8 Questions with Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders May21

8 Questions with Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders...

8 Questions with Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders By Spencer Joyce Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders is a Harrisonburg, Virginia-based Bluegrass outfit led by Ben Schlabach. They recently released a new cassette “Demos Vol. 1” on Funny/Not Funny Records. I sat down with Schlabach to talk about the new cassette, the bands origins, and bluegrass music in general. 1. Who are Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders? Uncle Bengine began as a solo project of Ben Schlabach, since then it has grown to involve a number of other folks.  Currently the line up is Ben Schlabach (guitar), Jason Summer (pedal steel), Megan Tiller (upright bass), Melanie Schlabach (violin). 2. What inspired the name “Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders”? Bengine was a nickname I’ve had for a long time, as I grew older Uncle was added.  When we added drums to the band for the first time we tacked on The Restraining Orders because we felt most Uncles have at least one. 3. Which artists influence the sound of Uncle Bengine & The Restraining Orders? I think each member of the band has a different influence that they bring to the table.  Jason is big into classic country but came to age on classic rock.  Megan is a Suzuki Violin teacher but grew up around traditional mountain music all her life.  Melanie started off classically trained on violin and sung in choirs, but is now drawn towards weird music with a hook.  I grew up listening to punk bands and going to basement shows, and it wasn’t until college that I took an interest in folk music and most recently country music. 4. Talk about the release of your latest Cassette, “Demos Vol. 1” on Funny/Not Funny Records? I have always been...

9 Questions with Broke Royals May13

9 Questions with Broke Royals...

9 Questions with Broke Royals By Spencer Joyce Broke Royals are a DMV based Alternative Rock duo consisting of Philip Basnight & Colin Cross. They’re currently in the middle of completing the second installment of their EP/LP trilogy entitled “The Luxury Of Time Pt. ll”. I sat down with the duo to discuss their background, plans for the EP, and their unexpected hit in Thailand. 1. Describe the origins of Broke Royals Philip: Colin and I met in college through the concert programming board.  I found out that Colin was building a studio and he offered to record some of my originals for his studio sampler. During the process of collaborating we decide to officially become a 2 man group and Broke Royals was born. Before we knew it, we had enough songs for an EP and started putting together The Luxury of Time Pt. I.  When we released our first single “About Time” in May 2014, we were shocked to find that it had made its way to the people of Thailand and, in the wake of a political coup where the royal family was overthrown, we’d become a hit.   2. Where does the name “Broke Royals” come from? Colin: The name is born out of the ironic nature that people can have so much, yet never feel like they have enough.  We experienced this first hand by being students at a good university, yet suffering through the same broke college student struggles millions are facing every day.  3. Who are your main musical influences? Colin: We look up to a lot of people.  BASTILLE and Future Islands seems to be close sonic comparisons.  But since only two of us record everything, people have compared us to Prince and Steely Dan.   4. Describe the backstory...

8 Questions with Aaron the Uke Slayer May07

8 Questions with Aaron the Uke Slayer...

  Aaron The Uke Slinger is the stage name of Pittsburgh-area Singer/Songwriter/Ukelele player Aaron Jones. He’s currently in the middle of writing a new record while maintaining a balance of music & family life. I sat down with Aaron for a one on one interview about him, his music, and his ukuleles. 1. Describe your background in music For me things really started in 2008. I bought my first ukulele and had writing lyrics before that. The ukulele was just a natural fit and I learned more music theory and discovered the 12 bar blues form and began a writing spree. I eventually hit an open mic locally and from there “Aaron The Uke Slinger” was born. As a kid I fiddled around with guitar and later played bass before I developed a stress disorder during my first marriage and ended up selling all my musical equipment in the early 2000’s. This project has literally been a rebirth. As far as performing goes. I mainly play in the Pittsburgh area where I live. I do manage to make some trips to Ohio during the year and I used to go down to Tennessee and perform in Nashville and I’ve played a songwriter’s festival in Gatlinburg. Life has taken some turns recently not allowing me to take as many road trips. But 2016 will probably hold some better opportunities.  2. Who are your main musical influences? Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Social Distortion, LeadBelly, Rancid and there’s many other that influence my lyrical and playing style. But those are basically favorite artists that I listen to on a regular basis. Lately Chicago and Steely Dan have been growing on me. 3. Describe your creative process when it comes to writing songs? I spend time working as...

