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Music News and Interviews

Koreless Releases First Single in 5 Years

There is a near-infinite supply of buzzed-about electronic producers that haven’t released much music but are, according to at least someone you know, going to be the next big thing. These artists often release a couple of singles, maybe an EP, and then promptly fall off the map before releasing an album. This isn’t to say that the “reclusive electronic DJ,” archetype never pans out, just that you should approach the next two paragraphs with an abundance of caution because Koreless might never be heard from again after today.

Koreless is a British producer working in the vague spectrum of ambient, IDM, and experimental. He tends towards the more compositional end, composing music that is neither dance nor chill, which may or may not be your taste. He released an EP back in 2013, but his last publication of any kind was in 2015. However, he just dropped a new single adding up to around eleven minutes of new material.

Why am I talking about a random single from a producer with no album despite a ten-year career? Well, because the production is just that good and the sounds are fairly high budget. That leads me to believe maybe this will actually pan out into a full album since there appears to be some effort and at least a little money involved, but honestly the single stands on its own. Despite being entirely electronic, and fairly dense, both sides of the single have a clear sense of songwriting, you can follow a progression from beginning to end and the sounds are affecting without pandering to a given vibe or being overly moody. It’s great electronic music, so I guess I’ll throw the dice for a prediction: Koreless has a bright future ahead of him.

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Music News and Interviews

T-Time Interviews Tigers Jaw

What’s up, everyone? This is T-Time, host of In the Garage– the show that brings you the best of garage rock, DIY, and emo! Back in March, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Walsh of Scranton’s own Tigers Jaw. At the time, they were amping up the release of their 6th studio album, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me.”

So what was the direction for this upcoming album?  I’ve listened to a couple of singles, and they seem a lot more synth-based

Yeah. So for this, for this album, we really wanted to capture sort of like the live energy of when we play shows, which is kind of ironic, because there’s no live shows happening right now. But we really wanted to have sort of like a very punchy, sort of openly mixed album with not a whole lot of layering. So it’s pretty reminiscent of how many instruments are happening in a live setting for us. So we definitely experimented a lot with more, more keyboard tones on this record. Brianna was definitely, you know, in her creative element with that, so there’s definitely a couple different instrumental voices in there compared to some previous stuff.

Other than not being able to tour, how else has the pandemic affected recording and rehearsals?

So, we’re a little bit scattered, you know, our drummer lives in the Detroit area, and I live in the Philadelphia area, and then Colin and Brianna both live in northeastern PA. So sort of tighter restrictions about getting together and travel and everything. There’s only been a few, a few situations over the past year that we’ve even seen each other. So it definitely made it tough to get together. A few times we were able to get together and practice and do some music videos and things like that. But fortunately, this record was made prior to the pandemic.

I was wondering how you guys got all that done in such a weird time.

Yeah, we were getting the mixes of the record back, basically, in February 2020, when all the news was coming out, and everything was being pretty rapidly updated. We had the record almost ready to go. And then we were like, “Everything is different now. Like, we’re not going to be able to just put this record out, we will have to sort of rethink how we wanted to roll it out.” Yeah, so this has been a project a couple years in the making. It wasn’t intended to be that way. But it feels good to finally be able to release the record now.

Personally, I like it when artists take their time. I don’t care if it takes a year, I don’t care if it takes five years– if an album is good an album is good.

We try not to get any sort of schedule, like, “Okay, it’s been a couple of years, it’s been two years, we need to do a record.” We make music when we’re feeling inspired. So we’ve always kind of done things in a way that felt natural.

Who are your guys’ inspirations?

I think for me, personally, I was really just drawn to… I remember being a kid and hearing like Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty songs on the radio driving around in the car with my parents, and just hearing like, the simplicity of those songs, but they’re incredible. So, you know, being sort of inspired by that. That style of songwriting where it’s like, a good song is a good song–there’s something about it that you can just feel. And then you know, a few years down the line just getting more so into punk music and starting to play guitar, play drums, and things like that. It was just there was a really cool music and art scene in Scranton, where I grew up, and it was just like this really supportive and creative environment. So it was really inspiring to get involved. One of my older cousins played in a band, and I went to go see him and was just like, I fell in love with that sort of lifestyle, and it inspired me to want to play in a band.

