Interview: Super American Talk New Album

Super American

Super American recently released Tequila Sunrise. I highly recommend checking it out, which you can do over on Bandcamp. Pat Feeley took some time to answer our questions about the album, the Buffalo music scene, and more. Give it a read below.

When did you first start working on Tequila Sunrise?

We didn’t know it at the time, but we started it the first day we ever worked on music together. It was March of 2016, I believe. The final product didn’t come to fruition until we started putting the pieces together earlier this year.  Matt’s songs span a great length of time probably dating back to 2015. Mine were all written last year except for “Commitment Issues,” which we finished right before we went into the studio. When we found out the record was a go (we had a budget) we began demoing out all of our ideas and trying to fit them into one piece of work, Tequila Sunrise. The final versions are all closely derived from the demos we did prior.

What was the writing and recording process like?

There was no particular writing “process” for this record as it basically spanned our entire existence as a “band.” When we were inspired we would make something and share it with one another. Add to it. Subtract from it.  Work it from there. The recording process was unique because we had demos of all the songs — that we liked. So we were trying to preserve that energy while adding quality and weight to the recording.

If you could describe this album in one sentence, what would it be?

Nice to meet you.

Now that the album has been out for a little while, how does it feel to have it out in the world?

It feels weird. I felt amazing the first night and day. Very thankful for all of the positive things people were saying and the support of our friends, followers, etc. I was proud that we were able to see it through. Now I really just want to make something better.

Being from Buffalo, NY, what is the local scene like there?

I love my city.  Sometimes we eat each other alive instead of showing love, but it’s a small town and the sun doesn’t come out for six straight months.  It takes great leaders to really set a positive and inclusive tone for a scene to grow and thrive, so hopefully we will set a good example.  There are a lot of talented and passionate people.  Nothing energizes me like going to a show and seeing someone express themselves.

Do you find yourselves heading out to NYC often to play the wide variety of venues there?

We’re almost 7 hours away from NYC, but have have played there a few times. It’s a trip! Cleveland, OH is honestly more like our second home. (Sorry!)

Is there a venue in NY that you hope to play one day? How about outside of your home state?

We don’t discriminate. I want to start playing anywhere someone might know a couple of our songs.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

Exploring new ways to express myself.  Learning!  Doing my laundry more often. Improving my fitness and attitude. :)))

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Where can our readers keep up with Super American?

@supamerican on Twitter / Instagram. Thanks for having me.

Rapid Review: Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises

Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises

The new Pale Waves album is one I intended on checking out much sooner than I did. However, I’ve been feeling like I’m perpetually behind on everything these days. Too many books to read, too many podcasts to listen to, and let’s not discuss how many albums I have yet to listen to from this year. With that in mind, I wanted to come up with a quick way to get my thoughts out on an album, so here’s what I’m calling Rapid Review (not too clever, I know) and I’m kicking it off with My Mind Makes Noises.

“Eighteen” is a great start to the album. The vocals are great and the music is catchy. This is a song that I could easily see myself listening to a lot even though it feels more like a summer jam than a fall song. “There’s a Honey” follows the same vibe that we get with the opening track and builds on it nicely.

As I continued listening through the album, there’s an importance placed on relationships throughout it. Some, like “Loveless Girl,” aren’t always in a positive light, but it puts you into the situation and you’re able to understand the narrative. “Drive” was a track that instantly got my attention, though. “I drive fast so I can feel something” is repeated throughout and it just stuck with me.

“She” is intensely personal and it stands out as it takes a slower approach. You can tell there’s some resentment in the lyrics and vocals. If I had to pick one song to introduce someone to Pale Waves, it would be “She.” It gives a good look at the kind of band they are and how much potential they have.

“Red” is a song that would fit right in with pop radio. The chorus is infectious and it’s easy to have it stuck in your head. It’s another standout song on this album. While this album does blend together a little too much at times, it’s a big step in the right direction. They clearly have talent and they know exactly who they are. The vocals are appealing and the music is catchy. Just adding a little more variety would be great and I hope we see that from them on future releases. Give Pale Waves a listen if you haven’t yet, though. The band is well worth your time.

