9/28/2017 0 Comments
Nathan Kane on The Seaside EP, Whale Bones’ future, self-production, Twin Peaks, and vinyl records.
I sat down to talk with Nathan Kane, Bloomington local and member of the self-defined Indie/Alternative band Whale Bones, at 10 pm on a Thursday night over Skype. Not knowing what to expect, and being the host of a somewhat unconventional interview, I brewed a pot of coffee and made the call.
Among other things, we discussed the Seaside EP, an emotionally raw and compelling five song EP released by the two piece band in 2015, and the unique creative process that sets it apart from similar genre content, as well as Whale Bones’ upcoming album.
Q: I really like that you guys secluded yourselves in Florida and came back with this EP; I was really interested in what made you do that. What made you add in that creative element?
A: I don't think it was intentional at the time. Paul [Lierman] and I met in college our freshman year, and then, our sophomore year, we went on Spring Break together down in Florida and we stayed in a small little cabin, and I don't even know if it could be considered a cabin, *laughs*, it was just like a small little thing.
We were listening to a lot of different music, Deas Vail, Copeland. I was really vibing at the time and it was a different influence than I had been drawing from on previous stuff I had written in high school, so it was all like a new chapter as far as my writing went.
The first two days it rained the whole time, and so they were playing League of Legends and I don't play League of Legends so I started writing some stuff. The Current was the first thing that I wrote. We were down there for a week, and I was just really amped on the writing. I would go off on my own and stare into the ocean and write lyrics to the songs.
We would go out every night and go walking on the beach. You're in Florida during Spring Break and no one else is out on the beach at 10pm. There were three of us on this trip and none of us were talking and we were just staring into the ocean and walking along the beach, and it's really pretty, and really contemplative. There’s something about looking into the ocean, how vast it is, and it feels so unending, it's like there's always something there, and so for me that opened up something. Those lyrics on that record are probably some of the easiest I've ever had as far as lyrics come, just because it was so fluid and so in that moment.
We wrote Hiding From the Sea while we were there, the Current. Ideas for Exhausted Forgiveness and I Can't Live Again were down there as well, but then the concept of how they're all tied together the guys thought of while we were driving home.
Q: So how do you think your writing process for your new album differs from the Seaside EP?
A: Well, it's written over a longer period of time. The other one was pretty much written then, but this one, some of these songs were written right when the Seaside EP got released, and some of them still are not finished. It's been a longer process, I went to school for recording so a lot of these songs are a lot more fleshed out than they were in the past. On this album, Paul played drums and I recorded them and we took three days to do it, just to be super, deliberate with everything and make sure it was perfect. And then, I'm doing all of the recording myself, so I get a lot more control over what sounds I want, how I want things to sound, and how I want things to be played. The new record is going to sound more true to how I want Whale Bones and to what I'm hearing in my head.
Of the differences between the two albums, Nathan said, “I feel like the Seaside EP was kind of clean, the guitars were very tight and nice, but on this I intentionally play some parts really messy, just to express the raw emotion of it. I had things that I needed to say and express with the Seaside EP and I feel like I said them. Now I have these other thoughts that are maybe more out of frustration or are my observations on the outside world as opposed to a reflection of myself. I don't necessarily think it's more true because it's more aggressive music, I think it's just more applicable to these specific emotions.”
Whale Bones expects the album to debut in early 2018. “It's coming along pretty well, most of the guitars are done. And then after that, bass is really quick to record, and then vocals are pretty easy as well.”
We briefly discussed the band’s March tour and some of their best touring experiences, including their preference for the restaurant chain Cook Out, their opportunity to be involved with the South by Southwest showcase, their recording session for Playlist Play (“they're just the coolest people, they're super kind, super fun to hang out with”), and the unique venues they’ve played, including an Irish pub and a motorcycle shop. As Nathan put it, “I want to play under a bridge sometime, just to check that off the list.”
I also had the opportunity to hear about Nathan’s birthday on tour. “There's a TV show called Twin Peaks, and I really love it. We played a show in Seattle, and the next day was the day before my birthday, and we went to all the places that they shot Twin Peaks. In the opening credits, they have a waterfall, we went to that, we went to the diner where they have a lot of scenes, and we ate some cherry pie, which is what they do in the show, and got some coffee. It was really cool to me, that's something that meant a lot to me, and it was really, really good to experience it and be there.”
And finally, an opinion on vinyl. “If I listen to something, it's going to be something that I really care about and I really think is valuable and meaningful. I think the music is something worthwhile, I don't need to do anything else, I don't need to be on my computer or driving or talking to other people. I'm there to sit down and listen to a record. It's kind of an active thing. It's really cool to me, I really like it. It’s an experience.”
