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
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!
As songwriters we all have many inspirations and influences. Oftentimes these influences do not necessarily work together. Having the freedom to create music in different genres and styles is one of the joys of a prolific songwriter. One such artist is our recent discovery Raf Sanchez who is launching a new project Cowpoke with a new EP.
We caught up with the genre-fluid songwriter for a dive into his new music. Enjoy the interview:
First off, what is the story behind the name Cowpoke?
What’s up, IndieBandGuru.
I have a running tab of band names on my phone. It’s almost become an inside joke with my friends. Someone will bring up a really obscure phrase in conversation, and they’ll shout, “new band name, called it!”
Cowpoke has been on that list for a while. I recently moved from New York City to upstate New York. Before the pandemic, I good chunk of time traveling between the city and Western NY. So, I would often have a single bag, a jacket, and a guitar with me. At the same time, I took cheap trains and buses around abandoned parking lots and old traveling stations. The solace in those places made me think of what a modern-day traveler would look like. I became a Cowpoke, you could say. And the word fit this solo project well sound-wise.
How would you describe the sound of this project?
I’d say it’s a blend of mid to early 2000’s indie/songwriter/folk music, with a few teaspoons of ambient rock tossed in. The arrangements are fleshed out a bit and wide but warm and subtle. I tried to keep tracks to a minimum in Protools while tracking. Like, each track really needed to be there for me to keep it.
Which artists have influenced your music most?
There’s definitely a strong indication of my love for Iron & Wine and Sufjan Steven’s for this project. But there are sprinkles of Sigur Ros that pop up at the instrumental ending or “This Time I Swear”. And early Bon Iver in the unhinged vocals in the bridge of “It Feel”.
With two other successful musical projects over the years what prompted the new sound of Cowpoke?
I think you’re kind to say successful! I’m still very much making the music I want to. But I can get really stretchy as a musician because I play multiple instruments and listen to so many styles. With my electronic band, Pikoe, I’m starting to lean into an even more vibrant, bright, chaotic blast of sound for our new (to be released this year) singles. And with Hunting Stories, my folk band I lead with my brother Jose Sanchez, I’m taking a back seat — singing lead on some songs, playing drums, and sharing vocal duties with a few other singers.
Cowpoke music is special because it’s just an expression of just me — it’s stripped back and less collaborative than my other work. So, there’s plenty of space with the variety of sound I make to have 3 verticals. It helps me subdivide and not worry so much when I want to create an indie club banger with Pikoe, a rock song with Hunting stories, and a sweet unplugged folk track with Cowpoke in the same week. It’s a lot of work to manage 3 projects, but I have enough writing to fill them all up. It’s never been about ideas for me as much as the time and patience to put them in a record and polish them up.
We hear these songs were recorded years ago. What can you tell us about the debut release?
These songs definitely sat dormant for a few years. I recorded them in my bedroom in Brooklyn when I lived there with roommates with not-so-great equipment and the best recording conditions. There was a certain honesty I captured; I think while tracking this way that I would’ve lost booking time in a professional studio.
Someone once told me that a recording is a “snapshot of a period of time in your life,” and I’ve always liked that description. It took a few years, though, before I was comfortable enough with this record’s exposed vibe to feel comfortable releasing it. I needed the space away from it, you could say.
How do you hope to connect with the listener through this record?
This is a project inspired by the little moments you have alone when you’re staring out a bus window or laying down in bed and looking at the ceiling—those alone in a car in the driveway hours. I’d love it if it could be the soundtrack to those intimate moments for others. There have been so many artists that have shared their peace and personal feelings with me in their music that have helped me through hard times. So, I’d love to pay it forward and do the same.
Share some advice for other artists creating different styles of music?
I’d say to make the music you want to make, the kind you want to listen to. Don’t make things or adjust your sound because you think something is trendy or cool. There’s always room to explore and play with different genres and toolboxes. But don’t feel forced to dig into stuff you’re not inspired by because you think what you make isn’t “hip enough.” If you’re having a good time and honest with your voice, people will feel that and gravitate toward it. And as long as you connect with at least one other person, that’s all art is really for.
What does the future hold for Cowpoke?
I have other songs and singles ready to go. I’m making some additions to my little recording studio, Egg, this spring and looking forward to tracking all summer long and releasing more music this year.
A cowpoke debut show is long overdue, so as soon as it’s a safe and responsible thing, we’ll be playing that in Rochester, NY, where I currently live.
Long and short. More music, more intimate performances, and more art and connection. Peace and love. Thanks for having me.