A New Reign Apr29

A New Reign

Interview By Boma Jack Video interview available at the end of this article. How did you guys form a band? Tim: We initially formed this band; Jeremiah and I. We’ve been long childhood friends, have been jamming for years and decided that we wanted to start a band. So, we started collecting this wonderful roster of people; actually, the majority through Craigslist and Word of Mouth. Jeremiah: Andrew was our Craigslist killer and Jimmy was our high school buddy from a while ago. Andrew: It just fell into place. How long have you guys been together? Tim: Actually, we just celebrated our one year anniversary as a band on New Year’s. Why the name? Tim: The name “The New Reign”; it’s kind of funny actually. Jeremiah and I were kicking ideas around and I had heard something on Elliot in the Morning. All he said was “Reign”; he used the word in a conversation and I was like, “well, that’s pretty cool.” So, I called Jeremiah up and we had been calling each other up all day like weirdoes; someone would pick up like, “band name!” [Laughs] I just called him up one day and I was like, “The New Reign”. He was like, “I can hear that, I can hear that.” As simple as that, it just popped out. Thank you, Elliot. [Laughs] Andrew: I still think it should have been “Jerry and the Fuddruckers”. [Everyone Laughs] Tim: Yeah, that will be our secondary folk project down the road; “Jerry and the Fuddruckers”. What have you guys been doing recently as a band? Andrew: Everything. [Laughs] Jimmy: Well, right now we’re in the transition of me playing guitar and then, getting a new bass player to create a 5 piece set. Tim: The...

The Day the Music Died Apr17

The Day the Music Died...

The Day the Music Died? By: Cameron Harlow Photos Courtesy of Eddie Trunk and www.thatmetalshow.vh1.com Ask yourself, “when was the last time I heard a new song on the radio from my favorite band?” Then ask yourself, “when was the last time I bought a new CD from that band?” You may find yourself realizing that you don’t even know when the last album was released and as you frantically BING search, you find out they have had 2, 3, maybe 4 releases since you last “heard anything from them”. Don’t be too alarmed, though. You are in good company. It seems that the music industry has taken the stance that we little people have a short attention span and must have new, shiny things instead of supporting what we actually like. Did you know that both Prince and Smashing Pumpkins have released new albums in the last few months? Have you ever heard a song from Prince’s Lotus Flower album from a few years ago? No, but “Shake it Off” is played ad nauseam. In fact, over the last 2 years, Lit, Bang Tango, Stryper, Garth Brooks, Lenny Kravitz, Lincoln Park, Fuel and a lot more released new material. Well, based off an online survey, your answer is probably “no” unless a friend told you. It seems that ad avenues like Pandora are how a lot of us are finding music; which can be problematic since those types of music sites don’t necessarily play new music from our favorite established bands. What about concerts? When was the last time you went to your favorite band’s show or for that matter, a show of an up and coming band? Promotion, sadly, is left to the bands in local venues and so, they have little...

AwesomeCon Cometh

AwesomeCon Cometh By: D.C. “Spike” Harlow Photos Courtesy of M.O.L.D.S. Episode 2 This spring marks the 3rd year of AwesomeCon; Washington D.C.’s own premier comic, cosplay, sci-fi and everything amazing convention. While Baltimore, Philadelphia and half a dozen other cities around us have had their own show for years, we’ve suffered, dreamed and wished to be way cooler than them! Thanks to Ben Penrod, our dreams came true! In 2013, Ben did some brainstorming and AwesomeCon was born! Ben brought us Bill West; the voice behind Ren and Stimpy, the Red M&M and dozens of others, Larry Hama and Herb Trimpe; two extremely influential artists from Marvel and Phil LaMarr from Mad TV, that first year. Year 2 saw Sean Astin, Billy Piper, Kevin Sorbo, Billy Martin, J.K. Woodward and dozens of other comic and sci-fi/fantasy artists. Not to mention hundreds of vendors: Ecto 1 and the T.A.R.D.I.S.! What could possibly top that? Well, I caught up with Ben and asked those hard questions. We started from the beginning with how it all got started. “D.C. really needed its own con and I really love running conventions, so that was all the spark we needed.” Ben recalls, “Money and inexperience were probably the biggest obstacles. I had to become really good at stretching a dollar as far as it could possibly go.” Ben had been running cons since 2011 in Annapolis and Waldorf. Even though those cons were a success, many people were not eager to get involved for fear of the con failing. “I don’t blame them, there are a lot of new cons that fail; we just had to work our tails off so that we didn’t end up on that list.” After spending a lot of time traveling to cons across...

