What genre of music do you consider yourself to be a part of?
I don’t think about that too much. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say alternative. The only thing that really matters to me is that what’s coming out is a true representation of what’s inside. My stuff flirts with pop a little, but also keeps a good distance from resembling modern pop, which I don’t dig very much.
Who would you compare yourself too?
Is there anyone who has inspired you during your career?
Obviously all of the above, but moreso I tend to draw inspiration from what I feel on the inside – feelings that spring from observations of the world around me, experiences in that world and relationships with the people in that world.
You released your solo – live album “ Listen Close Live” earlier this year. Why did you choose to do a live album? How does it compare to a studio album?
It had been a long time coming. I can’t put my finger on it, but something happens when I’m out in front of a live crowd that is hard to replicate in a studio. There’s always been this disconnect for me, and I’ve known for a while that a live record was something I wanted to do to bridge that gap. It’s nice to let the songs stand there naked and be confident that they’re good just the way they were written.
What is your favorite song to sing live?
I tend to like the ones that are higher energy, songs like Fuck Up, Her, This Cigar, stuff I can really let loose on.
Has anything changed since the release of the album?
It was an important step for me before moving on to working on new songs, finally getting versions of songs out that I feel good about. I needed to close the book on some of those songs.
Is there anything new you can share with us? Either a possible new studio album or EP?
We’re getting close to that point very quickly.
You are only 24 years old; does this have any affect on you in the music industry?
Not for me. My aim is to just write better songs and play my instruments better, and deliver better albums for myself and my fans. What has more impact is that I’ve been in and around the music industry at the highest levels for 6 years now, so I know what’s up and there’s not much that I don’t see coming now. I really feel comfortable navigating it, and in my ability to get the most out of it.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and the beginning of 2014?
Write, write, write, play, play, play. I’m constantly making new stuff and recording new stuff, and breaking it apart and putting it back together. This is the deepest I’ve dove into the pre-studio process, I wanna make sure I’m all the way there before we roll the tape.
Finally, is there anything that you would like to say to our readers?
That’s why I make albums.
From growing up in the coastal New South Wales town of Port Macquarie to selling out shows in his new home of Sydney, Patrick James is working his way up through the ranks. Unselfconscious, honest and humble musicians are a dime-a-dozen; fortunately Patrick James is one of them. Recently releasing his EP All About To Change, Patrick reflects with us about his experiences, and future goals. Pick up his new EP here via Create/Control and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
You come off as a singer/songwriter folk artist, what would you say that your genre of music is?
My music is based around the folk singer/songwriter style. I think that can be shaped the way you want it to. Really keen to explore how I can develop my sound so that could change.
Who would you compare yourself too?
I definitely wouldn’t compare myself to any established artist but I think someone I look up to in the Australian scene is Josh Pyke. Having toured with him this year and having been a fan for quite some time I think for any singer/songwriter in Australia he is someone to watch and get inspiration from.
You released your EP “All About to Change” in early 2013. Can you tell us what its like to release your first EP?
It was great to release the EP after touring a lot the year before and gaining fans. Having a small but solid fan base to release the project to was exciting. I worked hard on it and it was a really good stepping stone to get to the next level and put myself in a good position for the next bit of music to come out.
What was the main inspiration behind it?
Working on it for so long and making a bedroom set up work was a challenge and we did have a lot of time for trial and error, so throughout the process there was a lot of external music that we were listening to and getting inspiration from. The biggest inspiration was probably a solo artist James Vincent McMorrow. The sound he had for his debut album was something we based the production around.
Is there any song in particular that speaks the most to you on a personal level?
I would say ‘Stay’ which is a simple electric and vocal song would have to be the most personal song on the EP. It was a different process writing that song compared to the others. I wrote the lyrics a while ago just as a poem before any music had been written and then shaped instruments around that. It was interesting to do it that way because most of the time the melody and chords come first.
Has anything changed after the release? Either about yourself, or your music?
The EP has given the chance to tour a lot this year and further the fan base which is really what I am going for in these early stages . Each time you release something it’s a learning curve to see what works and to see what approaches will give you as much success as possible for that EP or song. I feel that it has been good for that but really looking forward to developing the sound again and to keep reshaping.
You are also about to release a new single, is there anything that you can tell us about it?
The sound is a lot bigger in sound and production. That came through when we recorded with producer Wayne Connolly at Alberts studio in Sydney. It was great recording with a full band this time around also and that fuller sound definitely comes through as a result of making the most of the guys in the band. The song is called ‘Wait’ and is due out on the 22nd of October.
Is this a taste of perhaps a new album to come soon?
Perhaps! It will be the first single off a new EP or Album release but I plan to release a few more songs before hand.
You are about to tour around Australia starting November 7th. What’s the music scene like in Australia?
