Rock The Planet Mercury

L to R: Pat Connolly, Chris Lovejoy, Michaela Logan, Jerry Picard

I really love this band from my neighboring state of Massachusetts and I finally got to interview one of my top music discoveries within the past year, Planet Mercury Band.

Q: Before COVID-19, turned the music world upside down, what was the band working on? Tours? New music?

A: Before COVID hit, we were working on a lot of new music. We were in the beginning stages of booking a tour for the late summer/early fall and we were also going into the studio to record some new material before everything changed.

Q: So you guys are from MA, what are some of the best venues around the Boston area that you like to play?

A: There are a lot of really awesome local venues in the Boston area. In Boston, a couple of our favorite venues include Thunder Road and Midway Cafe. In the surrounding area, Alchemy and Fete Music Hall are awesome venues in Providence, RI and The Raven in Worcester, MA has also been great to us.

Q: You guys fall in the pink rock/pop genre, who are some of your favorite bands that inspire your sound?

A: We have a lot of mutual influences as well as some that are particular to each member. We all really love pop/punk music from the early 2000’s including bands like Green Day, Sum 41, Blink 182 and New Found Glory. That being said, we also all have many other bands we love such as Oasis, The Story So Far, Against Me!, The Beatles, Royal Blood, Trophy Eyes and many more. The grunge movement in the 90’s and the resurgence of garage rock in the 2000’s definitely has influenced our sound.

Death Wish For Living

Q: You released a single this year, Death Wish for Living, an EP None in A Million and 2 singles. Any plans for a full length album?

A: Yes! We were ready to start tracking for our new album before COVID-19 hit the US. We have a good bunch of songs that work well together thematically, so we thought it was about time to have a crack at recording our first album.

Q: Now back to present time, the Stay At Home order for MA is in effect till May 18th, what are some of the things the band has been doing to pass the time?

A: It’s admittedly been tough to stay active with everything going on. We’ve talked on Zoom about how we can keep the wheels rolling and we’ve been working on some stuff from our homes. We’re finishing up the lyrics for our album and we’ve talked about recording a cover song or two from home. We’re hoping things get back to normal soon so we can get some new tunes soon.

Q: What are some tv shows that you guys have been watching?

A: Definitely Tiger King when all this started, haha. Jerry is a big horror buff so he’s been watching all kinds of horror movies on Netflix and Hulu. Michaela has been watching copious amounts of HGTV and Pat has been watching shows like Pawn Stars and Working Moms. Chris also recommended Death and Robots and we’ve heard really good things about Outer Banks, so we’ll have to check that one out too!

https://www.uncleronniesredtavern.com/

Q: Best take out restaurants during the stay at home order?

A: Shoutout to Serio’s and Uncle Ronnie’s in Burrilville, RI..Also, Antonio’s in Worcester.

My tshirt I purchased from the band

Q: And where can fans buy merch and find your music?

A: We sell and ship merch ourselves so if there’s something that interests you, feel free to shoot us a DM and we’ll figure something out!! We ship pretty much anywhere so don’t hesitate to ask us about something! As for our music, it can be found on most major streaming services, as well as YouTube for those who prefer that platform.

I really encourage people to listen to this band if they haven’t already.. you can also find them on Instagram Planet Mercury Band

If you or your band has a new song/album soon to be released or if you are interested in your band to be featured, please send me a message on IG at music_stylist. Stay tuned for interviews with Vaughan Supple, Will Evans, APRE, CJ Tate, The Sulls and many more.

Until next time, I am Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias

Catching up with The Ghost of Paul Revere

Sean, Max and Griffin

Q: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the music industry.. how are you guys coping with not being able to be out on the road?

A: It’s been a struggle for sure, this is the longest stretch we’ve been home in years! It’s hard to focus on the positives when the rug has been pulled out from under you in a situation like this, but it really helps to try to. This whole situation has created an opportunity to focus on songwriting and practicing our craft.

Q: I see that your 2020 Spring tour has been pushed back to Fall/Winter…with the restrictions in place probably for the foreseeable future, the venues will have to sell less tix but it might make it a more of an intimate experience for the fan, which is something I prefer.. what’s your view on that?

A: One of our favorite parts of this job is connecting with the audience, so playing more intimate shows are usually fun for us. I’m curious how the industry will compensate the lack of tickets sold to keep growing bands running.

