JON LANGFORD’S FOUR LOST SOULS

What’s Four Lost Souls all about to you as you look at it now?  It was about my relationship with America and more specifically, the South. So much of what I love about this place came out of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, and New Orleans – yet the history and legacy of the South looms over everything since Trump’s election.

It’s a good ride from Wales: how was your Alabama Shoals experience and what are a few of your favorite things?  We worked with Norbert Putnam, the great ‘60-‘70s Muscle Shoals/Nashville producer, and David Hood, who’s been on so many great records. We had a lovely time in Alabama – very efficient, very creative and very different. The music community down there is very fluid and open to ideas.

Did you hold any tunes or recordings back or is the full salvo from the heady proceedings?  I think everything we did is on the record. We only had four days to record and the songs were specifically written for the record. They all told a little story that I wanted to be included and everything worked out great, so it seems no point leaving anything out.

What did you learn this time out and will you ever recover?  I like to change things up with every recording situation. Working with a real producer was definitely an education. And I didn’t play guitar on the record and I really like that.

What was the first concert you ever attended and what strikes you about it today?  I want to see Procol Harum  in the Bristol Colston Hall in 1973, when Grand Hotel came out and I love that show and I still love the band. It was a really different time and we were very young and the crowd was full of hippies. I kind of thought of it as someone else’s music, but I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t until punk came along that I felt THAT was my music.

What was your first public performance?  Singing Gilbert and Sullivan in the school pantomime.

Musicians are funny about their instruments, sometimes even superstitious — tell us about your relationship with guitars over the years; what is your standby go-to 6-string today?  Mostly I’m playing acoustic on the gig supporting this album; as I said, I didn’t play any guitar on the album. I find guitars need constant stroking and attention, much like people. The guitar I play in the “Snake Behind Glass” video is a really old Martin that belonged to Marty Stuart and was once played by Porter Wagoner in his “Parkview” video. It’s a prized possession. When I play electric with the Waco Brothers I use a couple of customized strays.

Do you have any advice (cheap tricks) for your artists looking to connect more with the audience when playing live?  Lots of stupid banter between the songs.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?  I really don’t know where to start.  Possibly the entire band attacking the soundman half way thru a Sally Timms gig at the Khyber Pass in Philadelphia many years ago. Don’t diss the Timms. That really stands out because there’s been so little violence over the last 40 years and that was one of the quietest gigs we ever played.

You are to take a 4 hour dune buggy through the desert with anyone on earth, who do you choose and how do you strike up the conversation?  My wife Helen because she drives the buggy while I looked out the window – do they have windows?

Advertisements

DAHLIA FATALE

SONY DSCWhen did you begin performing live?  I can’t really remember a time in my life when I was not performing. I was introduced the stage as a ballerina when I was 3, and it has been a love affair ever since. I began publicly  performing burlesque in the summer of 2010 with the Urban Bombshells Burlesque Show in Seattle, Washington.
 
How did you chose your stage name?  Research, research, research. I sat down and defined the qualities I wanted in a name. It was important for it to be memorable, easy to say and feminine without being too clean. I spent lots of time looking at name books and historical figures while Googling my potential identities to make sure they were not already in use. Finally I took a spin of my former pin-up name The Lady Fatal and added a flower with a less than bright connotation in modern society the ‘Dahlia’.
 
How would you describe the burlesque audience? A rowdy mixture. It varies show to show from people who have never seen burlesque before and are just curious to the super-fans who can be seen at every event to the occasional observer. In general it’s just people looking to have a good time with some fantastically different entertainment.
 

Who is your favorite all-time burlesque artist?  Midnight Martini from Colorado. Her movement is so engaging and sexy while still being silly and incredibly creative.

 
Do you have to be into rockabilly to be a burlesque dancer?  Definitely not. While many performers are fans of rockabilly, there are also performers who are strictly metal listeners, some punks, some dub-step fans, rock and rollers and many eclectic individuals. Rockabilly is an important side of the burlesque world, but it is not the only one.
 
