Interview – @RichAucoin

Originally published on www.musicnews360.com , finding the stories between the songs.

Electro-pop with a flair of DIY Punk attitude, @RichAucoin travels the globe preaching the power of now and the joy of community. With confetti cannons and a technicolor parachute, Rich Aucoin engulfs even the most cynical with an irresistible presence and a playful affirmation of life.

On March 16, Rich Aucoin released the new Hold EP, and announced his PRESS ON tour. As part of the tour, Aucoin is bicycling across the United States, to raise awareness for mental health by donating 100% of tour proceeds to Mental Health America and The Canadian Mental Health Association. Aucoin will be joined by bandmates in each city as he pedals across the deserts, mountains, and forests of America.

@MusicNews360 corresponded with Aucoin as he biked across Southern California (hopefully, he was not typing while on the bike!). We chatted about Eckharte Tolle, Koala Bears, and Fabreezing the Parachute. Check below for excerpts from our conversation.

Website // Bandcamp // SoundCloud // Instagram // Twitter

Rich Aucoin – The Middle (Official Video)

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

Virgo

MN360° – What is your spirit animal? How does it manifest in daily life?

Koala stay calm

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to know what people are listening to on their headphone while they walk by.

MN360° – How does Canada produce such great music?

Ketchup flavoured chips

 

 

MN360° – Have you noticed more Americans moving to Canada, as of late?

No but welcome !

MN360° – What first sparked your interest in music?

Seeing a symphony play Rhapsody in Blue at 5 had a big impact on me for sure.

MN360° – What was your first instrument? Did someone gift it to you?

I think recorder might have been before I started piano at 6. My parents gave me the recorder. Mom still has the piano.

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

Wu Tang

MN360° – What is your favorite Beach Boys song? Why? Where can we hear it in your music?

Good Vibrations. Just such an ambitious recording attempt. There are hours of cutting room floor versions of the song too. I’ve heard a bunch of those too. You can hear its theremin melody replayed on theremin in my song Brian Wilson Is ALiVE.

MN360° – What is your process for writing/recording new music?

I score my songs to movies.

MN360° – When was the first time you brought out the parachute during a performance? What inspired its introduction?

2009 NXNE. Saw it online while buying something on EBay and then thought it’d be fun to do in the show.

MN360° – How do you keep the parachute from not smelling stinky?

Fabreeze

MN360° – How do you decide on the movie clips you show during performance?

Look for scenes with the same emotional content.

MN360° – What is the story behind your ‘Gender is Over’ shirt?

It’s a great fundraiser for trangsgender equality groups. Check them out at www.genderisover.com

MN360° – Are you a fan of Eckharte Tolle?

I’ve looked at his books at my mom’s.

 

MN360° – How often do you have to reload the confetti cannons?

Every shot!

MN360° – What is your ‘truth’?

“Don’t be a dick”

MN360° – Do you believe in magic? Can you give an example?

Yes. The feels you get from Can You Get To That by Funkadelic

 

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

42%

MN360° – Can you tell us more about your bike tour across the US?

LA to NYC. starting with getting some kicks on 66.

MN360° – What is the furthest you’ve ridden your bike in a single day?

170km

MN360° – Any dreams/visions/insights experienced while riding for that length of time?

Please get off the highway before the sunset.

MN360° – Do you see a connection between performance and religious experience? Does rhythm play a role in that?

Both are communal joy.

MN360° – How did you meet your band mates? How did you ask them to join your band?

Various ways. There have been about 260 people that have backed me up at this point.

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?

touring

MN360° – What do you do to occupy yourself between shows while on tour?

Planning the next shows.

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour, or bike tour?

Slept in the parachute a few times in some odds spots.

MN360° – What will music sound like in 100 years?

It’ll continue to expand in all directions like a web spreading outward and with more intersections of various strains of genres.

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?

teal

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

Gender is over, if you want it!

http://www.genderisover.com/

Interview – @ReedTurchi

Interview originally published on Music News 360°, finding the stories between the songs.

@ReedTurchi is a producer, label head, band leader and solo artist. He’s also a master of guitar driven blues that shapeshift seamlessly between acoustic slide, electric juke joint boogie, and the improvisational, groove-driven, massive sound of his Nashville based Kudzu Orkestra. @MusicNews360 caught up with Reed returning from a trek deep within the Grand Canyon. Through many twists and turns, we discussed ManateeVans, beagle poop, putting the social back into music, and high proof corn liquor. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

BTW, Reed and his Kudzu Choir will be in NYC promoting their forthcoming album, Just a Little More Faith, this April, 2018. Catch them at one of the performances below.

  • April 17th – The Bitter End
  • April 18th – Leesta Vall Direct to Vinyl Live Session
  • April 18th – Paste Magazine Live Video Session 

Website // Bandcamp // SoundCloud // Instagram // Twitter

Reed Turchi – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

RT – Gemini.

MN360° – What is your spirit animal?

RT – Manatee, the Manatee Van.

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

RT – Perfect pitch. A lot of people have that, but I count it as a superpower.

“Perfect pitch. A lot of people have that, but I count it as a superpower.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what would it be?

RT – Dark Blue.

 

MN360° – So when does the new record come out?

RT – The record comes out July 2018, though you will start to hear about it in April. I’ll be in NYC with the Kudzu Choir performing at The Bitter End, as well as doing a Paste Live Session and a Leesta Vall Direct to Lathe Session, to help show off the band, and the new record.

MN360° – When did you first get into music?

RT – Haha! Well…in different forms, pretty much most of my life. In terms of playing…My mom rounded up me and two of my elementary school friends and forced us into piano lessons. So that was my first non-recorder music class, pre-k musical learning. Then different versions of piano is what got me up until college, which is when the slide guitar bug bit and proved contagious.

MN360° – Your first musical instrument was the piano?

RT – Yep. Once I had the technical proficiency to be able to, I went down a more narrow piano path, and found stuff that I like, which was almost all boogie woogie piano stuff. Somewhere between Professor Longhair New Orleans stuff and the Pete Johnson Kansas City Blues stuff. All that is real rhythm left hand and more ornamental right hand. I love that stuff, but when I got into Fred McDowell and Hill Country world, I ran out of ways to fake that on piano…

I see a link between establishing musical proficiency with piano, diving more specialized within piano, and then realizing that was the wrong instrument for what I wanted.

You know, I can’t really play the guitar, but the reason I picked up the guitar was to play that particular sound, ignore the rest. The narrow method has proved somewhat useful.

“The reason I picked up the guitar was to play that particular sound, ignore the rest. The narrow method has proved somewhat useful.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – So you arrived at the blues while playing the piano?