Q: During the stay at home order, lots of people have been binge watching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime… I saw that you were a bit obsessed with the Tiger King… what other shows did you discover or would recommend to your fans?

A: Oh man, that damn show. Tiger King provided a window into a world that seemed as upside down and bizarre as the one we entered back in March, so it had some entertainment value. For recommendations, however, Middleditch and Schwartz is really hard to beat if you want a laugh. Also, What We Do in The Shadows ( or anything Tajiks Waititi is involved with) is great.

One of many online live streaming events

Q: You’ve been doing a lot of live streaming for your fans…what’s your favorite part of the streams so far?

A: Though we don’t always have the best of luck technologically, the streams have been a lot of fun. It gives our fans a chance to see us in our literal home environment and gives us a chance to check in with folks and let them know we’re thinking of them. Our fans are incredible and they’ve given us such support we can’t thank them enough.

Maine Beer Company, Bissell Brothers, Lone Pine Brewing

Q: So Maine has some great breweries…what beers would you recommend to me as I am a huge craft beer fan.

A: BEER. That is a tough question.. Not so much as to figure out what to recommend, but to figure out where to begin! Let’s start you out with some Maine Beer Company, Lone Pine, Oxbow Beer and Funky Bow and take it from there.

Q: My 3 favorite songs by the band: This is the End; After Many Miles and Little Bird,.. you guys remind me of Nathaniel Rateliff a bit. What are the band’s favorite songs to perform live?

A: Thanks! That’s another tough one, but when we last left off, I think some of our favorites to play together live were Little Bird, Chrysalides and a couple songs off our upcoming album. We’ll let you guess what they are when you hear it!

Q: Where is the best place for fans to support the band? Buy merch, make a donation??

A: Head on over to The Ghost of Paul Revere and it will have all the info you need. Thanks so much for talking with us. Hope you’re hanging in there! – Sean

Not only can you find the band at their website above but you can also stream their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music platforms or anywhere music is streamed. To help support the band, you can also catch their series “Ghost Notes” by clicking on the link above to hear previously unreleased tracks and never before seen content.. each track is set up on a donation basis… for more details go to: https://www.ghostofpaulrevere.com/home-2

I have some interviews coming up with Planet Mercury Band, Vaughan Supple, The Sulls, APRE, CJ Tate and many more… until then I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.

Say Yes To Michigander!

A couple of months ago, I spoke with Jason Singer of the band Michigander before COVID-19 started really wreaking havoc across the country.. I asked him some questions about the band.. here’s what he had to say…

Q: Tell me about your song writing process?

A: I usually start with a chord progression or beat and write over the top of that. Locking down a solid melody is first priority.

Paste Studios NYC Jason Singer & Jake Lemond
Full performance

Q: You performed at Paste Studios in NYC in 2019.. what was that experience like?

A: I was horribly sick and it was hard to park our van in the city, and we were almost late. But it was a very cool experience when all was said and done.

Q: What has been some of the best experiences that Michigander has had on the road?

A: Recently, I played in Minneapolis in the small room at First Ave and there was a line out in front of the venue for the show and it was very surreal.

Q: Are you a more processed beats type or an acoustic guitar type when it comes to creating music? Or is it whatever creative mood you happen to be in at the time?

A: It changes per song. I try to make sure the songs can be stripped back and just played on the acoustic though.

Top to bottom: The 1975 and The Strokes

Q: What artists are you into right now?And who do you see as the next “breakthrough artist” or next big thing?

A: Really loving these new singles from The 1975 and The Strokes. Would love to see more guitar bands like that become more relevant again soon. Not sure who is next.

Misery on Spotify

Q: Let’s talk about your music… I, personally love the song Misery. It sounds so familiar yet it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time. Love song?

A: I’m actually not sure what that song is about. It kind of all just came to me all fleshed out and I was just lucky enough to write it down.

Midland EP, single East Chicago on Spotify

Q: Is there any song you’ve recorded that you consider “this is the best song I’ve ever written”? And why does it mean so much to you?

A: I feel that way about East Chicago, but I think some of these new tunes that I’m working on are by far my best work and I’m excited to play them live.

