Artist Interview: SoulSeason

It has been a hot minute since I had a chance to sit down and put together a damn good article. But luckily I had the chance to talk with Chris Scott from North Carolina rockers, SoulSeason.

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Soul Season has been a group that has been on my personal radar for quite some time now even though they haven’t been around that long. I do have to say though, I am a bit ashamed of myself since I haven’t been able to check out these dudes live yet. Soon though, it’s on my list for sure.

T: So why don’t you introduce yourself!

C:  I’m Chris Scott, singer, and guitarist for the band SoulSeason. Our other members include Adam Moore on drums and Scott Osment on guitar.

T: So how did you guys get involved in the music industry and form what we know as Soul Season?

C: I’ve been in and out of the scene for 15 years. I gave it up about 5 years ago because it’s so hard to find musicians with the same drive as you. At the time our previous bassist and I had shared bands together and we always clicked on writing. A couple of years ago we decided we wanted to write an album for ourselves as more or less a keepsake. We never wanted to get back into all the hoopla of bands. Once we started writing we got the cravings to play live again and to sum it up here we are.

T: For fans that haven’t had a chance to hear your material before, how would you explain to them what your sound is?

C: Mood metal haha. It’s a self-proclaimed term really. Everything we write starts with an emotion or mood. Usually with riffs or what have you, but once we have a vibe for the song we build the rest around it. Throw in some heavy groove and melody and bake on 666 for 43.7 Minutes and tada SoulSeason song.

T: You just so happened to release your first full-length album “Wither” back in June this past summer, so CONGRATULATIONS on that! Can you give us some insight as to how things went into the recording process?

C: Once we had the songs we wrote we decided we wanted to deliver them raw and unpolished. The purest form. We recorded in two locations ourselves with some good Mics and an I Mac. When I mixed it I just went for an organic live sound. We left small imperfections to flare the character of who we are. We’ve never set out to be anything more than guys writing and playing what comes naturally so we wanted the album to portray that.

T:  What happens to be your favorite track on the album?

C: For me, it’s This Lovely Pain. The song has always taken me somewhere. It’s about embracing your demons accepting who you are even the darkness. We all struggle with hardships, it’s what makes us great this song makes peace with that.

T: Speaking of albums. If you had to pick one album, just one, to listen to every day, what/who would it be?

C: That’s an evil fucking question haha. I listen to so many different styles it’s really a mood thing. But I’m the context of important albums to me I’d say Gojiras Magma.

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T: Soul Season has really gotten the attention of quite a few people in the North Carolina market, especially with having such a short time in the market, what do you think sets you apart in the scene from others?

C: I am not sure what really sets us apart I try not to look at any comparisons. We just kinda do what feels right for us and people seem to enjoy it. We do big shows load, high energy. We believe people come to shows to see something different and we just try and be the band we’d wanna go and see.

T: If you were to step outside right now and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do with the winnings?

C: Focus on my music full-time hands down. Quit this day job shit and live the dream. I’ve always dreamed of owning a label and helping bands strive. There’s so much negativity in music amongst bands, you can’t change that but no one takes a chance on some of the real talents there is out there.

T: What are the plans for the future?

C: We are wrapping up shows for the year and finishing up writing our next album. This time we are approaching a little differently and are headed to NYC to record at Gojira’s studio. It’s truly an honor to do so and we can’t wait to unleash a few other surprises coming up.

There you have it folks, an insight into the world of Soul Season. Make sure you pick up a copy of their EP at an upcoming show! Until then, check out their social media pages linked below!

Facebook.com/soulseasonband

Instagram.com/soulseasonband

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Artist Spotlight- Seasons After

This artist alert is going to be unlike any other that I have had a chance to write. I have a strong personal connection to this particular group of dudes and have so for 10+ years. They are 100% unsigned and independent and I respect the hell out of these guys. So without further adieu, let me introduce you to one of the first bands I have ever been able to consider as a family: Seasons After.

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I had a chance to see/meet Seasons After way back in 2008-ish, (may have been longer actually) in Jacksonville, NC. I honestly do not remember what band they were opening for, but boy, I sure did remember them. This powerhouse team of dudes consists of members Tony Housh on vocals, Chris Dawson and Jimmy Beattie dueling on guitars. The occasionally have substitutes for drummers but have found one incredible bassist that I hope they hang on to.

