Interview: The Time Framed

The Time Framed’s music is an eclectic mix of genres, a collision of styles that perhaps shouldn’t mesh together, but end up working out. Their single “Bombshell Baby” is drenched in shoegaze and grunge, while single “Weird First” sounds as though it were designed for Guitar Hero, all corkscrewing riffs, but slathered in effects that turn the whole song into a strange and ambient landscape. The Time Framed don’t limit themselves to genre, instead preferring to incorporate every type of music they can find into their own sound. The Time Framed are the answer to the prayers of anyone who has found themselves disappointed by their own constantly roving tastes, and who has never before been able to stay interested in an artist for a long period of time. This is a band that never do the same thing twice.

Favorites: “Tiny Wolves,” “Bombshell Baby,” “Weird First”

Similar to: The Real Clash, Consider Me Dead, AFI

Interview:

How did you guys meet?

We all ended up meeting about a year ago originally. Our drummer, Brandon, was in another band and we talked a bit at a mutual friend’s show. Fast forward to February of 2017, we started doing music with the mutual friend but needed a fill-in drummer. Brandon ended up getting suggested and filled in on shows. Eventually the mutual friend left to pursue other music projects, but we loved Brandon so much we wanted him to stay. Ever since then, we’ve been playing shows, recording our EP, and planning the band’s future as a group.

You aim to combine aspects from a huge array of genres into a ‘post-rock’ style. What got you interested in this sound?

Overall, we think the main interest in this kind of sound is that it’s not very common. Considering our various levels of ADD, we couldn’t pick a general genre to stick to as we like all kinds of different music, playing and listening. We also wanted to avoid the notion of “sounding like band x” and try to find ways to stick out from the crowd. Using a lot of guitar effects, melodic bass, and progressive drumming, we wanted to go for a theatrical video game sound with music theory concepts and see how far we could push those boundaries.

Do you use certain genres to evoke certain emotions? How do you choose which to incorporate in your music?

Definitely. One of the ideas we work with is the use of multiple sets depending on the overall mood and lineup of a show. If we are booked on a heavy rock or metal show, we’ll pick songs that have a more darker egyptian style tone, faster punchiness and heavier progressive riffs. If we’re booked on a more alternative set, we’ll pick generally more “happy” and upbeat songs, and slower, dreamier songs.

What record has had the most influence on you as a band?

We all have many albums that have influenced all the music we do. These albums range from artists like Underoath, Mars Volta, Tera Melos, A Perfect Circle, Tool, Nothing More, and more.

What’s a favorite lyric that you’ve written?

The rest of the guys might feel differently about this, but me (Britt, bassist), personally, I love the Bombshell Baby lyric “Laser-guided llamas leaving craters on our love.” But to dig deeper, I also really enjoy the lines (from the same song) “Sing me a love song like bombs falling down. We’ll land in pieces cause nobody likes this town. I’ll leave the speeches with the broken hearted wreckage. You can light a candle for the alarm that never sounds.”

What do you think is the perfect environment for listening to your music?

The best environment would probably just be with lights low, some incense going, and a giant pink salt stone lamp (we’re a bit on the hippie side).

Your website says you believe the world would be a better place if people who made music did it with the intent to make the world a better place. How do you see yourselves helping to improve the world with your music?

A lot of our music pulls from traumatic events. Our song, Ifrit, was written about my surviving domestic violence. One of the biggest causes we fight for is to help victims and survivors of domestic violence and by having this song, we want to promote more open discussion about DV and how I used music as therapy. Another thing we like to do is volunteer to play for charity events. Sometimes musicians can get lost in the need to make an income and wanting to play for the sake of playing, but we strive to make time to volunteer to play for any charity events in need of musicians. It may not seem like much to some, but music itself can be healing, raise spirits, and connect humans together and that’s what we want to do as a whole. As well as play, we like to speak to the charities at these events and collect advertising materials from them to advertise at our other shows and spread their message.

You have an upcoming EP “Chrono Dementia” set for release sometime soon. What’s the process been like preparing for that?

Our EP is set to release everywhere on November 4th. It’s been a very fun, a bit stressful, but overall rewarding process. We spent many, many hours together, recording, tweaking the songs the way we want them, adding interesting effects and just had fun with the whole process. Our drummer recorded, mixed and mastered everything as part of Dreamlab Recording Studio and he’s just done an amazing job with it.

