You gotta check this band out. No matter what kind of music you like, i feel like most people will enjoy this. Also, note the sweet Coheed and Cambria keywork tattoo on the frontman’s forearm. Obviously has a good music taste! Go buy their debut album “Satori”. Its totally worth it. 13 awesome songs for $9.99! Catch them on tour with Say Anything this summer!!!
Enjoy our exclusive interview with Zachary Carothers, of the amazing Portugal. The Man.
FYAE: How did you come to the decision to work with Danger Mouse on producing Evil Friends? How was the environment during recording and do you feel the end result is different than with past producers?
ZC: Obviously, it was a no-brainer. Craig, the head of Atlantic set up a meeting with John and Brian while we were self producing what we thought was our new album. We ended up scratching all but two songs from that session in order to start fresh on the collaboration. Working with Brian was amazing. As an artist himself, he had a unique perspective into band dynamics and had great advice on keeping your integrity while trying to write accessible music. We learned so much during the process. By far the most positive recordings we’ve ever done.
FYAE: What albums/songs have you been listening to as of late? Any upcoming albums you’re particularly looking forward to?
ZC: For some reason I’ve been on a big hip hop and metal kick lately. I think I’ve been strung out and anxious over the record release. Aggressive music helps me with that. Mostly Kanye and Slayer. Ha. I’ve always been into music that breaks new ground. Hip hop over the last few years has just been incredible. So obviously the new Wu-Tang, Kanye, Drake, and Black Sabbath. Very excited about a new album from La Roux. Love her.
FYAE: When you look back at the progression over the albums, what do you think is different and has changed? Would you go back to those roots, or continue on the current path of sound?
ZC: We’re always looking to evolve. I’m proud of the things we’ve done, but we’ve already done them. We’ll always reference old songs and keep true to our sound, but we will always be changing. Over the years, we’ve become better at writing songs. So many people thought we were experimental and progressive at the beginning, but the truth is, we had no idea what we were doing. Jamming parts and riffs together with no fluid transitions or continuity. We’re just getting better at smoothing everything out. John’s song writing is getting better everyday.
FYAE: There have been comments from both Noah & and yourself, about the similarities between Evil Friends, the recording process, and Pink Floyd, specifically Dark Side of the Moon. Can you elaborate on this further? Is Evil Friends a story within a story?
ZC: Every album we make has themes. As often as we make them, each record is a snapshot at our lives at that moment. Dark Side of the Moon inspired us more in mood and recurring themes more than it did sonically for this album. Pink Floyd has always had an amazing way of repeating riffs and progressions in different songs and in different ways. Really makes you always want to listen to the whole album in a row rather than shuffle through your favorites.
FYAE: How is the dynamic now that Kyle O’Quin [former Gatsbys American Dream/current Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground] has joined the band? Obviously, Kyle comes from some great bands, so what has he brought with him in terms of the music progression?
ZC: We’ve known Kyle a long time. He knows music and theory more than any of my close friends. His knowledge of that has helped John with song writing so much lately, but the lack of that knowledge is what made the songs so special from the beginning. Music to us is about breaking the rules. Kyle has a hard time with that.. But we’re figuring out a good balance. He is very talented.
FYAE: This is the first time in what seems like forever an album hasn’t been released on a yearly basis, was there specifically a reason behind this, or was it more a matter of timing?
ZC: It really was a matter of timing. You can imagine that Danger Mouse is a pretty busy guy. As are we. He was recording the U2 album at the same time, and we were constantly flying out for one off shows. We want to put out an album a year, but we won’t let the songs suffer for it. If its not done, we’ll work til it is.
FYAE: Imagine your perfect tour. Who would you tour with and why? Now flip that, and if you didn’t have to play and could just be in the audience, would this line-up change at all?
ZC: I’d love to play with Beck and Bjork. Both have been so progressive and cool since I first started really digging deep into my own music. It would be weird as hell. And a hell of a show.
