Tag Archives: listen

Artist spotlight: saved by skarlet

Five guys…one passion…one vision. Saved by Skarlet was founded about seven years ago by Nate and Matt Middleton in Rhode Island. Nate is currently the lead singer/rhythm guitarist, Matt is the lead guitarist, and accompanying them on this journey is Adam on drums, Ben as featured screamer, and Evan on rhythm guitar.

But where did the name Saved by Skarlet come from? I got the chance to talk to the guys and ask this question. Watch the clip below to see what they had to say!

They have been hustling and playing many shows to network and grow their reach. When asked what they would want people who have never heard of them to know, the response was that the personal investment and emotional intimacy of their music sets them apart.

While the band is still working their way to the top, they have gotten the opportunity to play with some great bands such as The Veer Union, The Protest, Spoken, and Set for the Fall. So who would they collaborate with if they had the chance? The answer was Skillet and Red as those two bands influenced them and they feel that the musical styles are so similar. I believe anything is possible so there is a good chance that one day that will happen…hint hint John Cooper.

I always like to get to know individuals better so I asked each of the guys to give me a random fact about themselves. Here is what they said!

Nate – “I really like video games”
Matt – “I love working on cars and doing auto body stuff.”
Adam – “I do a whole lot of theater and am into musical theater and acting.” P.S. He also loves One Direction.
Ben – “I am a huge underground closet dungeons and dragons nerd.”
Evan – “I like anime.”

SBS just recently released their new album “Out of Darkness” which you can find on all streaming platforms. Be sure to check it out and give them feedback on what you think! It was so great to talk to these guys so make sure to give them a like on Facebook and follow what they have going on!

https://www.facebook.com/SavedBySkarletBand/

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/

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

Interview: Kardia

As I scour the world wide web and beyond for new (to me) bands, it is amazing all of the talent that is out there. From young to old, pop to metal, North America to Europe, vast is the number of musicians practicing for hours perfecting their craft, sleeping in a van, playing shows for no money, and loving every minute of it.

One such band hails from Pittsfield, MA and is comprised of vocalist Nina and brothers Justin and Jared on guitar and drums/synth respectively. We got to sit down with these 3 and talk about life, music, and what is in store for the future.

Andy: Can you give us a little background about the band?

Justin: Jared and I are brothers and we have been playing together since he was 8 and I was 16. We started Kardia seven or so years ago. We had different members and put out a couple records with them but then they left and Nina joined about three years ago…we are a three piece but live we usually have other people with us which is cool.

Their most recent album “Metamorphosis” definitely has some bangers on it so we had to ask about it.

Ronnie: So Nina do you write all the lyrics for your songs or how do you guys come up with new stuff and songwriter?

Nina: The thing that works best for us for the most part is where they write the music and I write the lyrics. We bang them out really fast and that’s the most efficient way.

Andy: You guys have a new video out for the song “Pendulum Mind”. What is the meaning behind it?

Nina: Its basically about being in a relationship with someone where you can feel that they are indecisive and don’t know if they want to be with you. Hence the term pendulum, they don’t know which way they want to go.

Ronnie: So do all the song kind of wrap together or is there a common theme with the album?

Justin: Ya, Nina had a loose concept for the album.
Nina: If you listen to them in a certain order they kind of tell a story. It’s about this character going through different periods in their life. “Dreamcatcher” is about being in an abusive relationship, “Antidote” is about dealing with substance abuse, and it wraps up with “Metamorphosis” which is about finding God in the end.

Ronnie: So Nina you said “Dreamcatcher” is your favorite song and its about an abusive relationship so what does it mean to you? Where were you at when you wrote it? Was it just something you dreamed up or did it specifically relate to your life?
Nina: Ive been very lucky to not have to suffer with some of these things we write about but I can’t say the same for lots of people I know. I was trying to put myself in their shoes and write from a point of empathy. Also the melody is so cool and there is a point as a songwriter where you make everything come together to express a certain emotion and Dreamcatcher pulled that off.

Andy: So you have played Soulfest a number of times and other big shows so who is your favorite band you have shared the stage with and why?

Nina: Well we didn’t play with them but when I met Lacy Sturm at Soulfest it was awesome! Just meeting her and saying hi and then she prayed for me it was a whole thing so it was cool.
Jared: We opened for Aaron Gillespie and he is my favorite drummer so that was pretty cool for me.
Justin: For me we have played with Disciple a number of times and that’s always really fun.

