The Bronx on Virgin Mobile Live

The Bronx on VML

Radio host Abbey Braden recently caught up with Matt Cauthran of The Bronx to chat about the band’s new album IV, roman numeral education, ‘piping hot’ nachos, Disney Land hook-ups and more! It’s pretty hilarious stuff… give it your ears below.

*Tune into Virgin Mobile Live for more interviews and killer jams with Abbey Braden daily on VML.

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Interview w/ Eliza and the Bear

eliza and the bear

London quintet Eliza and the Bear have conjured up a delectable new AA single for the indie folk/pop/rock enthralled. The insatiably melodic Upon the North / The Southern Wild sees release later this month on February 25 via Generator. We recently caught up with vocalist James Kellegher to talk about songwriting, a debut album, Justin Bieber and more. Check it out below.

B3SCI: How did Eliza and the Bear come to be?

EATB: We’d all played in bands that had crossed paths once or twice. Paul, Martin and Chris were all quite local to me (James), Callie and I were in bands together. These bands ended for one reason or another and most of us decided to have a good break from all of it. There was a point in time, boredom set in and we decided to go back and write music that we wanted to hear and to keep enjoying it. We recorded our first demo “Trees” in Paul’s bedroom studio, with absolutely no plans to tour or do much with it. Eventually it became apparent that people enjoyed it, so we thought we’d better write some more songs!

B3SCI: The band explore a variety of eclectic rhythms and cultural folk and rock styles. How would you describe the musical cauldron of Eliza and the Bear?

EATB: It’s certainly a busy cauldron! We all have musical tastes that differ from eachother, but there is a overlapping section that we all agree upon. We are constantly listening to new music and branching out into different genres. We aren’t really afraid to stray from the path a little bit, which I think can limit some bands, if you think too much about what you “can’t” do, you may lose your spark. Most importantly, don’t force it, if we find ourselves trying to force a song to work we usually put it to bed for a few months and then go back to its core.

B3SCI: Speaking of various influences, how about sharing a few guilty pleasures? Any surprises with your main influences?

EATB: This band are FULL of guilty pleasures. We are all hoping to go and see Justin Bieber on his UK tour and maybe One Direction! I don’t think our main musical influences are that surprising, but they don’t particularly sound like us. Bands like: Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Coldplay, The Maccabees.

B3SCI: Much of your music feels colorful, showcasing strong range, restraint and dynamic all without saying too much. Is this a conscious effort and in any case how do you want people to feel when they hear an Eliza and the Bear song?

EATB: I don’t think its too much of a conscious effort. I think if there is a vocal line or piano line that we particularly think will stand out on its own, we will use it. I have an inability to sing about anything overly happy, so I think it’s a nice mix with the upbeat music. I think the music has quite a grand sound, it’s quite euphoric in places but we like to expose the delicate nuances of the song as well. It makes me feel nostalgic, so I hope that comes across to listeners.

B3SCI: Your upcoming double A-side / 7″ for “Upon the North” and “The Southern Wild” beckons the obvious juxtaposition curiosity. How do Eliza and the Bear see the roles of ‘North’ and ‘South’?

EATB: I think in these songs “North” and “South” play a similar role in the way that they are a direction to choose. Almost an escape/new start.

B3SCI: The single drops on the 25th of February. How will Eliza and the Bear be spending their days leading up to its release (besides sleepless nights of course)?

EATB: On the 25th we start a short tour, so I’m sure we will be keeping our minds active in the rehearsal studio. Making sure everything is ready to go!

B3SCI: What role does the live show play in the overall Eliza and the Bear experience?

EATB: I think the live environment is very important for bands. A lot of people will hear your band live before anything else, so you have to be tight. For our shows, we make sure we just enjoy ourselves and I think that can be contagious to an audience.

B3SCI: When will fans in the United States get their chance to see Eliza and the Bear? Is SXSW on the horizon?

EATB: We are all hoping to get out this year or in 2014. I think SXSW 2014 is a goal we are aiming for.

B3SCI: When can fans expect a full length release?

EATB: We are currently writing and demoing for a full length, so we are looking forward to getting into a studio at some point this year to start work on it!

B3SCI: When you guys aren’t making music, how do you bide your time?

EATB: We all still have dayjobs right now, some of us work in schools/colleges and others are labourers. If we aren’t at work, we are either sleeping or practicing!

B3SCI: In fine tradition as now B3SCI interview alumni, we’re hooking you guys up with a free ride on our B3SCI Time Machine… Where/when are you guys heading?

EATB: I think we all want to go back to the 1920’s and be gangsters running an alcohol factory. (Yes we watch Boardwalk Empire!)

Eliza and the Bear england (Facebook) (Soundcloud)

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Interview w/ The New Division

We recently had the chance to catch up The New Division frontman John Kunkel to chat about the band’s inception, 80s influence on a new generation, their album and more! Check out this fresh overview of the buzzing LA based 4 piece below.

B3SCI: Tell us a little background on The New Division and how the band came to be?

The New Division: It started off originally as a one-man project back in 2005 that later turned into a full band. Janzie, and I (John) met each other in college, and about a year later we ran into Brock (guitars) who was shortly thereafter added to our roster. We went through about 2 or 3 drummers before we decided that they weren’t good fits. About a year later we met Mark at a show we were playing. At the time he was just a fan, but we had a really good conversation on the night we met him and asked him to join the band about 2 days later.

B3SCI: The band definitely has some stadium ready anthems on your recent Night Escape release. Is there ever a big picture in mind when you write?

The New Division: I think with New Division our songs always aim at being a bit epic. We try to approach each song with that type of mindset.

B3SCI: There also seems a bit of a hybrid of both traditional rock band and electro collective. To you, what constitutes that perfect balance between rock and electronic pop music?

The New Division: I think having a lot of the main arrangements be electronic, and then adding a guitar sounds perfect. It’s not done as much as I’d like it in today’s music, but I think its going to become more and more popular.

B3SCI: Let’s talk about the 80s. U2, New Order, Depeche Mode…Joy Division, etc. How do you see The New Division in relation to this iconic pop sound?