FYAE: Who are the musicians you looked up to the most growing up and why? What album would you say had the biggest impact on your childhood? What album makes a difference in your current day to day?
ZC: I would have to say Nirvana and their album, Nevermind. Although I fell in love with rock and roll at an early age, this was all my own. Not something my parents or an older cousin showed me, all mine. It meant everything to me and is solely responsible for me picking up a guitar. Their albums still help me to this day. I can get lost in it, or find my way. It’s a beautiful thing.
Evil Friends comes out on Atlantic Records, Tuesday, June 4th.
Portugal. the Man is:
John Baldwin Gourley
Zachary Scott Carothers
Click here to stream the new Portugal. The Man album, Evil Friends, and explore some of the art from their ALL THE FEELS exhibit in LA.
Postmadonna is a rapid math rock, progressive rock infused outfit based out of Seattle, WA.
The self titled album, featured below, plays like Taking Back Sunday mixed with The Sound of Animals Fighting with a large serving of extra experimental rock on the side.
Don’t miss out on these guys before they get really big.
I have been impatiently waiting for months to get my hands on this album, and it’s available for streaming a week early, which is super exciting. In case you’re unaware of The Features, they’re an indie-rock outfit based out of Nashville, TN and they’re basically the bee’s knees. They’ve released several albums, which are all amazingly catchy and definitely worth a listen or two. (Or two million, in my case.) Here’s a link to stream the new record:
And if you like what you hear, definitely check out some of their older stuff. It’s available on their bandcamp page, and some of it for free on noisetrade. I highly, highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend these guys.
Looking for heavy guitars, bold drums, horns, and a folky sound?
Yeah, that’s Old Canes.
A musical project of Christopher Crosci from the band, The Appleseed Cast, Old Canes is an interesting sound, which could be closely described as reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel; while bringing something fresh and original to the table.
Of the music that has been produced and released, it was recorded using a rotating mixture of musicians available at the time, professed as a ‘musical collective’, creating a unique sound that stays enjoyable.
Check out this live performance of one of my favorite Old Cane songs, Sweet, from the album Feral Harmonic, released in 2009.
SLOTHPOP is an ethereal avant-garde pop/indie band from Indy (see what I did there? xD) who has sadly disbanded, but that hasn’t stopped me from obsessing mercilessly over their self-titled album. The vocals and lyrics are amazing, the instrumentation is phenomenal—each song seems to take you on a completely different journey, and yet the album is cohesive and comfortable. Slothpop is available for download on their bandcamp site. Their lead vocalist, Kristen, is working on another project titled KO—go check it out. I’m waiting anxiously for that album to drop as well!
I found out about Levi Weaver the same way that I’m assuming a lot of people did—seeing him open for Imogen Heap back in ‘06. I’ve been a fan of this Nashville-based singer/songwriter ever since. His sound is alt.country/folk rock, and his voice is stellarly stellar. He also is a huge proponent for independent artists and has written a really interesting blog series about the finances of independent artists. (There’s a minimal amount of math, which is helpful for people like me, who shudder at the sight of numbers.)
I could really talk about how amazing Levi is all day.
Noisetrade is offering a 11-song sampler of his catalog today for free, and I’ll throw a link to his bandcamp and blog below. If you like him, I suggest signing up for his email, as he often hooks you up.
Bandcamp: (Most of the albums are pay what you’d like)
Blog Series: “What Does an Indie Get Paid?”
http://leviweaver.com/2013/02/14/what-does-an-indie-get-paid-4-spotify/ (There are links to the other entries toward the top)
The Rose West is an amazing example of progressive rock, driven by telling a story through music. This New York band draws a narrative in a way that should make fans of Coheed very proud.
Weaving a story through each song dripping with jazzy guitars, bluesy vocals, tinges of classic rock, infused with modern prog rock ideals. This is a band that has started to make a name for themselves, starting with taking Brooklyn by storm.