We ended on an optimistic note. “I’m excited to be producing this album. It’s a way to control the vision, but it’s also a way to show people what I’m capable of.”
Look for Whale Bones’ album to release in 2018, and in the meantime, check out their social media:
The weekly Whale Bones playlists and The Seaside EP can be found on Spotify HERE
Whale Bones’ Playlist Play session can be found HERE
Written by Monica Robinson
The Weekend Classic's newest venture, a three-song EP notably produced by Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory and Ryan Key of Yellowcard, has warranted plenty of talk due to its origins, but this talk isn't without rationale. Madison, Indiana's own latest and greatest made a name for themselves by scoring the Ernie Ball PLAY Warped 2016 grand prize, the product of which was released to the world on June 2nd and has since gained plenty of recognition, even grabbing the attention of Alternative Press in a recent feature. As well as releasing their much-anticipated EP, More Alive, the Weekend Classic has been busy this summer with a thirty-three day run alongside St. Louis locals, Welcome Home, across the West Coast and Midwest.
A product of the minds of the four-piece self proclaimed "Midwest rock band", the Weekend Classic, and the production talents of Chad Gilbert, More Alive intermixes alternative rock and pop punk influences to give us an album created to be blasted through car speakers. Since the September 2016 release titled When You Had Nothing, it's obvious how much the band's sound has grown, building on a foundation that began with their powerfully honest single, Shattered Glass, to develop an interestingly diverse character for their newest EP. Though energy charged and moderately upbeat, there's no mistaking the hints of nostalgia intermingled with the captivating lyrics and classic alt-rock riffs; More Alive practically aches to be recognized as marginally bittersweet without sacrificing the qualities that make it both compelling and relatable. The second song on the EP, the title track of the record, embodies the soul of the band's newest release, blending lyrically heavy verses with a chorus that holds the potential to be the next punk anthem.
Despite the unconventional route leading up to the development and eventual release of More Alive, members Chris Webster, Ryan Wells, Christian Richards, and Matt White retain the raw sincerity of their lyrics; in fact, the band's latest work seems more rooted than ever in the sense of openness that can only be attributed to their sheer sense of dedication. In their own words, the band has carried their "self-defeating honestly" with them in their music as they continue to gain recognition, backing it with stronger vocals and a solidified sound. Though the band draws from an expansive directory of influences, they retain their diversity and ability to lend individuality to their music, establishing themselves as exploratory but ultimately giving life to a new expressivity that they, thus far, wear well. One can only guess where they'll aim next, but we look forward to hearing more great things from them in the future!
You can listen to More Alive on Spotify, BandCamp, or Itunes.
Written by monica robinson
The end of the calendar year often brings about a feeling of closure quickly followed by that of renewal. As people everywhere reflect on their year, there is an overwhelming discontent that has, in a way, branded itself onto 2016. Jacob Lawter of Slow and Steady has taken the opportunity to record a handful of covers from records released in 2016 that held some weight to him. The track listing is as follows:
Fundamental Ground by TW Walsh
Always On My Mind by Chris Staples
Oblivion by David Bazan
Martha Sways by Andy Shauf
Each track, recorded in a single take through an iPhone mic, delivers a somber, intimate, and introspective take on the original song. All proceeds from the EP go directly to the Summers family (friends of Lawter’s that were impacted by the Gatlinburg fires). Songs That Don’t Belong (To Me) is available on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. Listen to some of his favorite 2016 releases here.
written by matthew schumacher
As my article for Wolfsbane today, here's my top 5 DIY releases of the year for me and maybe for you too!