So what about other Philadelphia or Pennsylvania artists? The ones that come to mind are mewithoutYou, Modern Baseball, etcetera. Have you guys had any interaction with them?

Yeah. So we’ve actually been able to go on tour with mewithoutYou and we played with Modern Baseball many years ago. But, we’ve gone on tour with Jake’s project Slaughter Beach, Dog, so it’s a really small world you know? And we’ve been around for a while, we’ve been lucky to meet a lot of really incredible musicians from not just PA but from all over. But there’s something happening in PA where there’s just a lot of really great talented artists.

What genre would you guys consider yourself? I know a lot of people say that you’re emo or pop-punk or folk-rock, but I want to know what the band thinks.

Yeah, it’s a tough question. Because, you know, whatever, how people classify things, I think, can be a good thing. But sometimes it can limit people, like if they feel like, “Oh, I don’t like such and such type of music,” but we’ve always just really considered ourselves a rock band. But we pull from a wide array of influence. Not every song is gonna sound like it belongs in the same category. But right now, we just make guitar rock music, I guess, in the simplest sense.

Yeah, I’ve listened to you guys’ discography, it’s a pretty diverse sound. You listen to your debut record, and then you go and listen to your most recent singles. There’s a lot of similarities, it’s the same band, but it’s definitely a different sound.

Yeah, there’s, there’s common threads that are kind of hard to really describe. But you more so feel them than anything else.

A lot of DJs at the radio station really want to know the answer to this question, it’s kind of dumb. But the self-titled Tigers Jaw album… the album cover… the pizza… was it good?

Oh, it was incredible. So the pizza on the cover is from a place in Scranton, Buona Pizza, and it was right in downtown Scranton. Anytime we would be practicing or playing a show or going to a show, that would be our hangout spot either before or after. So when we were walking around shooting pictures for the Run For Cover release of that record, we naturally just went there, because we always went there. And Brianna took that picture and we ended up rolling with that. A lot of people do ask about it, but it’s great pizza. Just classic greasy mall pizza. If you’re ever in Scranton, check it out.

Thank you so much for speaking with us today, Ben!

We appreciate you having me!

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Concert Preview Festival Coverage Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews

Bonnaroo 2021: Who I’m Excited to See

After much anticipation, Bonnaroo is back in business. After rescheduling from last year (I think there was some sort of pandemic or something), Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee will be flooded with tens of thousands of fans from all over the world. And for good reason too. The lineup for 2021 is definitely going to be one for the books. The headliners for each day include Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Tyler the Creator, who I would shovel out any amount of money to be able to see. Beyond the bigger names include a modge podge of artists ranging from folk to indie to rap, providing a unique taste for everyone there. Among these names, here are a few that I am especially excited to see. 

Megan Thee Stallion 
I’ll be honest, at my first glance of the lineup for this year I was a bit surprised to see Megan on there. When I usually think of Bonnaroo, artists like Tash Sultana, Cage the Elephant, and Tyler Childers come to mind. But the more I think about it, the happier I am to have the chance to see her there. All of Megan’s music has such an upbeat flow to it and I’m sure it will be a tough challenge for any artist to get the crowd more hype than she does. 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard 
This just seems like the kind of band that would be amazing live. With their eccentric guitar riffs and mellowed out lyrics, they make for a perfect midday vibe to bring the crowd together under the sun. 

Caamp
This band definitely holds a special place in my heart. I’m not a huge folk fan, but Caamp has a perfect balance of bluegrass with just a hint of modern rock sprinkled in. The main singer’s voice is raspy, but not too raspy, and their lyrics remind me of a life I used to dream of when a more adventurous writer occupied my mind when I was younger. 

Tame Impala 
Have you guys heard of them? It’s super underground, super indie, you probably wouldn’t like it. All jokes aside, Tame Impala is known to be amazing live and I would love a chance to see Kevin Parker shred the guitar. 

Resistance Revival Chorus 
This group has some of the most amazing harmonies to date. I’d say it’s a mixture of blues and folk. Their lyrics speak to a wide audience and they send a good message. 

