Jenny May is the founder of Band Weblogs. Based in Oxford, England (originally from New England), Band Weblogs was created in 2005. With a passion for music, Jenny May has performed with bands in the US and the UK, her music has appeared in films, she was a vocal coach for the Yamaha Rock School and has worked on music projects with musicians such as Jon Fishman (Phish), Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) and Cisco Adler (Shwayze). Jenny is currently publishing music news, conducting exclusive interviews and writing music commentary for Band Weblogs and writing, recording and performing music with duo Purple May. http://purplemay.com
Awhile ago I posted a message asking unsigned bands, indie bands and artists to leave a comment with a couple links back to their music. So far, there has been a great amount of activity in the comments section of that post and it’s been fun learning about the bands and hearing their music!
This is just a reminder that even though the article is old, it’s still open.
Nightmare and the Cat is an LA based band that features brothers Sam and Django Stewart, the sons of Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama, Shakespears Sister). Read the EXCLUSIVE interview with Sam Stewart!
The band recently premiered the video for “Be Your Own God” off of their new EP ‘Simple’, and have been on the road playing shows with such acts as Bastille and Sky Ferreira.
Sam and Django have both played in other musical projects that have been featured here on BandWeblogs.com over the years, so it’s good to see that they’re working together in Nightmare and the Cat. They have a cool sound, I’ve always liked both of their voices so was curious to know how they decided who would sing lead in the band. Sam, however, is also a great guitar player so either way, it’s a win.
Read the exclusive BandWeblogs.com interview with Sam Stewart from Nightmare and the Cat:
Jenny May: How did Nightmare and the Cat form and how did the members meet and end up in the band?
Sam Stewart: It started over a phone call from me to Django while he was in London. I asked if he wanted to come to LA for 10 days and write some songs with me. We were so pleased with the results that Django stayed in LA and we formed Nightmare. We asked Claire to join even though she had never been involved with a band before because she has the purest, most angelic voice we’ve ever heard. Spike and Scotty are a tight rhythm section and great guys, they were both in Django’s old band; Django James & The Midnight Squires.
Jenny May: You both have done lead vocals in other musical projects in the past. Is Django the lead singer mostly for Nightmare and the Cat? How did you decide who sings lead?
Sam Stewart: Django is a natural born front man. Even when he was a little 6 year old kid, he had a really soulful voice and was a great dancer! Although I sing also, I am more comfortable behind a guitar geeking / rocking out.
Who writes the songs – do you collaborate together? What was your songwriting process (who writes lyrics and instrumentation) for your ‘Simple’ EP?
It’s pretty much 50/50 with Django and myself on almost every song. We share equally in writing lyrics, music and melodies. Sometimes it will be more of one of us but not usually.
When did you start working with artist Gary Baseman and how did that come about? How do you work together usually, does he present ideas or do you?
Claire was very instrumental with us meeting Gary. She introduced us to his work and then we randomly met him at a party. He was dressed up as a ‘Chou Chou’ and started slow dancing with Claire! We hit it off and he started coming to our rehearsals or recording sessions, always sketching away in his sketchbook. We feed off of each other’s creative energy and the results are often pretty beautiful.
Where did you film the “Be Your Own God” video off of your new EP? How long did it take?
We filmed it in our practice space in Burbank, CA. It didn’t take long to shoot at all… Maybe 2 and a half hours… Ed Shiers edited it in about a week.
Nightmare and the Cat – “Be Your Own God” video:
How did the tour with Bastille and Little Daylight go, musically for the band? And you just played with Sky Ferreira, how was the show?
The Bastille tour was amazing! We had such a great time and we really benefitted as a band from playing in front of such lovely, receptive audiences. We sort of stood out musically on the bill as we were the only non synth-based band but I think it worked in our favour ultimately. The Sky Ferreira show was really fun too. We love the El Rey and it was really exciting to be on that stage again.
Any particular “story” from the road that you want to share?
Let’s see… After our show in Chicago we went to a little hotdog stand called ‘Wiener Circle’. The staff there insulted and cursed at us and the other patrons which was funny but the real outrageousness is featured on their menu… The $20 chocolate shake. They convinced Spike (our drummer) to order one and well… You should probably just look up ‘Wiener Circle chocolate shake’.
Where in the world are you right now and where are you going from there?
We are in Los Angeles writing and rehearsing some new material. We have a few more LA shows lined up but we won’t be out on the road again until the beginning of next year.
Do you spend most of your time in California? How often do you go back to England? What are some things that you miss about the UK when not there?
