Portland-based alt/pop My Brothers and I might be busy prepping for the release of their EP material, but the next piece in that EP puzzle belongs to “When You’re Ready”, for which the music video has been taking center stage since its release in late May.
We’re absolutely smitten with this quintet, so we decided to do a quick interview to celebrate all their (amazing!) release news as of late. Check it out below!
How did you all meet?
Scott, Erik, and I (David) are really brothers, so we met because we had to. Then Jordan and Scott have been besties since 2nd Grade and Jordan held me when I was a baby. So he is basically our brother.
Your song “When You’re Ready” has a very unique sound, what inspired that?
For the entire EP coming soon, we wanted to write pop music and have it feel like it could be on Top 40 radio, while also staying true to what makes us different. In most of our new songs, we have a mixture of real instruments and samples. We wanted to create a hybrid that competes with a lot of the digitally created pop music you hear, without going full-blown digital. We have a lot of real piano, real guitar, real drums, and real bass, while also throwing in some synths and 808 drum beats. This is especially shown off in When You’re Ready. The vibe may feel familiar, but the execution is what we feel sets it apart. It’s organic pop!
The video for “When You’re Ready” has an interesting story that revolves around a dissatisfied model. How did you come up with the concept for the video?
The “When You’re Ready” music video idea was actually brought to us by the producer of the video. He reached out and pitched his idea and we really liked it right away. We knew we didn’t want the video to just be a direct narrative of the lyrical content and his idea felt like a pretty cool metaphor that makes sense with the lyrics without being a direct representation. We had a blast working on it and are super happy with how it turned out.
Who inspires you as artists?
We are all a bunch of music sponges. We love to listen to music and are constantly listening to the New Music Friday playlist on Spotify. So more recently we have been vibing on that new Shawn Mendes album (no shame). In general we have always been inspired by bands and artists like John Mayer, OneRepublic, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, The Roots, and so many others.
Where to you hope to see yourself musically in the next five years?
I think we would love to be settling into a nice career and a nice rhythm of being full time musicians. This journey has been so much fun and taken a ton of work and will continue to take a ton of work, but I think if we could be releasing a 3rd or 4th album by then and have a solid foundation and fan base, that would be a huge blessing. For us, we just want to change lives. It sounds cliché but we aren’t just doing music because it’s fun. We want to make a difference in people’s lives and touch people’s souls with our music. Make them feel something deeper than just surface level. If we get to a place where we can be playing and releasing music and use our platform to be a light in this world, that would be reaching our ultimate goal.
If you could describe your sound, what would it be?
I think organic pop is probably the best way to describe our sound. We love all types of music. We grew up on jazz and rock and hip hop and blues. We try to just be ourselves when we write and not stray away from that jazzy guitar lick, or that fat hip hop drum beat. We find ways to implement the past in a pop way with real instruments.
What is your favorite part about working together as a band?
Collaborating in everything we do is so much fun. Whether its ideas for live shows, writing songs, or what to do for an Instagram story, we all just love being around each other and goofing off. We try not to take things too seriously and just stay true to who we are. If you ever get a chance to see us live, we think this shines through. We just have a blast and I basically view every transition as a chance to make the crowd laugh or smile… and occasionally cry (in a good way).
Keep up with My Brothers & I here, and preorder their EP here.
Nashville-based country duo The Dryes – fittingly comprised of husband/wife duo Katelyn and Derek Drye – are prepping to unleash 2 4-track EPs to the universe over the coming months, with impressive first single “Amen” being the introductory gem. With robust vocals, honest lyrics, and harmonies that will rattle you to the bone, this duo looks to be staking a claim in the country/roots genre that won’t soon be forgotten. With all of the excitement around what’s to come, we caught up with the two for a quick minute to get some perspective. Hear lead single “Amen”, then check out their words below!
What inspired you both to get involved in music together?
Katelyn: We started dating and for the first couple months we occasionally would sing together and thought it was fun. Derek was in another band and I was starting to get in the music scene back in North Carolina, our hometown. Then, one of Derek’s step uncles passed away. Someone in the family said “Hey! You sing (Derek)…and so does your girlfriend…we would like you two to sing for the funeral.” So that’s what we did. We very much remember that day. It was the first time we realized that we had a specific chemistry when we sang together. We felt the energy between us and talk about it often when people ask us.
Your latest single “Amen” is set to be released May 18th. What was the music making process like behind that song?
Derek: I had a guitar riff I kept coming back to. Katelyn wanted to write an upbeat jam about how we met, as we met when she was in the church choir. The co-writer, Alexa Cruse, came up with the melody of “Can I get an amen..” which got us all stoked and we took it in that rootsy/swampy vibe. The verses came out easy, cause we just took the main moments and feelings we both felt in a new relationship. Singing “can I get an amen” seemed perfect since Katelyn was in the church choir. We asked 6 of our friends to come and do gang/choir vocals in part of the song to add that element.
What inspiration would you both like to get your listeners to take away from “Amen”?
Katelyn: Don’t be too serious when you first start a relationship, have a little fun!
Why was “Amen” chosen as your lead single?
Derek: It hits you right in the face. Aside from the wall of guitar fuzz tones, the song showcases Katelyn’s vocals and I love getting to rip it up on the guitar in addition to singing. It’s exactly the type of upbeat jam that we wanted. It’s sexy.
What is your favorite thing about making music with your spouse?
Katelyn: You’ll hear all of this in the EP, but honestly it’s healing to us to sing these statements to each other, fun or serious. No matter the vibe of the song, it’s going to have to be honest. Like any marriage, we have our arguments, and disagree on quite a lot. We know that we have to be quick to forgive and prioritize what’s important. It would be pretty boring if we agreed on everything.
Derek: You kind of have to take turns being the punching bag for each other. Not in an abusive way, but a “here’s what I’m really dealing with” way, and “I know you can take it because you understand me” kind of way. When we write, we listen for those statements. They might be take-aways from how we got through something, or they might be a fun upbeat commitment to each other that we sing even when we don’t feel it. The feeling doesn’t make it less real, so we know that when we write, we can eventually tap into an incredible place together. It’s all about leaving room for it. We all tend to think that to be creative, you first have to be inspired. That’s actually not all true. We schedule time to write, and whether inspiration happens or not, we’ve at least shown up and left room for it. So NOW, inspiration happens more than ever because of that. It’s these little things that create big results.
What is the best piece of advice you both could give couples that want to make music together?
Always be open to constructive criticism. Brush offense off and learn to take each others ideas and run with them. Be okay with the fact that you would do it differently. Do it their way anyway. And you’ll get the same in return if both parties are listening. When you have that trust, you know that ultimately the other person is looking at the bigger picture of things – whether they’re wrong or right.
What are your future plans following the release of “Amen”?
We have a show in Nashville on May 23 at The Basement as a single release/new music celebration. We also have our 2nd single coming out in June, and we have EP Vol 1 coming later in the summer. We are excited to release this music and look forward to sharing it with the world.
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