RT – That’s definitely the case. Slightly a different blues, though I would say the same feeling. If you really nerd out about the way the Fred McDowell stuff works with the rhythmic thumb and single note melody line…There are a lot of parallels between that and the way, on the boogie woogie piano stuff, how the left hand is the rhythmic monster and the right hand is the melody. That’s not quite a clean comparison, but I see the connection there.

MN360° – You studied slide guitar with Kenny Brown. Can you tell us about your apprenticeship?

RT – One story that comes to mind … Kenny boarded all of his neighbors hunting beagles, as well as his own. So Kenny being the resourceful man that he is built about a 15 foot by 50 foot cement slab, and partition runs within that. All the dogs would be in there and still separated within these narrow rectangles. And that was fenced in. But then Kenny also not wanting to deal with the amount of beagle shit being produced by like 15 beagles, especially in summer heat…he would just take a pressure hose and hose all of that beagle defecation off the back end of the slab.

Unfortunately there was a point at which the immense mound that was being created along the back end of the slab was solidified and dense enough that the pressure washer could no longer push the beagle shit past a certain point. So in effect a shit mound about two feet tall, two feet wide, and fifty feet long had formed along the back end of the cement slab.

Kenny’s idea to deal with that, since it was on the edge of a hill, was to take a big PVC pipe…like a 12 inch diameter pipe…saw it in half, and then lay that behind, doing it at an angle so it could run off the back of the hill. Only problem…and my task…was to dig the trench for the pipe. But in order to dig the trench, and before you got to the ground…one had to dig through the approximate two foot by two foot by fifty foot mound of two year old beagle shit.

So I got about three shovelfuls in, and that was about all I could take before the project was aborted. I did end up burning those shoes.

The most telling moment of all was…when I walked back down to where Kenny was, after he had left me with the shovel and the…hm, informal blueprint. When he saw me walk back down after having stood two feet deep in beagle shit…Kenny said, “Oh…I guess I had some boots I could have lent you!”

The real blues experience is just that last little bit.

“When he saw me walk back down after having stood two feet deep in beagle shit…Kenny said, ‘Oh…I guess I had some boots I could have lent you!’” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – Right on! Any other insights from your tutelage with Mr. Brown?

RT – Park headed out…

“Park headed out…” – @ReedTurchi

Thanks to that intimate time, that lasted about 2 – 2.5 years, he did not directly teach me that much guitar, but I was certainly exposed and hands-on in that type of guitar playing much more than any healthy human should have been. You know, like any non academic tradition, it was definitely more of an informal passing of information, but a passing of information, nonetheless.

Kenny always told me he had the idea for a blues tour where you’d get a bunch of people on the bus from the airport in Memphis. You take them all down on the bus to whatever half functioning music venue Duwayne Burnside is running. Drop them all off. Take their bags, wallets, and just leave them.

So that would be the blues tour–everyone trying to figure out what they could do to get out of there while they were stranded without a wallet or bags, somewhere between Holly Springs, Potts Camp, and Oxford.

“That would be the blues tour–everyone trying to figure out what they could do to get out of there while they were stranded without a wallet or bags, somewhere between Holly Springs, Potts Camp, and Oxford.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – So how has your experience in North Mississippi influenced where you are today?

RT – Well I don’t think I realized this until years later…there just aren’t that many people in the world who have been crazy enough to spend a significant amount of time there. It’s definitely its own world. After spending a decent amount of time there, you realize that what from afar looks like giant genre of musical legends is basically this tiny area where a bunch of dudes just played the same stuff and didn’t have anything better to do…

“After spending a decent amount of time there, you realize that what from afar looks like giant genre of musical legends is basically this tiny area where a bunch of dudes just played the same stuff and didn’t have anything better to do” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – What is the blues?

RT – Well, it’s a folk music and an oral tradition, which is fun. Beyond that, the artists who seem to get it and ring true understand that the blues is a celebration of life and also admitting difficulties in life. If it becomes about guitar work, or it becomes about gear…you know all the blues doctors and lawyers in the world…then you’ve kind of missed the boat. And if it’s just about being sad, then that’s not quite right either.

“The blues is a celebration of life and also admitting difficulties in life” – @ReedTurchi

It’s a social music. I think we have less and less social music in the world because we consume music in our earbuds or as background music in a coffee shop, which is social music of a type, but kind of a social music meant to be ignored. So like all kinds of other music, a lot Latin music…anywhere where the audience and the performers are riding the same wavelength…instead of performers on a stage pretending like the world should worship them–that’s not the experience I’m talking about. Where the music just comes out of daily life, that’s the essence of where blues comes from. That essence or feeling of it coming from life is what matters.

“It’s a social music. I think we have less and less social music in the world because we consume music in our earbuds” – @ReedTurchi

“That essence or feeling of it coming from life is what matters.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – What keeps the blues alive?

RT – The way it looks will constantly change. As long as people are genuinely expressing themselves in music and not just turning it into some sort of anonymous sound or expression for marketability, then that same feeling will live on.

MN360° – What is the connection between blues and spirituality?

RT – Well you know…all the jokes about playing blues music Saturday night and gospel music Sunday morning ring pretty true. Blues at its best is willing to accept that there are great unknowns. There is definitely appeals to a greater or all powerful God that is built within the blues, so I think they are all related.

“Blues at its best is willing to accept that there are great unknowns.” – @ReedTurchi

You know there is a Fred McDowell quote that goes something like, “Most people go through their lives and they do not even feel anything until someone they know dies, and then it is too late.”

One reason I liked Fred so much is he would play everything. He would play from 4pm to 2am every single Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon, because that was the gig. He played everything, sometimes it’s spirituals and sometimes it’s blues. It just depends on what the setting is, or who is listening, or what mood he is in. It’s all music.

MN360° – What do you see as the importance of rhythm in blues music?

RT – Rhythm is all there is in music. That’s why we have it. You can hear the different rhythms that are seen as the pillars of blues rhythms come from the situations they are being played in. Whether it is fife and drum rhythmic background in Hill Country music, or the Texas Shuffle that is closer to western dance. And then, Chicago Blues, having a more homogenized rhythm and structure, although sometimes boring, was the key to keeping those guys playing together, and the key to making Willie Dixon a ton of money when he standardized the songs into 12 bar formats that could be sold to publishing companies.

