All posts by Andrew Perkins

March Spotlight: Postcards from the Moon

I recently heard of Postcards from the Moon and my life has now been changed.  First off the name is legit and I hope they have postcards with a picture of the moon at their merch table (If not you’re welcome for the idea.  Send me one.).  I met their bassist Gilbert at a show in Buffalo and if the rest of the guys in this group are just like he is, a whole lot of cool is coming out of San Antonio, TX.  The guys just dropped a new single of their upcoming EP “Me Without You” which is set for release on April 5th.  The single which is titled “Just Make Sure You’re Happy” takes me back to 2007 when I listened to Mayday Parade and Yellowcard.  Between the vocals and violin I could listen to this song over and over, and to be honest I have.  Since the release, it has been picked up by many outlets and was even featured by Alternative Press.  

When asked about the band and their upcoming album Gilbert said “The band has been through some rough times, but this past year since March of 2018 has been nothing but hard work and dedication . I’m proud of this final product and I can’t wait for everyone to hear our stories.”  

I can’t speak for everyone else but I know that I am anxiously awaiting the release of the sophomore EP from this group.  Check out the video below and drop a comment on this post to let me know what you think of it!  Also make sure to head over to their facebook page and give it a like to stay up to date with what they have going on!

https://www.facebook.com/pftmband/

A Martyr’s Oath releases “Ignorance is Woe”

Pat of A Martyr’s Oath

A Martyr’s Oath just dropped a three song EP called “Ignorance is Woe” and all I can say is I’m intrigued. This is the first time hearing these genres mixed. I am a fan of spoken word tracks but this sermon jam over hardcore really mixes things up. Released through Raven Faith Records, these tracks mix Pat’s original music with sermon excerpts from Dr. Kent Hovind.

This is Pat’s first release in seven years and I think this release will definitely get people talking about him again. I look forward to see what he has in store for the future. These songs can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp or can be listened to on Youtube. Go check out his website for more information about what Pat and his band are all about!

https://amartyrsoath.bandcamp.com/album/ignorance-is-woe
https://amartyrsoath.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8im0B6cXMg

Jason Wisdom of Death Therapy talks “Voices”

If you are into metal and haven’t listened to Death Therapy yet you aren’t experiencing the genre to it’s fullest. Founded by Jason Wisdom, formerly of Becoming the Archtype, Death Therapy has been rocking the scene since 2015. With the first single “My Defiance” off their upcoming album being released, I had to find out more.  I caught up with Jason and asked him some questions about the release.  Hope you enjoy and as always leave your comments below to let us know what you think!

What is the release date of the new album? 
The new album, “Voices” is set for release via SolidState Records on April 12, 2019

Tell me a little bit about the new album.  What are some themes? what are you trying to convey to people through it?
“Voices” is definitely a concept album, not in the storytelling sort of way that a lot of metal bands do, but in the sense that if you don’t understand the concept, it likely won’t make any sense. Throughout the album, there are many different voices that speak, and often with conflicting messages. To put it in a very cliche’ sort of way, you could say that they are different voices in my head, but I wouldn’t want to say that. It’s not merely a psychological thing as much as examining a plethora of different voices battling for my heart and mind–whether they be voices from my upbringing, from my own insecurities, from the world around me now, from spiritual influences and everything else in between. And I don’t spend any time in the lyrics clarifying what each voice has to say, or what it is coming from, so, at times, it may even seem like there are arguments happening within the songs. And there are. That’s kinda what I wanted to accomplish. It’s sorta like if you could plug in to my skull and listen directly into my mind, this is what you may hear. I think it will be a unique experience and challenge people in a way that they might not be used to. But some folks will likely struggle with it.

What or who influenced you when writing this album? 
With Death Therapy, I have tried to keep the process as organic and improvisational as possible. That is to say, that I more or less just sit down in a quiet place and see what ideas come out without really putting a ton of thought into it–you might call it stream of consciousness. So there are plenty of influences lurking in the shadows, because of all the music that I love and has shaped me through the years, but I cannot really pinpoint anything in particular that I was drawing upon as I worked on this album. The music and concept just sort of happened (just like on the first album)–I discovered them along the journey. And that’s part of what has made this band so much fun for me.