Music is a big part of the presentation: what tunes do you like to perform to?  Every act that I do picks its own song. I do a lot of dance focused choreography, and my acts vary from super serious and contorted to fun-loving and free. Probably my three favorite songs I have acts to are I Believe In A Thing Called Love- The Darkness, Idlewild Blue- Outcast, and Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice.
 
What’s the nexus between what you do and punk?  The nexus lies in the DIY spirit and creativity. Both burlesquers and punks frequently design their own costuming, create their own art, and aren’t afraid of offending their audience or causing some out-of-bounds thought. Although I do think the punk communities would agree that we should keep the glitter and sequins on the burlesque side.
 
What was your favorite band growing up?  The Clash. I have been rocking out to “Straight To Hell” since I can remember.
 
What are you listening to today?  Literally everything. Over the course of yesterday I listened to Missy Elliot, James Brown, Prince, Streetlight Manifesto, Bad Brains, Muddy Waters and Fantomas. I find that the more music I listen to the more styles of music I have to pull from for new acts.
 
Where would you go if you could time travel?  100 years in the future….just to see what kinds of fabulous costuming and music we have yet to come up with!

tafka VINCE

1.0 – It strikes me that the title to your latest CD, “On Display”, kinda sums up your approach; in your face. Is that fair? 

That’s fair. When we play or people here the music I want it to be noticed. Love it or hate it, but not background noise you can ignore.

2.0 – One may hear more New York or Detroit than Chicago in your rock, who are your musical heroes? 

Good ear you have. Big influences, The New York Dolls, The Ramones (70’s NYC punk in general), Stooges, MC5, Bowie, T Rex and coming back home the earliest influence is still Cheap Trick. The city of Chicago is a big influence. I love my hometown, the city and it’s music and people keep inspiring me.

3.0 – What track on the new disc are folks reacting to most? Is it your favorite too? 

“Laser Beam Precision” gets people dancing, always a good sign. “O” is another one of my favorites; it’s all drama and suited for the stage (like me).

4.0 – How do you write? does it start with a riff most often?

That varies. Sometimes I strum some chords or play a riff and build from there. Other times I have a phrase that is a great opening line or chorus hook and figure out how to build on that and add the music

5.0 – Who is playing and singing on the disc and what are your guys plans as a band?

On the record, Me-vocals & guitar, Lauren Kurtz-vocals, Brian Chinino-drums, Chris Geisler-bass with guests Ed Anderson(Backyard Tire Fire)-guitar, Aaron Lee Tasjan(Madison Square Gardeners)-guitar, Vee Sonnets(The Sonnets)-keys & guitar. Produced By Tony SanFilippo. Live we have Christopher Elam on lead guitar.

The record recently came out online and we should be receiving the LP’s soon, so we plan on playing as much as we can, wherever we can. Hoping to hit NYC again before the end of the year and possibly down to SXSW in the spring. Also trying to figure out how to get someone to pay for to go play in Europe.

6.0 – When did you settle on the moniker “The Artist Formally Known As Vince”? Do you feel it affords you more freedom to not be ‘Vince’?

I’ve had the name since the mid 90’s. I needed a name to put on a flyer for a solo show around the same time the other guy, whose name rhymes with mine, was using formerly and a symbol. Thought it would be funny yet a homage to one of my favorite musicians. I quickly made the adjustment to “Formally”, I liked the play on words, and it stuck. So I have actually stayed Vince all these years!

7.0 – What is the best guitar ever made for rock & roll and what is your favorite stage guitar?

I am partial to Les Paul’s especially Junior’s.

On stage I tend to play a Gibson Flying V that I had customized with a single vintage P-90 so it sounds like my Junior.

8.0 – Do you still believe in radio?

I do. I still listen to it in the van. I think you can still find new music on radio but you need to go to the college and community stations or listen to specialty shows on commercial radio to hear the interesting new music.

9.0 – Any new Chicago clubs or bars area rockers should check out?

LiveWire, is a cool new small rock club. It’s in my neighborhood, Avondale. A couple musician friends of mine run it. They like the Rock N Roll music. I love playing there. Late Bar is great for late night drinks. If out on a Tuesday night stop by Lucky Number, I sling the drinks and pick the tunes.

