Hear It Now: The Golden Hippie Drops Fiery Smoke Signals | Limerence Magazine
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Hear It Now: The Golden Hippie Drops Fiery “Smoke Signals”

imageWhen I was asked to preview a track by an artist known as “The Golden Hippie”, I was justifiably skeptical. There’s a lot to a name; a first impression, a preconception, a snap judgment, and I expected nothing less than some strange 60s throwback-fusion music. Glady, I was proven so very, very wrong.

Fresh off a set of tour dates with none other than the legendary Prince (Purple Rain, Golden Hippie…these folks like their colors!) The Golden Hippie paired up with artist Nahko for the debut of her latest single “Smoke Signals”. The song leads with simplistic, quiet guitar strums which quickly give way to a seductive, hypnotic voice courtesy of The Golden Hippie herself. “I’m addicted to your love, like smoking in the dark” she croons as the song progresses, layered atop the haunting guitar and a semi-tribal beat which lends an urgency, a drive to the single. Vocally and lyrically, the track sounds like a fantastic fusion of Florence and the Machine and Charli XCX (who has finally hit it big with singles like “I Don’t Care” and “Boom Clap”) and the barebones nature of the song’s production – something I usually dislike in pop music – works so well here, serving both as a showcase of the two artists’ voices and a testament to the power of what may simply be good songwriting.

Too often today, new artists are tossed tracks with a requisite “feature” on them, usually to boost their clout, attract listeners, and appear more radio-ready. It seems that many of today’s collaborations aren’t chosen out of musical compatibility as opposed to baseline profitability, a practice that I personally find bad for the industry. However, that’s far from true on this track; when Nahko is pulled into the fray, it sounds almost as though the two were meant to be singing together, both possessing a husky, sultry tone to their voices, and had I not seen that he was a feature to the single, I would’ve assumed he was part of the act. The Golden Hippie has combined craft, lyricism, and sheer talent to create what may well be my favorite song of the summer. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more of her. Lots more. 

For more on The Golden Hippie:

Website: http://www.thegoldenhippie.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarissaJack

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Classic Covers: Netta Brielle’s ‘Don’t Walk Away’

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The ever lovely R&B songstress Netta Brielle has recently released a cover of “Don’t Walk Away” originally by Jade. Netta has covered the 1992 hit, updating the sound to fit her own personal style. The polished, smooth style has Netta’s signature sound while honoring to the original track in a beautiful way.

Netta’s cover is a work of art in itself while preserving all the best parts of the original version of the song by Jade. The basic feeling of the track has been preserved in her cover as her smooth as silk vocals glide over the base. The instrumentals have been toned down so the whole track work together seamlessly and deliciously. The underlying use of sirens add a fantastic foundation to the song while bringing on a case of nostalgia for some of the hits of the 80s and 90s. Netta has dialed down the rhythms of the original, creating a delightfully mellow listening experience.

The vocals of the track itself are phenomenal, as Netta’s vocals always are. Her slower, more soulful take on the original lyrics add a new layer of meaning to the track. The more simple instrumentals behind the soulful vocals emphasize Netta’s beautiful, sincere take on the song and let the lyrics really shine throughout the track. The stylistic and artistic changes that Ms. Brielle has chosen make the whole track work in a whole new, beautiful way while showing massive respect to the original track. Her mellow, soulful take to “Don’t Walk Away” is sure to please.

Where Jade’s original track has an upbeat rhythm giving the whole track a more vigorous feeling, Netta’s cover slows things down a little lending the whole song a more rich, serene feeling. It is easy for the listener to slip into the cover and soak in the lovely sounds that she’s created. The original version leaves you jamming to the beat, but Netta’s leaves you relaxed and wowed. This is definitely a cover to listen to over and over. Each time is just as glorious as the last!

We really love Netta’s cover for the fact that she pays respect to the original hit while adding her own signature sound to it. Her slower beats and layered harmonies add entirely new levels of emotion and soulfulness to the song. If you like the original track by Jade, we definitely recommend that you give Netta’s cover a listen.

