Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 6/28/2010 – Good Old War

It’s been a crazy week! World Cup soccer has been keeping me company, and I recently worked my last day at my internship. At this point, I’d like to just sit back in a nice soft comfortable chair with my headphones softly whispering into my ear with some pure acoustic magic.

For this week, I’m going to go that route, and also incorporate a track from my review of Good Old War’s album “My Name’s Sorrow” (See it HERE). I love this song, the lyrics, the soft guitar and the all around melody. I’ve been told I often enjoy sad songs, but I’m here to tell the people who think that: the lyrics aren’t the only aspect of the song from which I derive it’s meaning. Personally, I connect to the melody and the “feel” of a song before I even pay attention to the lyrics. I’m sure it’s different for everybody, which is awesome because it gives me stuff to talk about with people.

Check it out, here’s Good Old War’s “My Name’s Sorrow” off their self titled album. The quality in this video basically sucks and I apologize for that. Please go purchase the song from iTunes.

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday -6/21/2010 – Yellowcard

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: Life of a Salesman

By: Yellowcard

This week’s edition of Nate’s Mix Tape Monday is dedicated to Father’s Day! We are bringing it back to my high school days, I can vividly remember walking through the halls going to home  room playing this album on my disc man. I’m one of those people where I can even smell the halls, all my senses are very connected.

This song, “Life of a Salesman” is off Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue album which came out in 2003. I have always liked Yellowcard because they did things differently, as you will hear in this song they have a violin player. That’s right, a violin player in a pop punk band! I have to give credit to unique, when I first heard they had a vioin in their music I thought it would be a disaster.

Here it is… enjoy!

Let’s Talk Hanson

Let’s Talk Hanson, Where’s the Love?!

Before I do the official review of Hanson’s newest album Shout it Out, I’d like to give a little background story why I think Hanson is such an inspiration to music/musicians (whoa didn’t expect that right?!.. Read on grasshopper (in Mr. Miyagi voice)

Let’s go back… 1997 Hanson released Middle of Nowhere with 3 time grammy nomination song “MMMbop” with the major label, Mercury Records. Most people were quite annoyed with Hanson at this point in their career, I guess it could be similar to the Justin Bieber hype today only I do have a major defense for that… Hanson has always played their own instruments and written their own music. I’m not a Justin Bieber fan and I don’t know much about him, but I do know that he doesn’t play his own instruments in his music (I know… he plays drums!… whatever, if you’d like to argue this point with me, contact me via e-mail I’d be happy to enlighten you.) Let’s get back to Hanson…

Mercury Records ended up merging and to make a long story short, Hanson was pushed to Island Def Jam Music Group where they started becoming artistically conflicted because the label was trying to force them to write their music a “certain way” (*Cough* Radio garbage).. After recording their album This Time Around, and touring with their own funds for the album, because of a lack of promotional funds via the label, Hanson walked.

Where did they go after that? This is where I tip my hat to Hanson, they didn’t sign with another major label, they decided to go independent and formed their own label, 3CG Records (named after their very first EP Three Car Garage) Under this independent label, they have recorded multiple albums (Their best work in my opinion) including: Underneath, The Walk, Stand Up Stand Up (EP), and the newest addition, Shout it Out (which will be reviewed on this blog in the very near future.)

Musically, I think Hanson has released some awesome music. I’ve always been a huge Hanson fan, and I probably always will. Especially the fact that they refused to be forced to make the music they didn’t want to because of contracts and labels. They create the art they want and in my opinion, are quite successful in doing so.

Being that they produce all of their music themselves, I strongly encourage you to purchase their albums rather than download or buy second hand because the money essentially goes straight to them. This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say support the musician!

They are also very active off the stage, if you’d like more information visit their website at www.hanson.net.

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 06/13/2010 – MuteMath

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: Chaos

By MuteMath

I stumbled upon this band accidently (or we can get deep and say accidents don’t exsist, only fate. But we’ll keep it out of the clouds and just say accidently) and I’m so happy it happened. This song in particular has awesome sound and an increasingly catchy chorus to rock out to; while it also including an interesting, groovy bass line that adds a sort of “dance” ingredient.