Jason Singer

Q: You are hitting the festival circuit soon starting in May… maybe one of the biggest is the Firefly Festival on 6/18 in Dover, DE. Headliners include Rage Against The Machine, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid etc… This gives the band tons of exposure to thousands of fans.. What does playing at such a large event mean to you? ***

A: It’s pretty wild. Been working towards these stages my whole life and now it’s finally happening, it doesn’t seem real.

Q: Can we count on a full album from Michigander in 2020? What can we expect?

A: There will be new music.. Not sure when or what it will look like, but it’s been worked on and it’s coming.

*** Since this interview, the world has been hit with the Coronavirus pandemic all over the world and pretty much every major music festival & concert has been canceled or postponed till next year.

You can find Michigander on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Audiomack, Souncloud, Pandora etc.. Go to Jason’s Linktree site.

As you know, musicians have been hit hard financially during this time… please consider making a donation to many of the musicians relief funds including Music Cares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Stay tuned for more interviews… if you are interested in having your band promote new music, send me a DM on my Instagram. Until then, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias

Simon Says

Simon Finn

Funny story on how this interview came about.. I was reading about this Simon Finn above in an article on musicians who don’t tour much anymore and then I researched (not very well obviously) and asked another person, named Simon Finn, these questions & it was the wrong person. Shame on me! Thankfully, I found the correct email and here’s how the interview went..

Q: You’ve been performing for over 50 years in the music industry..That’s quite a career. At what age did you know that this was what you wanted to do.

A: Toe knottingly anxious, I played the first song I’d written, “Good Morning To You”, to people when I was 12, a couple laughed, but many were encouraging. Oddly enough, many years later, that song almost became a single. The lyrics are delightfully literal, there really was a blackbird upon my windowsill. I’ve been waiting for a call from Kelloggs. I tank by the time I was 13 or 14 I was pretty wrapped up in writing and playing. Like many activities, if you’re lucky enough to find one that clicks it helps indulge, or at any rate distract from life’s joyous aspects.

Q: You were just a teenager when you opened up for Al Stewart at The Marquee Club. What was that experience like?

A: Yeah it was in 1967, I was 16, I’d moved to London 3 months earlier and was living on the streets at the time, so I was enormously amazed and excited, and very, very terrified. Wednesday night at the Marquee Club used to be “folk night”. I’d played for a man named Roy Guest bunch of songs I had at that time, they were more in the vein of Patrice and little in common with most of Pass The Distance. I used to play a lot of love songs because I was fortunate enough to to be in love at the time. The show went well, the crowd seemed to like it and Roy booked me for the rest of June, always opening for Al Stewart. I still have my ‘67 diary and it says I got paid £1. Not quite as bad as it sounds as it bought me four restaurant meals back then, so I guess it would be around £30 in today’s money. Al was far kinder than he needed to be, my problem was, that living on the street, all I had was an old and very cheap, soft stringed guitar. He let me use his electric guitar and I somehow always got it out of tune before he went on which drove him a bit wiggy. Tuning guitars back then was not the exact science it is now, without a piano around, E became a very flexible note. There were tuning forks, but I never saw anyone use one on stage, you did it by ear, and a very nervous 16 yr old, who never played an electric guitar before, was not the best ear to rely on. Al cursed and begged me not to touch the knobs, but he continued to let me use it, which was very generous.

Q: What was the best song you’ve ever written? And do you have any songs you regret making it maybe are not happy with?

A: Songs & writing are a kind of therapy, or have been for me, so even if I no longer relate to a song in the same way, it is still a kind of window into what one was feeling at the time. Best song really means favorite song, and that changes constantly! Some I don’t think of for years and then suddenly, they pop back into my head. And often one relooks at a song again if others seem to like it. An editor at Vanity Fair, Alex Shoumatoff, really liked Friendship from Accidental Life, if he hadn’t mentioned it as his favorite, it might not have ended up on the album. I still play songs from Pass The Distance because I know that that is what many in the audience world would like to hear. Which I understand completely, if I go to a Neil a Young concert I would like to hear Cinnamon Girl.

Q: You’ve pretty much have toured all over the world.. what is your favorite place to perform?

A: In truth, I’ve loved them all, I’ve been lucky and had few bad experiences. I was nervous about some countries, but I needn’t have been. Some shows are better organized than others, but like life, the ones you worry about often work out fine, and the ones you pictured going smoothly the sound system explodes or something.

Pass The Distance, 1970.