“Rhythm is all there is in music. That’s why we have it.” – @ReedTurchi

The rhythm is all that really matters, and you can hear each geographic rhythm just comes from the setting it’s being performed in and…the state of the listener. You know, Luther Dickinson says the key to Hill Country blues is the hypnotic properties of corn liquor. If you have high proof enough corn liquor, the way you play and the way the listeners react kind of take a left turn.

“If you have high proof enough corn liquor, the way you play and the way the listeners react kind of take a left turn.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – What do you think about drummers?

RT – Usually how it goes is if I get along with the drummer, I can’t stand how they drum, and if I barely get along with the drummer, I love the way they drum. Thankfully, Wallace (new drummer) breaks that mold. He is in his 60s, maybe 50s, and plays drums in order to play music, rather than playing drums to hit things, kind of like Anthony Cole from that amazing Greyhounds lineup–it’s a much more musical type of drumming than just hitting things.

“It’s a much more musical type of drumming than just hitting things.” – @ReedTurchi

I don’t know anything about drumming…But when I’m trying to play with a drummer, if it doesn’t work right off the bat, I can never get it to work. No matter how much we break down songs, no matter how much I try to speak drummer vocabulary. When it’s just off, it’s totally off.

“I don’t know why, but 9 out of 10 drummers totally shit the bed on Hill Country style drumming. They want to tame it back…” – @ReedTurchi

I don’t know why, but 9 out of 10 drummers totally shit the bed on Hill Country style drumming. They want to tame it back…You know, instead of attacking on the upbeat, they want to flip it over. You lose all the energy that way. I’m very lucky right now to have Wallace here, because…poof…I have trouble with drummers.

MN360° – What are some of the insights you gained from the time spent at Ardent Studios, being around folks like John Fry and John Hampton?

RT – If I was a better audio engineer, I would have more specific lessons learned from that time. John Fry and John Hampton, they…the way they shaped what was being played and recorded wasn’t sort of the producer role we think of today–like polishing something or turning something into a more marketable version of a rougher demo, which is what we kind of assume the process to be now. Rather, they would make pretty amazing artistic and musical choices to enhance the music.

So if it were a Chris Bell song, like “You and Your Sister”… John would get the strings and would be able to make a heartbreaking string section, and he knew how to bring them in and make a perfect mix. Or if you would take some falling apart as it comes together…Big Star “Third” type of stuff. John would treat unintentional guitar feedback as just as vital a piece of a song as someone’s vocal. All the pieces were equal and all the things were musicals. In my mind, the best engineers are able to do that.

“All the pieces were equal and all the things were musicals. In my mind, the best engineers are able to do that.” – @ReedTurchi

Obviously, Memphis has a huge rhythmic background. But if you think about those studios working together in the heyday, between the Stax empire…and all of the string, overdub work, and mixing being done at Ardent, because of the high tech gear and because of Fry…and then using the Swampers rhythm in Muscle ShoalsYou start to get an idea that each of these places were contributing a very special part to making probably some of the best music ever made. Memphis’s heyday was that whole region’s heyday.

So those are the things I try to think about because otherwise you can get a little too enamored with a particular time or a particular place. I mean there are circumstances historically that make that possible, but it’s not like…Yeah, if I go cut a record… I mean you can make believe whatever you want, but at the end of the day, those people with those skill sets made those things happen. It wasn’t just like…there may have been some circumstances that made it seem like it was just “in the water”, but you know there’s a reason why there is a hot period and then a not so hot period–you need the right people.

“There’s a reason why there is a hot period and then a not so hot period–you need the right people.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – So you went from North Mississippi to Memphis to Nashville?

RT – Well, one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit geographically is meeting, touring, and making the Scrapyard record with Adriano Viterbini … Because, the intensity and the rhythm he uses when playing guitar, and also he’s such an omnivore of styles, a master of learning things and incorporating them, you know, blew my mind sideways. Having someone like that even interested in the least of what I was doing… so to some extent you know validating the very small and narrow approach I had was a big deal for me and a signal to keep going.

And now in Nashville…I’ve got a lot of people that I love making music with all around. Now with Wallace, the drummer, across the street… With the Kudzu Orkestra, I used to start “Going Down South” and just call out the key. Now I call out “Going Down South”, and Wallace asks “Who’s version?” I don’t know how many drummers in the world–the answer is probably about three–have played with as many Hill Country guys.

“Now I call out ‘Going Down South’, and Wallace asks ‘Who’s version?’” – @ReedTurchi

So having Wallace here, and Kathleen to sing and keep me in tune, which is very nice. And then you know Heather, from Caterwauls, who lives about three or four houses away, on piano. I mean, yeah, Nashville is full of great musicians, but these specific people are people that I love recording with and playing with. I feel a real resonance with them. So that really helps me just be able to make music that I love.

“I feel a real resonance with them. So that really helps me just be able to make music that I love.” – @ReedTurchi

You know one of my least favorite things about Memphis, and whoever wants to can kill me for this, but there’s a real pressure to worship the Gods of Memphis’ golden age. I’m into that and I love that music, but that’s not who I am. I’ll try to learn from that and incorporate parts of it, but I can’t get into some pissing contest about who can play the most Stax guitar licks. I mean it is not going to get me anywhere.

“There’s a real pressure to worship the Gods of Memphis’ golden age.” – @ReedTurchi

 

“I can’t get into some pissing contest about who can play the most Stax guitar licks.” – @ReedTurchi

So it’s refreshing to be somewhere where…like if I was here in Nashville trying to do country or country pop or even Americana, wherever that is…I think there would be a lot of a similar weight. I don’t care about that stuff. I feel like I’m a little more free in the music I can make because of what’s going on and also being surrounded by some of my favorite musicians within walking distance of the house, or in the house. So that’s the best case scenario for me. And now I get to practice all the time since I actually live somewhere–that makes a big difference!

MN360° – What is the biggest misnomer about Nashville?

RT – The biggest misnomer is that it’s all country. Though, in truth, it is the country empire, so that is only partly a misnomer. I would say that for a lot of those genres it is really shitty and hyper competitive, or even worse, passive-aggressive competitive. It is also true that there are a lot of great musicians in the woodworks, not just guys that have had a country hit. It’s a town that right now is in that sweet spot of affordability and creativity. I’m sure that won’t last…and I’m sure I’m part of the problem. It’s a nice place to be right now…there are interesting things happening. When that door closes or when we all get priced out of the neighborhood, we will all look back on it as a special moment and scene. And I’m not talking about people moving here from Portland with their Stetsons to be part of a scene.

“Nashville’s a town that right now is in that sweet spot of affordability and creativity.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – Can you tell us a bit about the Kudzu Orkestra?

