After hundreds of hours in the recording studio and after working tirelessly to achieve the fame and success that they have gained up to this point, up and coming group JOYNER is bringing their sound to a whole new level. Since their start, they have had countless opportunities to perform and have thus gained the enthusiasm and loyalty of thousands of fans who are dying to hear more from this killer group. Luckily, amidst their crazy release schedule, Joyner was able to answer some questions for us and for their fans concerning where they started, where they are and, most importantly, where they are going. Buckle up and enjoy one of the most open and honest interviews that we have had yet.
Throughout your years of performing and producing music, was there an event or circumstance that really helped you kick start your career in music?
Music has always been something we loved. We grew up singing, writing songs and performing together in musical theater. As youngins we knew it was something we wanted to do, but we weren’t sure how to take it beyond the walls of our childhood home. When Summer was 20 she was working in retail and had a customer that came in and was telling her about her cousin that was a music producer. From there the dots connected and we recorded our first songs. It hasn’t stopped since!
Out of all of your goals, what is your focus right now?
At this very moment, getting our new music out into the world is the main focus!
Although there may have been set backs, what has made it all worth it?
There have been countless set backs, but at the end of the day it comes down to the music. No matter how hard it gets, the music is always what paints a sunny sky after a gloomy day.
While you are performing, what is your number one priority?
We have two number one priorities and that’s really focusing on being in sync with each other + making sure everyone has a good time!
Is there any exciting news about upcoming releases or tour dates?
Our debut EP comes out May 18th. We’re playing The Mint on 4/29 here in LA and are hoping to hit the road soon. Follow us on our socials to keep in the loop!
After a long day in the studio or on stage, what is the number one thing that you like to eat?
Love this question! A warm comforting meal like potatoes, or some yum grub from one of our favorite vegan restaurants like Little Pine or Mohawk bend.
Has there been anyone or special figure who has helped you get to the point that you are at?
We have so many angels in our lives from our music producer, to our friends that take our photos and help us make our music videos. We are so grateful for them!!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Irene Greene, a Philadelphia based singer-songwriter who released her enigmatic single “Platinum Baby” just today. After speaking with her, I have been beyond elated for the release of the single, and now we might be playing it on repeat. But I digress. Below, you can find what Irene had to say on her latest single and her inspiration for music.
When did you first decide that music was something you wanted to make a career?
“It was when I was a child, and I knew that nothing else would feel like making music does.”
Your debut single is titled “Platinum Baby.” What’s the story behind that name?
“The story is that I fell in love with my current partner who has (dyed) platinum hair, and how I felt that I wasn’t good enough for him.”
The cover art for this shows a girl holding a knife behind her back. Is this symbolic or where did you draw inspiration for that?
“It’s gonna sound silly, but I had a dream with a girl holding a knife behind her back. I love toying with line of love verses obsession in “Platinum Baby” and I think that this image captures it perfectly.”
This is your debut single. Is this single reflective of “Hey this is me as an artist”?
“Normally not, because this song is actually somewhat positive and I am a debby downer.”
Even though “Platinum Baby” is releasing May 1st, are you working on anything currently that we can look forward to?
“I’m putting out a new music video for “Platinum Baby” that is 1960s inspired and very spooky!”
Where do you hope to see yourself musically in the next five year?
“Hopefully touring around the country with my band and playing sweet tunes!”
Despite the overwhelming response from fans and critics around the country, and the time consuming consequences of that measure of success, members of Still + Storm were able to answer some of the questions that we at Imperfect Fifth have been dying to ask. Not only have they had favorable outcomes from all of their releases, but this group has shined a new light on how people perceive melancholy melodies and boisterous beats. Check out the new music video for “All of These Things”, and then read our interview, where they talk about what has brought them to this point and where they are headed in the near future.
Throughout your career, have you ever felt like you reached your dream/goal or are you still reaching for something greater?
Dave and I consistently set goals for ourselves and for Still + Storm. We believe in this project and make sure to designate the time and effort to it. Our standing goal is to continue to create and share.
Have you considered going on tour anytime soon to share your music with a wider demographic of fans?