Many times, I hear bands try to get a similar sound as far as background noise and it’s either over done, lacking a melodic feature, or to be blunt about it,  just plain annoying. If it doesn’t compliment the melody don’t put it in there to fill space, sometimes silence is best… But I’m getting off on a tangent because MuteMath doesn’t feature any of these pet peeves of mine.

Great to chill out to, great to rock out to, what more could you ask for?

This song is off the “Mute Math” album and it’s only one of the gems on the album. Go get it!

Here’s the official video for the song “Chaos” by MuteMath:

Good Old War Official Review

NateShealy.com Official Review

Good Old War’s Self Titled Album

I’ve been promising this review for a couple of weeks now, the delay was not caused from apathy or lack of motivation… It was more the dead end so to speak of what I wanted to say about this album. So I’ll do my best to convey my thoughts on Good Old War’s newest album. Strap in, it might be a rather bumpy ride.

The album was released on June 1, 2010. I actually didn’t know they were even recording but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. Good Old War is good friends with Anthony Green/Circa Survive, they often tour with Anthony and as we all know, Anthony was in the studio recording Blue Sky Noise, a perfect time for Good Old War to hit the studio as well!

My first impression of the album was sort of a cool, sounds like Good Old War alright! type thought. But after I thought more about it, I was sort of disappointed in a way. I like to be able to hear a song and know which album it’s on because of the growth of the band. I feel as though as they progress and grow, so should the music. Some of you who I’ve talked to about the album are probably thinking what the hell Nate, you said it was good?!

It is good! I’ve listened to the album a little over 5 times through (HA to those who make fun of me for being so anal about my play counts on my iPod!)

I think a lot of the “folk” sound that is present in the past albums has in a way faded to a less “twangy” sort of sound. Although there is a lot of “twang” in the album, it has a less southern country feel.

One thing I do wish Good Old War would take more advantage of is Tim Arnold, the drummer’s talent. Good Old War is very much based on acoustic riffs and vocals. Although there is some great rythm that matches, you can often hear Tim using brush drum sticks which are very limiting on rolls and precision which is in my opinion, his main strength. I realize, however when you do an acoustic set, it’s much more appropriate to use brush sticks to sort of muffle the sound to match acoustic guitars. Tim definitely does a great job on this album, he keeps the beat extremely interesting throught all the tracks.

All in all, the album gets the job done. It has a very “home” feeling for me when I listen to it (if that makes any sense). You can definitely hear the growth of talent from the guitars, there’s some amazing riffs/melodies.

My favorite track on this album is “My Name’s Sorrow” it’s very pure and I love the sound of finger picking an acoustic guitar.

Official Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I see a great future for Good Old War.

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 6/7/10 – Valencia

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: Listen Up
By Valencia

Welcome to June! It’s that time of the week, most of you have been gritting your teeth towards your alarm clocks, quoting that all famous quote “I hate  Monday…” Well I’m about to give a little pop of great music into your dreaded Monday routine.

This week’s feature is “Listen Up” by Valencia, local boys based out of Philadelphia! This song has an amazing sing a long chorus the minute I heard it, it went directly into my “favorites” list. Valencia has impressed me, I can’t wait to hear some new stuff.

Enjoy! … Try to ignore Mr. Lip the song on YouTube. It’s the only quality sound I could find for this song.

 

Exclusive Interview – Bryan Zimmerman – Sky Eats Airplane

A NateShealy.com Exclusive Interview

With Bryan Zimmerman lead vocals for Sky Eats Airplane

It’s about that time again, another exclusive interview this time with front man for Sky Eats Airplane. Sit back, relax and prepare for a great interview…

When did you really start playing music seriously?Zimmerman: I always loved music, but I didnt start playing until I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and lived with my Uncle, he is a musician and got me started playing the guitar.

Were family/friends supportive when you decided to attempt to make it in a band?

Zimmerman: As it is with anything else I think there were ups and downs in how my family reacted to my choice to pursue music rather than college for nearly 8 years. But my sisters and mother have always been supportive.

As a lead vocalist, how important is warming up/warming down your voice?

Zimmerman: I personally feel it is extremely important. There is not one show that goes by without me warming up.

As a musician, where do you stand on the topic of downloading music?Zimmerman: I feel it is a great thing, I strongly urge anyone to listen to my music by any means necessary. If you want to download it, please do, just listen to it! Considering you can’t stop the internet, nor the doors it happens to leave wide open regarding media.

What are your main musical influences?

Zimmerman: I have so much love for so much music it is hard to say. I don’t feel that I am strongly influenced in my writing vocals, I try to keep it as much mine as I can. But right now today I have been listening to Daniel Merriweather, Lower Definition, Kid Cudi, Rusko, Caspa, Dustin Kensrue, and a few others haha.

Sky Eats Airplane uses a lot of electronica effects, what are your thoughts of the auto-tune trend that seems to be going on right now in some hardcore music?

Zimmerman: I am not very happy with extremely or over auto-tuned vocals. I feel that if you cant sing it, and sing it live, you probably shouldn’t be including it in your music. If you’re going to front being a vocalist especially. Maybe thats rude, but auto tune is a trend that neeeeeds to die quickly.

Staying on the topic of the electronica sound effects, where do they come in as far as writing a song? Does the band write the music using natural instruments then add the electronic effects at the end?

Zimmerman: I am so glad you asked that question. With us writing in Sky Eats Airplane, as far as the new record went, Zack Ordway, our guitarist composes the songs in their entirety, using Reason, tracks guitars, programs the drums, and adds minimal glitching, synth, and other effects. The songs were then passed to me 1 x 1, and the songs on our new ep “The Sound of Symmetry EP” were actually written 90% vocally, while I did my tryouts for the band. Then, Travis Orbin, our drummer adds his ideas and changes, sent them back to Zack, via Guitar Pro notations. And after meeting at the studio, tracking everything, finishing all of my vocals, Zack works with Lee to add samples and sounds to all of Zack’s notation. In the past, I believe Zack had much more work to do but with this lineup the workload is much easier with the vocals being taken care of mostly by myself with Elliot Coleman writing most of his parts, and the drums being worked to their potential and played extremely well.

I’ve seen Sky Eats Airplane perform, you guys put on a hell of a show. How important would you say live performance is? More important than quality studio recordings?

Zimmerman: I think that depends on the listener, some people live for studio perfection, others feed off live energy. For me, I think it is extremely important to balance both because of the style of music we play. I believe our music pushes some limits and we want people to know that we are a real band, not just studio magic. We create songs, and we perform them.

What goes into writing a collaborative song? Where do you start?

Zimmerman: I couldn’t answer that as a member of Sky Eats Airplane, but in my other projects, I believe it starts with an idea, and you build. Whether it be a vocal idea, an intro on guitar, a beat, a chorus. You just have to build, and being open to critcism is key when working with someone else. You have to be able to accept it, and use it to your advantage.

If you could pick one band to tour with, who would it be?

Zimmerman: I would love to tour with Thrice 🙂 Or Beloved would be awesome too. Can’t pick one man, come on now!

With the ease of buying one song on sites like iTunes, do you think it’s less important to have a “flow” to an album? Do you think the fact we can buy one song, it is destructive to concept albums?

Zimmerman: I do, I believe the destruction of the “album” has already taken it’s toll. People are no longer buying albums nearly as often as they used to, even when it’s free to download, people are only getting 1,2, or 3 songs off of a record. But that won’t stop me from trying to create the music we make for an album to work as a whole. 

Justin Bieber, thoughts?Zimmerman: Congrats and best of luck to him, people tend to hate a lot more than I can.

What was the best place you’ve played at while on tour?

Zimmerman: Probably Anaheim California, I love that place.

I’ve heard many horror stories about bands who have toured (lost equipment, horrifying technical difficulties) any specific disasters you can think of that you would like to share?Zimmerman: Ask me this question in a year and I will have a good answer for you I’m sure. My luck has not been so bad when it comes to being on the road so far, (knock on wood).

What advice would you give the kid who is torn between college and full dedication to music? Do you think it’s possible to balance both?

Zimmerman: I don’t really believe it’s possible, at least it wasn’t for me. I would say to this person, ask yourself if you really want it, and if you want something, then, you go after it. I’d much rather try to reach my goals, rather than look back and feel regret. Me and regret aren’t friends and I’d like to keep it that way. (And touring for just a few weeks prior to making this decision could also help influence your decision greatly, a lot of people won’t like tour life, and you don’t find that out until you’ve experienced it. Personally, I live for the live show.)

What are some of the hardships of being in a band with 4 or 5 other people?Zimmerman: Essentially, your bandmates, tour manager, and merch guy, all become your family. You all share a 1 bedroom apartment with wheels. There are fights and bickering about stupid things like where to eat, where to sleep. But also an abundance of good times, laughs, moments that money can’t buy so it ends up being far more than worth it for me most of the time.

Many people think that our music industry is flooded with “cookie cutter” bands who all sound the same, would you agree? If so, any suggestions to fix this problem?Zimmerman: I honestly can’t answer this question very well. I don’t go out and search for new bands very often. If someone shows me something and I like it, then I’ll buy it and support them and spread the word about them. But I can say that I haven’t heard much of anything different with people showing me bands recently. So that may be a clue to what you’re asking.

What are your thoughts on side projects? Can they be detrimental to a band?Zimmerman: I am involved in a few, I feel like as long as you balance your time correctly they are fine. You also have to know which one takes precedence over the rest.

With today’s technology and ease of marketing yourself, do you think record labels are necessary?Zimmerman: Yes, because otherwise it would just be so unorganized and you would have no idea where to look for good music. It would be roulette, which may result in some bands breaking through to you, that wouldn’t have before, but it would be so lame if we didn’t have all the idie labels out looking for good bands to sign and promote. 
 
Sky Eats Airplane released an EP not to long ago, is there any plans for another full length album in the works?Zimmerman: Yes we are meeting with producers and engineers to find a match for our full length, we have a lot of new material written and waiting to be recorded. So I hope to record this year by October, but don’t quote me on that haha.

What are some ways we can support un-signed/non-mainstream bands?Zimmerman: If you hear them, and you like them. Post MySpace bulletins, post about them on Twitter, force people to listen to them in your cars, go to their shows and PLEASE BUY MERCH!!!

How important would you say networking is for a band?

Zimmerman: I’d say unless your music says it all for your band, networking is very important. Some bands have it where they can just play their songs and people love them, but for most you need to put yourself out there.

Do you play any instruments besides vocals?Zimmerman: Yes I can play the guitar and piano. I write and arrange my owns songs, I’m working on a folky kind of poppy acoustic project right now.

At what point as a musician would you say you’ve “made it” (have become successful)?Zimmerman: I guess when you can pay the mortgage? BUT, I feel I’ve made it, even though I’m broke. I get to travel the world, and play live shows, and record and that makes my life worth living, soooo…I made it.
 
Lady GaGa, thoughts?Zimmerman: Is she really a dude? I like dance music, and pop haha.

I’m sure you’ve been involved/witnessed your fair share of band drama, what would you say to the other people experiencing the same type of problems?

Zimmerman: Can’t everyone just get along?? Haha no, just separate yourself from the situation, forgiveness is sooo key.

What are you most disappointed with when it comes to mainstream music?Zimmerman: Probably the rock department. So many similar sounding bands, when there is an ocean of wayyy better bands in the underground. Literally putting these songs you hear every day to shame.

How can we stay in touch with current events in Bryan Zimmerman’s music career?

Zimmerman: You can follow me on Twitter @bryan_zimmerman,

On my blog, I have something called Nate’s Mix Tape Monday in which I feature one song, what would your feature be that you would like the world to hear?

Zimmerman: Blood and Wine by Dustin Kensrue or To Satellite by Lower Definition please!

What would you like to say to the world? Give us some musical advice.Zimmerman: Strive for being yourself and noone else. Strive to do something different.

That’s it! A big thanks to Bryan Zimmerman, lead vocals of Sky Eats Airplane, for taking the time to interview and help promote music that means a lot to me and many people I know. I wish him luck with Sky Eats Airplane and I can’t wait to watch him perform in the future!

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