We pretty much stay in LA unless we need to travel for band related reasons. Maybe the odd weekend trip here and there. We try to go back to England for Xmas each year but it is difficult as the distance is so great and flights are very expensive. I think mainly miss English bacon… Oh yeah and my friends… them too.
Nightmare and the Cat – “Simple”:
What plans do you have for Nightmare and the Cat in the foreseeable future?
Well, as I said before we are mainly writing, rehearsing and playing LA shows through the end of 2013. Next year, however, our debut album will be coming out in the spring and we will be touring heavily in the US and overseas.
Are either of you playing with other musical projects outside of Nightmare and the Cat?
Claire and I have a little project we call Claam. We recorded an EP a while ago and played a couple of shows but it is mainly just for fun. Both Claire and myself occasionally perform with our friend Carina Round.
What do you like to do, to have fun outside of playing music?
Um… I like to… play music…We also enjoy playing board games, particularly ‘Settlers of Catan’.
Longtime Ugly Kid Joe fans will be happy to know that the new EP features frontman Whitfield Crane, Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman (guitars), Cordell Crockett (bass) and Shannon Larkin (drums).
It was great news to hear that the band was back making music together, years after their hit single “Everything About You” was released. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the new ‘Stairway to Hell’ EP, and have to admit, my fingers were mentally crossed before hitting play. Luckily I was turning the volume up louder and getting more excited about the EP with each song. Whit’s voice sounds great, the band rocks and the overall production is superb!
Read the EXCLUSIVE BandWeblogs.com interview with guitarist Klaus Eichstadt!
Jenny May: What was the songwriting process for your latest release Stairway to Hell? Did you write with Whit or did you write separately or with the band?
Klaus Eichstadt: Yes, yes, and yes. Some with Whit, some separately on our own, and some stuff the whole band together. We try everything.
Did the band have an idea, before you started recording Stairway to Hell, what sound you were going for?
Heavy hard rock with the same old attitude with the humor and sarcasm. And may the best SONGS win.
The credits show the EP being produced by Ugly Kid Joe/Mixed by Dave Fortman who also engineered some tracks, is that correct? What is it like working with longtime bandmate/guitarist Dave Fortman (produced Evanescence, Slipknot, Mudvayne, more) as your mixer/engineer? Did he have a lot of input during the recording?
Yes. It was the best: Funnest dude to work with and brilliant! He was making a lot of the final calls and he got some great sounds and is a great mixer.
Ugly Kid Joe – “I’m Alright” video:
There is certainly a lot of experience brought to the table in Ugly Kid Joe. Have you noticed a difference in your bandmates, and your skills and confidence (on stage/studio) since getting back together?
They are all great at what they do, even better than before, and for me it just made me way more confident both in the studio and especially live. It is a great experience to make music with these guys.
What are the band members schedules like for the next couple of years? Is everyone available for Ugly Kid Joe or are there other commitments that will take priority first? How does that affect your scheduling for shows, recording, appearances? (Is Shannon Larkin busy with Godsmack, other band member projects etc.)
Well, yes it’s tricky. Shannon’s day job is Godsmack but he will make time for us whenever possible and we appreciate his band being so cool about it. Dave is pretty busy producing and mixing but he has handed the live torch over to Sonny Mayo (Amen, Sevendust, Hed PE, Snot) who is killing it! We got a great drummer named Zac Morris who will tour with us whenever Shannon can’t. So we’ve got it pretty much covered. All combinations work great!
Is the band working on a new Ugly Kid Joe album?
We are kicking around ideas, riffs, etc.
What are some other projects that you’re involved with outside of the band, musically or otherwise?
At this moment I’m focused on UKJ. I do have a bunch of different songs that I would love to record some day… Mañana!
Do you have a home studio? How do you feel about recording in your home studio setting vs. a new experience recording in a studio you haven’t been to before? Do you have a preference?
I don’t really have a home studio anymore… but my laptop is a great demoing tool. I like to record wherever… as long as it sounds good.
Have you recorded in many recording studios around the world? Where is one of your favorite studios and why?
Not really, mostly only in California and of course Dave’s old studio in Louisiana where we did a lot of Stairway to Hell – that was my favorite so far. I did like mixing at A & M back in the day and Sound City ruled too!
Your single “Everything About You” was such a big hit. What are your thoughts about the song?
Hmmm. Well, it broke the band and gave me a career in music, so in that sense, I love it. Sure, it would have been nice to break with something a bit heavier, but considering it’s pretty much an anti love song, I can live with that… and that little ditty helped get us around the World a few times… and the OZZY tour!
Ugly Kid Joe – Everything About You video:
What is your favorite guitar(s)?