Remi Wolf
The last one on this list goes out to Remi Wolf. Her music is a bit reminiscent of Still Woozy, with a funk bass to compliment her wide vocal range. Any song of hers could easily get the crowd dancing. 

These artists are only a few on this incredible lineup. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be in the middle of a tightly packed crowd all there to get the same, beautiful experience of a music festival. Rain or shine, Bonnaroo 2021 is happening and you’re not going to want to miss it. 
-DJ Chippypants

Image Creds: https://edmidentity.com/2020/09/16/bonnaroo-virtual-roo-ality-lineup/

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Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews

The Weezer Fandom: Van Weezer is Coming

So y’all know Weezer right? Radio rock band from the mid-90s, Buddy Holly, Say it Aint So, Island in the Sun? Well did you know that Weezer has been active and releasing music more or less continuously since then? They are releasing their fifteenth studio album “Van Weezer,” here in a couple of weeks, and their ride-or-die fanbase couldn’t be happier.

This thing really sucks! Thanks Weezer!

WZRFAN43

This doesn’t mean the fans are expecting a great new album. In fact, the fanbase is eagerly anticipating a train wreck of monstrous proportions. The Weezer fandom is perhaps one of the most masochistic groups of people I’ve ever seen, taking in each new horrifying set of lyrics, bland instrumental, and bonkers musical idea with awe. One of my longtime friends is a Weezer fan, and she has been forcibly subjecting me to these horrors for about the last 5 years, to the point that it’s become a recurring constant to follow along with every new album. Let me show you what I mean, here is a quotation from their magnum opus Smart Girls:

“Where did all these smart girls come from? I don’t think that I could choose just one. Where did all these smart girls come from? Someone tell me how to get me some. On the floor, in the car, on the seat at the bar, wherever I go, that’s where they are. SMAAARRT GIIIRRRLSSS.”  

This song has been stuck in my head continuously since the 9th grade and I’m not sure if I can live like this any longer.

Even the good music Weezer released in their post-relevancy has been tinted with madness. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which albums are actually good, because nobody agrees on which albums are good. If you liked Weezer in their heyday, I can almost guarantee that you will like something they’ve released in their weird stage, but I cannot tell you what. The line between good solid music and unquestionably horrifying catastrophe is surprisingly fine. I personally love 2008’s “Weezer (The Red Album)” my friend enjoys 2014’s “Everything Will Be Alright in the End.” And both of us agree that 2010’s “Hurley,” is the worst album in recorded history. Needless to say, I’ve listened to Hurley many times more than I’ve listened to anything good they ever released.

Anti-fandom is a strange beast. In the internet era, it’s difficult to unironically like something. Every corner of the internet is filled with hipsters singing the praises of The Room, Cats, The Shaggs, etc. But the Weezer fandom doesn’t actually remind me of those irony poisoned talking points. They remind me most of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Rocky Horror is, objectively speaking, a terrible movie. It’s poorly paced, the music is cheesy, the “point,” if it ever had one, is completely lost, is contains Meatloaf. However, the fandom around Rocky Horror does not love it ironically or poke fun at it because they think it is trash. No, no, while it may be trash, it is our trash, and there will be no bratty hipster “so bad it’s good,” in the Rocky Horror fandom. When Time Warp plays, you will pelvic thrust with force and gusto.

The Weezer fandom works in a similar way. Yes, this is terrible, but it’s only terrible because throughout all their albums there is sincerity and a genuine effort that has been lost by most 90s teenage rock stars. There’s something genuinely uncomfortable about Rivers Cuomo trying and failing to imitate Kesha. I mean, just compare Green Day’s latest, well, I guess you would technically call it a “song” Here Comes the Shock. The self-cannibalizing irony has seeped so deep into their music that it ceases to even be bad. It’s just, the absence of good. So, while I may think 75% of everything Weezer has ever made is absolute garbage, I respect that they have always made the garbage they wanted to make. Except for Pinkerton, screw that album.

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Music News and Interviews

Liz Phair is Still Weird and Releasing New Music

The darling of 90s of alternative rock, Liz Phair, is releasing her first album in almost a decade this May, and the singles so far are… interesting. Phair didn’t leave things on a great note in 2010. After widespread accusations of “selling out” on her self-titled major-label debut (which is an awesome album by the way), she decided to buck the system, defy her managers, and release the music she wanted to make. This would have gone down as one of the all-time biggest power moves in indie rock, the only problem being that the music she wanted to make was rap music so unintentionally horrifying that it put Death Grips to shame a full year before the band even debuted.

