Piqued Jacks

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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Indie Band, Piqued Jacks
March/April 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Piqued Jacks
Photo Courtesy of Piqued Jacks

It is our pleasure to present Piqued Jacks who are a passionate and polychromatic alternative/funk-rock band of brothers from Italy, now Austin-based. Our publication interviewed them in June of 2013 and easily was blown away by the band’s music. Today, almost two years later, Indie Band Piqued Jacks continues to make music that is setting them apart from other groups currently out in the indie music scene. For those who are new to the band and their music, here is Piqued Jacks’ amazing story.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Piqued Jacks: We can do better, we can do it with three words: passionate, powerful, polychromatic.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Piqued Jacks: The Red Hot Chili Peppers had a great influence on us, mostly because we saw them more as a family than as a band. Growing up, we got influenced a lot by Biffy Clyro, QOTSA, The Killers, The Mars Volta and Incubus. Right now, we’re just trying to create our own sound.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Piqued Jacks: Does a whole album count? We like so much our new LP “Climb Like Ivy Does”, we really can’t pick one song.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Piqued Jacks: Recently, we’ve been listening to Enter Shikari, Colour Haze, Death Cab For Cutie and Port Noir. Going deeper in the underground scene we think Under The Bed and Shed Of Noiz (two badass bands from Tuscany) do deserve the spotlight.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Piqued Jacks: Inspiration comes from everything and nothing, when we write a song it just happens. Being together in the same room is very inspiring, but so is being alone with an instrument.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Piqued Jacks: Oh well, the Foo Fighters. Not for the crowd, but for meeting Dave Grohl and the band instead.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Piqued Jacks: Each one of us has his own. We probably all agree with eating sleeping.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Piqued Jacks: Films, Whataburger, Pizza, Friends, Oxygen.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Piqued Jacks: Luckily, we haven’t gotten into big problems yet, only lots of funny scenarios.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Piqued Jacks: Absolutely!

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Piqued Jacks: Penguinsane would work as a sound engineer (he already does, he loves it), E-King would probably have a music-related job (such as band manager or producer, he’s made for that), littleladle would be some kind of a journalist and ThEd0g doesn’t really know.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Piqued Jacks: “Climb Like Ivy Does”. Don’t ever forget your roots, and fight for what you love.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Piqued Jacks: Producing our fourth album in a nice sunny garden, and a giant statue of a rhino in the middle of it.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Piqued Jacks: Just last week we had one of the best. We presented our new LP in our house-pub where we grew up as a band. All our families and friends were there, we didn’t expect so much love. It was a beautiful night, we were all one with the people, everything was so simple yet so huge, emotionally speaking.

We’ll get on the road soon for moments like that.

Official Band’s Facebook Website:
https://www.facebook.com/piqued.jacks

Band’s Official Website:
http://www.piquedjacks.com/

Joyous Wolf

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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Indie Band, Joyous Wolf
March/April 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Joyous Wolf
Photo Provided by Nick Reese

Singer/Songwriter Nick Reese led the indie band Carnival Seasons to great heights in the three years he spent as front man for the group. Today, Nick has a new gig, and one that this publication is extremely excited about at the moment. Meet the latest sensation to hit the Indie Music Circuit: Joyous Wolf. Members Nick Reese (vocals), Blake Allard (guitar), Sam Mulder (bass), and Robert Sodaro (drums) have collaboratively joined forces to create something that will certainly make others take notice. As always, Nick’s strong male vocals are beautifully laced to electrifying guitar and insane drums that make this publication proud to call Joyous Wolf one of the best new indie bands currently out. Here is a recent spotlight with the members of Joyous Wolf as we get the 411 of who they are. Enjoy!

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain Joyous Wolf’s sound in 5 words:

Nick: Loud, Swampy, Dynamic, Melodic, Power.

Blake: Sexy, Passionate, Groovy, Disco, Rock.

Robert: Soul, Rock, Blues, Energy, Power.

Sam: Big, jumpy, dirty, flowing, deep.

Isaac: A question for Nick. You built up quite the following as the lead singer of your former band, Carnival Seasons. What was the main reason you decided to leave the band and what do you take from your experiences with Carnival Seasons that you believe will help you with your new band, Joyous Wolf.

Nick: It wasn’t so much me leaving but realizing I wasn’t going to be able to keep the ship from sinking. A member of the band decided to leave at a very poor time, and it just proved to be too much of a blow to come back from. So I figured it was pretty much starting over anyways, so might as well just start a new chapter somewhere else. The overall knowledge of the industry I’ve gained over the last 4 years would be my biggest take away from the experience. I know what to expect and I can easily see when something could be a potential problem before it happens. You know, because I’ve probably seen it before.

Isaac: (QN) With respect to your fans, how are they enjoying your new gig? How about your former band members?

Nick: I think there is a bit of letting go more than a few of them need to do still. Can tell a lot of them are hesitant, but the ones who have given it a chance love it. All my band members except one, have given me some sort of blessing on the project like “This is really good”. I value their opinions over my own.

Isaac: Speaking of Joyous Wolf, I am digging the name! Where did the name come from and what is its meaning?

Nick: We just sort of threw around 1000 names during after practice dinners, and random text conversations. I wish there was a better story haha.