Kudzu Orkestra is a totally open invitation, recurring gig, that happens on average once a month. I lead the songs and get them started. It’s a mix of Hill Country classics and the simplest “Reed” songs, so almost no chord changes, or no chord changes at all–best case. People who are into that, having a somewhat led but otherwise pretty free interpretation chance to perform without an ego trip and without, you know, a lot of money worries involved love it, and they come back and maybe bring a friend or play whenever they’re in town, stuff like that. So it’s incredible.

I mean the group of people that play in it are pretty spread out in who they are and how professional they are with their music. But the music we make is some of the best. There are a lot of people now who say it’s the most fun gig and their favorite band they’ve ever heard in Nashville. It’s just a party. We play in a room about the size of your living room kitchen, and there will be 14 people playing.

It’s just about sharing rhythm. We do it the last Wednesday of every month at the Inglewood Lounge.

“It’s just about sharing rhythm. We do it the last Wednesday of every month at the Inglewood Lounge.” – @ReedTurchi

There’s no pressure. There’s no judgement. Especially in a town where everyone is always being begged to come to everyone else’s show, so they can get the right number of people at the door. There is none of that. It’s just a good time. And I think people are just starting to recognize that that feeling that seems like it should be so basic in music is actually absent most of the time. So they’re kind of refreshed by it.

MN360° – How are these Kudzu Orkestra gigs informing the new album?

RT – The album morphed more out of my solo touring over the last year and a half, which has been the most gigs I have played in my life. I did about 100 gigs in 2017 and will aim for about the same number in 2018. So the album really grew out of that.

The relationships for the people on the album came from the Orkestra. I experiment with some stuff but it’s more fun…The Orkestra really experiments on me. I start songs and then just see where they go.

We recorded the album all live in the same room together with no headphones, no computer overdubs, no computer edits, none of that. On the new album there’s a lot of vocal heavy stuff, in large part thanks to Kathleen’s harmony abilities. She can help me get vocals together and figure out parts, because I have no ear for that.

The album is me and my Kudzu Choir. It’s not a Kudzu Orkestra record, like the last one. It’s Kathleen singing. Wallace playing drums. Heather playing piano and singing. Then Lee playing bass and also singing. So we have got four singers, and instruments. I’m playing slide guitar through a tiny little amp. We’re all together in the same room doing it live, all the vocals at the same time. So volume is really important.

“We’re all together in the same room doing it live, all the vocals at the same time.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – Can you tell us more about recording with the Kudzu Choir?

RT – The strength of the album is that it is obviously a recording of people in a room sharing a certain moment and mood. We recorded the entire album on Saturday, mixed the entire album on Sunday, and sent it off to be mastered on Monday. We rehearsed for it, and I had spent 100 some gigs playing these songs–it’s not like this was totally off the cuff. But the beauty is in how it came together, and how the personalities came together.

“It’s not the musicianship so much as it is the combination of personalities and characters. I really think you can hear that on the record. There is just a feeling to that you recognize is a very special, and rare, trait.” – @ReedTurchi

You know, Lee is from Tupelo, MS. Heather is from Woodbury, TN. Wallace has spent the last 12 years in Holly Springs. The only rehearsal everyone attended was the Friday night before the session. Everyone came over, and had dinner. As soon as everyone sat down, it was obvious that this was the group. It’s not the musicianship so much as it is the combination of personalities and characters. I really think you can hear that on the record. There is just a feeling to that you recognize is a very special, and rare, trait.

Interview – @TheCrowleysBand

Interview originally appeared on www.musicnews360.com , finding the stories between the songs.

@TheCrowleysBand are four good boys that enjoy looking for an Old Milwaukee Ice sponsorship, playing D&D in the van between gigs, and writing love songs. @MusicNews360 caught up with The Crowleys from their dungeon-like lair in Hamilton, Ontario. We mused about pugs, cabin fever, fusilli, and the color pink. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

Music News 360° Interview – The Crowleys

The Crowleys – “L.A. Sunset”

 

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

The sign of the Zodiac killer. Nah, just kidding Gemini…such a Gemini thing to say.

 

MN360° – What is your spirit animal? How does it manifest in daily life?

The pug, girls think we’re so ugly we’re cute, and we have difficulty breathing.

 

“Girls think we’re so ugly we’re cute, and we have difficulty breathing.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

The power to butter toast with our minds.

 

MN360° – How does Canada produce such great music?

Must be something in the water. Or the fact that we are trapped indoors for 5 months of the year.

“We are trapped indoors for 5 months of the year.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

 

 

MN360° – Have you noticed more Americans moving to Canada, as of late?

We don’t notice Americans, but we hear that most of them get to Minnesota and think they’ve made it, so that could be why.

 

MN360° – What first sparked your interest in music?

Pink Floyd in the womb.

 

MN360° – What was your first instrument? Did someone gift it to you?

Probably a pink super-shredder recorder, Satan’s gift to parents everywhere.

 

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

Bob Ross. We try to emulate the smoothness of his voice with all our work. Also P!nk.

 

MN360° – What is your process for writing/recording new music?

All different ways and shapes and sizes and colours. Sometimes someone will just start playing a random progression or riff and we will all just put a part to it and see where it goes. Sometimes someone will bring something a little more structured. Sometimes we write while recording.

 

MN360° – What is your ‘truth’?

T-tell no lies

R-remain honest

U-under no circumstance should you lie

T-tell the truth

H-honesty

 

MN360° – Whose basement did you practice in? Did it have concrete walls, or was it a finished basement?

We’ve hopped around from basement to basement (literally). From dungeon to decorated.

 

 

MN360° – How did the basement smell?

Like creative genius and freedom, aka stale beer.

 

MN360° – To the extent it does/does not matter, what do your parents think of your music?

It does not matter. Just kidding ma/pa, love you.

 

MN360° – Favorite psychedelic bands from the 60s/70s?

The Monkees, Willie Nelson. Are The Wiggles from the 60’s? They certainly have a vibe.

 

MN360° – Tell us the background behind LA Sunset? From what vantage point are we watching the sunset?

 

Stu, drummer, brought the song to the band and it evolved into something totally different with everyone else adding things in. A beautiful mosaic, just like Canadian culture, eh. The sunset is being watched from the Moon. Is that possible? During an eclipse?

 

MN360° – Do you believe in magic? Can you give an example?
No, but this one time I didn’t want to get up from the couch so I tried to jedi telekinesis the remote from the table but just ended up peeing a little.

 

“This one time I didn’t want to get up from the couch so I tried to jedi telekinesis the remote from the table but just ended up peeing a little.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

All of them, but also none. 60%

 

MN360° – For each primary color, can you tell us what kind of amplifier and effects rig the color would be, I️.e. tone?

