Brittany Lee's Blog
We got to sit down with Benji and Joel of The Madden Brothers to discuss their new music, tattoos, Pharrell and more...ENJOY!
You both have multiple tattoos. Are any of them especially significant to you?
All of them are significant (Joel.)
All of the tattoos I got first. All the bad ones. (Benji)
The music from your debut album as The Madden Brothers is stylistically distinct from the music previously released with Good Charlotte. How has the creative process been different now that it is just the two of you?
We have a little bit more freedom to do what we want. (Benji)
Pharrell Williams co-wrote a couple of songs on Greetings from California. What was it like working with him?
Pharrell is an awesome guy to work with. Really fun and creative. (Benji)
Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
Ryan Adams, Echosmith, Vampire Weekend. (Benji)
Joel just finished being a judge on Season 3 of The Voice Australia. Benji also made an appearance as a coach on the show. Can you tell us what that experience has been like working with upcoming talent?
It’s really fun encouraging new artists to go for their dreams. We had a blast. (Joel)
Recently fans were asked to post pictures on Instagram with signs telling the world what they are done with using #WeAreDone. What would you guys say you are done with?
We are done with any of the things that have held us back from being creative and happy. (Benji)
What made you guys want to join forces as a new group rather than doing your own solo projects?
We love working together. There’s nothing like hanging with your brother. (Benji)
If you had to describe your latest album in 3 words what would they be and why?
Creative, musical, fulfilling. (Benji)
You have been touring in Australia in support of Greeting from California, are their any plans for an American tour?
Yes – doing a few dates this year. Much more touring to come in 2015. (Joel).
The Madden Brothers just released a new album so be sure to pick it up on iTunes HERE!
We got to sit down with Metro Station recently to discuss all of the exciting things they have in store for you all. We talk their reunion, music, tour and much more...check it out!
Be sure to check out the tour dates HERE to see Metro Station on The Outsiders Tour at a city near you!
What are your thoughts on Metro Station's reunion?
I got to sit down with the talented lady herself, Julia Sinclair! She has some incredible music along with an inspiring story that I know you will all love.
Your sound is so unique, like a mash-up of rock and country sounds. What would you call your sound?
That’s a tough one. I grew up playing classical and jazz guitar but was heavily influenced by bands like The Police, Oasis and Chicago. I play what I like and I like a lot of different things.
Who inspires you?
Well, the Bands I mentioned above and actually, in terms of The Police, I’m inspired by Sting’s entire career. Pretty amazing. As far as contemporaries, The 1975, Muse and Haim have been in my rotation for the last couple months.
What is your songwriting process like?
A song can come from anywhere. Sometimes I start with a guitar riff or melody. Sometimes I start with a story or a couple words. Whatever works. I will say I hate doing the same thing over and over again. When I get bored I change instruments or locations.
Do your songs come from a personal place, or are they more your observations on things? How do you put that to music?
A bit of both, but the songs off my upcoming EP come from a very personal place. “The World is ours” is a story about meeting my wife in Nashville. “This too shall pass” was inspired by my own self-discovery and the light, however dim, at the end of every tunnel. It feels good to be vulnerable.
Are there ever any challenges in translating what you've composed over to a recorded version in the studio?
There are. The biggest challenge is allowing other people’s creativity to expand upon what you’ve already created.
What can we expect from the album?
There are some reflective, painful moments but overall, it’s a good time. If the album’s an indicator of where my head’s at, I’m in a pretty good place.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
The biggest highlight of my career may have been making this EP. I got to work with some incredible producers. John Alagia, Nolan Sipe, Brian West, Daniel Heith – Thanks guys! Finding the right team isn’t easy and has been a challenge in the past. I feel pretty lucky.
What are you most looking forward to?
People hearing the songs and attaching their own experiences to them. That’s when music becomes something bigger. I also love my band and can’t wait to get back on the road. Lots to come.
Stay in touch with Sinclair HERE!
I got a chance to interview one of our favorite British sensation...RIXTON!
Your music videos are so cute and funny! Do you guys keep a good sense of humor between you all? Do you ever play pranks on each other?