Blake: The name stuck out to us after spit balling for a few days, we just liked the way the name looked, sounded, and figured there’s a joyous wolf in everyone.

Robert: The name just kind of happened; I like the idea of having some huge riff being represented by this little wolf.

Sam: I’ve always liked animal names in bands so thought I might keep it going.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Nick: Jack White in any format whether it’s The White Stripes, Raconteurs, His Solo Stuff, etc. The Strokes, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Muse, Nirvana, Van Morrison, The Kinks, Brian Wilson, The Ramones, AC/DC, Queen, Judas Priest, The Who, I could go on but I’ll stop there haha.

Blake: Dave Grohl, Michael Jackson, Dick Dale, Freddy Mercury, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix.

Robert: Stevie wonder, Benny Greb, Chris Coleman, Steve Jordan, Matt Cameron, Tom Morello, Keith Carlock, Jojo Mayer, Matt Garstka, Chris Cornell.

Sam: Victor Wooten, Soundgarden, Kyuss, Deftones, Slayer.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you’re listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now? Who do you think deserves the spotlight?

Nick: I’m a huge fan of a band Blake actually turned me onto called “Crobot” They have this amazing song out called “Legend of The Space Born Killer” Also The Virginmary’s are one kickass modern rock band that really does it for me. Audioslave, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rage Against The Machine, Van Morrison, and anything Jack White is involved with. I could go on forever.

Blake: I am constantly listening to Queens of the Stone Age, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Zella Day, Them Crooked Vultures, Wilco.

Robert: I am perpetually listening to Queens of the Stone Age, Alice in Chains, Them Crooked vultures, Audioslave, The Pillows, Primus, Steely Dan, Snarky Puppy and Radiohead. Them Crooked Vultures has put out some of the most innovative rock music that has come out in the past couple years (and a new album).

Sam: Soundgarden, Primus, anything from Devin Townshend.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Nick: I usually just work with what Blake, Bob, and Sam throw at me. I try to capture the mood of the music, what it makes me feel, the sound grabs me and takes me somewhere. I like to think that it makes the song even better when both the instrumentation and vocalization are coming from the same place but from many different resources. Probably the whole journey of making the song, you build it brick by brick until it’s a skyscraper of sound unique to you.

Blake: I draw inspiration from things in my life that I cannot control; music lets me come up with an artistic solution. My favorite part is when everyone is playing their own part and it all comes together in a process of beautiful symmetry.

Robert: My favorite part has to be when someone just plays something or someone comes up with some random idea and it then the song becomes way more awesome than anticipated.

Sam: When someone comes up with a riff or beat we build off of that and from the vibe I get from the guys leads me to the next transition.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now, who would it be?

Nick: Muse they are just such an enormous group, to open up for them would be a privilege.

Blake: Foo Fighters because Dave Grohl is basically God.

Robert: QOTSA, Muse, or The Shaggs.

Sam: Deftones!

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Nick: I’m all about adventure, so anywhere I haven’t been is where I want to go, just travel around and see as much as possible.

Blake: I love going on road trips around the west coast and partying with the best people a guy could ask for.

Robert: Eating food with friends/hang out with friends.

Sam: Riding my bike, eating dank food!

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Nick: Really Good Food, Copious amounts of sleep, MUSIC!, Performing, and Women.

Blake: 1. My funky shirts, 2. Pony tail holders, 3. Netflix, 4. The gym, 5. Chipotle.

Robert: Food, water, sleep, music, those that are close to me.

Sam: My bike, the Outdoors, My animals, Friends, a good drink.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into while you were performing or on the road, that you can let us in on?

Nick: I remember vividly, early on in my last band we had not been able to get the presale money for one of these lousy club shows in Anaheim. We decided that we had enough of the production companies bullshit and got our stuff and left. We were dodging phone calls for months! We never played there again and to be honest it was only a good thing.

Blake: We ran a stop sign one time…

Robert: I played a show with a different band about a year and a half ago at a small ice cream shop. The show we prepared for was a full electric show, the room was incredibly small I set up my drums and we played hard. People ordering ice cream and their kids stood 2 feet away from my cymbals and drums, we realized we were supposed to do an acoustic set afterwards. That being said… It was a good show.

Sam: We got kicked out of a venue because a bandmate had knocked down a door.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Nick: Oh yeah I’m way too stubborn to give up; I’d just make sure to be a bit better equipped the next time around.

Blake: ABSOLUTELY!

Robert: Yes?

Sam: Yes but with a smarter approach.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Nick: I’m a science major in college, so believe it or not I’d probably go into Astro-Physics, or A professional wrestler….or a Jedi…Yeah a Jedi.

Blake: Be homeless, because music is life.

Robert: Something in business, medicine, or chemistry. Because those are my main interests in school I.E. Money, Medicine, and Chemistry.

Sam: Any kind of racing.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Nick: “Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine”.

Blake: “Anyone can make the simple complicated; genius is making the complicated simply”.

Robert: “Death is always near and fear is your enemy”.

Sam: “Treat others how you’d like to be treated” It’s worked for me so far.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be…

Nick: On the back of a Milk carton, the have you seen this person box, possibly selling Viagra door to door. I don’t know that’s up for the universe to decide. Hopefully, making music with the guys, or at least making music somewhere.

Blake: Hopefully a musician who can make a living doing what he loves, nothing more, nothing less.