What are your plans for the near future?

With the EP release, after that’s out, we’re looking forward to start recording the next EP and planning short-run tours with the overall goal to start touring regularly.

Listen to “Weird First” here.

Related – Interview: Staircase Spirits

 

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Interview: Survival Kit

Atlanta pop-rockers Survival Kit are here to make good music and have good times. This infectiously carefree attitude is evident on their newest singles “Valedictorian” and “Stranger Things.” “Valedictorian,” which came out yesterday, doesn’t deal with an easy subject. The track is written from the perspective of a man who’s being cheated on by his girlfriend, and one would assume that it would be a dark, if not downright dismal track. But while the track pulls no punches, its primary emotion is a righteous and energetic anger that gets you on the singer’s side without feeling as though you should be filled with pity for him. In “Valedictorian” lies the key to Survival Kit’s charm: it doesn’t matter what they’re going through, they’ll make it into a damn good song once the drama’s over.

Favorites: “Valedictorian,” “Stranger Things,” “Can’t Stand The Heat”

Similar to: Belmont, Waterparks, WSTR

 Listen to “Valedictorian” here.

Interview:

 Who are the members of the band and what instruments do they play?

Travis Blake – Lead Vocals/Guitar

Andrew Lynn – Vocals/ Guitar

Billy “Two Times” Kilgore – Bass

Allen Beck – Drums

How did you guys meet?

Allen and Andrew met when they were 14/15 yrs old and played music together in a metalcore band. Billy (Two Times (Chewy)) & Travis both joined to play bass at some point and we all became really good friends through music. Whenever we all went different ways after high school, we all kept in touch and always felt we would write great music together again.

What inspired you to start making music?

Playing music started so early for all of us. Making it just seemed so natural after so long. We all specifically want to write music with each other. Being in a band is supposed to be about camaraderie and good times we will never forget. What better people to do that with than your best friends.

What artists have had the most influence on you as a band?

Recently, the writing of The Wrecks & Panic! At The Disco’s Death of a Bachelor

What is your song writing process like?

Travis and Andrew start simple on an acoustic guitar and develop the melodies and lyrics together. It’s then brought to the table and if the guys don’t like it then we either work on it or scrap it. We all trust each others opinion a lot so if we all agree then we know we have something special each time.

What do you think is the perfect environment for listening to your music?

You get us in a crowded bar and we’re gonna have a good ass time. Some whiskey shots. Very little filter. True rock and roll vibes. One time Travis literally yelled, “Get me a scotch. I want to feel like Ron Burgundy.” on stage and someone got him the shot. It was awesome.

What’s your favorite song to play live?

Stranger Things hands down. We all get the fuck down to that one.

Is there anyone you would totally fangirl over if you met?

Max Bemis, Anthony Green, Dave Grohl, Fuckin’ Bruno Mars, Justin Roiland

Your new single “Valedictorian” is pretty antagonistic. What’s the story behind that track?

It’s basically a story about a guy who knows his girlfriend is cheating on him. She thinks she’s smarter than him and can hide the truth. He knows the what’s up so he comes home when she least expects it and catches her about to go out with another man. Caught ya! Yea I guess they broke up after that I’m not really sure. That’s another song for another day!

What are your plans for the near future?

We are also playing shows in the southeast with some incredible artists so you should definitely come hang out if you’re in Atlanta. We’re also traveling to New York City and California again soon to network and meet industry professionals that can give us the advice we need to succeed. We would love to go network and play some acoustic shows in the UK and France soon as well. We want to do this for the rest of our lives and there are so many people to meet that do what we want to do!

 

Related – Interview: Øff Guard

 

 

Interview: Staircase Spirits

Staircase Spirits’ music revolves around a melancholy energy that can be employed as a cry for help, in a fit of nostalgia, or as a heavy-hearted attack on someone who has done wrong. Anna Acosta’s world-weary vocals sing achingly over wistful pop-rock instrumentals, with the occasional stringed instrument thrown into the mix. On their latest singles “California Winter,” Staircase Spirits take what is, for them, a rare viewpoint, and soliloquize about happiness and the better parts of love. With dynamic vocals delivered over a bed of driving, energetic guitars, the new single feels like a step in the right direction for the duo.