Our first set of shows we ever played was a tour, actually. It was a positive experience, and we made some new friends along the way. We’ll tour again when the time is right, but for right now we’re focused on Chicago and what we can do / be a part of here.
In your experience, is there a particular song of yours that really gets the audience moving?
I feel like we get a little more movement when we play In/Out – it cruises along and then swells up at the outro. It is a fun song to play, and I think the audience feels that.
When you’re off stage and out of the studio, what do you like to do with your free time?
Usually something music related, like attending shows or writing. I also enjoy Pilates and have instructed classes in the past.
If you could compare your sound to any famous artist in history who would it be and who? Did you intentionally model your music after this person or group?
We haven’t intentionally modeled our sound after any one artist, but I am personally influenced by Radiohead and the original Saddle Creek bands (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Azure Ray). We probably sound more like the latter. Our producer, J Hall is an enormous contributor to our overall sound. Historically, we’ve gone to his studio very open minded and together we’d dream on where to take the songs. It’s a unique relationship.
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
As soon as I wrote my first song on guitar, I fantasized about being a professional musician. I have a day job as an Occupational Therapist that affords me enough flexibility to fund and dedicate time to music. I think most artists would agree that it is difficult to pursue music full time, financially. I do believe that I will always dedicate the time and resources to it, though, in some capacity.
In five years, where do you see yourselves? What do you have planned for Still + Storm?
Because we’re partners, we’ve been able to create an environment in which we support each other. Musically, and otherwise. Still + Storm came to be in the most natural way possible, so I think that as long as we’re sharing our lives we’ll be making and sharing music. Meanwhile, we’re excited to premiere a new song and video called “All of These Things”.
Following the re-release of their Brain EP on Castle Face Records, Once & Future Band – the Oakland-based psych pop collective expertly comprised of Eli Eckert (bass, vocals), Joel Robinow (keyboards, vocals), Raj Ojha (drums), and Raze Regal (guitar) – sat down briefly with us for a quick interview. The EP is pieced together with four enigmatic, moody tracks that will make your tastebuds water with excitement as you stumble along the quirky and wonderful soundscape that the four piece provides. Check out everything they had to divulge to us about their musical lives below!
What was your first musical memory, and did it have an impact on the way you create now?
(Joel Robinow) My first musical memory was actually seeing les miserables on its first run when it came to San Francisco. It was with the ideal cast, Michael ball, the incomparable colm Wilkinson, lea salonga, and Tim Curry as Javier. I was electrified. I didn’t know that music was capable of making you feel emotions…I had butterflies in my stomach the entire time, the intricate arrangements, the opulence…it’s all still very clear in my mind. Dunno. That and the video for “steppin out” by joe Jackson.
Your Brain EP was just re-released, and we’re super super smitten. Any fun anecdotes from that original production process that you can share with us – or any new details in getting the re-release out?
(Raj Ojha) We do most of the production / recording ourselves, recording wherever our home studio is at the time. For some songs that need a larger space, we’ll record basics (drums, bass, some keyboards) at our buddy Phil Manley’s studio(s). For the Brain EP, we recorded two songs entirely (basics, overdubs) in Joel’s bedroom at the time. I remember shag carpet everywhere and low ceilings which really aided in the vibe and dry / tight sound we got for the bass and drums on those tracks. The drums, bass and keyboard for the other two EP songs were recorded in San Francisco, at Lucky Cat Studios (which is also where we mixed the EP). The room there was the literal antithesis of what we had at Joel’s.
While we did have a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve sonically, there was a lot of experimentation, a lot of trial and error. There were many long nights spent trying layered vocal harmonies, scrapping them, replacing them with synths, then guitars, and sometimes going back to mix all of them together just for a chorus or outro. It’s those parts of the recording process we enjoy the most, where we sculpt the song’s arrangement and sounds beyond what we initially had in mind. Deadlines really help us from going off the deep end when we go down those paths, usually because we never want to stop. Since then (about 5 years ago), we’ve gotten a lot better at knowing when a song is done, and when its final voice is apparent.
How does it feel knowing that your creation is finally out in the world – with wider distribution this go’round?
(RO) It feels great! We’ve been playing these songs for so long now, and they’ve changed over time in a live setting. It’s nice to show some our newer fans a little piece of our history. Hopefully it also helps tide over people while we work on a few other releases, including our next LP.
