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Interview Review

MapleWaves Let Us In With ‘Empaths’

As an artist, you should always be looking to expand on your genre and add your own unique touch that sets your music apart. If you are not growing, you are stagnating, and your music will get boring to listeners. Our recent find The Maplewaves will not let themselves fall into that trap as they continually evolve and grow their sound.

The band currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was originally formed back in 2010 in Virginia. Original members Logan Stamm and Nathan Ritz have been through several band member incarnations and are currently supported by the drumming talents of Harry Scarrott. Together they provide a psych-rock sound that is brought to the next level with an emphasis on lyrical songwriting. 

Their newest single “Empaths,” ties it all together with a mellow relaxing atmosphere supported by emotional lyrics. This has a way of drawing the listener in. The echoing guitar effect adds a warm and cozy vibe that puts us in a place of comfort. Here we can sit back and take in the passion of the band. There is a lot here that demands multiple listens.

The Maplewaves say the song “is dedicated to musicians who play for the love of their craft. It is also about how no matter your age, skin color, or the stage of life you are in, no one can deter you from pursuing and improving your lifelong craft.” Let them be your guide to creating the best music that you have inside of you.

We had a chance to chat with The Maplewaves to get even deeper into their sound. Enjoy the interview here:

How would you describe the band’s sound?
 – While irresistibly inciting and strangely serious, The Maplewaves represent a little bit of everything, shaken up with a good time.
 
 
 
Which artists have had the biggest influence on Maplewaves?
 –
As a group, we pull from all genres from our individual walks of life, but predominantly, right now as a band, Toro Y Moi, Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, Foals, Beach Boys, and Washed Out have played a serious role in developing our music it’s truest form.
 
 
 
Your newest single “Empaths” seems to have some real meaning behind it. What can you tell us about it?
 – Empaths is a reflection on the motivations of the artist’s pursuit. As a song, it’s purpose is to encourage creatives to never put an end date on their exploration of art, learning or or even the exploration of the soul.
 
 
 
Give us a look at the future of Maplewaves.
 – With more shows to come and a new album under our belt, we hope to hone our process of songwriting and recording to its fullest extent

Keep up with more from The MapleWaves on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM

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Review

Get Back To The Club With ‘Head Fake Vs. Dub Fu Masters’

With the last year eliminating live concerts and the camaraderie of the crowded club atmosphere, something huge has been missing. That experience can never fully be replaced but our friends from Head Fake have joined forces with Dub Fu Masters for a collaborative EP that hopes to provide some of that live club vibe.

The inspiration behind this project was to make club versions of some previously released tracks that could turn up the energy at home. Dub Fu Masters quickly joined in on the sonic vision of Head Fake and wants the album’s upbeat sound to allow listeners to feel similar emotions as they would in a club setting. 

The 3 song Head Fake Vs. Dub Fu Masters EP opens up with “One Step.” The 80s influenced melody gets the club treatment with a trance-inducing beat that lulls the listener into a relaxed place before some wicked power chords come in to add the rock to the track. Best of both worlds.

There is a more psych-rock feel to “Trump Funk” as some hazy beats get introduced. Some more exotic flows keep the listener guessing where this one will go next. Good luck not moving along to the sound. “Overjoyed” keeps the energy going with more interesting sounds. Here we get some upbeat lyrics as well to give us all hope to return to the club floor soon. The dance vibe and positivity continue.

Dive deeper into Head Fake HERE

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Review

Nick Cove & The Wandering About To Break With ‘Glass Houses’

We all have our own personal musical influences that shaped us and made us who we are today. As an artist, we take those early favorites and build our own sound using pieces of the past and blend in our own unique style of what is next. Recent discovery Nick Cove & The Wandering has done just that to create something fresh but with a real flavor of the past.

Rooted in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the band intertwines the careful finesse of the singer-songwriter genre and Nick Cove’s deep roots in 90’s era grunge. In addition to Nick handling guitar and vocal duties, Nick Cove & The Wandering is keyboardist Joe Mancinelli, bassist John Halfpenny, and drummer Trevor Kiscadden. Together they create a sound that morphs multiple genres into something truly fetching.

Last month Nick Cove & The Wandering released latest single “Glass Houses” along with an impressive music video. There is a dark thread that runs through the track as Nick’s elegant vocals drip emotion through the verses. A steady beat is laid down from the start that keeps building to a full crescendo of sound. The grunge influence can be felt heavily on the chorus as the energy turns up with some angst as well. The video adds in sharing the story as a loop delves into madness.