 

For more information: 

Website: http://www.nettabrielle.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nettabrielle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NettaBrielle

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Exclusive Interview: Homemade Crazy

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Meet guitarist-vocalist Koby Blake, drummer Max Kugler, bassist Aaron Paiz, and keyboardist-vocalist Breezy Ortega as the four-piece indie pop rock group called Homemade Crazy from McCook, Nebraska. The band will soon announce the official release of their debut album titled Synergy, featuring eleven ambitious tracks dedicated in sound.

Check out the interview below as the band opens up to us about underlying influences, personal stories, and future prospects.


The band originates from McCook, Nebraska. Now, would you cite living in a small town as one of the reasons why you formed Homemade Crazy? If so, how and why?

Koby: The small town thing has done nothing but good…it helped that we didn’t have much distractions besides green and guitars but for the most part we use it as a advantage!

Who are some of your top musical influences?

Koby: I really look up to a lot of great musicians, but I can’t seem to get enough of Cage the Elephant these days they seem to keep leading the way for me.

What is the backstory behind the band name, Homemade Crazy?

Koby: It was a bad batch! Look into it.

Homemade Crazy posts performances on YouTube, but does the band receive more feedback and following through the Internet or in person?

Koby: We have actually made a lot off headway lately via Internet. For instance we have recently been featured on Artist Direct and Guitar World. But the real experience is our live show just ask anyone who joins the experience.

What does this album represent as a whole, and/or does it have a specific meaning for each member?

Koby:The album is made up of all of us and we all made the album. It means a lot to us and hopefully we can mean a lot to all of you.

Does your band image and music have a target audience?

Koby: Our target audience is the general public and all the good time listeners.

What can current and new fans expect from Synergy?

Koby: You can expect a genuine album full of surprises really see for yourself!

Will the band be touring in other venues this year?

Koby: Yes we are currently in the booming booking process of setting up tour dates for Synergy. Please stay tuned.

Your band has been compared to The Front Bottoms. How do you feel about this?

Koby: The Front Bottoms kick a** and I’m proud of that comparison.

What does the band hope to develop in the next five years? (i.e. sound, lyrics, presence)

Koby: Homemade Crazy plans on being relevant in 5 years and hopefully be a driving force in true genuine music composed by real thought and feelings from a real group of friends fans and family!

Do you have any tips or advice for start-up bands?

Koby: Don’t wait till your old, burnt out and desperate before chasing the dream.

For more information on Homemade Crazy:

Website: http://homemadecrazy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homemadecrazymusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HomemadeCrazy

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STUNNED & SMOOTH: Australian duo’s first single is anything but paralyzing.

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Mary Rose and Chris Chidiac might be closer to Antarctica than the rest of the continents, but with a warm sound similar to that of a nearby New Zealand icon, it’s hard to imagine their listeners frozen in their seats. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Polarheart being stuck in Australia for too long.

The release of their debut single “Paralyse” came about a year or so after the electronic duo began writing together in the early part of 2013. With Mary Rose laying vocals over tracks produced by Chris Chidiac, Polarheart was launched earlier this year and thus far has shown fantastic potential with their first release. At first listen, the style is similar to that of Lorde: a beat and a synthesizer carrying equal weight throughout with more emphasis on lyricism. While this wave of minimalism has made its presence known in pop music since Robin Thicke’s dropped “Blurred Lines” a few years back, this trend in the music industry isn’t taking away from what makes this duo unique.

Mary Rose carries a counteracting brightness to the dark tone of her voice. Throughout the song, she uses her own style of word painting to illustrate what paralyzing pain feels like through her eyes. The first verse observes a moment of high uncertainty and realization of a cold reality. The chorus is a continuation of the verse in a sense of realizing what’s happened to her and why she feels paralyzed. The hook of the chorus, however, is her desire to return to happier days in the mist of this stunning adversity. What’s interesting are the lyrics most used throughout the song are “let me know”, so this desire is built up not only to the first chorus, but also throughout the entire song. The second verse appears to take place after the moment of sudden realization has subsided, and the process of moving on has begun.