Q: Pass The Distance album was released in 1969 (the year I was born) and had become a rare gem but since the it has been remastered & re-released. Is it the pinnacle album of your career?

A: You were released a year before! Pass The Distance was released in ‘70 but recorded in ‘69. Depends which pinnacle one’s thinking I guess; for sure it’s the biggest seller in most countries, Accidental Life is the most popular in Denmark and I think France. I suppose Accidental Life was the pinnacle from a musician’s perspective. It was made in a very luxurious London studio with a great team of people, including my old producer and lead guitarist from 1969, Vic Keary & David Toop. It had Joolie Wood, who has played on most albums since and many other lovely people. Put another way, it was a fun experience, which is unusual for me because, although I like writing, and I find performing cathartic, I don’t actually like recording. I’m bad at it! I can only do one or two takes, repetition kills the emotion for me. If they have flaws, they have flaws. My favorite albums are usually ones with flaws; early Neil Young, Velvet Underground etc. But it’s not every producer’s dream to work with! But it came out just at the moment that the CD was disappearing & Pass The Distance had a 40 year head start on it, PTD also had had the advantage of being in mainstream stores, HMV, Virgin etc before they downsized or collapsed.

10 to 1 recording artist, The Doomed Bird of Providence

Q: What artists do you think are really talented? Is there anyone in the UK that you think, Hey, this guy/gal is going to be the next Ed Sheeran?

A: Haha…I’m no promoter and have no idea who will “make it” or not. The people I a. Most fond of tend not to. My record label, 10 to 1 Records, is releasing a new album by a group called, Doomed Bird of Providence, if a group with a name can’t make it, I don’t know what will!

Q: COVID-19 has stopped everything in its tracks.. the world is at a stand still…when everything finally gets back to some normalcy, how do you think this will affect the way music is performed in terms of concerts, festivals, live performances? Any changes or things will go back to thousands of fans bottlenecked next to each other? Scary times.

A: I like to think they will go back to some vague semblance or normal, though travel will, I think, be less fluid and more expensive for some time to come. Airlines will go bankrupt, the banks will take back the planes, then they will sell them at a bargain price to whatever the new budget plane company is called. But it will all take a while and the while in question will be marching into an unknown period of economic mess. We’ll know when it’s over because you’ll invite me to play in Newport!

Q: What does Simon Finn like to do in his spare time?

A: Fortunately, in these present times, I have a lot of old hobbies. I collect and repair old Victorian sewing machines for one, also old watches and fountain pens, in fact, I like to repair almost anything! Old A1181 Macs, bicycles, mandolins.. I find myself repairing things soothing somehow. Other than that, I’m lucky enough to have a small garden to play in. I’ve always enjoyed growing things, used to have an organic farm in the 70’s, naturally at a time one couldn’t make any money from it.

Thanks to Simon for answering all of these questions and yes I hope we do meet up one day.. Stay tuned for more interviews from Will Evans and hopefully others that I will bug to send me back their questions.. until then, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.

Take A Chance on Me

Chance Emerson

Q: Talk a little bit about growing up in Hong Kong and how music played a role for you there?

A: I was born in Taipei and then grew up in Hong Kong. I go to school in New England now. Since I moved around so much, music really helped me ground myself and connect with people. I did my best to become a part of each of these three communities and they were drastically different from one another. I like to think living in these places and having these experiences reflects in my music.

Q: At what age did you realize, Hey I want to be a songwriter!

A: I was 15 and it was April of 2015. I had just played an original song in front of a large crowd for the first time and decided right there that playing my own songs was a lot more fun than the covers I had been doing.

Q: What was the first song you wrote and what was it about?

A: I think it was a very angsty song when I was 12 called something painfully vague. I can’t exactly remember the title but it was something along the lines of ‘Land of Dreams’.

Paul Simon

Q: Several articles have referred to you as the “second coming of Paul Simon”, what do you think when people compare you to such a huge singing songwriting legend?

A: It’s a honor! I find comparisons to Paul Simon come up mostly about my song, How Can I. I was listening to a lot of Graceland during the week I wrote that tune, so it makes a lot of sense, actually.

Top: Fete Music Hall
Bottom: Askew Providence

Q: Now you are attending Brown University in Providence, RI, were you playing a lot of shows in the Providence/Boston area? What were some of your favorite venues?

