Que “It’s A Small World Afterall” in your mind and let it get good and soggy in there. You know, the creepy version that plays on that ride at Disney? Got it? Alright. Now of course there is a reason I needed that to be in your heads because it’s in mine. And, well it is relevant to what I’m going to tell y’all. Plus I figure, why be the only one annoyed during this article with the tinkled, ghost-like, sing songy, weirdness of the high pitched voices? It is really not that bad or annoying, truth told. It makes for a cool element to reading an article, like it’s very own soundtrack.

So today (Friday, June 30, 2017) was jammed packed. I had a face to face interview and 3 phoners. Back to back - wham, bam, thank you ma’am. I had to take a call in the middle and briefly interview DANIEL TOMPKINS of TESSERACT while they’re out doing a tour with Megadeth and Meshuggah here in the states because no Dallas date has been announced (still crossing fingers that it might happen) so it was now or never. Oddly enough, when I was looking up the members in the band, I saw that there was an association with a band that I hadn’t heard their name in ages: HAJI’S KITCHEN. Wait, what? They’re a band that was pretty popular back in the day from Dallas and I was curious to that connection since TESSERACT is from the UK. One tick mark on "it sure IS a small world" tally.

2nd tally mark: I just happened to be interviewing the son of the drummer of a wildly popular band back in the 90’s here in Dallas by the name of UGLY MUS-TARD. If memory serves me correctly, these two bands played around the same time and perhaps even shared a stage or two. Very possible.

Tally mark #3: My very first rock show in Deep Ellum was winter of 1993 at Trees and a band by the name of  yep - you guessed i: UGLY MUS-TARD. I was floored by the show and that the entire club was packed to the gills. I started going to more shows because of that night; because of UGLY MUS-TARD. And here I was, 23 years later talking to the drummer’s son who is a signer (imagine that)?

You just thought this was an article about MURDER THE NAME, didn’t you? You are, don’t worry. I’m getting there. Now do you get the reasoning for the “It’s A Small World” tune? It gets better, wait!

I have a 4 and a 4:30 interview and leaving Fuzzy’s it was 3:46. Luckily, I live across the street so I dial into my conference call number and a guy dials in as I’m scrambling to pull up my notes. He’s being friendly and I’m being a little spacey because I don’t have my shit together and have no idea what I’m going to start with his interview. He tells me his name twice, and I can’t hear for some reason and think he said “June” and the next time he says it I heard Jude - but it still didn’t register because I had the two times confused. I go on with my nervous banter and say the name of the other band and the poor guy on the other end like interrupts me, “Sheri. This is MURDER THE NAME, JUDE, the guitar player form MURDER THE NAME?!?”

JUMPIN’ JEHOSAPHAT! WTF just happened? I totally apologize and we start laughing and then JASEN MORENO who is the singer for MURDER THE NAME beeps in. We tell him the story and have a good (but totally uncomfortable) laugh about how scattered I was. Luckily, these are my peeps and people I’ve known or known of since 1993. And man, sometimes you just have to embrace the mistakes and the embarrassing moments, own them and wear them like a silk scarf on a windy day.

MURDER THE NAME is a group from Dallas in case you didn’t catch that from above. The band is JASEN MORENO - vocals, JUDE DYLLAN - guitar, ADAM CARRILLO - bass, DONNY YRLAS - drums and all four of these musicians have firm roots in not only Dallas music, but all over the world. You might even call this group a catchy name like “supergroup” or “power group” - but they’d probably balk at that. JASEN is currently the singer for DROWNING POOL and has been since Ryan left. He also fronted THE SUICIDE HOOK and before that PLASTIC TONGUE. Jude currently plays guitar for a very chic country band by the name VAUDEVILLE and played for MYMOTIVE back in the day. Adam Carrillo plays bass for BIG JOE WALKER and played in MYMOTIVE. Donny Yrlas has played for VAUDEVILLE and also was the drummer for MYMOTIVE.

Tally mark #4: I love it when the world gets smaller and the dots connect. I love it when things come back to us with no logical explanation and the pieces just fit. For me personally, it gives me a sense that I’m fulfilling my purpose; that any logical explanation just doesn’t quite fit as to why things come together the way they do. They just do. It just so happened that Jasen wasn’t on tour July 8th. Or that Jude wasn’t in the studio or on the road with VAUDEVILLE that day. It just so happens that Adam and Donny both were available on the 8th. See, MURDER THE NAME hasn’t played out for quite some time with the schedules these men keep with their front projects. It just worked out that way. Sing everybody!!!

“There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all, it's a small world”

Tally mark #5: Like I explained earlier, the first band I saw live in Deep Ellum was UGLY MUS-TARD and today, I was sitting across the table from Fred’s son, interviewing him about his band TRENT RUSH in Deep Ellum. Tally #6: It’s also odd that the night I saw UGLY MUS-TARD I was hanging out with the bassist for DROWNING POOL. Had it not been for that night, I might not have ever seen JIBE, or BLUE OCTOBER or MY MOTIVE or DOOSU. Had all of that not happened, I wouldn’t have gotten to know BLACKTOP MOJO late last year.

Twisted and entwined in my interview with Jasen and Jude, you might find some gems of familiarity or coincidences as well. And while I get that they’re not things that are miraculous or alert the media worthy to many, they’re important to me and my journey. And anytime I can equate my journey being benefitted by others, you be your ass I’m going to recognize it and talk about it!

MURDER THE NAME JASENCB: How did y’all end up getting on the Jibe CD Release show?

Jasen: I traded out doing some drywall for him and he asked if we wanted the show.

Jude: Ya, I did some way, I can’t (laughing)!!

Jasen: We don’t really know really. We had that time off and Joe asked us so we said we’d do it.

CB: Don’t you love it when things like that just fall into place? Then the positive we put out come back eventually? You know what I mean?

Jasen: Ya, it’s cool. I definitely get it.

CB: Y’all are travelling or on the road right now, right? Not together, but separate or your main projects?

Jude:Ya, we’re out but not together.

CB: How is being able to play the show next weekend, on the 8th at Gas Monkey Live. I mean it’s going to be a killer show - I told Joe like a time machine or something! Do you equate this show with your past?

Jude: Man, it’s like when I was coming up, just a kid and I would see Jasen and PLASTIC TONGUE play at like Curtain or Trees, I was like “I want to play with those guys or have that kind of band and fans.” But I was always too scared to go say something to him. One day, I got the courage I guess. I had some free time and just asked him. And he said yes.

CB: Jasen, how does hearing what Jude just said about you, how does that resonate with you or make you feel? That's a pretty big compliment or tribute to you.

Jasen: Well, I don’t see that, really. I mean I was just doing my thing and doing what I do. I’ll jam with people and if it works cool - and it worked with MURDER THE NAME. I think it just comes with being in an active music scene like Deep Ellum (Dallas) had at that time. And it’s goes back to where I am now, singing for DROWNING POOL. I was humbled to be asked to join the band. They’re such a part of the success of music in Dallas, one of the first to have success like they have had. So it all goes back to things working for a purpose.

CB: So I can't wait for the show - I think i’ve said that like 9 times. But it’s going to be great. I’m really looking forward to hearing y’all play. There’s going to be some surprises guests playing too, right?

Jude: That’s what I hear. I’m looking forward to getting to play rock again.

CB: Ya, you’re doing, what country now?

Jude: I’ve been doing country for a few years now. I’m playing in VAUDEVILLE. I like it!

CB: I’ll have to check them out! Ok, so we’ve got time for the random fish bowl questions, where I pull out questions from a real fish bowl. Why I didn’t call it the Bird’s Bath, I have no clue. But whatever - that just popped in my head. I’ll ask you both like a few random and sometimes weird questions. Some can be kinda personal so if you don’t want to answer you don’t have to, of course. Alright ready?

Jasen: Ah man! Ya, come on with it.

CB: Jasen you can answer first with this one. Ok, here is #1: What is your go to curse word/phrase?

Jasen: Fuck.

CB: Jude?

Jude: Ah shit.

CB: Question #2: Do you cook and if so, what is your favorite thing to cook?

Jasen: No.

CB: Can you boil water?

Jasen: Ya, I just don’t like to cook. Or there’s not time or being on tour, you can’t. So no, I don’t cook.

Jude: Nah, not really.

CB: Ok #3: If you weren’t doing music as a profession, what would you be doing?

Jasen: Aww see, I don’t know because I have always done music. It’s a part of me. I don’t know what I would do or want to do. Maybe like something with science or astrology; the stars.

CB: Right on, that does sound interesting. I like numerology, I think it’s strange and really f’ing weird that everything is really about numbers. Ok, Jude?

Jude Well, I had a backup plan in case music didn’t pan out. I was an anesthesiologist tech and and RN.

Jasen: Dude, I want to change my answer -

CB: Like to you and Jude drywalling and painting? (We all laugh!)

Jasen: I want to do something in the medical field. Or something that sounds better. (We are all laughing at this because it’s such a crazy and dumb question.)

CB: I don’t think so - I think it’d be cool to know all there is to know about the stars and planets. I mean being in the medical field is cool, but I can’t deal with blood and stuff like that. Nope. I’ll stick to astrology or astronomy -

Jasen: I am glad it turned out the way it did. I don’t know what I would do! Music is what I am or what I do.

CB: You’ve been all over Dallas! PLASTIC TONGUE, THE SUICIDE HOOK, MURDER THE NAME. You’ve made appearances with other local acts too. I think that’s rad AF that you love music that much, and can give of yourself like that. It’s really great.

Jasen: Thank you! Oh, you know I think I’d rather get paid to play video games. Ya, that’d be cool.

CB: Even those are hard to play - I mean I can barely walk let alone do something different with both hands at the same time. I’ve always been envious of musicians because they have to separate or concentrate - to be able to do something different with each are or leg. Unless, we’re talking about like Atari Games that just have a joystick. I can work the...wait, that sounds dirty. I don’t mean it like that. But I can. Give me a joystick and some :PacMan or Tetris and I’m IN!


As we chat a bit more about B.S., and hang up the phone, I realize that I really love what I do. I love hearing the passion in artist’s voices when they are doing what they know to be their calling if you will.

I also love the city I live in because of the diversity of music and the players. Some may have crossed paths, played together, admired one another’s skill - but Dallas still has a healthy music scene and I don’t think it’s over. In fact, I think it’s only just begun.

Find MURDER THE NAME here on Facebook and come out to see them play Saturday July 8th at Gas Monkey Live for the JIBE CD Release Party! Check out the Facebook event for more info if you're in Dallas!

Til Next Time - MRML - Cherri

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ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE was founded in 2008 by Electronic Dance producer Trebla (aka Albert Vorne) and lead singer Lord K. In 2010, guitar player Dave Tavecchia joined the band and one year later Chris Vrenna (NIN, Marilyn Manson, Tweaker) co-produced their first album Mother Ignorance (Metropolis Records). ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE’s sound is made of analog synths and blade guitars, speeding around the echoes of 80's vibes and 90's industrial, throughout the underground of Brit's school electronica, new wave and techno beats.