5.) Caving- "Caving" - Brandon Stasi, formerly lead vocals for Sudden Suspension, continues on with music solo under the name of "Caving" and dropped an incredible 3 song release on October 7th. With his catchy hooks with his clever guitar lines and tone in general, the self titled EP definitely leaves you wanting more whilst being MORE than satisfied with the songs the solo act has out. Favorite: "Chore"
4.) Hot Mulligan- "Opportunities" - Hot Mulligan is a name everybody needs to know in this scene hands down. This EP had songs that were so hard to pick a favorite from. Despite their funny song titles, the lyrical content of the songs hit you in some ways that just stick with you in the best way possible. As well as their production value taking a step up as well, it's one everybody just needs to witness themselves. Favorite: "Dary"
3.) Kayak Jones- "Flawed" - After their debut EP "Drugs" from 2015, Kayak Jones ups the game for themselves with adding a whole new idea of dynamics and deeper level thought with their songwriting and how they go about their process. With some crazier guitar parts and hard hitting drum work, as well as capturing Tyler Zumhof's vocals to its best potential, the sophomore EP does not need to be slept on what so ever. Favorite: "Memoirs"
2.) Everyone Leaves- "The Lonely End" - I know Everyone Leaves is mentioned more than ever in these articles but it's for good reason and their new EP backs that fact. "The Lonely End" brings the band to an even higher table and is a work they should be extremely proud of. Not only are they all fantastic people but they write songs that'll leave you speechless like the heavy hitting singles they released (as well as the whole EP). They (and all these bands/acts) have a very bright and full future ahead and the new EP only pushes them farther ahead. Favorite: "Head in a Vice"
1.) Bogues- "Mulligan" - Once again this artist is mentioned a lot but for good reason as well. AJ Gruenewald writes in my opinion some of the best songs in the scene and just in general with lines that leave you probably in tears or wanting to look deeper into the story he produces throughout his songs. It makes you want to know more about the character he creates and the events that come along. His music is for fans of Turnover and Julien Baker, but probably even better. Mulligan is nothing but fantastic start to finish, and I know we all can't wait for more Favorite: "Drunk Again"
Every band could've easily been number one and there's so many that released this year, these are just the ones I stick with.
PLEASE give all these bands a chance, they might be your favorite one day. I've had the pleasure of knowing, listening, or even playing with all of these bands and I don't take it for granted one bit.
written by joseph barnum
Indy Cryfest wrapped up its first run Saturday nightat The Hoosier Dome located in Fountain Square. There were many bands that played ranging from acoustic, punk, and Screamo. The show had some very deep messages that each band conveyed throughout the night. The show is looking to be an annual event so keep your eyes peeled for next years installment!
written by John Bennett
Kayak Jones has just dropped their Sophomore EP "Flawed" on December 9th. Despite its name, it's absolutely flawLESS. The 5 songs will make you confused wether to jump around and dance or sob or both at the same time. Following their debut EP "Drugs" this new release will only take em even further than they've already come. With Brandon Blakeley's powerful drum parts accompanied with the catchy guitar work (Scott Miller, Ben Dunegan, and Tyler Zumhof) and vocals being captured to its fullest potential, "Flawed" is now one of my personal favorites of the year.
I got to talk to Tyler Zumhof of the band to ask him about the process and other questions I had about the EP.
What was the hardest part about recording and even writing this new EP?
"I feel like we were really hard on ourselves instrumentally when it came to this EP. We really wanted to make sure that we could write the sound that we exactly wanted for this EP. We spent a lot of time just going over the "flow" of our songs. We also really worked together a lot on parts. We would definitely let each other know when we wanted to change something and we came to an agreement on how we thought songs should go."
"From just my own personal experience, a lot of the lyrics were really hard to write. It took a lot out of me to write some of them, sometimes."
It's very safe to say you guys have put 150% into these new songs, and they seem to follow the same ideas to your first EP, but maybe more personal in the writing. Do you feel that Kayak Jones got more personal with the writing process?
"I would say so, yes. A lot of the songs are about specific experiences in my life and noticing and coming to terms how these experiences have added quirks to me that I'm currently still addressing.
We've always attempted to be as honest as we can be as musicians and I feel like we try to make sure our instrumentals also have the same sort of feel."
What was the thing you guys wanted to do the most with this new release. Was there anything different that you just HAD to do and wanted to do?
"Dynamics. We wanted to really add a lot more dynamics to our songs for sure. We wanted to take the parts of drugs that we enjoyed and expand upon them while simultaneously adopting the new principle that we aren't just a pop punk band. I feel as though we really wanted to establish ourselves as ourselves and not get held captive by a genre that we didn't really identify ourselves just as that."
I read in your 36 Vultures article when "Memoirs" dropped, the story behind that song and the lyrics for it. Is the whole EP based on that story or the same situations?
"Well, firstly, thanks for reading that. Lyrically, the EP as a whole touches on a lot of suicide/depression that has sort of become a commonplace in our lives as of recently, as well as some other more personal subjects. Each song is about a different specific thing and a much more broader idea that's sort of a rider along with it."
All in all, this EP is phenomenal and there's something seriously wrong if you don't at least check it out. Follow them and listen for yourself with the links below, and catch them on tour with Hot Mulligan with the dates below!
Instagram and Twitter: @kayakjonesia
written by joSpeh barnum
Honestly I have no idea what genre to classify singer-songwriter Jon Bellion. The best way to describe his music would be if you took indie, edm, hip-hop and rock and smooshed them together to create the music that is Jon Bellion.