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Let me tell you why Seasons After will forever be my favorite band. It is not the photos I take of them, or even the music….even though they have really, really damn good music… it’s the guys themselves. As someone who understands that, for every band, there are thousands of fans and hundreds of shows. You can’t expect a group to remember everything. But, the incredible thing is, they remembered me. They always made me feel like family even before we got as close as we have become.

20369507_10159010521285363_5076435803311806248_oFor example, I make a point to go out to any and every Seasons After show in NC as I can go to, why, because I believe in these guys. But here is the kicker, at every show, no matter how long it has been, they’ve always remembered me and sat down and just talked to me like an old friend. I actually had a chance to sit down with Tony at the Bridge to Grace/Seasons After show at The Muse in Wilmington on July 27th, and pleasantly to my surprise is Tony had kept one of my business cards that I had given him, which so happened to have a picture of him on it, in his cell phone case and takes it around where ever he goes. I seriously got emotional when I heard that.

Not everyone can be on a level with their fans like these guys can be. On top of how incredible this group of guys are, they are 100% independent. Having gone the label route, they abandoned being attached to the mainstream and branched out to do their own thing. Now, this isn’t a small feat to begin with, but add in the fact that they record, mix and master their own media at the same time!

With that being said, their latest album Manifesto, which was released late in 2016, has a special place in my heart. This was/is the comeback album of all comeback albums. Not just in a, “we are here” kind of way, but the lyrics and the sound emulate that of an internationally recognized band. One particular song that will forever stay with me is “Fighter”. Why you ask? Well, we have all had a moment where we have had to fight. Whether it was for something or someone, to stay alive, to stay relevant, or even just to get through the day ahead. The song, when I first heard it, hit me at my core and motivated the hell out of me to do what I am doing today (giving unsigned bands a media outlet that is).

At the end of the day, I have to thank these dudes for a lot of what motivated me to get where I am today. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, please do so. They are worth your time and energy!

New Supergroup The Fell release new single “Footsteps”

The Fell – is an exciting new band consisting of rockers Anthony Del A Torre (Young Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) on vocals, Guitar player Mike Krompass (Multi-Platinum music producer and session guitar player), Randy Cooke (notorious session/touring drummer who has recorded/played with a laundry list of greats) and last, but not least, Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) on bass, who needs no introduction.

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Now, for a band with such a powerhouse team of musicians, it is a shocker that this group hasn’t gotten a whole lot of attention, yet. Can you believe they are UNSIGNED? The group has a very unique sound that I can’t quite find an exact comparison for. But if I were to compare them to something, I would say you are getting a mix of Adelita’s Way mixed with 80’s hair band power vocals and rounded out with a hint of blues. Anthony has an incredible vocal range that is just “oh-so-buttery” but leads into a pure rock-and-roll belt. It kind of reminds me a bit of Sahaj Ticotin [vocalist for Ra]. Doesn’t hurt that the dude is a looker either.

Now, back to the song, “Footprints” was just recently remastered with Anthony’s vocals since the recent departure of original singer Toby Rand. Not gonna lie, I absolutely loved the original. The track itself is extremely groovy. But what makes it unique, I could hear this being played in a dive bar to mainstream radio. Dare I say it, I could hear it in a country bar too!

Anthony’s vocals do bring something special that the original singer didn’t have. The range, adaptability, and control that he has made it sound as if the recording of the track was effortless. The gentlemen of The Fell found a true gem in Del A Torre.

The pure grittiness of the video they released alongside the re-master is unlike your normal “studio-style” video. It pairs unique filters and To see how quickly the guys meshed together and created this beautiful remaster of an already amazing track.

As for the track, it is 100% one of my new favorite songs. I have said in reviews before, “catchy song is catchy” and there is no doubt about it that “Footprints” is catchy. I have caught myself listening to the track over and over again without even realizing it.

I give a huge thumbs up to the creative minds behind The Fell, I look forward to this group’s long and healthy future in the industry! You can pick up a copy of the new single on https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/footprints-single/id1260206880

 

Album Review: Darling Waste: The Skeleton Key

So this review has a special place in my heart. I originally got an informal introduction to Darling Waste back in 2010/2011 when I had the utmost honor of being part of the incredible staff team that made up the Myrtle Beach Zombie Walk. During this time, I had a chance to meet the mastermind behind the band; Lance Waste. Lance and I have stayed in contact on/off since.

