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June Spotlight: the anchor

I just want to start off by saying that there are some good bands out there, and then there are some great bands out there. If you have not yet heard of or listened to The Anchor then you are missing out on one of the great bands. So who is this band that I think is so great and why are they this months artist?

Hailing from Denver, The Anchor is fronted by Linzey Rae (star of Metal Kitchen on Youtube) along with Keenan, Cory, Adam, and Ryan on bass, guitar, drums, and guitar respectively. This metalcore group puts on a hell of a show which is high energy and very entertaining to watch. They have been rocking the scene for the last 5 years and are currently signed to Manic Kat Records. In December 2016, The Anchor released their first full-length album, A World Ahead, which charted #7 on the metal iTunes charts. After signing with Manic Kat Records, The Anchor released their next EP, Make it Last, in February 2018. Following the EP release, Make it Last charted #19 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #11 on the iTunes Alternative chart, and #99 on the iTunes New Release chart. The group is currently in the process of recording a new album titled “Breathe”. Below is the music video for the song Revive which is off of the upcoming album.

Off their facebook page, their story states “We write music with the objective of providing an uplifting message, while promoting the value of self worth. Knowing firsthand the refuge that music can offer away from life’s struggles, we hope to be a voice of understanding and provide a place that someone can call their home.This is yours just as much as it is ours.”

This fall The Anchor hits the road with A War Within for a US/Canadian tour so if they are coming to a city near you, do not miss it!

If you like cooking and metal, check out Metal Kitchen on youtube!

Metal Kitchen ft. Linzey Rae

https://www.facebook.com/TheAnchorBand/
https://www.theanchorband.com
https://www.instagram.com/theanchorofficial/

Five and Five: Promoting your music

After spending all the hard work to produce and record your music you want people to hear it.  Be aware the work doesn’t stop once you release the single or album.  In order to make sure the release is as successful as possible you will want to promote it so it gains traction.  You can either do this yourself or you can hire a company who specialize in PR to do it for you.  Which ever way go, make sure you do some research first to make sure what you choose is the best option for your release.  So let’s hear some tips from an expert in the field of PR.       

Hi loyal readers, my name is Jesea Lee and I’m the co-owner/head publicist at the music PR firm High Road Publicity! I was previously the in-house publicist for Tragic Hero Records, Sun Pedal Recordings, and Revival Recordings. As a publicist, I of course suggest hiring a professional to handle your PR, but as a former wannabe rockstar, I know money can be tight and sometimes you just want to give it a go on your own. The following are some simple “Dos and Don’ts” that will help you cut through the noise a bit and give your music a chance to be heard by the tastemakers. These tips are just generalized tips, we’re not talking about developing your story/hook here, but just how to make a good first impression and not annoy writers before they even click play!

1.) DON’T send attachments. Writers (and most people) are doing a lot of business on their phone and don’t want to download files. It also takes up precious space in their inbox. DO send streaming links. If the song is unreleased, you can use platforms like Dropbox, Soundcloud, YouTube, or my personal favorite, Haulix.

2.) DON’T send a link to your full album. If you’re pitching someone your music for the first time, DO send them your best track. Nobody has time to listen to to an entire album from a band they’re not even sure they like yet. If you do send a link to your whole album, at least let them know what the focus track is that they should hear first.

3.) DON’T use generic greetings. DO take five seconds and address the person by their first name. They’re people just like you and don’t want to feel like just another name on your list.

4.) DON’T make the writer search for your assets. If they want to cover your music, make it as simple as possible for them. DO provide a link to a press release or EPK with all necessary info (bio, photos, social media links, etc.). If you don’t have a press release or EPK, at least include a Dropbox link with all those assets.

5.) DON’T forget about the blog/music mag after they decide to cover your music. If you’re lucky enough to get that review, interview, or even a quick blog post, DO support them by sharing the content across all your platforms. They put work into supporting you, so you should do the same. If you don’t, it’s unlikely they’ll want to cover your music again in the future.

High Road Publicity is a full service entertainment, publicity, and marketing company.   Check out their website and social media pages below.  If you are looking for a great PR company for your next project contact them to discuss options!

https://www.facebook.com/highroadpublicity/

https://www.instagram.com/highroadpublicity

https://www.instagram.com/jesealee/

https://www.highroadpublicity.com

Rock band “slant” releases u2 cover for mental health awareness month

Today, on the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month, the rock band Slant released a video for their cover of the U2 hit “With or Without You”. This LA based band recorded the song with Dave Moreno (Puddle of Mudd) and Sameer Battachrya (Flyleaf), the full-length video received acceptance from the group Rock To Recovery (owned by Wesley Geer, Hed P.E./Korn) to close the video with a PSA to raise awareness to recovery through music.

Drummer Jimmy Lee stated “I wanted the video to depict how straining and complicated things can get when pursuing a life in creative arts, in terms of mental health. We all know someone that has dealt with substance abuse or behavioral addictions. On a personal and national level, we have seen those in the arts or creative fields fall into the cycle of substance abuse or other addictions while pursuing their productive paths. Our hope is to bring mental health to the forefront of conversations so that those affected know there are great outlets for help.”

View the video below and be sure to check out the groups social media pages and website. If you or someone you know is dealing with a mental illness please reach out and talk to someone. Stigmas need to be torn down and people need to understand that it is ok to not be ok.

http://www.facebook.com/slantmusic
http://www.slantmusic.net
http://www.instagram.com/slantmusic
http://www.twitter.com/slantmusic

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


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

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