We had the chance to chat with Nick Cove to get even deeper into the band and the single:

How would you describe the sound of Nick Cove & The Wandering?

The sound of Nick Cove & The Wandering is heavily influenced by my love for grunge and the 90s alt music, but there is a good dose of prog rock and the singer songwriter style of indie rock. All of the players in the band have a diverse spread of musical influences that truely add depth to the music. We are also a very musically dynamic band. Each song is a little adventure just waiting to be explored.

There is some real emotion felt in “Glass Houses.” What can you tell us about the meaning behind the song? 

“Glass Houses” is about doing the same thing over and over again and not understanding why there is no change to the cycle. This can obviously be related to toxic relationships, bad jobs, etc… I feel like everyone has known this feeling in some way shape or form and then finally found a way to break the cycle. 

The accompanying music video looks like quite the undertaking as well. Tell us about putting that together? (and the story being told?)

The music video for “Glass Houses” was unlike anything myself, the band, or the director had attempted before. We borrowed the loop concept from a video game trailer/demo that came out a handful of years ago called “PT”, but it never became anything more than that. The player would start at spot A follow and path to spot B and then end up back at spot A, but with each consecutive loop, that story that was being told would unfold around you.

So, we took that concept and made it our own. In the peripherals of the music video, you can see a younger couple, an older couple, a small group of friends, and obviously the band. Loops one and two end up being near identical, but after that, the story presents itself. 

The story is about one person in the younger couple becoming terminally ill and how that journey affects those around them (i.e. their friends and family). There are a lot of subtle things that change throughout the video from the number of place settings at the table to the clothing color choices. Lots of extremely fine details. The director, John Decker, and I had to figure out how we could break up the song to make sense with the start of each loop and then figure how to tell the story we wanted to tell in these small time frames. There were A LOT of practical details we had to figure out on the front end before we could even start thinking of filming.

What is next on the horizon for Nick Cove & The Wandering?

We have some new music in the pipeline that will be coming out this year and we are also discussing new video ideas and also weighing the option of playing some shows this year depending on how safe everyone feels doing that. We’ll be busy nonetheless!

Keep up with more from Nick Cove & The Wandering

WEBSITE  –  FACEBOOK  –  INSTAGRAM

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Interview

IBG Interview – 8 Questions With… Inhuman Condition

Florida death metal legend Terry Butler (OBITUARY, DEATH, MASSACRE, SIX FEET UNDER) has joined up with fellow former MASSACRE members Jeramie Kling (also of VENOM INC, THE ABSENCE, GOREGÄNG) on drums/vocals and Taylor Nordberg (THE ABSENCE, GOREGÄNG) on guitar to form INHUMAN CONDITION.

New on the scene, the group is set to release their debut album, “Rat God” on June 4th.  We had a chance to sit down with the death metal supergroup to get a little behind the scenes of what they have in store for us. Enjoy the interview here:

First off, how did the name Inhuman Condition come about?

All three of us have been in Massacre, Terry being a core member for several albums, and Jeramie and I briefly in 2019/2020, when we wrote what was to be their new album.  We eventually had to leave the situation and we decided to keep the music alive rather than it just be scrapped.  So after our split with Massacre, we talked with Terry, and he had checked out the music and loved it, so it was obvious that he should be in the band! The band’s name is obviously half a reference to the 1992 Massacre EP that Terry was a part of, and half just a super badass metal band name!  I think it’s a perfect name for 2021 as well, because the human race is pretty insane right now.

How would you describe your music without any of the boring generic genre descriptions?

Incredibly head-bangable! Groovy, intense, catchy, not over-complicated.  Music to smash-a-city-to bits-with-your-foot to.

Which bands have had the greatest influence on you?

Well, the album was written to be a new Massacre album, so naturally, those early releases were influential in the process. Death, Celtic Frost, Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura, Napalm Death, Obituary. We all are personally influenced from a wide variety of bands.  I’m influenced by anything from Aerosmith to Megadeth to Frank Zappa to Alice In Chains to Keep Of Kalessin to Simon & Garfunkel.

What is your songwriting process? How does a song come together for Inhuman Condition?