We try to make sure we don't take ourselves too seriously and keep everything light hearted! We play pranks on each other from time to time but nothing too severe!
What was it like working with Benny Blanco and Ed Sheeran on the album? How do you like collaborating with other artists for projects?
Working with Benny an Ed was a dream come true for all of us! Were all huge fans of Benny's work and getting in the studio with him you realise how he is one of the biggest producers of our generation! Ed is the definition of a superstar and on top of being an incredible artist and writer is the nicest guy!
Lots of your music centers around heartbreak. Does this come from personal experience? Does writing music act like a kind of therapy?
We try to write about universal relatable topics! It just so happens that a few of the topics are about broken hearts!
Jake has said that some of the songs on this album have survived six years. What message would you want to give fans who are working hard to pursue their own dreams, just like you guys are?
Just do it for the love of it! You'll have 100 people that won't give you a chance but there will be someone out there that shares your vision!
What are you most looking forward to about touring with Ariana Grande?
Were looking forward to getting to see all the states in the US, meeting all the fans! Were also playing some prestigious venues around America that will be incredible!
They recently did a secret show with Myspace and you can watch the FULL SET HERE!
What is YOUR favorite Rixton song??
I am always looking for new bands and artists to check out and share with my fellow music junkies! I found another one that I know you will love, they are a bad called Priory!
This band has such a fun sound, it puts you in a good mood and makes you want to hear more. Does it get any better than that?
1. Your music has a great electro-pop sound. What inspires the sound?
Brandon- We are gear heads and have a large collection of weird synths and percussion instruments in our recording studio, LOUDWAR. The electro elements essentially come from messing around for countless hours.
What was the process like in creating your album?
Brandon- Kyle and I are both multi-instrumentalists that record, engineer, produce and perform mostly everything ourselves. Our process is very organic. We don‘t set out to make our music sound a specific way. We work the songs until they feel right and don’t worry about fitting them into a specific genre or structure. We love creating new sound pallets from scratch. We will often spend a whole day figuring out a drum sound or guitar tone. We live for extreme contrasts. If a verse is simmering, we want the chorus to knock your head off. Live we are a very guitar-driven band. We put out on stage. We tour as a five piece and I have to say our rhythm section is crushing right now.
What has been the biggest obstacle for the band so far? What would you consider your biggest success?
Kyle-Brandon and I gave up any form of a income or regular life to start working on this record. We found funding to build a studio so that we had a place to create everyday. We clocked long days and odd hours to make something that we are very proud of. This decision was definitely tough. Brandon had to give bass lessons and odd constitution jobs for cash and I gave plasma 2 times a week for grocery money.
Our biggest success has to be being paid to play music. We struggled for such a long time that having people care about of songs is fantastic. We were able to go to London and mix the album with one of the greats (Spike Stent), as well as have a song in the top 20 Alternative Billboard. The fact that we get to play music and create art every day is unreal.
What has it been like to tour with The Kooks? What have the highlights been?
Kyle- We have had such a blast touring with The Kooks and Halsey so far. A big highlight for us was a sold out show at The Wiltern Theatre in LA. When we started playing the intro to Weekend and the crowd started cheering and immediately sang along. It is an indescribable feeling when a song that the song you wrote in your own studio (LoudWar Studios) in Portland has become accessible to everyone via radio and online streams.
What is the best thing a fan has ever done for you or given to you?
Kyle- A few years ago a fan in Sweden contacted us via email and asked for the lyrics and music to one of our old songs “Kings of Troy.” We said okay and sent a reply asking what he wanted it for. He told us that he wanted to play it on acoustic guitar right before he asked his girlfriend to marry him. Pretty bad ass!
Do you guys like the video and their music?
Whether you have been a fan of Finch from day one or you are just hearing of them for first time, you will LOVE this interview! The band has reunited and has some great things in store for you all...like a new album that comes out TOMORROW!
Pre-Order the album HERE!
For anyone who has yet to check Finch out, how would you describe the band in 3 words?
I guess I would say… ear shattering freaks
What do you feel has been your most legendary song?