Many artists now take the full reigns of all their art. Music, images, video, etc. Our recent find Boy Indigo does it all as a fully realized production group. We had a chance to chat with the group and get a little deeper behind the scenes. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, what is the story of the name Boy Indigo?
We’ve always identified with the idea of the Indigo Children. We are of their flock.
How would you describe the band’s sound?
It’s hard to pinpoint our exact sound.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Sade, Radiohead, and Anderson Paak and many others.
What can you tell us about your newest single “Fading In And Out”? We hear you create all the music videos as well.
We wanted it to feel like a short film from the 70s. And yes, we do all of our own production with the music and videos. So at times, this is difficult, but also creates opportunities where we can challenge ourselves and push the boundaries of our creativity.
Share some advice for other bands producing great content.
Optimistically harden your heart to the trials you may face.
How do you keep in touch with your growing fan base?
Anyone can join the Indigo Tribe by texting: 323-629-8041.
What does the future hold for Boy Indigo?
We want to make our own short films and score them
In a most interesting year for music many bands have lost their way and sat on the sidelines waiting for the world to recover. Our new friends from Corners Of Sanctuary are NOT one of those bands. They kept busy and were even able to release a new EP.
We caught up with Mick Michaels of the dedicated heavy metal band to get a little deeper into what the band has been up to. Enjoy the interview:
First off, how did the name Corners of Sanctuary come about?
Mick Michaels: A “corner of sanctuary” is a place that we can go to be who we really are…a place without judgment and void of any ridicule or outside influence. It’s a safe place…some may even call it a “happy place.” It can be anything or any place, real or imaginary. For us, music is a “corner of sanctuary” and we want to share that place with others in the hopes that they too may find the music as their own “corner of sanctuary” as well.
How would you describe your music without any of the boring generic genre descriptions?
Mick Michaels: Corners of Sanctuary’s music is the “modern sound of Classic Heavy Metal.” We definitely have a throwback flavor to our sound and that is part of the genetic makeup of what Corners of Sanctuary is and set out to be…it’s a ripple effect of all our influences and the type of music we love to hear, so it makes sense it would be the type of music we want to write and play.
The music itself is straightforward and solid…it keeps the head rockin’ and the foot stompin’.
Which bands have had the greatest influence on you?
Mick Michaels: For me it has been Kiss, Judas Priest, Savatage, early Ratt, Accept…just to name a few. But influence comes from so many places, especially for an artist…it’s all around us; everyday. We just need to be open to it and become aware…from there it’s just a matter of taking it all in and doing something with it.
What is your songwriting process? How does a song come together for Corners of Sanctuary?
Mick Michaels: Since we are basically a guitar driven band, it starts there, with a riff. Allowing the riff to grow on itself and see where it goes…it’s an organic process. However, there are times when it is less organic and sort of construction mode kicks in. This is when you are trying your best to capture in real life what it is your hearing in your head…easier said than done I must add…more focus is needed. There are also those times when a lyric drives the song or the riff…those songs tend to be more musical or melodic especially with the vocals. No matter how many times you do it, the process is always unique in some way. To me, that’s the magic of music!
Tell us about your latest release?
Mick Michaels: Corners of Sanctuary has just released a brand new EP titled “Blood and Steel: volume one, and it’s now available on RFL Records. The EP is part of our 10 year anniversary celebration for 2021. We plan to follow up with a volume two this Summer and a third edition sometime in the Fall. We look to be busy all year long.
This EP is a bit darker and grittier for us and for what fans are accustomed to with Corners of Sanctuary. It’s a solid delivery and demonstrates that Corners of Sanctuary is still evolving, which I believe is a natural process for any band. There is some level of maturation that comes with being together for a number of years but at the same time, so does the need for experimentation…bands get braver with their writing.
We have always looked at EPs as a way to try something different…songwriting styles, tuning, sounds and tones, recording and production techniques and so on. It’s an opportunity to challenge ourselves and kinda see what we are made of. Like I said, music is like magic.
What do you hope that the listener takes away from your music?
Mick Michaels: Some sort of connection… We want them to feel like they are sharing a ride with us on a musical roller coaster; they go up, they go down, they go round and round with twists and turns. We strive to create that emotional fluctuation in the songwriting and the music delivered. Sure, it’s not going to be for everybody, but for those who do connect with it, we want it to be one helleva ride!
Share some advice for other hard-working bands striving for success in the new music industry?
Mick Michaels: For me, I believe you need to be true to yourself first and foremost, without that you don’t have a real leg to stand on. If you are willing to compromise your own beliefs, your own integrity, then it’s not about what your heart wants, it’s about what your mind thinks you want or what others tell you that you want. Be true to yourself and you will never have cause to doubt your dreams.
