!

AW: I think that’s a great attitude to have. I’ve never really been to a show, where the fans can start chanting a song title and the band will play it.

CC: Then you’ve never seen Twin Forks, because if you have seen Twin Forks, you’d know that’s one of the things we were built on. It was a lesson learned that I took to Dashboard. The reason I bring that up is because, that goes for our original material and our covers. If somebody calls out a different song, I’ll just start playing that, without mentioning to the band, which is how I know I have a great band, speaking of Twin Forks still, but this also applies to Dashboard. Johnathon from Twin Forks shared this with the guys from Dashboard as a sort of a little nod, like hey, this is what’s changed with Chris in the last 5 years, and he says you probably know this, but if you ever hear him listen to a song twice, by anybody, he’s probably just going to start playing it in front of people one day, without ever having played it himself. So if you hear it twice, and you don’t want to feel stupid, learn it, or you’re just going to be standing there not knowing a song, that looks like he knows, whether he knows.

Dashboard1b

“I’m always trying to find a combination of bands that make a memory for you just beyond going to a show. “

 

AW: Wow! That’s talent, and I must admit I have never seen Twin Forks, but it sounds like a great band, and I absolutely would love to see them live. I’m sure anyone in the same place as me would agree after reading this interview!

CC: I hope you can! But I think you could get that effect from Dashboard now that they have gotten the nod from John. It’s something I started back when I went from Dashboard to Twin Forks and then Dashboard solo, and I was going to learn the whole catalog, and have no right to say no. But that’s easier to do when you’re by yourself. I was willing to do all this work, all this homework. I remember being in South America, Brazil I think, and people were calling out like these B-Sides, that I had no reason remembering they existed and they weren’t necessarily good, but I knew them. Right when I recorded them, and there was a reason they were B-Sides, but I played them, and I knew them, because I made that deal with myself.

AW: The decision to include Third Eye Blind on the bill is pretty genius. How did the idea to bring them on the tour come about?

CC: Years ago, my friend Andrew said to me, look at Third Eye Blind, they’re doing something interesting. Now I had seen Third Eye Blind as a kid, a teenager I believe, and I saw them three times. Once right before their radio songs exploded, and then I saw them once when they were kind of like the kings of radio. This is when alternative radios format was really powerful, so the audience was massive. They were great both times. Then they kind of went away as far as I knew, so when my friend told me to check out what they were doing, I was like, what is it that they’re doing? He says they’re very quietly reinventing themselves as a non-radio band. They have been perceived for having massive success on the radio, and the “radio band”. Not a touring act, when I say not a touring act, like maybe not have that kind of cultish, obsessive fan base, like I am when I’m a fan. He says they’ve completely reinvented themselves. Their music was still as good and strong as ever, but they just went and toured, and toured, and toured, and gone from the top of the heat on the radio, to back, their own decision, playing at the smallest clubs to build themselves back up to this huge band, without adhering the corporate structure of how you’re supposed to do that. I was really impressed, so I went and saw them, and Andrew was right, it was exactly that.

So when these offers started coming in to play with this tour, somebody floated the idea to include Third Eye Blind, and for me at that point, I had seen it. I saw that the bands were similar, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Third Eye Blind as a Dashboard show, or vice versa. I’m always trying to find a combination of bands that make a memory for you just beyond going to a show. I don’t really know what makes that work, but I think combining the right bands make it work. You might say, I’ve seen so and so a hundred times, but do you remember that one night? You might remember that one night because the other bands involved, the risk of going out with somebody unusual. Or maybe your two favorite bands were involved, or a combination of the two. At least that’s what I hope, and kind of expect now, just by seeing the chatter online.

AW: Dashboard Confession and Third Eye Blind are very similar in that sense, and I agree that including them on the tour will make a very memorable night for most fans.

CC: It was an easy one for me because as my music would indicate to you, I’m a really big fan of a lot of the driving rock hits, like the melodies and the ripping guitar lines and if you listen to their records, they’re very similar. Their songs are just power houses in melody.

AW: Aside from being on the road with Third Eye Blind, what are you most excited for on this tour?