Red – Whatever rig slayer uses

Blue – BB kings guitar with a ring modulator

Pink – Our tone!

 

MN360° – Any dreams/visions/insights experienced while in the studio?

The dream of being able to do it all the time, it feels like a second home.

 

MN360° – Did your sensei require you to perform special tasks while in the studio? Any stories?

Michael Keire had us on a strict schedule of 4am starts, raw egg shakes for breakfast, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats, and a 10km run. Everyday. We all went bald.

 

“Michael Keire had us on a strict schedule of 4am starts, raw egg shakes for breakfast, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats, and a 10km run. Everyday. We all went bald.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

But really, Mike’s great. He brings the best out of any type of musician. You should go and make your own stories.

 

MN360° – Is a pink rainbow only pink? What happens to the other colors?

Aren’t all colours just different hues of pink, man?

 

MN360° – Do you see a connection between performance and religious experience?

Stuart’s a God on the drums so…that.

MN360° – How did you meet your band mates? How did you ask them to join your band?

We all met in high school, and Justyn met Kaulin when he was born cause they are brothers. We stole Stuart from another band, we didn’t ask, he just came over once and never left. We bonded over our love of fusilli.

“We bonded over our love of fusilli.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – What were your most/least favorite classes in high school? 
Favourite:
Stuart: Math because he’s a nerd
Everyone else: Lunch because they’re meat-heads

Least Favourite:
Stuart: Lunch because the meat-heads would steal his lunch money because he is a nerd.
Everyone else: Math because they are meat-heads

 

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?
A guitarist got naked during his band’s set and only had a guitar to cover his bits. Then the lead vocalist got naked…he didn’t have a guitar. Pinky winky.

“A guitarist got naked during his band’s set and only had a guitar to cover his bits. Then the lead vocalist got naked…he didn’t have a guitar.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – What do you do to occupy yourself between shows while on tour?
We play DnD in the van!

 

“We play DnD in the van!” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour?
We’ve never crashed, we’re all pretty good drivers.

 

MN360° – What will music sound like in 100 years?

Birds and crickets cause we’ll all be dead, or whatever our robot overlords are into.

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?
See, I know you’re looking for a theme throughout this interview so you probably want me to say pink. But I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna give you the satisfaction.

 

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?
Nothing. This world is too full of crappy ads as it is. Give the peoples minds a break!

Interview – @FalconJaneMusic

Interview originally appeared on www.musicnews360.com , finding the stories between the songs.

@FalconJaneMusic (Sara May) is the front-woman in the plez-rock band, Falcon Jane. She makes music that is inspired by nature, truth, peace, and magic! @MusicNews360 caught up with Sara on the tennis court, practicing her swing for the release of the third full-length record, “Feelin’ Freaky”. Below are excerpts from our, dare we say, “Freaky” conversation.

 Music News 360° Interview – Falcon Jane

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Falcon Jane – “Go with the Flow”

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

FJ – Virgo! Can’t you tell?

“Virgo!” – @FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – What is your spirit animal?

FJ – Probably a deer. Sorry falcons! 

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

FJ – It would be cool to be able to control water / air with my mind – like water- or air-bending in Avatar. 

MN360° – You live in Canada, Orangeville, ON, eh? How’s that?

FJ – It’s amazing! I live in this little village out in the countryside and it’s super quiet and chill. I love my backyard. 

“I live in this little village out in the countryside and it’s super quiet and chill. I love my backyard.” – @FalconJaneMusic 

MN360° – What kinds of things do you do to ‘relax and feel cool’?

FJ – Be outside, go for walks, play music, swim, make food, eat food, laugh with my friends, write, chill by a fire, play tennis or frisbee, paint. 

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

FJ – The power it has – I’ve always been very affected by music, and it amazed me that I could have an affect on other people with the music I create. 

“I’ve always been very affected by music, and it amazed me that I could have an affect on other people with the music I create.” – @FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

FJ – Hmm probably Geoffrey Oryema.

MN360° – What was the process for writing/recording ‘Go With The Flow’?

FJ – I wrote ‘Go With The Flow’ immediately after writing a very sad/emotional song called ‘Pure Pain’ – so it was kind of like embodying that airy, blissful feeling of release you get after crying really hard. We recorded the song as a band up at Wildlife Sanctuary Sound – a recording studio out in the countryside of Ontario. It was a pleasure to record and came together really naturally. 

“It was kind of like embodying that airy, blissful feeling of release you get after crying really hard.” – @FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – How do you make your music feel so ‘Flowy’ and ‘Slow’?

FJ – I really like slow, flowy music, so I’m drawn to create it. Whenever my band starts playing too hard I’m like “hey come on, let’s chill out a bit.” I think because my mind is constantly running, analyzing and stressing, I find balance with my music being so slow and calm. I didn’t realize how slow ‘Go With The Flow’ actually is until blogs started writing about it.

“Because my mind is constantly running, analyzing and stressing, I find balance with my music being so slow and calm.”  –@FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – What can you tell us about your forthcoming album, ‘Feelin’ Freaky?

FJ – I think it’s a really well done album – it sounds really amazing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever made! There’s a lot of variety in the songs; some slow-burners, some upbeat jams, some poetic masterpieces, something for everyone!

MN360° – To you, what does it mean to feel ‘Freaky’?

FJ – Being freaky is all about being your true self – tapping into your pure, raw expression. And sometimes that can be pretty strange, but humans are unusual beings. I think we are consistently encouraged to fit in or be ‘normal’, but it feels good to be weird and express what you’re truly feeling on the inside. We’re all a little freaky, or at least feel freaky sometimes, and it’s great! 

“Being freaky is all about being your true self – tapping into your pure, raw expression.” – @FalconJaneMusic

“Humans are unusual beings. I think we are consistently encouraged to fit in or be ‘normal’, but it feels good to be weird and express what you’re truly feeling on the inside. We’re all a little freaky, or at least feel freaky sometimes, and it’s great!” – @FalconJaneMusic

 

MN360° – What is your ‘truth’?

FJ – I think truth is relative, but I am constantly seeking it. My truth changes day to day, but I’m always asking myself: “How do I really feel? What do I truly think? What is real and what is an illusion?” One thing that trips me out about truth is that the present moment is the only thing that exists. I am too often caught up in the past or future, and it takes practice to stay present and look around and realize that what you see is what you get. 

“One thing that trips me out about truth is that the present moment is the only thing that exists. I am too often caught up in the past or future, and it takes practice to stay present and look around and realize that what you see is what you get.” – @FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – Do you believe in magic? Can you give an example?