The New Division: I think we’ll always be connected in one way or another to our early influences, whether in the songwriting process, or in the production of the sound we’re aiming for, but we don’t focus on trying to be like them. Whenever you write, the influences will show their way into the songwriting process, and depending on the song style.

B3SCI: How do you feel the internet and blogosphere has contributed to the evolution of the band and its unique sound? Do they add anything to the iconic style of 80s music for a new generation?

The New Division: It’s been a major blessing for us, we probably wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of the dedicated blogs and websites who take the time to write about our music. I think its great that we can find about new artists via the Internet and it allows for a resurgence of stuff we may have missed, or never been able to find 30 years ago.

B3SCI: Night Escape showcases some of your strongest work to date. How would you best explain the evolution of The New Division on Night Escape from your earlier releases and debut LP, Shadows?

The New Division: After releasing Shadows there was a period of time where nothing was happening, and then all the sudden songs were being written again. By the time we started writing for Night Escape, a year or so had gone by and we had actually thrown away a large batch of songs, all because they sounded too much like they belonged on Shadows. The plan wasn’t to write a new EP originally, but since we’d just gotten rid of what could’ve been the follow up to our debut LP we decided it was appropriate to write a batch of songs of that would help transition and showcase a new sound, a new direction. Those songs later turned into Night Escape.

B3SCI: Is there a particular track on Night Escape that you feel especially proud of as a band? Something that you feel could hint at future directions and inspirations for The New Division?

The New Division: I was really proud of “Night Escape”, the track. It wasn’t the song that got the most praise, but I felt it was a huge achievement. In terms of a hint of our future direction, “Kids” is probably the track that sounds more like our new material.

B3SCI: How has the formation of your own independent label, Division 87 Records, affected the bands approach to music? Has it contributed any to your growth musically and professionally?

The New Division: It hasn’t really affected that too much from what I can tell. We still have to finish our album! Maybe then we’ll find out. So far its been exciting to see the support we’ve received from our close friends and contacts that are helping make this dream come true.

B3SCI: Given a history of both original tracks and remix projects from The New Division, what is it about a New Division project that consistently defines it as something undeniably yours?

The New Division: Probably the blend of the 80s nostalgia with a modern edge!

B3SCI: When the members of New Division aren’t making music, how do they bide their time? Also how do the member’s projects contribute to the musical growth of the band?

The New Division: We all work full time day jobs, so it’s really not the ideal band picture where you see four guys making music in a studio 12 hours a day. It’s more like we work from 9-5 and any chance our schedules align we get together. Other than playing shows, its hard to get us all in the same room. Brock’s a bar tender, Mark works with the elderly, Janzie juggles about 3 jobs, and as for myself, I work doing PR for a nonprofit. Other than that, we’re all prolific writers so the way I see it, the more we write for other projects, the better for The New Division when we get together. The only thing that’s allowed us to progress over the years has been practicing and practicing writing songs.

B3SCI: You have a couple shows on the books for early 2013, when can fans expect The New Division to be performing in a city near them?

The New Division: It’s hard to say considering we’re a “poor” band. We have to really build up our fan base in 2013 before we can even think about touring. Hopefully though in 2014!

B3SCI: What does 2013 hold for New Division?

The New Division: We are prepping up to release the follow-up to Shadows, which we’re really excited about. That’s really our main focus for 2013.

B3SCI: What are you heading for the next time you enter a record store?

The New Division: I’ve really been wanting to buy Interpol’s 10th year anniversary of TOTBL.

B3SCI: We’re hooking you up with a free ride on our B3SCI time machine. Where are you guys going?

The New Division: Probably to the 1920s, seems like they had some good times.

The New Division – Pride

The New Division california (Facebook)

Rating 8.5

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Interview with Daley

Team B3SCI recently phoned-in with Mancunian soulboy Daley as he traveled by train through the English countryside back home from London. Check out our conversation below for what he had to say about his forthcoming UK tour with R&B ‘it’ star Miguel, his new album, past and future projects with Damon Albarn, SXSW 2013 and more…

Daley (Facebook)

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Interview w/ Krewella

To say that Krewella have had a big 2012 is a bit of an understatement. The hotly tipped EDM trio from Chicago have done nothing short of being everywhere that they need to be this year, gigging with the likes of Zedd, Diplo, Pretty Lights, etc. and in addition have just released a new Play Harder EP featuring the blogo-smash “Come & Get It”. Fact – we couldn’t possibly be banging any harder to “Come & Get It” at b.3.h.q. as of late. Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf and Rain Man from the Krewella crew recently caught up with Brian Litwin from team B3SCI for a quick chat. Check out what the band had to say below:

B3SCI: You guys seem particularly selective with the group’s official releases. And with the material that has been released, the online community goes crazy for. What’s creative process behind putting together a true Krewella banger?

KREWELLA: Definitely. The three of us have learned so much from one another over the last few years that we have very similar tastes. It helps a lot when releasing content because we can catch so many things that we think might not sound right, and we can collectively come up with a solution. Also our two managers Jake Udell and Nathan Lim have great ears and give great feedback as well. It’s really a team effort.

B3SCI: Krewella’s rise has seemed explosive since your first releases, from “Strobelights” and “One Minute” to your debut EP, Play Hard showing at #1 on Beatport… what’s been the most surreal part of your journey?

KREWELLA: It’s got to be seeing fans singing our lyrics at shows. To hear a room chanting the lyrics to one of our songs is such a beautiful thing. When we were struggling to get by last winter in Chicago – creating our first EP – it was only a dream that fans would come to a Krewella show and sing along with every word!

B3SCI: We here at B3SCI love the vocal integration in Krewella, do you see adding a live element in the set anytime soon?

KREWELLA: Definitely. We don’t want to spoil any surprises but keep your eyes out!!

B3SCI: Playing as many shows as you three do, it must be hard to just sit down and relax. When you get those times to chill, what do you do?

KREWELLA: Visiting family is huge. We never anticipated being away from our loved ones as much as we have this year, so any time were not playing shows or in the studio we like to go home for a day or two. Also, cats and FIFA on xbox.

B3SCI: We’ve spent some time in Chicago and it’s refreshing to see a local act like Krewella really catch fire, especially in the EDM realm. How do you see the role of Chicago’s EDM scene nowadays?