The debut album, When the Road Darkens, shares a link with bands like Coheed and 3, as it was recorded and produced at the historic APPLEHEAD RECORDING & PRODUCTION.
So, if you are looking for something new to listen, look no further. Check out the bands independent debut album here:http://therosewest.bandcamp.com/
I’m a firm believer that you can’t wholly appreciate the present without an understanding and appreciation of the past.
This man’s work helped to form one of the most influential groups of the 1960s, and continued to work and inspire other groups throughout the years. So. Rest in peace, Mr. Manzarek.
Here you go, the interview with the awesome Mr. Josh Eppard, aka Weerd Science. We got the opportunity to ask some serious questions. Enjoy!
For Your Aural Enjoyment: You’ll be releasing Red Light Juliet through bandcamp on May 21st. The last Weerd Science album, Sick Kids, came out in May of 2011. Between those times, you rejoined Coheed as drummer, gotten engaged, etc. So my question is, has the mind set changed in the songwriting process during that time frame and into present day? Is there a different approach to writing lyrics for Weerd Science now, as opposed to then?
Weerd Science: Not Really No. The writing for Weerd Science was always what was inspiring me or motivating me at that moment. I guess I’ve always been drawn to darker things in my writing, and that certainly hasn’t changed. Being in a good place mentally and physically now actually allows me to articulate some of the darkest parts of my past with a clearer mind. I feel like I maybe wouldn’t of, or couldn’t of, dug in so to speak when I was in the middle of some of these things. Chalk that up to another positive thing from not doing heroin all day! Yay!!!!
FYAE: You’ve been traveling and touring extensively with Coheed, when you are on the road, are you writing lyrics in a book, or is that something you wait until you get home to do?
WS: Again the writing happens when it hits me. That can be all day every day or not for 3 weeks. It’s always different. To answer the question though: No there is no specific time to write or not write.
FYAE: How is the songwriting process different with Weerd Science, a hip-hop project, and your other projects, which are more rock-based? Walk me through the process of a Weerd Science song…
WS: (You’re gonna kill me) It’s always different! Every record I’ve made with Weerd Science has been such a unique experience. The process with Friends And Nervous Breakdowns was different than Sick Kids and “Red Light Juliet” is different from both. The one constant is that there is me and I am writing the lyrics. I am turning beats into songs. The process for “Red Light” was different in that it was Ernie Falconer (DJ Dirty Ern) and Chris Bittner (CJB) who really spearheaded this EP. Ernie is always up my ass about “We gotta do music!!!” “We gotta record come on!!!” So finally I said we should do it and those guys sent me a bunch of beats and we did it! That was pretty much the process. If they sent me something that was dope, I knew I better write a song to it before they give it to some wack ass rapper.
FYAE: For those that follow you on twitter [@weerd_science], you are regularly interacting with fans, sharing pictures of family and pets, and also reviewing movies, but the burning question is: when are you going to start a movie review blog?
WS: Bloghz u have 2 youz korrect spellin. Me no like.
FYAE:Has there been any talk of collaboration between [Claudio Sanchez’s side project] The Prize Fighter Inferno and Weerd Science? And if you had the opportunity to collaborate with any musician, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
WS: Yes. There has been some talk. We’ll see. I sure would like that.
Out of any musician dead or alive? Jeez I would have to say John Bonham. I would thank him for all the times I ripped him off and pick his brain for hours. Then I would call Chris Bittner and we would record him playing and never need awesome drum samples again. Or I’d collaborate with Chris Brown. He’s a genius. I’m just kidding. In this magical world where I get to work with any musician dead or alive I am thinking I could get away with murder. And I would murder him. Not because he hit Rihanna either. It’d be because of his laugh in that song Look At Me Now.
FYAE: You’ve also had the chance to do a lot of interesting collaborations and work with some amazing people over the years. Is there any one collaboration that sticks out for you as being particularly meaningful or fun?
WS:I’ve collaborated with a lot of people over the years and my favorite would be Chris Bittner. We don’t always see eye to eye but Chris is other worldly. He’s brilliant. He’s usually right when we don’t agree though.