The band and their debut album MOTHER IGNORANCE have been considered one of the newest and most exciting surprises throughout both the industrial and rave scenes.

Before you read the interview - here's a link to the band's Facebook page. Go ahead and go like it right now...

As luck would have it, the night of their show in Dallas, Texas it rained and thunderstormed. Now, when this happens in Dallas, Texas,  people lose their minds and control of their driving abilities it would seem. I sat in traffic on the highway for over 3 hours and not only missed my interview slot with ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE - but missed their show as well. 

All is not lost though! Due to the power of the www and a little tool called email, I was able to connect with the band despite the gridlock on the highway that night. I love email interviews because I create an interactive kind of Q & A which is more than just typing answers. I love the responses I get back and honestly, if I was on the other side of an email interview, I'd like to do this kind! Here's the interview with ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE as they traveled to their next stop on tour!

Cherri: How difficult is it or was it to roll into a new town every night or every other night and walk in, see load in with your band mates and total strangers, watch the hours go by and then when people start to come in (or if they don’t come in, even), how hard do you have to build your confidence up?

It's not crazy difficult, of course it becomes a little tiring after a few weeks, but we know that each new place we hit will probably have a surprise for us and that makes it fun and exciting. The fun part comes when you get to the hotel, there you start to feel a little confused. They all look pretty much the same (when you have a limited budget of course). Which room number again? Where is the elevator now?

Cherri: Think of someone that you admire or respect - in any facet, professionally, personally, artist - and tell me 3 things you admire about them:

i. Roy Batty - (Rutger Hauer's replicant character in Blade Runner). No need to explain in this case.
Just memorize his monologue and it will instantly appear so clear.

ii. L.V. Bethoven - A great musician who invented the #... before anyone else (the sharp note).

iii. Chuck Norris - Invincible, ironic as F*, awesome beard (which he grew before it became a trendy thing)

Cherri: So, as you're doing this interview - unless you're in your altogether (no one wants to see you sitting on the crapper or nekid on your couch with a bear rug) take a selfie of where you're sitting with your laptop or phone filling this out and attach it to this email.

Joe took it from the passenger seat in the front:

Van Selfie

Cherri: Do you have a strange fear or a phobia? I’m afraid (like insanely so) of birds - odd, isn’t it?

Oh God.. we are plenty of phobias in this van. First of all "bacteria", we are a bunch of Italian hypochondriacs. Then bugs, bed bugs especially. Lord always fears his voice will eventually disappear because of some specific bacteriological attack provided by someone coughing or sneezing in his proximity. Our new drummer Joe Amato can't even watch horror movies.

Cherri: Wait - I am SO pissed that I didn't get to ask this question face to face for a variety of reasons: A. I would have loved to watch the facial expressions as everyone answered. B. I too, have an aversion to what I refer to as "amoebas" which I'm positive are all around us and forever out to destroy us. (I blame the kid in the movie "Signs" and that kid's whole "it's contaminated" obsession, because - well...IT IS GODAMIT!! IT'S ALL CONTAMINATED!!

Cherri: Tell us one memory from childhood that directly affected your movement towards making music a career or what influenced you to be attracted to music.

Everyone here would have a different story but we can focus on what we share about this. Music is stronger than you. If you are simply attracted by it, music will capture you and you will end up researching into it, exploring this beautiful universe until you might find yourself creative enough to create music. Basically you now create the monster who captures you. All of us felt in love with music in our childhood, but we discovered our own creative animal during the teenage. Trebla became a DJ at 13 when he got his first pair Technics for his middle school degree. Lord started to write music at the age of 17, Dave was basically born with a guitar in his hands.

Cherri: Best cover of an old song that you’ve heard.

MANOWAR - Nessun Dorma

Cherri: Looking at my picture (that’s why it’s on this questionnaire) - just going by that pic, what do you think my favorite song will be from your current record?


Cherri: I totally dig THE AFTERSHOW you're right! 

Cherri: Now take your phone camera, put it on selfie mode and take a picture of what's over your left shoulder.

Done... Look at that face... Scary.

Left shoulder 1

Cherri: hahahaha! So funny! I wonder if that was accidental...hahaha!!

Cherri: True or false: Everything happens for a reason.


Cherri: We have a thing that a few of my partners do when we interview. We started doing this at festivals. So I pulled (honestly, I pulled the question papers out of the fish bowl and then typed them.) a few random questions pulled out of the fish bowl:

Do you have a code name or a nickname for having to go #2? (poop?)

We have too many. The Italian language offers a crazy variety in this case.

Cherri: I'd love to know more about words for poop in Italian. Message me...

Cherri: Beach, mountain, urban city, or desert?

No one of us will ever agree on one here.
Lord: city
Trebla: mountain
Dave: desert
Joe: beach

Cherri: South Park or Family Guy?

South Park.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars.
(Trebla does not necessary agree).

Cherri: Trebla, WTF? Why does your preference sway towards the Trek as opposed to the War? There's always a fight between The Force and The Darkside...

Cherri: Funniest profanity phrase?

You don't wanna go there.

Cherri: Oh, but I do!!! I love learning new profanity - especially when it's from a foreign country!!

Cherri: Video or dice rolling games?

Dice, indeed!

Cherri: Oh by the way, you know the 3 characteristics of the person you admire or respect? Those characteristics are really characteristics that you possess but either haven’t developed, you ignore them because you don’t want them (it) or haven’t acknowledged them. But they do exist within you! :)


Cherri: Isn't it? I mean go back up and read the 3 you wrote and you'll instantly know that it's true. I can tell just by your responses and pics!!

I am so glad that I did get to digitally meet the band from Italy; ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE, even if it was through the power of the internet! I also heard from a few that were at the show that they were highly impressed with the band's performance. If you're not familiar with their work, please take a peek at this video below!


Til next time - 

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MOD SMALLWorking from the Nest is great, I love it. I probably don’t need to tell you though, it would be a redundancy that just subtracts from the beef of the wordcount. What isn’t great is when you think you have a Skype call and it turns out to be a video call. With a legend. Annnnd you’re in your robe that on a webcam, looks like a prison garment (damn you Betsy Johnson and your black and white, horizontal stripe trend, damn you!!). Pretty certain my whole look would have definitely seen a speaking role in Orange Is The New Black new season. 
As I tried not to look so homo-prisoner by smiling, it occurred to me that I didn’t really (honestly) care what the person on the other end of the connection thought. I wasn’t embarrassed that I wasn’t made up, hair done, and clothed. I was just doing me and being me, not trying to be someone or something I am not. I liked that revelation that I had at the start of my 30 minutes with Billy Milano of M.O.D. and I think that it is apropos that it came during an interview with an icon in music that has never been anything but himself.


METHOD OF DESTRUCTION OR M.O.D. rolled on to the New York punk scene in 1986 with singer BILLY MILANO from STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH (S.O.D.) and original members TIM McMURTRIE (guitar), KEN BALLONE (bass) and KEITH DAVIS (drums). The band saw their first studio record U.S.A. for M.O.D. drop (produced by Scott Ian of Anthrax/Alex Perialas and came out under Megaforce Records).. M.O.D. has been an active band (less a brief break from ‘97 to ‘03) or should I say relevant band for 31 years with Billy at the helm of maintaining their mark.

Now it’s just the opinion of little me on Billy being the factor of why M.O.D. remains relevant to the history of American punk, but I’m no expert. I’m sure that there are tons of experts that can site facts and draw graphs, quote dates and provide evidence to my observation. I don’t have a PhD in music history and I damn sure can’t say that I know all there is to know about punk and the origin here in the US. I know what I’ve seen on VH1’s Behind the Music or in music documentaries. But the basis for my opinion on Billy, is based on mere gut feelings and the simple truth that here I was talking to Billy about M.O.D.’s upcoming release of “Busted, Broke and American”. The need to scribble in filler and bullshit isn’t necessary.

And after meeting Billy through the magic of the www (and a tiny sorceress, I’m certain) that gut feeling became more substantial. This is a vivacious, funny, outspoken and intelligent man that uses music to convey what he finds offensive in the world and as a result, spawns seeds of thought in those that hear it. Couple that with his work in S.O.D. that created a subgenre of punk/metal music referred to as Thrashcore and you have a bonafide icon of music history my Lovelies. Bonafide. Straight up.

Cherri: What made you move down to Texas, Austin specifically back in ‘04?

Billy: I moved to Austin back in 2004 and I love it. The cost of living is better, it’s beautiful down here. And my grandkids are here and I get to see them everyday. I love being a Grandpa.

Cherri: Texas is great. I’m glad you got here when you did! Austin is a perfect little place, isn’t it? I’m based in Dallas but love to visit Austin. Your bio says that there weren’t any intentions with this record, what came out came out. Tell me a little more...

Billy: I wrote everything, all of it while being with Buster. I played the guitar and felt feelings about the fakeness of the music industry and the bullshit of living these lives that are just lies. It all just happened and after Buster died I realized that I’d just written a kick ass bunch of songs for [an album], but didn’t set out to do this, you know? It just fell into place.MOD 2 SMALL

Cherri: Do you think that is because of our age? I relate to what you’re saying so much within myself. When we’re younger there’s this push or force to do this or that. So I spun my wheels in this tarpit, it seemed. Trying to control everything. Now I’m older and find if I just let it go everything falls into place. I don’t have to manipulate the outcomes to make anyone, including me happy. Is this a form of surrendering to being old and out of touch? (laughs)

Billy: I find the facts are that I just did what I did and didn’t look for an outcome. I think the truth is that...(pauses)...I’ve turned into my dad. But I’m not different than I was then. I still believe the same things, in the same things. After Buster died, I just did things, better maybe. Or angry. I just didn’t give a shit, didn’t have any plans to release this record and then stuff just happened and what do you know, here we are. I just stopped trying to do [expect] things and just did what I needed to do for myself, what I wanted.

Cherri: There’s something about that saying “the truth will set you free”. It does, doesn’t it. Take out all the what if’s that make our thoughts and our mind be off centered, or always trying to change what IS. If I just concentrate on the facts it’s easier to be present because I’m not trying to change something that has already happened!

Billy: It’s like these Bernie Sanders kids, young adults that have $60k and more debt from a fucking piece of paper on an education you can’t apply. What the fuck are you going to do going into the workplace with a fucking degree - “Can I help you sir? Welcome to McDonald’s”. As much as it’s funny, I talk about it in “Busted, Broke and American” I say “why the fuck did you get a degree, all you’re going to do is make my coffee, push the button and fill my fucking cup”. The song is about going out and enjoying your life and these people in a segment of our society that is burning with defiance. And now they go into society with an education and a degree “I have a degree in liberal arts”, says these people. Well good for you, I say back. Take the fucking whip cream off my coffee and re do it”. There is a false illusion in this country. And that is a problem.

Cherri: I guess it is age and maybe all of that stuff from when we were kids and now that we are here, half done we just accept ourselves and are comfortable in our own skin.