What was the hardest part of putting the album together / writing the songs?  What was the easiest thing? 
For me, the easiest thing is coming up with ideas. I have ideas for days, no shortage. If I was able to make music my full time gig, I could write several albums a year in a variety of different styles. The hardest thing about it, for me, is letting it simply be what it is. As I said above, I have deliberately set out with this band to restrain myself from over-analyzing every little detail. But that isn’t easy for me. Music is a tricky art. Because, on the one hand, you just want to create what you want to create. But on the other hand, you want people to like it. It’s the tension between those two that is the most difficult for me, especially as an artist who is generally unknown and in a very niche sort of category. I want people to like what I am doing–for many reasons, not the least of which is that I would like to be able to support my family financially (a wild pipe-dream, to be sure)–but I also don’t want to be phony. 

What is your favorite song off the album?
That’s tough to say. The last two songs are pretty unique on the album. Together they form a 13 minute long epic. People will either love or hate it. I imagine a lot of folks will never make it all the way through. But it was something that I spent a lot of time with (compared to the rest of the album). It easily could have been 20 minutes long. In fact, I think one of the demo versions was nearly 21 minutes. But I trimmed it down to something a bit more manageable. So I guess if I had to pick a favorite, I would say that this one (in two tracks) is a contender for my favorite. 

If you had to describe your music using one word what would you say? 
Different

How would you describe / rate the music scene where you are? 
The music scene seems to be very polarized. Not just where I am, but everywhere in America. There doesn’t seem to be a “middle class” anymore like there was in the 90s and 2000s. What I mean is that there used to be a scene where folks would go out and discover new bands that they maybe hadn’t ever even heard of. You could be a small band touring the country and play in basements and tiny clubs for good little crowds every night, because people loved that experience, of supporting the local scene and discovering new bands. But now it seems you either draw a few hundred people or nobody will come. It’s very polarized. 

If you could tour with one band who would it be? 
Demon Hunter. I got to tour with them in my previous band back in 2007. It was the only legitimate tour that I ever got to be a part of, and I would give just about anything to have that opportunity again.

If you could pick one band to reunite and put out a new album who would it be?
Oingo Boingo. Danny Elfman never disappoints. 

What was the first album you ever bought?
I am not sure, really. But the first album I remember buying is MC Hammer’s “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em” sometime in the 90s. Got it on cassette and must have listened to it a thousand times. 

Bonus question 
If you watch the show, What character from The Office do you most identify with and why? 
Okay, so, I did watch the Office, but not nearly as fanatically as some folks. There are probably entire seasons that I haven’t seen. I probably relate most to Toby–the absolutely sad sack of a human who everyone hates, but he’s just doing the best he can.

Check out the teaser video below and then head over to their facebook page for more information! You can also pre-order some pretty sweet packages on their Solid State Merch Site so go pick something out and show them your support!

https://solidstate.merchnow.com/?fbclid=IwAR0KhB-ZiqHKLrfGOhj5XAxsY-pjkiFmJ3c_fhH72FvR3x_uRzQhbhAtGaI


February Spotlight: Earth Groans

In 2017 I was playing at Creation Festival in Mount Union, Pennsylvania. We arrived a day early and wanted to check out the Fringe stage where we would be playing. As one band finished and we prepared for the next. They loaded on and did a line check. I was definitely not expecting what I was about to be introduced too. This band took the stage with force and the energy did not stop until the set was over.

Since then I have had the opportunity to not only see them play but also share the stage with and hang out with the guys in Earth Groans. The talent these guys have is off the charts both on and off the stage. I loved their debut EP “Renovate” and once their sophomore album “Rahab” dropped, that album has been on repeat on my playlist.

Earth Groans signed with Solid State Records in 2017 and have been on some killer tours with bands such as Convictions, War of Ages, Phinehas, and My Children My Bride. I foresee big things happening for these guys as they continue to entertain not only across the country but around the world. If they come through your area you need to get to their show and get in the pit because it will be a show you do not want to miss.

Be sure to check out their social media pages and websites for news, upcoming shows, and other projects the dudes are working on.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/earthgroansband
Website: http://www.earthgroans.com
Jeremy Schaeffer’s Website: http://www.allpoeticaudio.com
Zachariah Mayfield’s Website: http://www.zachariahmayfield.com

Listen Up! – Fuzzy and the Rustbelts: “That Sweet Song”

Track List:
1. American Tattoo
2. Ship of Fools
3. 50 Million
4. The Flatlander
5. That Sweet Song
6. Home (Away from Home)
7. Take Me to the River
8. Hello June
9. Mountain Song

Label: Independent
Producer: Karl Maciag

When you buy an album I am certain that you gravitate to a few songs that you deem your favorites. I can remember picking up a new CD because it had that one song I loved. I would listen to that song on repeat, learn all the lyrics, tell others about it, but wouldn’t give the time of day to the rest of the songs. With that being said, every now and then an album comes along where I enjoy every song. I will listen to it from front to back without skipping a track. “That Sweet Song” is one of those albums.

This album by Fuzzy and the Rustbelts is a complete package musically. This release has an old school country / Americana feel, and covers the dynamical spectrum. There are upbeat tracks such as “50 Million” and “Hello June” as well as calmer acoustic tracks like “Home (Away From Home)” and “American Tattoo”.

When you listen to this album you can hear the soul, emotion, and passion in Fuzzy’s voice. It seems that this sound came naturally and nothing was forced when putting it all together. When asked about the album, Fuzzy himself said that “the theme began to become clear….Mountains, Rivers, God.  Mountains are the ultimate hurdle.  We all need to climb mountains and cross rivers to overcome our fears.  But more importantly we all need to pray and realize that we can’t do it alone.  This album encompasses so many thoughts, stories, and feelings that ultimatley make up the all American experience.”

This album is set to release February 15th and they are holding a release show on that date at The 9th Ward in Buffalo. I have heard that it is sold out but if there is a way you can get to that show I would definitely recommend it. I have not gotten the chance to see them live but I look forward to the day I do. Make sure to check out their website and facebook page for upcoming events and news!
https://www.facebook.com/fuzzyandtherustbelts/
https://www.fuzzyandtherustbelts.com

Our Rating


Listen Up! – Dilettante Self Titled EP

Track List:
1. Scale
2. Dispossession
3. Incubus
4. Eclipse
5. Rising Tides

Label: Independent
Producer: Anthony Potenza – Studio A Recordings


On January 25th, Dilettante will be releasing their debut self titled EP. I have had the pleasure of playing a show with these guys in the past so I was excited to hear what they had put together.

The EP starts off with the track “Scale” and definitely sets the tone for the rest of the album. Including the lyrics “How am I today? To me it’s all the same. I’ve stepped too far away. Now a man without a name.” Dilettante is very real in what they put forth for all to hear. From Dilettante themselves; “This EP is an open and honest representation of a broken entity. We are delving into the darkest mindsets so many of us are afraid to discuss, but all suffer in from time to time.”

As I continued to listen and get into the second song “Dispossession” I kept coming back to one thing, AFI. It is clear that vocalist Erik Wik is heavily influenced by AFI and the vocal style of Davey Havoc. Eriks vocals are unique and to me, took the songs to that next level. Through the next 3 songs the themes and styles previously mentioned continue, and bring the whole EP together. The final song “Rising Tides” offers some metalcore riffs but still maintains the up and down dynamic energy shown throughout the other tracks.

Overall I thought this album was put together very well. The dynamics the songs along with a mix of clean and dirty vocals pulled together nicely. I could easily listen to and enjoy all tracks and if you like heavy music but aren’t into as much screaming this EP is for you. 2019 looks like it is starting off well musically and I hope it continues this way!

Be sure to check out Dilettante at their EP release show on January 25th at the Rec Room in Buffalo. This show is sponsored by After Dark Presents and also includes the bands Of Night and Light, Overlook, and Winski. For more information click the link below.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1876361935772992/

Our Rating

Five and Five: The Sound Guy

We’ve all been there before. A band gets mad at the sound guy because “he screwed up their sound” or their set was cut short because they took to long setting up but their story was “the sound guy doesnt know what he was doing”. Well I will tell you I have a lot of respect for sound guys and you should too! Sound guys can be the backbone of a show and they see most of what goes on. There are times I bet the sound guys sees more than the promoter does. They interact with the bands on stage and also see how the bands act in the crowd. They can make or break you in terms of how your set goes. Based on how you act or treat others could bring future consequences, both good and bad. So what should bands do? What are some things that sound guys like and what are some things that are disliked? I decided to take these questions to a good friend of mine, Paul Mitro, who just happens to be a sound guy. He put together a list based on his opinion and past experiences.

So without further ado let’s take a look at the five things you should do and five things you shouldn’t do if you’re a local band playing a show. (Although these can apply to all bands I am trying to help out smaller bands as they grow)

Let’s start with the five things that Paul recommends you don’t do.

  • Don’t show up unprepared. Soundcheck isn’t a time to go over parts. It’s for getting the audio right. Get on and get off other bands need to soundcheck as well.
  • Don’t be late for load in. Nothing screams amateur hour more then showing up late. And for goodness sakes if you’re late don’t expect a soundcheck!
  • Don’t be a diva. If something about the show doesn’t go your way don’t whine. Be cool and roll with it. The promoter and the other bands will remember if you took one for the team and didn’t make a big deal about it.
  • Don’t be picky about the sound. Be as minimal as possible with what you need. Take the time to figure out what you actually need to hear to play. Remember the sound guy/gal can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. And for the love of all that sounds good, don’t show up with your own sound guy without first clearing it with the promoter AND the house tech BEFORE THE DAY OF SHOW!
  • If you make a mistake or have a gear failure don’t make a big deal about it or blame the sound guy. It’s not his job to know the the 9 month old battery you’ve been too cheap to replace, finally died.
  • Alright now that we have looked at some things that are not recommended, let’s look at some things that you should do.

  • Do tip your sound guy. Especially if you have a ton of special needs. And even if you don’t it’s just good practice. Chances are you’ll get a little extra love from him/her.
  • Know your gear. Take the time to learn your gear inside and out. When something breaks…and it will, you should be able to troubleshoot it fast and get on with the show. Also new drum heads that are properly tuned and fresh strings the day before (not right before you play or they will stretch out and you will never stay in tune).
  • Be open to sharing gear. It makes the show go faster and honestly your gear probably isn’t better anyways.
  • Have a clear agreement on what is expected from your band and the promoter. No one likes feeling like they are getting ripped off. If you’re still not sure how much you’re getting paid by the day of the show you’re not doing it right. #contractskeepfriends
  • Stay for the entire show. This goes along the lines of being a diva. You’re not special. Hang out on the floor and make some new friends. Green rooms are cool for a quick refresher and getting your heads in the game right before you play but that’s it. You have to get fans somehow so try being outgoing and drop the moody, depressed artist thing that you have going.
  • And here is one more bonus tip that will get you extra points with the sound guy!

  • Make a stage plot and input list. The pros do it and so should you. This helps the sound guy get you up and running faster. Keep in mind that he/she has probably mixed hundreds of bands in the last few months and you can bet they will not remember what you need from the last time you played.
  • So there it is ladies and gentlemen. Five things you should and five things you shouldn’t do from the view of the sound guy. So let’s hear it. Do you agree or disagree with Paul? Do you have more tips you would like to add. Sound off in the comments and let us know your opinion!

    About Our Expert

    Paul Mitro has been producing music and working in the industry for over 10 years. He has produced many albums as co-owner of Old Bear Studio located in Batavia, NY. Paul has had the chance to mix for bands such as Haste the Day, Oh Sleeper, and We Came as Romans as well as work with bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Queens of the Stone Age, and Billy Talent. Paul has been in a number of bands and currently plays guitar for the metal band Tetelestai. Paul resides in Buffalo NY with his wife and soon to be born child! Make sure to check him out at http://www.paulmitro.com