FYAE: Tell me about some of the music you’ve been listening to lately. What’s burning up your playlist? What new releases in music are you excited for?
WS: A lot of stuff. The new Ill Bill LP is just stupid good. He’s amazing. Anything Vinnie Paz does is getting played. Swollen Members is dope as well. I’ve been on a Fleetwood Mac kick of late. A great band from Albany, Stellar Young, is one of my new favorites. Them and my lil’ brother Jack’s band Cosmonaut.
FYAE: You’ve had the chance to tour with a ton of different groups. What would be your dream lineup to play with? What would be your dream lineup as a fan?
WS: My dream Line up to play with would be:
Stellar Young: 7:00-7:40 (Every other night they switch spots so one doesn’t think I’m favoring the other)
Circa Survive: 9:15-10:15
Led Zeppelin: 12:00-2:00
As a fan it would be - 40oz To Freedom (A Sublime Tribute Band), opening for Sublime! I would wanna see that!
FYAE: The projects you’re currently doing [Coheed & Weerd Science] are independent, meaning under no contracts to a particular record label. How do you feel about being an “indie” artist, now more than ever?
WS: Well being an independent artist today for a band like Coheed is something I am immensely proud of. I had nothing to do with that decision but being in a band that carved out their own thing and can do it at this level without the major label machine means a lot to me. As for Weerd Science it is completely different. Of course we are indie. I don’t sell enough records for any label to want me.
FYAE: Is it more convenient not having a label? What are the pros and cons?
WS: It all is so specific. An experience for this band might be great with a label while this other band might not being indie. It depends on what your goals are and what you want to accomplish. I hate to say it but….its always different!
FYAE: What’s the best advice you can give to up and coming musicians? Where to start, how to market themselves and the music they create?
WS: Just be out there doing it. It’s tough and yes a lot of luck comes into play but, you got to be out there doing it. Make your own luck! Play everywhere and anywhere.
And there you have it folks. Red Light Juliet comes out May 21st at Midnight, look for it HERE: http://weerdscience.bandcamp.com/
Special thanks to Josh Eppard for taking the time to answer some questions, and to Neesh for making it happen!
Thaddeus Lowe’s album “Rose Garden in the Gospel of Now” is a beautiful, acoustic-based experimental/chillwave album that should come with a complimentary glass of red wine and a sunset on the beach. Every track on this album is solid, soothingly beautiful, and amazingly layered for a fun listening experience. If you’re into Bon Iver or City and Colour, or mellow non-political Radiohead, you’ll love this album. He’s offering it for free download, so check it out.
Alright guys, contest time.
The amazing guys in The Rose West have agreed to run a giveaway. There will be 15 prizes/winners in total.
The contest begins today (Saturday) 5/11/13 and will end 5/19/13 (Sunday) at 11am est, and the winner chosen at 12pm.
The prizes are:
- 10 digital download codes for “When The Road Darkens” from bandcamp, which allows the winner to download a copy of the album in any format.
- 4 copies of “When the Road Darkens” on CD, complete with artwork and liner notes.
- 1 grand prize, a copy of “When the Road Darkens” on CD, signed by the band, a signed poster and a The Rose West t-shirt (sizes XS-XL)
The way the contest works, and to be entered, you must:
1. Like The Rose West facebook page.
2. Like For Your Aural Enjoyment on facebook.
3. Share the write up of the band, which is pinned to the top of this page.
(you must use the ‘share’ option on the pinned post. I’ve noticed some shares are not counting, due to privacy settings. Please, if you have your settings super tight, send a message to the page to be entered.)
Everyone who shares the post will then be entered and picked at random, using a web generated chooser.
The 1st 10 picked will win the digital codes, followed by 4 physical copies, and then the grand prize.
So get to sharing, and good luck.
Bring me where the waters run deep, where the eyes cannot see….
|—||The Dear Hunter - The Love|