Playlist: Fatherson Share Their Influences

Fatherson

Fatherson recently released Sum Of All Your Parts and they took some time to share their influences with us. They wrote a bit about each selection and you can listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Sigur Ros – Heysatan

That Takk album by Sigur Ros is hands down one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. I go back to this song religiously, I guess it’s because I have no idea what he’s saying so I make it up for myself.

Death Cab For Cutie – Brothers on a Hotel Bed

Our collective favourite song of all time. Possibly even our collective favourite band. Lyrically Ben Gibbard always puts the most eloquent twist on heartbreaking situations. This song is about losing love over a long period of time, which is something that I guess most people are afraid of.

Manchester Orchestra – Everything to Nothing

Loud, heavy, heartbreaking and honest is pretty much how I’d describe everything that Manchester Orchestra do. We’ve been inspired by them since hearing wolves at night on MySpace. I would maybe say this was my favourite song of theirs. The way they throw about the 1 at the end yet make it super approachable is just cool and it was amazing to discover that other bands did that too.

Phoenix – Lasso

The intro to this song is so cool, if you watch on YouTube the dude is playing two parts at once. They are also so amazing live, proper gentlemen of the stage with super groovy tunes. Plus the drummer looks like he’s going so fast he might take off at some point 10/10 would recommend to a friend.

The 1975 – The Sound

This band definitely inspired a bit of confidence in us when we were writing this new album. They just say and do what they want and their artwork and statement is always so cool. Very big fans of their live show too, they are definitely the most innovative band to come out of the UK in the last decade in my opinion.

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

Definitely the most inspiring artist/song/library of musical masterpieces on this list for me, for sure. This song blew me away when if first heard it, not only is there a Paolo Nutini sample in it but there’s also an incredibly beautiful song underneath the melee of production.

Noname – All I Need

I had Telefone on repeat for about a year, Noname writes poetry. I was so engaged from the get go, one night whilst trawling through tiny desk sessions, her one appeared and that was it. This song is my favourite on that album but if you haven’t heard it yet do yourself a favor and get lost in it for a few days!

Paramore – Last Hope

Saw them in Wembley Arena in London in front of about 20,000 people and they made it feel like a club show! This song is the epitome of a modern rock ballad with an amazing melody and her incredible voice on top of it!

Radiohead – No Surprises

The kings of tone and song structure really. You can’t help but be in awe of them, they’ve been moving the goalposts forever and always better themselves. I listened to Ok Computer a lot over the last couple of years alongside the bends. This song though has the most amazing sounding guitar melody I think I’ve ever heard.

Idlewild – Little Discourage

We toured with Idlewild on their 10 year anniversary of 100 Broken Windows after being massive fans since we were kids. It’s such a raw and messy album but it has so much energy in it. Little Discourage made the place go off every night and it was so inspiring to watch it have the same visceral potency 10 years after it came out. It just shows you that great songs last the test of time.

Snow Patrol – How to be Dead

The opening song to one of the best albums of all time. And that just has to be a fact, it’s a super cool sounding album from some guys from Northern Ireland. I was about 11 when it came out and bought it at Asda and went straight to Greg’s to listen to it, which we’ve done with every album they’ve released since. Incredible band and this song is so cool.

Playlist: Sam Hale Shares Artists He Loves

Sam Hale
Photo credit: Jenna Doolittle

Sam Hale is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who had been hard at work on some new music. He’ll be releasing Somewhere Between Love & War on October 12th. Sam kindly put together a playlist of some of the artists he loves and wrote a little about each selection. Check it out!

David Ramirez – “Watching from a Distance”
David Ramirez is electrifying. I heard this album and it inspired me to reach out to his producer, Sam Kassirer. That is how Somewhere Between Love & War was born.

Wye Oak – “Before”
Wye Oak is an interesting discovery I made last year. They are two multi-instrumentalists that create a rich and colorful blend of sounds accompanied by thoughtful and honest lyrics. You’ll have to check them out!

Cigarettes After Sex – “K.”
Cigarettes After Sex put out a pretty awesome album, especially the song “K”. Their music has a dreamy undertone with seductive vocals that don’t sway too much from the pocket, leaving you in a state of infinite trance.

Kevin Morby – “Harlem River”
Kevin Morby’s repetitive guitar lick in “Harlem River” influenced me a bit when creating “Supernatural”. The song starts off giving you a Gotye feel, but once the song picks up it becomes super spacey and psychedelic. I appreciate a long song when it’s done correctly. They achieved it in this one.

Chromatics – “Into The Black”
I love the Chromatics recreation of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey, Hey”. It’s almost as if her voice was made for this song. This song opened me up to hear their whole catalogue.

The War on Drugs – “Pain”
It took me a while to actually start listening to The War on Drugs. I had heard of them and friends told me to check them out. It’s no mystery they are an amazing band, but they have definitely influenced me. The song “Pain” is one of my favorites.

Nick Hakim – “Green Twins”
Nick Hakim put out a super soulful album called Green Twins. The title track “Green Twins” is one of my favorites. The song has a subtle distorted effect that makes it feel like an old vinyl. His performance is amazing and I love the production on this number.

The Cinematic Orchestra – “To Build A Home”
I heard the song “To Build A Home” a while back on the independent station KCRW in Los Angeles while driving home from a friend’s house. I instantly fell in love. It’s such a beautifully played song that gives you chills right when the singer hits the falsetto vocals in the chorus.

Slowdive – “Start Roving”
The band Slowdive has been around for a while, but they recently put out an album called Slowdive after 21 years of not releasing any music. All the songs on the album are amazing, but the one that stood out to me is called “Star Roving”. It has this industrial, 80’s pop quality to it that I just love.

Interview: Homebound Talk New EP and Tour

Homebound

Charlie Boughton, Homebound’s vocalist, took some time to answer questions about the band’s new EP, More to Me Than Misery and their headlining tour. Check it out!

More to Me Than Misery released in August, so what has the reception of the EP been like?

It’s been really positive in these last few weeks. People have taken to the songs really well and hearing stories about how they have connected with them means so much.

What was the inspiration behind the EP?

More to Me Than Misery draws on the many pitfalls when searching for happiness in love and life. Last year was possibly the best and worst of my life for the very same reasons and you begin to fear the very things that once made you who you are. Although the name of the record draws from quite a poignant lyric, I wanted the title of the record to be seen as a positive outcome to the hardships I experienced.

You also just wrapped up a headlining tour. How did that go?

It was a humbling week for us. To have so many come out in numbers to see us was very special. We were apprehensive and nervous about doing a headline tour but we were shocked at just how many people care about this band.

You’ve been a band for over four years now, how would you say that things have changed since 2014?

We’ve definitely improved at our craft. We didn’t really know what we were doing back then and we’ve slowly but surely learnt more about ourselves as individuals, musicians and as a band. We’ve made plenty of mistakes a long the way which has both helped and hindered us in our journey. Musically, we’re still evolving and finding what fits us best.

When did you first start working with Rude Records? How has the label helped the band grow?

We first started talking to these guys back in the summer of 2016 when they had expressed an interest in our then unreleased EP, ‘The Mould You Build Yourself Around’. They’ve been enthusiastic every step of the way and have always matched our ambition. It’s important to work with like-minded people who understand what you want to achieve and they’ve done everything they can to do that. It’s allowed us to fully focus on being a band and write music.

Now that the EP is out and the tour wrapped up, what are your plans for the remainder of the year? Any plans to come to the U.S. for some shows?

Touring the U.S. is the end goal but it’s very difficult for bands to get to a point where they can make that trip a reality. There’s a lot that goes into it so hopefully that something that can happen sooner rather than later. For now, we want to build on MTMTM, and continue to spread the good word about it.

Thank you for your time! Where can the readers keep up with the band?

Keep up to date with us on all socials @homebounduk and on Spotify. 🖤

SoCal Spotlight: Orange County’s Takers Leavers

Takers Leavers

Takers Leavers are the latest SoCal band we want to spotlight. Continue reading to learn more about what the band likes about the SoCal scene, where they’re from, and more.

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Formed: 2016

Band members::
David Baqi – vocals, guitar
Karem Idrees – bass, vocals
Robby Friend – guitar
John Gee – drums

When did you first know you wanted to be in a band?

DB: When I found out becoming a professional ice cream eater isn’t as sustainable as it should be.

KI: About the same time I discovered Angus Young and AC/DC.

How did the current lineup come to be?

Patience with the process. We lost some and gained some. That helped us find the right equation.

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?

Most of the bands we’ve come to love have come from being booked with them. Also, attending local shows helps us discover bands while supporting our friends.

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

The many venues, bands, and music fans. We got to sharpen our teeth in a scene that pumps out consistency and creativity. A lot of successful creatives, mentors, and producers thrive here. A bit more diversity in the style of bands/shows and a blending of the different music cultures would be cool to see.

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?

Watching our following blossom recently has been an extremely humbling experience. We do our best to create a platform for others to speak, and people do a much better job at spreading our music than we do sometimes.

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

We run it ourselves. The intimacy of being able to do it and really connect with our people makes the most sense. Hit us up on IG, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Even Vero.

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

The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa. They love us. We love them. They make us sound great. We love their food, drinks, and staff.

What is the band working on right now?

Preparing for a West Coast tour in support of our EP Break & Bloom, available on every streaming platform September 7th.

Interview: Sleeping Seasons Talk New Record

Sleeping Seasons

C.J. Starnes of Sleeping Seasons took some time to talk about the new album from the band. Never Would I Choose To Never Love At All released on August 31st via Innerstrength Records. Read the interview below!

Never Would I Choose To Never Love At All is out now. How did you feel on release day knowing that fans could hear the full record?

Excited and relieved. We poured everything into getting this record out. From pre-production in July last year, making the record from August-December, music video in January, pitching to labels, etc. It was a long process so we were absolutely excited when everything was set and now that it is out, we just hope it means as much to the listener as it does to us.

What was the fans’ reaction like to the album?

Everyone that has reached out has been so positive about the record. It is incredibly encouraging to us.

How did you get hooked up with Innerstrength Records?

We signed on with our manager Erick with Word Is Bond Inc. in early June of last year. He had been talking to labels about our last record and when we completed this one he went out and talked to labels more and Innerstrength was the right one for this release. They were really excited about it, and they wanted to see it succeed. Which really made us feel like they cared about how this did. They offered us a deal we felt confident with and we all decided we’d move forward together.

When you were in the early stages of the album, what was the writing process like?

It feels like a lifetime ago so oddly enough I don’t remember a whole lot about it actually. I usually have ideas written when I bring them to the band and they help me filter and organize the songs and put their parts on it. We have a very singer/songwriter type of sound that has just been expanded into what it is by the members in the band all putting their influences in. When I had all ten songs ready we actually camped out a weekend at our guitarists house and finished writing the record together.

How about the recording process once you were ready for that? Who did you work with on the album?

We have worked with Cody Landers on our last two releases. He is hands down the only person I trust when I have something I want to record. He knows what I’m thinking, and has the vision to take it there. He also doubles as a producer as well so his input is invaluable to us because he knows what will sound good in the final mix. It was effortless working with him.

What was your favorite thing about working on the album?

I loved getting to see the songs I’d had in my head for so long and heard in the rehearsal room taking shape and forming their characters in the soundscape of the studio. It is a surreal experience because that is where you have the most control over how something sounds and we were so excited watching these songs come to life and tell a story.

What does the band hope to accomplish through the music?

We hope the music is what people need it to be for them. We are all Christian’s in the band and hope that we can be a light for Christ. I think it’s evident in the lyrics throughout the record my need to lean on Christ at all times, good and bad. When people hear these songs, I hope they connect with the heartbreak, the victories, and the honesty of the story. I hope they see that there is a great purpose to life. There is a reason why the statement “everything happens for a reason” is true.

What’s next now that the album is out? Do you have plans to tour?

We have more music in the works to record. We are planning tours to support this album. There is a lot coming up!

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Where can the readers keep up with the band?

We have a website, and all major social media outlets. Just look up “Sleeping Seasons” anywhere and you’ll find us.