You’d have to say "What It Is To Burn", that song is responsible for a large part of the bands success and one we’re proud of and have fun playing every night. That being said, I feel like we are looking towards the future and there are songs on the new record that have that kind of weight to them, what ends up translating to the listener is not really up to us… we’ve got some real epics in our catalogue from "Ender", to "Chinese Organ Thieves". To me it comes down to what songs feel great to play and right now we’re really enjoying rehearsing and playing a big chunk of the catalogue.
What is the best advice you can give to anyone trying to follow their dreams?
It comes down to practice and honing your craft, whether it’s music or anything else. There are no short cuts, you have to get good at what you’re doing and dedicate your entire life to those dreams. Don’t be afraid of failure, anyone that has ever reached a goal or found success with their craft will tell you that there is much more failure along the way then maybe they anticipated. To me, failure is a motivator… how can I do it better next time? What is it that I’m not doing well? Finding the answer to those things and pushing through is a big part of following your dreams and hopefully achieving what you want to achieve.
What is the most challenging part of being a musician?
Dedicating enough time to learn your instrument and learn how to write a song or put arrangements together is the first hurdle I guess, after that it’s a challenging lifestyle of being on the road and being a freak to the outside world… but all that is actually quite enjoyable after a while!
You guys have a tour coming up in October, what can the fans expect from your live performance?
We’re going to be playing new songs off of 'Back To Oblivion' and a bunch of songs off of 'What It Is To Burn' and Say 'Hello To Sunshine', I’m really looking forward to playing what will probably be the most comprehensive Finch set ever! We’re putting some production stuff together as well… but honestly the best part of a finch show is the people that show up and sing ever word, that always surprises me and
What inspired you all to rally up the troops and be a full-time band again?
Our manager Andy Harris got us back together to do the anniversary tour last year, and just the power of those shows and the songs really motivated us to start writing and really dedicate ourselves to a new record, the songs that came out of us and how it felt to be playing new songs together that we were really proud of… it makes it pretty easy to say ‘yea let’s do it for real’
If you could design your dream tour bus, what would it look like?
It would absolutely look like the inside of the Millennium Falcon, but with a hot tub.
What is your favorite song to perform live?
For me, it changes almost every night, I’m always surprised by old songs that have new life breathed into them. On our last tour through Asia and UK I guess my favorite song was our new song “Two Guns To The Temple” it’s got great energy.
Pick one song off the new album ' Back To Oblivion' and tell us what inspired the lyrics!
I can’t totally speak to the lyrics because Nate writes all his own lyrics, but I know that he was working off of the idea of Oblivion, and what that is to him or to other people. I think that song ‘Back To Oblivion’ sparked a lot of ideas for him and he was able to create a little world for himself to dream up ideas and stories he wanted to tell.
Any last words for your fans and readers!
Thanks for all the years of support, we would not be doing what we’re doing without our fans! Make sure and grab the new album and a ticket to one the upcoming shows, come find us and say hi!
As if Demi Lovato wasn't busy enough already with her music and American Idol...she has taken on some new exciting ventures.
She has joined forces with Skechers and created her own collection! Here is what she had to say about it:
“Everyone is unique and Skechers embodies that. Their Skechers Memory Foam shoes conform to YOU, so it’s a customized fit," Demi said about the collab. "I think everyone should celebrate their individuality and I’m happy to collaborate with Skechers in promoting this message.”
Demi also has released her own Skin Care line called Devonne by Demi! Lavender mist? Sign me up!
Last but not least, she has her own line of hair extensions called Secret Color! They come in so many awesome colors and they are attached to a headband so it's so easy to use on the daily!
We are so proud of Demi and her success! Out of all of her exciting announcements, which are you most excited about?
I am excited to share this awesome interview with you all that I did with The Tragic Thrills!
On your Facebook page it says the band was founded in 2013. How did you guys find each other?
We all came from other bands and projects. Cameron and I (Zach) got introduced to Chris and Ans through our manager because we had 3 shows coming up in the Southern California area and needed a drummer and a guitar player to fill in. We only got to rehearse together for 2 days before the shows but we had an instant chemistry. Pretty much right away we asked them to join the band, along with Gabe.