KREWELLA: Chicago’s scene has definitely molded us into the group we are today. We started off playing grimy raves on the south side followed by even more grimy dubstep/electro partys in the city. Chicago has been having a great year with the dudes Flosstradamus and Lucky Date buzzing so hard and theres quite a few up and coming acts to look out for…

B3SCI: Your recent “Come & Get It” release dishes the Krewella party touch with more of a DnB vibe. With the various dubstep, house and moombahton explorations on your early material, can fans expect to see more DnB and other new ideas on future tracks? Is there a correlation to what you guys are listening to right now?

KREWELLA: We’re totally into DnB and drumstep, and we’re already working on some tunes for the album. We’re really loving Netsky and Pendulum right now!

B3SCI: Having gigged with major acts like Diplo, Benny Benassi, Pretty Lights, DJ Fresh, and having presence at so many major festivals around the world, what’s the next adventure for Krewella?

KREWELLA: The next adventure is to finish up our first full length album. We’ve been working on it as much as possible on the road these last few months and we have a bunch of studio days at the top of 2013 to really start completing it.

B3SCI: You guys seem to gravitate towards Jameson like whoa, what is your love affair with that specific libation and how did it come about?

KREWELLA: It was like love at first drink. We can’t remember the first time we had Jameson or who offered it, but we know it never went away after that.

B3SCI: After watching a look at your behind-the-scenes life in the docufilm, Krewlife. Looking forward, is safe to assume that more genitals will be rubbed on unsuspecting faces?

KREWELLA: Hopefully not… but probably.

Krewella (Facebook)

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Interview with Steffaloo

We recently caught up with singer songwriter Steffaloo on the heels of her sophomore LP and label debut, Would You Stay, via LA based Mush Records. And in addition to her collection of noteworthy collaborations, the album has found it’s way into steady rotation here at B3SCI headquarters this Fall. Get a look below at our conversation with Steffaloo about her next album, plans for SXSW 2013, the origins of her name and more.

B3SCI: Would You Stay is a standout release of 2012. And especially for a debut label release, how do you feel this album defines Steffaloo as an artist? Is there a message that you are looking to send to the world?

Steffaloo: Thank you! This album was really a big step for me I think, in a lot of ways. Not only is it my first release with a label, but I really tried to put a little more into each song than my previous work. I wanted the sound to be more full and developed. I have a long way to go for sure, but really feel like I just continue to learn a ton as I go along and hopefully that is coming out in my music. I think any artist’s hope is that their work/music speaks for itself as far as defining them. This is my hope at least. All I ever hope to communicate or give in my music is just me; something real and honest. Something brave.

B3SCI: Is there any special track on Would You Stay that you hold especially true to your heart?

Steffaloo: Well, I think the title track is probably the one that packs the most punch for me personally. It was just so defining as far as what I had been going through in life and where I was emotionally. It was really me learning to let go of things and move on into other, greater, things. The whole album is really that – me trying to navigate through a pretty defining moment in my life; trying to grow up and move beyond the past I suppose.

B3SCI: With the album’s minimal and largely acoustic nature, how do see the power of “song” cutting through the musical landscape that’s currently so heavy on new technology, sampling, effects and production? Especially given the short attention spans and flashy media bombardment of today’s society?

Steffaloo: I think this is a really interesting question because it never really crossed my mind when making the music I make, that people would see it as so minimalistic and raw. I think there’s a part of me that really just loves the simplicity of music a guitar and a voice. The artists i’ve really looked up to like Feist, Adele, Imogen Heap, have all had a very real and heartbreaking quality to them that always really moved me. I think it’s that same quality that the greats like Bob Dylan and the like had; just that ability to really tell a story or communicate something that people can really relate to without having to be the best singer on the planet or the even the best musician. I think for me that’s always been really impactful because it doesn’t take much to do this if what you’re saying is truly honest. I guess in my own music that’s something I’ve always really valued and so I’ve never felt the need to over complicate it with a lot of sound and noise. That, and I just honestly don’t know how to play the guitar as well as I’d like to ha, and that’s really pushed me to develop lyrically in ways I wouldn’t have. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m a huge fan of a lot of the electronic music out there today, and obviously I love being a part of a great deal of it. There are a lot of electronic producers creating some really beautiful things that I really appreciate, and it just goes to show that there are so many different ways to accomplish creating something that really speaks to people. I’m really thankful to be able to be a part of both spectrums of that.

B3SCI: Having worked with artists like Blackbird Blackbird, Stumbeline & XXYYXX, what goes
into your collaboration choices? How have you identified such great projects?

Steffaloo: As the things I’ve found myself being a part of collaboratively has had a great deal to do with what really moves me, all these guys have had a quality in their music that has really made me feel something, and I think the more I feel a track the more it brings out the best in me. These guys have all made me look good! I’ve been very fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to work with such amazingly talented producers and artists and I’ve learned a ton from each of them. I think a lot of these projects have come out of a great willingness to just keep expanding as people and artists by trying new things and communicating new and shared ideas. There’s a really unique community we’ve all found online and in the blogosphere that has really become near and dear to my heart.

B3SCI: Is there anybody that you’re angling to work with at the moment?

Steffaloo: There’s always new people that I’d love to work with, it’s hard to keep up sometimes ha! It’s been neat to see a number of new female producers pop up like Empress Of, and Wall, I think it’d be a great change to work with one of them on something.

B3SCI: We love your vocal tone and ability to draw out great melodic lines from the instrumentals you work with. What’s your process when you pull out or put together a new melody? How does your affinity for various genres factor (if at all)?

Steffaloo: Thank you so much! I touched on this a little earlier, but I really feel that my lack of skill instrumentally has kind of forced me to be stronger vocally and lyrically. My strengths have never lied in playing an instrument, but I’ve always known how to sing. And i think I’ve always been really drawn to other artists who are able to create powerful songs in this way. Artists like Feist, or Patrick Watson, or even someone like Pheobe Bridgers all have this amazing ability to sing in such a way that sometimes you forget they’re even playing an instrument at all. Their voice and what they are saying becomes so much bigger than the music itself. I think that’s what I really hope to acheive somehow when creating my own music. I think I just kind of naturally fell back on having the instruments I play be more of a guide for me vocally, and that’s a huge part of my process when writing.

