Mark Vollelunga of Nothing More “It feels really cool, honestly as an artist, its fun to not be pigeonholed into one genre.”

In the video below Jennifer Black talks with Daniel and Mark of Nothing More @ Cargo : Whitney Peak Hotel 255 N Virginia St, Reno, NV July 23rd, 2018

Mark Vollelunga on “Just Say When”

“It feels really cool, honestly as an artist, its fun to not be pigeonholed into one genre. Its nice when you get to be, very dynamic and you can make a song bare bones, kind of like “Just Say When.” It was personally fun for me, just to kind of mess around, with some different tuning’s. That song is just in some open major tuning, I can sort of be the percussion section too.”

 

Three-time Grammy nominee Nothing More sees its brand new single, the emotionally-charged “Just Say When,” already in the Top 25 at both Active and Mainstream Rock Radio.  The track is from Nothing More’s recent Best Rock Grammy nominated release The Stories We Tell Ourselves (Better Noise/E7LLG), and follows the mercurial “Go To War,” Nothing More’s first #1 track at Rock Radio.  The music video for “Just Say When,” which has already logged more than one-million video views.

Steve Braun of Halcyon Way “We’re really close to the Queensrÿche guys, it was kind of weird.”

In the video below Steve Braun of Halcyon Way talks taxes, management changes, touring with Geoff Tate and more with Iron Serbian of Capital Chaos TV

Based in Atlanta, Georgia and founded in 2001, Halcyon Way is the ultimate example of blue-collar work ethic, self-reliant bootstrapping, and hard work & perseverance in spite of nearly insurmountable odds. The award winning band has released four albums worldwide through Nightmare Records/Sony RED and most recently via Massacre Records, and has performed on 4 continents, and about 20 countries and counting.

On the economics of Halycon Way?

“Our new label, has actually put some money into us and gave us a little advance and helped out with promotion. They’ve put a bunch of money into promotion, but up until this point in our career, everything we’ve done with our own money and we hope to make it back by selling lots of records and lots of merch, its been on our own shoulders. It also helps us to appreciate, where we come from, because we’ve had to scratch and claw each and every step of the way.”

On touring with Geoff Tate and Operation Mindcrime?

“It was strange though when we first heard we were going out with Geoff Tate and Operation Mindcrime because we had toured with Queensrÿche, we were like, that’s gonna seem strange. Its like now we had completed the package, ya know. We’re really close to the Queensrÿche guys, it was kind of weird.”

Mario Quintero of Spotlights “The city of Tilberg, legalized mushrooms and weed, just for the days of the Roadburn Festival.”

In the interview below, Sarah, Mario & Chris of Spotlights talk producers, Roadburn, Depeche Mode and more Iron Serbian of Capital Chaos TV. The Brooklyn-based trio who released their Ipecac debut, Seismic, late last year, stream Hanging By Faith, a five-song EP featuring remixes from Void Manes and ISIS/Palms’ Aaron Harris.

Spotlights played a hometown show later this month, June 30 at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, with a handful of dates across the Northeast slotted for July:

June 30 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus

July 26 Hamden, CT The Outer Space +

July 27 Syracuse, NY The Lost Horizon +

July 28 Cambridge, MA Middle East

July 29 Philadelphia, PA Voltage Lounge

July 31 Amityville, NY Amityville Music Hall +

  • = w/Pallbearer & SUMOKEM

Spotlights is a Brooklyn-based trio featuring married couple Mario and Sarah Quintero alongside drummer Chris Enriquez. The band released Seismic in the fall of 2017 via Ipecac Recordings. Revolver said the outfit “balances delicate atmospherics” and “crushing sounds” on the Aaron Harris (ISIS/Palms) produced release, while Loudwire noted Spotlights’ knack for “letting songs breathe, taking their time in building up a track’s strength and beauty simultaneously.”. Treble Zine named the album one of the Top 20 metal releases of 2017, saying “Seismic is an atmospheric sludge odyssey that lives up to the earth-moving implications of its title.”