Favorites: “California Winter,” “That Night II,” “Watch Your Mouth”

Similar to: Mineral Girls, The Vulnerable, The Total Bettys

Interview:

“Staircase Spirits” refers to the French expression for thinking of the perfect thing to say after the opportunity to say it has passed. Could you tell us about a time you had the perfect comeback a second too late?

A: Oh boy, can I ever… I’m not kidding when I say that’s the thesis statement for every single song we have. It’s a theme that I explored a lot this past year – take “Last Song”, for example. It’s been interesting, because a lot of people heard it and thought it was a love song. I suppose in a sense it was, but I actually wrote it about the day my best friend (at the time) quit our band (at the time) two days after my birthday. It was one of the most acute heartbreaks I’ve ever experienced over an entirely platonic situation, but I didn’t know what to say until the apartment door was shutting behind him. Ultimately, what I wanted to say was “Please stay and find out what this could become”. And even then, it took me several months to unpack it enough to put it into a song – and then several years before I was able to record it as the first song Staircase put out. But it’s a recurring motif. “Roulette”, “Good Ex-Girlfriend”, “Zach’s Song” – this songs all specifically deal with the phenomenon of things I didn’t know how to say until it was too late to say them. So, we wrote a song about it.

You’ve spoken about wanting to use your voice/platform for good. Do you see that as an essential part of being in a band?

A: I don’t think it’s an essential part of being in a band – but I think it ought to be. I’m always careful to distinguish between the way I’d like things to be and the way things currently are, and there are simply way too many successful musicians who don’t use that platform – or pick and choose their spots when it isn’t going to put a microscope on their own actions or those of their friends – for good for me to honestly say I believe it’s essential. I certainly wish it was, and I like to think we’re getting better about demanding that as a musical community.

“California Winter,” your latest single, is more guitar-centered than some of your older releases. Do you think the thicker sound will be something you experiment more with?

A: Ultimately, yes. The sounds folks are going to hear on “Love Stories” are much more indicative of what they can expect to hear from us moving forward. I think it can take some growing pains for most bands to really find their sound – in our case, we had a moment where we looked at each other in the studio and I think we both realized we’d finally found ours. That isn’t to say we won’t continue to grow, and change – but this is definitely the most “us” thing we’ve made so far.

The artwork for your upcoming EP “Love Stories” is simple and beautiful. How do you feel the art relates to the music?

A: The biggest way the artwork relates to the music ties into the color palette. Colors have always tied into emotion, which is why the color palette for Ghost Stories was greyscale – that EP was about grief, loss, and mourning. The only color present for War Stories was red, because that EP was about anger, frustration, and fantasies of what could’ve been instead of what was. For Love Stories, we wanted a softer visual – muted colors, with both the water and the rose petals symbolizing the kind of return to innocence and rebirth that goes along with healing. Our photographer, Courtney Coles, brought our vision to life in a way only she could’ve.

“Love Stories” will be your 3rd EP of 2017. What led you to release so much material in such a short span of time?

A: Simply put: I have a lot of feelings and a very tolerant bandmate and studio team. This was a story I wanted to make sure I told the right way, and it took 15 songs to do it. Initially, my intent was just to track the songs off of Ghost Stories, without “Eight” (which wasn’t written yet) and with what is now “That Night III” off of Love Stories – but I realized it felt wrong to summarize the story that way. I was leaving too much out. And eventually the idea of a trilogy stuck in my brain and I was lucky enough to have a songwriting partner who didn’t look at me like I had 3 heads when I said I wanted to put out 15 songs in the span of about 9 months as a new band.

What do you see as the focus of the EP?

A: Rebirth, healing, acceptance… but more than anything, I would say the focus of the EP is regaining the sense of hope that was lost in Ghost Stories and completely absent in War Stories. Ghost Stories starts with a love song, and goes south very quickly – Love Stories is about finding that again, but through gaining understanding that there’s life after death (because ultimately, that kind of loss is a death in and of itself) if you can hold on long enough to find it.