Robert: 29 and much older.

Sam: Playing shows and making good money, possibly a family of my own.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Nick: I transferred to a different high school half way through my senior year. I owe it to that place for pretty much every musical experience I’ve ever had. Everybody there seemed to play guitar or be in band at least the people I hung around that is. I picked up a guitar there for the first time, tried to make some pleasant sounding noise for the first time. I started to sing all the time even though it was horribly off key and drove my parents insane. I learned how to write songs there from the musicians I knew. I played my very first performance there, I only knew 3 chords and couldn’t even sing and play at the same time very well, but I sang my song on stage sitting in chair hot lights beaming down on me. I put all my nerves into those 3 minutes, and when the crowd erupted I couldn’t contain myself. I walked off stage and fell into my friends arms I couldn’t walk right because my legs were jelly. I’ll never forget that, that moment was the most defining in my entire life.

Blake: After finishing a solo, looking out to a crowd of people screaming enthusiastically to what I had just given them was without a doubt more than I could have ever asked for. And since that very moment, I’ve been addicted to it.

Robert: One of the most significant moments in my life was actually not in a band but rather in an orchestra. I’ve played violin all my life and we were performing Adagio for Strings in Segerstrom Hall conducted by the amazingly passionate and spectacular Maxim Eshkenazy. That moment will stay with me forever hitting the great climax of the song and playing the last note and hearing it ring through the hall. I will never forget it.

Sam: I was playing at the Jumping Turtle in San Marcos and while we were playing this old guy was bobbin his head the whole time with a beer in his hand. After we had finished he came up to me and said that was some of the best stuff he’s heard since the 70’s. For some reason it always stuck with me.

Official Joyous Wolf’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/joyouswolf

Colin Ward

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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Singer/Songwriter, Colin Ward
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Singer/Songwriter Colin Ward
Photo Courtesy of Colin Ward

It is such a great honor to present Singer/Songwriter Colin Ward to our online readers in this new dynamic interview. He is bringing to music lovers around the world a taste of Bluegrass, Folk, Americana, and Alternative Rock with the new release of his latest effort, Drink Red Wine. Ward is delivering some fun and catchy memorable vocal melodies that promise to have fans take notice of Ward’s music.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Colin: Emotional, Cinematic, Earthy, Positive, and Dynamic.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Colin: In no particular order; Bob Dylan, Django Reinhardt, Phish, Nirvana, Blind Melon, The Beatles, King Crimson, The Grateful Dead, Tortoise, James Brown, Parliament, and my family members.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Colin: No favorites but I’m really proud of the song “look at the moon” because it is spooky, sweet, and I love its simplicity.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Colin: I love many genres but this power funk group out of Brooklyn, NY “TURKUAZ” has been just blowing me away with their recordings and performances the last 2 years.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Colin: I write my music in two methods. Ill be doing something non musical such as doing the dishes or cooking and a melody or lyrics will come to me from an unknown channel. The song “drink red wine” is a great example of that. I was just doing the dishes and poured myself a glass of red wine; the first line of the song I just sang out of nowhere- and had to stop what I was doing and write the rest of the song up in my studio.

However, mostly I am very instrument based with my approach to writing. I’ve never really been a fan of anyone’s lyrics or my own. I’d say 99 percent of the time I come up with the bass, guitar, or mandolin parts, before even attempting lyrics. I think that notes or pitches are more important spiritually for the human race, which is why I focus more on melody and harmony with fewer verses and choruses than trying to preach some big selfish message about how we should live our lives etc.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Colin: I’m not sure really. I guess whomever would have me!

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Colin: I enjoy simple things in life such as camping, fishing, traveling, good scenery, spending time with loved ones, and cooking/eating.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Colin: Food, Water, Love, Sleep, and Joking around!

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Singer/Songwriter Colin Ward
Photo Courtesy of Colin Ward

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Colin: I think about this all the time. I guess I have no definitive answer – if I were able to time travel I’d be worried nature and the space/time continuum would be screwed up. But to seriously answer your question I would have practiced more guitar in my mid 20’s and partied a fraction less.

Isaac: Great response!

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Colin: I live in Denver, Colorado; I enjoy working with medicinal and spiritual herb. So a farmer of sorts.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Colin: Love and positivity are the best things we humans know. Keep striving for those things.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Colin: “…more time travel ; hopefully alive and healthy playing music with and for other people”.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Colin: I have two;

1. I once played a 4 hour Improvised New Orleans style Mardi Gras show in Portland, Oregon in 2011, my good friend Joe Hall and I put on the entire event and had special guests Russell Batiste Jr of the Funky Meters, Reggie Houston of Fats Domino, Steveland Swatkins of Juno What/Allen Stone, and Jazz Trumpeter Farnell Newton play with us. Sharing the stage with those cats was a lifetime achievement for me.

2. My second great triumph was playing a 3 hour improvised show at the Oregon Country Fair 2009 with Bill Kreutzman drummer of the Grateful Dead. What an honor.

Both shows have clips that can be found on YouTube. Thank you for the Interview!