FJ – I believe in some kind of magic – maybe others wouldn’t call it ‘magic’ but I do. It’s like when you’re thinking about someone who you haven’t talked to in a while and then they send you a message out of the blue. Or when you’re talking about a band and all of a sudden it comes on the radio. My bandmate, Rocky, has a lot of magic things happen to her, and I feel like our whole friendship has been pretty magical. We met each other in a cafe like ten minutes after she bought my first album – she was like “Are you Falcon Jane?” and now she’s in the band and plays on the new album. Apparently that’s called a ‘divine appointment.’ 

“It’s like when you’re thinking about someone who you haven’t talked to in a while and then they send you a message out of the blue. Or when you’re talking about a band and all of a sudden it comes on the radio.” – @FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

FJ – 100% !!!

MN360° – How was your time on tour in Eastern Canada?

FJ – It was crazy! It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. Definitely a big learning experience. Touring with Little Coyote was so great because they are so fun and nice – and now they’re our best friends! 

MN360° – Do you plan on touring in the States? If so, when?

FJ – Would love to tour in the States but don’t have any concrete plans yet! 

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?

FJ – We had a few strange, delirious moments on tour, but the strangest was probably when we all measured the depth of our belly buttons. Or when Rocky and I dressed the same and went to the empty hotel restaurant, sat on the same side of the table and shared everything we ordered. It was spooky. We felt like the twins from The Shining.  

“We had a few strange, delirious moments on tour, but the strangest was probably when we all measured the depth of our belly buttons.” – @FalconJaneMusic

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour?

FJ – We rolled in luxury on our tour last year and stayed in some pretty nice places – we always had a comfy bed every night. There really wasn’t anything strange about it. One morning I woke up in a hotel in Moncton, New Brunswick and chilled in the steam room and hot tub for a while. 

“One morning I woke up in a hotel in Moncton, New Brunswick and chilled in the steam room and hot tub for a while.” – @FalconJaneMusic 

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?

FJ – I asked the band and they said ‘coral pink’. I’d agree with that. 

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

FJ – “BE PLEZ!” 

Interview – @DarylHance

Interview originally appeared on www.musicnews360.com, finding the stories between the songs. 

@DarylHance is an artist whose music is steeped in the spirit of blues, funk, and rock n roll, fortified with vintage tones, bottom-end, and transcendental messages high on life. @MusicNews360 caught up with Daryl in the process of building a back porch, and meditating on a forthcoming fourth album. We talked about lot lizards, meth heads, gardening (or lack thereof), and corn snakes. Below are excerpts from our conversation, as well as the WORLD PREMIERE of the video for ‘Inside’.

Music News 360°: Interview – Daryl Hance

 

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Tour Dates

Discography

Wild Blue Iris (2016)

Land of Trembling Earth (2014)

Hallowed Ground (2011)

 

WOLRD PREMIERE: DARYL HANCE – ‘INSIDE’


MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

DH – Sagittarius

 

MN360° – What is your spirit animal?

DH – Oh I don’t know…I recently had a dream in which a Seagull appeared.

 

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

DH – Teleportation , that would be cool. Load up my gear, and teleport to the gig.

 

MN360° – You live in the swamp?

DH – Ahhh…More pine forest. The Okefenokee Swamp is about a half hour north of where I live. Though, the whole area is swampy. Pretty much all around me there is water.

 

“Pretty much all around me there is water”

– @DarylHance

 

Lots of wildlife. Deer, turkey, wild boar. There some wild boar out there. They’re around.

A lot of snakes in my yard, too.

 

MN360° – Does living out among nature influence your music?

DH – It has an effect…definitely, it has an effect. I have a yard full of animals. I don’t have a well groomed lawn–I just let everything grow. I don’t use any pesticide or spray or any of that shit. I let my lawn grow and grow, so all the animals flock to my yard.

 

“I let my lawn grow and grow, so all the animals flock to my yard”

– @DarylHance

 

I found a 5 foot snake in the yard this year.

Corn snakes, garden snakes…haven’t seen any rattlesnakes recently. Well…actually, I found one pygmy rattler about 4 or 5 inches long. Lizards. Every once in a while you will hear an owl. Hawks all the time. Buzzards. Ground dwelling critters…Moles. Rabbits. Foxes, around there.

I try to keep them outside. Every once in a while, one of the animals makes it inside. I went out the screen door one time, and a snake fell on my head. I felt something slide down my neck…it was a corn snake. I had a frog explosion at my house too, right after the first hurricane this year. Lot of frogs. When you get frogs, here come the snakes. But yeah…all that gets into the music, somewhere or another.

 

“Every once in a while, one of the animals makes it inside”

– @DarylHance

 

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

DH – When I was eleven or twelve years old, I had a friend that had a drum set. I would go over to his house, and he used to play the drums. One day I sat behind the set and kicked a beat. Something snapped. From that moment, I wanted to have a drum set and get into drums.

My first infatuation was with the beat and the groove. I used to do a lot of air drumming.

So I did that for a little bit. Then when I was 17, I got a guitar, and started playing with friends. We had a band right after high school. Went from there… There was a bass around, so started playing bass too. I picked up singing in my mid to late 20s.

I would say early on that I knew I wanted to do music. Of course, back then when I was 14, it was more like, “I want to be a rockstar”, because that was the only point of reference. Then over the years, you start peeling back the layers and discovering more and more things….It’s a process, I guess.

I always knew from an early age I wanted to be a musician. As far as which capacity that would be…for a time I thought I would be a drummer, and then I thought I would be a guitar player. I had no idea I could even sing or write songs. So it has been self discovery…

 

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

DH – I would say Miles Davis. I gravitate towards music with space–atmospheric music, you know, on top, though underneath the rhythm part is a big thing too. I’m not total ambient, but somewhere in between. That makes the music sound alive, when you add some space to it.

 

“That makes the music sound alive, when you add some space to it”

– @DarylHance

 

MN360° – We hear that on your latest record, Wild Blue Iris. How did you create that space?

DH – I am beginning to get a better handle on the recording process, and a lot of that comes through on Wild Blue Iris. Also, we mixed the album through a Neve. That’s why it sounds more vibey and cohesive.

 

MN360° – Where did you record Wild Blue Iris? What was the process?

DH – I recorded the album at JJ’s house, at his studio. I tracked most all of the instruments. Reed Turchi played slide guitar on a couple of tracks. Cameron Weeks played drums on about half the tracks. I played drums on the other half, and some songs have two drum tracks.