10.0 – It’s your ‘Dream Gig’…… who are you opening for? when? where and why? 

If I dream it would be going back in time to downtown NYC to open for The New York Dolls at Max’s Kansas City or The Ramones at CBGB’s, I think we would fit in the glam and early punk days, or close to home and open for Cheap Trick at The Brat Stop. Even these day I dream of opening for Cheap Trick or The Dolls anywhere anytime.


RADIO

1.0 – How is the new The Cathy Santonies record coming along? 

We’re writing songs and arranging things pretty steadily. It’s coming along well, I really like all of our new songs. We’re trying them out in front of people and all that.

2.0 – Do you have any specific goals for it?

This will be our first full-length record ever. So for me the first goal is “make a full-length record.” We’ve gone through a lot of lineup changes in the past couple of years, and when you’re often in a state where you’re teaching your old songs to new drummers so that you can play shows, it’s hard to find time to work together on all new stuff. We have also just been in kind of a songwriting funk lately for some reason (who knows). So I think for us we’re using the record as a way to motivate ourselves to write a bunch of new songs. That’s my personal goal, and we’re meeting that so I’m cool with it.

3.0 – Is it hard to capture your aggressive live sound and attitude in a studio? 

Hmm, I don’t think it’s too hard to catch our live sound. We record live, all at the same time in the same room, usually in one or two takes. Then we typically take 1-2 takes for vocals and 1 take for backup vox. Actually tracking each song will take less than 30 minutes, all things considered. I think that helps our recordings sound fresher and more realistic and energetic than if we took forever over-dubbing and making it “perfect.” Obviously in recordings you can hear each part better–we’re not quite as loud overall. I like that though.

4.0 – Is playing heavy a choice or just what you became as a group naturally?

I think it’s just something that naturally happens. We never say like oh this song should sound like this or that or blahblahblah, we usually just let it emerge. We might start with a mood or feeling we want the song to have (this should be creepy, this should be dancey, this part should be really tight, and then this part explosive etc), but we don’t have a certain musical “sound” we’re going for.

5.0 – How did the band come together?

Well Mojo and I grew up together, and when we were in high school we wrote a bunch of super awesome bedroom rock that we never let other people hear. We decided to start an actual band about five years ago because it was something we had always wanted to do and we finally got up the nerve to do it.  We met Jane through Girls Rock! Chicago and she started playing with us about two or three years ago.  We had to lose our original drummer a couple of years ago, and so over the past couple of years we’ve had a few different drummers. Now we finally have a permanent drummer in Chip. And now here we are.

6.0 – What sort of stuff do you guys like to sing about or is that secondary to the rock? 

Like any songwriter, we write about things that are on our mind or that we need to express. Typically we’ll have some music and a vague idea of what a song is about and then we’ll go forward from there together. We have a tendency to often write kind of like optimistic lyrics. But then again sometimes we are angry or hurt. Sometimes sarcastic or funny. It just depends really. Since we have a pretty collaborative songwriting style, there are usually multiple points of view involved in each song.

7.0 – Is part of the apparently unbridled fun proving that chicks can rock? 

Hmmmmm welllllllllll okay this question….Speaking for myself personally, I’m only one person so I don’t see how my doing anything in particular is going to prove anything about ~50% of the world’s adult population (I’m assuming by “chicks” you meant adult human women, not baby birds). I don’t speak for or represent all women ever. I do feel involved in a struggle to help show that, contrary to what we have all been raised to believe, rock n roll doesn’t belong to one type of person or group of people. It belongs to everyone who wants it. Like every other person in the world, I grew up being taught that a woman’s place in rock n roll is as an object of desire for men who play the music, a trophy for them to parade around as the prize they’ve won for being good at rock n roll (these are of course just a few ways women have been portrayed in the context of rnr–but these are the main ones that stuck with me when i was a kid). I have spent a lot of time feeling hurt by rock n roll and a lot of time feeling saved by it–I’ve got my own role models and heroes. Any ‘outsider’ who loves rock n roll might recognize the feelings I’m talking about, I’m sure. It’s complicated and confusing.

8.0 – Do you think having stage names frees you up to be more creative or behave differently than you might otherwise? 

Personally, I like having a stage name because I have a profession where I’m not sure “being in a badass punk rock band” is something that all my colleagues would be super cool with. For me, it’s a way to keep my worlds from colliding. For others in the band, it could be that you can do things as an alter-ego that you can’t as yourself.

9.0 – Are you ladies as rowdy off stage as on?

Yes. Wait, no. Wait, yes. Definitely. Yes.

10.0 – Would you have to sell out musically to have a mainstream hit?  

To me, i guess “selling out” means that you’re playing something you don’t personally like b/c you think other people will like it.  None of us wants to do that, and I actually don’t think we are capable of playing something we don’t like or can’t feel. I can’t imagine why a person would do that.


JOE DELL’AQUILA

1.0 It must be an exciting time to now have your own studio in Exeter Recording, how is it going?

It’s been going really great.  It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come.  Just to think I started out with a Tascam 4 track at my house to this is just insane. Been having a lot of great young bands coming into the studio, and the 7inch wall is still growing! I’m really happy with the sounds I’m getting here and the place has such a comfortable atmosphere. I’m always updating my equipment and always figuring out ways to improve everything I do.  Just ask any band that comes in here about how insane I go when mixing!  I have the gray hairs to prove it.

2.0  Would you be able to produce as well if you hadn’t been in bands yourself?

I always think about how hard it would have been if I didn’t grow up being in a band (With Resistance). I can relate to bands on a lot of different levels.  Whether a band is just starting out recording the first songs they’ve ever written, or recording a debut full length and are about to hit the road for a month, I feel I know exactly what they are going through having been in the situation myself.  One of the great things about being a producer is feeling like you’re apart of every band that enters the studio.  No matter how you feel about the band’s music, you become apart of that band’s history, and are working as hard as they are to put out something awesome.

3.0  When did you realize producing was what you wanted to do?

I think as soon as I hit the realization that high school was ending, that’s when I decided I had to figure out something to do that wasn’t going to make me miserable for the rest of my life! I remember feeling like it was such a make or break decision, and figured, whatever it was, that it was going to start there and then, and that I wasn’t going to give up on the decision unless I hated it. Music was the obvious choice for me, and I was so amazed by the recording experience every time my band had to record that I said “screw this crappy supermarket job”…. I want to do this! Then I went to school and nabbed an associates degree, but that’s not where I felt it started.  Once I started to get hands on experience just figuring out how to record on my own, that’s where I got sucked in and knew I could only get better from there.

4.0  What is your favorite part about the process?

It’s to hard to pick a favorite. I love mixing because it really is amazing to hear the transformation from raw recorded sounds with no set levels, to something that sounds so together, with everything having its own space and being brought more upfront.  And even though I’m not a drummer, I loooooove recording drums.  Nothing feels more awesome than great drum tones.

5.0  What records and producers would you say you have been most influenced by?

I feel like I remember liking the sound of a record rather than who recorded it, which is horrible because I should be hoping people do the opposite when listening to my recordings! But annnnyways….I was definitely influenced by Chris Badami at Portrait Recording Studios.  My band went to him when he was recording out of a garage.  We had such a good experience that we never went to anyone else, going to him the next four times we had to record, and watching his studio grow into the amazing place that it is today.  It was really inspiring because he was just a genuine, nice dude, that was cool to work with for 10 hours a day, and I saw him do exactly what he set out to do. Another guy is Dan Korneff at House of Loud, the guy is a damn genius!  His mixes are enormous, and I think the guy knows more about Nuendo than Steinberg does!  He has indirectly taught me so much, and its awesome to be in contact with him to shoot the shit about recording.  Which leads me to the last guy, my buddyJosh Jakubowski.  He let me use his home studio for years to start my business while he worked in north Jersey at another facility.  Basically my mentor, he taught me things he learned on a daily basis, and we were able to put together an amazing studio for a couple years.  As for records, I love the sound of Small Brown Bikes’s records, Elliot – False Cathedrals, Cave In’srecords, Propagandhi’s records, Jimmy Eat World’s records, I think Days Away; “Mapping An Invisible World” still has my favorite kick drum sound ever! And when my father breaks out his Beatles vinyl, I still get amazed at how good they sound.

6.0 Do you see yourself first as a producer or a musician?

Well about 8 years ago, I would have said musician without even thinking, considering I was in a touring hardcore band at the time.  But since the band broke up, being a producer has completely taken over.  The time I used to spend writing songs is now replaced by figuring out ways to better my recordings and better myself as an engineer.  I feel like there will always be room to improve and that’s what makes recording so addicting.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to play shows again and I have a bunch of songs I’ve written over the years but right now, the studio is the number one priority in my life.

7.0  Was producing records something you had to work hard at or was it something that came naturally to you?

Engineering is something that takes a lot of work to get used to, but Producing is definitely something that comes more naturally to me. Having written so many songs myself, and now having worked with so many bands, I feel I can easily get a grasp on what a band is going for, and from there the ideas start to flow. I always like to throw in my input when something pops up in my head. I’m not scared of getting turned down, because I know bands have a certain idea of how they want their songs to sound, so that makes me an easy person to work with and also keeps a creative atmosphere. I want nothing more than to make the band happy and to make their songs bigger than what they even imagined.

8.0  Can you offer any advice to young bands who are thinking about entering a studio to record for the first time?

Preproduction and practice!!!!  There are so many basic ways of recording available now a days, that young bands with a small budget can do preproduction on their own and be prepared to focus mainly on their performance in the studio.  A lot of bands like to jump the gun on recording, and then you get the, “that’s what you’ve been playing there?” line. So unless you have the time to break down songs in the
studio, it’s something that’s really important to do beforehand.  It just leaves so much more open to focus on performance and to sprout
ideas to make the songs even better.

9.0  Do you have a philosophy about producing?

It’s usually whatever comes in my fortune cookies from the Chinese food I eat every day here! “What’s the deal with fortune cookies being
just statements now a days, I want a fortune damn it!” But seriously, it’s just about working with the artist that came up with the song and realizing the direction they are trying to take. Be open to any ideas they have, and build off them and your own together.

10.0  Is it really true that “every room is different sound?”

I think it’s true, but in the same sense, it doesn’t mean that you can record in one room and not in another. I feel like I could take my set up anywhere and get the sound I need.  It’s all about knowing your equipment, knowing your mic placements, and trusting your ear. On the other hand, getting used to your Monitors and control room is a different story. I feel like that is something that takes a little more getting used to, but its all about comparing and testing the room with different things you and other people have done.

Exeter Recording Studio is located in Freehold, New Jersey

COLIN GILMORE


1.0  How does your new release Goodnight Lane differ from your previous releases? It feels and sounds much more like I intended it to.  For one thing, I had musicians playing on it that had played the songs with me live before we recorded.  Also, I’d never worked with Lloyd Maines and he added a very strong touch.

2.0  What do you feel co-producers Lloyd Maines & Eric McKinney bring to your music? Eric I’ve worked with on previous recordings and by the time we recorded Goodnight Lane, it was pretty clear we’d found a good groove.  He has great taste and a sharp ear.  Lloyd’s parts on the album, although having a country feel, were powerful enough to help the album transcend genre and time.  Also, with Lloyd being from Lubbock and Eric being from Big Spring, the spirit of west Texas was in the air.

3.0  How many songs did you come in with? All ten songs were songs I’d written and played live before recording.  “Essene Eyes” and “Teeth, Hair and Eyeballs” were ones I’d written a long time ago and had all but forgotten.  The players on the album had a big part in resurrecting and redefining them.

4.0  Did you go in with an overall direction in mind or does that just happen as a record takes shape for you? I went in with a direction in mind, but the direction got twisted and reshaped, for the better.  I think Lloyd had a lot to do with that.

5.0  You collaborated again with producer Scott Mathews on “Circles In The Yard” – was that tune a hold-over from the Black Wine EP you did with him? “Circles In The Yard” was a song Scott and I recorded after Black Wine. Out of the blue.  Didn’t know what to do with it.  I was going to re-record it but I just love that version and I love working with Scott.  Even if it makes the credits confusing, it was worth it.

6.0  Do you have a philosophy when it comes to touring? Eat at least one good meal every day, and once in a while, if possible, try to sleep, change clothes and take a shower.

7.0  Which numbers do you think you will be playing live on tour? I’ll be playing all the songs live.  “Essene Eyes” only for occasions where we have the right configuration.  It’s hard to pull off solo.

8.0  Has the advent of SXSW changed the scene in Austin over the years? It has immensely. Some may disagree, but I think it’s put a huge spotlight on the Austin music scene, without causing it to become an industry town.  With the spotlight comes many of the troubles that musicians in big cities face, but in the end we have to deal with that the best we can.

9.0  What was your very first guitar? Do you still have it?  It was a 1980s Fender Telecaster 52 reissue.  Still got it and still love it.

10.0  What day did the world stop and spin the other way for you? Or is that coming in 2012?  Hard to say.  I think I was standing on one of the poles when it happened.

Photo by Kim Maguire.  Visit www.ColinGilmore.com

STEVE HENRY


1.0  – What is WORMBURNER about musically? Wormburner is a collision of musical influences from the vintage punk, new wave, and classic rock catalogues. On top of this music there’s typically a fairly dense lyrical component, often a narrative.

2.0  – Does the band have a favorite room in NYC?  The Bowery Ballroom. 2nd favorite: Mercury Lounge.

3.0  – Is it important to put on a show when you play live? Absolutely. Wormburner puts on a very physical live show. And audiences seem to respond to that.

4.0  – Which WORMBURNER song goes over best live? Probably “The Interstate”.

5.0  – What’s on your mind right before you go on?  No matter how much we prepare for a show, there’s usually some last-minute crisis to manage. Someone realizes he’s missing a patch cord or a guitar strap or something. I’d like to be able to tell you that the moment before we go onstage is a peaceful, zen-like experience. But that’s usually not the case.

6.0  – Does a band have to tour to be taken seriously? That’s a great question, and it’s a question A LOT of bands struggle with. Without proper support and publicity in advance of playing out-of-town dates, a band can end up playing to a stretch of empty rooms, town after town. And that very commonly leads to a band splitting up. Here’s a typical sequence of events: The band makes an initial impact by filling up rooms in their hometown, then they quit their day jobs and book a tour. The tour ends up being a disaster because no one outside their hometown has heard of their particular band, and no one comes to the shows. The band hemorrages money, and the band members grow bitter and they stop believing in what it is they’re doing. They go their separate ways and they often consider their band to have been a failure. It’s just my opinion, but it might be wiser for a band to have landed some sort of fully-funded publicity machinery behind them before quitting their day jobs and trying to make a living playing music on the road.

7.0  –  If the band had their own reality series, what might it be called? Personally I try to avoid reality TV at all costs. I’m pretty turned off by people who strive to get on TV in order to achieve some sort of ‘celebrity’ status. Sorry to be a downer but it’s just not my thing. So I can’t really even think of a clever title for a reality series about Wormburner. Sorry.

8.0  – Do you guys have a super fan? Yes. Her name is Terri O’Rourke and she’s the best. She comes to all our shows. But I don’t think we can claim her as exclusively our own super fan. Terri is a fixture on New York’s indie music scene, and she’s a true appreciator of great music. It’s an honor that she counts Wormburner among her favorites.

9.0  – For your half-time gig at the Super Bowl next year, you do a medley of which three WORMBURNER tunes? Peekskill –> Stolen Tags –> The Interstate

10.0  – Is magic a part of the musical equation for you? Sure. There’s definitely a certain magic to the songwriting process. I like to think that Wormburner has experienced this as sort of “a visitation.” One minute you’re in a studio making what feels like a directionless racket with your instruments, and ten minutes later a fully-formed song has revealed itself. That song didn’t exist ten minutes prior, and it’s a pretty cool thing.