Billy: I go to shows now and they ask me, ‘Sir, would you like earplugs?’ - like I’m some kind of Grandpa or something. Truth is, I’ve got a beard, tattoos and gray hair and I AM a grandpa. I wake up every morning and love that I am a Grandpa.

Cherri: How in the hell are you from New York, the Bronx no doubt and are a Republican? (we both kinda laugh - not ha ha funny, but maybe out of understanding before the answer came out.)

Billy: It’s not that I became this or that. It’s what I think. It isn’t about politics it’s me and what I know to be right. I have a very broad sense of what the government should be or has a specific role. I think the social engineering that they’re doing is inherently dangerous, it’s ill conceived and the people who are receptive to it are ill conceived children. I’m fiscally conservative but responsible for other things. I still say, 4 year terms? 8 years of Reagan, 8 years of Bush, Clinton and Obama - all of those people sucked. Jimmy Carter was the best President we’ve had. Jimmy Carter stopped being President one day and became a community leader and built homes for the homeless, what more do you need to know? Lead by example.

Cherri: Austin has done great things for the homeless population. Are you involved or how do you see the strides made there - could they work nationally?

Billy: Let me put it to you this way. As a person that grew up in the punk rock music scene, I learned that a spot can be a very friendly place. I lost everything in a fire, I realized that a little room that was 13 ft long and 7 ft wide, that little room was a godsend. Living in the basement was good enough for me. I know what it’s like to be destitute. This is what I say to people scream that they love Obama. I say, you’re talking about a guy you say was a community activist and he gave 12 trillion to the Jew banks (I can say Jew because I’m of Hebrew descent and I’m not afraid to say it) - and he gave zero to humanitarian causes. I remember a day in 8 years him or Clinton or Bush Jr, 24 years where anyone of those son of a bitches came on the TV and said “What’s wrong with you people? There are people that are hungry here! Let’s figure something out!” These people are fucking soulless! I don’t understand what they’re leaning on. And these homeless people in our country, we have something like 3 million homeless people in America. This is something that is now tragic and a disgrace to an American legacy, that we would turn our back on our elderly and our homeless. This is a political discussion one that could go on for hours, but we’re almost out of time.

Cherri: Ya, I feel ya and I could talk for hours about the state of our country and how unsatisfied we all are and don’t get it. That’s why music is so important to me so that people can get out what they want to say, or feel - even if it’s in a mosh pit. Didn’t you used to go by Sgt Mosh at one time?

Billy: Well, Sgt Mosh was from the S.O.D. records - a character or a guy portrayed. They called me Mosh because I’d go into the pit. The word Mosh a lot of people don’t know where it comes from. We’d say “let’s go in the pit and mosh it up” like mash and mosh...the sound kind of the same but Mosh came from [the name of] a road going up from New York state called the Mosholu Parkway. That’s the road we took. The real nickname came from the singer of the punk band, Murphy’s Law - I was always eating Milano cookies and drinking cold milk and all my skinhead friends would be like “there's milk and cookies” - and he said “every time I see you, you’re eating those godam milano cookies. That’s what your name is now, Billy Milano.”

Cherri: I don’t know what it is, but I love those cookies in that bag! They stay so fresh!

And just as it began, it was over. I think back while transcribing the interview and listening to Billy have such passion and fervor for things that he loves and believes in, I can see where this record for him did really, just happen out of a place that was created - he created years ago. How it manifested itself now, is from him because he loved what he did. It came from HIS a place of love. Love of his family, where he came up from, his country and his own skin. Love of life - even the things that piss him off - piss us all off, really. This is where the passion comes from, these places. Ya know what I’m saying?

MOD Broken Busted

“Busted, Broke and American” - M.O.D. (Method Of Destruction)

Drops: 07/07/2017 Megaforce Records

“Billy Milano, a voracious reader, avid cook and a Proud and Loud Republican, 
inadvertently resurrected his hardcore punk rock band in a time when he needed it most.You'd be mistaken to assume anything when it comes to Billy Milano. For M.O.D. and
their new album, which finds the band returning to original label home Megaforce Records after two decades, there was no pre-determined mission. At all.

It was born of love.”



SKOM met up with the lads from LORNA SHORE on THE BEG FOR DEATH tour, before their show at Tomcats West, in Fort Worth Texas. Tom (vocals), Connor (guitar), Adam (guitar) and Austin (drums), are a young, enthusiastic bunch with probably the heaviest sound I’ve heard this year. Touring behind their sophomore album FLESH COFFIN, released earlier this year, the guys talk all things Justin Timberlake, Home Depot and taking over the universe.

Lorna Shore2 webRebekkah Raven: Looking at your Spotify you have 48K monthly listeners. You’re on your sophomore album release, Flesh Coffin, how have the fans been responding to your music? You have what, 9 dates left on THE BEG FOR DEATH tour?

Tom: Everyone has been really into the songs we’ve played live; the crowd has really been getting into it. We’ve really only been playing new stuff, some old stuff, but primarily songs from the new record.

Connor: If they didn’t like Flesh Coffin before, they’ll love it by the time we’re done with this tour.

Rebekkah Raven: I saw some play through of your music posted to your band page. What drives you to connect on a personal level with your fans?

Tom: We interact with our fans as much as possible. We’re pretty straight up guys. I’ve always tried to talk to everybody; I’m not always on the internet, so being in person with people is important. We’re just naturally the type that talks to everyone, so we don’t really see it as a duty, just as something fun to do. This is our first tour with someone sitting at merch tables, before we were running it ourselves.

Connor: Yeah, we have this cool dude Jake working for us and he’s a pretty cool guy to have around.

Rebekkah Raven: If there was one song off the new record that would tell a prospective fan what Lorna Shore is all about, which would it be?

Connor: If you’ve never listened to metal before, FLESH COFFIN, for sure. If I show someone anything about metal or my band, that song is what I’ll share with them.

Austin: Yeah, and if you’re already a metal fan, FVNERAL MOON will blow your face off.

Rebekkah Raven: So aside from the serious questions, we have a couple popular fun questions for bands. What is your favorite smell?

Connor: Oh man, Tom really likes smelling things.

Tom: I do like smelling things...My favorite smell is Home Depot!

Lorna Shore3 webRebekkah Raven: Oh! Do you like the lawn and garden side, or the lumber side?

Tom: The Lawn and Garden side, for sure. All the chemicals smell great... I’m not saying I huff paint or anything like that *laughs* but I have great memories as a child going there with my dad, and it’s just a really nice nostalgic smell for me.... Or weed. *laughs again* What about you, Austin?

Austin: Oh man... Definitely not an Asian food market... I hate fishy smells. I would say new sneakers. They smell so good.

Connor: I would say Dan Ward... a friend from back home. I hug him and you’re like Oh yes, Thank you for your smell.

Rebekkah Raven: If you could tell your 16 year old self anything, what would it be?

Tom: I’d say don’t take anything too seriously. I use to take shit really seriously.

Austin: Learn better etiquette... I think?

Connor: Play more guitar!

Lorna Shore4 webRebekkah Raven: What band or artist, outside of the metal genre, is your greatest influence?

Adam: Without a doubt, Justin Timberlake.

Tom: All around, and in all amount of seriousness, yeah absolutely Justin Timberlake. I saw NSYNC when I was a kid, and I was like, Yes. This is what I want to do.

Rebekkah Rave: You saw all the girls going crazy and thought 'Oh yeah, I want that life?'

Adam: No, not at all. I just wanted to dance and sing and entertain people. It really motivated me.

Connor: For me, Backstreet Boys. Every boy in my grade wanted to be a backstreet boy.

Tom: No way, NSYNC was better. On another note, Soundgarden is still a huge influence for me.

Lorna Shore1 webRebekkah Raven: Doing a headlining tour is epic for any band. What’s next? Every band has incremental goals they’re looking to achieve.

Tom: We’re playing SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR this summer, which is exciting. We also want to go overseas.

Rebekkah Raven: Really, SUMMER SLAUGHTER? That’s exciting!

Tom: Well, I don’t know if it’s announced yet... but yes.

Adam: By the time this comes out, it will have been announced. But yeah, aside from that we definitely want to go to Japan, Australia, Europe.

Connor: Once we see what the world has to offer, we also want to do an Intergalactic Tour... Maybe Mars?

Rebekkah Raven: (Referencing Dude: Where’s My Car?) So you want to get a continuum transfunctioner and take over the universe?

Connor: YES! ZOLTAN! It’s not about signing a local record deal you know; it’s about those Planetary Record deals.

Rebekkah Raven: Thanks so much for your time guys. Take care and be safe.

Lorna Shore: Thanks!Lorna Shore5 web

Follow LORNA SHORE  on Facebook and look for the remaining dates left on THE BEG FOR DEATH TOUR.



Rebekkah Raven is a freelance writer and photographer. She is also a Co-Creator/Founder of The Bird's Nest in Dallas, Texas. Follow her on Facebook.





DROPS: April 28, 2017

HE IS LEGEND PROMO 2017Schuyler Croom: Vocals/Piano
Adam Tanbouz: Lead Guitars
Denis Desloge: Rhythm guitars
Matt Williams: Bassist

HE IS LEGEND have come from a place that is the host to the best parts of rock music. These seasoned musicians not only know what all that is, but what pairs with it & that bag of chips. Look, if you’re a band that’s been playing professionally since 2002 in some form or fashion, what you do is do what you want. You know you can do more when you are inspired by something bizarre as hell like a drop here and down a 16th there - mix it all up in a way that surprises even you longest running fan. 

All of the things that start separate in a musician, that they might find appealing about them - are melted together to make the tastiest fondue. For these guys it's the cut time/tempo and some drop tuning. little changes, the breaks and all of the other yummies rolled up. In “few” they take what they love and shove these lit parts right in the center of their energy, toss them into the atmosphere and quietly wait to hear the screams of a Phoenix burst - BLAMO!! The creation of 12 huge treasure tracks of songs occurs; little balls of glittering goodness that stream out of the speakers, falling into your ears...

HE IS LEGEND has crafted their sound by playing what they want. They’ve fished in a sea with fishermen that are trying to pull something alive out of the water - but while so many are coming up short, HE IS LEGEND, is not. This record is stellar. It really doesn't have any weak spots that I could pinpoint; but that isn’t my job. My job is to tell you how I loved it and what it did to me and how it made me feel listening to it. I hope you get just an inkling of what I got from "few"...

Let’s do this, shall we? 

AIR RAID - thugga-thugga chugs of a low guitar on one side compliments the higher tones of the one on the other side; just a few steps above in the background, but it’s noticeable and pretty!. Dig the way the tempo changes at the chorus. What I love about Schuyler's vocals here, is the seemingly sea salty, gritty vocal of his that’s made to clean out the cobwebs in your mind and replacing those dusty strands of old rock with some smart sounding guitars, a walloping bass that the drums kinda makes me feel like I’m on a horse galloping away from a burning barn. Mother of god this is just beautiful. Love it when the ending is the ending of a song. BOOM!! It’s done.