That was the last anyone heard of Liz Phair for almost a decade until she resurfaced with a new recording contract, and a suspiciously positive outlook on the record industry early last year. A pandemic delay later, and we got the first single, a tribute song to Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson titled “Hey Lou.” This seems pretty safe, right? A tribute to the favorite power couple of music nerds everywhere. Well, I guess so, but I still have my reservations. The music video and song paired together have a certain… fanfiction-y (?) effect that feels a little odd coming from an adult woman in her fifties. The effect is made even stranger considering that Lou Reed is dead, and Laurie Anderson is still alive, but it’s nothing inappropriate or creepy, just an odd choice for a comeback single.

Then, a few days ago, Phair uploaded her second single, “Spanish Doors” to her Youtube Music account, before, and I swear to you this is true, deleting it so quickly that there is zero press coverage of the song and I’m unsure of whether I dreamt it. The song wasn’t bad, in fact, I remember liking it, but it did have an uncharacteristic electronic production that gives me twitchy flashbacks to her 2010 album. I’m going to move on from this half-baked prophecy because I can’t even verify that this was a real thing that happened, but just know that I’m very alarmed.

I’m awaiting this new album in rapt horror. I love basically everything Liz Phair has released, including the nightmare of an album from 2010. There’s something of a loose cannon nature to her public image that has only intensified with age. I don’t know if she can match the artistic grandeur of her fellow chick rocker Fiona Apple, who just released her surprise return to music last year. Here’s hoping that Phair has been saving up a decade’s worth of good ideas, or at the very least, she will give us an album full of her very worst.

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Music News and Interviews

Black Dresses Are Back?

An album cover with a fiery peace sign over a green field

Canadian Noise Pop duo Black Dresses released the album Peaceful As Hell early last year, their most bold and entrancing album yet, and almost immediately thereafter broke up the band. Citing a wave of harassment and privacy violations occurring after one of their songs became a TikTok hit, they announced an end to the band for the sake of their mental health. It was sad, but not surprising. Fan’s demands upon creator’s personal lives are at a fever pitch, and it’s understandable that some artists wouldn’t want in. Two albums, that’s all we get and it’s more than we deserve.

Last Tuesday, the band put out the following statement on Twitter, “We’re no longer a band, unfortunately. Regardless we’ve decided to keep releasing music.” The surprise announcement was accompanied by a new album, titled Forever In Your Heart. They gave no follow-up explanation, but have spent the last couple of days aggressively retweeting fan art.

Well, that all seems clear enough, and I don’t think anyone is complaining about more Black Dresses. The album was also likely created in their post-breakup period, meaning there’s possibly more to come. There are multiple quasi-references to the invasive pressure of fan culture, and some songs that feel tailor-made to this, the eleventh month of quarantine, including one about living in a concrete bubble that feels especially prescient. The album is possibly their best yet, I’ll spare you a full review and just recommend you check it out for yourself on Bandcamp. It’s full of hyper-pop meets thrash ragers that are as infectious as they are miserable. Black Dresses are infectious misery, and I mean that in the best way possible.

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Music News and Interviews

Anticipated Albums 2021

Written By Miranda

2021 has already been blessed with some great new music content by prominent artists, and we all have plenty to look forward to in music this year. January 2021 notably saw the release of Madlib’s “Dirtknock,” Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales” (which you can read my review), and Lo Village’s “Lost In America” so far. We’re all looking forward to more content from our favorite artists. These are the most anticipated albums likely to be released this year. 

Noname’s “Factory Baby”

Noname teased the release of this album in 2020 but ended up pushing the release date back and will instead likely be released during this year. As fans, we’re all hopeful to see her next project after “Room 25.” 

Lorde, TBA

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly four years since the release of Lorde’s last project, “Melodrama.” The pop singer has been discussing the release of new music since 2019 and is likely to release her newest album this year. 

slowthai, “TYRON” 

slowthai’s singles from his new album have left fans excited for what’s to come. The album “TYRON” is coming February 12th. The album is sure to be interesting, with features from rappers including Skepta and A$AP Rocky. 