A: I was playing a fair amount both on campus as well as in Providence. I loved playing Fete Music Hall’s Lounge and also had such a great time playing an album release at Askew. I actually played another release show in a dining hall on campus and that was an unforgettable experience to say the least.

Q: What are you working on now in terms of music? Songs? Albums?

A: I’m working on writing lots of new songs and I’m also recording some new tunes I didn’t have to work on earlier this year.

Q: Are we going to see any live streams from you soon?

A: Absolutely. Stay tuned for one n the next couple of weeks on my Instagram Chance.S.Emerson

Q: COVID-19 has derailed so many upcoming scheduled shows…what are your plans for your singing career when the world goes back to some sort of order?

A: I can’t wait to start playing again. As soon as things are back to normal, I’m looking to get down to New York and Philly and up to a Portsmouth and Portland. I was looking forward to playing shows in Providence this April at AS220 and The Met but those were cancelled and I’m definitely hoping to reschedule.

You can hear Chance’s music on Spotify where you can find his latest album release, The Raspberry Man, and his info on Linktree.

Stay tuned for an interview with London folk musician Simon Finn.. Until then, I am Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias

5 Questions w/Scott Clark of Lovepet Horror

Scott Clark

Q: Do you come from a musical family? Was music a big part of your life growing up?

A: None of my family are musical really, except my auntie, which is where I had some guitar lessons early on. Music was really an escape from daily life when I was growing up.

Q: When did you start to get interested in writing songs?

A: When I first got into the Beatles albums and discovering their story, I decided to have guitar lessons with the aim of writing songs from the start, it wasn’t ever really to be in a band or to do covers. I was about 15 about the time.

Q: Take me through your song process..do you just wake up and start writing?

A: I usually sit down with my electric guitar and just start playing chord sequences, then start singing melodies/words to them, after that I keep adding to it and start to refine a couple of lyrics once I start to understand what the songs about or could be about. There’s usually a couple of different ideas in there to make it a little abstract. The songs come out quite naturally and thoughts and feelings at the back of my mind end up in the song. I could never force them out. I have had one song that I dreamt, which I might be recording soon, but it’s quite a rarity.

Q: Who do you consider your biggest musical influence and why?

A: Probably the combination of The Beatles and Syd Barrett’s solo work. I guess the biggest influence I can take from the Beatles is that they broke the mold by writing the songs themeselves, which I really admire, particularly in a world of multiple co-writers.. Their ability to write melody is another strong one and their artistic integrity towards the music they were making. With Syd Barrett, you also have that artistic integrity and credibility there but also the types of weird chords and types of song is something I really feel close to and can identify with very much. The fact that he created some of his own artwork and was an artist in his own right is something I really admire.

Q: You have a new song coming out on April 10 called Everybody Hates a Genius.. lyric “50 million streams means nothing to me” talk about your new song and your music coming up in 2020.

A: That’s right.. I’ve got a new single coming out on the 10th of April, Everybody Hates a Genius; it’s really a collection of ideas and thoughts put together lyrically, there are a few cheeky lines in there and tongue and cheek satire (similar to Morrissey or Noel Coward) but nothing too on the nose. The general theme of the song is about the underdogs of music I suppose, that line, “50 million streams, means nothing to me” goes back to the idea that the quality of music is what I focus on and get gratification from rather than appearing to be popular of course, I’d like people to hear my work, but if it’s only a smaller audience that get it, then its all good to me. continued below

I recorded this single in the first session that I’m doing towards my first album, which hopefully will be out early next year, I have the new single recorded, which will be on the album. I will be focusing on a number of sessions to get the album recorded and releasing singles throughout the year as well as making music videos for them. Currently, I have a music video finished for the new single which is inspired by 20th Century Surrealist art films.

You can find Lovepet Horror’s music on Spotify.. the new single, Everybody Hates a Genius is out April 10..

Coming up, I have an interview with indie folk singer Chance Emerson.. Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias

5 Questions with Doll Skin

So on March 13th, I was supposed to attend a show at Alchemy Providence to see Doll Skin, who was the headliner for a few punk bands including local favorite, Never Coming Home.. But by then the Coronavirus was gaining steam and Providence Mayor Elorza had issued a ban on all entertainment licenses to be suspended and thus I never got to meet the band for pics or film any of the performance. I did, however, get to interview them via email..