Jon Bellion is an artist I’ve recently fallen in love with. I’ve searched and searched for an artist somewhat similar to him and I come up blank every single time. Bellion is simply Bellion, no one else. Every song of his is so emotion packed and wonderfully produced that it just can’t be compared to anything else. He incorporates elements that I haven’t seen used in music before and the execution is incredible.
If you’re still clueless as to what I’m trying to describe, just listen to this:
Jon Bellion’s music is fresh, unique, and overall something new to the table. His single, “All Time Low” has recently been climbing the billboard charts since it started debuting on WZPL 99.5. Now, I’m a complete metalhead and this music is about the complete opposite, but after giving a handful of songs a try I was hooked, how could anyone not be?
Every single off Bellion’s newest album, The Human Condition, has individually insane artwork to go along with it that pretty much makes you feel like you’re in a non-animated pixar movie. In past interviews Bellion has stated that he has goals of eventually catching the attention of pixar and having his album turned into a full on pixar movie.
If you’re still not hooked on the guy, give this a listen:
And if you really want to see how much raw talent the guy has check out this one take acoustic version of his song “Woke The F*** Up”
All of Bellion’s music is written and produced by him really only using his voice and a simple beat pad. His raw talent and extreme passion is what hooked me the most. Even if you normally don’t listen to anything similar to this genre I highly recommend checking Jon Bellion’s music out.
Let me know in the comments your opinion and experiences involving him, I’d love to hear!
written by mya tolliver
Please Forward has recently undergone a big transitionary period as a band. After a series of member changes, shifts in sound, and ultimately changing their name from Light the Avenue in July of 2016, Please Forward has landed on their feet in a very strong way. Their November 2016 release, So Be It is an artfully crafted EP consisting of songs about depression, addiction, heartbreak, death, guilt, and above all: closure. Each song is tied under the collective sentiment of accepting a situation for what it is, after losing a fighting battle with it; hence the title.
So Be It was recorded over the period of some months at SoundGasm Studios in Kennesaw, Georgia with Tim Jones, Ian Riley and Kyle Bryson. Mixed by Tim Jones and mastered by Troy Glessner at Spectre Mastering, the record is as sonically pleasing as it is interesting. There are little production nuances hidden all over the EP that give depth and, in their own way, add a lot to the songs.
So Be It tastefully blends darker emo rock elements with an almost nostalgic punk upbringing and makes no attempt to cover up front man/writer Zach Marshall’s Deep South roots.
Among the dynamic and driving instrumentals and anthemic choruses, one of the most notable aspects of this record is its heavy lyrical content. I got to talk to Zach about the meaning behind the songs, and even after several listens on my own; it gave a new light to his stories and opened it up to listening from a new perspective.
“The opening track: Backroads is about losing someone close while on bad terms with them. The first verse talks about the last time the narrator saw the girl, right after her death. The second verse goes back to when they first met. The entire song is about feeling guilty for letting her leave after a big argument.”
“Bastards is about accepting the fact that you're an addict or that you have problems in general. When you're addicted to drugs and alcohol, you have the tendency to think you're right and everyone else is wrong. You keep things hidden to keep friends from giving you a hard time, but they're not oblivious to your problem. Everyone knows. So Bastards is about the moment when your friends decide you're a piece of shit and that's what makes you want to change in the end.”
“Trigger Happy is about getting over depression and not wanting to go back. There was someone that I had lost contact with during a very dark time in my life. We ended up speaking again 10 months later and she had no idea what I had been through. Instead of talking to her about it, I wrote about it.”
“Sorry About That is about a first date gone wrong due to personal issues. It's pretty self-explanatory.”
“Savannah is about getting your heart broken and the feeling of your entire life and future being over because of it. When you make a bunch of plans with someone for the future, it's almost like your life is over when they leave. And no matter how much you may still love them, it's much easier to just turn it into hate and blame them for everything that is going wrong. The line "how could you take a life and hide it all behind those eyes" refers to her stealing my future from me and acting like she did nothing wrong. When actually, she did nothing wrong and I just needed someone to blame, because an addict never blames themselves.”
“Ice Patch is kinda heavy, but it's another one about death and guilt. It's based on one of (guitarist) Blake’s friends. In the song I let my social anxiety keep me from joining a friend of mine at the bar. So he goes by himself and ends up slipping on some ice on the way and bleeding out to death. It takes place three years in the future and I'm at the same bar he was going to, talking to the bartender.”