B3SCI: What or who are your major vocal inspirations?

Steffaloo: Well, as you can probably guess, Feist is a huge one, if not THE one. Adele, Imogen Heap, Beach House, Stevie Nicks, Eva Cassidy.. there are really just too many to name.

B3SCI: At what point in your career do you feel that you found the voice of Steffaloo?

Steffaloo: Hh man, I feel like I’m finding it everyday ha. It’s funny, the way i kind of stumbled into this whole music thing has made being honest a bit easier I think. What I mean is, I started making music for the sheer joy of doing it, just pure and simple it is something that I do because it makes me feel alive. I think what ends up getting in the way of an artists ‘true voice’ is when that joy and aliveness is lost, that’s how all art is. I think as long as I’m being honest with myself my voice will emerge without me even having to think about it really.

B3SCI: Steffaloo, it just seems like a nickname. How did Steph Thompson come to acquire the alias known as Steffaloo?

Steffaloo: It was indeed a nickname! I somehow got deemed ‘steffaluphagus’ while working at Starbucks when I first moved to LA. It soon morphed into ‘steffaloo’ and before I knew it everyone was calling me that. I had used the name for some of the art and photography I was doing as a kind of brand name, so I just stuck with it when i started playing music haha.

B3SCI: Is there anything in particular that inspires you to write? Be it… a favorite place, instrument, routine?

Steffaloo: hmm, I think it’s just life really. Sometimes I’ll go months without really feeling like I want to write or play anything. Other times I’ll write five songs in one week. I think when I really let myself stop long enough to really absorb life and feel it a little bit I discover a lot of things that I just need to get out somehow and express. When it comes out in music form I usually find myself in my room for hours with my guitar just letting it do what it’s going to do. My songwriting process has become a bit like me sitting down to write in my diary in a way, haha.. it’s always an amazing thing to me to really let myself be still enough to see what’s really going on with me, to see what ends up coming out and manifesting into something (hopefully) beautiful.

B3SCI: What makes for classic music?

Steffaloo: Well I suppose that’s different for every person really. And that’s part of what I find so fascinating with any art, and with music in particular, because a work/song always has a very personal relationship with the listener. It means whatever you need it to mean, it moves you in ways only you know, it inspires certain parts of you that it might not in others. I think any piece of music that has the ability to do that is true music. And the ones that can continue to do that through the decades are the true classic pieces of music.

B3SCI: Do you have any favorite albums of 2012?

Steffaloo: A few that have seem some pretty heavy rotation from me are – Bloom (Beach House), Shrines (Purity Ring), Channel Orange (Frank Ocean), From The Top Of Willamet Mountain (Joshua James), Look An Little Closer (Levek), Hundred Waters (Hundred Waters)… I could go on, but I’ll stop there!

B3SCI: Finally, what’s next for Steffaloo. What can fans expect 2013 to bring?

Steffaloo: I’m working on another album for release next year – it will be a bit different than my solo stuff so I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll hopefully be recording some new solo songs with the band I’ve been playing with. Playing live shows with a band has been amazing. It’s really added a fullness to my music that I feel like I wasn’t able to add just playing by myself. It’s been crazy to play with other talented musicians and see not only where they take certain songs but also what they help bring out in me. Looking forward to playing some great showcases at SXSW, and one of these days I’d love to go on a real tour.. for now, I’m just enjoying this whole process and I’m constantly being surprised by the things that come my way and all the people I’ve met and been able to create with.

Steffaloo california (Facebook)

Steffaloo – Can’t You See

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Interview w/ Gold Fields

Lots happening for Aussie collective Gold Fields as of late, in between hitting the road with the likes of Diamond Rings and St. Lucia. Some of the b3sci crew recently had the chance to catch up with singer Mark Fuller to ask a few questions about the band’s forthcoming music video and album, the legendary INXS and more! Check out our convo with the band below.

B3SCI: There’s a certain electro ethos surrounding Gold Fields’ sound. How would you sum it up?

GOLD FIELDS: Yeah there is. There are a few different things that I guess are consistent throughout the music we’ve written so far. Electronics is one of them and I guess it stands out because we play live as a full band. The electronic ethos has been there since we started writing music together and I guess it’s there because we all love lots of different electronic music. We didn’t really think a lot about it, to get the sounds we wanted, we just had to use synths and programming to get them so we did. We’re still learning a lot about all of that stuff.

B3SCI: Gold Fields’ remix work particularly has some synonymity with it’s originals? What is it about Gold Fields that makes anything you touch undeniably a Gold Fields project?

GOLD FIELDS: Vin and Ry do most of the work with the remixes. Over the past year they’ve been getting pretty handy with software and that definitely helped when we decided to record our album ourselves. All of the remixes we’ve done so far have been dance remixes but that’s not necessarily a rule and it wasn’t really on purpose… it’s just where we’ve felt we could take the song I guess. We’ve been busy finishing the album lately and the album is probably a lot less ‘dance-ish’ than the remixes we’ve done. So maybe any remixes from here on might be a bit different, who knows!

B3SCI: What sort of backgrounds cultivate the melting pot that is Gold Fields?

GOLD FIELDS: We all grew up in Ballarat in country Victoria and I don’t think our upbringings differed all that much, aside from Vin who was born in the Philippines and came to Australia when he was a kid. But all of us have a lot in common, mainly being that we all just obviously loved music and either learned or dabbled with instruments as kids and had our parents and families supporting what we were doing. We all grew up listening to pop before finding all sorts of alternative music when we started highschool… everything from Dr. Dre to Counting Crows.

B3SCI: Your single, “Dark Again” commands a dance floor. How have audiences taken to the track?

GOLD FIELDS: We’ve been playing it live for a fair while now, almost a year. Long before we recorded it and the response has always been good. But just recently we’ve noticed a big difference in the crowd when we play it, because some of them have heard the song on record, so they know the words and they know the parts, it’s still really new but it’s getting really fun to play.

B3SCI: Gold Fields have been all over the map gigging these past couple of months. What has been the most surreal part of your journey?

GOLD FIELDS: Yeah we’ve played almost 40 shows in the past 40 days I think. And we’ve driven 10 thousand miles in that time too. So the past month has just been driving around America and playing every day. And the next month is going to be like that too. We heard our music for the first time on American radio the other day, that was pretty cool. There have definitely been lots of highlights but it’s very blurry at the moment. Besides the shows, filming the video for “Dark Again” was a highlight too.

B3SCI: Cool a video! Any glimpses you can offer?

GOLD FIELDS: Yep we just filmed the video for “Dark Again” recently in LA. It was an amazing day and we’re really excited. As I said, it was a big highlight of the trip so far.. we’re really looking forward to seeing some of the stuff edited. It should be out in about 3 weeks I think.

B3SCI: How has this consistent flow of live performances affected the writing process and general cohesion of Gold Fields as a band?

GOLD FIELDS: Yeah we’re definitely getting pretty comfortable playing as a band. We already were but playing every day definitely drums it into you. We haven’t really had a minute to talk about writing as a band lately but I know all of this stuff is going to be heard somehow. I’m still penning stuff down heaps and I can’t wait to start writing again as a band.

B3SCI: What can fans expect to hear on your forthcoming full length and is there a nome decided for it yet?

GOLD FIELDS: Yeah it’s called Black Sun and it’s going to be out in Feb 26, 2013. I think “Dark Again” is a good introduction to it and follows on well out of the EP into the album. We are really happy with it and that’s all that we ever wanted so if other people enjoy it too, that will be a bonus. In general, recording of the album was such a massive journey that culminated in us scrapping it in it’s entirety and re-recording the whole thing ourselves in my parents garage. Having just absolute freedom to do whatever the five of us wanted to hear and not have to consider anything else really worked.

B3SCI: Is there a track on the forthcoming full length that you feel particularly proud of as a band?

GOLD FIELDS: Yeah a song called “Happy Boy” is my favorite song on the record. I think the other guys feel the same. I’m most proud of that one and another song called “Closest I Could Get” because I write the lyrics in the songs, and I guess there’s certain attachments to things emotionally, but funnily and weirdly those two songs weren’t written from my own perspective. “You’re Still Gone” isn’t from my perspective either… so maybe I prefer being a character in a song rather than being myself in a song.

B3SCI: Has the culture of Australia impacted the roots of Gold Fields’ music?

GOLD FIELDS: Yeah it definitely has. Our hometown, Ballarat has a really strong music community based around the one venue in town, the Karova Lounge… we sort of grew up there. We were sneaking in there when we were 16 and watching bands, to us it was the coolest place on earth and it probably still is. The owner, Willow, has helped us out a lot and so did the previous owner, Paddy. I guess more recently the electronic music coming out of Australia like Cut Copy, The Presets, Regurgitator, Pnau, Empire of the Sun, Flume… that sort of stuff has influenced out music definitely.

B3SCI: How does Gold Fields define what makes for a timeless record?

GOLD FIELDS: Something that doesn’t sound like an era and I guess it’s just about the songs… if the songs are truly good, then in 30 years time, the songs are still going to be truly good. When we recorded our album, we just disregarded anything other than what we thought sounded good.

B3SCI: Also, because we need to know, what was feeling was in Australia when INXS unveiled their search for a new frontman in the form of a Reality TV show?

GOLD FIELDS: Haha… There was a lot of people rolling their eyes and probably a few… or at least one person turning in his grave. RIP Michael Hutchence. INXS just actually announced they’re calling it a day. They were one of the greatest. Going back to the timeless record thing. “Kick” is one of those.

Questions by Brian and Mike

Gold fields – Dark Again

Gold Fields australia (Facebook) (Purchase)

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Interview w/ Triptides

In anticipation to their forthcoming Sun Pavilion full length release on November 19th, we recently had the chance to catch up with Glenn from midwest based indie garage rock trio Triptides for a quick Q&A. Check out our conversation below:

B3SCI: How did Triptides and the trio of Glenn, Josh and Josh come to be?

TRIPTIDES: Josh Menashe and I met at Indiana University. We happened to sit next to each other in a rather large history class called “Rock and Roll in the 70’s and 80’s.” The first thing I ever said to him was “do you know who the singer for Nirvana is?” It turned out that he lived in the dorm next to mine so we started playing guitar together before class until eventually we were jamming all the time. Josh Morrow joined last spring a few months after seeing us perform at a living room show. He had played drums in Josh Menashe’s other band Ivory Wave for a few shows so they already had a musical connection through that.

B3SCI: It seems much of Triptides early material was recorded in a bedroom and/or basement in Bloomington, Indiana. How did you guys initially channel your sunniness sounds of summer in this type of environment?

TRIPTIDES: We kept the sunshine in our heads. Most of the time we would just forget about our surroundings and become completely absorbed in our headphones. At that point it doesn’t matter where you are.

B3SCI: Speaking of environments, how has Bloomington, Indiana embraced Triptides?

TRIPTIDES: Bloomington has been really supportive. People always get crazy when we play a really loud house show. There’s a lot of music going on here and it’s become almost perfectly intertwined with the party scene, which is cool because usually there’s a handful of big parties going on each weekend and a lot of different types of people will end up at the same parties, and then end up enjoying the same music.

B3SCI: Guitar melody and hooks are pretty front and center on your new Sun Pavilion LP. At what point does guitar come into the Triptides songwriting process? Is there a particular writing process in general with your songs?

TRIPTIDES: A lot of the hooks are just riffs we’ve come up with randomly and then think “this could be part of a song.” Sometimes the song is based entirely around a riff (“English Rain”) and the other parts are figured out after. Sometimes the riffs are created after we’ve figured out the entire song and are looking for ways to ornament it (“Bright Sky”). With those songs, the hooks are notes that we hear in our heads while listening to them and we want everyone else to hear them also.

B3SCI: A lesson from the school of Triptides. Who are some of the most underrated surf bands (or any other type bands) that we need to check out ASAP?

TRIPTIDES: The Tornadoes, The Tornados (UK), The Belairs and The Pyramids are all pretty great surf groups. Other great bands I’m listening to right now are July, Lazy Smoke, Broadcast, Rainbow Ffoly and the Leopards.

B3SCI: On a similar note, next time you head to a record store, what are you heading for first?

TRIPTIDES: The new Melody’s Echo Chamber album.

B3SCI: Your recent Halloween-friendly single, “Graveyard” has a bopping snappy emphasis that we can’t resist. Is there an affect or vibe that you were aiming for on this tune with such a spooky title?

TRIPTIDES: The title actually came after the song was written and recorded. The vibe was supposed to be somewhere between a continued longing for someone even after accepting that love is dead.

B3SCI: How has Triptides evolved as a band on Sun Pavilion from your previous full length Psychic Summer LP and other releases?

TRIPTIDES: We’ve moved away from a strictly summer sound and are currently experimenting with the astral properties of the other seasons.

B3SCI: Sun Pavilion seems to have a nod to timeless British guitar pop. How, if at all, has British pop music of past and present influenced Triptides?

TRIPTIDES: The Beatles are one of our favorite bands. They’ve taught us a lot about songwriting and melody. Piper at the Gates of Dawn has definitely been an influence. The Troggs, Hendrix and Cream have definitely influenced the heavier aspects of our sound.

B3SCI: The band seems to have a passion for analog recording. How important would you say the recording process is to the Triptides sound?

TRIPTIDES: It’s been very important so far. We started with a 4 track Portastudio but for Sun Pavilion we used an 8 track Portastudio. The recording process is key to our writing process; we frequently don’t know how the bass/piano/2nd guitar is going to sound until we’ve recorded other parts of the song. A lot of time I’ll demo out every part of a song on the 8 track just to show it to the band – it’s our equivalent of sheet music.

B3SCI: Is there a track on Sun Pavilion that you feel particularly proud of as a band?

TRIPTIDES: We probably worked on the track “Morning Dew” the longest. It went through a bunch of different versions and started out sounding a lot different. It took a lot of demos before it ended up sounding how it does on the record.

B3SCI: When can fans expect to catch Triptides on tour?

TRIPTIDES: Possibly this winter, definitely this summer.

B3SCI: When Triptides isn’t playing music, what passions bide your time?

TRIPTIDES: Space travel, super smash brothers and records.

B3SCI: We’re hooking you guys up with a free ride on the B3SCI time machine, where are you guys heading?

TRIPTIDES: Pink Floyd’s “Games For May” concert, May 12, 1967

Triptides indiana (Bandcamp)

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Interview w/ The Neighbourhood

B3SCI recently caught up with Bryan from The Neighbourhood on the phone while en route to Chicago on tour with Paul Banks. We had a chance to chat about the band’s Californian roots, their gravitas towards radio, a new album expected in 2013, and potentially some new material surfacing within the next few weeks. Give a quick spin to our phone conversation below and check out the band on tour – more dates and details below.

The Neighbourhood california (Tumblr) (Facebook)


Nov 14 Borderline – London, United Kingdom
Nov 15 Manchester Deaf Institute – Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 16 King Tuts Wah Wah Hut – Glasgow, United Kingdom
Nov 25 Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
Nov 29 House of Blues Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
Dec 5 The Fonda Theatre – Hollywood, CA
Dec 9 Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA
Dec 16 Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA
Dec 23 Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA
Feb 1 Laneway Festival 2013 – Brisbane, Australia
Feb 2 Laneway Festival 2013 – Sydney, Australia
Feb 3 Laneway Festival 2013 – Melbourne, Australia
Feb 9 Laneway Festival 2013 – Perth, Australia

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Interview w/ Romans

ROMANS is a new project out of the London, UK. To date there’s been little known about this elusive talent who’s debut release “The Die Is Cast” has been blaring out our speakers lately. So of course B3SCI’s Mike jumped at the chance to ask a few questions to this cheeky fellow about his music, his inspiration and what the future might hold.

B3SCI: First, let’s talk about the blues. Your debut song “The Die Cast” feels like a scorching 21st century update to the timeless sound. What does blues music mean to you?

ROMANS: Not a great deal if I’m honest Mike. I’ve never been a huge follower of blues, although I can’t say that my music hasn’t been affected by it in some way. There’s perhaps a slight Crossroads theme to the storyline of “The Die is Cast”. From time to time I’ve found myself forming a fledgling obsession for Johnny Winter, but I think about 60% of that is down to the whole albino thing.

B3SCI: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, as an artist, where you are based, how long have you been writing and performing, etc.?

ROMANS: I was born and live in London. I’ve been writing and playing instruments for the majority of my life and started producing 0.5 decades ago. I spend the majority of my days alone in my recording studio working on various things.

B3SCI: Romans is a one man band, performing, recording, writing, etc. Is there a band that you recruit/jam with, and will there ever be a live performance component to Romans?

ROMANS: There will certainly be a live performance component to Romans, but not in the conventional sense. What I love about modern recording is how one man can now sit alone in a room and convincingly create the effect of a 70 piece string section and an army of bagpipers standing next to him. Performing my music with a 4 piece band and backing track would be too boring, there are plenty of other more interesting mediums to accompany it.

B3SCI: It seems that every other day a new indie rock band is popping up left and right with some sort of elusive nature to their story. Some are good and some are bad and many lack soul in their music. Is there a conscious statement behind Romans introduction to the music scene, with your debut track and any future releases?

ROMANS: Whoa, slow down there Mike! I think the elusive nature sets the scene nicely, these are tentative releases, all part of a bigger picture. There should be room for discovery with artists, it makes the whole experience of finding someone new a bit more exciting and personal. The 4 tracks and videos that I intend to release are a continuing narrative, all will make sense in the end, I assure you.

B3SCI: I can’t wait! Let’s discuss the juxtaposition of the simple yet captivating near-still visuals of your new video (and only available experience) for “The Die Cast”, and the ridiculously short attention spans of people today, especially given the constant bombardment of flashy media?

ROMANS: I like subtlety Michael. May I call you Michael? You see… the thing is Mickey, I’ve always believed that the focus should be on music. I also think that the culture of the big high-budget music video is on it’s way out and there seem to be more and more still-image videos cropping up online.

B3SCI: The visuals that you’ve released with “The Die Cast” are borderline stunning. How did you come to connect with Charlotte Rutherford?

ROMANS: Thank you for saying so. I think Charlotte will one day be one of the greatest creative photographers this country has ever produced. We have mutual friends.

B3SCI: How do you correlate the art of music and visual representation? Do you see them synonymous or paralleled in any ways to Romans?

ROMANS: They help turn what would seem like 4 unconnected narratives into the continuous puzzle that makes up this EP.

B3SCI: So, what exciting things can we expect to come from Romans?

ROMANS: Plenty but you’ll have to wait and see! Check for more.

Romans (Official)

Romans – The Die Is Cast

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Interview w/ Trails and Ways

Team B3SCI recently got to chatting with guitar and synthsmith K B B from hotly tipped, Oakland based quartet, Trails and Ways. Back-and-forth we went about geography, the band’s explosion to the heights of the blogosphere, and even philosophical aesthetics. For those of you in Los Angeles, you can catch Trails and Ways at The Bootleg on Thursday, October 25th for their first ever gig in town. Tickets and details for the show here, and take a look at our conversation with the band below.

B3SCI: What inspired the formation of Trails and Ways, and is there a particular vision behind the tropical rhythms and melodies that the band explore?

T&W: We all knew each other living in the student cooperative houses at Berkeley; after graduating, Emma and I lived in Spain and Brazil, respectively, and came home full of little skeletons of songs. Quirk and I started playing shows in the middle of 2011, and Emma and Hannah joined us later that year.

B3SCI: You guys have mentioned Jorge Ben and Joao Gilberto as influences. We love Brazilian
music. What can you tell us about the impact the music of that country has had on the band as writers and as people, etc…?

T&W: When I lived there, the music was a way for me to understand something more whole than what I got through the colander of words. If I were to make a list of what really left an impression on me from Brazilian music, that list would start: how the old samba or forro songs are cultural bedrocks to the point where everybody at the street parties sings along to every word; how the music isn’t about a spectacle of famous musicians, but about amateurs showing up at bars and playing the hits as a community ritual; how Joao, in “Corcovado”, says “que lindo”.

B3SCI: There’s so many textures and colors throughout your recordings. What’s the most unique instrument that you’ve ever used on one of your tracks?

T&W: The bass drum on our cover of “Animal” is a sample of Quirk rhythmically dropping a large book.

B3SCI: No secrets that Trails and Ways has taken the music blogosphere by storm. How has this effected the band, it’s career and what’s next?

T&W: Definitely feels like it’s opened a lot of doors to us, and it’s great to have felt that a range of folks out there are touched by what we’re doing. We’re cruising along on recording our album right now, getting our live act super on-point, and getting set for an LA tour.

B3SCI: What else can you tell us about the album?

T&W: We’re working on it now, it’s called Trilingual and it’s about what language can and can’t say, and it’ll be out when it’s ready.

B3SCI: Any more details on touring?

T&W: We’re touring to LA 10/25, with a few other Southern California dates around that. We play SF like once a month, so hopefully everybody here knows that! We aim to do some serious touring behind Trilingual when it’s done, so NYC, we’ll see yall in 2013.

B3SCI: When the band isn’t making sun drenched tunes, what do the members of Trails and Ways find themselves doing to bide their time?

T&W: Quirk and Emma are surfers, Hannah and I rockclimb, also Emma and Hannah urban homestead and paint, Quirk and I also work in the clean energy bizness, ACTIVE LIFESTYLES.

B3SCI: Where does Trails and Ways see itself in five years? Where has the band’s evolution lead to?

T&W: Where we wanna be in five years is feminist socialist utopia.

B3SCI: We loved the Marxicized cover of Miguel’s “Sure Thing” (which is really great song btw). Where’d the idea come from to do that with it?

T&W: I’d been living over the summer at a house full of community organizers who loved R&B and Grace Lee Boggs with about the same heft; we blasted Miguel all the time. I knew if we were going to cover an R&B standard I wanted it to speak more from our Oakland reality than Miguel’s LA original.

B3SCI: Troy from our crew studied aesthetics in college. Theodor Adorno’s notion of pseudo-individualization is pretty apt in describing the current indie milieu. Any thoughts?

T&W: Shit, you’re trying to get me to write an essay. Indie music has become part and parcel of the culture industry; it’s a DIY outsourcing of the formerly-studio-centralized songwriting/recording process, and it just leads to nominally quirkier pop music that is no less challenging to the capitalist reproduction of art than is Katy Perry (much respect to her though, she worked damn hard to get what she’s got). This makes me think about something Mike Davis asked in regards to the crass commercialization of NWA; “If the dream factories are equally as happy to manufacture nightmare as idyll, what happens to the oppositional power of documentary realism…?” Indie music does documentation of cool subcultures and bizarre minds, and the culture industry has found a way to package up and resell nearly all of it, from Nirvana pitch-dark or Bombay Bicycle Club sugary. In deep ways, the music business model is changing to make advertising the most lucrative source of revenue for most young indie artists. Advertising becomes dependent on indie music to do its social networking—to make you say, “Whoa cool song, this product must be targeted towards people like me.” And the artists become slyly dependent on the ad revenue, and maybe unconsciously start to make pseudo-individualized hooks and safely quirky production choices that suit 30-second TV spots. In the long run, there is only one solution; public financing of art, like Sweden and Brazil do already in a limited way. In the short term, what’s a band to do? To come back to Mike Davis (can you tell I’m transfixedly reading City of Quartz right now in preparation for our LA tour?), I think we need to make art that is not “advertising art that advertises itself as art that hates advertising”. I don’t know exactly how to always do that, but I think you start by making music that is explicit and proud in its politics, and then by setting clear lines as a band as to what kind of advertising and business bullshit you will not ever take part in.

TRAILS AND WAYS – Mtn Tune (Facebook)

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Interview w/ The 1975

With their signature blend of R&B fused guitar pop, it’s no secret that this Manchester based collective are causing a stir of excitement in the indie rock world. Title track and new single, “Sex”, from their upcoming EP release, has been in rotation here and across the blogosophere for the last year or so in it’s demo form; with the official single version recently debuted by famed BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. More so, the rest of the band’s new Sex EP is equally infectious, with highlights including mid-tempo grooves on “Undo” and the melodic climax of “You”. The Sex EP sees release on November 19th, it is the second installment of the band’s current three EP release cycle, culminating to the band’s debut album with release expected sometime in 2013. Check out our Q&A with the band below.

B3SCI: How did The 1975 form and come to be, and for how long has the band been playing together as a whole?

The 1975: We met at school. We kinda started out of boredom. There was no real scene in our town at that time and we were all looking for some way of expressing ourselves I suppose. Some woman called Sheila started this run of gigs for underage kids (I think she was like a hippy council worker) and they soon turned into a riot. We would go and play there, doing covers of punk songs and ghostbusters etc. It was so drunken and personal. After doing that for a while we wrote a song and thought ‘Let’s just do this! This is well better than going to school or work. So we went under loads of names, made loads of different music and now we’re here – as The 1975.

B3SCI: Manchester has a legendary history of influential bands, was there anything in particular about this history that was influential to The 1975 in it’s formative years?

The 1975: Not really no. We met at school around Manchester – but I was born in London and George in Brussels etc. so our personal affiliation with Manchester and our understanding of it’s tribalist attitude towards music came quite late on. I grew up on R&B and Soul for example, as opposed to New Order. But as a city, it is the setting to all of our music in my head. It was the girls and endless gigs and general vibe of the place that bled into our music.

B3SCI: In the new video for your single “Sex”, your rehearsal space is dressed everywhere with iconic posters of artists. Did you guys play any role in the selection of what we see?

The 1975: Yes, all of it. That’s our rehearsal room and has been forever. We’ve never left it. We just thought it would be cool to shoot it in that room because it is essentially a visual representation of what we’re about. It wasn’t a contrived idea – just thought it would be real.

B3SCI: Some lyrical topics from The 1975 seem to explore concepts of new experience and discovery, yet the name of the band itself, and even musically, the band seems to hint towards a maturity beyond its years. What does the concept of time mean to The 1975?

The 1975: I think people are obsessed with time. That sounds a bit under revised – but what I’m talking about is our obsession with decades. We like everything to fit into our predetermined timeline of what we know and expect. It makes things easier to digest and helps us see cultural movements as ‘that time’. This can breed a lot of predictable art though – be it music or whatever. So our band take the attitude of ‘all bets are off’. That’s why we never really take contemporary music into consideration. Not to say we don’t listen to it, of course we do, we just don’t worry about ‘what’s going on’. I reckon timeless music is created by people that aren’t thinking about time.

B3SCI: The band is in the process of releasing a series of three EPs leading up to the release of your debut album in 2013. Is there a story behind these initial releases, or a story that you are trying to tell with them?

The 1975: I wouldn’t say that there is a narrative running from the first e.p. through to the last. But there is a definite theme. Sex, Love, Drugs and Fear I suppose. The songs on Sex are all about passing moments. Moments that we don’t analyse at the time – only to understand them retrospectively. Where as Facedown has a more assertive attitude. I think that’s what separates those two records. For the third, we’re not quite finished.

B3SCI: Is there a story or reason that the band has decided to collaborate with producer Mike Crossey on the forthcoming full-length album?

The 1975: He got in touch with us and said he really wanted to do our album. We were initially a bit apprehensive because we had always said that we were going to produce our debut album – same as we did with the E.p.’s. But we went over to Liverpool to meet him and shook hands on the whole thing that day. It was very easy. We are now in the studio with Mike as a co-producer and it seems to be going well. Very, very well.

B3SCI: Both your new Sex EP and it’s predecessor Facedown EP explore ambient rock concepts. Is there a philosophy or perspective that The 1975 has about ambient composition? Are there any particulars about ambient or atmospheric music that the band find inspiring?

The 1975: I suppose it was Sigur Ros who first really blew me away. I remember hearing their first album and then totally emerging myself in all things Eno. Ambient music really speaks to me. I think it’s because I first fell in love with music through film at a very early age – John Hughes movies etc. Ambient music at it’s best commands you how to feel without the use of words – I think that’s really powerful. More powerful in fact.

B3SCI: The band seems to have a strong affinity for a great pop melody. To you guys, what makes for a great pop song?

The 1975: Well that is something we’re really trying to explore at the moment. Sometimes you release a piece of music, or maybe play it to a friend, with the opinion that is really left field or something you’ve created with no intention of it being accepted as a ‘big’ song . And then it is. I used to think it was just all about structure and chords, but it’s really not. A good pop song is about how it makes you feel at face value – on the first listen. If it doesn’t take you some where immediately – through its message or instrumentation or whatever it is – it will simply be lost on you.

B3SCI: What artists or influences do you have which fans might find as a surprise? Any guilty pleasures you’d like to share?

The 1975: Well my iTunes at the moment is pretty much mid 90’s R&B. D’angelo, Boyz II Men, TLC, Brian Mcknight etc. But I’m not guilty for any of that. We find it hard to dislike music because it’s soppy or not perceived as ‘cool’. If you’re a good song writer you can find influence in any type of music whether it’s cool or not. But to be fair, Dixie Chicks just came on as I was saying that. I do feel a bit guilty about that.

B3SCI: If The 1975 could tour with any band, who would it be? (PS…you can hop into our B3SCI time machine if you like for any artist past, present, or future..)

The 1975: It would be : Michael Jackson – History Tour 1996. I was at that show in Wembley. I would have been about 7 years old. It was one of the most memorable and important experiences I think I’ve ever had. Seeing him perform catalysed a real drive within me from an early age. So that show would be awesome to fly back to and be part of. But also Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense Tour. Just cos they’re the fucking coolest. And David Byrne with that huge lamp was genius.

B3SCI: When will we finally get to see The 1975 performing in the US?

The 1975: Next year, if everything goes according to plan. We’re looking to get out there for SXSW. We might stick around and play some shows. We can’t wait actually.

B3SCI: What else should fans expect to hear from The 1975 in the year to come? Any surprises that you can share with us?

The 1975: If i knew, I would tell you. But I’m locked away in the studio. All I do know is that there is going to be A LOT of shows. And an album. A big album.

The 1975 england (Facebook) (Pre-Order Sex EP)

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