San Francisco’s Deafheaven has been fairly described as a black metal, shoegaze, or post-hardcore band, but it’s difficult to reduce it to a single genre. The band’s debut full-length Roads to Judah was released to much acclaim among the communities attached to these various alternative subgenres. The record was sprawling with atmosphere, with elaborate instrumental arrangements and brooding lyrics brimming with dark imagery. The writing on Sunbather, Deafheaven’s followup to Roads to Judah, is the work of two songwriters — three fewer than on the previous full-length, but with no less ambition. In fact, the record will be 22 minutes and three tracks longer than its predecessor, with multiple instrumental interludes intersecting with stories of class disparity, romantic detachment, and family. I discussed the songwriting process and the content of Sunbather with vocalist George Clarke after the band played a one-off show in Brooklyn.
Category Archives: Interviews
Loma Prieta is a band of consistency. Having released four 12″ releases in just over four years, the band is committed to routinely writing, recording, and releasing music, and yet its members remain humble about their already-extensive output, hesitating to identify any of these 15 to 24-minute releases as “LPs.” I.V., the band’s Deathwish Inc. debut, further establishes Loma Prieta as an unstoppable force within the realm of hardcore. Embodying elements of screamo, emo violence, and traditional hardcore, the band’s sound is difficult to pigeonhole, as I.V. explores a diverse array of melody, distortion, grittiness, and experimentation, with many of these characteristics overlapping in a unique manner. I spoke to the band in Hamden, Connecticut, to discuss the record and the unrelenting drive that informed its creation.
Three months ago, Pianos Become the Teeth released their stunning followup to Old Pride. Refining the post-rock elements and sharpening the lyrical focus to be more direct, The Lack Long After is an incredibly weighty, touching and personal record with as much heart as its predecessor. It is a powerful, emotional record about the gut-wrenching challenges in confronting and subsequently accepting loss. It is also musical catharsis at its best, a testament to the transcending potential of the post-hardcore genre, and a record that will encourage you to remind your closest relatives of how much you love them. I spoke with the band in Hamden, Connecticut, to reflect upon the record’s completion and how it has informed the band’s perceptions of being engaged to such an absorbing aspect of their lives.
Near the start of a lengthy fall tour, the members of Caravels found themselves in a discouraging predicament when their van suddenly broke down in New Mexico. They chose to persevere, however, following the subsequent outpouring of support. Anxious fans sent e-mails and offered donations, so the band decided to press on. It is this spirited sense of enthusiasm that probably best characterizes Caravels’ approach to life on tour. On November 6th, they played two house shows within the span of twelve hours, both of which featured an entirely unique set of dynamic post-hardcore. I spoke to singer Michael Roeslein in Willimantic, Connecticut shortly after the band played to a small number of people in a cold, musty basement. Continue reading
Dan Andriano has been involved in various projects throughout recent years. His latest endeavor is a solo effort officially deemed Dan Andriano and The Emergency Room, whose debut full-length is scheduled for release on Asian Man Records this summer. Additionally, Dan has kept busy with his full-time band by putting together an album of reworked Alkaline Trio songs in celebration of the band’s fifteenth anniversary. After playing Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut, Dan, despite a painful foot injury, shared some of his thoughts regarding the upcoming solo material and Alkaline Trio’s longevity while he and I walked from the venue to his hotel. Derek Grant arrived near the end of the interview to help contribute. Continue reading
Interview by Kristen Swanson
I could go on forever about the wonders of the ska/punk band Less Than Jake. These guys have been making a name for themselves ever since their first full length Pezcore came out in 1995, and they’re still going strong. LTJ is still dedicated to their music, they still put on an amazing show, and their music still sends a nostalgic chill down your spine. Check out this interview with saxophonist JR Wasilewski as he discusses the dynamic of the band, record labels, and what it’s really like to be a part of a legendary band.
Baltimore’s Pianos Become the Teeth is among several noteworthy bands said to be reviving the golden era of screamo. The band offers a notably dark, emotionally draining brand of post-hardcore, to which each member contributes a focused, dedicated approach. Mike, Kyle, Zac, Chad, and David, having driven several hours to play at My Heart to Joy’s recent record release show, were all extremely vocal in sharing their feelings regarding the pressures of being in a band, the process of arranging specific song structures, and in-depth details concerning the band’s current material.
Hold Tight! is the packaged deal of bassist/vocalist James Goodson, guitarist/vocalist Jake Guralnik, guitarist Eric Kelly, and drummer Alex Wilhelm. With their song “Virginia Is Beautiful, Wish You Were Here,” you’ll be wishing you were in Virginia too after listening to Hold Tight! These Richmond, VA natives are proving that the DIY scene is still alive, with their constant touring and fresh pop punk tunes. Check out this interview with Alex as he reveals how the band got started, their love for Lifetime, and what’s next for Hold Tight! Then, make sure you check out the band’s Facebook, and download their songs for free here.
My Heart to Joy’s recently announced breakup broke the hearts of many, but in spite of this, the band remains optimistic. Its members look forward to future endeavors, pursuing various other projects and remaining active within the Connecticut music scene. Upon clearing out of Lily’s Pad after playing a record release show for the newly released Reasons to Be EP, Greg, Chris, and Alan sat down with me at a nearby deli at well past midnight. We discussed the new record, Connecticut bands, and the many accomplishments from which the band feels a great sense of pride.
Straight out of South Jersey, Man Overboard is jumping into the music scene with their catchy lyrics and fun-loving attitudes. Newly signed to Rise Records, these guys are proving that they are more than just a small-town band. Don’t worry though, these guys are still down-to-earth Jersey boys. Check out this interview with Justin Collier and Nik Bruzzese from Man Overboard as they discuss heartbreak, touring around the world, and Beyoncé.