What does the future hold for Corners of Sanctuary?
Mick Michaels: In addition to the new EP and future volume additions this year, we have already begun work on our next full length album, “Vengeance of the Fallen,” which we are looking to release in 2022. Plus we are involved in a multi-artist project called Hear ‘n Now which has a new single coming out in April that will benefit the Save Our Stages Act in an effort to help music venues and booking agents weather the storm until things can go back to some kind of working normal. It’s great to be a part of such an initiative.
We have a few online streaming events scheduled including the Metal May I Fest on May 29th. We also have a live performance we are doing as part of the Metal for Autism Fest in late April here in the Philadelphia area. We are looking forward to being back on stage!
We’ve also begun discussing booking some additional one-off shows here and there throughout the Summer to get things rolling again on that front. But we will see how things pan out as we are taking one day at a time.
Thanks so much for talking. Stay strong, be safe and COSnROLL\m/\m/
A little bit ago, I had the chance to get to know a little bit more about a beautiful soul in the Brazilian music community. Composer, producer and artist Yndi recently released her new single and accompanying music video “Novo Mundo.”
Even more exciting, Yndi is debuting her album Noir Brésil which is set for May 28th via Nascimento/Grand Musique Management.
Yndi starts off our conversation by elaborating on some of her biggest influences in both her music, and her life.
“For the past years, my Brazilian culture and upbringing has nourished my creative process a lot. All the memories with my family, what music meant to my parents as young immigrants in France, what music means to people in Brazil. I feel like my vision of music as a healing force really comes from this.”
Just for the fun of it and because my curiosity was piqued, I asked her who she would want to collaborate with in the future.
“It would be a dream to work with Milton Nascimento. His music was my re-discovery of Brazilian music when I was a teenager, really. I will forever admire him as a songwriter and lyricist.”
As our discussion continued, she shared some of her personal setbacks and roadblocks, which, as someone who deals with these frustrations as a songwriter, can really relate to.
“When it comes to music, I’m a perfectionist which sometimes leads to unproductive self-judgments,” she openly shares. “I thought about quitting music many times since I started.. Overcoming the pressure to always be creative, the temptation to compare yourself to others, it isn’t always easy.”
“You made a remark in one of your posts about “Novo Mundo,” and you said “I’m doing this for my ancestors and future generations: My music and for my ancestors and future generations.” Can you talk about that a little more, and what this means when it comes to your music?”
“Because of the music I make, the words I’m singing, the rhythms I use, I know my ancestors are with me, I feel a strong connection to them now, which hasn’t always been easy growing up in Europe. Sometimes I feel like I am their mother and sometimes I feel like I’m their child. In Brazil, through music and dance, we give homage to our ancestors in many ways, to those who have been “erased from history written by white hands” as activist-academic Beatriz Nascimento said.”
Another avenue we discussed were her thoughts on how her collaborations with the director of the “Novo Mundo” music video Nina-lou Giachetti, and also Benjamin Geffroy AKA Bendudur.
“Working with Nina-Lou and Ben was a beautiful experience, we exchanged ideas back and forth during the whole process, they were always so receptive of my ideas and were so committed to their craft. It’s a blessing today to be able to produce animated music videos, I’ve always been an animation nerd and I’d love to see more films like this coming from French studios.”
Check out the official music video for “Novo Mundo” right here!
She also shares that the music video is both “fun and deep,” as it depicts a “spiritual journey in a very cartoonish way with symbols from afro-brazilian religion Candomblé. It’s a luminous and hopeful piece,” Yndi explains, “the promise that a new world and a new life is always possible.”
Aside from her upcoming album, Yndi also shared with me that she has started a series on YouTube, dedicated to her creative process.
“It’s kind of like giving my fans an insight of what is inside my head,” she shares. “I’ll share new videos every month about my workflow, my collaborations, my inspirations… many things are to come!”
Check out her video “How “Novo Mundo” Was Made” right here!
Yndi leaves our readers and her fans with some food for thought. “My mother always taught me that what you give to others, the universe will give you back double.” So I guess the saying is true, mothers do know best! Thanks mama Yndi!
She also leaves a message to those listening to her music, and all of her fans and supporters.
“I love you. I hope my music can help you heal your wounds and be a part of your journey on this earth.”
Packing a potent punch with timeless songcraft and unbridled energy Los Angeles band Whole Damn Mess is – Don Miggs, C. Todd Nielsen, Lawrence Katz, and Greg Hansen. The group’s collaborative songwriting style, artistic connection, and collective years of experience is part of what makes this band standout.