Official Website:
http://colinward420.bandcamp.com/

Ahmed El-Motassem

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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Atlanta Based Singer/Songwriter, Ahmed El-Motassem
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Ahmed El-Motassem
Photo Courtesy of Ahmed El-Motassem

Meet NYC-Based Singer/Songwriter Ahmed El-Motassem who shares with our publication/online readers his story of how he got his start in the Indie Music Industry. El-Motassem’s music possesses a hypnotic multi-layered sound of vocals, keys and guitar that combines elements of new wave, alt-folk, avant-pop with a mid-eastern twist. Want to learn more? Then read on in this new exciting featured spotlight.

Isaac: It is a pleasure to speak with you via this important online conversation. I had a chance to review your press kit, and I must say that I am impressed, excited, and thrilled about your music. What do you think you will add to the Indie Music Genre that will set your music apart from others?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I hope to add an honest voice and an original poetic entertaining sound that is based on a uniquely bicultural – East meets West -experience.

Isaac: What has been your inspiration for pursuing a music career?

Ahmed El-Motassem: Everything that is wrong with our social order and everything that is beautiful about life.

Isaac: Why is music important to you?

Ahmed El-Motassem: It is a form of self-healing and a source of great joy.

Isaac: How has the whole experience of being on stage performing help you grow as an artist?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I used to think it didn’t matter if you were understood, and performing on stage made me aware that I have a role to communicate with the audience or listener in a way that is caring and entertaining. It took me a few years of performing to take control of the situation, in the beginning I used to get a little lost on stage, at times not knowing who to be or what to do. A stage ‘presence’ involves more than just getting your parts right musically, you need to stay in character.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performances?

Ahmed El-Motassem: It depends, some mistakes you can incorporate into the sound and act as if it’s part of the show. In general, I take a mistake as an alarm to fine tune my act to a better than ever status, that is as a way of making up for it.

Isaac: Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition? If so, what do you do to overcome your fears?

Ahmed El-Motassem: Every performance has an aspect to it like it’s the first ever, because in a way it is. I can talk to band members or rehearse myself in a quiet corner somewhere as a way to ease the nervousness. Sometimes I comfort myself with thoughts like: relax we’re all gonna die someday!

Isaac: Do you ever experience a writer’s block when you are writing new songs? I can imagine this would be particularly annoying if you were in a collaboration situation. If you have in the past, what do you do to get over it?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I try to work on other than songs then come back to it, because songs can’t be forced into completion. And yes, in a collaboration situation and under a studio deadline it can get quite anxious. Sometimes you’re left with faith alone that it will come together in the last minutes! Though I would safely say that a writer’s block ranks among the much nicer problems in life!

Isaac: What advice have you received from mentors about pursuing a music career?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I was advised to be to be persistent in putting out my work and to be humble and receptive about how others may perceive it.

Isaac: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous about pursuing a music career?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I would say do it only if doing what you love and loving what you do means the world to you.

Isaac: With so much diverse music currently out, do you feel that your type of music is still relevant or important in today’s music industry? What do you feel makes your music stand out for the rest?

Ahmed El-Motassem: My songs have an urgent quality about them, like they have to be written. I communicate and articulate ideas and feelings of the times we live in, and I do it in a unique way that sounds somewhat familiar yet doesn’t quite sound like anyone else, a sound which often sharply divides listeners between who like and who dislike it; though rarely are people indifferent to it.

Isaac: How does music affect you and the world around you?

Ahmed El-Motassem: Music is a way of making a far from perfect world, perfect for a while.

Isaac: Why do you believe music is something that everyone should enjoy?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I don’t believe music is something that everyone should enjoy, not if they’re not into it or up for it. However, I believe music is a special language that ought to come from a cosmically harmonious place in us, and that makes it a special friend indeed.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

Ahmed El-Motassem: Well, it’s made music more accessible than ever to purchase.

Isaac: Do you find that your songs typically touch people as much as they touch you?

Ahmed El-Motassem: Sometimes, sometimes apparently more so, sometimes apparently less so.

Isaac: When you are in songwriting mode, who are you thinking about when gathering your thoughts for your lyrics?

Ahmed El-Motassem: My songwriting mode goes through several phases. First, there is the conceptual inspiration, coming up with an idea or a short verse and a way to sing it. Then, verses are added and edited, as the musical accompaniment gets worked, and I think of making the sound feel related; as different parts of the same house of song.

Isaac: How prolific are you with respect to your songwriting skills? Do you believe it is a meticulous process to create your lyrics or do the lyrics flow naturally?

Ahmed El-Motassem: It is both, the meticulous work is in the editing and in finding the right sound for it and practicing it, but it has to be based on lyrics that originally flow. At the end of the day, the lyrics and music have to flow together as one being.

Isaac: What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful in this music business? How do you promote your music and shows?

Ahmed El-Motassem: It takes a great deal of patience and perseverance to continue putting out new music. I currently promote my music through Internet/college radio, through email, music site, not to underestimate, word of mouth.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one of today’s hottest artists or groups, who would it be and why?

Ahmed El-Motassem: ‘Muse’ I suppose, we have different musical styles but share a similar grand vision of a transcendental sound.

Isaac: Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?

Ahmed El-Motassem: Oh God so many, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Flaming Lips, John Lennon, Jimmy Hendrix, Concrete Blonde, to name a few. Among my favorite CD’s are Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 and Blonde On Blonde, The Doors’ first album and Strange Days, Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma,
Sly And The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Going On, Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black and Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I admire a lot of famous musicians/bands from different time periods and different continents. Currently, I would say Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Caetano Veloso and Tom Ze; they have continued to grow artistically and can still sound profound.