SAND - Immediately the bass and low AF guitar rattle my insides to make me feel like I’m driving a healthy muscle car; like a Cutlass or an old sup’ed up Camaro - and at the pause I can kinda catch my breath but with the verse, comes this badass groove and then it lurches forward jumping towards 60 in under 5 seconds. SAND has a sound that literally pushes your senses to the places you want in a massive amounts. Big opening, swelling verses that you can bounce or bang it out with your head - your choice. I am drooling over the structure HE IS LEGEND uses to write their music on few. “Stay with me, I’m not a fool, not just for anyone”. Dammit the guitars are not "bad meaning bad, but bad meaning GOOD"!!

BEAUFORT - here again they grab you by the hair like a caveman putting the doom on his woman for letting that giant bison get away during the morning’s hunt. There’s a lyric “kick in the door” and that’s what happens in my mind by the tiny wizards in my earphones. I realize I was thrown to the earth by the lure of a few notes, the life of the song flows out in the exhale of the guitar solo and just as it reaches your mouth, you can’t believe that not only is it going in your mouth, you’re about to inhale it and hold it in.

SILENT GOLD - there’s nothing silent about this number. I wanna pee my pants the bass line is so righteous, gawwwdd!!! Right at the chorus or maybe it’s a pre-chorus - the song gets down and dirty. Then right back to a light melody with a heavy dose of bass. I love it when the bass mix is in front. Silent Gold is really packed full of those micro-breaking chord progressions, while the rhythm guitar punches it out a pattern that could be unique to each listener because there is a lot to absorb - and that is not a bad thing. The beauty of HE IS LEGEND is that they are full and bring a ton to this record. I love the “dun dun dun dun dun” sound - what is that like a progression? An archipeggio? How did i even know how to spell that? Swear to god I didn’t look it up.

ALLEY CAT - y’all Schuylar’s voice just kills in this song - not to mention the whole record.. It’s strong and full, like a big Tom cat lying on the back of a wood fence after snacking on a backyard bird. And meow - does he belt out some beautiful tones in the chorus - I love that there’s literally a complete change up in the song that I had to look at my music player to see if the song had changed. Nope, it didn’t then it went right back to the original melody. Perfect. Alley Cat grabs a hold of the nape of your neck with his paw and keeps you still with a firm bite until the song is over - and even then you dare not move.

HE IS LEGEND SO WHAT PHOTOJORDAN - the drums on this track are nomadic with a native resonance as the rest of the band follows suit like they’re moving across the plains to hunt and gather more. The cut time is godam perfect. There’s nothing sexier than that kind of dredge, it reminds me of 4 strong fingers that starting to scratch your back. The drums continue to slap your heart to revive you from the coma you’ve been in since the birth of nu-metal...

GOLD DUST - starts out slow and then with a very 1978 - 1981 kinda guitar sound this beautiful and slowly, the song plays . It’s so damn smooth. Like chocolate silk pie - “been waitin’ on a memory” my god it sends chills...just wait til you hear the chorus of #7 - I don’t get how major notes can pluck out the feelings in me like machines pluck feathers out of chicken. There’s nothing wrong with diversity - when it flows and corresponds with the rest of the record. The way they write songs is like how my head translates the things it absorbs having ADHD. I can only describe it like a ping pong ball that won’t ever stop bouncing even when the song is over. Not to mention that last couple of measures will kick your ass, just wait.

CALL INS - boom bum bum boom bum bum - “there’s a man inside my mirror” I’ve always thought there was something in between the glass and reflections - but that’s another story for another day. The guitar echoes in the background with the accompaniment of the drums with Schuyler's voice comings in really soft and staying with you, right between the back of your eyes. You know what I’m talking about, right? Where that dark place resides, where you put all the things you need to sort out in piles because there’s enough room here, always. It’s where I retreat when a song drops clues for me to go work it all out...

“I’ve learned my lesson, paid my time - this blank expression - prepare to die - hear my confession - my doubtless pain - this house that’s haunted is holding me...”

it’s so soft there are times I think it’s going to just fade out only to come back and scream at me through the speakers but it doesn't. It just walks around my head, dragging all of the transgressions in a burlap bag, behind it...

EASTERN LOCUST - once more, here’s Matt showing off again...holy crapppp, this bassline brings some hustle and hum that should be illegal in some states - what is legit about this track is the change in time and then with the groove; man oh man, it’s like how tight your butt clenches on the bicycle seat if you were pedalling like a mother, gearing up and simultaneously thinking about having to coast down with using no brakes. It’s that tight! Patient and prominently placed harmonies start pulling up similarities out of Great Grandfather Grunge's Garden, mimicking his beginnings but much, much better now!! Wow! Schuylar again breaks my limited concentration by the tone and how his band follows him. His band is actually accompanying him, you know that difference.

FRITZ THE DOG - this is a sly little number that goes from funky dee dee-ing to the chorus that picks it up and rocks it heavy. I’d love to see a crowd hear or watch them perform this song. It’s fun and everyone knows there’s no going wrong when you sing about a dog in a rock song. The band’s decision to highlight their ability to rock, groove, swing, ska (sans the brass), punk it up, slow it down, or bang it out when you’re all alone - wait, now that I’m thinking about it - it probably isn’t a conscious choice. It’s probably just the way they create and write music. Truthfully, I dig the hell out of them letting us listen to it.

THE VAMPYRE - My, oh my - if you’re a fan of sharp teeth that suck another’s blood or Anne Rice, then The Vampyre will resonate with you. It did me - I thought about Armand from Interview With A Vampire” and was transported to walking up to the gates of his lair, knock on the heavy door that the bass and drums pretend to be waiting for us. It opens and the vocals come slithering around the corners in different tones, even one with a low growl in the very back...while the guitars slide down the banister of the staircase that shouldn’t go that high. There’s a heaviness in the back and while I listened I wanted it to burst through. And it does - again with the change in tempo -

“I wear these mortal ___? - like snakes around my ankles - I’ll be thankful - I deserve no less - spent my last days - I turn to red...”

 - I think this is my favorite song - I dig the fuck out of songs that have the ability to dig up the dead and beat the shit out of them for you just because you said so, to get it all out, ya know?

THE GARDEN - this song must have been written on the Sabbath because it’s very much like what we might expect a song to sound like if You Know Who, wrote it you know when (back in the day). It’s slow with a cadence that’s evilly monotone til the chorus knocks the dumb off you - and then it reaches into that dark place they’re talking about in the song at the verse “my beloved...” The drums MAKES this track.


This record: it’s fresh, not fancy and right out of the deep parts of their minds that spill out of their gear, making sounds front of them spill all over the audience.. Like I said at the beginning - the elements that HE IS LEGEND - have perfected long before "few" are called out like a good ol' fashion incantation that’s meant to just tickle your subconscious, herding all of the Nasties all in a line...well, until they’ve been released with the conclusion of the record. Then my Lovelies - it’s for you to scoop up all of them up, run out and around the corner looking for a place to dump them. 

If I were you, I’d drop those bastards down into a well and walk away smiling ear to ear...


04/28 - Hamburg, Germany @ Kleiner Donner
04/29 - Meerhout, Belgium @ Groezrock Festival
04/30 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg
05/01 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Nachtleben
05/02 - Paris, France @ Les Etoiles
05/03 - Cologne, Germany @ Artheater
05/04 - Berlin, Germany @ Cassiopeia
05/05 - Munich, Germany @ Oranjehouse
05/07 - Southampton, England @ The Joiners
05/08 - Manchester, England @ Rebellion
05/09 - Newcastle Upon Tyne, England @ O2 Academy Newcastle
05/10 - Glasgow, Scotland @ G2
05/11 - Birmingham, England @ O2 Academy Birmingham
05/12 - London, England @ The Dome
05/13 - Nottingham, England @ Rescue Rooms
05/14 - Bristol, England @ Exchange

Check out Gold Dust streaming and look for the Pre-Order link below to get your copy.

LISTIEN HERE: headphones white icon  PRE-ORDER HERE: icon preorder


CONNECT WITH HE IS LEGEND:facebook sketch icon black


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CURRENT ALBUM: REFRESH EP (click here to listen/order on SoundCloud)


Even though SoWhat?! Music Festival was a couple of weeks ago, and all bands are probably back at home or finishing their leg of tour that brought them to Dallas. But I think the purpose of a festival the size of SoWhat?! is not just for fans to see three days of back to back bands on three stages, but it is just as important for the artists that participated to be dropped in on fans that may need to be reminded of an artist they saw for the first time. 

So, in the spirit of keeping SoWhat?!'s memory alive with fans and those new artists fresh in the hands of fans, SomeKindOfMedia decided to stretch out the interviews and do one or two a week. Last week we featured Mime Game and Plaid Brixx and I hope we hope y'all checked out those two rad groups! Man, talk about both bands just killin' it!! 

This interview is with (believe it or not) the only female artist I had sit down with me. This is Whintey Peyton and she is a force of nature! She's young, smart, on her toes, and best of all - she loves finding ways to entertain her fans. There is a video you can watch and as always, her social media links are below; just click on the icons.



Hey Whitney! Thank you for giving me the time this afternoon. I gotta tell you, I was sitting here listening to you do the on camera interview and I thought to myself, "Man this kid's really got it going on!" You're just darling and I'm so looking forward to chatting a bit here in the Media Room at SoWhat Festival 2017!! I know you had your set earlier this afternoon and I was interviewing another band. But I did hear you from the balcony and I say your pink hair!! Love it! I was totally into the song you were doing at the time! Killer! Ok, so now we are going - well you are going to pick questions ouf of this pile of questions on paper. Some are funny some are serious, some are music related some are not. This just throws some fun in the mix so I'm not asking everyone the same boring questions! Ready? Pick a question! 

Name a character in Greek mythology?
Wasn’t Aphrodite the goddess of love? YES! I got one! IS this like jeopardy?

Yes!! *humming Jeopardy theme* Only I am not Alex Tribeck! Ok, good job on the Greek mythology question! Next question!

Pick a Broadway Musical and sing a song from it. I’ve seen The Waitress... but I can’t remember any songs from it.

Someone earlier got the same question and they picked "The Lion King".... 

Did they sing it? 

Ya, he did - LOUDLY!! It was awesome, you know that loud yodelling like part from the beginning of the movie - it was a member of the band MIME Game. It was ballz!! So, How long are you in Dallas for and tell me where y'all are from again? 

I just came in from this festival, and my backup band is from Phoenix. Music brings us together and the traveling at times feels like I live in a musical!

Obviously you can’t rehearse, so do you use like pre recorded ideas and file share them? 

We do use that at times. But we usually come in (a few days) early and rehearse. I just really like to be prepared and imagine it, and I pretend the crowd is there and how it goes. I’d be so nervous if we didn’t.

Technology is killer, no? I know a lot of bands to this especially if they live out of town. Ok, pick another question. 

Ok, let's pick this one. Ha! Favorierite chewing gum flavor? Favorite flavor of gum...I always have gum because when I meet fans after sets I don’t want my breath to smell.

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I hear ya - I'm the same way. I have been chewing this gum for a few hours. It's terrible - but I don't want to throw it out. I think it might have a little more mint...haha! So, getting back to you - what is one of the worst things about being on a tour for a female?

Well, I guess when you’re a guy, you can just roll out of the van and jump on stage and be like YEAH that’s me. And the girls are like, Oh my god he’s so hot! One of the hardest things is curling my hair and doing my makeup. I wish I could just roll out of bed and be done. I love ripped jeans and being comfortable, so my hair and makeup are really the major feminine things about me.

I bet that would be difficult to have "fresh" hair at every appearance and sometimes I bet you just don't want to wash your hair in a sink or on the bus. So I ask a variation of this question to most everyone I talk to but it's very interesting to me. When or what or even who was the deciding with you or for you rather, in deciding to do music full time? Like putting everything else down and focusing on being a hip hop/rap star?

I worked night audit at Marriot Hotels, updating my website, writing my songs, but I had to make the decision to tour. Knowing that I’m coming back to no job, you find ways to make it work because you don’t have that to go back to. You have to go in 100%.

Was there a particular show that you saw that made you want to pursue your dreams, as a role model?

Oh yeah, I remember watching Missy Elliot, TLC and Will Smith. I rap and MC, so it’s in me to look up to them. I think music videos back in the day used to have crazy outfits and story lines, the more theatrical outlet. I’m more about putting on a show, and being an entertainer. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re playing, you can entertain a crowd if you’re versatile. I’ll pick and choose songs for my set based on the environment I’m in, although I feel like I’m being genuine because the songs all come from me.

Totally! I love it when musicians or bands know that they are entertaining people; their fans. I think it makes for a better show and the fans/audience has a great time. That's when you connect with your audience because as they're paying attention, they'll pick something out of a song and that will be it - fan for life, you know? Let’s pull another question.

17203173 10154217624751968 1056239655340946207 nWHITNEY
Ok, the question is...Is Happiness an inside job?

Oh, that’s hard. As long as you’re not letting someone else control your happiness, I think so. Especially as an artist you put yourself out to be judge and criticized. It could be making me unhappy because of their criticisms. The best revenge is success and happiness.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

I think fate is a product of our own decisions. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes it’s something we did or brought onto ourselves. The confusion makes for good song writing, especially not knowing the answers.

A lot of musicians tell me that music is an form of expression or a way to help process their emotions over something good, sad, bad - if they're happy, angry, pissed - any emotional strife they say that not only does their favorite artists help them during rough times, but they use writing music or colaborating - getting that emotion out is helpful. How do you release your "baggage" if you will? 

Yes, I do write (about perosnal experiences).. I think especially when the fans relate to it, and connect with it, it makes it worth it. It makes it worth for me to know I influenced someone, maybe? I think my music can and does make a connection to my fans. 

Ok, well I know you're probably wiped out. You've had a long day and I am so happy to have met you - you're badass and you have an amazing career a head of you. Oh, I heard you say this phrase during the other interview - you said something about "I don't or we should give zero F*ck$" and it totally reminded me of Otep. Are you a fan of hers?

Ha! Yes, I do like her and what she stands for. It's kinda awesome that she doesn't want to care or doesn't care what people think about her views, I guess. But yes, I like her.

She's amazing and while I'm like totally opposite in opinions and such - I can tell you I am down with the way she views equality and how she lives for herself. I've learned a lot through her this past year. Ok, so I hope you have a great rest of SoWhat?! Fest and if you come through Dallas, make sure you let me know so I can come to a show! 

Oh, I will. Definately. Thank you - this was fun. I loved the questions. Thank you and have a great rest of the day!

Y'all I was very impressed with this young lady that has bright pink MLP hair and is from Philly. She is stunning, smart and she can get down with the best of them. I had a great time getting to know her for that 20 or so minutes and really see great things in her future!

Here's a video I pulled off her YouTube page that I not only like the beats, I love the message she's spreading about self-image and the emphasis it is put on girls, teens and women from a very early age. And that's what I love about this click the most - she doesn't take her talent or gift or desire to be an artist for granted. She uses it to talk about relevant and important things that music sometimes is the worst at personifying; the image a person has of themselves and of those around them.  Don't forget to follow her and go see her when she's on tour in your town! You won't regret seeing this "firecracker" tear up the stage and entertain the audience!



Whitney Peyton is a unique emcee, with a firecracker personality, hailing from the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. Beginning close to home she became, and generally still holds the #1 spot on The Hip Hop Charts on in Philadelphia. Her continuous drive has also gained her several nominations (and wins) at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards (PA) for categories including “Best New Artist”, “Best Lyricist”, “Best Live Performer”, “Best Female Solo Artist” and “Best Hip Hop Performer” from 2010 through 2014. Whitney was nominated in the 2014 Tri-State Indie Music Awards (PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD) for “Emerging Hip-Hop Artist of the Year” and won.

Follow her on social media and get to know this girl - I promise she's going to make a few dents in the industry in the not so distant future!

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INFLUENCES: Light. Love. Life.

Post Alternative rockers of the band Mime Game came to So What?! to meet new fans and bear their wares. It just so happened that I got to meet with them on Saturday through their publicist reaching out to press attending the festival. I probably wouldn't have had the pleasure of meeting them had they not had someone running point on publicity. 

I bring this up for the sole reason that an unsigned band can and IMHO should have a company running publictiy for them. It's a chunk of change in some ways - but in the long run I think it's extremely invaluable. I mean what happens if they get picked up for a long tour or even a 2 record contract all because they had someone reaching out in places they couldn't? It's not always about what the band does in the eyes of the publicist, it's more along the lines of who the publicist knows that will fit well with the band they represent! Things happen Dearies that are chalked up to luck all the time - but in reality, it's really about those that you know! 

MIME GAME was a fun interview and I really dug the hell out of these kids. So down to earth with great heads on thier shoulders. Playing music is what they wanted to do because they wanted to make the music for people to hear, to feel what they were feeling maybe and open themselves up (both parties) to learning about this crazy thing called life!! Here's the interview:

Cherri Bird
So let’s get started! I’m here with Dillon, Kevin, TJ and Campbell of Mind GAME here at SO WHAT Music Festival. How are y'all this fine Satur...

Um...I have to stop you. You said Mine Game. It's MIME Game.

I did? I thought I said Mind Game and thought in my head "oops, it's MIME. I wonder if he heard me - continue...shhhh!!" I guess you heard me...hahaha! Thanks for correcting me. MIME like the creepy clowns with white faces, that don't speak, MIME.

Yes, that - ha ha - M I M E.

Ok, so what we're going to do is play pick your poison - or question out of the hat. Except, we don't have a hat or bucket. They're just a pile on the table here. So, just pick one of the papers. 

How do you love unconditionally?
Is this about how I, personally love unconditionally?

Either Way! It’s up to you - answer how you feel!

To me? I have kids. As a father, it’s a huge thing that it’s almost inherent. As soon as I had my kids I felt like I had unconditional love for them. Just looking at this little human, and being like, you can break all my stuff and throw up on me, but I’ll still love you anyway. But with life, and the people you meet, is to understand everyone is fighting their own battles and wants to be loved and understood. I think it’s accepting people as they are, which sounds obvious, but in practice it’s a beautiful thing to do, to accept them as they are willing to give themselves.

Do you write about love in your music? Or incorporate love or lack of in your music? 

It’s hard, especially unconditional love. There’s a song called Fire. There’s a line that essentially says, if you want to choose to walk through hell, I don’t want to walk with you, which, in and of itself, is not unconditional. The people you love the most tend to show up in your art, so the most important people to me end up in my music. It’s a weird balance. It’s a massive concept.

That’s awesome! Go ahead and pick another one.

What’s my favorite laundry detergent?
HAHA! How could you?! So, I don’t really have one, because my girlfriend is allergic to scented laundry.... I’m so deprived.

Ok Kevin, you pick a question!

What is my Favorite Flavor of Gum?
That gum from back in the day, ZEBRA STRIPES!

I love that flavor - but it doesn't last at all. I mean, I've had sneezes that last longer! Dillion, it's your turn!

What would you eat or drink if there weren’t any consequences?
I want to consume something super flammable, like motor oil and then EAT FIRE so I could breathe fire like a dragon! Or way too many Waffle House hash browns...more realistic.

CB: I LOVE that answer Dillion! That's mega! Fire and motor oil!! Kevin...pick one!

Wait... Isn’t that the same thing? *laughs* (Talking about Waffle House hash browns and the motor oil/fire combo)
If I could cure any disease, what would it be?
Definitely would be cancer. One of my local friends here in DFW, Rustin Luther, was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year. Tomcats West was my first ever show and Rustin booked it for me. Even on a personal level, I had testicular cancer, even though I’m okay now that’s a huge motivator for me.

CB: What a small world. Rustin is an acquaintence of mine, he and Jennifer both. I think that's rad AF - your answer. I'd want cancer to be erradicated as well. So many people do, I would imagine.

I actually want to weigh in on this too. I have the same answer, cancer. When I was twelve my stepdad, Max, passed away from melanoma. I actually ended up naming my son Max after him. We actually have a song about it. I was the only one in the room when he passed away, holding his hand. The last thing he heard in this life was me telling him that I loved him. It was an experience I can hardly explain.

As an adult looking back, can you appreciate and see the beauty in that experience?

Oh, absolutely.

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Here's your question: Pick one: If your best friend could be a Prison Guard, Priest or the President of the United States how would you influence them to do their job, which would you pick and why?

My best friend would be the President of the United States. I would get them to help people. This world needs more love and compassion.

The President would be mine too. RELEASE THE ALIEN FILES!

Kevin, we'll talk off the record about the aliens. My Dad was at "the Site" but we don't talk about's your question: What would you want to tell me right now that you haven’t told anyone else about your band?

We just added a new member,Campbell, who’s second show was today at SOWHAT.

Shut up!! So, how was it, Ethan Campbell? Come over here and play with us! No reason for you to not! So, how was playing So What?

It was like the coolest thing I’ve ever done. I was this close to throwing up when they were loading in. This was the first time I’ve ever played a festival like this, being in Texas, so many firsts this weekend.

I get that feeling a lot, the throwing up sensation. Nerves. It's ok, it just means that it's important, ya know? Your body's just telling you what's up! So what’s going on with your tours and music careers right now? Is your next stop home?

There are a lot of things under wraps. We’re writing, recording.

The first album is out right now....We’ll be touring again at the end of May.

Killer! Ok, let's say cheese for a selfie - can we all squeeze in? 

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CB and MIME GAME all at once: Aww - look how cute! This is the best picture ever!! We're so happy! Y'all are so great!

Ok guys, thank you so much for your time - now go have fun and watch all the bands! Rock it!! I'll watch for y'all to roll back through Dallas and come see you! And thank you so much for the CD! Y'all rule!


Mime Game has always been about the creative mind on a quest of discovery. Originally conceived as a side project by Dillon DeVoe in the midst of his run with former band, Josephine Collective, Mime Game has proven to be a fertile songwriting machine. DeVoe, after years of experimental lineup changes, found the ideal fellow musicians who prove to be most efficient and prolific in their craft to bring Mime Game to the world today.

Since being signed to Warner Bros. just a day after turning 18, DeVoe has toured coast-to-coast with national acts, worked with top-flight producers, explored music with new collaborators, experimented with the idea of “home” (Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Kansas City) and become a father. In the process, he developed the muscular, genre-spanning songwriting ability that now fuels Mime Game.

Seven years after its quiet birth, Mime Game can pull from a large body of work and is prepping to turn it loose...

And if you catch it - let me know what it says to you, Ok?

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Instead of the Top 10 Reasons, these are the ONLY reasons to make sure that "Condolences" is on your list of new records to buy this Friday. I mean, in all honesty there is only one reason to buy this record: IT'S WEDNESDAY 13! Need I say more?? I thought I'd have a little fun with this interview and incorporate bits from a Q & A with Wednesday as we chatted on the phone. We also talked about his take on the new record, new record label and just announced US tour this summer.

However to satisfy the requirements of this assignment, here they are, the ONLY 10 REASONS to pick up "Condolences", Friday April 7th, 2017:

  • Wednesday 13 and his band have a COMMANDING PRESENCE. Who doesn't like to be dominated by the music of a band that commands attention? And I'm not talking about in a culty-creepy way - like mind control or anything obnoxious like that. I'm talking about music that grabs you and holds your ass down for the entirety of the recording. Talent, infectious beating rhythms, low hums of the bass that jar your guts, and lyrics that wrap around your brain like a twine ball of string - this is the first reason you should buy this record. Just watch the video below "What the Night Brings" and you'll see what I mean. 
  • The dude loves what he does! You can see it in how freely Wednesday thinks, and how having the freedom of self-expression shows in his work. Like seriously loves being a musician. He gets off on creating the most magnanimous show he can; to entice the new and keep the old fans right where he wants them; captivated. When a person loves their work, it shows in the most badass ways. Where is shows with Wednesday 13 in this record is through the evolvement of their music. Last year, when I spoke with Wednesday 13 before their show, he talked about some new concepts or ideas for the band's sound that they had been experimenting with (Read this interview here) or possibly use in the studio. Well, here's the product of that work in "Condolences". I think it's a Universal Truth or Law that when you love what you do, it shows in what you create. This reason #2 is probably the most important reason to snatch this up and I think you know where I'm going with this...I'm just not gonna say it. Yet.

CB: Pick a number!

W13: 82.

CB: 82 - alright "If you had to choose between being in prison or homeless, what would you pick?" Sheesh!

W13: Umm I think I would have to be homeless. At least I would have a little bit of freedom. Prison is terrifying to me. I watch those shows like Cops or Prison: Inside, and I'm like F ya, I think I'd have to be homeless.

CB: I think prison would be god awful. 

  • The third reason (and this one is for the ladies and the like-minded gents) you should buy "Condolences": Wednesday 13 is hot AF in make up. And not just some guy-liner smeared on the eyes to make them look "deeper" either. Full on theatrical, characterization makeup, babies. It's dark and it oozes magical spores that add to the intrigue that lure you into the realm Wednesday 13 resides. The whole band is hot - it's just a sexy show. Scary as hell - but sexy.
  • Number 4 is simply, Wednesday 13 has more odd outfits and changes than Beyonce at her pregnancy photoshoot. Most bands stand there, some bands jump around - Wednesday 13 changes clothes. And not just a jacket added or subtracted. It's something you gotta see to appreciate. Haven't seen a Wednesday 13 show? well, you're in luck...when a band drops a record they set off on journey to promote it. Like I said luckily for us, the band announced today (April 5th, 2017) dates for a US tour that shoves off from Salt Lake City, Utah on June 16 and rolls around the country before breaking in August. (See the tour dates below my Lovelies and jot your city on your calendars!) Those of you across The Pond - no need for the panties to bunch...there are festival dates including Download (lucky). So this fourth reason is because. This might seem trivial - but it's totally not. Buy the record, go see a show, there. Done.  

CB: Ok, it's time to pick a number. I'll read off the coresponding question - some are light some aren't. Of course if you don't want to comment, you certainly don't have to. Ready? Pick a number!

W13: 40.

CB: Number 40 is "What's the best show as a fan you've been to?"

W13: As a fan...hmmm...I think, I always say this, but it's got to be Alice Cooper. I've seen him so many times but playing with him and then watching on Halloween night has got to be my favorite shows to play and to see.

  • Wednesday 13 plays by his rules. He has been doing this a long time and has whittled it down to a beautiful carved piece of art. His brain is full of these things that became byproducts of what we see now; an icon in industrial/horror metal, or murder metal, as I like to call it. The rules he's created for his brand, music, image and sound placed him second to none for Nuclear Blast Records to pick a developed, unique, fully loaded, oiled and ready, machine. And on the flip, Wednesday 13 was able to get all the bells and whistles in a label that themselves carved a path in music history. In staying true to himself and by allowing his music to evolve just solidifies that doing this; being true to yourself, will pan out in the long run. Just knowing this makes picking up this record a must.  
  • Did you know that Wednesday 13 is a fan of pro wrestling and a Southern Gentleman? Why, yes he is, y'all!! Born in North Carolina, he's the real deal. *quote about chicken and potatoes* Why is this a reason to pick up his record? I really don't know other than I like Southern charm and the politeness that comes along with that aura. I find the character of Wednesday 13 to be a darker version of this Southern gentleman, in a twisted way. I like knowing that the menacing mannequin-like figure on stage, in makeup and leather pants and a horned mask is really just a man underneath that can cook southern comfort food. 

CB: Pick a number...What's your number?

W13: Let's see how about 93?

CB: You're gonna like this one, I think. "Do you cook and if so what is your favorite meal to cook?"

W13: Do I cook? Oh I can cook for myself, I just don't. I'm pretty picky when it comes my food. I'm a southern dude - pretty much a chicken and potatoes kinda dude. I can whip that up anytime I have to - I don't have a special way - just make sure I cook it all the way through. Just wanna make sure I don't poison myself. 

CB: Ya, I'm a freak when it comes to ameobas in my food - I don't want to get e-colli or whatever. So I pretty much burn pork ad chicken so I don't get that shit! That'd be bad. I will say though, when y'all are in Dallas, I'll make you guys a killer southern meal. I'll make sure it's done though! Fried chicken, mashed potatoes like from the potato - not instant and whatever else y'all would like.

W13: That's nice of you and would be great on tour.

  • Fear doesn't exist anywhere on stage, and it is certainly not evident in the video for "What The Night Brings". Wednesday 13 isn't afraid to let "it" of the leash and with the power performers backing him, gives him even more room for the story to unfold. The confidence Wednesday 13 has in himself and his band, is stellar. And we all know that confidence is not the same as cockiness - right? I think in order for a person to be confident is to share on how to release the fear that is in all of us at times. When it's gone, and you don't feel like you have to fake feelings, react negatively, or generate self destruction, that's when the fear retreats and is replaced with a solid foundation. Music is a part of them given to the parts of us that want to take it. I want to mimic how to achieve this - this record could be the music that helps you to do exactly that.
  • Reason #8 is the irony of this release and not in any sort of negative way but in a very well played fashion that happens to entities and people that have the things I've given as reasons to buy the record. It's  not a roll of the dice that this happened, or maybe it is but more like rolling a 12 sided die in the role playing game of life. Here's the irony if I need to spell it out for ya: this is Wednesday 13's 20th - ya that's not a typo - TWENTIETH RECORD RELEASE which happens to be the debut release through Nuclear Blast Records. Following me? Ok, keep up... This is the label that brands themselves as "The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Record Label" with bands like Obituary, BioHazard, and a lot of the other bands that you can't read their name because it's in that font that makes the words look like a pile of sticks on the ground in Blair Witch Project, ya - those heavy bands. Enter Wednesday 13 who has evolved from a campy (Wednesday 13's word) punk vs metal battle it out sound into elements that remain from the beginning of the band, fused with blasting beats of the what it might sound like if you could hear the subconscious evolving. Eerie, frightening, and dark but with hints of strength, power and a knowledge of self built by the experience he has gained from the past instances of victories and losses and what the outcome is like your highest hit point character.

CB: Alrighty, pick another...

W13: How about 40 - my age. 

CB: Ah yes, 40. That question is "Have you ever played a role playing game? If so, how many hit points did your best character have?"

We laugh...

W13: No - I never got into that kinda game. I have watched but never played. I'm not against it - just never played.

CB: Ya, me either - have no clue what 'hightest hit points' means...ehum...moving along...

W13: ha ha ha!

  • Wednesday 13 is frightening as all get out - on video and on stage. Look at "What The Night Brings" for the love of Mike!! Dammit, isn't that is creeepee AF?  And why wouldn't it be? The Lord Zane (Matt Zane of Society1) directed the video (see below to watch) and we all know that dude can jam the creep down your throat like Larry Bird shoves a basketball into the net. When you see him live on stage, you're kinda torn...part of you wants to run away and hide under the bed or run towards him like a bull in a street fight. Who cares if you get horned in the stomach while he flies to you, kissing your cheek...ehum - but ya, the creepiness is killer and definitely a reason to buy the record. 

CB: Ok, now that it's almost release day - let's talk about "Condolences". What's the biggest hope that you have that fans will take away from the record?

W13: I think the difference is that for years, I've been self-releasing records and it's been fine but the biggest difference is with this record, we got picked up by a strong label that will be a big push for us. We took 3 months off to do this record, so it's really important to us. We're really proud of this - it's like the new and improved Wednesday 13 and we think we're better than we've been in the past. This record is our best and we hope it's the fan's favorite as well. 

CB: If "What the Night Brings" is any indication of the whole record, it's gonna slay. 

W13: Thank you!

CB: I remember last time you were in Dallas you kind of illuded to this change or wanting to do something different. So I'm really happy that you had the chance to do so. I'm also glad that you've been able to continue to do "you", you know?

W13: I've been doing this for a long time, I know how to do my side of it. I don't know how to do their side. It's nice to have a team though, we'll go out and promote the record and they do what they do to move it a long. I can wake up and see news online about me and think, "cool, I didn't have to post that". So that is nice. We still work hard, sometimes I think we work harder in some ways - there's more time for music. I've never had any label tell us what to do - for example a lot of people are saying that because we're on a "heavy" label, that is the reason our sound is heavier. But that's not it, we recorded this long before we were signed by Nuclear Blast. It was going to be heavy regardless. 

CB: It's great that you have the support of the label, and they're really amazing with their bands. How is it working with "The Lord" - Matt Zane? 

W13: Matt was great. He directed us and it was so smooth. We got to experiment a bit after the core scenes were shot, with like the different masks. That one I'm wearing in the last scene was a paper mache mask and it was getting beat to hell. So we had a company out here make one out of really hard plastic. It's pretty cool.
CB: Where did that idea or concept come from?
W13: It's actually my take on these old movies, I've been wearing it on stage the last couple of years, and wanted to work it into the video. I think it translates well. The movie is called"Witchcraft Through the Ages" and it's old black and white old like devil/satanic ritual kind of thing, but really arty. I wanted to create a type of ritual based of that film. 

  • Last but not least - the main reason you should buy "Condolences" this Friday is...


No, I'm joking. I'm not the boss of you. I'm just urging you to do something cool for yourself. Wednesday 13's music has to be in your phone, tablet, in the mysterious cloud, or get the CD. Even if you don't dig this style of music. And if you don't - I'm gonna beg some serious reconsideration start happening within you, and here's why: we all have those days that as a human being, you need to reach into your bowels and pull all those little f'ing demons that seem like they'll overtake you. You have to pull them out and fight them so they don't destroy you, consume you. And sometimes fighting the darkness with darkness is the only way to defeat them. You have to fight with the sounds that they're making you create. You have to in order to get the darkness out, but trying to destroy them with light won't work. Because the light; you know that the light only blinds them briefly...

but the darkness, well my Pretties...we all know What the Night Brings!!! 



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Wednesday 13 TourTour Dates:

6/16 — Metro Music Hall — Salt Lake City, UT
6/17 — Sunshine Studios — Colorado Springs, CO
6/18 — Marquis Theater — Denver, CO
6/20 — Launchpad — Albuquerque, NM
6/21 — Juggernaut Music — Gallup, NM
6/22 — The Green Room — Flagstaff, AZ
6/23 — VAMPD — Las Vegas, NV
6/24 — Fulton 55 — Fresno, CA
6/25 — Whisky A Go Go — West Hollywood, CA
6/27 — Brick By Brick — San Diego, CA
6/28 — Club Red — Mesa, AZ
6/30 — My Place — Abilene, TX
7/1 — Paper Tiger — San Antonio, TX
7/2 — Grizzly Hall — Austin, TX
7/4 — Southport Music Hall — New Orleans, LA
7/6 — Trees — Dallas, TX
7/7 — The Vanguard — Tulsa, OK
7/8 — Oklahoma City Limits — Oklahoma City, OK
7/9 — Fubar — St Louis, MO
7/11 — Emerson Theater — Indianapolis, IN
7/12 — Fubar — St Louis, MO
7/13 — The Wire — Berwyn, IL
7/14 — Vaudeville Mews — Des Moines, IA
7/15 — Amsterdam Bar — St Paul, MN
7/16 — Bigs Sports Bar — Sioux Falls, SD
7/18 — The “O” Bar — Minot, ND
7/20 — Starlite Room — Edmonton, ALB
7/21 — Dickens — Calgary, ALB
7/23 — Studio Seven — Seattle, WA

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WHO IS PLAID BRIXX: Ladies and gents - this is a super cool band that I had the pleasure of talking with the singer, Chris at So What?! this past March.

It's funny meeting total strangers, isn't it? Sometime you remember them, sometimes you don't. Chris of Plaid Brixx isn't hard to forget and the music he creates with his other bandmates isn't easily forgetable either! I love this video they made after they wrapped up their tour. You can watch it below! Reach out to the band if you like their music. I know they'd love to hear from you!

The band is based in Ohio and is comprised of founder Chris Duggan (vocals & guitar), Mark LeRose (drums) and Jared Sawaya (bass). Since their inception, the band has been featured at several major festivals including SXSW, CMJ, Fashion Meets Music Festival, Musikfest and more! With their debut release, Chemistry, the band was nominated for Best Rock EP of 2014 by the Independent Music Association. The single, “The Greener Side” landed the band a spot on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist and their recent #ThankATeacher playlist.

Cherri Bird
So you’re from Columbus Ohio? Oooh, I want to go there so bad?

Columbus is an awesome place to live, it’s so beautiful. The winters are usually pretty mild so it’s nice. (Chris is sniffing and his eyes are a bit red and watery...)

Cherri Bird
Are you feeling okay? I have family in Columbus and one of my BFF is from Ohio. But I've only been once when I was really little. I don't remember much of that visit. I have seen pictures though and I love that this region has 4 real seasons. Like here, there's really two: HELL and Kinda Hell. But you don't look like you're feeling well. Are you contagious? HA! Kidding!

Eh, this is the 2nd time I’ve been sick on the road.

Cherry Bird
Have you seen a doctor or taken anything to help? That's terrible. It's hard being away from your own air, if you know what I mean, and feel good. I hope you can get some medicine or relief!

I’m actually really into homeopathic remedies. We actually had a tub of coconut oil in our van mysteriously disappear a couple of days after this tour started and we just found it two nights ago. It had completely evaporated even though the cap was still on, but not before the bottle cracked and now there is coconut oil EVERYWHERE under the front seat.

Cherri Bird
At least the floor will be nicely moisturized...? And I bet it smells better now that it spilled. I mean boys in confined places are smelly sometimes!! Go ahead and choose a question from our bucket!

It’s very hard, because you have to love beyond someone’s good qualities. You have to accept them as a whole person. You know, “I understand that you have a drinking problem” or even anger problems. I try to incorporate love into my life every day, along with gratitude, thankfulness.

Cherri Bird
Do you think that love is an action or a feeling?

I think that it’s a magnetic force, but it’s both.

Cherri Bird
Do you write about love in your songs?

Yes, absolutely. The various forms of love and the different ways that manifest itself...

Cherri Bird
Do you think there’s one love for each person?

No. I think that statistically speaking, everyone has like 10 people they would match with.

Cherri Bird
10, huh? Ya, I'm just not keen on that there is that one love - like meeting THE ONE anymore. I think it's for the individual to figure out, ya know? Go ahead and pick another question.

I really don’t like laundry detergent. I HATE laundry sheets. The guys carry the laundry sheets in the van... but why would you want those?

Cherri Bird
What is the smell of clean to you, then?

To take it to a metaphysical level, the smell of clean is probably different for every person. Just like, take the smell of cilantro. Every person probably thinks it smells differently. Also clean doesn’t have a real definition. If you’ve never seen laundry detergent before, what would your definition of clean be, ya know?

Cherri Bird
What’s your favorite song to play live? Do you think I would like it?

Away We Go. It’s a pump up song, a lot like Depeche Mode.

Cherri Bird
When is your next album coming out?

We actually have three singles being mixed now. I don’t know that we’d do records anymore, and instead just release songs. Unless you want to do an EP that has a theme. I’d like to do a 3-song EP, and call it a “3P”.... Possibly themed like Mountains, Desert and like Waves for the three songs. We get to see a lot of landscapes while out on tour. I think EP’s are the best way to stagger material, rather than release [the songs] all at once.

Cherri Bird
It used to be in the 1980’s that you had up to 2 minutes to get a consumers attention. Using the “3P” would be a great way to get their attention.

Yeah, now you only have 7 seconds to get a consumers attention. We try not only to get the melody, but also lyrical hook, in that first 7 seconds.

Cherri Bird
Make your music anyway you wanna! I am sure your fans love it no matter what and I know you'll make scads of new ones here at the festival! I'm looking forward to seeing your set!

Here's a video featuring their music and some highlights of the tour they just wrapped up!


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Speculation always exists anytime something important has happened as to when it’s going to happen again We see it all the time with software updates, new generation of phones, Jesus, cars, Consciousness. You name it, we’ve anticipated the “one up” sometimes even before the first one is released! Now, I’m all for improving things that make our lives on the planet easier, faster, convenient, you know? Like thank god that cars have air conditioning now and that having cold air blow on you whilst driving is now not a luxury or an add on. There’s something to be said for improvements.

Music is notorious for this - just as the first rock and roll song was heard, someone was trying to make it better. Economists can call this “free enterprise” or whatever the word is for this ingrained human competitive trait that makes us think ours is different, better, or life altering. Ok, I’m not saying that everyone sets out to do this with everything they do. Especially in music. What I’m saying is that there are moments that are dropped on the rolling ticker tape that records paramount moments that define what comes after that moment that creates a dramatic difference going forward, ya follow?

Imagine the Infinite Ticker Tape in the sky - mine looks like this:

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Now the above image isn’t reflective of anything from the annals of time, but imagine that when the band ROYAL THUNDER began; their moment of existence is recorded on this tape. See the circle in red? We’ll just pretend that is their mark, their blip of when they appeared in Time. (It’s rudimentary I know, but it’s just a visual aid so you know what I’m saying - er - typing...) And so by this stunning graphical display, you can see where everything before they appeared would not be the same as what came after they appeared, right?

So just keep the above visual as a reference point through the interview you’re about to read knowing that this Mark, their Mark is the beginning of why ROYAL THUNDER gives Rock a second coming, or I dare say, they are Rock’s (or one of) saviors.


It was fucking early for me to be talking to anyone and I think Mlny (and no, that’s not a typo - that’s how she spells her name but is pronounced Mel-an-ee - just without any vowels) felt the same but we just didn’t want to say it because professionals get up early and aren't up late AF the night before having to be alert before 9 AM, right? Ya, nope. Even the morning grouch in me put on a happy face because I was stoked to talk to her and see if what I heard in the band’s music and Mlny, echoed in person - here’s what happened:

CB: So how’s your press morning so far, busy? Is your voice tired yet?

MP: This is the first one this morning so I am just starting out. I love your name by the way!

CB: Thank you - I like the mystery of a pen name - even though it’s not a mystery, people actually call me that or get my name wrong and everyone knows who it is. I’m going to grab some coffee so sorry for the clanking or background noise.

MP: I’m actually doing the same thing.

Our voices are both low and crackly and tired sounding and we’re both grabbing coffee to not only wake up but to soften the raspy, sleepy voices that were just coming alive.

CB: You're leaving for tour soon, right? I can’t wait to see y’all in Dallas - April 28th, I think.

MP: Ya, we leave Sunday. It’s nice that we’re doing a long run this time, like a month and some change. We’ve done short runs here and there, but it’s been a bit since we’ve gone out for a long time.

royalthunderCB: I want to talk about “WICK”, your second album as a band but debut under Spinefarm that this tour is generating support for. How is this album different from “CVI” (first record)?

MP: I remember with the EP even starting out that way, like with our little red Chevy van that the fucking Squirrel Nut Zippers had when they first got signed, it was really cool they sold it to us. We were driving around screen printing our CD covers, and t-shirts, driving around in this piece of crap van! We’d work all week and then go out on the weekends and play all over. We played a show with Havlena and they were on Relapse and they told them about us. Relapse released that EP for us. It was this really crazy next three years touring our asses off. Like, I can’t hold a job down, can’t finish college because I’m so damn busy touring. So, the difference being I can’t believe where we’ve come from then and how serious it is now - not from a point that it isn’t fun - but just that this is what we’re doing and it’s fuckin’ awesome. Like what we did (then) led us to this point. Ya know?

CB: Ya, that would be an awesome feeling to know this is what I’m doing, what I’ve meant to be doing, ya know? Like there’s always that moment of limbo, maybe in the beginning, I’d guess like “am I doing the right thing” or am I letting down people - but like it all leads to now. The time is now, right? How scary is that for you or exciting or whatever the feeling is behind what you’re doing now. What does that feel like?

MP: Ya, no really! It’s never been scary. I walked into it pretty young, like i my 20’s and I’ve never wanted to have a conventional lifestyle, ever, like at all. I've always done things, like my parents are like “are you seriously going to do that? Are you seriously going to get that tattoo?” It was always (my answer), “Ya, this is what I’m doing.” There was never a question I’ve been very comfortable stepping out and losing material things, jobs, relationships, but it’s never felt wrong. It’s to the point of me saying to myself, this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I’ve always felt so damn right about this. Like meeting Josh, I was 16 and we’ve been playing music together since we were 18. We’re total musical soulmates. I completely know we’re doing the right thing. People we’re meeting along the way, I’ve had the same feeling about them, like dude this is - we’re supposed to know each other for the next 30 - 40 years.

CB: When I saw the press release coming out the picture of y’all in the bed, I kept it in my inbox kinda intrigued, but didn’t like immediately listen, right. I dunno I’m a visual person and the promo was memorable - but it didn’t make me immediately jump in. Then I saw something on Facebook when y’all were in New York so I clicked the video and was like going to listen while did something else. But when I heard you sing, I popped the window up and was like “what the fuck is this???” Instant fan, loved it and haven’t stopped listening since.

So when you see someone doing what they’re supposed to be doing right like you were saying, and you know it’s right - like when I heard y’all I was like this is straight up. She is no bullshit, she IS what she’s singing; from the jump. Like I think it’s “April Showers” that I felt this from - isn’t that the second song?

MP: Ummm...

CB: Ya sorry, I don’t have my notes in front of me - I’m that journalist, the one scattered and disorganized for the interview or half asleep because it’s 9 AM with little coffee...

MP: Well, I am like that musician that’s like, “I don’t know what song you’re talking about; I don’t know what the 2nd song is...”

We totally snicker a bit because we knew what the other meant.

CB: Point being - I knew from the minute you started singing: this girl is for real. When did this become apparent to you or when did you know you were doing what was meant for you to do; like tell the world your story?

MP: I never really meant to do anything or didn’t set out to do anything lyrically. I think who you are just comes across when you’re making music - fake or not. Like who you are is in your music - angry, sappy - whatever. It's just a part of who I am. I don’t have any real interest in bullshitting. And now I’m doing this thing that is very fucking real to me and my bandmates.

CB: I think that totally comes across in your music, at least on “WICK”. It’s so honest and real. Ya know?

RoyalThunder1doug moore invisible orangesMP: To be honest, a lot of the music industry is kinda bullshit. There’s a lot of bullshitting going on and I saw it early on and I was like “I never want to take that route - I never want be one of those kind of people.” I can say this, and I can speak for my band we’re not here to suck anyone off or climb some ladder - or to have some two year plan of how many records we can sell and to be honest I don’t even read reviews, I barely get on Facebook. It’s not about “are people liking us” - it’s never been about that.

CB: Has music always been a part of you or your identity? Or who you wanted people to see or know?

MP: I never expected to be a singer, I guess. I ran around singing Whitney Houston songs as a kid. I knew I was going to play music, I played the piano. I knew when I started playing guitar, I saw Nirvana (on TV) and said “I’m gonna be in a band”. I always was, from the time I was in middle school, I was in these stupid little bands, doing crazy stuff on stage for shock value. Anything I could do - but as far as a singer. I never thought that. It was always the most terrifying thing. When I was a kid, I’d tell my dad I had a new song that I wanted to sing and I’d get my guitar but I’d make everybody turn around and close their eyes, and I would turn around and have to close my eyes. It was terrifying and for whatever reason, I wanted people to hear it and I did it. But my dad would turn around and look and if I opened my eyes to see if anyone was looking, my dad would be like “this is stupid! Why are you making us turn around and why are you not looking?” I’d be like “turnaround!! Don’t look!” So I didn’t think I’d be a singer for that reason.

I did scream in like metal bands and then I got this opportunity. When Royal Thunder was instrumental, I was always there and Josh was like “you’re going to sing in our band and you’re going to play bass”. And I was like “I’ll play bass but I am not singing. I am not singing!!” He was like “you’re going to and it’ll be great!”. Then all of a sudden, I was in the seat and here I am.

CB: How do y’all write a song - is it a collaboration or each person will write their own piece?

MP: I write the lyrics and vocal melody and Josh or Will brings stuff and we just go from there.

CB: I relate to that story when you were a kid. Singing your own stuff is fuckin’ hard. It’s like you’re standing in front of strangers raw or naked. It was like taking my skin off. What I love about WICK I get that - the songs are a part of you. I get the feeling. Like in the songs, I feel the feelings or identify with the emotions. I think that’s what makes your music so kick ass because it’s from the bottom of your fucking soul, right?

MP: Yeah. I mean, I just think there was a time I remember wanting; to be honest. Like I can’t track something if I’m not there in that moment. Like it could be a perfect take and if I was thinking about food or something, I go back and redo it to be in that moment or to be there. I can’t live with it - it sounds crazy or over the top - but I can’t live with it if I know I’m not there. That’s huge for us and part of how we are. Like even the producer will stop and say, “I just don’t believe you -- let’s take a break and come back. You’re somewhere else.” Being honest in general, is important for Royal Thunder. You know that phrase, “always tell the truth, you’ll remember the truth but you’ll forget your lies” I just don’t have time to bullshit myself or anyone else.

CB: Is it difficult to know that you’re exposed, out there, real and people see that? They see you?

MP: I used to be hesitant, still being honest but hesitant a little nervous about it in the past. I’ve always been pretty open but by the time I got to “Crooked Doors” it was like “fuck it - I’ve got some shit I really wanna say”.

CB: How did fans or people respond to that honesty?

060915 royalthunder 02MP: Like in the past I worried about it. I just stopped worrying about it and I couldn’t believe the response. Like the record before I was unhinged, emotional and like floating around. I was making an effort to ground myself. And by the time I got to “WICK” I was in a different place, older and was responding to things differently. I was grounded and knew I had decisions to make - like I was a little more pissed off, honestly but in a good way or a healthy way.

CB: Like the process or feeling those things you’re writing about or an artist writes about - you process them differently and I’m guessing you use music to help you process your experiences. Musicians are sensitive people and we process these thing we experience through our craft. Like a butterfly in a cocoon, waiting to come out.

MP: (long pause) Ya. (another pause) Maybe. I mean, it wasn’t like this (music/Royal Thunder) was some platform for me to make people hear what I had to say. It was more like “I’ve go shit I have to work out”. Maybe someone will listen, and if it helps them that’s cool but initially it’s like this is how I deal with shit, this is my outlet. Like getting on a motorcycle - those are my mind eraser moments. I’m able to process and think and get everything I need to get out of my head, out.

CB: Personally speaking, what I feel is like when I got to “The Well” I was like - wait. What the fuck am I listening to? You jumped or the band jumped in my head and relayed what I have felt or gone through recently and put it to music like there all my feelings were in like a stage production on this record. You know? I even wrote “where did voices like Mlny come from? When did the universe become so vast that people can seemingly miss bands like Royal Thunder. She is so godam good that he birth should have been a global event.”

I start laughing because I’m kinda embarrassed about saying this to this humble creature on the other end of the phone. I wasn’t coming across as being trivial or trying to blow smoke up her ass nor do I want her to be embarrassed by the effect she has through her music. Interpretation of music is so personal at times, you know? Or maybe she was like, "Who is this person I'm talking to?" Ha! 

MP: *nervously laughs* Thank you.

CB: The record (WICK) is like a journey. It plays out in my mind like my life, like currently. I could feel how you were feeling and totally identified with them. Who was that person, you mention Whitney Houston earlier, who put you where you are where you wanted to be on stage?

mlny liveMP: Um, I’ve never tried to emulate anyone or anything like that. Not that you’re implying that but I think nobody can do a better you than you. When I say this, I think for me I pretty much looked up to any artist that could make me feel something. And my first artist that I remember them making me feel something was George Michael. I was a kid and I would hear him sing and it was just very real for me. I remember listening to Elton John, Billy Joel you know feeling a lot of that kind - like Queen. Freddie Mercury quite possibly - in my opinion - was the best frontman of all time. There was something so honest and real. There wasn’t a performance I saw on TV or heard, that he wasn’t giving everything. Nirvana was the band that stuck out the most when I got older. I was becoming me, a teenager; what can I do, what kind of trouble can I get in today, what can I do to piss my mom and dad off - and I saw Nirvana and was like “I can do anything I want? I can be in a band like that? And act that’s what I want to do.” And I know for a fact that is what changed Josh. That’s the whole reason we are both playing music - that was our common ground.

CB: Dude - I love that you said you were influenced or whatever by people like Elton John and George Michael. The other day I was telling someone about you and the band and trying to explain y’all and I said - I shit you not - “they have a Queen vibe to them, Theatrical and she’s like a chick Freddie Mercury” - no joke! They asked what genre or sound and I told them y’all were classified like stoner rock or psychedelic rock. But I don’t buy that at all. Like y’all are straight up rock, to me. And for real, it’s like “WICK” is this magnanimous production - you can see the theatrics, it’s full and there’s nothing missing.

Glancing at the timer on my recorder, I see that our time is almost up 28:34 - just as Mlny says...

MP: I think I have another interview in a couple of minutes. But if you need to finish this, I can call you back after my other ones are over, I mean cause this is awesome! I keep forgetting this is an interview and feel like we’re just talking on the phone; not being rude -

CB: No, I’m done, I have what I wanted to cover. But no, I know. You can call back, if you need to add something or whatever, I mean I’m like just talking to you like I would a new friend or something!

We exchange pleasntries and that is where this interview ends.

As abruptly as I found Mlny and Royal Thunder my time with her was over just as quickly. I’ve had a couple of days to mull our conversation over and I even went back and listened to it in the car on Saturday doing errands (which I rarely do because of time constraints). What I can say about Mlny and ROYAL THUNDER she is so genuine; it’s almost blinding. This light shines so bright through her personality it makes the Royal thunder music even more convincing.

RoyalThunder June23 1024x651I can also say that while I knew I had enough for my article introducing this band to readers to gauge a foundation of sorts, and I knew she wouldn’t call back. I did secretly hope that she would just so we could talk some more, you know? I found her ability to really talk to a total stranger on the phone and truly give a part of herself in a way that completely complemented ROYAL THUNDER so badass. And I sat here thinking of how to describe the 30 minutes; awesome, amazing, cool, inspiring, real - were all words that came to mind. But I chose badass not to be trite or trendy - but because that is what she is. Badass.

When you check this band out, I hope you remember little points of our chat. And that you see where this four piece brings a savior-like essence to Rock; an industry that needs a kick in the ass and the results from a loud AF clap of thunder - ROYAL THUNDER. Lastly, I hope that this little peek into Mlny and her music causes a reaction in your heart and that it will ring in your ears just like the music will ring long after you've stopped listening. 

Til next time - MRML - Cherri


"WICK" drops in stores and online music outlets this Friday, April 7th. Pre-orders are being taken now from:  

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