Are there any music videos or visuals in the works to accompany the release?

A: I can’t give any specifics right now, but the short answer is yes – we have two specific projects in the works that you can expect to see in 2018, including a music video for “California Winter” and a slightly more unorthodox visual for the 3 EPs that we’ll be announcing when we’ve got a better handle on a completion date.

Listen to “California Winter” here.

Interview: Øff Guard

Photo by Cory Ingram

On their first single “Maybe,” Øff Guard have an energetic and earnest charm that makes you want to listen to them. Matt Becker is capable of turning despondent lyrics around and flipping them on their heads until they come out sounding like promises of hope and a better future. On their newest single “Strawberry Moon,” Øff Guard present their polished pop-punk with a healthy dose of melancholy. The result is a graceful and forlorn track, which absorbs alternative influences to deliver more blended instrumentals. We’ll have to wait and see where the band go next, both emotionally and instrumentally.

Listen to their two singles “Strawberry Moon” and “Maybe”

Similar to: Homesafe, ROAM, High Wire

Interview:

How did you guys get into making music?

Tyler: Matt Becker, Doug, and I went to high school together. I was in my first band with Matt Becker back in the 10th grade. I met Matt Weiss while going to Nassau Community College with Matt Becker (Becker found him first) and we have all been music compadres ever since. Nick Kolokathis has always been a part of the Long Island Music scene and growing up. He, Matt Weiss, and Matt Becker have been in various bands. Matt Weiss was a solo artist at the time when he asked the current band members to join his live band. After a while, we decided to get more serious and form Off Guard.

You’re from Long Island. What’s the music scene like there? Has it helped influence your sound?

Matt B: The Long Island music scene is pretty diverse. The two main genres on the island are hardcore and pop-punk but you can always find a mixed bill of different sounding acts. Big acts like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday have definitely influenced our sound but working with Matt Lagatutta of Giants At Large on our debut EP has also had a big influence on us.

Which artists have had the most influence on you as a band?

Matt W: I like to think that bands like Pierce The Veil, Mayday Parade, and Foo Fighters have a heavy influence on our sound

What’s the last album you listened to?

Nick: I’ve been jamming to PVRIS most recent album “All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell” on my record player.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Øff Guard?

We have 3 shows coming up in October. 10/11 we’re going to be at Amityville Music Hall with Postcards, 10/17 we’ll be at The Kingsland in Brooklyn with 7 Minutes in Heaven, and 10/27 is our EP release show at Shaker’s Pub with Forever Losing Sleep!!!!

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song?

Doug: Burning up by The Jonas Brothers……but there’s more…

If your music were the soundtrack to a TV show, what do you think it would be?

The Original Scooby-Doo cartoon series.

You’re releasing a new single “Strawberry Moon” on September 29th. What’s the story behind this song?

Matt W: The song is about an ex girlfriend of mine from last Summer. The lyrics are about how hard it is to let someone go. Moving on is hard, but I think putting those emotions in words and melodies make it bearable.

What are your plans for the near future?

We plan on playing as many shows as possible to promote our upcoming EP ‘Set The Scene’ in 2017-2018. We also plan on writing during this period of time for a second EP down the line.

Listen to Øff Guard’s newest single “Strawberry Moon” here.

Related – EP Review + Interview: High Wire’s “Different Places”

Interview: EXNATIONS

For many bands, having members that live in different states would spell the end. But EXNATIONS took this in stride, each member recording their contribution to the band’s latest single “Never About The Money” in separate places. The resulting single doesn’t feel disjointed or fragmented. “Never About The Money” is a smooth slice of 80s-inspired synth-pop, ready-made for dance parties, and perfectly poised to gain the band some well-deserved attention.
Listen to their two singles “Free” and “Never About The Money”
Similar to: ROMES, High Tyde, tiLLie
Interview:
How did you guys meet?
Taylor: I met Dan first, him and I had been in contact here and there from running in the Baltimore music scene. When it came to looking for a guitarist he was one of the first people to come to mind. Once Dan and I figured out the sound we were going for Sal came next. I ventured up north to meet Sal in Brooklyn, NY at Rough Trade, we immediately clicked and begun writing ‘Never About the Money.’
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?