Blinded by the BlindLight Mar27

Blinded by the BlindLight...

Interview By Boma Jack How long have you guys been together as a band? Sam: We’ve been together a little over two years now. How did you guys meet? Joe: I had the band started as something different, like ‘Beware the Bear’ or something before, and then I met Sam in a math class. Then Terry came in out of nowhere. Sam: Freshman year. Terry and I were in the same gym class, and Joe and I were in the same math class. Then the next year, Joe came to me saying he needed a drummer for his band and I was like, “Well sure!” So then, he gave me a song to drum to so I could practice and play it. Why the name The Blindlight? I know you guys had a different name originally, but then, you changed it to The Blindlight. Sam: Yeah, there’s been like three different changes. Joe: There was ‘Pariah’. Sam: There was ‘Beware the Bear’. Joe: ‘Beware the Bear’ was first. Sam: Then, we decided that was stupid. Joe: Then we went to ‘Pariah’. Sam: Then we found out there were like 50 other bands named ‘Pariah’. Joe: Even in the Baltimore area. Sam, Terry: Yeah. Sam: Then about a year ago, we were sitting in Terry’s car and I was lying back in the recline position, and I turned the light on and I was like, “Ah that lights blinding…Blindlight.” I don’t know why that just came to me. Terry: And we both just started saying Blindlight back and forth. Sam: And we’re looking at each other like, “Blindlight, Blindlight, Blindlight, Blindlight, Blindlight.” Joe: Then people started thinking it was Limelight. Sam: Yeah. So then, a week later, we were like, “Let’s just add the word ‘the’ in front of it.” So then, we...

Bring on the Whether Mar17

Bring on the Whether

Bring on the Whether by Daniel Warren Hill Whether or not to see The Whetherman at the Electric Maid on April 7th is really no choice at all. Singer-songwriter Nicholas Williams returns to the Washington DC area to promote a new record, ‘Seeds for Harvest’, slated for release April 30th. Nicholas has been putting out quality records since 2007, and they just keep getting better and better. We were big fans of his fifth record, ‘Streams and Pastures’ (2013), and if snippets of this new record are any indication we’re going to be big fans of ‘Seeds for Harvest’ as well. We don’t know if The Whetherman will have any hard copies of his new record available at the show on April 7th, but you are currently able to pre-order a digital copy at www.whetherman.net and get some instant gratification with an immediate download of the song, “Seemed to Be”. Nicholas is certain to be performing a number of songs from the new release when he comes into town. The Whetherman has opened up for some incredbile acts over the years, including: The Wailers, The Wood Brothers, Howie Day, Donavon Frankenreiter, Anders Osbourne, Town Mountain, Brendan James and Zach Deputy. Nicholas has toured overseas in Germany, France and Spain, and will tour the UK for the first time later this year. You owe it to yourself to hear this genuine songwriter deliver his story to you through his melodic and percussive guitar style and his versatile vocals that really convey the emotion he’s trying to convey for each song. There are softer ballads, upbeat make you want to dace tracks, and other songs that deliver a straightforward rock and roll vibe and will have you admiring the technical aspects of Nicholas’ playing at the...

What is an Artist Mar06

What is an Artist

What Is An Artist? By Amber Rogalski An artist is defined as a person who is skilled at a particular task or occupation. What does it take for someone to be acknowledged as an artist? How do you move your audience? What sets you apart from everyone else? I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with someone who thinks, “You kind of have to be crazy to be an artist.” This concept is generally accepted because everyone’s way of experiencing life is different. However, the creativity, imagination and emotions that develop from these experiences are relatable. What sets you apart is showing your audience what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. Galen Mooney realized that he wanted to be a musician at his 7th grade talent show, but, he didn’t start building towards his music career until high school. He studies vocal performance at Shenandoah University, and he’s continued playing music for the past few years. He already started working on his EP, Drawn In, at the time of his first show. He preferred a solo career over being in a band, until he met Julian and Dustin Goddard. They now play together as Sono Lumini, a jam band out of Winchester, Virginia. Their current members consist of Galen Mooney, vocalist; Julian Goddard, guitarist; Dustin Goddard, keyboardist; Phil Gayle, drummer; and Bronsen Euard, bassist. Their sound can range from reggae, rock, jazz and funk. They’ve also played some improvisational music while on stage. Sono Lumini came from the scientific study of sonoluminescence, the manifestation of sound through light. “We are the sound wave, and our audience is the bubble of water. We want to bring out the light in our audience through our music.” The band has been together for about a year,...