Stef w/ an F of City Of The Weak ” Rock n roll is sticking it to the man no matter what the world tells you.”

From Minneapolis, MN, City Of The Weak haven’t slowed down since forming in 2012. The band has toured the United States relentlessly and are on track to play their 400th show in 2018. After being featured on EMG TV, spending 13 weeks on the Loudwire countdown, and receiving over 1.3 million views on their first six music videos, City of the Weak have proven to be one of the hardest working bands in America.

Stef Huschka aka. Stef w/ an F got her start in music when she joined a kids’ choir at 5 years old. After buying Brett Manning’s Mastering Mix program, she began intensive vocal training at 16. Now an adult, she has progressed into a well-rounded musician, entertainer, and songwriter. Though specializing in contemporary voice and being a badass on stage, her instruments include piano, guitar, and trombone. 

 

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

I’ve always been really into telling stories & art. I started writing & creating little books when I was 5. Eventually my stories turned to poetry, which turned to song lyrics when I got a piano as a gift. I didn’t really have much influence growing up, my parents didn’t listen to much music, & the only station we had where I lived was a country station. It wasn’t until I discovered MTV around age 11 that I discovered Linkin Park & Foo Fighters, & other rock acts that were being played at the time.

How did you become a guitarist and vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?

I am proficient in trombone, piano, guitar, & voice. I also co-lead a drum line in high school, that I was in for 4 years. I played in professional jazz bands, all state bands, pep bands, & a ska band with my trombone. I’ve accompanied school & church choirs & plays. I taught music for 10 years, & I taught music theory at a high school for a few months. I also have a college degree in musical performance, so I’m extremely proficient in lots of musical aspects. However, since City of the Weak has been my top priority for the last 5 years, my focus these days is obviously 100% on my voice and the business aspects of us as a band. I’d definitely be wiping dust off of my trombone & guitar if I were to take either one out these days.

What was the local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

We weren’t really a part of any scene here, since none of us that started the band were from Minnesota. We played shows everywhere back in the day: Station 4, 400 Bar, Wild Tymes, The Garage. One of my favorite MN bands I aspired to be like was Children 18:3 – they were technically from Willmar, MN I think, but they put on an incredible show.

How did the band form and how did the band name come about? How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup? How stable is the current lineup?

When I was 17 I moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul to form a band & play professionally. I was attending a training school called McNally Smith College of Music, & I started jamming with people every night. Once I was able to get a solid group going, we began playing shows around the Twin Cities and quickly branched out regionally, & then nationally. Over the last 6 years we slowly became the band that we are today.

You recently released a new album ‘Pulling Teeth”. What’s the reaction been like?

The reaction has been incredible. I have yet to hear a negative reaction, which is insanely unusual. There’s always haters coming from every direction, so it kind of freaked us out at first when all the reviews were great, all the fans are posting about how much they love it. It’s only been out a week though, so I’m SURE we will start getting some Negative Nancys soon. Which I won’t be disappointed about, I love my haters! They keep me on the edge!

So, how was working with Craig Owens and putting this record together different than what you have previously done?

Working with Craig & Jordan was literally the dream team. It was so great to work with a team that was insanely invested in authentic, original work. It was never about “you can’t do that cuz that won’t sell” or “you can’t say that because it’s too specific” like working with a lot of producers is. It was quite the opposite, & Craig encouraged me to get deeper & more specific, & it felt great to say all the things that I’ve been wanting to say. It felt amazing not to be stifled in our creativity. We had definitely been in a box for awhile, & breaking out was fucking phenomenal.

What is the writing process like for you? How do you pick what you want to keep and release and what gets tossed aside?

I’m inspired by everything that goes on around me, what’s in the news, what I see when I walk out my front door. We are very socially conscious so we like to address injustices that we see around us, we’ve written about child abuse, animal rights, gay rights, & more. Obviously whatever issues we are facing in our lives at the moment are our biggest inspiration. A common theme throughout our career has been about not giving up when the world is against you, & that you are in control of your own life. For this record, we all got together & ranked our top 5 songs that were in the pot, & whatever came out on top was getting recorded. We ended up adding an extra song because I felt the record would be incomplete without it. We never want to limit ourselves or our art.