Usually I will demo out some riffs in somewhat of a song structure, or close to a finished song.  Then Jeramie will help out with arrangements and extending/cutting sections, or maybe we tweak/change a riff.  Then Jeramie and Terry write/work out their parts, then we record.  On this album, Jeramie actually wrote drums first for two of the songs.  “Tyrantula” and “Planetary Paroxysm” were written on drums first, then I went and wrote riffs to his drums.  It’s a fun/refreshing way to write a song because it ends up being very rhythmic because I have something to write to.  We write the same with Jeramie and I’s other band Goregäng, where I play drums, and we split guitar duties.

Tell us about your new album?

Rat°God is our first album together, and we are self-releasing it on June 4th.  We have also partnered up with several labels around the world to ensure we hit all parts of the globe!  We will release it on our bandcamp page digitally, on CD, and available as a limited CD box set.  It will be out digitally through Blood Blast Distribution, and we have also signed a vinyl deal with Black Serpent Records.

What do you hope that the listener takes away from your music?

A stiff neck, and a sore back! I think it’s inspiring because it’s so intense, and it moves so much.  I think the track sequencing is pretty great because it takes you on a journey.  It’s not just all fast, or all slow.  Hopefully they will take the riffs and drum fills with them, because I think it’s pretty accessible music, as far as death metal goes. 

Share some advice for other hard-working bands striving for success in the new music industry?

If you care enough, you’ll never give up! Believe in yourself, don’t be a punisher, and work hard! 

What does the future hold for Inhuman Condition?

The album drops on June 4th digitally and on CD, then (due to COVID manufacturing delays) the vinyl will be out August 6th, and that will be a very special release.  We just played our first show this last weekend here in Florida with our pals in Deicide, and we can’t wait to play more shows.  We will also most likely have some more music out by the end of the year!

Connect with Inhuman Condition:

www.facebook.com/inhumanconditionband
www.instagram.com/inhuman_condition_band

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Review

Sonny B. Gould Stores Your Darkness in ‘Night Safe’

In what has been one of the most difficult years in history, fortunately there has been inspiration and music written to help us with the chaotic feelings we have experienced. Our recent find Sonny B. Gould has just released an album that provides such an outlet. 

Even with a seemingly simple artist name, Sonny B Gould is actually the persona of a musical duo. The Ohio based project consists of singer-songwriter Gray McClary and Evan Offenberger on drums. The band formed in 2016 and released their debut album Heartworn Blues in 2017. 

Now Sonny B. Gould is back with an album of desolate love songs titled Night Safe. It is also affectionately known as A Place to Store Your Darkness. The 10 track record was recorded independently with RTD Audio, a recording studio in Ohio. 

With this release, Sonny B. Gould hopes to offer a place where negative feelings can be confronted and stowed away. It also follows a loose narrative between the two characters Sonny and Sophie, two lovers weathering a global cataclysm. The opener “Don’t Wait For Me” sets the tone with a stripped down guitar line sitting behind emotionally delivered lyrics. This minimalistic approach draws the listener in close. “Caretaker” begins to tell the romantic story with some positivity and hope. 

Let Sonny B. Gould Be Your ‘Caretaker’

An interestingly pretty guitar melody takes the lead on “She’s A Pill” as the vocals weave in and out. Memories of the Elliot Smith style come to mind. “Underneath It All” continues within this vibe. Pretty, emotional, and dark. This darkness is felt in romance as well within “Sonny + Sophia.”

There is an upturn in the energy on “All My Sunshine.” The chugging guitar and straight ahead drum beat picks up the pace as well creating the climax of the album. The closer “Reaching Mind” slows it back down with an offbeat and off tuned guitar crafting the vibe at the start of the song before the uptick gets the heart pumping. A wobbly sound provides the soundtrack to what our hearts are now doing. This track seems to mix the feeling of the full album all into one 4 and a half minute journey. 

Keep up with Sonny B. Gould on your preferred social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sonnybyrongould  

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sonnybyrongould 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sonnybyrongould 

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Review

Root Mind Is On Their Way To Being ‘Heavy Hitters’

Musicians must always be willing to experiment and try things that do not feel comfortable. Without new opportunities, music would just get stale and repetitive. It has been an interesting past year but our recent discovery Root Mind has put together something that is fresh and new despite it all.

The Band based in the Bay Area of California was formed during the Covid 19 outbreak of 2020. With all the restrictions put in place, it was not easy to get a band together but Root Mind was able to form with some fate stepping in to guide the way. A seemingly random string of connections was able to bring vocalist J Ward, guitarist Josh Stirling, drummer Clinton Miguel, and bassing Colin Kyger to the formation of Root Mind. Together they create a hip-hop influenced Nu-metal sound that brings the best of the past to a new level of consciousness to share.