An old ESP strat which is my main live guitar, my homemade guitar from the “Everything About You” video, and my 1979 Gibson SG. I also love Les Pauls.
Who do you like to listen to when you’re relaxing?
I usually listen to the pop/hip hop stations when I’m just chillin’. I know, I know…
You guys have a great sense of humor. Do you ever go out to see live stand-up comedy? Do you have any favorite comedians?
I love live stand up! I haven’t been in a while but Chappelle kicked my ass back in the day… Eddie Murphy and Peter Sellers!!!
How has the music scene in LA changed over the years?
I have no idea… seriously, I don’t EVER go out in LA. EVER.
For the latest tour dates, music and more, please go to:
Hollywood Undead have announced new spring tour dates in the US and Canada with support from Dance Gavin Dance and Abandon All Ships – after wrapping up the entirely sold out ‘Underground Tour’ this past January. Read the EXCLUSIVE interview with Johnny 3 Tears!
Hollywood Undead have announced spring tour dates in the US and Canada with support from Dance Gavin Dance and Abandon All Ships – after wrapping up the entirely sold out ‘Underground Tour’ this past January.
The tour comes hot on the heels of Hollywood Undead’s newest album, ‘Notes From The Underground’, which is available on iTunes now.
The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, which is the highest debut to date for the band.
Read the EXCLUSIVE BandWeblogs.com interview with rapper/songwriter Johnny 3 Tears (George Ragan)!
Jenny May: What is the meaning behind the band name exactly?
Johnny 3 Tears: It’s a reference to the city itself at night. When we were kids we would see these people, we didn’t understand what crack heads and prostitutes were yet so we thought they were zombies. We called them undead. When we formed the name fit.
What do you think of Hollywood?
It’s a love/hate relationship. Its a great place to be if in the sense that there is always stuff to do etc… It’s also revolting because the jackasses who move there want to be in a [fast food] commercial.
What gave the band the idea to use masks?
J.D. came up with the idea of us doing it. We never intended on doing it for any other reason than we liked the way they looked. We loved having some other expression than the songs alone.
Why do you choose the ones that you wear?
I think they mean something to each individual separately. Even if it’s in some small way that no one knows but him.
Do you get recognized “on the street” very often as a member of the band without your mask? (If so, where & when was the last time that happened?)
Ya. I have a three on my throat so it happens. Happened at the gym yesterday. I thought he was gonna ask me for some tips on working out his butt cheeks but turned out he wanted to talk about the band. Pissed me off.
What was the writing process for your new album Notes From The Underground? (Do you write together? Lyrics/music etc.)
Some songs we write together. Some on our own. I personally always start alone and bring it in once I have what I want done. But we write on the road and in the studio.
How was making this album different compared to your others? Did you have more freedom with the creative process?
Every album is different. This one was a lot of fun because we felt less pressure this time around. We always have creative freedom, that doesn’t mean the label is gonna see a song the same way we do. You always have to fight for your art.
Do you ever feel like you have any restrictions when expressing yourself? If so, in what way do you feel restricted?
Ya sure. Maybe some introversion at some points. But alcohol and such are great tools. Gotta be confident in what you are doing.
Who are one or two of your favorite bands that you’ve toured with and why? Who would you want to tour with that you haven’t yet?
Avenged Sevenfold – they are just rad guys, a lot of fun. And one of the better live bands out there, so every night we gotta watch a badass show. Can’t argue with that.
10 Years – the only band that’s ever made me feel like a light weight. Animals, hairy southern animals!
I would love to tour with nine-inch nails. Wouldn’t ever happen but just saying.
What kind of gear do you use on in the studio – and on the road?
We’re such gear heads I couldn’t name it all. Too much to name. Although we keep it analog… old school.
What do you need to see in a horror film to “tick all the right boxes”?
Suspense, a weird creepy kid, some titties yo.
Your top three films?
Horror films – Event Horizon, Congo, and Desperate Measures.
Reg films – Apocalypse Now, Magnolia, Dances with Wolves.
Hollywood Undead – We Are (Explicit) video:
Where is your ideal place to be, doing what, on a day off?
We turn into mall rats. Movies and dinner and a good nights sleep. We just try to recover from all the horrible stuff we do to our bodies and hold hands and all that.
For the latest tour dates, music and more, please go to:
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Salvador is the son of Grammy winning guitarist Carlos Santana. His latest release is Keyboard City, and more recently, a video for single “Into the Light”.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Salvador is the son of Grammy winning guitarist Carlos Santana. His latest release is Keyboard City, and more recently, a video for single “Into the Light”.
Salvador Santana: Music is life. Music is joy.
Music is a language we use to express our emotions.
Music helps us associate memorable times in our lives.
Music is my first love.
I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
How would you describe your latest release, Keyboard City?
I would describe the record keyboard city and my music overall as a “New Blend” of music. I take a little bit from this genre of this and a little of that and mix it all together to form a fusion and eclectic sound. My goal is to make music so that everyone can enjoy it, no matter what their preferences are.
How did you contribute instrumentally to Keyboard City?
I contributed to the album Keyboard City by playing a variety of instruments. Both electric and acoustic pianos, organ, mini moog, clavinet, percussion, drums, electric bass, and last but certainly not least some vocals. Both singing and spoken word.
What instruments do you play? Which do you prefer playing the most, generally?
My primary instrument is the piano and keyboards. I’m also familiar with drums and electric bass-guitar. But my preference is the piano.
How does your father feel about you being in the industry, playing music?
He tells me that he’s very proud of me. I’ve always appreciated his, my moms, and all the members in my families unconditional support of me throughout my life and my musical career.
What kind of advice has he given you?
Both my mother and my father always reminded me to be myself and with whatever I choose to do, to give my 150% absolute best.
What instrumental combination and where (performing live or studio, living room, writing etc.) do you have the most fun when playing music with your dad? (With each of you playing which instrument together?)
All of the above. My dad and I usually end up writing and jamming out to some really cool musical ideas wherever whenever we get the opportunity to play music together. There is some footage of him and I jamming out on my Youtube channel:
Salvador Santana w/ Carlos Santana – Funky Nassau & In the Park video:
Do you have any current and/or future projects planned with your dad?
No, nothing official. Although I’ve recently contributed some of my piano playing on my father’s latest instrumental record “Shape Shifter” (I’m featured on the songs “Canella” and “Ah, Sweet Dancer”).
Are there other musical styles that you would like to explore for other album projects? If so, what have you thought about doing (or are in the process of creating/writing)?
You know I haven’t really given it that much thought. Honestly, I’m open to playing any style of music. I’ve just now begun to understand that there’s an art form to collaboration. As long as we the artists can remain open, then we have a better chance of being able to learn and receive new ideas and concepts that can help propel us to become better artists and people.
Who are your musical heroes? How have they influenced your music?
Well, being a keyboardist first and for most, I’d say the great piano players of jazz music. One in particular was and is Mr. Herbie Hancock. He’s probably been without question my greatest influence as a piano and keyboard player. I’ve had the pleasure of not only seeing him perform on numerous occasions, but have also had the honor of meeting him. He told me personally once that he checked out some of my most recent work and that he really like it! That meant the absolute world to me and it’s something that I will always cherish!
How do you incorporate your spirituality into your music?
By incorporating love and joy into each and every individual note that I play and sing. Like John Coltrane once said, and I quote: “One positive thought creates millions of positive vibrations.”
How did you find the musicians that you’re currently working with for your live shows?
Mostly through mutual friends in the music scene in Los Angeles. Also, through destiny. I am a firm believer that everything happens for one reason or another. I’m very blessed and grateful for all the musicians, past and present that have contributed their efforts and dedication in helping me share the sounds and messages I have to offer.
Where was one of your favorite shows that you’ve played so far and why?
That’s a tough one to answer…But I’d have to say my favorite show that I was apart of was having the honor to perform on stage with Ravi Coltrane (John Coltrane’s son) at the Hymns for Peace concert in Montreux, Switzerland back in 2004. It was an so awesome and such an incredible opportunity for me and my young career.
Outside of playing music, what do you consider a “good night out”?
It depends. I usually like to take it easy, you know…keep things mellow. But more times than not I end up having a great night when I go out to see and hear other bands perform live.
Where do you like to go to just chill out if you’ve had a “long” day?
Anywhere, really…. as long as there’s a piano for me to play.
Who are five bands/artists that you’ve been listening to recently?
To stay up to date with all of Salvador’s latest news, tour dates, music and more, please go to:
Fuzzy Logic Baby recently released their latest video for new track “Television”. It’s a great song – and video. Read the exclusive BandWeblogs.com interview with Fuzzy Logic Baby frontman Darwood Grace.
Fuzzy Logic Baby recently released their latest video for new track “Television”. It’s a great song – and video. I was lucky to happen upon one of their live shows at The Bullingdon Arms in Oxford a few months ago. Ever since, I’ve been a fan of the band and continue to look forward to new material from them.
Exclusive interview with frontman Darwood Grace from Fuzzy Logic Baby
Jenny May: How long have you been performing in bands?
Darwood Grace: This is actually the first band I’ve been in. I just woke up one morning and asked God if I could have a band, He said “Why?” and I replied “cos I’m a Rock Star and every rock star needs a band”. Met the guys a week later.
When and how did the band members meet to form Fuzzy Logic Baby?
Met our former drummer Nico at a gig where he was playing bass for a mate’s band and we instantly became brothers, he said that he’d just formed a new band with his old school mates and that they needed an MC, so that’s how I got involved.
Why “Fuzzy Logic Baby” for a band name?
Cos when people look at us all together, the first question is how did you guys meet let alone end up in a band. We do look mismatched but yet the music makes sense. We’re mismatched Children that make sense but Mismatched Sense Children doesn’t sound as good as Fuzzy Logic Baby hehe.
Who normally comes up with the concept for your music videos?
I came up with the concept for Television and our follow up video/single Drunk Man’s Speech which was directed by Kidulthood & Adulthood star Femi Oyeniran. Jack (Guitarist) has come up with the next one. So it depends on whoever gets the best idea when they are in a sober state really.
Fuzzy Logic Baby – Television video:
How did the video for “Television” come about (concept/young actor)? Also, the song is sending a message…”Television is the new religion”… are you frustrated with TV? If so, why (or your thoughts about TV)?
The concept came from realising how many kids have been raised and are being raised by that innocent box in the room lol. It’s like this silent preacher telling you what’s going on in the world, what to buy and who you should idolise. TV and the internet is probably the biggest source of finding out information nowadays, not that it’s a bad thing but reading a book expands the mind so much more than a TV ever can. But what do I know, I’ve watched way too much football on telly to ever be frustrated with it. God bless Match of the Day because I dunno what I’ll do with myself if Gary Lineker ever retires. Funniest thing is, since we shot the video I don’t actually own a TV at the moment. Those TV licence letters started getting on my nerves.
Do you consider yourself a “politically aware” lyricist? How do you feel about bands merging politics & music?
I’m a human aware lyricist, as I talk about a lot of different things that affect me as a simpleton just trying to live a regret free life. I’m constantly trying to better myself and learn from previous mistakes so who am I to tell anyone how to live or how to think. Politicians have to be clean cut, and a few girls have enough evidence on their phones to stop me from ever running for the Prime Minister’s office so it’s easier to be myself and if I say something that others can relate to or that inspires them to better themselves then I’m cool.
Fuzzy Logic Baby puts on a great live show – you certainly have a lot of energy on stage. What makes for a good night for you during a show?
As long as we have fun, it’ll be a great night. Whether it’s a million people or one person in the audience, as long as we have fun, it’ll be a great night out for all involved.
Do you spend more time in Oxford or London? Who’s based where?
We’re actually a London based band. Ben (bassist), Daniel (drummer) and I are from Hackney but Jack is originally from Oxford. His family still live there hence the connection. Oxford has become a second home and we stay at Jack’s parents house whenever we are there. And we play Tennis against each other, I’m still unbeaten.
Does the band write songs together? What is your general songwriting routine as a band?
Yeah, we write together but not one of our songs has been written the same way. It’s always so random, it might start with a lyric, or one of Jack’s guitar riffs, or Daniel humming a bassline, then Ben playing it, or Ben just writing a whole song that we then all make our own. I even beatboxed a whole song idea on my phone, played it to the guys, got told it was shit but then the guys interpolated it and Love Songs was born.
Are you signed? If not, do you want to be?
We’re not, bloody disgrace I tell ya! lol but of course we want to be signed, the only advantage to being unsigned is that you have to think outside of the box to get any attention but even then you can still get ignored. We’re a bit different, but all it’s going to take is a clever person to see us and take a risk. Whatever happens, we’ll just continue to have fun.
What are your views about Twitter? Do you think that it’s a helpful tool?
Twitter’s great for finding out stuff before it’s on the news. On twitter, EVERYBODY has a big mouth. Gossip central lol. As a tool for an unsigned musician/band, unless you are willing to buy twitter followers or youtube views, twitter is absolutely useless. Without a huge internet following, it’s like people don’t take you serious lol but real life still rules and I’d rather have a genuine real life following than a fake cyberworld one. Please follow us twitter.com/fuzzylogicbaby hahahahaha.
What other activities do you enjoy outside of the band?
I wish I could say something slick like horse riding and having daily tea gossip sessions with the Queen but alas no, it’s boring stuff like acting, directing, reading, watching footie etc… oh and I love being a Dad to my son, cool dude, he’s the actor in our Television video.