Tag Archives: music

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

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

May Spotlight: Convictions

Convictions tagline is “Aggressive Worship” and I could think of no better fitting description of their music. I hadn’t listened to this group much when my band got on a show with them and it was that point that led me to what I feel is one of the best bands out there today. I felt it was fitting to put Convictions in the spotlight as the 3 year anniversary of my favorite album “I Will Become” just passed.

In place of just giving details which you can find on their facebook page I wanted to tell a story as to why I think as many people as possible should support these guys by listening to their music, buying merch, and going to their shows. Why I believe that these guys are the real deal and aren’t just another band who says one thing but does another. In February of 2018 Convictions was on tour with War of Ages and Earth Groans (two other awesome bands). The energy they were putting off was unlike any other show I had been to. While it was a small venue the guys of Convictions played like they were in a full stadium.

Part way into their set, between songs, Mike started to talk about how none of us are alone and everyone is loved. He said none of us are cooler than anyone else in the room and we should all be there for others. Now I am just paraphrasing and I know I’m not capturing it all but what happened next I will never forget. A couple of the guys who were attending the show broke down in tears. They had recently lost a friend and what Mike was saying touched them. As they wept the rest of us in the pit gathered around and even the guys in Convictions came off stage to embrace these two and show support. I have never seen another band care about those fans who attend their show as much as the guys in this group and I don’t believe that this was a one off event for them.

These guys are out on the road loving on people and showing what its like to not just proclaim to be a christian but what its like to actually be a christian. Not judging, loving everyone, and being there for others. At the end of June they set off on another tour with the dudes in Earth Groans and it is sure to be a banger. Check their social media pages for dates and cities. Head over to their merch page and support them because they are out there making a difference!

shop.convictionsrock.com

Listen up! – Deep Valleys: closer to you

In just a few short hours Deep Valleys will drop the first single off their new album “Goldhaven”.  I got early access to the track “Closer to You” and I definitely think the wait has been worth it.  It’s different from what they guys have put out in the past with “The Call of the Void” but the new sound is welcomed and done very well. The song starts out with a catchy synth hook and made me wonder who I was listening to but as soon as Brian Naus came in on vocals it gave it the classic and distinct Deep Valleys feel. The song brings a pop punk style and has the dynamics that I love in songs.

When asked about the meaning behind this new track, guitarist John DeJac says “The song is about about the experience of going through the motions of life, feeling small, unheard, undervalued and unable to make a difference. Feeling frankly like “What do you want from me, God?” As the song progresses into the chorus the eyes are turned back to God and resolving at the truth that simply drawing closer to God getting to know Him and His truth makes all the difference. Be close to Him is what really matters to get your life back on track.”

Be sure to listen to this song as soon as it is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other music steaming platforms. If you’re just hearing about Deep Valleys check out their social media and this video of their most recent worship cover of “Reckless Love”

www.facebook.com/deepvalleys/
http://www.deepvalleys.com

Our Rating

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/