We caught up with the classic rock band for a chat about their development and their new single “Nothing In The World Feels Better.” Enjoy the interview here:
First off, what is the story behind the name Whole Damn Mess?
Don – The simple answer is that we got the line into one of the first songs we wrote together called “Save Your Breath” but it was already bouncing around inside my head as a band name. I liked the idea of what the words represent…life. Beautiful and messy. Felt like what we were trying to do. And reminds us when we are getting too nice and tidy to sprinkle some shit on there!!! lol.
C. Todd – Scholars maintain the name came to singer Don Miggs amidst a weeklong tequila binge with some pirates off the coast of Tulum…
Lawrence – It’s a representation of how all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly, make up the entire picture. We are all comprised of a balance of these elements.
How would you describe the band’s sound?
Don – Warm and inviting.
C. Todd – Anthemic timeless rock and roll
Lawrence – A good mixture of the things you love about Rock and Roll, great songs and music that makes you feel good. All with an originality that is unique to how we make music. Individually and collectively.
Greg – We’re a rock band – Classic – Tried and True. Come see us LIVE!
Which bands have had the biggest influence on Whole Damn Mess?
Don – There isn’t enough room to list what influences the four of us. We are songwriters and students of music, so we have a wide variety of inspiration to draw upon.
C. Todd – Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, War On Drugs, etc.
Lawrence – There are definitely bands that have influenced us like The War on Drugs or the National although I’m not sure you can draw a straight line. Ultimately our sound and our process is influenced by each of our individual perspectives and where we each come from as musicians.
Greg – I think each member of the band brings their own set of influences which is what makes our sound unique. I bring more the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd vibes. Overall, it’s more of a Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac meets War On Drugs kind of thing. Have a listen and let me know what you hear.
Tell us about the songwriting process? How does a song come together for you?
Don – There is no “one” way. On this new album we did it all- in a room together from scratch, 2 of us only, one of us bringing an idea, one of us doing too much to a demo. As long as it feels like WDM, it’s all good. And the one time I tried to bring in a song I thought worked I got shot down pretty quickly for it not having enough WDM DNA.
C. Todd – Every song varies. With 4 cooks in the kitchen, each recipe gets started a different way. If two or more of us can get in the same room and pick up acoustic guitars we usually have something started in a matter of minutes. Sometimes a concept or hook or rhythm will come to one of us and that person brings it to the band to elaborate on. In most cases though, once a song is started it comes together like a house being built. Each person adding to the foundation and frame in their own way, and we keep refining it until the final touches are just so.
Lawrence – It’s changed a bit during Covid simply because we can’t always be in the same room or state for that matter. Usually, a seed of an idea comes together then since we are all producers with studios, we collaborate by adding our parts and sharing with each other. From there there’s a process of going back and forth sharing ideas.
Greg – However it starts, it’s not a Whole Damn Mess song until we’ve all got your fingerprints on it. We take turns producing, writing guitar parts, songs etc. An idea could start from anywhere but it’s the collaboration that makes it a WDM record.
Your newest single “Nothing In The World Feels Better” is damn catchy. What can you tell us about the meaning of this track?
Don – The trick to not losing your mind is to live each day like it has the potential to be the best day ever. And when it’s not, you celebrate the hope that tomorrow you get another one. Some people have big dreams, but some people just dream of making it to the next day. ‘Nothing In The World Feels Better’ let’s you have a celebration of the mundane.
C. Todd – Life can be difficult. Getting through it is more easily done when you can find gratitude for those things and moments that can be found every day. Stop and smell the roses etc. Once you can be grateful for the little things you do have, you don’t need anything else. Nothing in the world feels better than that.
Lawrence – It is the notion that everything you need is everything you have in this very moment. So, you should cherish it and be grateful for it.
Greg – It’s a love song to the struggle. 2020 fucking sucked. This song is about embracing while holding on for dear life and saying, “Nothing In The World Feels Better Than THAT!”
How do you hope to connect with the listener with your music?
Don – I don’t know. It’s always felt a little pompous when I say too much here! I guess I want people to feel how they want to feel when a WDM song comes on, as long as it’s a strong feeling!!! I want to avoid hearing “that’s pretty good.” And they never listen again! lol.
C. Todd – It starts with making great songs, but for us it’s all about the live show and how those songs translate. We want to connect with our fans on a personal level and making those songs come to life in front of them is how we intend to do that. As soon as possible.
Lawrence – Deeply. We want people to be moved and inspired by our music.
Greg – This band really focuses on songs that come from a genuine place. Our first record is a true story about Don and the epic love story that turned into his now family. This next record is about challenges we’re all facing. Either way, all these records started as personal songs that we connect with and I hope that comes across to the listener. It’s less about “I think this sounds dope” (which I love) and more about “This song really means something.”