Kendrick Lamar 

It’s been three years since Lamar’s last release with the film Black Panther and his Pulitzer-winning “DAMN.” He has appeared on a few features but fans are anxious to hear the next project, hopefully coming in 2021. 

Frank Ocean, TBA

Fans of Frank Ocean have been waiting for new content from the visionary, who hasn’t released an album since 2016. Initially, Frank Ocean planned to release a new 7” but scrapped the idea, so we’re hoping to see this content make its way onto a release this year. 

Ani Defranco, “Revolutionary Love” 

Feminist icon Ani Defranco’s newest project, “Revolutionary Love,” will be released this Friday, January 29th. Defranco says the album will vocalize the world’s deepest frustrations and tensions through an alchemy of folk and soul. 

Adele, TBA

Fans of Adele have waited nearly five years for a new project from the beloved pop singer. In 2020 the singer stated she was still working on her newest album and teased its possible release for 2021. 

Which albums are you most excited to see release this year? Let us know on social media! 
Sources: I, II

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Music News and Interviews

Interview with the creators of “8NIGHTS,” a Hanukkah love song: Dafna and Cameron Desnoes

Around a week ago, I was scrolling through the endless void that is TikTok, and came across a video where a girl said she recorded a Hanukkah song with a random guy who direct-messaged her on Instagram. She pleaded “Please blow it up so my mom doesn’t get mad at me for hanging out with strangers I meet on the internet.” The song playing was “8NIGHTS” by Dafna and Cameron Desnoes. I promptly opened my Spotify and streamed it and immediately fell in love. This Hanukkah love song had stolen my heart, and I wanted to interview the creators. I messaged Dafna on Instagram and 24 hours later, Cameron, Dafna, and I were on a Zoom call.


Where are you guys from?

Dafna: I’m from Boulder, Colorado.

Cameron: I’m from Indian Wells, California.

How did you guys meet?

Cameron: Um, so basically I heard one of Dafna’s songs on TikTok and I was like “Oh my god, this is so good. This is amazing.” So I immediately looked for her Instagram in the TikTok bio and I DMed her and I was like “Dude, your music’s so good like blah blah blah,” and she was like giving generic responses and I was like “Hey you know, like if you’re ever… if you ever want to collab sometime here’s my SoundCloud, give it a listen.” And then she listened and then we just started talking about funny things and then long story short found out that she vacations in Palm Desert and she was going to be there when I was there, and that’s like five minutes from me and then it all worked out.

Oh that’s so cool, it’s like the circle of life because I found out about this song from TikTok.

Dafna: TikTok is just bringing us all together, y’know?

What was the inspiration/ where did you get the idea for 8NIGHTS?

Dafna: So, I have always kind of wanted to write a Hanukkah song that wasn’t about like dreidels or something stupid. Because I feel like most Hanukkah songs that I know are always just like… no one really listens to it unless it’s as a joke. So I wanted to make one that was actually something that more people would want to listen to because it’s a song, not just because it’s a funny Hanukkah song. And I think holiday songs are always better as duets which is why I asked Cameron to sing it with me. 

What are you guys’ favorite holiday traditions? 

Dafna: I guess just like being with family. Hanukkah is eight nights, it’s always hard to have all of us there, I have a pretty big family, there’s seven of us, so it’s hard to have all of us there every single night. But having at least one night where we’re all there eating dinner, lighting candles, and then like, that’s pretty much it.

Cameron: Um, kind of similarly, I really love my family, I love being back. I’m the youngest of four and everyone was gone to college and stuff, so especially when I was little it was great to just see everyone all together. And we do stupid events like family olympics where we make up little games or we’d play game nights after dinner and that along with just the idea of the holidays. We’re not the most religious family ever but I love the traditions we have and the presents we give, and getting matching pajamas and stuff like that, that’s what I love. 

Who are your biggest musical inspirations/role models?

Cameron: That’s pretty tough, but I would say I definitely find inspiration from a lot of different types of music. I’d say my favorite artist, and just one that I’ve always loved because of his passion is Bradley Nowell who was the lead singer of Sublime. I really like him, but I don’t know, I… come back to me for my second one, give me a second.