What keeps you passionate about City Of The Weak and rock music after all these years?

I’m a very passionate person in general, & with City of the Weak I feel like I have a voice. It’s all about standing up and making a difference, & music is just the outlet for that. City of the Weak has become a brand that fully captures us as people, & who wouldn’t be passionate about simply being yourself & living your best life?

Top 5 albums or songs released in 2018 and of all time?

I haven’t really listened to much of anything that’s come out this year, to be honest. Right now I’m on a huge Super Bob kick, so I’ve been listening to them the last month or so. Before that it was Eternity Forever, & before that it was The Used.

Top 5 albums of all time:
1) Whydfml – badXchannels
2) That’s The Spirit – Bring Me the Horizon
3) D.R.U.G.s – Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows
4) Bangerz – Miley Cyrus
5) Dead Trees – From First To Last

What does rock n roll mean to you?

Rock n roll is an attitude & a lifestyle. It means not giving a fuck what people think, & it’s about living your life the way you want. It’s really disappointing how watered down “rock n roll” is these days. So many bands trying so hard to be something they aren’t. Rock n roll is sticking it to the man no matter what the world tells you. It’s never fucking selling out.

Nick Petty of The Happys “I love a lot of hip hop but some of the new shit is painful”

The Happys are a bay area band composed of four twenty-something-year olds-playing dysfunctional Surf Pop-Punk grunge. Recently got off tour with The Mad Caddies.

The Happys new lineup began in January of 2018 when Petty and longtime bassist Brett Brazil returned from a Pacific NW acoustic tour and reconnected with longtime friend and now guitarist, Alex Sanchez. Sanchez had previously played in Hot Start and had just touched down from an extended backpacking trip in Australia. Drummer Ryan Donahue approached the band by weird coincidence at a local bar and joined the band shortly after a few rehearsals. The band began booking shows and accruing a fast number of fans and several thousands of views on their Spotify and Youtube channels.

 

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock n roll?

 

I got into music from a neighbor who played a variety of instruments, and showed me Jimi Hendrix. My other friend showed me metal, and Nirvana Alice In Chains etc. but yea I was about 7 and it’s kind of funny cause my neighbor was fairly religious that showed me Hendrix, and guitar and is now teaching music as a professor in Texas, we and my friends had a funny band called the Mauve Lambchops kind of like The Doors. Was pretty funny shit.

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?

 

I became a vocalist, just to feel present in the world like a lot of people who play music and a part of everything in between, and to vent really young. And guitar, also about 14 to write stuff I have in my head or melodies when day dreaming, sleeping, or whatever in between. But I studied how to sing through bands I looked up to, and asked what they use, or technique for sore throat, holding notes, style.

How did the band form and how did the band name come about? How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup?

I formed the Happys with my friend Kyle Stampfli in 2o12. We had A huge list of songs and names and liked The Happys for a ton of reasons. I’m resonates with ADHD. It’s constant source of topic for songs beckoning “ How Happy Are We” as a world and having a name good for theatrical creativity on stage being happy and euphoric. My bassist Brett Brazil, have being playing together since 2015 but I played shows with a jam band he is super talented and he had a band called Medicine Bug. In 2016 I met Alex Sanchez my guitarist at a well promoted show, and liked him immediately from work ethic and talent wise, before my friend Dana Lindstrom was playing and left to pursue solo work, and that’s when Alex came in. Ryan Donahue our drummer was a devoted supporter of The Happys who offered to play drums years ago and me and Alex ran into him at a bar in Novato by happenstance playing pool, and just jammed and it totally worked. The rest is history.

 

What artists with a message have made you change in any particular way and what was that change?

I resonate artist wise with Mick Jagger recently a lot more, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Atmosphere, and people with longevity who don’t die young basically or quit, and don’t suck after a lot of years. I like Anthony Keidis, a lot of them speak about being yourself if weird, and being positive, even when hard. I like the story of Bob Marley playing after getting shot, I relate to wanting to help that much.