Isaac: The Internet plays an integral role with artists getting their music out to the masses. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

Ahmed El-Motassem: On my site, fans will find my latest CD with lyrics, a discography and links to other sites that feature other work I have produced in the past.

Isaac: At the end of the day, are you happy with where you are at professionally?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I am pleased with where I am musically though I often feel that my work has just begun.

Isaac: Who would you like to dedicate this interview to and why?

Ahmed El-Motassem: I would dedicate it to your readers since they are the ones who will take the trouble to read it.

Official Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/ahmed.elmotassem.3

Nicky Will

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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Atlanta Based Hip-Hop/Pop Artist, Nicky Will
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Atlanta Based Hip-Hop/Pop Artist Nicky Will
Photo Courtesy of Nicky Will

It is amazing when one thinks of the power of words. The ability to be able to masterfully rhyme with words is a skill that many claim to have but only a few truly possess. Atlanta Based Hip-Hop/Pop Artist Nicky Will certainly fits into the category of those artists with the amazing ability to inspire and entertain others with their rhymes. For those readers of this online publication who enjoy reading about performers who are taking brave steps away from the traditional style of music, this is the interview for you. Check out what formulated from our interview with Nicky Will.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Nicky: Pop, Top 40, Hip-Hop, Upbeat, and Story-Drivin’.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Nicky: When I first realized I wanted to be a musician, I was listening to a lot of the 90’s pop music just because I grew up with 2 older sisters. As I got older, I was exposed to Rap and Hip-Hop where I discovered Eminem and Ludacris, which around that point in my life were two of the artists coming up. I went through a very eclectic Hip-Hop stage where I had Mos Def and Nas on replay. Nowadays I listen to a lot of the upcoming artists from Kendric Lamar all the way to Justin Bieber, J Cole and The Weeknd.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Nicky: I have this old school type track called ” Feelin’ It” that I really love performing because of the energy it brings to the crowd. It’s part of my roots and where I originally started this journey.

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Atlanta Based Hip-Hop/Pop Artist Nicky Will
Photo Courtesy of Nicky Will

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Nicky: I really dig what Kendric Lamar and J Cole are doing with the Hip-Hop genre right now. People are sleeping on them because they haven’t fully went mainstream but for me that’s highly respectable. One of my latest favorites is The Weeknd. I can’t personally define his style because it’s so unique and for me that’s a huge selling point for me when I listen to a new artist. The Weeknd has been around for a while now and he’s really just beginning to get the recognition he deserves.

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Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Nicky: I really like to listen to the plain music on repeat and dig deep into what my latest emotions have been. I realized that doing so allowed for amazing songs that people could connect to but my downfall was that I would write about similar subjects quite often. Lately, I go into a song with a specific topic in mind and get into character and put myself in the shoes as if I was in the situation. That method has allowed me to expand my writing ability and to relate and reach more of my audience.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Nicky: I would really love to open for Jake Miller. I check in on him regularly to see what he’s doing and he’s such a positive dude and is changing people’s lives which inspires me musically. I always strive to surround myself with positive people with common goals.

Isaac: So, what is y our favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Nicky: I am a big family person. When I have the free time, I enjoy being able to visit family and spend time with people who I don’t get to see too often. I’m also big on supporting locals so when I can get to the local farmers market and check out people doing what they love it makes me happy.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Nicky: Mac & Cheese, guitar, phone, family, & Orange Juice.

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Atlanta Based Hip-Hop/Pop Artist Nicky Will
Photo Courtesy of Nicky Will

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Nicky: So far I haven’t really got yelled at too much. I did jump off stage at one of my shows and after the show I got yelled at by security because it was a hazard of some sort.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Nicky: Absolutely. I did it to give a more intimate performance and I knew what I was doing. If I thought it was a hazard I wouldn’t have done it

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Nicky: I would probably organize charity events and other organizations to help people who need it. Part of my vision with my career now is to be in the position to help people and have an impact on a greater scale.

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Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by? ”

Nicky: “Dream Big”…I also constantly tell people to keep smiling.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Nicky: “…performing on occasion and focusing more on being a producer and running things behind the scenes”.

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Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Nicky: I got the awesome opportunity to open up for Aaron Carter which was one of my main inspirations when I was like 6 years old. It was his performance I saw when I was younger that made me want to be a musician. I didn’t actually speak to him but to just the moment on stage and being able to open for his show was pretty awesome.

Official Twitter Page:
https://twitter.com/iamnickywill

Official Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/IamNickyWill

Official Website:
http://www.iamnickywill.com/

Brian Lee Robinson

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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Texas Songwriter/Singer, Brian Lee Robinson
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Brian Lee Robinson
Photo Courtesy of Brian Lee Robinson

Check out our recent interview with Texas Songwriter/Singer Brian Lee Robinson who is a gem to listen to for music lovers around the world. It is his ability to tap into life’s ups and downs through his music that resonates with his fans. Robinson also has the gift of delivering powerful emotions through his lyrics and melody. It is our pleasure to present this special spotlight with this gifted and amazing performer.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words or less:

Brian: Honest, Raw Country Music.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Brian: Hank Williams, Sr., Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Brian: I think my favorite is “That Old Cat”.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Brian: I bought the new Sturgill Simpson album, Lee Brice, Roger Alan Wade, & Brantley Gilbert.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Brian: I draw inspiration from my own life and the lives of others. I think a lot about my mistakes and victories. Things I might have done differently, or things I wouldn’t change a bit, no matter what the cost.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Brian: Maybe Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck” tears me up, every time. Brantley Gilbert would probably be fun.