Lance is joined by an incredible team of musicians that make up Darling Waste. You have Madeline Hoyle on guitar, Donnie Talbott on drums and rounding out the foursome Kelli Stilgenbauer on bass. Now I call this a “team of musicians” because they aren’t your typical band, they truly work together in unison to make the music work.

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Now I was given a sneak peek of the new album “The Skeleton Key”, and it put me in such a giddy and happy mood. When this girl, right here, gets hints of Blink-182 mixed with some of AFI (not the recent stuff, we are talking the old punk days) it makes me ridiculously happy. So happy in fact, if my ears could smile, they were while giving it a listen.

I don’t want to give away too much on the album, but any punky-pop fan is going to love this one for sure. The tracks “Sing Along Time” and “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” are the epitome of what I call a “road-trip” song. Essentially,  you learn the words and they are stuck. Don’t judge me too hard for saying this, but those two are going to be right next to Journey on my road trip playlist.

There was a bit of a shocker on the album that I didn’t see coming, “Hurt Before” is a slower tempo love type of a song, but, it so happens to feature one of my favorite up and coming front ladies Stef with an F from City of the Weak. The mix between the to vocal styles gave me goosebumps once Stef’s first verse kicked in. This song definitely deserves a round of applause in the “jaw dropping” department.

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When asked about the album Lance had to say, “This album was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It took four years to write and record. I almost gave up on it several times. The album weaves in and out of itself lyrically. Each song on this album has a companion song as well. Touring the world for three years straight ended with me getting detained and removed from England, where I was living at the time. I was super depressed. I was cut off from my band, my girlfriend and all of my belongings. I went to Myrtle Beach and spent the summer being massively self destructive, which is the song “How I Spent Me Summer Vacation” then the summer ends and the romance falls apart in “How To Avoid Large Ships”, “Sing along Time”, “Dead at 27” and “The Same Old Song” all tackle the subject of growing up and maturing in the music scene, while “I am the Villain” is a response to a poisonous relationship and “Hurt Before” is the events that came right after the events in Villain. Each song is a story from the past couple years of my life, written in real time as they were happening. The toughest song to write and perform is”Shattered/Divine” , which is my bedside plea to my mother to wake up while she was in a coma.”

Overall I am thoroughly impressed with “The Skeleton Key” and what Darling Waste is bringing to the table in 2017. Please make sure you grab a copy when the album drops on August 11th courtesy of Imminence Records. These guys and gals really put a ton of blood, sweat and tears into the making of this incredible record.

You can pick up a pre-order copy of Darling Waste’s “The Skeleton Key” on Amazon, GooglePlay Music, iTunes and more. Click the link for direct information on the pre-order. http://smarturl.it/kzwfm8

How to Survive a Music Festival: Part Two – International Edition

Hey Angel-Phoenix nation!! I apologize about the brief hiatus but boy, it was well worth it. Joe and I had the honor of heading up to Montebello, Quebec in Canada for a massive festival called Montebello Rock Fest at the end of June.

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Now let me tell you, going to a festival in another country was no small feat. Having been to festivals such as Carolina Rebellion and Warped Tour in the past, we had some what of an idea of what to expect. But boy, did we get a ton of unexpected. When you are attending a festival with over 100,000 attendees that takes over an entire town that normally has about 1,000 residents, you never know what is going to hit you. So this is going to be part two of my “Surviving a Music Festival” advice series. (You can find part one here at Ryze-Up Magazine.)

  • First off, let me start with this. Schedule extra days for travel and exploring. For us, we were smack dab in between Montreal and Ottawa, which are two of the biggest cities in that particular area. The last thing you want to do is get off a flight and rush straight into the festival the next day. We planned things so that we arrived early the first day and had one exploration/relaxation day prior to the start of the festivities. We also added an additional day at the end prior to our travel day back. I am telling you, these days were life savers.

 

  • Speaking of extra days, always plan for an extra day after you return. Once again, big life saver for Joe and I because who knew that lightning could halt an entire airport for 5 hours. So don’t go overboard and rush yourselves to get back to work or daily life.
  • One of the biggest mistakes that we made was not taking vitamin c prior to the trip. When we came back, I kid you not, I was “on my death-bed” sick with the flu for the entire week after we got back into North Carolina. It was the worst. You never know if you are going to be on a flight with someone who has the “cooties” or even worse. Same goes for the festival itself, you are packing thousands of people into a small area. Germs and bacteria galore, better safe than sorry right?
  • Learn some of the language. We were lucky that I know a bit of French and was able to translate things. I will tell you everyone will assume you know the language unless you tell them differently. The phrases, “Do you speak English?”, “Thank You”, and “Excuse Me” will take you far.
  • Pull out local currency when you get into the country. We got hit with TONS of international transaction fees from our bank. Even though we technically had more money to spend because of the currency difference, it was over $50 in transaction fees we would much of rather spent than had been charged for.

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  • As stated in “Part 1”, ponchos…. I am telling you. We were ankle-deep in mud and the rain was not stopping for us. If you can’t take rain boots with you, try to find some there if you can. Poor Joe had to throw a pair of tennis shoes away while we were up there.
  • VIP – if it is available, get it. This was the ONLY way we were able to enjoy our favorite bands without having to practically suffocate from lack of space. We were lucky that our VIP included a “front stage” access area that allowed us to have some elbow room.

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  • See some of the local bands, now these don’t have to be your typical locals. See bands that are from the country you are visiting. You might be surprised about what your ears may have a chance to hear. I personally fell in love with a group called “The Deadly Apples” which happened to be the founder of the festival’s band. (You’ll get a review post about these dudes soon.)
  • Merch – buy it early if you can. The first thing we did was bee-line for the merch tent when we got on the festival grounds. The last thing you want to do is be “merch-less” and be unable to buy your favorite band’s shirt. By the time we got to the merch tent, they were already close to selling out of a lot of things.

I have to say, Montebello Rock Fest was one of the most incredible festivals I think I have ever and will ever go to. The people and the experience is one that I will never forget, that is for sure! That’s all I have for you guys right now! If you have any tip, tricks, or advice let us know! We always love to hear about your festival adventures!

Artist Alert – Nine Shrines

 

Hey Angel-Phoenix nation! Tiffany here with a preview of a group that we recently had a chance to check out at The Throne Theater in our hometown Wilmington, NC. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised to see, what should be, a more well-known act on tour with the legendary Nonpoint and Hinder.

Nine Shrines is a hard rock group based out of Columbus, Ohio. Originally founded back in April of 2014, the group is taking the music world by storm one city at a time. The group consists of former members from musical acts, Attack! Attack!, Downplay and Life on Repeat. Their sheer live power makes them a group that should not be ignored.

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If you haven’t heard of Nine Shrines, well you should stop reading this right now and head over to their Facebook page and give it a like. These guys in my opinion, stole the show during their recent stop in NC.  So let’s get down to what makes these guys so incredible.

First off, their sound. Their live sound is so polished and is absolutely a blast to listen to. To be a successful touring artist you can’t just have a good stage sound right? Well these guys have an incredible stage presence as well. How you ask, well I am glad you asked. Front man Chris Parketny has this emotive personality that catches the attention of anyone who is around him. My favorite thing was that you could see his animated gestures from across the room which makes it an interactive performance without even trying.  Chris is so engulfed in his on-stage character that he just so happened to knock his head, bleeding mind you, and just kept going like nothing ever happened.

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The group just released their debut EP Misery back in April of this year. After seeing their live performance, I had to grab a copy to see how these dudes sounded in recorded form. I can tell you, recorded or live these guys do not disappoint. It is very evident that they guys know what they are doing being the seasoned professionals that they are. So far my favorite track on the EP is “King of Mercy”. Just everything about song is phenomenal and it still stuck in my head two days later. Misery is going to be an album that will be on repeat for months to come.

It is very rare, that I regret not having a photo pass for a show. But I am kicking myself for not reaching out. These guys would have made the entire night worth it. Nine Shrines is still currently out on tour with Nonpoint and Hinder through the beginning of June. You can grab tickets by visiting this link and selecting your date.