Do you have a favorite track from the EP, or one that you prefer to perform over others?
(RO) The song “Brain (Watching Your Eyes)” has been a mainstay in our live set since the beginning. It’s one of the first songs we started playing as a band and over the years has morphed into something that the EP couldn’t contain (we’ve been known to extend this song to over 15 minutes live). One reason for it’s longevity in our live show is because it really lets us stretch out, improvise and add new twists and turns that aren’t featured on other tracks of ours. Improvisation is an important aspect to our group, especially in a live setting and even though “Brain” has a tight arrangement, it allows us the freedom to do something new every night in the second half of the song. It’s nice to take chances in front of an audience, it keeps things fresh and allows us to communicate musically in new ways between each other.
How do you imagine people listening to your new EP?
(RO) I imagine it right now, probably because you suggested it…let’s see….there’s a guy, wait actually it might be a girl…hard to say, their back is turned. They’re holding something in their right hand, I can almost see it, it glints…a knife? No, that’s unlikely….oh…it’s a pen. Phew!!! They are bobbing their head in time with the music.
(EE) My dream scenario of someone hearing our EP is that it just feels to them like something they’ve been waiting to hear. It fits like a glove and they’re as stoked on what we created as we were to create it. They’re just all “Hell yes”.
If you could be any superhero – “real” or made up – who would you be and why?
(RO) I’m not a comic book head but great musicians usually fall under the category of superheroes for me personally. Wayne Shorter-For his stunning composition ability and otherworldly playing(Check out any of his work with Miles,Weather Report and any recordings where he’s the leader ie, JuJu, Adam’s Apple, Speak No Evil, Night Dreamer et al for the proof)
(JR) Yea Wayne is an inspiration…I dunno. Being a superhero seems like too much responsibility, I’d prefer to be one of those people pointing at the superhero when they are doing something cool
(EE) I know Wayne Shorter used to love to read comics (maybe he still does???) so this makes sense!
Now that the EP is out, what’s next? What are you most looking forward to? Tell us all the crazy details!
(RO) We’re about to embark on a North American tour in April, supporting Chris Robinson’s “As The Crow Flies” band, hopefully we’ll also get back to the UK and Europe (we just finished out first major tour of the UK) before the end of the year. We’ve also been working on a lot of new material which we’ve started recording ourselves. We have a lot of ideas for releases, videos, collaborations right now but it’s best that we keep a lid on those plans until the moment is right. We’ve also been playing out a lot recently which is our next favorite thing to being in the studio!
Keep up with Once & Future Band here, and catch them out on tour at the performances below!
2018 “AS THE CROW FLIES TOUR” – With Chris Robinson Apr 17 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY Apr 18 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA Apr 22 Iron City, Birmingham, AL Apr 24 Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL Apr 25 Manchester Music Hall, Lexington, KY Apr 26 The Signal, Chattanooga, TN Apr 28 Joy Theatre, New Orleans, LA Apr 29 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN May 01 The Pageant, St. Louis, MO May 02 The Truman, Kansas City, MO May 06 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO May 08 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV May 09 The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA May 11 The Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA May 12 Montbleau Resort & Casino, Tahoe Village, NV May 13 Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR
As he revs up to release his new track “Passenger’s Side” this Friday, Ontario-based folk rock talent John Muirhead seems to be absolutely glowing with excitement. His music – which has an almost Broadway musical feel to it with the way he emphasizes every syllable and makes sure his audience is crystal clear on his meaning – is absolutely captivating, the new track setting the tone for what’s to come later this year. Check out our quick hit interview below, and be sure to peep the new song on Friday!
Your new single “Passenger’s Side” is amazing. How has your music evolved since releasing your first EP Yesterday’s Smile?
Thanks so much!
I’m still very proud of Yesterday’s Smile, but with it being my first EP, the whole record was a learning process. I learned a lot about how to be comfortable in the studio and how to create interesting arrangements that serve the song. The songs themselves were written between the ages of 16 and 19, so looking back as a more mature songwriter there are definitely some things that I would change if I were to do it all over again.
With “Passenger’s Side” and the rest of Foundational (The new EP, released in June 2018) I’ve taken the experience from Yesterday’s Smile and applied it. I feel that my voice has matured, my confidence has grown, and the songs are more representative of myself.
What message would you like your fans to get from “Passenger’s Side”? (Out April 6th)
The song is about defying the feeling that maybe our best days are behind us, and the appeal and romanticism of leaving it all behind. With this song I hope that listeners know that they’re not alone in that feeling.
I also hope the song can be the soundtrack to late night drives and lazy Sunday mornings.
How have you grown as an artist since you first began making music?
I think I’m just more sure of myself as a musician. I’ve sharpened up my guitar playing, singing, and performance through the constant repetition of touring and playing live, and my songwriting is getting closer and closer to the level I want it to be. My artistic vision is much clearer now, and I know what I want to accomplish in music.
What is your favorite thing about making music?
My favourite moment in the process of making music is seeing and hearing people sing along to songs that I wrote. I make music in hopes that my songs can effect others the way my favourite songs have effected me, and seeing people sing along is a reminder that maybe I’m on the right track.
In a much broader sense, my favourite thing about music is the fact that it’s a universal language. Regardless of language or culture we can all connect to music, and it plays such an integral role in all of our lives. I’ve made so many meaningful connections to people through music that I may not have had if I didn’t play, and I think that’s amazing.
What inspired you to begin making music?
Like a lot of musicians my age, Guitar Hero actually played a big role in inspiring me to pick up a real guitar. It introduced me to so much great music and it felt really cool to hold a guitar in my hands. When I picked up a real guitar it felt amazing to actually play the songs from the game and from there it didn’t take long to start writing.
What musicians would you say inspire you as an artist?
There are too many! I would have to say Frank Turner would be one of my biggest influences, he bridged the gap between my indie/punk rock upbringing and my current appreciation for folk music. Seeing the intensity of his work ethic and reading about his crazy tour stories really made me want to push myself to the limit as a musician. Recently I’ve been really inspired by Brian Fallon, Jason Isbell, Phoebe Bridgers, and a whole bunch more.
Following the release of your new EP this spring will there be a tour in the future?
Yes! I will be heading out to Eastern Canada in June, touring as part of VIA Rail’s Artist on Board program. I’ll be announcing all of the dates shortly, make sure to follow me on social media to stay up to date!
Writing inspirational songs that encourage you while leaving you feeling empowered at the same time, singer-songwriter Somaya writes music that inspires others. Somaya, who released her debut album “Stand Up” last June is on the rise in music. Full of emotion and powerful lyrics, the young singer makes her mark in music by not only helping herself but others through her lyrics. We caught up with Somaya recently to talk about “Stand Up” and what is next for her in music.
Check out what she has to say below!
The meaning behind “Stand Up” is powerful, what exactly inspired you to create that song?
Sexual assault is an issue that has, unfortunately, affected a lot of people in my life, and I was frustrated with how little support survivors receive. Knowing how powerful music can be, I decided to write “Stand Up” to try and raise awareness on the issue, and to encourage others to use their voice as well.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I look up to Halsey and Tove Lo for their production style and for the rawness in their music. I also look up to the lyricism of more stripped back artists like Hozier and Mumford and Sons.
What advice would you give people that want to get into music?
Don’t let comparison get in the way of you achieving your goals.
Your album is named after your song “Stand Up”, what was the whole creative process like for the album?
It was really cool! “Stand Up” is my debut album, so a large part of the process was new territory for me. I’ve been writing songs since I was 11, so to be able to record my songs with a producer as amazing as Matt Bronleewe was truly incredible.
Your song “Stand Up” is garnering a lot of attention, what it is like seeing that people love your song?
It’s unreal. Like I said, I’ve been writing songs since I was 11, and for years most of those songs didn’t go beyond the ears of my family and close friends, so to receive such a positive response from so many people, especially on a song I wrote about sexual assault, feels so rewarding.
Is there anything music wise that we can expect from you in the near future?
I’m always writing new music, so look out on my social media (@somayamusic) for updates!
What is your favorite thing about making music?
Being able to express myself and be completely honest in my lyrics feels really freeing. And having people tell me that they relate to those lyrics makes it even better.