We hear You have some new music coming soon. Give us a little sneak peek.
Don – What was important to us with this band was to make sure an “album cycle” felt like a complete thought of music. So, the songs all belong in the same family. If you like “Nothing In The world Feels Better”, we think we have 4-6 more songs that will make you feel the same. These are songs for everyday people with everyday lives, talking about making the best of whatever hand they’re dealt. They’re personal to us and universal themes.
C. Todd – We actually have a full album in the can. More brothers and sisters to Nothing In The World Feels Better that all fit together really well. Can’t wait to share them all with you.
Lawrence – We have a full record of songs we are super proud of and excited to get into people’s ears.
Greg – Don’t hack me man – New music is coming VERY soon.
Share some advice for other bands trying to make a name for themselves in this wild music industry.
Don – Stay the course. Pick a lane and drive it. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Find your people and super-serve them.
C. Todd – Be believable. People can smell bullshit. Write from the heart, perform from the heart and just be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
Lawrence – Lawrence – Make music that means something to you.
Greg – That’s tough. “Trying to make a name for themselves? I think you would have to define what that means to you. What is the reputation you want? I feel like there are a lot of ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Everyone wants to go viral and blow up, right? I would say be careful what you wish for and pay attention to what you do to get “there”. Easy come, easy go – as they say. For us, we want to be known for making honest, classic, and objectively great records. And we’re really just getting started. Trust me, we’re not going anywhere.
Keep up with where Whole Damn Mess goes next HERE.
The music industry can be a difficult one to stay in. Constant changes have eaten up some lesser artists that are unable to adapt. Our friend Anthony Casuccio has been a staple in the music business for quite a while and keeps branching out into new areas to keep rolling ahead.
We had the chance to sit down with the artist/producer/songwriter/etc for a chat about his newest solo project and single “Friends First.” Enjoy the interview:
After a career in the music industry spanning over 25 years what keeps you driven to keep moving forward?
I have this inert feeling of always needing/wanting to create. So, I am always thinking about my next project. And that gets me excited. I keep moving forward and challenging myself. Because of the pandemic, I finally had some downtime. That break fueled a major creative musical surge on my part. I have been able to create in genres that are new to me such as country and EDM.
We have covered your band A&L multiple times before. What prompted this new branch out into a solo career?
I have to say Covid did. As I mentioned, I had a lot of down time. There was no opportunity to rehearse or get into the studio with A&L. So, I started writing. And the songs I came up with probably would not translate well to A&L songs. I finished a new studio to record in. I figured that I should release these new songs. The first in a series of releases is my country song called Friends First.
How would you describe the new Anthony Casuccio sound?
That is a tough question because this song is a country song, and my next release will be an electronic dance music EP. One thing that I would say that characterizes my sound: lots of harmonies. And slick production, I like to convey a very produced sound on my own recordings. I like to push myself with new sounds and sonic textures. Even on a very simple song like Friends First. There are a ton of harmonies and a few synth sounds not usually found in country or folk rock.
Give us the story of how the new single “Friends First” came to be?
Its probably evident to the listener where this inspiration came from. I wrote this song based on an experience that led to the storytelling lyrics. Over a short period of time, the song morphed from a simple acoustic song that I would play in my bedroom to the fully produced song that is out now.
What other talents did you bring in to produce this song?
I collaborated with Gino Mirizio who is an amazing international drummer/percussionist based in Toronto Robin Grandin – a musical powerhouse from the group Mustang Sally who played bass and added the catchy harmonies. They really helped me reach my musical vision.
What emotions do you hope to arise in the listener?
I want the listeners to sing. I hope to get them singing along without even realizing it. I purposely wrote a very catch, repetitive chorus with the end user in mind. Maybe someone will use this at their wedding. That would be fantastic.
You are truly multi-talented in music being a successful producer, engineer, and songwriter. Do you find different joy in each aspect?
I guess it depends on if the project is mine or a client. For my personal music, I like to wear all those hats. And I get excited with all of them equally. I am lucky enough to have grown as a musician and audio technician. One thing that I have learned over the years is that you cannot do it all. That is why I have started bringing in other musicians to help me reach my musical goal. Clients hire me as an engineer or producer. I love that creative aspect. And I do bring a creative aspect to those technical areas. My songwriting has helped me generate mixing ideas for clients. That has given me a way to connect with my clients on a different, more creative level.
Where does the Anthony Casuccio journey go from here?
I will be releasing my EDM EP in the next few months. I will put down the guitar and get behind my two decks and spin some dance music.