Dan: I’m usually bad at being concise, but the word I’d use to describe our music is sincere. One of the most rewarding aspects of making music is being able to connect with people, and that’ll never happen if we write songs without putting thought into it and making sure they represent us well. To me, doing that would be disrespectful. Our listeners aren’t stupid, and if they’re taking time out of their days to give us a chance, then why wouldn’t they deserve our best effort?

Where did the band name EXNATIONS come from?
Taylor: In a way the band name is paying homage to all of our past bands. We’re all “EX” members of a band coming together to create a new unit i.e. “NATION.” I also just really liked the vibe the name gave off.
What do you think is the perfect environment for listening to your music?
Sal: My favorite places to listen to music are when I’m in transit. When you discover a new album, it makes my morning or evening commute a special experience. I can’t wait to get out of work so I can put on a record and jam to it the whole subway ride home. I think the perfect place to listen to EXNATIONS is when you’re on the move. Literally and figuratively.
Your music has a lot of 80s vibes. Do you pull inspiration from that era?
Sal: I had a very brief phase in high school where I wouldn’t listen to anything that came out after 1989. Once I had exhausted the better part of the Dischord Records catalogue I had to make some concessions. Nowadays I find myself really gravitating towards 80s rock and pop. Springsteen, Talking Heads, ABBA, and New Order are all top of mind lately. The production in 80s pop was so special – it can sometimes sound completely dated and “of its time” – while simultaneously sounding classic and timeless. Artists like Brandon Flowers, Bleachers, and the 1975 are paying serious homage to the production styles of the time but injecting enough of their own personalities into it that it creates this wonderful new thing. Hopefully we’re touching on some of that same magic.

Your latest single “Never About The Money” was recently released, and was recorded with all the band members in different places. What was that process like?

Dan: I would say it tested our discipline for sure. If we want this to work while being in different cities, then there has to be a proficiency in communication and organization, and you also have to have a lot of respect for your collaborators. Sending your files to other bandmates and letting them tinker with them isn’t something a thin-skinned person could do. But fortunately, each of us trusts each other’s songwriting ability, and as a result, seeing NATM come together the way it did was ultimately a really rewarding experience.
I love the single artwork for “Never About The Money,” and it matches the color scheme for your lyric video as well. How did you come up with that visual theme?
Sal: It happened really organically. Taylor and I were in a coffee shop messing around with some layouts for the album cover, and stumbled across this really beautiful textural photo by a photographer from Madrid named Joel Filipe. The image was so beautiful and visually arresting. With a little color correction and VHS-style glitch manipulation it came to life as the driving visual element in the lyric video. I love how simple, yet versatile it is. Big ups to Joel.

You’re planning on releasing an EP some time in the next few months. How’s that going?

Dan: It’s going one track at a time! We’re really eager to get these songs out, but doing it right comes before doing it fast. We’re continuing to write and revise every day, so when the time comes to introduce the record to everyone, we want to be able to enjoy the experience knowing we put everything possible into it. Using that approach hasn’t lended us a lot of sleep recently, but that’ll come back soon enough.
Do you have any other plans for the near future?
Taylor: We’re going to be releasing ‘Distant Drums’ a new single next month, so definitely be on the look out for that! Maybe there’s a limited addition 7” coming along behind that… The rest is top secret for now!
Listen to “Never About The Money” here.

Interview: Eyelid Kid

Photo Credit: Storm Santos

Eyelid Kid describe their music as “frosted pop.” It doesn’t make much sense until you turn on one of the group’s songs. The designation just fits. Somewhere in the smooth tangle of distorted vocals, glossy beats, and fluid synths, there is a sense of ‘frosted.’ Eyelid Kid’s music glides along as though on ice skates, nothing breaking the flow of serene, reflective lyrics and velvety melodies. The sheer level of polish and poise in the music makes one think of a winter landscape, glittering and pristine. Stuttering beats or unedited vocals only occasionally break through the electronic haze, serving to break the listener out of their soothing, distant reverie.

Favorites: “Rosegøld,” “Landscape,” “On Your Mynd”

Similar to: Grizzly Business, Lostboycrow, Azure Hiptronics

Interview:

If you could describe the band’s ethos in one word, what would it be?

Water.