Andy: So who are your musical influences?

Jared: As a drummer Aaron Gillespie is a giant influence for me.
Justin: Anberlin is probably the biggest influence for us. When we first started, Paramore was a big influence also.

If you have never heard of or listened to Kardia then now is your chance. Hear the song “Dreamcatcher” below and then head over to their facebook page and website. Drop a comment to let us know what you think of Kardia and if you like reading interviews with bands let us know what artist we should talk to next!

http://www.kardiaband.com
http://www.facebook.com/kardia.US

Product review: Fractal audio ax8

I truly believe before buying new gear you need to do proper research. To many times have I just impulse bought something because I wanted it at the time but later regretted the purchase because it wasn’t the greatest. Reviews are important, and while you shouldn’t rely solely on them I thought it would be great to feature products on this site to help those who may be in the market for new gear. We at FGR Music Group put together a team of experts to review gear so the next time you are searching for that right piece of equipment you have a place to go for honest feedback from guys who use it daily and aren’t getting paid to sell this stuff.

Today’s author is Paul Mitro who is a producer, sound engineer, and entrepreneur. He currently owns Paul Mitro Productions, and co-own Old Bear Studio in Batavia NY, and Frontier Production Company in Buffalo NY. He has been doing live sound and producing music for over a decade and has worked with many top bands over the years. Paul is currently using the Fractal Audio AX8 Amp Modler/Multi-FX Processor and I know personally how much he loves it.

The Fractal AX8 and why I chose it as my go to pedal.

In my current band, Tetelestai, we all use amp simulators and in ear monitors (via our split snake and mixer) which go direct into the PA when we play. Previously I had been using the Line6 X3 for live performances and while that unit was working perfectly (even at over 10 years old) I felt it was time to replace it and upgrade to something from this decade. The two necessities were the need to receive MIDI commands and that it be built like a tank for traveling use.

At this point the industry has gotten to a point where a lot of the amp simulators are extremely similar where they can load multiple IRs (impulse responses), be controlled via midi, and have incredible amp modeling abilities. Pretty much as long as it can load an IR, you should be able to make a usable modern tone.

I chose the Fractal AX8 based off some research that I did and a lot of trusted friends who had them and raved about them. What stood out to me right away about the AX8 was its form factor and build quality. It is small enough to fit into a standard 19’ rack and built so you could stomp on it and not have to worry about crushing the buttons.

I’m not a huge fan of the user interface, although it is totally usable if you take the time to learn it. The majority of the time I use the computer interface to program the pedal and I absolutely love it. It’s very simple and took a whole 10 minutes to to figure out.

The current live show Tetelestai runs is all set to a click track which allows me to program MIDI commands to send out of out track computer and change patches on the AX8. What this means is I can focus more on playing and less on the technical end of the show. This setup requires more time programming on the front end, but allows for a very fast setup and implementation of a very professional and consistent production on stage. In short the only time I need to touch my AX8 during our show is to tune.

While the unit would fit into a equipment rack, I op’ed to travel with the unit in a knockoff pelican case from harbor freight. This allows my to bring the board home for writing and recording. It fits like a dream and the case is very road worthy.

I made up a 35’ “snake” that contains the IEC cable for power, MIDI cable, audio in (from the wireless receiver that lives in our IEM rack), and audio out to the split snake (also in our IEM rack). In this configuration I only need to run one cable to the board which speeds up setup and lowers the need for troubleshooting should something not work. The snake fits in the fake pelican case with the AX8 so I only need my guitar case and the pelican case when I go to a gig.

On the off chance the band plays at a location that doesn’t have a PA that can support more than vocals I have the pedal programmed so that the ¼ output is coming directly out of the amp simulator and bypassing the IR loader that acts as the cabinet. This signal can go directly to a power amp and into the guitar amp. Going the route of the Fractal AX8 can be a solid solution for those who need portability without sacrificing on build and audio quality.

Sound off in the comments with your thoughts! Do you use the Fractal AX8? If so what do you think of it? Head over to the Fractal Audio website to find out more information on this pedal and all the other products they have!

http://www.fractalaudio.com/ax8-amp-modeler-multi-effects/

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