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Interview: The Calm Blue Sea

A couple of weeks ago I made a post-rock playlist for MiaoMix and included “Quiet” by The Calm Blue Sea. That was a song that really blew me away the first time I listened to it. I recently got the chance to talk with Steve (drummer) and Kyle (bassist) from the band. We talked about working on new material, the music scene in Austin, comparisons to other post-rock bands, and more. They were really nice guys and it was a pleasure to get the chance to talk with them. Steve started out the interview and then Kyle came in about halfway into the interview.

What are your names and specific roles in the band?

Steve: I’m Steve and I play drums and we all write.

So you and Kyle (bassist) were both there when the band started?

Steve: I guess I’m an original member and Kyle is not. He’s our 2nd or 3rd bass player, but he’s been with us since 2009 so I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

Why did you guys choose the name The Calm Blue Sea?

Steve: Okay, I have no explanation for that. Maybe Chris does, but they had it when I got in already. (more…)

Interview: Max Tannone Talks ‘Ghostfunk’

Max Tannone, the producer behind JaydioheadMos Dub, and Dub Kweli, has just released his brand new mashup project. This time, he pairs Wu-Tang Clan‘s Ghostface Killah up with African funk to create Ghostfunk. Just hours after the album’s release, Max took some time to discuss his new project with us. Check it out below.

Download Ghostfunk:


Interview: fun.

Nate Ruess, vocalist of fun., took some time to talk with Lost in the Sound. fun. is currently on the Vices and Virtues tour with Panic! at the Disco and Funeral Party. Two years after releasing critically acclaimed album,Aim and Ignite, the band is finally working on a sophomore album. Nate talked about the current tour, the new album, and more. Check out the interview below.

LitS: Nate, right now you’re in the middle of the Vices & Virtues tour. How has that been?

Nate: It’s been really fun. People are super nice and there’s been nothing to complain about. A very stock answer, but true.

LitS: You always describe fun.’s live shows as a “whirling dervish” of music. Has anything changed from these live shows over the years?

Nate: No. It still feels kind of the same. There’s still a kind of raw energy to the shows where we’re always smiling.

LitS: Are there any differences between your live shows with fun. and The Format?)

Nate: Yeah, of course. There’s been different songs and a whole different bunch of things. Aside from me, everything is totally different. (more…)

Interview: Balance and Composure

Balance and Composure vocalist/guitarist Jon Simmons took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. Having recently released Separation through No Sleep Records, the band is beginning to become very well known in the current music scene. Simmons talked about the response to the new record, upcoming tour plans, and the bands he supports. Check out the full interview below.

LitS: Firstly, could you list each member in the band and what they play?

Jon Simmons – Vocals/guitar

Andy Slaymaker – Guitar/vocals

Erik Petersen – Lead guitar

Matt Warner – Bass

Bailey Van Ellis – Drums

LitS: You guys just released your first full length, Separation, on May 10. What has the fans’ response been like so far?

The fans’ response has been unreal so far. We couldn’t be happier with the reaction or the fact that our fans are so supportive by telling other people about the record. It is rare that I post about certain records people should check out, so the fact that so many fans have posted or spread the word about it is amazing to me. We feel pretty lucky to have such great supporters.

LitS: What was the recording experience like for you guys? Was it at all stressful?

Recording will always be stressful no matter what, but this was our easiest experience in the studio. We got to do what we always dreamed of doing, which was having a lot of time to experiment and record. We worked with Brian McTernan, and he really helped us grow as a band and as songwriters. We couldn’t have asked for a better producer for our first full length. (more…)

Interview: All Time Low

Pop punk rockers All Time Low have been at the forefront of their scene since signing with Hopeless Records while still in high school, releasing three albums with the label. The band is currently gearing up for the release of their fourth studio album Dirty Work, which will also be the band’s debut with Interscope Records, set to be released on June 7th in the US and on June 6th in the UK. Lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about their new album and touring experiences. You can read the full interview below.

LitS: First off, could you state your name and what you do in All Time Low?

Alex Gaskarth and I sing and play guitar.

LitS: You guys are currently headlining a tour with YellowcardThe Summer Set and Hey Monday as openers. How has this tour been?

We just finished up the tour and it was probably the best touring experience I’ve ever had. Our band grew up listening to Yellowcard so to get the chance to do a full tour with them was awesome. Hey Monday are good friends of ours and we’ve wanted to tour with The Summer Set for a while so we’re glad we could take them out.  Crowds were amazing on the tour each and every night.

LitS: Your new album, Dirty Work, will be released in June of this year. Could you describe the new album for us?

I think it represents a real growth for us and it’s something we’re all extremely proud of. We didn’t do a 180 and make a completely different CD. It still sounds like All Time Low and I think our fans will really be into it. Hopefully it’s just a better All Time Low than you’ve ever heard before. (more…)

Interview: Chiddy Bang

I had the opportunity to chat with Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin, the duo behind rap group Chiddy Bang. We discussed Chiddy’s record-breaking freestyle for MTV.com, their new mixtape Peanut Butter & Swelly, their upcoming (and highly anticipated!) debut album Breakfast, and their involvement with Taco Bell’s Feed The Beat Program. They’ll be performing a concert in Philly next week for Taco Bell and for those of you who can’t make it, you can catch the performance live on the Facebook page.

Check out the full interview below.

Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege: Yo yo yo what’s up? How are you doing?

LitS: Good, how are you?

Chiddy: Good, good, just chilling in Orlando, Florida.

Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin: Wassup?

LitS: First off, Chiddy, congratulations on your new world record. Nine hours is an incredibly long time. What was going through your head while you were freestyling?

Chiddy: What was going through my head was like, “Man, I hope I have the endurance to be able to successfully rap for nine hours.” After the first hour, I was like man I could do this because I thought I had been rapping for maybe twenty minutes or so, but when I looked at the clock it had already been an hour, hour-fifteen. I was like, oh that went by kind of fast! Time pretty much flew by.

LitS: Why did you guys decide to do the freestyle in the first place?

Noah: I think it was actually our manager’s idea, right?

Chiddy: Yeah, it was our manager’s idea.

Noah: Our manager came up to Chiddy and was like, “Yo, you’re gonna rap for nine hours. It’s gonna happen.”

Chiddy: And I was just like, “Okay, I mean, I can rap, you know what I’m saying?” I thought about it and was like it’s a big achievement, you know, and I was thinking to myself, like I could actually have a Guinness Record. This was something I felt that although it was long and extremely strenuous, I did it. (more…)

Interview: Sink Tapes

We recently got a chance to speak to Gabe Chilarello, lead vocals of Sink Tapes, an indie band based out of the Asbury area of New Jersey. We were able to learn a lot about the background of the band, their first album, Same Strange Dream, their upcoming sophomore album, what they’re all about, and what they’re about to bring to the plate.

LitS: So, Sink Tapes, many people are curious as to what the origin of your band name is. Could you tell us?

Sink Tapes: It’s probably better left unsaid. It’s kind of one of those things that no one will understand. It’s a name we decided to go with because we had already been called a few other things and we were forced to figure out what to call ourselves, and something just happened where we decided the name Sink Tapes. There’s no meaning to it, but we had people telling us we should be “sync” tapes, but we like NOT making sense so it makes it fun, just like how our songs are. Just fun.

LitS: When did Sink Tapes first form as a band?

Sink Tapes: We probably started playing about two summers ago as Sink Tapes with our original songs. We first met through friends; none of us go to the same schools and we just started seeing each other at shows in the Asbury area so we decided to jam together on covers and what not. Eventually, we played a backyard show with a few bands and since then we just kept playing. I don’t think we meant it to happen, but it slowly got serious yet fun, and now we’re working on our second album.

LitS: Are your current members the original members?

Sink Tapes: Yes, it’s just Alex, Ricky, Tom and I, just like it has always been. Alex goes to school in Maryland, which sucks, but whenever he comes home we make it a point to play shows as a four-piece.

LitS: So, when he’s not around, you still perform with just the three of you guys?

Sink Tapes: We don’t prefer to play with just the three of us because with Alex, we have a more complete sound, of course. But over a few months, we relearned how to play our songs as a three piece so we could continue to play while he was in Maryland so we don’t slow down and we’re able to keep process. When he goes to school in the fall, we definitely want to travel there and play a bunch of shows with him in his area. (more…)

Interview: Valencia

We recently had the chance to chat with Brendan Walter, guitarist of Valencia, discussing the band’s new tour, their most recent album Dancing With a Ghost, their return to I Surrender, and their plans for the rest of the year. Check out the interview after the break.

LitS: First off, how are you guys doing?

Valencia: We’re doing great!

LitS: You guys just began a tour with A Rocket To The Moon, Anarbor, Runner Runner, and Go Radio. How excited are you?

Valencia: So excited. Everything has been going swimmingly and the shows have been insane (all sold our so far – 1 week in). We couldn’t ask for a better tour.

LitS: Which shows are you looking forward to most on this tour?

Valencia: I’m really looking forward to the Anaheim show. Chain Reaction is always such a crazy place to play. Kids are just so excited to see and experience music there and all of the positive vibes really make for a good time. (more…)

Interview: Surrogate

I just recently had an interview with Daniel, from the band Surrogate. They talked about releasing the new Diamonds and Pearls EP, fun concert stories, the band’s future, and more. Check out the interview below.

LitS: First of all, how are you guys doing?

Surrogate: Good; busy. When we’re not doing this whole band thing, we all work, go to school, some of us are married and have families. All that real life stuff. So there’s definitely not a lot of down time.

LitS: How did you guys all meet?

Surrogate: We all live in Chico, which is a small college town in Northern California, and we basically knew each other from just being in bands and playing shows together over the years. Chris Keene and Jordan used to play in a band called Number One Gun, and when that band parted ways, they started working on some music together and started playing around Chico with Daniel Martin on keys and a couple of our other friends, Trevor, who was also in Number One Gun on bass, and Chris Armstrong who was in a band called Sherwood on guitar. This was 2006 or so. When Trevor had to split to go out on tour with another band, I took over on bass, in the early part of 2007, a couple months before Love is For the Rich came out. Michael took over for Chris A. right before the next record, Popular Mechanics came out in 2009 and we’ve all been playing together ever since.

LitS: What genre would you guys consider yourselves to be and what bands influences your music?

Surrogate: I tend to tell people that Surrogate is a melodic indie pop band, which is something of a cop out, the usual platitudes. But it gets the point across. You can’t really say that youre an “indie” band anymore, because that really doesn’t mean anything. And “indie rock” at least to old folks like me sort of recalls bands like Fugazi or The Dismemberment Plan or bands that were more on the loud side. So melodic indie pop seems to work, at least in so far as it lets people know that we’re definitely not yelling, or playing crazy riffs, but we’re not Ke$ha or some overly tuned radio garbage.

We all have pretty disparate tastes in music, but the Surrogate sound, at least as much as you can call it a general “sound” would definitely seem to fit pretty squarely in that pantheon of post-shoegaze bands like Pedro the LionStarflyer 59Rogue Wave or even Death Cab for Cutie. We’re all constantly trying to dig new music, though, so it’s sort of a constant evolution. (more…)

Interview: ZAK!

We recently sat down with NYU student and up-and-coming rapper ZAK!, who recently released his new Stuck To The Sidewalk mixtape (download here). He talked about his tour with Hoodie Allen, his sound, his friendship with Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, and more. Check out the interview below.

LitS: Who’s your favorite rapper? Who would you compare yourself to?

ZAK!: I don’t really have a “favorite” rapper. There’s some I listen to more than others. I also really don’t like making my own comparisons. People can make them themselves. Even though I definitly grab influences from other rappers I like to think at the end of the day I’m doing sometime unique to myself.

LitS: What producer do you really enjoy working with?

ZAK!: Right now I’ve been working with my DJ / Engineer / Producer DJ Fresh Direct. He basicially does it all. And on this next project were really going to sit down and create some serious stuff. Its good for me to able to help him create the music, and vice versa when it comes to the song lyrically.
Also my good friend Astro Raw has produced multiple of my tracks and really has a solid New York vibe.

LitS: How was your recent tour with Hoodie Allen? Any memorable stories?

ZAK!: Those were my first two real shows. And I got to say the crowd at U of Mich was pretty nuts. Honestly wasn’t expecting it. Otherwise the whole weekend was kind of a blur I unfortunately had thew flu. Pretty sure I vomited a few times. (more…)