CC: Let’s see, of course being out with my band-mates, and that includes John only being able to do part of the tour, so I’ll spend part of the tour looking forward to him doing the other part, and the other embracing AJ, who is a great friend and a guitar player I’ve been a fan of for so long. I can’t believe I get to play with him. Being with Ben. Scott , AJ and Johnny, our crew is family to us. By crew, I mean everybody, our front of house guys and all of that. There’s a family reunion at play here, that’s going to last the summer. More than all of that, I’m really excited about being with this audience that made us. I don’t how they did it, I don’t know why they did it, but when we’re a band that no label had ever heard of, they were there. The numbers of thousands at shows, and when we finally got our record deal, it was because of them that we got one, and we got a good one. When we finally had a song that might have a shot at the radio, it’s because of them that kept calling in that it got played. When we decided to leave, or take time away, however you’d phrase it, it was because of them that we were sad. We needed a break, we were eager to step away and find energy somehow, and it was because of them that we came back.

I’m looking forward to being with them, meeting as many as I can, as I always do. I’ve even set up a VIP kind of thing. I’m doing an acoustic show at the beginning of every night for a certain portion of the ticket buyers and the fan club, because that’s how it was in the beginning, and I want to do that. I want to do it also in the evening and carry that out on stage. You don’t get cracked to have a career like this, the way we have. I don’t know anybody else that has, it’s almost entirely fan driven, almost completely and entirely fan driven. I say almost because we got really lucky with a couple of people in the early stages who understood what to do to not alienate the fan base. Man, it’s shocking almost. You’re supposed to get a hit, then go on tour and get an audience or something like that. It’s just not the way it worked for us. We’ve never done anything the way you’re supposed to. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I had a haircut that wasn’t cool until this year. It’s always been inside out for us.

Dashboard4

“I’m very proud to be a part of an emo band that writes driving, and authentic, emotional songs and I’m not embarrassed by that.”

 

AW: That’s a great accomplishment, to have built a fan base not at all out of the radio, but based on Dashboard as a band. It must be very rewarding.

CC: The thing is that they built us, by telling their friends. Which is something, something very special.

AW: This November will mark 15 years since the release of The Swiss Army Romance. The album still holds onto its conceptual relevance and continues to resonate with people years later. How do you think the album was able to transcend time so well? Are you doing anything to celebrate this 15 year milestone?

CC: I can imagine watching some Kentucky Derby and maybe have a drink, but I really don’t know what we’ll do beyond that. We did it for the 10 year anniversary, and that was for the audience, so I think the 15 year anniversary will be for us. Maybe I’ll change my mind.

AW: You’ve often been called the “godfather of emo”. Is that a title you hold onto proudly?

CC: To be an important figure in that scene, or perceived to be. I’m proud of that, really proud of that. I don’t think that I was the inventor of this scene or sound, I think that I just existed in this scene and sound. I feel real lucky to be identified with it. There was a period where things were so snarky that I was almost made to feel ashamed of that and the records I made sounded like the earlier records, so I felt I needed to verbalize that that’s not what we were. I’m very proud to be a part of an emo band that writes driving, and authentic, emotional songs and I’m not embarrassed by that. I don’t know why anybody would be.

AW: Where do you see Dashboard Confessional five years from now?

CC: That’s a tough one. I can’t imagine that we’ll need a break again. So, the only thing I know for certain is that we’ll be playing music. I don’t know if that means we’ll be making new music, touring with this music, or collaborating with people. I have no way to tell you, I just know that we’ll be playing music.

Dashboard Confessional – “Screaming Infidelities”:

 

Tyler Joseph Of Twenty One Pilots Gets Married

The ending two weeks of March have been very busy for schizoid pop band Twenty One Pilots. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn have shared the cover art, track list, title and release date of their upcoming album, ‘Blurry Face’, produced by pop band Wallpaper’s front-man Ricky Reed and due out on May 19th. They have also released a single along with a music video off the album, entitled ‘Fairly Local’, and have confirmed  that two more music videos are done being recorded and are set for release in the near future. One would think that after spending so much time working on an album, there wouldn’t be time for much else; however, in the midst of all the hard work, Tyler Joseph managed to plan his wedding to the beautiful Jenna Black, and the two were married this past Saturday, March 28th. The guys and families of the newlyweds have been sharing a bit of the exciting day via their Instagram’s which can be seen below. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph!

marrying her today. @jennaajoseph

A photo posted by tyler jøseph (@tylerrjoseph) on

cherishing the last couple days with my brother before he gets married this weekend.