2019 single, Mark My Words

Q: First reaction to hearing that Mark My Words was named 25 Best Rock & Alternative Songs of 2019 by Billboard

A: Getting recognized on a platform like that blew our minds! That happening this early on was such an insane surprise. We were all, and still are, so excited to be on that list!

Q: We need more all female rock groups in the music industry to be given airplay. I feel like you could be the group to break this cycle. What impact do you want to make in the rock/punk industry?

A: We hope to make it known that women DO have a place here. We DO belong in this “man’s world”. We can only hope that our fearless approach to how we do what we do can inspire more people to live out their dream and work towards their goals, no matter how daunting.

Q: Favorite bands of all time. (each member)

A: Sydney: Pierce The Veil, LetLive, Knocked Loose. Alex: Dream Theatre, Soundgarden, Tool. Nicole: My Chemical Romance, Taylor Swift, The Regrets. Meghan: John Mayer, Refused, My Chemical Romance. We could all honestly throw in so many more random bands we all love; our music tastes are all over the place!

Top: Seattle, WA.. Bottom: Portland, OR

Q: Favorite city/state on tour & most outrageous experience..

A: We have gone all over the world at this point, so it’s always hard to pick one story, so I’m going to list a couple. One time, Alex got arrested in El Paso for weed and weed concentrates on her. And one time our tires flew off, like the two back tires on the driver’s side went loose and FLEW OFF. That was insane! Consistently, favorite places to be have to be Seattle and Portland. Those cities are always so beautiful and the shows always go hand in hand.

Q: You have some loyal fans.. what do these fans, who follow you from city to city, mean to you?

A: Our fans in general mean the world to us. We would not make it anywhere without them. The fact that some of the are that dedicated, it BLOWS my mind. It’s so cool to know we mean that much to them because they mean that much to us and more.

Doll Skin is signed to Hopeless Records.. you can find them on their Spotify channel and listen to their 2019 album, Love is Dead and We Killed Her.. check out their Quarantunes playlist while you’re stuck in the house and NEW dates for the Slam Dunk Festival are now in September.

I’ll be working on some interviews and hopefully do some follow up live interviews on Instagram Live. Until then… I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias

Pretty Vacant

Pretty Vacant of Swindon, England

Before Covid-19 had come along, I’ve had several interviews I’ve yet to post. These guys were one of the bands early on to agree to an interview so finally here it is:

Q: Tell me a little bit about the band? How long have you been together.

A: The band was formed in Swindon, England in the Fall of 2018. The current lineup consists of Jordan Wheeler (bass), Joe Arthur (drums), Dave Aldous (vocals/guitar) and Jake O’Brien (lead guitar). We spent our first year together developing our unique style. We all began with a very diverse range of musical influences. An overlap in our individual moulded the Pretty Vacant sound. The band initially started with Dave and Jake jamming cover songs, we’d play things like Nirvana and RHCP with the intention of eventually writing original material. It wasn’t until Joe joined the band, that we started creating original material. Soon after, Jordan joined, completing the line-up and adding another layer of unique influence integral to our sound. In Spring 2019, we began recording demo tracks, Starlight and Whiplash, these were then released in the summer of 2019 and were used to aid in the booking of our first gig as a band.

Q: Playing gig after gig can take a toll on you & be very grueling…on average how many shows does the band play a week?

A: We gig as often as we can and take every opportunity that comes our way. We have a passion for live music and have a love for playing live gigs, we never find it a chore! We all regularly attend live music events ourselves, it’s something we enjoy whether we’re on or off stage, there’s something about the people and atmosphere that surrounds live music that makes it all worthwhile.

Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison CO

Q: What place would be your dream venue to play and why?

A: We’d have to say Red Rocks in Colorado, simply because it’s an incredible venue, it’s definitely up there with some of the most beautiful venues around the world! In terms of U.K. venues, it would have to be Alexandra Palace, London, we’ve seen some great bands there ourselves and it always has an amazing atmosphere.

Q: If you guys weren’t musicians, what would you be doing right now?

A: We all have 9 – 5s alongside the band, in an ideal world, we’d love to be able to commit to our music full time, we’re passionate about creating music and dedicate all of our spare time to the band, whether it’s writing, rehearsing or playing gigs. If we weren’t musicians, we’d definitely have to get our creative fix some other way, through other artistic endeavors. We would definitely want to be part of the local music scene in some other way!