Chris produced a track that did exactly what it was supposed to do; while his range of mixing and mastering styles has yet to be discovered by the rest of the world, the instrumental carries just the right amount of weight that it keeps the song interesting. Mary Rose’s word painting can be clearly interpreted, certainly not leaving Polarheart listeners stuck in thought – maybe motionless in enjoyment – but not stuck in thought. Be sure to follow Polarheart on Facebook to keep up with everything their up to! 

Check out the official music video for “Paralyse”!

For more information on Polarheart: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/polarheartmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Polarheartmusic

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/polarheart

 

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Exclusive Interview: We Were Astronauts

2563240We Were Astronauts is a Boston-based band prepping the release of their sophomore release, Artificial Light on September 9. Backed by an aggressive Kickstarter campaign and work from some industry heavyweights, the Boston boys hitched a ride to L.A. to record an E.P. that is sure to propel them into superstardom. They graciously took the time to speak to us about their road traveled and where they feel that road will take them.

First off, I want to thank you for the chance to interview you guys. Your debut 2012 LP, Outside Boston, was awesome and the title track in particular has been on repeat for me. In 2014, you are getting ready to release your EP, Artificial Light which I must say – purely honestly- is amazing. I love what I’ve heard and I think the sky is the limit for you guys.

Antonio: Thank you so much for listening to Outside Boston! That album holds a very special place in our hearts. The title track really found us at a time when we were just coming into our own. We have been itching to release Artificial Light! Thank you for your kind words, we hope everyone shares your sentiment! It is feedback like this that makes all the time and energy spent worth it!

Kickstarter has become such an awesome tool to connect fans with artists in order to not only help with the financing of creative products and to keep fans connected to the music itself. You were able to raise over 10,000 dollars behind 100 backers through Kick Starter! First off, congratulations! Could you tell us a little bit about this campaign?

Antonio: You nailed it on the head! It is an amazing tool that today’s musicians are definitely taking advantage of in a positive way. I believe that a lot of our success in forming a community around We Were Astronauts has come through our hands on approach with our fans. Kickstarter not only helps raise funds but it does something subconsciously. It has a way of making the community and fan base feel like the captains directing this ship.

I think it feels good for people when they contribute and see a project through, all the while knowing that their financial impact was the driving force in the music actually coming to fruition. When we set out to make Artificial Light, we knew we wanted to go bigger, show a more produced side of our sound…ya know? In order to do that, we felt it necessary to work with a well-known producer. After realizing how much this project would cost we turned to Kickstarter as it was the most realistic way for us to raise funds. I honestly don’t know if the campaign would have been successful had we not used Kickstarter for the Oustide Boston Album.

We were very vocal and strategic leading up to the start of the campaign. You only have a window of 60 days to run the campaign and if you don’t raise the goal amount, in our case 10k, in that timeframe then no funds are received. Knowing this we set up a Facebook event page as sort of a countdown to the begin date of our campaign on Kickstarter. Right from the start the support and positive vibes we were receiving were outstanding! A local bar called the Tradesman in our home town of Milford MA, hosted a fundraising party. Rob Dedominic the owner gets music and he cares about helping the original music scene grow! That community of people truly believes in us which helped us raise over 1k in a single night! There are no words to describe the feeling you get when people support something you created. Our minds were blown after that night! We knew we could reach our goal! After that party things took off. We started receiving personal messages and calls asking how people could help. I truly think people respected our dreams , passion and grass roots approach to We Were Astronauts and the making of this album.

After all in our first Kickstarter campaign, a year prior to this one, we set out to raise 2k and just skated by! This time we blew that mark out of the water!! I think that is a true testament to our fan base and the fact that we have always acknowledged them as the driving force in where We Were Astronauts is headed!

You guys are proud Boston natives, but you got the chance to work on Artificial Light in Los Angeles with some major heavyweights: producer Warren Haurt and engineer Phil Allen. For those who don’t know, Haurt’s name has been attached to the likes of Aerosmith, the Fray, James Blunt. Allen worked on Adele’s Grammy-awarding, 21. What was it like to work with these icons?

Antonio: I can tell you this… right from the start it felt right! We would have phone calls with Warren leading up to our trip out to LA which I believe is imperative to setting the framework for a successful project. We would send him scratch tracks and song ideas here and there in which case he would respond to every song. His approach in the preproduction stage was imperative to our growth as musicians. Receiving positive feedback and/or corrective criticism can have such an incredible impact on the artist as well as allowing them the ability to birth some great tunes!

The trip to LA was an experience in and of itself. I have been out there a couple times to visit family and to have the opportunity to go out there and work on an album, our own piece of art, well that experience was just crazy good and a memory we will have for the rest of our lives. I always believed that in order to truly find ourselves and our sound, we needed to remove ourselves from our comfort zone. Heading out to LA was that release for us. It peaked creativity and removed every day distractions from our writing process. Enough about leading up to it… you want to know about working with Warren and Phil! Those guys are a deadly team. They are extremely accomplished musicians in their own right. I think that fact alone made it intimidating being in the studio the first day. Not to mention the list of accomplished musicians on their resume is enough to get your head spinning. But I just kept telling myself this is what we set out to do and we are going to make a killer album with these guys! After that it was smooth sailing!

We learned so much about ourselves as musicians as well as little tricks and tips about recording in general in those five days in LA. Warren and Phil are super down to earth guys and we hope to work with them again soon!

We Were Astronauts has been compared to bands such as Kings of Leon, Gaslight Anthem, NeedtoBreathe… and dare I even say there’s a little Springsteen in there? Who do you consider to be your biggest influences?

Antonio: I think We Were Astronauts has many different influences both classic and present day! All the bands you listed above are bands we definitely admire. I think for us it has always been about the melody in the song. I personally believe the melody is the strongest part of a song in today’s music. Something catchy that people can sing along to is king! We all love the classic tunes that have ripping solos and go on for 5 to 7 minutes but I think peoples music pallets have definitely changed over the years.

There is a huge market for indie rock infused electronic music that has been much of the industry focus for the better part of a decade now. But I think we are holding tight to our roots, not jumping on band wagons, and writing songs that meet today’s standards for indie rock. Bands like NeedtoBreathe and Kings of Leon have this raw emotion that comes through in their music and vocals. I believe that is where the comparisons come from, and well those bands rock so we aren’t complaining!

Every track on this EP is great, but the one track that stands out to me more than anything is “Hollywood,, an unbelievably brilliant song that deserves mainstream recognition. It honestly blows me away and I’ve been telling everybody about it. Knowing the backstory of your journey to Los Angeles from the Kick Starter campaign to working with Warren Haurt and Phil Allen, I feel like this song has a special meaning. Listening to it I can envision you guys traveling to L.A. on a lonesome highway reflecting on how you got there and where you are going. Could you talk about this song and its meaning?

Antonio: It is funny you mention this song! As I am typing this I received our next music video which is going to be for “Hollywood” and will show footage from LA and recording in the studio. Whoa we are smiling knowing this song had an impact on you as it has us! So thanks again for your super awesome feedback! We had this guitar lick floating around the practice space for the better part of six months leading up to the new record. But we never had a strong melody or any lyrics for it until a few weeks prior to us leaving for LA. I think that is when it hit me all the things this album was going to signify for us as people, as musicians, and as a band.

“Hollywood” is about one’s youth and having dreams of grandeur. It explores the realness of not letting people who have already burnt out and lost sight of their own dreams, dreams that kept them feeling youthful and alive, get you down. There have been so many times where people have asked us negative questions like “ why are you doing this, you will give up”, or “why go out to LA to make an EP, where is it going to get you?” The chorus lyrics are: “Chasing pavement, long nights and restless, you won’t shake my stance. You won’t find me, in your graveyard, I’m no mannequin”. I think those lyrics speak to the hard road that anyone faces in following their dreams. I remember we were in LA and that second part with the mannequin graveyard just hit me.

It was a name Chris and I shot around for a while when thinking about band names. I am not one to force things so when this hit me again I just knew in my heart we had to say it. Chris had been an influential part in writing the lyrics on these tunes and so when he agreed, we both knew it solidified the messages we were trying to convey. For me mannequin graveyard is our way of saying that we get that the majority of people are let down by reality and in turn they lose sight of their dreams. Things may not seem as attainable when you become an adult, but when you were a kid dreams were all you had.

People sort of fall into daily routines and find comfort in that. Something we have all experienced at one time or another!! But when that is the case there is always this feeling floating around of “what if.” The lyric “you won’t find me in your graveyard I’m no mannequin,” is simply saying that I won’t fall victim to growing up and losing sight of dreams and lining up with the rest to find comfort in routine.

For more information on We Were Astronauts:

Website: http://www.wewereastronauts.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeWereAstronaut

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wewereastronautsmusic

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The Link Up: When Chicago Meets Cali, Chi City & Vanjess

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Among the many nuances of the music industry stands the art of collaboration – bringing two artists together in one harmonious hit. We’ve seen magic in unprecedented pairings such as Daft Punk and Pharrell, Katy Perry and Juicy J., and even R. Kelly and Lady Gaga. But there’s always room for more surprising mixes; one potential blend that we’d love to hear consists of rapper Chi City and Pop-R&B duo Vanjess.

Chi City is a Chicago-based rapper loaded with lyrical ammunition and a unique mid-west cadence. His releases sound less like your average hip hop hype and more like personal street narratives. He takes unflinching looks at the past and tells of his upbringing in a ghetto- in addition to his struggles and strides to overcome violence and produce music that is both motivational and reflective. Brutally honest lines and low beats make for a raw, heartfelt sort of style that falls in the same category as artists like Jay-Z, Do or Die and Twista.

Vanjess was formed by sisters Ivana and Jessica, who are originally from Lagos, Nigeria but currently reside in SoCal. With influences like Sam Cooke, Whitney Houston and even Michael Jackson, Vanjess aims for the epitome of stardom with their soulful sound. Filled with stellar synth lines and sassy self-assurance all around, the couple operates from a place of captivating R&B affairs that always seems to leave fans wanting more.

Given that the aforementioned feminine pair of voices matches Chi City’s rare gravity in both musicality and delivery, it’s no doubt that a collaboration between the artists would make for a hit. Fitting together like pieces of the most eccentric of puzzles, Vanjess and Chi City would inevitably produce a track that is hypnotic with subtle hints of grittiness. Add in their mutual positive outlook on life and their undeniable passion and you have a well-balanced fusion of talent – think: Kanye West spitting out lyrics as a prelude to a Santigold-dominated chorus, two dazzling artists becoming one in a fresh and innovative single.

What’s your take on a collaboration of Vanjess and Chi City? Cast your votes below and let us know!

Do you agree with this week’s Link Up?
Most Definitely!
Absolutely not!
Maybe…I’m not too sure
Undecided

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For more information on Vanjess: http://www.iamchicity.com

For more information on Chi City: http://www.iamchicity.com

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Pop Crush: Mapei

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TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS: Blackout Las Vegas Holds Off On Warped to Build Hype.

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Punk rock, a genre pioneered by the likes of Blink-182 and Green Day, has evolved throughout the timeline of pop music. A sponsored extravaganza known as Vans’ Warped Tour is generally at the top of the list of each and every pop punk band in existence – and why shouldn’t it be? Band co-founder and vocalist Jake Carlini couldn’t disagree. Then again, he and his Blackout Las Vegas brothers elected to forego Warped Tour this summer due to lack of hype and instead work on tightening up their sets and getting better as a group.

In the grand scheme of things, patience and consistency pay off in a big way when they’re able to counteract in perfect harmony. The band most recently picked up Derick Noetzel – a film and new media major – as their head bass man and Tyler Gereau as drummer. With the real family chemistry already present with Jake and Ben Carlini along with fellow guitarist Jake Flasser, Blackout Las Vegas has a chance to rock the music industry and grow as brethren. Via Facebook Chat, I got a chance to talk to Jake Carlini and Derrick Noetzel about their status, and the future of the band moving forward.

Pretty general question: how did the group initially come together? 

JAKE: “I was in a rather heavy band prior to this. I had a bunch of punk songs and my band was too heavy to use them. So I went to the studio to record them. People liked ‘em so I decided to make it a band. Me, Ben and the other Jake were in a band together and when I made this project they tagged along. Tyler contacted me about being the drummer so I got him in for a practice and Tyler found Derick and offered him an audition.”

Is there an elaborate origin to “Blackout Las Vegas”?

JAKE: “No it was just something cool my brother said one day when we were trying to name a song in our last band. We never used it so we brought the name to this band.”

Derick, you’re known as a guy who works well with lenses and lighting, but then there’s the musician side of Derick Noetzel (Pretzel) – who were some artists who influenced you to begin playing music in the first place?

DERICK: “In the very beginning of me playing bass, I was mostly inspired by classic rock. Actually, only classic rock. Geddy Lee from rush was a huge one and a lot of Foreigner and Boston that just really got me excited about music.”

Being that you practice both music and videography, what are some of the things that drive you as an artist? What are some of the attributes you possess as a professional that you believe will ultimately help you thrive not just with BLV but as an artist in general?

DERICK: “I think I’ve got some weird things driving me in general. I find inspiration from insanity, and I feel like the stage is the only venue in society where I can feel every emotion and not be judged but praised. I like to do that kind of thing in different ways depending on the art form, but it’s all about pushing boundaries for me.”

Talk about the high energy on which your band runs – that seems to play a significant role in what separates you from other pop punk bands. Is there another band’s stage presence that you’d say you’d admire or tend to mimic at times?

DERICK: “I think from my side, I’m really inspired by Foxy Shazam’s stage presence. They put everything on the table, especially their lead singer, Eric Nally. Matt Fazzi, who played in TBS and tours with a lot of bands like The Dear Hunter is another one of those people. I like to think of my stage presence as my truest form.”

JAKE: “My stage presence is inspired by hardcore music. I just kind if do whatever the music tells me to.”

What about Jake, Tyler and Ben – can you talk a bit about what each of those guys bring to the table that makes this band what it is and keeps that energy high?

JAKE: “Ben is my brother and Jake has been a good friend of mine since he was 15 and I was 18 they both are crazy on stage. Flipping their guitars around and they play beautifully. Tyler’s old band and my old band used to play together and he was always energetic. And since Ed’s been with us his energy has doubled. We’re all getting better and better significantly with every show.”

What’s the most typical method when it comes to writing songs? Do you write as a group or is there a particular guy who’s more proficient writing lyrics than melodies or vise versa?

DERICK: “I usually come in later in the writing process because I’m terrible with words. I try to contribute to some of the organization of the songs with the music. I’m always pushing the bass solos.”

JAKE: “Most of the time this far into the band I have done most of the writing. I write all my songs about personal experience or desires. I usually come up with a basic and simple outline and then let the guys fill in the space and change things as they see fit. They are all great writers with their instruments.”

How do you guys usually spend your downtime as a group? Or do you guys drive each other crazy if you do like, everything together?

DERICK: “My memories of down time are usually getting drunk, eating pizza related items, and trying to make videos that never work. We are all a bunch of boyfriends and so we fight and it’s cute but then when we are on the stage, it feels like any tension disappears.”

JAKE: “I get drunk and stuff and write music that my downtime and my life … drunk music.”

With the new-age pop punk sound you guys have, it seems like you’re headed in a great direction. What are you guys working on right now and what are you hoping to accomplish in the near future. Got any plans to play Warped Tour at any point?

DERICK: “We tried to play warped tour this year but the hype isn’t there yet. I think we definitely have potential and right now Jake’s got a lot going on and has been writing a lot. We just have to get together and straighten things out, play more shows, and be more present on social media and we will be on to something.”

JAKE. “Yeah, that.”

Last question – of course for the both of you – if you could give the style of music you play as specific of a genre classification as possible beyond pop punk, what would it be?

JAKE: “Heavy poppy screamy singy punky funky death jazz.”

DERICK: “I would like to add Sweatcore.”

 

Check out their YouTube channel here:

Blackout Las Vegas Youtube

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