You call your music ‘frosted pop’. What does that mean to you?

I feel like it’s a certain blend of indie-pop and hip-hop that keeps the focus on the melodies and hooks.

What is your songwriting process like?

I’m constantly jotting down ideas in my iPhone, so when I get into the studio, I just try to make sense of them all.

You self-produced your debut album “Hometown”, and produced the music video for “Landscape”. Do you feel like doing everything yourself lets you convey your vision for the music better?

I do get pretty picky when it comes to Eyelid Kid content but I do want to work with more producers and directors in the future!

What do you think is the perfect environment for listening to your music?

Driving through the city at night with a crew of your closest friends.

What would your dream collaboration be?

Frank Ocean.

You have a new EP coming out early next year, called “sophomøre”. What’s the story behind the title?

It started as a working title but over time it seemed to be more and more fitting. Visually, the album is going have a strong high school type vibe to it as well.

Is “rosegøld” a good indication of what the EP will sound like?

For the most part but I think overall the EP will be more lyric-driven than “rosegøld” and a little less beat orientated.

What are your plans for the near future?

I’m headed to Austin for a few shows in October but when I get back, I plan on crunching out “sophomøre” and following it up with some LA shows!

Listen to “Rosegøld” here.

Related – Interview: Vista

Interview: Hundred Handed

Most people support having fun, but there are few bands who’s musical essence can be distilled down to the word ‘fun.’ Hundred Handed aren’t trying to convey a deep message or change the world, but they are doing their best to inspire people to let loose a bit. If you can make a catchy dance anthem, chances are you’re making someone somewhere happy, after all. Their songs have both the impetuous fun and brazen candidness of a Lonely Island parody, but instead of parodies, the band’s energy is channeled into tales about fun times.
Favorites: “Miss California,” “Doctor,” “She Was The One”
Similar to: High Tyde, Orange Pedro, Chase Caffey
Interview:
What inspired you to start making music? 
JM: Music was always a big part of my life growing up but the only thing anyone in the family could play was the radio. I tried piano when I was little but my teacher was a partially deaf, off duty clown (not kidding). I hate clowns and didn’t like being shouted at so it didn’t take. When my family moved to LA from Dallas, I didn’t have any friends yet so I used the money I had saved to buy the Tom Delonge Strat and learned a bunch of songs. By the time school started I was dying to start a band.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
JM: Everyone from Tina Turner to Daft Punk… David Foster to Blink-182. I love studying what about people’s song writing and performance makes them stand out. Also, if you can dance to it… I’m in. If you and your drunk friends can all sing along to it at 4AM… even better!
You have released a few songs already  this year, is this leading up to a bigger album?
JM: Absolutely! We made the decision to let people hear us grown and kind of release things as they happened since this a new band for us. Now, we’ve dialed our sound in and learned more about what this band is supposed to be in our minds… We have a nice batch of songs just waiting to go!
Your mission statement is basically ‘have fun.’ Do you think having fun is the purpose of music?
JM: I think as a writer and performer, music is supposed to be a reflection of yourself and where you are in your life… or where you want to be. Listeners tend to mirror that. For us it’s fun! We’ve been in too many bands that lost sight of the excitement and privilege that comes with doing what we do. Hundred Handed is our answer to that.
What’s your favorite tour story?
JM: We toured with a band that just refused to stop taking themselves seriously and have some fun. They kept complaining that we had confetti and big balloons out in the crowd during our show and did everything they could to stop us from doing it… including canceling the last show and then rescheduling it last minute after we had already started to head home. So for that last show we made sure the venue stocked their dressing room with 5,000 balloons and 10 pounds of confetti.
What would your dream collab be?
JM: Either Daft Punk or Stromae. The way they put sounds together is so unique to each of them. I’d have to stop myself from just taking notes the whole time… and drooling over their gear.
Where did the band name Hundred Handed come from?
JM: One of the only classes I actually showed up for in college was Greek and Roman mythology. The Hundred Handed are some pretty amazing creatures that helped overthrow the Titans… I don’t want to sell the story short so I recommend looking it up!
What are your plans for the near future?
JM: Make music, tour, repeat!!! Find us on social media, hit us up, have some fun with us! Thanks for chatting!