Top to bottom: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin and The Foals

Q: What bands/artists would you love to collaborate with?

A: We have a very diverse taste in music as a band, we draw most of our inspiration from bands like, RHCP, Led Zeppelin and The Foals. We also take a lot of our punchy energy from punk bands like Idles and Slaves. In terms of collaboration, we’d love to collaborate with a brass band or orchestra in the future, the huge sound they are able to achieve is just unparalleled.

Whiplash on Spotify

Q: Let’s talk about your single, Whiplash…. what is the song about and what process goes into writing songs for the band?

A: Well, lyrically, Whiplash is very subjective and following on from our last answer, it’s style draws largely from our influences like Arctic Monkeys’ lyricist Alex Turner and Anthony Kiedis, of RHCP. In terms of our writing process, we usually start with a riff or hook, once we have something solid, we jam around with it until we have the foundations of a song, this is evident in the bass intro of Whiplash!

Q: You have another single Starlight, do you think you will finish a full- length album inn2020 or maybe an EP?

A: We’re actually in the process of writing and recording our debut album. The working title is currently, “Pretty Vacant Penthouse Basement”, with a pencilled in release date of Fall/Winter 2020. We’ve been working on it for some time and hope to have it finished very soon, we really want to portray our absolute best, so it’s something we’ve been really taking our time with.

Q: What artists are you excited about these days?

A: We’re really excited for Tame Impala, Thee Oh Sees, Idles, The Strokes, Slaves and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. We’re also looking forward to hearing more from some great local bands like YVES, who have recently made a return under the name of The New Black and ska bands like Slagerji, both incredible bands that are well worth checking out.

Q: What does the future have in store for Pretty Vacant?

A: More gigs, more music, more funk, more punk.

Pretty Vacant is currently at home with the rest of the world as we hope to find a cure for Covid-19. They will be working on that album that they hope to have released sometime by the Fall/Winter.

You can check out their music at Pretty Vacant’s music and find also on Spotify.

Stay tuned for more interviews with The Line, Michigander, Doll Skin, Lillie Mae, Jessy Covets, Ghosts of Paul Revere, Chance Emerson and Simon Finn.

Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias

5 Questions with Jessica Gerhardt

Q: You started writing music at a very young age. What was the first song you ever wrote?

A: It was called “When I Am Walking in the Rain“. I was about 8 yrs old. My second song was co-wrote with a childhood friend Ellie and it was called, “Cold Spaghetti”. I still feel the need to record that one. It has a fun kind of “My Sharona” vibe.

Q: You taught yourself how to play ukulele & then started writing more songs. Tell me about your songwriting process, where does your inspiration come from?

A: Inspiration comes from so many sources… Sometimes just being still and noticing beauty around me. Sometimes an emotion or feeling fills me so much that I have to express it in a song to get it out of my system. Sometimes conversations with friends. Experiences in a prayer…The list goes on. Sometimes I’ll start with a lyrical or thematic concept and other times I’ll just pick up an instrument and start playing, see what comes out and begin humming a melody over it. It changes all the time which makes it pretty fun.

Grandma Barbie 1940 – 2019

Q: You have a song, Keep it Simple, being released on 3/10 that is very personal to you. Tell me what the song is about.

A: It’s about my Grandma Barbie who passed away last year. I was taking time to be alone with myself and my grief sometime after she died and I was trying to reflect on all things I could remember about her. One thing that came to mind is how whenever we would get into deep philosophical and theological conversations, where I would get anxious over complicating things, she would always say, “Keep it simple, Jessie.” I used to think she was avoiding hard questions but I recognize the wisdom in accepting that I won’t ever have all the answers and to hold fast the simple, sustaining things that ground me. After she died, I struggled with feelings of doubt in contemplating mortality. Where was she now? Would I ever see her again? Is she only as alive as the memories are that I and others have of her? I kept coming back to her words. And in prayer I feel a sense of her saying “of course I’m still with you Jessie”. So I channeled all of this into a song. I cried as I wrote it. I decided to release it on the 10th of March because it’s the anniversary of her passing and what would’ve been her 80th birthday and I felt it was a fitting way to honor her.

Tix for the show Jessica Gerhardt Tix

Q: You have a big show on 3/9 supporting Andrea von Kampen at The Lost Church in San Francisco. How excited are you to perform your new music? What does this opportunity mean to you?

A: I’m very excited for the show! I haven’t played in San Francisco since July of last year so I’m looking forward to playing in the Bay again. And I was stoked to be invited to share a bill with Andrea. I heard her music on a Spotify playlist a couple of years ago, shazamed her song and recognized her name. We had mutual friends in Lincoln. I met her at a show we played in LA and then we kept in touch after that. I’m looking forward to hearing her new music as well.

Q: What can we expect in the future from Jessica Gerhardt?

A: I’m preparing to release a few more new songs this year in the coming months, and I’m working on a couple new music videos. I’m planning to go on tour in June and I’m hoping to release my first full length record in 2021. Other than that, I plan to continue to curate music events in the LA area with fellow artists, both in homes and in venues. My monthly acoustic house show series, Friday at the Fox Den, just celebrated its 1 year and has been really life giving. And I’ve enjoyed putting shows together at The Hotel Cafe, The Hi Hat and The Love Song Bar, to name a few.

You can catch Jessica tonight at The Lost Church in San Fran & her new single will be released tomorrow called Keep it Simple. For more info on Jessica, go to Linktree

I will be attending the Doll Skin show at Alchemy Providence on Saturday, 3/14. That interview will post this weekend…

Until then, I’m Linda Dias – Your Music Stylist

Andrea Come Home

Andrea von Kampen

I got to ask acoustic guitarist & singer Andrea von Kampen a few questions about her music and here’s what she had to say..

Q: When did you first pick up a guitar & realize you wanted to become a singer?

A: I knew I wanted to play music and sing from a very young age. My family was musical and I wanted to put on a show pretty much from the get go.

Q: As a songwriter, where do the inspiration for your songs come from?

A: Lots of different places! I read a lot of fiction, poetry, I listen to great music. I pull inspiration from nature and people I meet.

Nebraska

Q: Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, did you envision yourself playing at venues like The Bourbon Theatre?

A: Not really! I really grew up a little bit outside of Lincoln and thought I would go to Nashville or a bigger city to start playing. It wasn’t till after I dropped out of Belmont that I really tried to play and make connections in Lincoln.

Forever Young on Spotify

Q: Did I see that your cover of Alphaville’s Forever Young has over 17M streams on Spotify? That’s insane…although it’s a really great cover and I can see why. What made you choose that song?

A: I didn’t actually pick the song. My friend, Tom, who made these Christmas adverts from the past three years, asked if I would cover “Forever Young” this year. I had no clue what the story line of the advert would be but I trusted Tom and made the cover.

Q: Let’s talk about your music… You’ve released 3 EP’s (Another Day, Desdemona and Christmas Project) an Audiotree Live album and your most recent Old Country released in 2019. You sort of have a Joni Mitchell kind of vibe. My favorite track on here is Portland…you really are an amazing storyteller.. These songs seem very personal.. how long did it take you to complete this album?

A. Well thanks so much for the kind words. I wrote “Old Country” over the course of a year or so.

Dave Simonett of Trampled Turtles

Q: You are going on tour for Dave Simonett of Trampled Turtles in March. How excited are you for the upcoming tour?

A: Really excited!! I always love listening to Dave and can’t wait to hear his new album. Especially hearing it live for so many nights in a row.

Von Kampen’s upcoming tour dates

Q: If you could play any music festival this year, which one would it be?

A: Oh man, so many..

EP releasing on March 13, 2020
Clip from First Meeting

Q: What can your fans expect from you in 2020?

A: In a few weeks, I’ll be releasing an EP I wrote for a Shakespeare company. They are performing “Romeo and Juliet” and I wrote 5 songs for 5 different scenes in the play. Later this Spring, the soundtrack I wrote for the film Molto Bella will be released. Beyond that, I’m hoping to spend a good part of 2020 writing my new album and playing shows.

Andrea starts her upcoming 2020 tour on 3/7 in Denver at Swallow Hill Music and you can get your tix at Andrea von Kampen.

Stream her music on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube, Deezer, Play Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

Stay tuned for more interviews with Pretty Vacant, The Line, Michigander, Jessy Covets, Lillie Mae and Doll Skin.

Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias