Music, What makes you happy?

Progressive

Steampunk Group from the UK……BB BlackDog, talks.

This group has listed itself as Alternative/Psychedelic/Stoner/SteamPunk as well as Progressive/Rock, what you can say about them is they have a style that is fun and innovative. Dale Rowles was kind enough to give me a little information about the group.

How did you get started, little history bio basically?

Well, not an easy question really, BB BlackDog formed completely by Accident, as with most things that happen to us, I was selling musical instruments for a living, and met a Guitar
builder (Stefan Becker) at a party in Germany, he had been given some studio time by a friend for his Birthday, and said it would be funny to try and make some songs, with just 2
bass and drums, so we found a session drummer, wrote 6 songs in 3 days and recorded them in 2, I thought nothing more of it, until a phone call from Germany, saying they had been
put on the net, people loved them, and we’d better find a Full time Drummer and record more, so Enter “Axel Boldt” (Chief Engineear Axel Boldt) 6’9″ giant of a German Drummer.
We went back to the studio, recorded 2 Albums worth of Material, and booked our first Tour, back in June 2007.
Stefan Left due to other commitments in 2010, replaced By John Ferguson (Baron von Gimphausen). Plus Myself Dale Rowles on the higher bass and vocals.

What or who inspired you?
At the moment the Steampunk Community, We never actually set out to be anything, just write and play songs we like, but were adopted by the steampunk community, mostly after John joined, due to our stage outfits, but since then, we’ve embraced it fully, as it just suits us perfectly. Must be said that without Jack Bruce, Geezer Butler, Geddy Lee, and Chris Squire I wouldn’t have been a bass player.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
We’ve 2 full sets of Kit, but got everything down to a little over 2 flight cases each.
John Plays a Custom Built 5 String Beckergittarrenbau Bass, or a 5 string Stingray Bass we’ve fiddled with a bit.
Axel Plays a Custom Yamaha Drum Kit in Sparkly pink, or a Kit he built himself from Ikea Plant pots !
I play a Rickenbacker 4001, Bass from 1974, without a neck pickup and extended to 24 frets with a crybaby wha and boss blues driver, or a custom built Beckergittarrenbau 4 string bass with built in overdrive and a crybaby wha, Honer Marine Band Harmonica and an AKG D5 Mike.
We also get a bose L1 and 4 B1’s plus a mixer and mikes etc in the 2 box’s, so self contained in 2 flight cases including drums.

What do you listen too?
Quite varied, Axel like’s funk, Prince, grand master Flash and the like, as well as metal and rock, John is a big Pink Floyd and Jazz fan, but he’s very knowledgeable across the board, As for my influences, I grew up in the 70’s so progressed from T Rex and Bowie into Black Sabbath, and Deep purple, the psychedelic Rock scene, then Punk, but I’m quite varied in my listening now, I suppose it all comes through.

What makes you happy? sad?
My Girlfriend would say its whether Derby county win or not, but I think apart from the clichés its when I’m playing that I’m happiest, there’s a lot things I see in this world I’m sad about, but I try and only think about the ones I can do something about, the rest I probably moan about in songs.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
What’s that ?

If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Pretty much doing it. like to be playing and writing more, but its a reality booking, promo, web sites, labels and the like take more of my time, we’ve a lot of help from some great friends and fans now, but it’s still a full time job organising everything.

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
We’re 2 bass players, and a drummer, 2 English and a German, with a love of the Steampunk style and philosophy, just trying to make some original honest music, what you get on the recordings is what you get live, we don’t overdub, use click tracks, or Auto tune, just mike everything up and play, of course there’s delay and reverb etc on the recordings, as well as being mixed and mastered but nothing we can’t do live simply and quickly.
3 Simple Men playing simple and hopefully entertaining/humorous music. (we do have dancers, of Burlesque and belly dance in nature, with us at many of our shows, but nothing to graphic, just suggestive, we are Steampunks after all ! )

Have you got another album in the works and/or music videos?
We’ve already recorded the Next Album, artwork on the way, this one is with a 24 page comic book featuring the Band, hopefully out in March.
Actually made a few Music Video’s, latest of which is at, always have a lot of fun, most of them directed and edited at least by Mika Reshoft, our friend from Germany
http://blip.tv/bbblackdog/what-you-need-by-bb-blackdog-5842160
We’ve also made a full feature film “Steal the show” out on DVD with a couple of live concerts as bonus.

Could you tell me a little about your manager and label.
Well, we manage ourselves.
We’ve our own label “Whitedog records” and our own webshop “www.steampunkrecords.com
While I’m doing the cheeky plugs, www.bbblackdog.eu and www.facebook.com/bbblackdog for Gigs and info
Thanks a Lot, its appreciated, Cheers Dale Rowles.

You can also find them at MySpace and YouTube.
And Thank you Dale.


Dream Aria……exciting and awesome from Canada.


Dream Aria made received “Top Band of the Year” from MySpace recently, and with the vibe they send out it’s not surprising. I just recently sat down and listened to their latest album “Fallen Angel” and indeed I was blown away. They are listed as Rock/Progressive/World Music/Alternative
I got the chance to ask Ann a little bit about the band and here is what he shared.

How did you get started, little history bio basically?
Don Stagg (composer/keyboardist/executive producer) started the project in 2003 I believe and I joined the band in April of 2004. Don found me on the internet as a “singer for hire”. I feel very blessed that he contacted me! He was already working with Garry Flint (drummer/engineer/producer) on a number of songs. They had me come in to have a listen and I loved what I heard. I did an audition of sorts and started writing and recording with them that very day. The rest is history! The music started out more classical and evolved to progressive rock with elements of new age, ambient, goth and world music. Don had also hired Jozef Pilasanovic on guitar and Garry was writing and recording bass and drum parts. Our first cd was “In The Wake” as this lineup. For our second cd “Transcend”, we hired new guitarists: Steve Agelakos, Kurt Schefter, Mark Crossley and Tim Welch. We then brought bassist Jon Casselman on board for bass. Lonnie Glass played bass on the song “Compassion” and Alberto Suarez played congas on the same tune. “Transcend” was a bit ‘heavier’ and more of a ‘focused’ sound that truly became our own. “Fallen Angel”, our newest release, is a bit heavier than the others but remained our signature sound. We added even more guitarists to our ‘all-star’ lineup. Kurt and Tim played on quite a few tracks and we also hired Mark Crossley, Rob Masiokas for the song “The Gift”, Mike Phelps on “Abstract Relations”and Mark McClay on “Carnival of Souls”. Dream Aria would not be the same without any of the members of the band. They are all integral creative forces. Their professionalism and awesome personalities add so much to the mix!

What or who inspired you?
Personally, I have many inspirations. Life lessons, artists, animals, dancers, singers and all musicians and music in general! I grew up listening to classical music, then Crystal Gayle, Abba, as well as many of the rock to hard rock bands of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Some of my favorites were Toto, Deep Purple, Streetheart and the Scorpions. I also listened to some New Age including Andreas Vollenweider. As for the rest of the band, I know some of the musical influences are Peter Gabriel, Old Genesis, Debussy, The Beatles, Progressive Rock and more.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
As a singer, I only use a mic, whatever is handy in the studio. I don’t pay attention to the make or model etc. I just sing and let Garry do the engineering.
{Don Stagg keyboard player uses Korg Karma/Roland Fantom/Yamaha Motif}

What do you listen to?
I listen to the bands I listed in question #2. Currently I also listen to Chris Botti, DcTalk, Queen City Kids, Kansas and an ecclectic mix of many others depending on my mood.

What makes you happy? sad?
Many things make me happy, such as good company, great food, all kinds of music (listening to and creating), art (viewing and creating it), dance (watching and also dancing myself), people who overcome obstacles, my family, all animals (especially dogs), learning new things, helping others, inspiring others, warm sunny days, traveling, exploring, reading thrillers and inspirational books, watching good movies, flowers, chocolate, tea and so on! What makes me sad is any kind of abuse towards people, animals and the earth.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Many of the things I listed in question #5, but most of all, spending time with my beautiful angel daughter, my family and my dog.

If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Have enough money to help everyone who needs it and to inspire and help others as much as possible.

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
I’m a little ‘firecracker’ but would never hurt a fly!
Check out ReverbNation, MySpace, Facebook, Dream Aria.
Thanks again to Ann for taking the time to talk to us.


Broken Tongues……Denver Group with flair.

Floating around the Denver scene I came across this fun group.They list themselves as Alternative/Hip Hop/Jazz/Funk/Progressive.
Their new album Crooked Skyline is available from their website, but I asked them to give me a moment of their time to introduce you to them.

How did you get started, little history bio basically?
Greensleeves: Greensleeves and Zach are brothers who formed the band in 2007 right before they moved back to Denver, Colorado from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their previous band was breaking up and the brothers decided to take the opportunity to move in a new creative direction. Then in 2008, Loose Change and Greensleeves, both Smoky Hill High grads, met through mutual friends and shared common interests in music. Greens was an engineer at CCM Studios and Loose Change came in to record an initial version of a song he’d just written called “Sunrises” (a current version is on “Crooked Skyline”). The two really vibed so Greensleeves proposed having LC join the group. The three began writing and performing around Denver, but after a couple of shows in early 2009, the three of them realized that they needed to add live instruments to take it to the next level. So they took out some craigslist adds in the Denver area seeking Bass and Drums. Both, Erin and Donny responded and auditioned. The rhythm section, with Zach on guitar, Erin on bass and Donny on drums, formed a nice pocket while Greens and LC scratched and rhymed over vamps. We knew we had something going so the five of us started jamming together regularly. Meanwhile, CC and Zach were working together downtown for a media/music/production firm. They too saw common ground in their musical interests and goals, so Zach invited CC to audition. She killed it and we added her shortly thereafter. Thus, six members. We’ve now been together as a six-piece for just under two years and we just released our debut album titled, Crooked Skyline, which was engineered by Greensleeves at CCM Studios. Be sure to give it a listen, it’s very dynamic and unique. We are very proud of it.

What or who inspired you?
Greens: I would say that we are inspired by lots of things in general, whether it be an emotion that needs appreciation, a situation that deserves attention or just about anything that’s relevant and provokes interesting thoughts. As six members our musical interests and motivations certainly differ, yet keeping an open mind to anything I think is what really helps us find new paths and approaches to song-writing and performing and being people. That’s why we love live-hip-hop as the nucleus of it all, bc it allows us to explore and mix anything we want. I also try to make it a point to find inspiration and motivation in things that are otherwise disagreeable to my opinion of that thing. Whether it be a song or artist I don’t necessarily care for or a crappy weather-day, I think it’s more about being aware of the inspiration that’s always present than dictating where it is and isn’t. I seem to get a lot of random, yet good ideas while doing manual labor too… so does that make it mindless, or mindful work then? haha

Loose Change: My inspirations are very rooted in hiphop culture from the bboys to the graffiti writers. Being friends with some of the best around (RTD, DF Crew, ATT) only makes me want to excel in my area. I’d like to think my style is a melting pot. Inspiration is so hard to pinpoint it could be listening to music and having a great idea or it could be dunking your fries in some ketchup and something just happens to pop up. Everything and nothing is inspiration. I tend to like looking for the dark irony in situations, ’cause, tell ya the truth, I usually like to use the sadness or doubt I might have to express how I feel.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
Loose Change: MC
Greensleeves: MC, Turntables (Technics 1210s & Pioneer DJM 400, Serato), MPD 32 (Akai digital sampler w/ Reason), Macbook Pro, Percussion (shakers, etc)
Christie “CC” Chambers: Vocals, Percussion (djembe, shakers and tambourine)
Zach Warkentin: Guitar (PRS McCarty hard-tail, Vox Tonelab SE, Fender Deluxe amp/speaker)
Erin Angel: Bass, Keys (Fender Jazz Bass, M-Audio Axiom 49 with a Macbook Pro and Logic Mainstage)
Donny Broussard: Drums (Pacific Drums)

What do you listen too?
Greens: Well, we listen to a lot of things! My brother and I grew up on classic rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop, rap, old soul and RnB, metal, comedy albums and everything in between. Remember the Adam Sandler albums? Or when Metallica made great music? Classics! CC grew up on the rock n roll, folk and jam bands,Donny grew up on Bourbon Street, so he’s got that cajun in him, and Ian’s always had a pension for lyrical MCs and hip-hop culture. Personally, I’ve been getting into a lot of the collage-artists and dub-step lately like Bass Nectar, Bonobo, Wax Tailor and Pretty Lights, while I’ve always admired artists like Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, EWF, George Clinton and P Funk, The Roots, John Scofield, Beastie Boys, Atmosphere and the whole Rhymesayers crew, Quannum Projects crew like Blackalicious and Latyrx, Common, RJD2, Beck, J5 and Ozomatli, Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow, Greyboy, Kid Koala, QBert, BK-One… I also really get down to that 90s hip-hop like Big-L, Wu-Tang, Tribe, Lost Boys, Brand Nubian and De La Soul… the list could go on for a while. Hell, as an audio engineer I have country clients, tejano bands and gangster rappers too! We all love music and I think there’s appealing qualities in any of its forms. So long as there’s soul in it, I suppose. I also listen to a lot of KUVO and enjoy the big bands, jazz, and afro-cuban styles. My brother Zach certainly listens to a lot of that and Im sure he’d throw out a few names like Wes Montgomery, Brad Mehldau, Rafael Sadiq, Roy Hargrove, Coltrane and Miles, as well as Mars Volta, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, etc.

LC: As far as certain artists go I would say people like brother Ali, buck 65, living legends, visionaries, I’m really in to that northwest style like sand people, classified, sweatshop union just to name a few. I love the innovators like Wu-tang, or tribe and de la soul there are so many I could write a full page. People always say I like everything when speaking about genres of music. Well I don’t. I can’t stand country music. I also have a strong dislike for techno or house. It’s weird but I got a strange love for 80’s music, maybe because it was primarily up beat even when the content was not.

What makes you happy? or sad?
Successful performances and making awesome music makes us happy while loading and unloading gear makes us sad…

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Greens: I like just being active in life. I hate being stagnant and inactive. I need to be doing something whether it be a project or just a leisure sport. I love snowboarding and volleyball, drinking good beer, working on musical side-projects and practicing instruments. Smoke ‘n a pancake, bowling, air hockey, bocci ball and corn hole make for entertaining drinking w friends…

LC: In my spare time I love to keep active play bball, hit The gym, write pretty much whatever makes me happy besides making music.

If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Greens: Have a lengthy career making music! No delusions of grandeur or fame, just money to live and do what I do best. I’d also love to tour the world and play sold out shows to people with different native languages. Like, being really popular in obscure countries. That’d be pretty rad.

LC: If I could do anything I want it would most likely be traveling around the world playing music, also owning a clothing store (community service apparel). I would love to have multiple stores all over the country and the world to spread a vision my partners and I have been working very hard on.

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
Our new album, Crooked Skyline, is ON SALE NOW at our website (www.BrokenTongues.com) and it’s the best live-hip-hop since the Roots! Also, Erin Angel and Greensleeves have a music side-project under the name PRESTOdigitist. We have 3 new eps coming out in the spring of 2012 featuring all sorts of styles ranging from Pretty Lights and RJD2, to Lady Gaga (the good shit) and Jay-Z. We also lease and sell exclusive beats and instrumentals regularly in pretty much any genre.

Also, Loose Change owns a really dope boutique clothing store in Denver, off Broadway, called Community Service Apparel. They offer limited edition clothing and great deals on urban gear other stores will not have. Links to all are below. Oh yea, and we have really good night vision and acute hearing.
Check them out!!! Thanks again for your time all.
www.BrokenTongues.com
www.facebook.com/BrokenTongues
www.ReverbNation.com/PRESTOdigitist
www.community-serv.com