I usually start with a rhythm ace drum machine or a metronome, and then cut three takes of the backing track. Pick which rhythm track feels the best. From there, I add lead guitar and vocals.

 

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

DH – I’d say all of them are, to a certain degree. Or, at least, all of them that have been on the records, thus far. I am getting out into some other areas, more into social commentary. I’ve had social commentary kind of songs for years, but haven’t put them out there…It’s kind of like, you meet someone new and he starts making social commentary right off the bat–it could throw you off.

A lot of the music just comes out of thin air…Sure, I’m guiding it, though it is coming to me from somewhere. I don’t sit down and write a song. Most of the songs come over the course of months and years. For instance, I have a song I started writing back in 2000 and just finished.

 

“A lot of music just comes out of thin air…Sure, I’m guiding it, though it is coming to me from somewhere”

– @DarylHance

MN360° – What is the background to the song ‘The Secret’?

DH – Everything is interconnected, that’s what the song is saying…that tree, the squirrel, the chair you’re sitting in, the air you’re breathing, you, your friends, Mt. Rushmore…It’s all interconnected. It’s all God, and everything else is illusion.

 

“That tree, the squirrel, the chair you’re sitting in, the air you’re breathing, you, you friends, Mt. Rushmore…It’s all interconnected. It’s all God, and everything else is illusion”

– @DarylHance

 

To me, I was trying to pour all the positive thoughts I could muster into that kind of premise. Even from the music…I remember coming up with the guitar riff. That’s actually one of the hardest guitar parts I have recorded–just picking two notes in succession for that long. That two string picking thing is hard–it gives me a newfound respect for The Edge.

 

MN360° – What do you see as the connection between the blues and spirituality?

DH – Well, the blues comes from real life experiences. It’s about spilling your guts, and not trying to produce hits, necessarily. Lots of modern music has lost what makes the blues great: its realness. Steering music towards money can throw the ship into the rocks, so to speak.

I’ve been fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to have not been hugely successful. Having just a little taste of success can really shift your focus. That shit can change you real quick.

 

“I’ve been fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to have not been hugely successful”

– @DarylHance

 

Back in the 60s, the artists had the freedom to express themselves and experiment. The Beatles had the freedom to go into Abbey Road anytime they wanted, to record any song they could think of…With the music I’m doing, I have the freedom to record what I want. It’s an organic thing.

 

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?

DH – While on tour with @JJGREYandMOFRO there would be chicks going around to each dude in the band asking us to come back to their place…She would be with her man, and he is kind of off to the side. She would be practically all over you. You’re kind of caught off guard, and the dude is looking at you all excited. It’s like, I don’t think I want to go anywhere with these people, I don’t want to end up being fitted with a ball-gag or something. That’s happened a couple of times… Not the being fitted with a ball-gag part, but the part about being awkwardly propositioned after a show. It can get weird sometimes…

 

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour?

DH – Well, we often sleep in the van at truck stops. There is a truck stop around Kennewick, WA…somewhere around there. You just get this weird vibe when you go there. There is always some kind of shady shit going on. You can tell there is something shady going on but you don’t know exactly what it is….people acting weird.

For instance, you are standing in line to get a shower, and one of those trucker guys comes along and starts chatting you up and says to you, “Gettin’ a shower, huh?”

 

“One of those trucker guys comes along and starts chatting you up and says to you ‘ Gettin’ a shower, huh? ’ ”

– @DarylHance

Another night, we were actually looking for a hotel, around Kent, OH. I go into this EconoLodge. There is some dude just kind of pacing around, in the lobby. There were two chicks behind the counter. Then another girl walks out from the back, and she has these sores all over her chest and upper neck. The chick at the register…I was asking her about a room, and it took forever for her to compute. She ended up asking me, ‘May I see your debit card’, while having the money drawer open, counting the money over and over. She kept screwing up and having to start over again. I ended up saying, ‘I left my wallet out in the van’, and went across the street to the other hotel.

There had to be some kind of meth situation going on there. Funny thing was, when we went across the street to the Super 8 and asked the girl behind the desk there, she was like, ‘Yeah, the cops are always going over to the EconoLodge.’

MN360° – What are the essential items that you carry while on tour?

DH – I bring a coffee maker. You know, one of those Keurig things. At the end of a tour, a Starbucks bill can add up…One time on a three week tour, we spent almost $150 at Starbucks. That adds up.

Also, might get a stun gun, or something. We don’t run into too many problems, though. We just stay moving.

 

“We don’t run into too many problems, though. We just stay moving”

– @DarylHance

 

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?

DH – Purple or blue.

 

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

DH – It would be plexiglass, so you could see right through it…

 

INTERVIEW – @JOHNCRAIGIE

This interview first appeared on www.musicnews360.com .

Credit: Bradley Cox

Website

Instagram

Twitter

Spotify

Tour Dates

Discography

Live Studio
Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland (2016) No Rain, No Rose (2017)
Make Your Own Legend (2011) Working on My Farewell (2015)
Live in the Living Room (2008) The Apocalypse is Over (2013)
October is the Kindest Month (2011)
Montana Tale (2009)

 

@MusicNews360 caught up with @JohnCraigie between two nights of recording a forthcoming live album in Portland, OR (@MississippiStud & @DougFirLounge). We talked about the apocalypse, fractals, astrology, and hanging out with @JackJohnson. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

 

MN360° – Your performance is both song and narrative. How did storytelling become part of your act?

JC – The storytelling was around way before the music. Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories. So that’s older than the music and came way more naturally. The music was a lot harder for me.

“Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories.”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

JC – One of my friends, a dear friend who I credit for having a huge influence on me. He was a little out of the box, really artistic. He had a different way about him. He wasn’t buying into the normal, suburban way, you know?

So he got a guitar when we were about 15 years old. He was really talented, playing the guitar a lot…I looked up to him. One day, he showed me…He was like, ‘It’s not that hard!’ He showed me some chords. That was the pivotal moment for me. The moment I knew it was possible. It changed everything.

I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’

“I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’”

– @JohnCraigie

 

 

Credit: @littlegreeneyes

Also, in the early 90s, Bob Dylan was not cool. I knew Dylan in the sense of a historical figure, but I had not heard his music. It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting.

“It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting. 

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – You have been quoted as saying, “I know that the purpose of music is not to make people feel better, but to make them feel like they are not alone.” Can you elaborate?

JC – People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’

If you’re bummed out, ‘Walking On Sunshine’ is not going to work for you. That doesn’t do it, and we all know that… It’s funny that we disregard that reality.

The best music is relatable, it makes us feel like we are not alone. That’s what I have always thought the purpose of music is… on all levels, whether it is a happy song or a funny song or a sad song.

“People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – You studied math in college. How does math influence your creative process?

JC – I was at UC Santa Cruz, so it was more of a hippie kind of math. Lot of fractals. Lot of looking at pineapples, you know, getting high. Lot of looking at ferns…Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.

“Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.”

– @JohnCraigie

On structure, songwriting and architecture…How crazy is it to visualize how a building is going to look before you make it? Songwriting is similar in that you hear the general vibe you want before laying the foundation.

MN360° – Is the Apocalypse over?

JC – That was a metaphor for all the hippies who were talking about 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar. Remember that? They were like, “Cool, Babylon will crumble! I won’t have to work my stupid job anymore.” So the lyric is a reference to that. I guess I should have put quotes around “Apocalypse.”

Credit: @danielnjohnson

“I guess I should have put quotes around ‘Apocalypse.’”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – What is the most uncomfortable place you have slept while on tour?

JC – Many years ago, I was playing in this town called Winter Park, Colorado, up in the mountains. I finished the gig and was going to sleep in my Astrovan. Then, I looked at my phone, and the app said it was 1° outside…fahrenheit. I was like, “I’ll die…I’m from California. I’ll die sleeping outside.”

Went back to the bartender and said, ‘Hey man, I don’t mean to seem pushy, but do you have a couch I could crash on? It’s 1° outside, and I’m afraid I’ll die if I sleep outside tonight.’ Luckily, he said, ‘Sure, I’ve got to close up the bar. It’s going to be another few hours. Here’s the address. The door is unlocked. You can sleep in the guest room.’

‘Awesome!’

I get to the place, and it’s freezing in the guest room. Though, I was like, ‘It’s better than sleeping outside.’ Got in the bed, curled up, and went to sleep. Hours later, I woke up covered in snow–there was snow all over the bed. One of the windows…the blinds were down, but the window was open. Snow had been blowing in on me all night.

So I would have been better off sleeping in my car.Though, I just went over and closed the window.

That was a weird night, for sure…

MN360° – Do you follow astrology? Is there significance to your album titled ‘Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland’?

JC – I am into astrology because I lived in Santa Cruz for 5 years. Originally, the title was going to be ‘Mercury in Retrograde… Just kidding’. After talking to some friends, I thought it would be even funnier and maybe a little less intense if I made up something that doesn’t exist, ‘Capricorn in Retrograde’, which is not a thing, you know.

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

JC – Gemini.

MN360° – How was the time you spent on tour with @JackJohnson?

JC – We had a lot of fun. Probably the funnest thing we did…we had a night off and went to see @JohnMayer perform at The Gorge. You know, I would not normally go to see John Mayer in concert, so it was a trip to go to that show with Jack, sitting there with these two elder statesmen of modern songwriting. That was a surreal night.

MN360° – What percentage of the time do you perform with your eyes open?

JC –  I’d say 2 percent–when I’m making a joke about having my eyes open.

(Referring to the song titled “I Wrote Mr. Tambourine Man”, featured on the Music News 360° – October 2017 Playlist).

Credit: @jayblakesberg

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

JC – ‘Be nice to each other’. That’s probably cliche, but that’s what I would say.

“Be nice to each other.”

– @JohnCraigie

Credit: Maria Davey

 

Tom Kitty Oliver – Know Everybody You Meet

I’ve got a new single, ‘Know Everybody You Meet’. You can stream it now on @spotify , at the link above. The song is about discovering the divine within all: ‘God is Love, You are Love, We are Love, Love is Everything’. Special thanks to @matjownz who helped to bring it together, and channeled that ‘Kenny Buttrey’ feel. Also, I’m singing.

Targeting an Audience, Mapping a Tour: Luther Dickinson

In this post, we will map Luther Dickinson’s US twitter followers, by count and influence, and examine how these distributions match his band’s upcoming tour routing, with the intent to demonstrate the value of twitter data for targeting audiences and planning performances.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.37.43 PM

Luther Dickinson is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the North Mississippi Allstars. As of August 11, 2015, Luther has 1010 twitter followers. Of these 1010 followers, 483 identify their location as based in the US (not all followers identify location). The map below shows the concentrations of US followers, with the greatest numbers in darkest blue.

Followers

lutherdickinson follower map

Top 10 states by follower count (darkest blue):

State Followers
Tennessee 78
Mississippi 60
California 45
New York 35
Pennsylvania 25
Georgia 22
Colorado 20
Louisiana 18
Washington 17
Illinois 15


Now we will map Luther’s followers by influence, i.e. the followers of Luther’s followers. In other words, if each of Luther’s followers retweeted, how many individuals would see the retweet?

Influence

luterhdickinson_follower_influenceTop 10 states by influence (darkest blue):

State Influence
California 1137586
Tennessee 479783
New York 70690
Georgia 64776
Louisiana 63685
Mississippi 59011
Illinois 35373
Colorado 29206
Texas 26612
Rhode Island 23377

We see differences between followers and influence, with Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Washington hosting greater concentrations of followers, who have less influence. Conversely, we see Rhode Island and Texas hosting lower concentrations of followers, who have more influence. California and Tennessee are strong points for both followers and influence.

Let’s see if this aligns with Luther’s plans for Fall 2015.

According to www.nmallstars.com, the band will tour the following cities in October 2015:

10.1 – San Francisco, CA
10.2 – San Francisco, CA
10.3 – Los Angeles, CA
10.4 – Anaheim, CA
10.5 – Solana Beach, CA
10.6 – Las Vegas, NV
10.9 – Boulder, CO
10.10 – Denver, CO
10.12 – Chicago, IL
10.13 – Pittsburgh, PA
10.14 – Washington D.C.
10.15. – Glenside, PA
10.16 – New York, NY
10.17 – Boston, MA
10.24 – Placerville, CA
10.25 – Placerville, CA

While we do not see a Tennessee performance during the stretch, all dates besides for two, in Las Vegas and Boston, match the list for top 10 states by followers. Furthermore, we see almost half of the performances, 44%, in California, a strong point for both followers and influence. We view this as strong support for the value of twitter data in targeting audiences and planning performances.

Luther’s map serves as a guide for up and coming artists within the genre. Using the raw data, one could target influencers within each state who would welcome the genre.

To this point, I envision developing a platform that leverages twitter data to help artists better identify audiences and geographic strong points within the genre. If you are an artist, manager, data scientist, or entrepreneur, and are interested in this work, contact me at andrewshamlet@gmail.com