So Be It by Please Forward is available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, etc.
Catch them on January 27th with JT Woodruff of Hawthorn Heights, In Her Own Words, and more at Under The Couch in Atlanta.
written by matthew Schumacher
This weeks article is on a young new Murfreesboro based band "Serenity & the Blush" who are all sophomores in high school. They're a southern indie rock band standing out with their overdriven guitar tones and Skylar Smith's unique vocals that resemble a Cage the Elephant style tone. The 4 piece consists of Skylar Smith on guitar and vocals, Jackson Latham on bass, Ben Beauchene on guitar, and Edge Carroll on drums. They've just put out their first, home-recorded EP "Youthful Development" on November 11th and have been playing shows in support of the 4 song release.
The frontman talks about the bond him and Jackson Latham had over local Nashville music in eighth grade, and how they've been playing/finding members ever since. Finding the other half through high school and mutual friends, the band has been playing some shows and have even cooler ones coming down the pipe like with another Wolfsbane writer's band (Hayden Warren) Freshman Year. Also starting off 2017 the guys are ripping their Nashville debut with Kayak Jones and Hot Mulligan at the Black Cat Ballroom January 4th. Catch them at a show and witness the jams of some fellow people who can't buy lottery tickets like myself. Here's their EP below, as well as their social media links!
written by joseph barnum
This article is just a short little diary of a weekend run I did with Tyler Wells who goes by the name Portsmouth. We did 3 days but 2 shows starting in Chattanooga on Friday.
11-18: After I got out of school I met Tyler at dads garage to load up and head out for chatt, but was fighting what I still think was a short stint of the flu. I almost passed out in 4th period, but I'm the kind of guy to not give up a show unless I'm being carried out on a stretcher. That's probably not the ideal situation to most people but I just love it too much. Plus, then I'm the douchebag that drops a show the day of due to the sniffles. Nobody wants to be that guy. We show up after about a 2 hour drive and see parts of wildfires on the way there because of the serious drought we've had for a while. The promoter greets us at the door and we hang before the show. The place is called Elmo's world and was SO much fun to play (even though big bird was a no show). The artists were super talented and everybody was so nice. We tried to meet everybody at cookout after but went to the completely wrong one that was about 20 minutes away which sucked, but we both were starving so we had to take a fat L on that one. After we ate we went to our friends dorm at UTC and slept there for the night with the cutest and smallest dog we've met named Egg. Thank you for letting us pet him and sleeping, but mainly thanks for letting us play with your dog.
11-19: It's dumb to have an off day on a 3 day run so i was already kicking myself for that from the get go, but we ate at this coffee shop and met these waitresses that commented on Tyler's Foxing shirt, turns out they love that same music and one of em had seen shows at dad's garage back home and knows the guys. Therefore we sat and talked our asses off about different bands and what mutual friends we knew while eating probably the best breakfast I've ever had in my life. The day goes by and we arrive in Birmingham and go see some little landmarks, and made some funny pictures violating the Vulcan Statue. We realized our maturity as soon as 9 year old Joseph came out and said "hey take a picture of me punching its butt" and went from there. We got to the house we were staying at and went to a really sick show with the owner, and had a heart to heart with a Taco Bell worker for about 20 minutes while eating our budgeted tacos. It was so cool just to see some music, which was for this cause called Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham. I'm not sure what exactly it was for so I'm not gonna guess on it, but whatever they were doing it was awesome and I'm so happy we were a part of it in some way.
11-20: Day of the show! We hang out in Birmingham some more and hit up a guitar center to kill some time, and also went through this mall that had a lego store. Cmon, who's gonna pass that up. So we walked in and messed around, drove some more, and finally we show up to the Syndicate Lounge for an 18+ show when I'm 2 years younger than that. Thankfully the promoter was cool about it, and we played one of my favorite shows ever. The local was the frequently who are all in high school as well and just blew the roof off the place. Such cool guys and their manager/our promoter Lauren is the sweetest human being on the earth. We had the best time and both can't wait to hit up the area again. After the show we made the travel home and stayed awake by blasting microwave and free throw and screaming our throats out to the songs until he dropped me off at dad's garage where I slept on Aj's couch in his room. Knowing I'd be only getting about 2 hours of sleep before school the next day, I was dead but had best time being out with Portsmouth. We both needed that run more than anything just to run away from stresses and have fun. It's a run I'll never forget, and a great way to send off 2016.
Check out https://thefrequently.bandcamp.com/ and a huge thank you to anyone who came out or made the shows possible, or let us sleep in their homes.
written by Joseph Barnum