The Australian music scene is great! There is a real excitement about new music at the moment and the acoustic/folk scene is very communal and supportive of new bands. The November tour will be a great way to make the most of the fans we have made this year from supporting other artists and also to try out new songs.
Have you ever thought about doing a tour internationally either USA, or Europe, etc.?
I think about it all the time and really hope to get over soon. The more I release music the more necessary it will be to take it abroad. There are some great international acts I would love to tour with around the States especially and hopefully those opportunities will come soon.
Other than the tour, what’s next for Patrick James?
A lot more recording of new songs!!
Vernon recently decided to venture into and promote other projects he is involved in. In early 2013 he joined up with Brian Moen, and Phil Cook to create, or rather to bring back, The Shouting Matches. In 2008, the Shouting Matches released their debut album, Mouthoil which was recently released again due to the bands newfound fame. Now they have regrouped to bring you their latest album, Grownass Man. For those who don’t know about The Shouting Matches, they have a different sound compared to what you are used to from Vernon, and Bon Iver. With strong electric guitar strumming, and Vernon’s dynamic voice, the band is more known for their blues vibe. Vernon’s wide vocal range is utilized to bring out a new, more powerful sound, and is a big must listen for all Bon Iver fans wanting more songs during their hiatus.
Fans of Eric Hutchinson may have watched one of his shows on his “Almost Solo Tour”, where he traveled with touring band member, Elliot Blaufuss, performing acoustic versions of his songs. But if you didn’t get the chance, luckily Hutchinson decided to record one of his tour stops in New York City and release a new live album.
This album consists of not only six of his hits, but also a few comical stories of his life as well as origins of some of his songs, allowing the full experience of a live show. The six songs are pulled from both of his albums “Sounds Like This” and “Moving Up, Living Down”, as well as a brand new track called “Shine on Me” which comes with a small story of the song’s inspiration.
Best part of this album is that it is free to the first one million fans that share either via Facebook or Twitter. If you are a big fan of Eric Hutchinson, this is a must get addition to your collection while it’s still available. You can find the album here; hurry now before its too late!
1. OK, Its Alright With Me
2. Watching You Watch Hom
3. Breakdown More
4. Outside Villanova
5. Shine On Me
6. Rock & Roll
I recently got the opportunity to speak with the lead guitarist, Jason of We Are Monroe about the release of their debut self-titled EP and their plans for the future. You can read our review of the EP here as well as check out their website and Facebook page for show information and more. Read the interview below, and if you want to download and listen to the full interview you can do so here.
First off, can you please tell the names of the members in the band and their roles?
Pat – He’s singer and does a little bit of back guitar
Ben – Who plays Drums
Pete – Whose on the bass and does a bit of back vocals
Jason – Plays most of the lead guitar and does some back vocals
How did you guys meet?
Ben and Pete known each other since grade school kept in touch throughout the years. Ben was a hired musician and when they both finished school, Pete wanted to join the band, so they played music together for a while. When their last project ended, they wanted to start something up and I met those guys at the beginning of a new adventure they were trying to start through a mutual friend, another musician who was supposed to be in the band. Right away we really clicked, we were musically, initially compatible. We started as a three – piece, and eventually we realized that we wanted to move into a more, rock, direction. I realized that my voice was suited more to acoustic/folk stuff, and it didn’t fit to what we were trying to do. So we found Pat, who was in another band. And we kind of stole him from that band as they were kind of coming to an end anyway. He was at the top of our list, and we jammed with a few guys, but he was the top of our list, eventually he came back form travelling and agreed to come by, and then it became obvious that something was happening that was really cool.
Where did the name “We are Monroe” come from?
We were kinda brain storming one day, and after a while, the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe stood out. Sort of like the Warhol Pictures. There was something about it that seemed cool, and matched the aesthetic of it. Originally we wanted Monroe, so we Google searched it to see if it was available, but there was an obscure band that we had never heard of that didn’t seem to have much going on, but we didn’t wanna take any chances, so eventually we slowly added the “We Are” on and the “We Are” is the collective idea, the reference is the spirit of the collective, and that’s where that came from.
What genre would you classify as? Who would you compare yourself too?
A lot of the bands tend to reference/fall under is post-punk revival. Sort of like what The Strokes are doing when they first came up, and same thing as The Killers. It’s a title really and post-punk revival is something that is easiest for us to say. Its rock, there are some pop sensibilities. It’s more of the mood/vibe when it really comes down to it. The more we write songs, or the more we try to tap into what we continuously worked towards as our sound. It’s a point of reference, but from there it’s more about the mood of the song. We knew what we were good at, but eventually we kinda just opened up a little more.
What is the music scene like in Montreal?
For a band like us there is still something indie – rockish there is a good collection of bands that are really active and gigging around, still helping each other out. Overall Montreal has become pretty eclectic about not necessarily one type of band, but about seeing what kind of bands can matchup and cross genres. The one thing that keeps coming back is the sense of community. I think there are a lot of the gaps that perhaps could’ve existed 5 – 10 years ago when Montreal was starting to get the reputation as the next “Hot Bed” for music. That bridged a lot of gaps, so that young bands who are just starting out could associate with bands what had a little bit more of a track record.
Which artists were your inspiration when you were growing up?
When I was younger, and a bit more naïve, I had a distorted view of what it meant to be in a band and have success. There were bands that matched up to that like Radiohead, Green Day, Weezer or Oasis. In the last 5 – 10 years since I’ve been in Montreal and being in bands, gigging and touring a little bit you develop a deeper appreciation of working in the industry. As well as the different levels of what it is to be successful. For me now, any level that would continuously keep me making music, touring, being able to make record and make a living. To become a “Working Class Band”.
Ok now on to the EP! You recently released your first self-titled EP. How did you see it turning out? Did it turn out the way you wanted it to?
We recorded that EP back in November. Going into the recording process we had a list of songs, which we could choose from, and a limited amount of time. We were trying to figure out what would make sense in what songs to put on, and how many songs it should be. We recorded in this old school studio, so it was a bit more out of the pocket to do it. All these factors made us have to decide what was going to be on the EP. The mixing was only a matter of 3 – 4 days. We had an amazing time, that it became just the fact that it was less about the songs, and more about the experience. We got the first part of the rough mixes a couple weeks later, and we were convinced it would be something we weren’t expecting. Everywhere we listened to it, it just kept surprising us because it was cool listening to it in other locations. All in all we had a great experience and we’re really happy how it turned out.
Why choose to release an EP first instead of an album?
The EP was already what we felt was good for us. For a lot of different reasons; being an independent band, not having a label behind it. It was the reality of where we were at the time. The idea of a full album is not over, its not like people are not gonna get it. For now we gravitated towards the notion of the idea of releasing less music but more frequently. Let people know where you’re at, and let people see you evolve as the months go by. It’s easier to do independently.
What was the main inspiration behind the EP?
The sonic element of having it being raw and trying to avoid putting in extra instrumentations that wouldn’t be live. A real representation of what people can expect to see when they come to see a show. Also the fact that we did the bed tracks, like the drums, bass and main guitar was all live off the floor, it gives the EP a that other raw element.
Can you tell me anything special about your songwriting process?
It differs from song to song, generally we write very democratically. A lot of songs will start with either a guitar riff, or a beat to have a rhythm section. Its lot of jamming is what it is. Sometimes Pat comes in with a vocal melody and we come in to cater that melody. Sometimes a song will take forever to come together, sometimes it takes weeks. Sometimes it’s a challenge cause you want it to sound good and have high expectations. Some best songs we feel we’ve written were written in 15 minutes, creating the melodies.
Why did you choose these for songs four songs for the EP? Do the songs have any special or significant meanings behind them?
Give Me Some Love was one of the first songs written as the four of us after pat joined the band. We felt really, really strongly about. It came together really quickly and we had a good feeling about it right away. It the oldest song on the EP, and it was sort of a no brainer to have a song like that on the EP as an easy introduction. Old Orchard made the cut do it its brute energy. You can’t hide behind a song like that, because it’s fast and fun and energetic which is what we want to show that we’re about. Modern Day Gentleman was newer at that point and it was a really different than everything else we had written at that point. Tear Yourself Apart was all about the vibe and darkness of the song. It’s a creepy kind of song. But what happens on the guitar is interesting to our sound and us. There were a few others songs we were interested in. We recorded five but it didn’t come out the way we wanted.
So is there anything you can say about a second EP or new album in the future?
We’ve been talking about the idea of trying to release music more frequently, but less songs at a time. There are 3 – 4 people that are interested in working with us and help record our music. We’re gonna try to build up a few collection of songs over the weeks and months until the end of the summer. When the rest of the guys get back after vacation in the fall, then we will go into it. We don’t now if its gonna be 1 – 2 songs a month, but its gonna be often. Also trying to exploit YouTube as a means to get out there, by doing live performances and putting that online.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Any tours that should be noted?
A few things happening in Montreal between now and end of August. An acoustic showcase on 17th at Le Petit Medley through Yo Montreal Production Company. There might be a Montreal show, a show in Quebec. Through Facebook and our website we can put all shows and tour [Linked above]. We post in there as often as possible.
Great that’s about it for me; do you have any last words?
We’re excited about meeting new people and playing in new cities. We’re always excited to play wherever we are welcomed and meeting people. Trying to make ourselves accessible, and talking to people and build a fan base one person at a time. If anyone is interested check out our shows, write messages, email or tweet to us.
Released: January 14, 2013
The Montreal based band, We Are Monroe at the start of this year released their self-titled EP. It opens up with the track, Give Me Some… which right off the bat demonstrates their signature style of commanding vocals and post-punk guitar work. The fast paced guitar riffs and bass licks accompanied by frontman, Pat Gomes’ vocals create a catchy tune. Next up is Modern Day Gentlemen, stylistically similar to songs by Interpol and The Bravery, allows the listener to really understand and identify with the intricate melodies and percussion encompassing of the genre. The powerful vocals in the chorus highlight the undeniable passion for music that the band has. At times the pace is picked up, but this calmer listen really supplements the rest of the EP.
The third track, Old Orchard once again demonstrates the post-punk rock component of the band. It’s a personal favorite of mine, as you can fully hear the range of the vocalist, and each instrumental component is perfectly crafted to create a coherent standout track. Finally on the EP, there is Tear Yourself Apart, a perfect closing song. With a soft start up and an end that provides a bang, it allows a great finish to a fantastic EP. With intriguing powerful vocals, and catchy melodies, this self-titled EP should be appreciated due to the evident vision that was implemented into its creation. Fans of indie, post-punk, and rock will truly love their musical genius and hopefully help this band continue to grow and produce more music. Check out their website, Facebook page and Soundcloud for more information, and stayed tuned for an interview with the band in the coming weeks.
Standout Tracks: “Give Me Some…”, “Old Orchard”
Released: January 16, 2012
I am surprised by the absence of publicity for Ambassadors and their most recent record Litost. In 2006, the band started to get going, when unfortunately their keyboardist Casey Harris ended up in the hospital, needing a kidney transplant to survive. During that time, the members separated temporarily and Sam Harris went on to write much of what is now Litost.
This release appeals to indie rock fans as it provides both calm tunes such as Litost, and head nodding tracks like Unconsolable. The standout feature from this album is the raw emotion implemented in the songs, as I have always been a fan of vocalists who mean the words that are being sung. Once word spreads about this album, people will acknowledge this underrated band, and help propel them to the recognition they deserve.
Standout Tracks: “Falls”,“Unconsolable”,“Lay Me Down”
5. (O Death)
6. Lay Me Down
7. Caged Animals
Matt Corby has also released four other EPs: Into the Flame, Transition to Colour, My False, and Song For… This artist is not only meant for fans of folk music, but everyone. He writes powerful songs to pump you up, as well as more emotional laid back ones to listen to when relaxing. He is currently in the studio writing and recording for his debut album which is scheduled to be released next year. To keep up to date, you can check out his website and his Facebook Page where you can download his music.
They met. They fell in love.
They wrote songs.
They fought. They made up.
They broke up.
They wrote songs.
The Falls focus their songwriting on documenting the love, betrayal, and the heartbreak of relationships. This Sydney based indie/folk duo decided that it would be better to create music, rather than just wallow in sadness. These fledgling recordings were just the beginning of what has become their debut EP HOLLYWOOD, which will soon be released sometime during March in North America.
Known for their live performances, and the emotion that is put into them, The Falls create intoxicating melodies, paralleled with their signature elegant harmonies. With an unmistakable sound, barefoot collaborators and best friends The Falls are definitely worth watching out for in 2013. For more information you can check out their website, and see their North American tour dates below.
NEW YORK, NY
7 March : 8:00PM – COMMUNION: ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL
24 March : 2:00PM – SONS OF ESSEX : THE AUSSIE BBQ
LOS ANGELES, CA
10 March : 3:30PM – THE ECHO : THE AUSSIE BBQ
SXSW AUSTIN, TX
12 March : 1:15PM – B.D. RILEY’S PUB : SHE’LL BE RIGHT
12 March : 6:15PM – in.gredients : in.sessions
14 March : 4PM – OPAL DIVINE’S : Sweet Tea and Pumpkin Pie Showcase
14 March : 12AM – STEPHEN F’S BAR : OFFICIAL SHOWCASE
15 March : 1:00PM – RUSTY’S AUSTIN : Swing House/Hype Music/D’addario
15 March : 2:50PM – HYDE PARK : Dejaset
16 March : 12:45PM – MAGGIE MAE’S : THE AUSSIE BBQ
16 MARCH : 9:00PM – The Tap Room at Six : OFFICIAL SHOWCASE
17 March : 9PM – THE FIREHOUSE : BLUE SKY OVER OVER AUSTIN
CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK TORONTO, ON
20 March : 1:00AM – CAMERON HOUSE BACKROOM : OFFICIAL SHOWCASE
21 March : 7:40PM – CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY : SOUND GALLERY