Dafna: I’d have to say Vulfpeck, they’re just my favorite band and I always listen to their music. Their music is fun and it always puts me in a good mood, so probably them. Or Phony Ppl, I just started listening to them too, and they’re more R&B-ish, and I really like them too.

Cameron: Yeah, I’m gonna stick with my first answer.

Do you have any party tricks or weird talents?

Dafna: I can like, creepily close one eye at a time. 

Cameron: My go-to nowadays is a mean stanky leg. I always pretend like I’m cooking up the pot, and I’m like “What’s that smell? What’s that smell? Oh, it’s stank.” Throw out the stanky leg on them every time. 

How did you each get into making music?

Dafna: My parents put me in piano lessons when I was like four, so that kind of like forced the whole music thing on me, but then I really liked it so I just kept doing it.

Cameron: I also was forced to do piano when I was younger but everyone in my family quit. Then I got into a little bit of musical theater and then a capella. And I just loved music so much, I was like “I have to do it,” and my senior project my senior year, was creating a band. Since then I’ve always wanted to be better at making music, which I’m not, which is why it was awesome to collaborate with Dafna because she is a great producer. 

Cameron, from looking at your Spotify this appears to be your first song, is this your first time working on a song, or just the first one you’ve released?

Cameron: So like I was saying, my senior project was a band and I was the head producer and I was definitely not qualified but, I tried to do some stuff and it sounded okay but I wasn’t confident enough to go through the effort of putting it on Spotify so I threw it on SoundCloud. I’ve always tried, the entire summer this summer, I really worked hard on trying to do my own stuff, but I wasn’t yet proficient enough in Logic that I could express what I wanted to sound like. So I guess the only reason why I was able to release this one was because Dafna is very comfortable with that and so I knew that if I was collaborating with someone who was very comfortable with producing, it would be awesome. 

What’s your favorite song right now?

Dafna: The Taylor Swift album that just came out, I’ve been bumping that, and listening to it like every day, it’s so good.

Cameron: “Hell N Back” by Bakar, if you know who that is.

Dafna: There’s also that one song from TikTok, that Cameron, you were talking about yesterday.

Cameron: “Sensitive”?

Dafna: Yeah, that one.

Cameron: *Plays “Sensitive” by Serena Isioma*

Is there anything else you’re working on/ want to promote?

Dafna: I have an EP that’s coming out in late February or early March, the release is not decided yet.

Cameron: Y’know… I’m a loose cannon so get ready.


If you don’t want to wait until February or March to stream Dafna’s other music, you can check out her Spotify. She has two albums out titled “Submerge” and “I LOVE YOU.” Don’t forget to stream “8NIGHTS” which you can find on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and iTunes. Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for Cameron, he’s a loose cannon after all.

<3,

Caitlin

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Music News and Interviews

An Interview with Dropping Plates

Dropping Plates (from left to right): Ben Burrows, Forest Britt, Aaron Huntley, and Jake Fain.

Dropping Plates is one of the newest local bands on the scene in Boone, NC. I had the opportunity to have a delightful interview with them this week! Made up of bassist Aaron Huntley, drummer Forest Britt, lead singer/guitarist Jake Fain, and guitarist Ben Burrows, they bring a unique funk-rock sound to the table. Here’s what they have to say:

Q: Tell me about how Dropping Plates started.

Aaron: Me and Forest were roommates last year at App State. I was on Facebook, and I saw that Ben had posted this ad for a drummer and bass player to create a band. I’ve known Ben because I met him through a mutual friend, and we’d jammed in the past before. I recognized him and so I just hit him up and then we jammed. It was perfect.

Q: How would you describe the music you make?

Jake: A mix between Grateful Dead and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Aaron: I know that we like to vibe, we like to jam.

Forest: We like to jam a lot. There’s a lot of instrumental influence, especially guitar solos in all of our music. A lot of our music is from different fields. We’ll have a more rock-like niche feel that’s heavier, but then we’ll also have a lighter poppy feel. We also have songs that are slow and like, just chill. So it kind of depends, but I think ultimately each song does have our individual instrumental influences which ultimately make the band Dropping Plates.

Q: What’s the story behind the name “Dropping Plates?”

Jake: So basically we were all in a group chat and we were just throwing out names, like we probably had 150 names. I was going through and I picked my top three out or whatever and I sent them to my mom. She’s like a very good outside judge of those things to see, you know, what would draw other people’s attention the most. One of them was Dropping Plates and she picked that one.

Forest: And with the name Dropping Plates, when you hear the sound of a plate dropping and crashing you know what that sound is, right? We feel like that compares to our music. We’re hoping that when you hear our band you know it’s Dropping Plates.

Ben: We were also going to be Dino Trip at first, Dino Trip or Dinosaur Party. And then we were like…”No, Dropping Plates.”

Q: Tell me a little bit about your creative process. How do you guys make music? Where do you draw inspiration from?

Forest: Really, it’s different for every song. They write music on their instruments, and then bring it to the band. Then, when we come together after we work on the songs. Everyone kind of puts their own touch into that song. It just builds until it’s a complete piece. But there’s a lot of times when it’s already a complete thing, but we’re just adding our influences into it and our sounds. For the song “Spun”, I felt like Jake kind of had that song already finished for his guitar part. We all came together and Jake started playing the song, Aaron starts coming up with a baseline, and I’m listening to Aaron play his baseline and I’ll do my drum part. Then we’ll come up with melodic lines over Jake’s guitar part. Jake will just sing, and then we’ll be like, f*** yeah. Maybe we’ll tweak it a little bit for a few songs. There’s a song on our upcoming album called “Wave” and it used to be actually a really fast song that Ben wrote but then we decided to just pull it back and play it slow. Now it’s this really beautiful, slow piece that’s closing the album.

Ben: Yeah, I think all of us have different influences for music, which I think is really cool because then it adds to a melting pot of sorts. Aaron is a lot more into jazz and methodical playing and I’m a lot more feel and rustic type of deal. Jake is like the nice mixture of the two and more Grateful Dead oriented on that point as well. And then Forest, he’s just the feel master of it all. The idea that he has what he has just in his mind I think is very cool. We’re all able to bring our own identities to our music, which is so sick.

Q: Who are your biggest musical role models?

Ben: John Mayer and the Grateful Dead for me are my top two most influential artists.

Forest: For me Hiatus Kaiyote, and specifically the drummer. His drum stuff really influences what I’m doing.

Jake: I’d definitely say just a combination of Jerry Garcia and Trey Anastasio. So, Dead and Phish, just the combination of the two is my biggest inspiration for sure.

Aaron: I listen to a lot of jazz. This guy, Christian Scott, he just has this, like blaring music and it’s really cool. And Flea, obviously, from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Q: What’s the most useless talent you have?

Forest: I do parkour. Throughout middle school I was really into it and throughout high school I taught parkour classes at a gym. I would say it taught me a lot about working with kids working on yourself physically, but like, ultimately, I can do a backflip. I don’t know how useful that is.

Ben: I work for a conservation group. That’s pretty useful though. I have a really fancy tool that helps me measure water quality and dissolved oxygen and all this stuff. So I basically just put it in the water and I take the data. I can also do a really mean Scooby-Doo impression.

Jake: Oh yeah, we’re also really good at Catan.

Aaron: Super Smash Brothers too, we’re also really good at that. I know a lot of random stuff about animals too. I can play bass and drums at the same time. I use my feet on the drums and I use my hands on the bass.

Jake: I know a dumb amount of random Grateful Dead and Phish facts that I can just impose upon people.

Ben: It’s the most useless skill ever. He’ll just say some s*** that’ll blow your mind and you’re just like, why do you even know that?

Q: Have you guys played any live shows?

Jake: We’ve played four actual shows and then we played a bunch of times for an open mic.

Ben: Our favorite gig was a State though. I actually went to State my first two years. I was in a band, they’re called Friendly Reminder, they’re pretty sick. Check them out. My friends asked me if we wanted to come down and play at some philanthropy thing for their fraternity. We got to do it and it was really, really, really sick. We just played really well. It was a big crowd, but that wasn’t even what made it great. We all felt just felt connected and it was really cool. Which is why we’re sad. We had 15 shows lined up for the last month and a half before COVID, like one to three a week.