A photo posted by jøsh dun (@joshuadun) on

Rivers Cuomo’s Dad Joins Weezer On Stage

Fans got a little more than expected during Weezer’s set at Burgerama Festival this past weekend when for the first time ever, Rivers Cuomo’s dad, Frank Cuomo, joined him and the band along stage to perform. Although Mr. Cuomo has been the subject of quite a few Weezer songs, such as ‘Say It Ain’t So’, in the 20+ years since the founding of Weezer, he has yet to join them on stage. He joined the guys during their performance of hit single ‘Back To The Shack’ off of the band’s latest album, ‘Everything Will Be Alright In The End’. Rivers even change the lyrics of the last line in the first verse from ‘Maybe I should play the lead guitar and Pat should play the drums’, to ‘Maybe I should play the lead guitar and my dad should play the drums’. Check out the full concert video below!

[AltWire Interview] Lion In The Mane – “We Are Hoping This Will Be a Big Year For Us…”

thenoisewarHot off of the release of their début album “The Noise War”, Brooklyn based rock band Lion In The Mane are fast becoming one of the top acts to watch in 2015. Having toured the country multiple times during their career, with showcases at CMJ, SXSW, Florida Music Festival and Launch Music Festival, Lion In The Mane are now on tour with Uh-Huh Baby Yeah and Dreamcatcher on a spring tour that began on March 7th in Pittsburgh, PA and is due to complete on April 4th in New York, NY.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Lion In The Mane before the start of their US tour. Check out our interview below:

AltWire [Mattison Keesey]: Congrats on writing your first full length album! Tell me about the writing process.

Andrew Lynch [Lion In The Mane]: The majority of the album was written by Jon, Dmitry, Johnny and original bass player Henry D’Allacco over the course of two or three years prior to me and Zach joining the band.

Jon Masters: Yeah we spent a lot of time writing songs that sounded like they belonged on the same record. Everyone in the band has different tastes in music so that really makes for a wide variety of ideas. We wrote at least a hundred ideas for this record. Some of the songs are older than songs on our EP “The Way We’re Wired”.

AW: I’ve read that while recording ‘The Noise War’, you guys explored a variety of musical genres and influences. Can you give us a little more insight on what your influences were/are? What other genres did you explore that had an impact on your album?

Zach Falkow: Popular music nowadays is so diverse when it comes to genre, so we did our best to incorporate elements of some of them into our sound. The synths on “Waiting” definitely give that song a dancey feel. And the ambient, murky vibe from “Pianos vs Mandolins” kind of reminds me of a manically depressed Sigur Ros.

AL: I know something we like to do is draw from many different styles to make our sound. On “The Noise War” there are dance music aspects mixed with classic singer-songwriter styles all blended with hard rock and a little bit of punk. Personally, I come from a classic rock-style background so I tried to bring that to the table the best I could.

JM:  We just incorporated elements of rock, pop, punk, hardcore and I think when Andrew joined we added some classic rock stuff in the mix. Dmitry did a lot of cool synth stuff in the record. We messed with some minor chords which is something different for me. Songs like bright sunny and California on fire have some cool rhythmic stuff going on.
 
AW: Lion In The Mane’s sound has been compared to 30 Seconds To Mars, Angels And Airwaves, and The Dangerous Summer. Would you say any of these bands have been influential to your music? What other bands are you influenced by?

ZF: I know stylistically we’re akin to those bands. We actually worked with AJ from The Dangerous Summer on the song “Static,” which he also sings on. Beyond that, I think we definitely draw influence from bands like Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab for Cutie. Both of those bands write music based on simple layers on top of each other, which end up sounding enormous, and we try to use that approach to our own stuff as much as possible.

JM: I think AJ from The Dangerous Summer is a great lyricist. I honestly haven’t listened to much 30 Seconds to Mars, but I saw them live once and they put on a great show. I’m influenced by The Counting Crows a good bit and the Angels and Airwaves reference is one we get a lot. As a kid I lived Blink 182, so there’s some Tom shining through here and there I’m sure. Dmitry’s delays bring a lot of that style to the table as well. It’s kind of like U2 though really.

AW: How would you compare ‘The Noise War’ to your debut EP ‘The Way We’re Wired’? How did the writing process for ‘The Noise War’ differ from that of the EP?

Dmitry Libman: We’ve had a long time to write this album.  A few of these songs have been around since we wrote ‘The Way We’re Wired’.  I think what was different in the way we wrote ‘The Noise War’ was that we were more open to different techniques and different sounds.  We utilized a lot of synths and pads on this album and I think that’s definitely a departure from our EP which was more of a straight up pop rock album.

JM: I personally think this album sounds like we grew up a bit. It’s more polished than the EP and its more diverse.

AW: Lion In The Mane recently held an album release on Feb 21st at Arlene’s Grocery in New York, NY, just a few days before the actual release date of the album. How did fans react to the early release of the album? Have you received any positive, or negative, feedback thus far?

