Playlist: Rome Hero Foxes Share Influential Songs

Rome Hero Foxes
Photo credit: Natasha Bermudez

Rome Hero Foxes put together a list of songs that have influenced them over the years. Check out the playlist and what they have to say about each song.

Adrian’s picks:

The Pillows – “I Think I Can”

This song speaks “play the music you want to play; just have fun” to me. We took that ideology to the max when writing 18 Summers. The kind of carelessness and enjoyment on this song for sure rubbed off on me when writing and recording this record.

Circa Survive – “Lustration”

I absolutely love the drumming pattern in this song. Circa Survive is my favorite band of all time, so of course I had to include a song from them. When this song was released it was on repeat for months. Some parts feel like they shouldn’t make sense but they do. I love listening to music like that.

The Strokes – “Machu Picchu”

When we started writing this record, asked Cj what kind of music should I be listening to and he pointed me to Angles by The Strokes. I’m so glad he showed me this album. I think it’s one of the most perfect indie pop songs and I really wanted to apply that kind of vibe on this album.

CJ’s picks:

Radiohead – “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”

I stand by this as my top favorite song of all time. It was the first time a song made me feel completely other-wordly and out of my own mind with its wave like structure and hypnotizing melodies and landscapes. Every time I listen to this there’s something new I pick up on, there’s just so many layers to get lost in.

The Beach Boys – “Surfer Girl”

This song is very special to me because it’s something I grew up listening to from my childhood all the way into my teens. It became a literal part of my mind, rubbing off on me enough to become a prominent influence for my song writing later on. All in all, this song is just an undeniable classic.

Funeral Party – “Where Did It Go Wrong”

I found out about this band one year at Warped Tour. I went to go get a snow cone while  waiting for another band I knew to watch, and they were playing this song right behind me which instantly caught my attention. This song became an anthem for me through high school and ultimately served as a break-through for my song-writing. There’s many different influences and things that make RHF what it is, but this song introduced me to a style that is now embedded within me.

Chuck “Spyder” Hogan’s picks:

Mew – “Beach”

The synths in this song and the way they play off of the melodies ang guitar lines really inspired me and kinda showed me a way to write synth lines that i hadn’t tried before. This song (especially the bridge) was the main inspiration behind most of my synth work on the album.

The 1975 – “She’s American”

The chorus of this song gave me some great ideas for twinkly keyboard parts that you can hear in the end of Good For You and in the chorus of San Junipero. I’ve been listening to the 1975 since their first album and this album heavily inspired me to be more creative and try new sounds with keyboards, especially since 18 Summers was the first music i’ve helped write as a keyboard player.

Two Door Cinema Club – “Do You Want It All?”

Two Door Cinema Club has been one of my favorite bands since their first record ‘Tourist History’ and when CJ showed me the demo for Seattle Queen I remembered the chorus of this song having nice swelling synth pads that filled the sonic space that the guitars weren’t using. I went back and listened to this song before writing the synth pad section at the end of Seattle Queen and it came out exactly as I imagined it.

Emilio’s picks:

Queens of the Stone Age – “I Appear Missing”

What a huge inspiration to me, this one is. It’s composed so intricately and delivered so smoothly, managing to stay interesting throughout its entire six minute duration. The bass lines are simple when they need to be, which makes the moments where they strike that much more powerful. I really appreciate the way this song feels like a standalone story through the music alone; it’s electrifying, and makes me want to pick up a bass every time I listen to it.

Sufjan Stevens – “Fourth of July”

This song and I have a very particular relationship. Anybody who’s listened to it is already familiar with how melancholy it is. Sufjan Stevens paints such a vivid picture of lament and futility while surrounding me with a deeply beautiful sonic landscape. There’s never been another song that makes me feel the way Fourth of July does. It’s so depressing, but ultimately inspiring and breathes new life into me every time I listen to it. I hope that I, too, can invoke a similar feeling to audiences through music one day.

Sturgill Simpson – “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)”

I found this song during a strange country kick I was having around the time it was released. Before listening to it, I never would have expected to call it one of my favorite songs. The second half of the song has bass line so groovy that it makes me want to get up and dance every time. It’s simple, but so beautiful and effective. This song helped me realize that good music isn’t necessarily about how technically-able you are as a musician. In a lot of ways (to me), it’s about discipline, and not overdoing it.   

Michael’s picks:

The 1975 – “Sex”

This song is the epitome of why I love indie pop music. It’s such a simple, fun song even though the lyrics are scandalous and dark. Instrumentally it has a vibe that I would love to incorporate into our own music. It also has phenomenal production and one of the best snare’s I’ve ever heard.

John Frusciante – “Song To Sing When I’m Lonely”

This song is incredibly nostalgic to me. It was hard to choose because this is one of my favorite records ever, full of so many great tracks but this one in particular has all the elements that I love in a song. The song writing is so simple, but I love the structure that he uses, along with some of my favorite vocal harmonies I’ve ever heard. The vibe is kind of melancholy but upbeat at the same time. He has such a unique style that I haven’t found in other artists and I’d highly recommend diving into his discography.

Foo Fighters – “Everlong”

This song is a no brainer for me and I feel like everyone else in the band would agree, even if it didn’t make their list. It’s so inspiring from a songwriting perspective and will be a classic forever. Combining such a simple structure, a great rhythm and riff with in my opinion one of the best choruses of all time just shows that you don’t need to make your music complex for it to be good. Sometimes simple is better and that shows here.

SoCal Spotlight: OcnSide

OcnSide

We have a new SoCal band for you to check out. Anthony Aguiar of OcnSide kindly answered our questions so you can get to know the band a little better.

Hometown: Los Angeles
When the band formed: 2017
Members: Anthony Aguiar (writer/synth, guitar, bass, keys) David Dennis (vocals, guitar, bass)

When did you first know you wanted to be in OcnSide? 

I think David and I have always had a strong attraction to soul music. When we first started jamming again, we tried several different sounds, but the thing that felt best and natural was digging into our love for old Motown with a little rock influence.

How did the current lineup come to be? 

David and I have been friends for a long time. We actually were in LA’s local favorites Voxhaul Broadcast together. After we had a couple of solo projects, David and I decided to get together and kinda finish off where Voxhaul never got to go musically last year. We really wanted to dive into that soul sound and thought now was the best time.

With all the little pockets of music scenes in SoCal, how do you go about checking out the local scene and finding new bands to listen to or even perform with? 

Haha, good question. Lately, it easy to find something great on Spotify or Apple Music. As far as live shows, we always just stick to the venues around our us. On the free nights we usually just go and check out what’s happening at the Hi-Hat, The Echo, Satellite, or Bardot.

What’s your favorite thing about the SoCal scene? What’s one thing you wish you could change about it? 

The musical vibe is always fresh, alive and free sounding in SoCal. If we could change anything, I guess we wish that LA was easier to get around.

There’s no doubt that this is a crowded place. So, do you ever find it difficult to build up even just a solid local following? How does the band go about doing that? 

Yeah for sure it’s difficult. We are just starting that up again, so I guess it’s just good to have a solid foundation with those closest to you and then build from there. I guess you’re always hoping that the music resonates farther and that all the social media out there can really spread your reach wide.

How do you handle the band’s social media presence? Where can the readers follow you?

It’s very small right now. We literally just got started in the last month. I guess we are learning as we go haha. We have all the socials.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ocnsidemusic

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ocnsidemusic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ocnsidemusic

Do you have a favorite SoCal spot to play? What makes it your favorite?

The local spots in Highland Park and Echo Park are always a great place to play. Hi-Hat, The Echo, Satellite, and Bardot. Great vibes and great crowds!

What is OcnSide working on right now?

We are always collaborating with others and individually writing to see what where we go next musically. We have a bunch of other songs ready to go so we are looking forward to sharing those tunes soon as well.

Playlist: Modern Racket’s Top 10 California Bands

Modern Racket

Modern Racket picked their top 10 bands from California for our latest playlist feature. Check out their selections and why they made them.

Weezer- “Buddy Holly”

Weezer is a huge influence to us and this band has been around for a long time and are still putting out great music! This misfits band of dorky rocker types reflects ourselves in ways that relate to so much, which is pretty cool. We choose, “Buddy Holly,” because it’s one of our favorites by them.

FIDLAR- “No Waves”

FIDLAR is a new band that we’ve had all kind of discovered together at the same time and instantly vibed with. Thier song writing and power hitting originals really brought together a sound that we’ve been searching for. So glad to see a band like this playing all over the place. They deserve it. We chose, “No Waves,” because this was the first song we’ve all heard together.

The Frights- “You Are Going To Hate This”

More or less from SD county but still pretty close to L.A. The Frights are another band that is quite new in the scene and captured our attention really quickly. We look up to these once local bands that have spread and are now getting recognized all over. Their sound is a modernized 50s rock and we like it! “You Are Going To Hate This,” is the song we chose because when we wanna agree to The Frights this is the song we play! It is also the name of their album.

Chicano Batman- “Black Lipstick”

Chicano Batman came out of nowhere and we were like, “Woah, ok. This is different!” They have such a unique sound mixed in with latino culture, which we like because 3/4 of us in the band are Hispanic. There’s so much influence when listening to them. Makes us want to definitely get a keyboardist. If you haven’t heard of Chicano Batman you’re doing it wrong! Go listen to, “Black Lipstick,” now. Like right now!

together PANGEA- “Badillac”

These newer bands coming out of left field just keep blowing our minds because it is sheer raw talent within the likes we haven’t seen for many years! And every time we discover a new local band blowing up it makes our pee pees tickle! together PANGEA brings a traditional mix of modern and classic rock to the stage and proves that Rock N Roll is far from dead! Great band! “Badillac,” is an instant favorite!

Sublime- “40oz. To Freedom”

Straight out of Long Beach, CA. Sublime will have to get an honorable mention, I mean, that’s pretty much LA still. Who doesn’t love Sublime? We don’t even have to explain this bands roots and how WE connect with them. Everyone knows why. They are just badass plain and simple and if you disagree, then you are WRONG! Just like FIDLAR says, “Lock yourself in your room with 40oz. on repeat! “40oz. To Freedom.”

Metallica- “Fight Fire With Fire”

Originated in Los Angeles but then truly branded themselves in San Francisco. Metallica is hands down the greatest metal band ever. EVER. Everyone knows Metallica but do you truly listen to Metallica? We do. Religiously. Keeps reminding us on why we do what we love. To rock faces! For those who have never listened to old Metallica just blast, “Fight Fire With Fire,” and it’ll change your life.

MEGADETH- “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”

Ok. We can’t mention Metallica without bringing up MEGADETH! For those who don’t know Dave Mustaine (singer and guitar player of MEGADETH) used to be the original lead guitarist of Metallica. Let’s show him some love because we truly cannot compare these two bands. Both great and impressive with their writings of war, government, power, and of course.. death. “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.” Best song by them!

Rage Against The Machine- “Sleep Now In The Fire”

Rage! For obvious reasons right? The only band next to MEGADETH to capture the essence of the corruption of government and greedy politics. Rage kills! Not to mention all the great hits they have! “Sleep Now In The Fire,” or bust!

The Doors- “LA Women”

The Doors are the OG’s of LA based bands and they have paved the way for all of us. There would not be half the bands we listen to if it wasn’t for The Doors. They deserve the shout out and the respect. “LA Women,” always a great song to remember them by. It has everything.

Playlist: Hello Atlantic’s 10 Songs They Wish They Wrote

Hello Atlantic

Hello Atlantic put together a list of songs that they wish they wrote. Check out a short message from the band and their song selections.

This was a tricky one for us, it took us a few days to finally decide and compile a list of songs so we each chose 3 songs and one as a group! These songs are in no specific order.. except for our #1 pick. So here goes nothing! – Hello Atlantic

1. My Chemical Romance – “Welcome to the Black Parade” 

This is the song we all agreed we wish we wrote… I mean come on, do we even need a reason why? Have you ever listened to this and have it not bring you back? The most iconic song of the 2000’s. The first note is the only note you need to hear before your nails become painted black and your hair becomes teased.  It’s an obvious pick for us, especially since one of our new songs is very heavily influenced by MCR, it’s almost TOO MCR if you ask us.

2. Atreyu – “Bleeding Mascara” (Ryan’s Pick)

So this is a weird one I know, but this was the first Atreyu song I had ever heard and from that moment on I was hooked! They are one of myall time favorite bands, it was different for me, they had this edge to them that really got me listening and now looking back on it, if I could have written a song that captured my audience and blew them away like this did me, I would choose to have written this heavy hitter, not to mention that intro track to the album that lead right into it, like woah man… this is a banger!

3.  Blink-182 – “All The Small Things” (Eric’s Pick)

This song absolutely changed the game for upcoming pop punk bands in the 90’s and 2000’s.  Aside from influencing other bands to want to become the next Blink-182, this song is like a pop punk anthem for all those 80’s and 90’s kids, and still holds true today, everyone knows this song!

4. Panic! At the Disco – “(F*** A) Silver Lining” (Ian’s Pick)

There is just so much energy to this song! Gives you those “High Hope’s”(pun intended). Panic! just keeps releasing hit after hit and that’s really all you can hope for as a band, just pumping out new material that everyone loves and writing such fun songs that you as well as your fans truly love and relate to.

5. Green Day – “Jesus of Suburbia” (Ryan’s Pick)

Talk about an epic, am I right? Green Day has always been an influential band for me, when I first listen to “Jesus Of Suburbia” my face practically melted off! Being a drummer all of those big fills in the middle of the song just really blew me away. It’s like they just mashed up a bunch of songs and riffs they had and made this absolute gem of a song, if you ever see someone listening to this song I can guarantee you’ll see them singing there heart out and drumming along to those big fills!

6. Linkin Park – “One Step Closer” (Eric’s Pick)

Linkin Park came into the scene and made a huge splash! They were such a different band for their time, and frankly that’s all we aim to be… different! “One Step Closer” came out and hit hard! Again much like most of our picks, it quickly became a huge hit and that year’s summer anthem, I want you to think of one person who doesn’t know this song… I’ll wait!

7. The Used – “The Taste Of Ink” (Ian’s Pick)

The Used is a big influence for us as a band, as well as myself as a singer and writer. This song sparks inspiration to go out into the world and be different and make a name for yourself…Or at least that’s the impression I got from it. The Used are categorized with MCR and there’s a reason for it… they wrote relatable and catchy music, but also had a different sound that really stuck out in the early 2000’s and Hello Atlantic is looking to follow that same path.

8. Panic! At The Disco – “Death of a Bachelor” (Ryan’s Pick)

Being my hardest decision of a song to pick, it was always going to be a Panic! song. They are my all time favorite band! How could I not pick one? I chose this song because I’m also a HUGE Frank Sinatra fan (he almost made the list) and Brendan really captured his big influence in this one! DOAB is such a different song not only for them, but for any newer music that is coming out these days. I wish I could write like they do, and when hearing this the second it came out I was so taken back, DOAB is just the right mix of modern and old school Jazz-esk sound, throughout High School I was always participating in our after school Jazz Ensemble which really opened my eyes to creativity and that whole realm of music. To this day I wish I could still do it and now more than ever wish I could write something as amazing as this.

9. System Of A Down – “Lonely Day” (Eric’s Pick)

How do you even begin to explain this song? Scratch that, this band? Well aside from being the only band to even write music like this, they are always testing the limits of what they write. But what really draws me into this song is that they are able to dial it back from 11 and write a more melodic and interesting song. When I first heard this song I couldn’t even believe that it was them! I mean really, compare Lonely Day to something like Chop Suey… how could a band like this even take it down a notch and make such a relatable song? And relatable is what we as musicians are always striving to do, make a song that people can relate to.

10. Dance Gavin Dance – “Summertime Gladness” (Ian’s Pick)

This is my favorite band and I’d be ashamed of myself for not including them on this list. They have been a major impact on not only my writing but also in my vocals, which hopefully you’ll be able to hear in our new EP. But back to the song… “Summertime Gladness” is just one of those weird fun songs that make you want to get up and dance to. Like seriously, who wouldn’t want to write a song that could bring so much happiness and weirdness to the table and make you just wanna move your head in the car and jam out to? Or even throw that car right into park on the highway and dance with this song cranking over the speakers. If there’s anything I want more in our new music and even on the next album is to make people wanna move their feet and simultaneously think… what a weird band, now they are something different.

Welcome to Geekdom 096: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Welcome To Geekdom

Welcome to Geekdom returns with a new episode on Spider-Man: Homecoming with Mike Comite. We talk about the characters, our favorite scenes, and more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Overcast, or Google Play and check out the episode below.

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Interview: Fine Points Talk New Album and More

Fine Points

Fine Points is a band out of San Francisco. The band recently played a stretch of West Coast dates to support Take Shape being out. Evan took some time to answers our questions about the band, the SF music scene, and more.

THow did Fine Points initially start?

Evan: Matt and I have spent the last ten years writing, recording, and touring with Sleepy Sun. We started Fine Points on our off time because we just can’t get enough, ya know? I wanted this band to have an expansive sound that relied on pop sensibilities.

What’s it like playing music in a city like San Francisco on a regular basis?

Evan:  I love playing music with my friends here in the bay. It’s my favorite activity.  I was born in SF and still think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are incredible rooms to play in and an awesomely varied selection of music to check out. That being said, the bay area has turned into a tech-driven wasteland with no middle class.  There are gigantic homeless encampments that share the same block with multi-million dollar high rise condominiums. The camaraderie amongst artists and musicians is still here but lots of talented gals and guys have been priced out to more affordable areas of the country. This is unfortunate since the city used to be a hub for creativity and self-expression.

Do you have a favorite local spot?

Evan: La Casita in East Oakland. Best Chilaquiles in the game. Cash only! If we’re talking music venues, The Chapel is my favorite place to play.

Let’s talk about Take Shape now. How did you end up working with Jason Carmer on it?

Evan: Jason contacted us on ye’ ol internet and asked if we’d like to record a song at his ‘Outland Studios’ in Berkeley. That song ended up being “The Fang.” We really liked how it sounded and ended up doin’ the whole damn thing at his joint.

When the band starts working on songs, what is the process like? Do you all work together or does it start with one person and then everyone else is brought in on it?

Evan: All of the songs start with either Matt or myself creating the basic structure. If Matt brings in a song, I will make suggestions and add lyrics to it. If I bring in a song, it usually has words on there already and Matt adds parts and helps piece it together. Then Josh (drums) and Owen (bass/keys) throw their respective magical potions into the pot. If we’re lucky, we’ll get our talented friends to play or sing on recordings, too.

Which song do you feel is the most personal on the album and why?

Evan: “The Fang” has a lot of gravity to it. It was written as a dedication to a pal of mine who passed away soon after the tune was written and recorded. A song is a nice way to remember.

How would you describe your sound to people who have yet to listen to the band? Where do you draw your influences from?

Evan: Narco pop. Dream gaze. We got a lot of comparisons to Britpop bands on this last west coast tour which I love: “You guys sound like a British band without the accent.” I love all things Creation records (MBV, Oasis, P Scream, Jam Chain) as well as The Cure and The Verve. The record also draws from stuff like Lee Hazlewood’s saccharine underground and Phil Spector’s wall of sound. Country music (i.e. Waylon, Merle, George J., Buck, Patsy, and Glen Campbell) is big for me, too. I look to Brian Wilson for vocal harmony lessons. All the classics!

What is the band up to for the rest of 2018?

Evan: I love how the live band is sounding at the moment. I’d like to play the new tunes out as much as we can. Sell some records?  We have a sweet Velvet Underground cover that we want to put out this year. Velvets forever.

Where is the best place to keep up with the band?

Evan: We got some more west coast dates lined up in September. Other than that, you’ll find us floating on a swan-shaped inflatable pool toy somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Also, www.finepointsmusic.com and pretty much all of the crap social media websites that are available to mankind.