Are there ever any challenges to working in a group with different opinions?
The nice thing about this band is that we've all been touring for 5-6 years and so we know what it’s like to be in close proximity and to work together on something as particular as a band. It doesn't come without its challenges but everybody having the same vision keeps us rolling. Working towards something together can be really rewarding, I think.
What was your favorite part in the process of creating the album?
I personally love recording and being in a studio. I don't care if it's vocals, drums, guitar, mixing, comping, pre-production, whatever - I want to be there and be a part of it. As much as technology is improving and people are able to do more and more by themselves, I hope the old fashioned recording process is never totally lost.
What motivated you to self-fund your debut album?
Since no one was interested in signing us, self-funding was really our only option. At the time, I was obsessed with finishing the record and I didn't really care what happened after it was done. I'm very thankful we were able to make the record. It gave me a lot of purpose and I'm lucky I had that.
On your website, it says you were enamored with the production on Mat Kearney's "Young Love". What about this sound made decide you work with Jason Lehning on production for the album?
Jason Lehning is an amazing producer. His work on Young Love was so fun to listen to. Jason has a rich musical background that he applies to his innovative pop-sensibilities in a very unique way. When I was conceptualizing a record in the very early stages, I was drawn to the idea of my words and stories being accompanied by production that had a stamp and a voice of its own. I liked the idea of both entities complimenting and furthering each other. I immediately thought Jason could do that for me when I heard his work.
How would you describe the sound on this album?
Folk rock with big half-time drum beat tendencies
What inspired the re-release coming up on September 30th?
We signed a record deal. Woo Hoo!
(Aimed toward Zach) The lyrics of your songs seem to come from a very personal place. Are all the things you talk about real-life situations?
Pretty much. They come from me or things close to me. My observations of the rest of the world sometimes feel insincere or too cynical and so I try my best to stick to what I know.
Take me through the process of getting the lyrics just-right for a new song.
I'm a slow song writer. My lyrics are pretty emotive and so a lot of times I feel something and then have to work it out and make sense of it all.
Do you ever get nervous talking about such intimate and personal things in your songs?
I think of lot of it is subliminal. I think sometimes I steer clear of topics that I'm scared of without even knowing it. But usually they find a way of sneaking back in.
You just finished up a tour last month, what was your favorite city to perform in?
Little Rock, AR, actually. I just thought we played really well that night. We had some friends at the show which usually just stresses me out but this time it was really nice.
Do you have any fun stories from being on the road that stand out to you?
At the end of tour we were in New Jersey and had to drive all the way back to San Diego. We left at the crack of dawn from New Jersey in order to get to Nashville before 10pm to go to this Nashville Hot Chicken place called Hattie B's before it closed. We had to haul ass the whole way to make it. Even when we stopped for gas it was a military operation where one person started pumping while the other person went to the restroom and then ran back in time to finish pumping so the first pumper could go to the restroom. When we finally had a beer and the hot chicken, it was an out-of-body experience. I've never felt so drunk, high, whatever in my entire life. It might have been the best meal of my life.
The tour is wrapped, the album is set to be released on September 30th, what is next for you guys?
We'll be adding more dates this fall and hopefully into the next year. In the meantime, I'm working on album 2.
They had their show with Escape The Fate at The Glass House in Pomona, CA! When we first showed up, there was already a good crowd of people excited to see them hit the stage. I hadn't seen Justin play since a tour we were on when he was in his old band called Love Hate Hero so I was just as eager as every fan watching. The second they came on it was instant energy, they even got people jumping up and down screaming the lyrics!
One of my favorite songs to see live was "Show And Tell" which you can see in the video below...
I was sad to see them finish but was so proud, excited and impressed by their performance that I already can't wait to see them play again!
Another rad band played after them called Hideouts that you should definitely give a listen to as well.
The headlining band was one I know you all know and love, Escape The Fate, who of course KILLED it!
Overall, it was just a magical night getting to see so many familiar faces and important people in my life doing what they love while making other people smile.
If you haven't checked out XO Stereo yet follow them and keep an eye out for when they come to a city near you :)