Jake: Ultimately, I’d say that we’re like gearing towards trying to become a live band. We still want to do studio stuff, because I actually really enjoyed that more than I thought I would.

Ben: We want to play. This is what we want to do with our lives. We’ll go to any means necessary to do that and get a really cool following. The goal would be to have a cult following that’s super religious to us. I’d like to see the same 50 people at our shows every time.

Q: What are you working on right now? What does the future look like for the band?

Aaron: We got a single coming out soon. We also just dropped our second music video today, “Padlock.”

Forest: And then our album, which has these singles we’ve dropped like “Spun,’ “Padlock,” and this next single, they’re all going to be a part of an album, which I think we’re gonna drop in February. We’re actually also in the process of recording another album too that’ll be released in the summer.

Q: Anything else you want to world to know about Dropping Plates?

Ben: Follow us on Facebook. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Check out our Spotify. And just come hang. Whenever all the social distancing stuff is over, we’re happy to hang out. We want to meet people and do cool things with music. We already have a community. We’re talking to a lot of other bands right now about playing shows together, and these are bands that are way better than us. It’s cool to recognize that people see our music as a promising thing and that they like our sound. It’s cool to finally realize that all of our hard work is being noticed.

Below is a link to their new music video to “Padlock,” along with their Spotify, Instagram, and Youtube channel. Check ’em out!

Tune in!

– DJ Butter

Categories
Music News and Interviews

Edward “Eddie” Lodewijk Van Halen

January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020

The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a huge statue, measuring 108 feet tall, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes in 280 BC. The actual location of the original statue is disputed today, but one of the opinions on the matter is that the statue straddled the opening to the harbor of Rhodes, a foot on each side. 

I grew up listening to Van Halen with my parents. I have told the story, many times, of riding to kindergarten with my dad, and asking him to play “Little Dreamer,” my favorite at the time. Hearing Eddie play at that young age, helped bring a familiarity to all music that I would hear from then on. The sound of screaming solos and chugging riffs has always been an inviting and welcoming sound to me. In the era in which Eddie played, there were great guitarists. But he turned it up! And turned Rock on its head!

Eddie was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His family moved to California and in 1972, he and his brother Alex, founded Van Halen with original bassist Mark Stone and singer David Lee Roth. He may not have invented the “tap style” technique of guitar playing, but he sure did perfect it! More than that, though, he was the perfect expression of one’s instrument becoming an extension of one’s self. With a perpetual grin, Eddie did amazing things, both in the studio and on the stage. 

1974 – 1985: Eddie, Alex, David, and Michael Anthony (bass) delivered raw emotion and talent on Van Halen’s first 5 records, all of which have since been certified multi-platinum – Van Halen, Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, and Diver Down. The sixth record, 1984, was far more commercial than the previous records, but Eddie kept on with the kick ass riffs. 

In 1985 Roth went solo and The Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar, stepped in to vocals and as a second guitarist. The band became even more successful, producing four U.S. number-one, multi-platinum records – 5150 in 1986, OU812 in 1988, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in 1991, and Balance in 1995. Eddie introduced keyboards on the 1984 album, and carried that through this era as well. These records had a more pop-rock sound, but Eddie kept dealing out the killer guitars. 

1996, Hager leaves the band and Gary Cherone (Extreme) takes vocals for Van Halen III in 1998. He leaves the band in 1999. 

2003, Hagar rejoins for a worldwide tour in 2004, and leaves again in 2005. 

2006, Roth rejoins and Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddies son) takes over on bass. 

2012 sees the release of A Different Kind of Truth and, you guessed it, Eddie kept delivering the guitar mastery. 

The Colossus of Rhodes is the perfect imagery to me, when imagining Eddie within the larger guitar community. He stood like a Colossus with one foot in Rock-n-roll and the other in what would come to be known as Metal. He stood in welcome of travelers journeying to this new form of energy. He was the bridge between the old and the new. There are giants in the land of guitarists. There are metal-gods and titans that traverse here, too. But Eddie was a Colossus that changed the art of shredding forever. With a grin and a swagger, this Colossus stands forever. Rest In Rock, sir. 

Stay Metal,

THE SAW