ZF: People seemed to really respond well to the record. A lot of the songs had been in our set for a long time already, so the people who had seen us before were familiar with them. But it was crazy for us to hear them singing the songs back at us during the show. Super cool and super humbling as well.

AL: The album release show was a great success, despite the weather getting terrible the morning of the show. We had a lot of our core fans plus some new ones that really received the album well and enjoyed the show. We played the new album front to back in order, which is something we likely won’t do again for some time so everyone in attendance got a little treat!

JM: I was excited that the show still sold out because the weather was crazy that night. I remember showing up and sitting there thinking “no ones going to come” the street lights were going out and snow was coming down! We handed out a copy of the record to everyone that came that night and a ton of people have said really nice things about the record. Also some reviews have gone up lately and some kids have been saying really great things about it online as well. I really appreciate the feedback and the time that people took to dive into our songs.

AW:Do you feel everyone in the band puts an equal amount of everything into the work, or do you all have more specific roles that you fall into?

ZF: I think everyone in the band has their own forté when it comes to furthering the band’s success. I take on most of the booking and business liaison duties. We call Johnny our in-house film department. Dmitry is a super talented engineer and mixer, and writer,  so demoing is super easy with him. Andrew has taken on merch responsibilities and keeping track of that stuff…and Jon just gets to be the lead singer and look pretty (while writing the songs).

AL: Yeah at this level we all take different roles to try to minimize outsourcing and to make things easier in this DIY era of music we are in. The goal is to have assistance with anything other than the direct writing, recording and playing part, but for now we all wear a couple different hats. In this day and age it is almost necessary for a band to be self-sufficient in that way.

JM: I’m glad that Andrew and Zach have joined because I was getting a little jaded. Before them, Dmitry and I were doing so much so it’s cool to get to sit back a bit and just focus on the music for now.

AW:You released the single, ‘Waiting’, off the album. Why did you choose to release this single over any other songs on the album?

ZF: We felt like Waiting had a pretty universal appeal as a song. It has a dancey upbeat element that brings it into the pop realm, while maintaining our big-guitars-and-vocals driven sound that makes it uniquely ours. Honestly I just think it’s a song that has something for everyone to gravitate to.

JM: Yeah it’s a poppy track that just is kind of a sum up of the rest of the record.

AW: Going back in time, your band was once called ‘The Atlas’. What influenced the name change? Why was Lion In The Mane chosen over anything else?

JM: The Atlas was just a place holder really. We performed under the name once and never really cared much for the name. There were other bands with similar names and we never really branded ourselves as the Atlas. Soon after that first show Dmitry and I agreed on Lion in the Mane as the name. We wanted something strong that said something and it really spoke to me.

AW: Lion In The Mane is about to embark on a tour with Uh-Huh Baby Yeah and Dreamcatcher. Have you worked with either of these bands in the past? What made you choose these bands to tour with?

AL: We have gone on past tours similar to this one, but this time we wanted to be smarter and more efficient so we decided to go out with a package as opposed to just us on the bill. Uh Huh Baby Yeah was a band that Zach had a connection with, and they just came of Warped Tour so we have hopes that we can work together and build fans together. Dreamcatcher are friends of ours, they’re a band from Baltimore and super cool people. We played a couple one-off shows with them and tossed around the idea last year of going on a tour in March 2015. We are glad it worked out and are excited to hit the road with both of them!

AW: Where are you guys most excited to go on this tour?

ZF: We’re hitting a few cities on this run that we’ve never played before, so that’s pretty exciting for us. We’re pumped to be playing in Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. That said, we’re always excited to play Austin and Tampa and Orlando and Philly. We have great friends and family out there, so it’s a good time every time we’re in town. Overall, I think we’re just eager to reconnect with old fans and make some great new ones all over the country.Jon- I’m really excited for Florida so I can see my family. I’m a Texas Rangers fan, so Dallas will be fun. New Orleans and Nashville are great places as well! Really excited.

AW: What else can we expect from Lion In The Mane throughout 2015?

JM: We have so many songs written. I’d like to get back in the studio towards the end of the year.

AL: We are trying to be on the road as much as possible in 2015, we just released this record that we have our hearts in so we are going to push it has hard as we can. Expect a couple more tours, possibly west coast or even overseas. We also have a music video coming out in mid March and potentially another by the end of the year. We are hoping this will be a big year for us and we want to share it with you, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated with tour dates and releases. Thanks so much for your time!

Listen to ‘Waiting’ from Lion In The Mane’s “The Noise War” Below: