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If you’re absolutely oblivious to the fact that Sacremento, CA has one of the best music scenes currently out there - Incredible’ Me is the one band you will at least want to make yourself familiar with. This brand new, hardcore outfit has released two singles in the past little while both maintaining and gaining fans rapidly.
Lexie Olsen, one of the band’s guitarists allowed us the opportunity to get the low-down on what the band’s current and future plans are as well as how she stays motivated as a musician. The interview can be found below and I can guarantee that we will posting about this band more and more often as they take the music scene by surprise.
How long have you been playing guitar? Have you been in any previous bands before Incredible’ Me?
I’ve been playing guitar for about 5 or 6 years now. Yeah, I’ve been in a couple bands before IM – actually my first band ever was with our frontman, David, about three years ago!
Apart from playing guitar in the band, do you have any other roles in the band such as lyric writing or the future possibility of back-up vocals?
I haven’t written any lyrics for the songs that are already released, but I am contributing to the new songs we are currently writing/recording! When appropriate, we all like to collaborate as a full band when it comes to lyric writing – that usually means half of us are writing and the other half are adding/subtracting or editing parts.
Haha I get this question all the time! When someone finds out I play music or they see a girl in a band, they automatically guess, “Singer?!” I think it’s a girl thing. But I totally get it — and there may be a possibility of me doing some background vocals in the upcoming songs, but I think Dillon and Alex do such a good job at what they do so there’s no need for my voice in the mix. I like to put all my focus on my guitar, because that’s what I’m truly in love with and I want to work extremely hard on writing and improving constantly.
What types of genres would you say that you’re writing ability comes from? Do you believe in having a diverse music taste?
In my opinion, having a diverse taste in music is EXTREMELY important if you are going to be writing songs. My number one goal is to write songs that don’t sound the same when played back to back, and to do that I think every member of a band needs to be knowledgeable on more than just one or two styles of music. My inspiration comes from other bands – its sucks because half the time I can’t just sit there and listen to a song, I have to completely dissect it and learn from what each musician is playing. I have so much respect for the bands I listen to, there are truly so many amazing musicians out there. I feel so lucky to have close friends that are in bands that I look up to. I can talk to them for hours and learn so much! When it comes to my own writing, I’ll try to pull from as many genres as possible. I love so many different types of music, seriously! If you scrolled through my iPod and didn’t know what kind of music I played, it would be a somewhat difficult guess haha : )
Incredible’ Me just had their first show just under a month ago…was it intimidating knowing that you’re one of the very few bands with a female guitarists? Were you worried that people weren’t you going to take you seriously? How did you overcome any negativity? (if any)
When I started playing my first shows a couple years ago, I used to worry about these kinds of things. And I’m already the kind of person who doesn’t like to stick out or be the center of attention, so it took a little while to get over it. But honestly, I don’t identify myself as a “female guitarist.” I am a guitarist, and if someone doesn’t want to take me seriously because I just so happen to be a girl, then that’s fine. People are going to think whatever they want to think, and they are going to be ignorant – it’s impossible to change that so you just have to rise above it all. It used to bother me so much and I would get discouraged at times, but as I kept going and pushing myself I began to fall more and more in love with playing music, so any insecurities I had before completely disappeared. There will be, of course, jokes or sexist comments every once in a while but I’m kind of used to it so it doesn’t really affect me – haha sometimes it’s pretty funny actually!
If you could tour with any four bands…what bands would they be?
Ahh so hard to pick four! Off the top of my head: Paramore, Pierce the Veil, Circa Survive, and Memphis May Fire. Those would be some crazy tours!
Now that you’re signed with The Artery Foundation…do you anticipate the band will be touring frequently? Will this be before or after the release of new music?
I believe we will be touring after the release of our music!
Speaking of new music, I know you guys have been in the studio off and on for the past little while….are you preparing for the release of an EP or full length?
Yessir! We’re recording a couple songs a month that are going to be a part of our full length album. We are all super stoked! It’s so hard to record something and then not be able to show anyone for a while haha, but it’s worth it! I’ve been locking myself in my room for hours lately just writing constantly, and so far it’s going great! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Incredible’ Me’s future
When we last reviewed their single, Hands Like Houses were unsigned. The band recently signed to Rise Records and have been anxiously waiting to release their full-length Ground Dweller. They are finally unleashing the beast on March 13th, 2012. Coops (who you will meet in just moment) told us a few secrets about the album with respect to guest vocals, what we can expect genre wise, and some “behind-the-scenes” facts. Read the interview below and be sure to check out the sweet pre-order packages on MerchNOW.
Tell us who you are, what you do, and why you do it and why you should be America’s Next Top Model.
Hello! my name is Coops, i play guitar in Hands Like Houses i do it because it means i get to travel, play music and not have a lame job working and being stuck in one place. I should be the next top model because a moustache currently inhabits my face and with it i really do look good in a dress.
Haha, But really! Let’s start it off. How long have you been a member of Hands Like Houses? How did you guys ever end up agreeing on a genre you wanted to play?
I have been been a member of HLH since the very beginning. Joel (bassist) and myself decided we wanted to follow in our brothers footsteps when we were in high school and started a band. From there we went though a few genre changes and a few line up changes picking up Matty P, Jamal, Alexander and then Trenton [Tt] and became the HLH we are today. In terms of genre, its a little tricky to answer; as we still don’t really know what exactly it is we play. I think having a vocalist like Tt really opens up possibilities for the rest of us to explore different methods and avenues musically as versatility has always played a major role in our writing process. If we want to write a section with dual harp harmonies and a xylophone melody and strip down the guitars; we can. Trents voice and lyrics will work as our watermark in that regard; in that it sort of coats the music with the “HLH” sound so no matter what we write it still sounds like us; not a different band. You can’t get that sort of freedom with a lot of singers out there, especially screamers. We’re very lucky.
That being said back in the early days of the band we went through a ‘hardcore’ phase, and then a more pop phase, and finally became HLH. It’s heavy, energetic and experimental which is what we had all been wanting from the start but had never had the right ingredients.
In your early teenage years, what music genres were you into and how has it changed? What genre seems to influence your writing individually?
For me personally, my brothers introduced me to the ‘punk’ and ‘pop punk’ scene when i was super young in grade 3. I was hooked, and grew up listening to bands like The Ataris, NFG, Strung Out and a lot of the fat wreck chords bands. As well as what my parents were in to; Simon & Garfunkle, Cat Stevens, Don Mclean, Michael Jackson etc. In highschool i got in to Thrice and The Receiving End Of Sirens whom really consumed my musical tastebuds as i was just starting to get in to writing my own music and playing guitar. These days i pretty much enjoy listening to anything thats produced nicely. i tend to listen to a lot more folky and indie sort of stuff.
After recently being signed by Rise Records, how’s that been? Have you made any label-“mates” yet? There are so many awesome bands on Rise.
The response has been amazing. Admittedly we were a little nervous at the possibility of receiving a lot of hate as we don’t scream and aren’t too heavy. But Rise seem to be doing a really good job at expanding their label through different genres and bands which is awesome to see. Apart from the few people who cant conceive of an alternate taste in music, its all been really well received.
We are good friends with the Dream On Dreamer guys and the Woe, Is Me dudes, but that all came from before the signing. We haven’t toured yet since the the announcement, but there are lot of great bands on Rise whom i really hope we grow friendships with.
Your sound is very unique, it attracts metalcore fans (along with many others) but there is no screaming and no “breakdowns” so-to-speak. Your new album Ground Dweller coming out next month (March 13th, 2012)..how would you describe it in terms of genre?. Are there any particularly heavy songs on the album? Really soft songs?
I think in terms of ease we usually just say we play a sort of ‘heavy rock’ sound, and when that doesn’t work we say ‘kind of like a heavier panic at the disco’. and if THAT doesn’t work we’ll say we’re an ’ Enya cover band’.
There are a few heavy parts through out the album, the heaviest song is definitely Watchmaker. The song kind of started off as a little in joke as Alexander wrote a bunch of heavy breakdowns and put them together. But then we thought we should definitely see what we can do with it all, and added a solid structure; chorus’s etc and instrumentation behind the breakdowns to add an additional element to it all. I think this song is definitely a solid example of ‘being heavy with out screaming’. We also got Matty Mullins (memphis may fire) to do a sneaky verse.
Slowly, you have been releasing lyrics from the album through your Tumblr. Lots of interesting ideas in the lyrics. Who writes the lyrics and where does the inspiration come from? As well as, where did the album title “Ground Dweller” come from?
Tt definitely writes the majority of the lyrics on Ground Dweller. The inspiration comes a lot from his personal life, so you’d need to ask him. Though there are a few songs that draw inspiration and ideas from a few films and books. There are pretty much direct quotes from Where The Wild Things Are, Peter Pan, and Inception (The Definition of Not Leaving, Antarctica, Spineless Crow).
Ground Dweller came from a song name we had which never made the album.
When your album comes out…I’m sure the band will be touring - especially the US. Are you excited for that? Nervous? Any hints at who you’ll be touring with?
We’re all super excited to get to the US and tour. We cant wait to have the opportunity to play to people that will know all the songs rather than just a couple of singles. We’re not too sure ourselves who the tours will be with yet!
Originally, Hands Like Houses recorded an EP with Cameron Mizell but then you decided (way before announcing your signing to Rise Records) that you should instead record a full length. How was that idea brought about?
Essentially once we had the initial EP, it didn’t really feel complete. We had talked to a few people in the industry and it was unanimous that if we wanted to pick up label interest we had to have a full length as EP’s just don’t sell. So we saved our pennies for 12 months, wrote the rest of the record and ventured back to Chango. I think it will be interesting to see if people can tell the difference between the two halves. Songs like spineless crow were written almost two years after One Hundred and Antarctica.
If there’s one thing that fans of the band should know, what is it?
Hmmm. Just that we’re super thankful for everyone of you, and please please come up and introduce yourself to us at shows, hang out and lets become friends.
Thank you for your time and I wish you all of the best with the album release as well as future tours.
Interview by Patrick of Defiance Press
Joel Birch, vocalist and lyricist for Australia’s The Amity Affliction shines some insight about the band’s last release as well as the band’s future release in addition to some other sweet (and funny) info!
Though you guys are from Australia, would you say you have a larger fan base in another country? Does Australia have a large metalcore scene?
Definitely not. We’ve been touring here for five years, going on six, so all that work has paid off for us and we’re super fortunate to have gained a really strong fan base here at home. Hopefully by doing what we’re doing at the moment and applying that same work ethic to touring overseas we’ll be able to build a solid fan base up in other countries; already the UK is great for us, nowhere near the same numbers, but the fans there are awesome.
Youngbloods seems to be an album with a concept, where did the inspiration for the lyrics come from?The album artwork?
I actually went through a really horrid time for a couple of years that culminated in a suicide attempt, followed by a short stay in hospital and subsequent diagnosis of depression. After that I struggled to shake it for the next year or so, and in the period following it we began writing a record. It was a really cathartic experience for me, and one that obviously helped me to emerge on the other side in a much better frame of mind. There’s a song on there that’s about moving home to the Sunshine Coast, back to where I feel grounded and peaceful, a song about the relationship with my ex-wife deteriorating due to my depression, and then several songs where I attempted to create lyrics that would give kids an opportunity to connect with our music on a deeper level and realise they’re not alone in what they’re going through sometimes. It’s a horrid sickness to deal with because there are no immediate, outward symptoms, and often times it gets downplayed by even the closest of friends.
In 2012, how many songs will you be going into the studio with? How many will end up on the record?
Hopefully we’ll be heading in with fifteen or so, but that’s not really my forté as I am only in charge of writing lyrics. I’ve already written eight, but that usually expands to about twenty by the time the recording process actually comes around and Ahren and I sit down to pick the strongest ones. There are times when he picks lyrics that I’m not that into, but that’s a compromise that has worked well and will continue to do so I feel.
Which countries would you like to tour that you haven’t yet? Can your fans in these countries expect you to go there soon?
I’d like to tour South America just to see the stark difference in lifestyle and culture that is down there. It’s hard to answer a question like this because I don’t think there’s anywhere that I don’t want to tour to be honest. I don’t know how soon we’ll be getting to anywhere like South America, but if we ever do it will be amazing. There’s so many countries there, we’re not really used to that down here in Australia.
While you were growing up, who was the one band (or artist) you always looked up to?
Hard to pinpoint one band, but I grew up listening to Metallica, Megadeth and Guns n Roses from about seven or eight years old until I was eleven when Nirvana came into play, and then all the 90s SoCal punk bands came into play which eventually led me to loving hardcore, and now here I am.
Is there any correlation between RIP Steggy and RIP Foghorn?
The only connection between those two songs is that the titles are absolutely ridiculous. One is about a plastic toy that for some reason used to make it to parties and be f*cked with, and the other is about a dead chicken that we passed every day on the way from our apartment in Union City, Jersey down to the recording studio in Hoboken. Ridiculous, but I guess that’s our way of letting people know that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We love our music, we love what we do, but we love to have fun as well, so injecting a little inside humour for ourselves on each record is a normal thing for us. HMAS Lookback probably has the funniest back story, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to really be telling the public hahaha
Mayday Parade’s drummer, Jake Bundrick was kind enough to answer a few questions for us regarding their new album and a few interesting things about the band.
Do relationships help write your songs? Or are they simply ideas that could happen in relationships?
We tend to draw most of our song writing from relationships, yes, but sometimes the scenarios are made up. In life, we as people aren’t going to experience everything life may offer negatively or positively but it’s nice to know you can imagine how some of those scenarios would feel and write a song about it. Unfortunately, it does happen to some people and those people need a song like that to get through that moment regardless if it was a scenario song or not. Writing a song about something that actually happened to me or Derek is obviously much easier because we’ve been through the pain and heartache. Regardless, we know what heartbreak feels like.
Your new self-titled album seems like a follow-up album to A Lesson In Romantics. Was this intentional?
I wouldn’t say it was intentional. We just wanted to write an album we loved that had some of that flavor. Unlike Anywhere But Here, we wrote this record ourselves with no co-writers. We’re not saying co-writing is a terrible thing to do but it just wasn’t for us. If anything, we learned a little bit about ourselves and what we wanted for this record through our last album Anywhere But Here. If people perceive this record as the follow-up to A Lesson In Romantics then so be it but we had no intentions of Mayday Parade being that record. It was just our next step in our growth as a band. I’m thankful our fans and some of the old fans that wrote us off during Anywhere But Here like it as much as they do.
Has there ever been any ideas of having Jason Lancaster doing guest vocals on a song since his departure?
Honestly, that has never been brought up. I think mostly because we wanted to prove our worth on this new record being that Anywhere But Here wasn’t what we as band wanted and our fans wanted. Once again, don’t get me wrong. We loved that record and feel it has some great songs on it but it all goes back to the co-writing thing. Who knows if we’ll actually bring up having Jason come back and sing on a song in the future. I know it’s something fans may want but we’re trying to break away from that whole mold and be our own band. We love Jason and all the Go Radio guys but who knows, it could be something to have fun with in the future.
You guys clearly stand out in your genre. In your opinion, what do you think differentiates you guys from other bands?
We, like most bands, just write music we love. We’ve all grown as musicians with our instruments and song-writing. I’m not sure what it is that differentiates us from other bands but my guess would be song-writing and the feeling a musical progression may give you. Yet, to me, there are a ton of amazing bands out there with amazing songs and unbelievable musicianship but they never get noticed because there isn’t any hype. Hype is extremely important if you want any one person to check out your band. No one would’ve given us a chance if we didn’t follow Warped Tour in 2006 selling as many CD’s as we did. We continuously try and figure out ways to create that hype. In my opinion, the music speaks for itself. You just have to put in the extremely hard work to get it out there.
Jackie from Michigan, USA wants to know, If you could have any band listen to your album…who would it be and why?
I’d dream of having my idols come up to me one on one without ever meeting them and them telling me they like our band. Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker, Dave Grohl or Billy Joe Armstrong telling me they like my band would be an unbelievable feeling. I’ve looked up to those guys and many more for years!
In terms of album artwork, is there a reason why you’ve continually left the man on the cover faceless? Where did this idea originate from?
Haha. That idea wasn’t even our idea. I believe a guy names Kyle Crawford came up with that idea. He designed the artwork for A Lesson In Romantics before he even knew how famous that faceless guy would be. We wanted to use the faceless guy again for Mayday Parade but we wanted to scruff him up a bit. We’ve been through a lot of crap from losing a member to obnoxious label crap but we wanted to portray that somehow in the faceless guy on the cover of our new record. His shirt is untucked, his umbrella is destroyed but he’s still the faceless guy. Who knows if we’ll continue using him for future records but at this point, when you see the faceless guy…you think of Mayday Parade. It’s kinda cool.
Xander Bourgeois, the lead vocalist of Velocity Records’ Secrets answered a few questions regarding the band’s currently untitled album due out early 2012 as well as future plans for the band.
Your full-length was supposed to be released November 1st, correct? Is it true that this has been pushed back to early 2012?
Yeah, the November 1st release date was going to be rushing things way too much. Stores don’t like to take new releases around the Holidays and we felt pushing back a few months would help us get into more stores and give us more time to get all the promo in order. We’ll still be putting up some new songs before then though.
Will your new album involve a specific concept or theme?
Not necessarily a specific concept but definitely touches on some pretty personal things to us. We can’t wait for people to hear, definitely a lot of lyrics that people can probably connect to on this one…
I know you guys formed while still being in other bands, is this where the name Secrets came from?
Yeah, but not in the way we formed this band as a secret, it was definitely the opposite of that. It was more of an inside deal between us, maybe one day when the time is right we’ll tell people the full story.
Can we expect guest vocals on the new album? If so, can you hint at who it might be?
No guest vox on this one, we wanted to keep this one all us!
Has there been any talk of you guys possibly joining Vans Warped Tour next year?
Thats definitely the goal but as a new bands its definitely a tough tour to land. It would definitely be a dream come true so were keeping our fingers crossed!
When do you guys expect to release a single from your highly anticipated album?
Soon! Hopefully by the end of October, thats a pretty realistic goal here…
Thanks for your time Xander!
Casino Madrid’s vocalist Joe Demaio answers a few questions regarding the band’s new album Robots (see album review here). He opens up about the meaning of a song as well as the most meaningful track on the record and more.
You guys released a single from the album. Does the single “4:42 Reminds Me Of You” relate to a specific point of a song? What is the meaning of the track title?
The song title in itself is related to the entire song. 4:42 defines an actual time of day where I occasionally found myself looking at the clock. Sounds weird right, but I always seemed to glance at the clock at that specific time of the day. The actual number “442” is related to the first three digits of my ex girlfriend’s phone number that I was in a relationship with for 3 years. The song describes what I was feeling at the time and the thought “what if” we just had one more night together. The song ends with the one liner “I am the best you’ve ever had BITCH!” which pretty much sums of my feelings of closure. (laughs)
What’s the most important song on Robots to you and why?
Oh man that’s a tough question. I have songs describing very significant emotions from my past to my present. If I had to choose one I would say “I Want My 25 Minutes of Fame.” I remember recording the vocal tracks for this song. My shirt was off it was like 100 degrees in the vocal booth and I just became over come with emotion. First time this has ever occurred and I’m so glad it did because this song is so “real” to me now. The song describes my mental state of mind. How my mind operates on a nightly basis. Feeling like my mind has been poisoned with negative thoughts and constant loneliness (which is strange because I’m constantly surrounded by people) creating this huge insomnia-tic monster . I’m admitting a lot of thoughts and feelings about my life in this song. I am not perfect. I’m just another person trying to piece the puzzle back together, and I’m very curious to see how people react to this song.
The album artwork looks fantastic; who designed it? Did you guys have an idea of what you wanted or did you let the the graphic design artist depict their own meaning of Robots?
Thank you! I thought the artwork turned out great as well. My boss Mike Milford and his team at Artery Recordings designed the artwork. We brainstormed a ton of ideas as a band and relayed them to Mike. He put his own touch on it and there you have it!
What’s the most powerful thing a fan or supporter has ever said to you?
Hmm tough to pin point, but i’d have to say this one time recently, when this kid told me that the lyrics from “4:42 Reminds Me of You” was exactly what he was going through. He gave me a hug stared right into my face and thanked me for writing a song that he could so closely relate too. He said “it’s like you knew exactly what I was feeling and turned it into a song, thank you”! For the first time in my career I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, helping kids get through rough sh*t.
Aside from other metalcore bands in the scene, what are some other bands that influence you guys musically? Possibly guilty pleasures?
Some other bands that influence especially growing up would be; Thrice, Thursday, AFI, Emery, Poison the Well, From Autumn to Ashes, and of course Underoath! I would have to say my guilty pleasure would have to be dance/trance music. DJ Tiesto and Kaskade to name a few, definitely open my mind to a world of new thought and inspiration. Nothing like dancing drunk with your friends. HAHA
Chris Johnston, the guitarist of A Bullet For Pretty Boy gives information on the band’s debut album Revision:Revise now available on Artery Recordings as well as future plans for the band. Catch the band on their headline tour. Dates can be found here.
What was the response like to your album “Revision:Revise”?
It was really good. It seems like kids caught on to it a little slow, but we are always meeting people who are new fans of the band.
What are the future plans for the band in terms of new music? Who will you be recording with?
The band is currently writing some new music. We are still in the early stages of writing, but we hope to have a new album done very soon. We aren’t sure what studio we will be going to yet. It just depends on the sound of our newer material.
How did you guys manage to get Tyler Carter to do guest vocals on the album?
Woe, is Me was in the studio finishing up when we got there to record our full-length. We got to meet all of the guys and hang out for a little bit. They showed us some of their songs. After hearing the vocals we asked Tyler to do something on our album, and he was down!
What’s the significance behind the track/album title “Revision:Revise”?
It basically means we can always improve the way we live. We should never be content with what we are doing. Instead, we should thrive to do better. For us, it has a spiritual meaning, but it can be put in any situation really.
Although “A Bullet For Pretty Boy” is a well known saying, is there any significance behind the name?
“A Bullet for Pretty Boy” is the title of a classic movie about “Pretty Boy” Floyd. The plot of the movie was what made us want to name the band after it. There is a moment where Floyd makes a seemingly small decision that turns his whole life into pain and misery. We just love how it shows that every decision you make can affect you and the people in your life greater than you could ever presently know.
How do you guys go about structuring a song? Everything seems to flow really well.
Usually somebody has an idea of a basic structure. Then others come in and add their parts. Once the parts are set, we rearrange the song to where it flows nicely. Then we add little things here and there until we are happy with the final.