7 Questions with Adam Randy Feb26

7 Questions with Adam Randy...

7 Questions with Adam Randy By Spencer Joyce Adam Randy is a Baltimore-based Pop Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist. He is currently in the studio recording a new EP, so I decided to sit down with him for a one-on-one interview. -What is your background in music? I started writing songs in high school, and took music theory in high school and college. I did my first demos in 2005 on a 4-track Tasacam portastudio recorder at home. I sing, play rhythm acoustic guitar and piano/keyboard. -Who are your main musical influences? My main musical influence is Neil Diamond, but I like music in general from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and draw inspiration from various styles/sounds of those time periods. -What’s the inspiration behind your song “Summer Love”? For the song “Summer Love” there was no specific inspiration or person involved-I just wanted to write an uptempo, catchy song about a summertime romance, so I came up with this song! -Describe the music scene in Baltimore, your current city Baltimore music scene-although I am fairly new to the Baltimore scene, from what I can tell, there are many artists/solo performers and bands that play the Baltimore region. There are a lot of talented musicians, with a variety of styles and genres represented. In addition, Baltimore has a growing organization (the Baltimore Songwriters Association or BSA) which helps songwriters get their music heard and provides a variety of workshops, seminars and opportunities at local venues for songwriters to perform their material. -What kind of gear do you use live and in the studio? Gear-I recorded my debut CD at Basement Floor Studios/Productions in Baltimore. My producer and I used a variety of tools and instrumentation in creating this album, and we brought in a couple of session musicians...

All the Camp Downs Feb19

All the Camp Downs

All The CampDowns by Daniel Warren Hill It was a dark and stormy night. I drove to meet Fat Man Cat Bite at their super secret practice space in secure location south of Baltimore. Ok, it wasn’t really stormy, but it was cold and windy out. And, the location isn’t necessarily a secret but it is off the beaten path. When I arrived I could hear music coming from inside the walls. Emotionally charged lyrics (courtesy of vocalist ), raging riffs (courtesy of guitarist Daric Simons) locked down underneath tight bass lines (provided by Jason Butler) and the steady groove of the drums (kept in time by drummer Trevor Best). The main wall of the practice space is covered by a giant dry-erase board with set lists based on the length of time the band has to play, and song charts with chord progressions and effects pedal settings. Fat Man (or Cat Bite as their sometimes called), was determined to go through their set as many times as they could in preparation for Frozen Harbor Music Festival, happening at Power Plant Live on February 20th and 21st at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD. They were nice enough to pose for a few pictures and to talk to me about some of their current projects.   When do you expect the release of the next record? Trevor: Well, we could put it online tomorrow. Steven: We have it. Just not in our hands. Jason: We’re trying to put together a CD release party…so probably, May? Steven: Or maybe April. We haven’t really picked the bands to do the release with, but we’d really like to do it at 8×10. Trevor: We might even put something up online before then. Like a soft release, maybe....

The Closest Point of Orbit Jan28

The Closest Point of Orbit...

Perihelion Interview Dec 23rd 12:05 P.M. Boma Jack Q: How long have you guys been together? Anshuman: About 5 months. We started as a different band called ‘Upon Reflection’ back in January. Brandon: We played a couple of shows, only for a couple of months. Then, when our drummer left, we decided we wanted to take it into a different direction. We changed the name, and got a new drummer and vocalist. This was around April. Q: How did you guys meet? Brandon: Ansh and I met through the drummer of ‘Upon Reflection’. We started to get to know each other more through that band. Then, we met Jesse. I met our current drummer back in middle school. When we needed a new drummer, I gave him a call. We were good friends, and I really liked him and thought he could do it. Jesse: I met our other guitarist because I bought a guitar from him. Q: Why the name? Brandon: The day that our drummer left, Ansh was at my house. We were talking about taking the band into a new direction, but the drummer was the only one that didn’t want to. Coincidentally, he left the day that everyone wanted to change things. After he left, we immediately started looking up band names. We went on a DeathMetal name generator and I thought the word ‘Perihelion’ was kind of cool. We looked it up and it was a science term; it means the closest point of orbit toward the sun of a celestial body. Anshuman: It’s also related to the Greek gods as well. Q: How often do you guys play shows? Where at? Brandon: Monthly. Sometimes two or three times a month. We usually play at Memories and the Ottobar....