 

Who are some of your influences? Which of you influences can we hear in your music?

I really like The Doors, Sublime Nirvana bands like that that we’re crazy but find it really sad how the front men passed so young trully. Bands all listed before to, The Strokes, White Stripes, Beach Boys. but my band mates listen to a lot of Primus (Brett), Tool (Ryan) and (Alex) Sticky Fingers, and Pepper variety of stuff.

 

Who have been some of your favorite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?

I liked hanging out with Del the Funky Homo Sapien, and skated with him and played a show with him. I briefly got to hang out with Equipto, Hobo Johnson, we hung out with Jordan Moore and he filmed some stuff that’s on YouTube on our channel you can check out. We are trying to tour with them. The Mad Caddies were great we toured with them. We got some shows with LAW coming up with Jakob Nowell son of Bradley Nowell of Sublime, and their whole band is dope. There a lot of new artists coming in our circle I’m sure as word gets out I have no doubt about that.

 

How soon can we expect new recorded music from The Happys, will there be a full length and who will you be working with and where?

We will have our album done, the best American rock album ever (lol) around 2019, and it will be epic as fuck. But check out our new ep bipolar on our Spotify channel, we recorded, and subscribe to our YouTube. Spread repeat lather, and share like crazy then we’ll talk releasing new shit. ❤️❤️

 

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

Yea I like a lot of religious books and self help books, I like Affirmations and weird stuff like that, with a name like the Happys you have to be hella good and knowing all of life’s answers to be happy, lol. But I love Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Clockwork Orange, documentaries, and passionate actors a lot too. I like people who crush it when they come to do something. Sports too, I could go on and on. Anybody with a fire inside of them and bonus points if it’s totally natural.

 

Bands you would love to tour with on a dream tour package and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

Bands I would like us to tour with would be Offspring, Gogol Bordello, Red Hot Chili Peppers, bands that mesh with us. Another thing I could go on about, System of a Down, Pepper. I’d love to bother the shit out of rappers who are rich as fuck and suck and leach off of their riches, that sounds fun. I love a lot of hip hop but some of the new shit is painful, and just like outrageous, as far as like talent but I don’t know. What do I know Im a 26 year old artist scraping by. And music is in the eye of the beholder. And a taste thing just like when people say we suck. I know how much we mean the music, but someone will always like different genre which is enough to bother someone that hears you.

 

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

Songs at my funeral some Sublime like “New Realization”, Marty Robbins “El Paso”, “About a Girl” by Nirvana, ( these questions are painfully hard) Albums I’d say like “Unplugged” Nirvana, 40 Licks Rolling Stones, and Creedence box set I dunno? These questions are all very dependent on my in the moment opinion, thank you much love to you all – stay.

Lena Campbell of Anarchy Lace “I use music to purge the pain and angst in my heart and soul”

Sacramento, California’s Anarchy Lace is James Cundiff the Mad Axe Daddy on L/R guitar and vocals , Mistress Of Anarchy Lena Campbell on vocals. BRZRKR Haakenson on drums & Shredmaster George “The Butcher ” Bogue on L/R guitar and vocals as well . “The Missing Element” Josh Collinson on bass. They claim to have the work ethic that great music and great shows go hand in hand. Quality over Quantity. Continue reading “Lena Campbell of Anarchy Lace “I use music to purge the pain and angst in my heart and soul””

Kobra Paige of Kobra And The Lotus “I’m really a one woman workhorse.”

Kobra And The Lotus kept their word and delivered the second part of their opus magnum one year after the successful release of rock juggernaut Prevail I! Prevail II is the proverbial yang to the ying and continues right where Kobra And The Lotus left off in 2017.
Last week the band released a new music video for their new song “Velvet Roses”. In less than a week the video has over 60,000 views and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Watch it below. Continue reading “Kobra Paige of Kobra And The Lotus “I’m really a one woman workhorse.””