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Brian Lee Robinson
Photo Courtesy of Brian Lee Robinson

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Brian: Spend time with my family, kids, etc.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Brian: Oh Lord, Food, Water, Love, Sex, and Music.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Brian: Listen to “Trash is Trash” lol

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Brian: Yea, those were some great times.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Brian: I have always considered myself more a writer, than a performer. I have to write. It’s a form of therapy for me.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Brian: “Be the change you want to see in the world”- Ghandi

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Brian: “…still writing songs and performing them every chance I get”.

Isaac: As a send great off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Brian: The most Recent is the first time I sang “That Old Cat”, and I could see people crying in the audience.

Official Website:
http://www.jejajorecords.com/

Official Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/BrianLeeRobinson

Lachi


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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Vocalist, Songwriter, Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, and Author, Lachi
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Lachi
Album Cover “It’s Our Time”
Courtesy of Lachi

It is such an honor and privilege to interview an amazing established Singer/Songwriter. Lachi is a vocalist, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and author based in New York City. The talented musician has released numerous albums and singles. Lachi’s music can be described as Pop, Pop Rock, and Pop-R&B. It is this fusion of different musical genres that this publication has fallen in love with the artist’s music. In this spotlight with our publication, Lachi shares her story with us. Enjoy!

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Lachi: Empowering Rock infused Pop-R&B.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Lachi: A mix of the Beatles and Ella Fitzgerald. I listened to both of them a great deal during my formative years and their influences continue to seep out into my songwriting and vocal performance.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Lachi: I can’t say I have a favorite song. Songs I fancy tend to change as I go through different experiences.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Lachi: Alt J (or ∆). Their first album is one of the greatest albums to which I’ve had the pleasure of listening.

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Lachi
Photo Courtesy of Lachi

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Lachi: With my songwriting, I tend to draw inspiration from my experiences. I tend to focus less on relationships and heartbreak, and more on self-empowerment, overcoming odds, rising above. Being a black, legally blind female, many of my experiences surround these subjects, and I’ve come to find most everyone can relate. My favorite part of the songwriting process is writing the hook melody which often comes first (sometimes in the shower, sometimes on the train, sometimes while seated in front of my guitar or keyboard).

Isaac: Amazing story!

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Lachi: I’ve always wanted to share a bill with Pink. I adore her. She seems to just keep getting better!

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Lachi: My favorite thing to do when I’m not writing music, is writing period! I write poems, shorts, plays and novels. In fact, I’ve just recently scored a book deal for my upcoming Epic, “The Ivory Staff,” which will be released this summer!

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Lachi: Coming from very humble beginnings, I could pretty much survive without anything safe for water, clothes, shelter and food rations. I will, however, take the time out to give a shout out to my G5 Mac who’s ben by my side since 2005, so about 10 years!

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Lachi: I fell on my arse on stage during a set that was being live broadcast nationally. I sang right through it, got back up in a beat, and the band played uninterrupted…but still though.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Lachi: Yes. Hands down.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Lachi: In school I was great at math and statistics and was going to be an accountant. I’d also consider going into fiction and narrative non-fiction full time. As well, if I wanted to remain in the music industry, I’d probably go into production or management.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Lachi: Choose to be happy and live the life you want to live, not the life others want for you.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Lachi: A really great moment for me was being flown off to Paris a few months back for a video shoot for my latest single “It’s Our Time” featuring Gary Nesta Pine of the Wailers. The song and video was sponsored by new music collaboration platform, Mixluv. A lesbian couple whose wedding I’d officiated happened to be living in Paris at the time, so I stayed at their place, took in the Paris sights, cheeses, chocolates, and wines, and had an amazing video shoot! The video should be coming out within the next month!

Official Website:
http://www.lachimusic.com/

Official Facebook Music Page:
https://www.facebook.com/lachimusic

The zzips


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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Indie Band, The zzips
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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The zzips
Photo Courtesy of The zzips

This next band has an interesting origin story. It is the fact that for years, the four members of The Indie Band The zzips were in fact fierce enemies. The guys would run into each other on a regular basis while bidding for gigs on various street in London. It even got as far as the guys developing certain hostility towards each other; arguing over turfs and accusing each other of stealing fans. But, after several of encounters, the guys became fully aware of each other’s common skills and influences. It was this pivotal moment that the four realized in 2012 combining their efforts into a band would serve everyone involved. Thus, The zzips was formed. This is their story.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Graham: Sideways ride on the blues bus.

James: Wonky, Indie, country, bluesy, & British.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Graham: Duke Ellington, Beach Boys, Sparks.

James: The Smiths, Lou Reed, Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Nirvana, The Pixies, The Cure, & The Stones.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Graham: Turn It Up and You’ll Turn Me On.

James: Always the newest song – Full Factory Reset at the moment.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Graham: Electro Dilettantes, H2SO4, also Danish Mystical Rock – Folk Band Hymns from Nineveh and occasionally Porn Sword Tobacco.

James: H2SO4.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Graham: Our ideas come from our personal lives and observation of our culture. Our songs tend to tell a story or contain a narrative e.g. the Expect the Worst or Scratchcards and Junkies, so it’s rewarding when the music and the lyrics combine powerfully to express that narrative.

James: Inspiration – the human condition in current consumerist culture and love.

Favorite part: finding the wonky button. Doing it right and then undoing it.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Graham: Led Zeppelin.

James: Parton.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Graham: Cooking, painting, swimming, & reading.

James: Dreaming.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

James: Alcohol, love, books, radio 4, & solitude.

Graham: Art, books, wine, chili, peanuts, & sunlight.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

James: Magic mushrooms at Glastonbury was messy, Blew up the PA system in Chicago, Limo caught fire in Vancouver,

Graham: Can’t match James list, but I did once switch a sequencer off with my beergut (fat belly created by drinking vast amounts of beer) during an important gig at London’s Camden Underworld . The band I was engineering for were about to be signed by China Records that night and needless to say when the electronics and drums stopped working there was not much left to listen to. Lol, but not at the time. I seem to remember saying, chill out it used to happen to New Order all the time…

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Graham: Most of it but not all…

James: Absolutely!

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Graham: Maybe a bus driver or a mathematician or both at the same time.

James: I’d probably be a psychotherapist – love listening to peoples narratives.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Graham: Kick the ball as far up the can and park as you start from there.

James: Use it or Lose it. YOLO.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Graham: Head of NATO.

James: Winning an Oscar!

Isaac: As a send great off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Graham: My old band Code (one great album called the Architect on third mind/roadrunner) were doing another of our Play To No One gigs; there was no one in the pub so we turned all the lights out, hit the smoke machine and strobes and did an really intense artistic set. When the lights came back on half an hour later, there was one person at the bar but that person was head of Pinnacle records/distribution in London and he signed us on the spot. True story. Kick the ball as hard as you can and see where it lands.

James: Playing the Blue Lamp in Hull to one man and his dog and then Playing Glastonbury as the sun set.

Official Facebook Webpage:
https://www.facebook.com/Thezzips

Birds Over Arkansas


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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Indie Band, Birds Over Arkansas
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Birds Over Arkansas
Photo Courtesy of Birds Over Arkansas

It was the year 2011 when Scott Haskitt, Laura Hartshorn, and John Mondick decided to form the band Birds Over Arkansas. The band’s discovery of their love of musical experimentation was the main fuel for forming this new group. The sound of Birds Over Arkansas can be contributed to the band’s influences such as Peter Gabriel, Ryan Adams, Frank Zappa, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, and Yes. The best part to the band’s sound is their infusion of heartfelt lyrics, infectious melodies, and complex rhythmic structures. For those looking for a band that is creating both compelling and moving music, then Birds Over Arkansas fits the bill. Here is their story for your entertainment perusal.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Birds Over Arkansas: Our sound has evolved over the last year from straight ahead singer/songwriter and rock styles, to add quirky time signatures and non-standard arrangements. We would call it “singer/songwriter with progressive rhythms”.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

John: I grew up listening to artists such as Peter Gabriel, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd. More recently I’ve been immersing myself in the music of Frank Zappa – I can’t get enough.

Scott: I’ve always loved music no one knows how to dance to; losing track of “beat 1” and having to zip back to find it has been a lifetime of fun. Yes, some of Led Zeppelin and Sting’s music, Meshuggah, Tori Amos, Alex Van Halen’s approach to Eddie’s solos… stuff like that. John and I have common influences in Peter Gabriel, Tom Petty and better late than never, Zappa.

Laura: My influences look a little different from Scott and John’s! Growing up, I always listened to and idolized strong female vocalists/artists: Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Mariah Carey, Ani DiFranco, Tracy Chapman, even Ella Fitzgerald. Genre and style didn’t matter very much to me; it was more about the actual person and their vocal instrument/writing abilities that always captivated me. I was also somewhat randomly a huge fan of the Beatles and the Allman Brothers, as well as old soul artists like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

John: “Catapult” is fun to play live with the full band. When everyone locks in, the rhythm just takes over and the song takes on a life of its own. If it’s just the three of us playing, it would have to be “Elsa.”

Scott: “Catapult” has definitely become the band’s favorite uncle. Also, a few songs Laura sings that we’re recording for our next record; standing back and hearing the band when I’m not singing almost always gives me goosebumps.

Laura: I think “Comet” or “Big Star” are my favorites. I tend to change my mind fairly often, though…ask me again tomorrow. :-)

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

John: The Head & The Heart, Strand of Oaks, War On Drugs, Iron & Wine.

Scott: Nada Surf, Regina Spektor, Pinback, Neko Case, Minor Alps.

Laura: Regina Spektor, The Head and The Heart, Brandi Carlile, Brett Dennen, Ingrid Michaelson, Martin Sexton.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

John: I draw inspiration from everyday life. My favorite part of the songwriting process is actually finishing a song. I tend to write a lot of fragments, but don’t finish very many. I have a pretty large collection of choruses with no verses. Every once in a while I get lucky and two different pieces will fit together to make something complete.

Scott: I surround myself with stuff that makes me excited to learn; Science headlines/podcasts, audiobooks, ocean documentaries, stuff like that keeps me in a steady stream of little ideas. I get them quickly on video, throw them in a folder and experiment with them to keep them going; that’s my favorite part… seeing if that initial spark can actually be a song. I try to keep my writing process fun, light, experimental. I love writing during small shifts in perspective… season changes, buzzing my hair or shaving my beard, finding a new band or finding a new place to drive to or hike.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

John: Iron & Wine.

Scott: Nada Surf.

Laura: Not really sure…Iron and Wine and Nada Surf were really good choices! Maybe Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros? They seem like a good time.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

John: Riding my bike. Getting out in a trail for a 40-50 mile ride is probably the best thing I can do to kill stress. I miss it in the winter.

Scott: I love doing stuff outdoors… walking/hiking/swimming clears my head like clockwork. We have 2 dogs, which is always a bonus.

Laura: Cooking/experimenting with how to make a vegetarian/vegan version of every recipe on the planet, hiking/walking with our dogs, and spending time with my family.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

John: My Gibson ES-335, coffee, my record collection, bike, flannel pajamas.

Scott: Laura’s cooking, old bands I haven’t heard yet, exercise, that new beer I’ve been trying to find, my fluffy slippers.

Laura: Hiking or other outdoor adventures, my rice cooker, google, post-its, and salt! (Scott forgot to say “neck gators” as one of his!)

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Birds Over Arkansas: We never really get in trouble on the road, we usually behave ourselves. Hmmm, maybe we should work on that… Actually, we forgot our Ukulele on our way to a show, bought one locally before the show at a big chain music store, came 1 inch from accidentally running it over with John’s truck during packing, returned it unscathed the next day. We live on the edge.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Birds Over Arkansas: Why not?

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

John: I’d likely be some sort of scientist, probably a mad one.

Scott: Before I started playing drums, I really wanted to be a herpetologist They study reptiles/amphibians… not herpes. I still have a turtle.

Laura: Besides the obvious which is my teaching job, I would say opening a restaurant.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

John: Don’t be a jagoff.

Scott: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent, and original way possible” – Richard Feynman.

Laura: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”- R.J. Palacio, from her book Wonder. In other words, “don’t be a jagoff.”

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

John: Still trying to figure out how to play the mandolin. I’ve been hacking away at it for about a year, but still haven’t properly learned the instrument. I know just enough to get myself through a few BOA tunes.

Scott: Still wondering if I should go back to school. Laura: Completely exhausted. Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer. John: It would have to be opening for Carbon Leaf. At our Philadelphia show, Carter Gravatt joined us on stage for our song “Comet,” which he played guitar on when we recorded it. Then we joined them for a song of theirs. To quote Scott, it was “one of those nights where everything landed strangely perfectly.” Scott: What John said. After we finished that show, in the mad rush to strike the stage, Laura grabbed me and said “That was fun!!”. I love that in that frantic moment she had to take the time to tell me.

Laura: Seeing John jump all over the stage during that same show, and knowing that he had the best night of his life!

Official Website
http://birdsoverarkansas.com/

Malachi Grant


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Junior’s Cave
Music Interview
with Indie New York Hip-Hop Performer, Malachi Grant
February/March 2015 Edition
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Malachi Grant
Photo Credit: William Elliot Springfield

Indie New York Hip-Hop Performer Malachi Grant (formerly known as Merksmilez) is on a mission to find a balance of bringing feel good Hip-Hop music back to the forefront for lovers of the popular genre. Grant’s genuine love for the Hip-Hop Industry is what fuels him to reach his goal. He is definitely not in it for the fame or fortune; music is his therapy. Check out this recent spotlight we conducted with the young and gifted artist who enlightens our publication about his mission to bring his music to the masses. Enjoy!

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Malachi: Polished, Exciting, Bouncy, Charismatic, & memorable.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Malachi: Nas, he provides an amazing level of inspiration through his character and his music.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Malachi: It’s a toss-up between ‘Flya than’ and ‘My Life’ off the “Welcome 2 My World” LP. The energy between these two songs just holds you hostage.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Malachi: I’d say Dunn Da God who makes cameos on my album.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Malachi: My everyday life and experiences. Inspiration kind of just sucker punches you. That surprise feeling in that moment is something I bottle with melodies, instruments and lyrics.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Malachi: Wale or J Cole, simply because the show would just be a great collective of sounds. The fans would gravitate towards the mixture of the 3 sounds we represent.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Malachi: Creating concepts and opening up new ideas through Drawing, conversations, traveling. Essentially just enjoying life in different aspects.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Malachi: Family, Love, Pain, Joy, & Purpose.

9. Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?
Malachi: We all know loose lips sink ships. And I’m still cruising. Lol

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Malachi: Definitely, the journey is priceless. Crawl-Walk-Run each phase prepares you for the next.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Malachi: Representing talented people, helping them realize their dreams.

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Malachi Grant
Album Art Credit: Ignis Victor & Malachi Grant

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Malachi: Make it Happen!

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Malachi: Doing Bigger and Better things; Success is never enough.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Malachi: For me, it would be, when my grandma called me and said “I really enjoyed your album, your grandfather would be proud”.

Official Website:
www.mghasmusic.com

Official Facebook:
www.facebook.com/mghasmusic

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