The debut single “Heavy Hitters” is here to introduce Root Mind to the world. The grinding guitar grabs the listener right from the start letting them know they are in for something powerful. The lyrical delivery of J Ward turns up this power with a strong attack. The track pushes forward without a second to relax as more and more energy comes at you. The “Heavy Hitters” chorus is super catchy and will be bopping around your mind way after the song is over. 

Keep up with what Root Mind has in store HERE.

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Review

Les Fradkin Asks Us For The ‘Mirror Image’

Having staying power in this wild music industry is a difficult ask. An artist must be willing to adapt with the times and recreate themselves if the need fits. A terrific example of crafting a long career can be seen in the success of Les Fradkin and his 50 years in the music business.

The songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer started his journey back in 1969 when he was signed to Columbia Records by John Hammond Sr. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Les Fradkin went on to play on dozens of Top 40 records. Another big break came as one of the original members of the hit Broadway show “Beatlemania” playing lead guitar and the part of George Harrison in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.   

In the 1980’s, Les Fradkin reinvented himself again as he pioneered the introduction of tapeless MIDI recording and MIDI Guitar, scoring many national jingles and TV film music with Score Productions, ABC-TV and NBC-TV, including a 4 year stint composing and programming for the Soap Opera “One Life To Live.” A true trendsetter who can create whatever is needed while introducing new sounds at the same time.

Now Les Fradkin is back with his own new EP Mirror Image. With the 6-track record, he aims to offer a path of hope for change and a fresh perspective on how to survive the current chaos of the world. It is quite evident in the opener “Turn To The Movement” that he has plenty to say. The mellow lyric fueled track has an Americana pop sensibility that has garnered a lot of attention for both its sound and meaning.

Les Fradkin Helps Us ‘Turn To The Movement’

“Remote Control” builds from an atmospheric trance to a powerful beat that allows us to see an escape from the prisons we have put ourselves in. The talent of sound creation is featured on the instrumental interlude “Critical Mass.” Those years of writing music for TV and film have come full circle. 

A more experimental tone comes to “The Lie We Live” with an assortment of MIDI programming building a full exotic amalgamation of sound. There is prog rock mixed with classical weaving us through a complex journey. The record ends with the poignant “Living In A Black and White World.” Les Fradkin provides more hope explaining that we do not need to just accept the world we are given. We can cause the positive changes that we want. 

Although only EP length, Les Fradkin gives us a full assortment of powerful messages to take with us. It is time for all of us to look in the mirror and grow. 

Hear more music and inspiration on the Les Fradkin WEBSITE.

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Review

J.Ramada Shares Rainbow of Sound on ‘Turquoise’

Being in the right place at the right time will always help a person find the right opportunities. Making sure to live an interesting life full of being in different places can multiply these potential opportunities. Our recent discovery J.Ramada has made it a point to keep his eyes open for chances to stay involved in the wild music industry.

The California native started his musical journey as an FM Radio DJ and a handmade bookbinder in a small art gallery while putting together his first recorded music. A string of local gigs along the central coast soon led J.Ramada busking through Europe in between catching rides among major tours. After two years of crisscrossing the world, he came back to Los Angeles looking for steady work. The opportunity to work in special effects in Hollywood led to J.Ramada soon blowing up cars for rock stars and making it rain on Hollywood back-lots.

A chance encounter while working at Paramount Studios turned into attending a party at legendary rock star Prince’s house and actually performing with him and other well-known artists. This relit the fire to create more of his own music. The result is the recently released Turquoise EP.

The 5 track record is truly a worldwide experience recorded between Peru, Los Angeles, and Prague. It opens with the lead single “Imaginary Thunder” to show the eclectic inspiration that J.Ramada pours into his music. Everything from Americana to Rock to Flamenco over a heartfelt vocal style. For “The Last In Line” the smoothness remains as some Latin groove folk sounds paint the picture. 

There is something about the emotional songwriting of J.Ramada that draws the listener in. “Any Other Way” takes this even further with a simple plucked guitar leading the way and building to a full journey of feelings. We get another experience with the trap build up of “King Of Hearts.” The mellow vibe remains but the beats take the track in another direction.

The closer “Too Far To Go” is perhaps the most elegant track with a piano starting it off before it delves into a full smorgasbord of sounds that create a full ambient soundscape to take us into yet another world. Keep up with more music from J.Ramada HERE.