Aaron Schroeder interview

Aaron Schroeder

Aaron Schroeder is set to release his second album, ‘Black & Gold’, which features guest appearances by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Air, Ladytron), Ben Barnett from Kind Of Like Spitting (Barsuk Records, Hush Records), Jeremy Castillo from the Los Angeles based rock band Mighty Six Ninety, and Tyler Blake from the DJ-remix duo Young Americans. Instruments used on ‘Black & Gold’ include lap-steel guitars, cellos, accordions, violins, banjos, musical saws, clarinet, mandolins, tubas and bells […]

Aaron Schroeder

Aaron Schroeder is set to release his second album, ‘Black & Gold’, which features guest appearances by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Air, Ladytron), Ben Barnett from Kind Of Like Spitting (Barsuk Records, Hush Records), Jeremy Castillo from the Los Angeles based rock band Mighty Six Ninety, and Tyler Blake from the DJ-remix duo Young Americans. Instruments used on ‘Black & Gold’ include lap-steel guitars, cellos, accordions, violins, banjos, musical saws, clarinet, mandolins, tubas and bells.

Having spent time in Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon and Boston, the 20-something singer/songwriter is currently based in Kennewick, Washington. He seems to have settled into the music scene quite nicely, after living there for the last couple of years.

Aaron Schroeder - Black & GoldAfter listening to tracks on Aaron Schroeder’s Myspace page, we begged him – well not really, but we would have if it had come down to that – to let us play his single, “Call Out To Me” on the Band Weblogs Podcast Show. Luckily he said yes. The track is off of Aaron’s new album ‘Black & Gold’ and could easily become a classic for not only us and I’m sure his current fan base, but if put into the “right hands”, for many more people in the years to come.

Listen: “Call Out To Me” on the Band Weblogs Podcast Show

BandWeblogs.Com interview with Aaron Schroeder:

Band Weblogs: Who or what influenced you to want to become a musician?

Aaron Schroeder: Well, I was a young teenager in the midst of the grunge attack – so people like Kurt Cobain, I suppose. Truly, I really began writing music when I started getting involved in the punk rock scene. Bands like Bad Religion and Minor Threat were hugely influential on my ideology about music in general and how music should be played. Even though I don’t have the social-commentary-aspect to my music like those bands do, they always said SOMETHING. It was never just “page from your diary” type of sh*t. I still try to do that in my songs. I like telling stories, even if no one besides myself knows what the hell is going on to the characters within.

Is Washington a good place to be playing music?

Sh*t yes it is! I’ve been here only two years and I’ve released two full lengths and written about 5 albums worth of material. The scene itself is somewhat non existent, but I’ve hooked up with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met here. Talented, creative and just good people. You don’t have to party here every night to stay connected to your friends which works out well with me. I can stay in and write more music and hang with my girlfriend. Besides that, there’s a local brewery a few minutes away that makes the best beer I’ve ever tasted. Seriously. Nothing else even comes close. I’ve asked around.

What inspires you to write a song?

Usually the music end will come from very different musical places. I’ll listen to someone like David Bowie or New Order or Bob Dylan or whatever and I’ll think, “I should’ve written a song like this!” So then I’ll turn the record off and basically rip off whatever I was just listening to. The lyrics usually come from the various books I’m reading. Sometimes they are inspired by poetry or old Yiddish folk tales. Whatever seems challenging to me – that is usually what I try to take on through my own music.

What is your favorite sport?

Mini golf, I suppose. Or pinball. I did get pretty excited about baseball a few years back when I was living in Boston. That was when the Red Sox “reversed the curse” though, so I suppose it was a pretty common thing. I also like trying to keep up with my dog when we go walking around the park. She’s fast.

Do you prefer recording in the studio or playing live shows?

Aaron SchroederRecording and writing music absolutely. Shows are fun and nice, but there’s always, always some kind of awkwardness before that I’ve just filled up my chain smoking and pacing around. Now I’m trying to quit smoking. Playing shows would only fu** that up for me.

What is your favorite cocktail or smoothie?

Not much a fan of either. I like diet coke and whiskey while sitting on my back-porch watching the sunset. Everyday should be like a vacation.

What brand of guitar do you favor?

The only guitar I own is a $60 Hohner. It’s been pretty good to me. I use it on all my demos, and I beat it up pretty good. You know what, I really should name my guitar something. If anyone who is reading this has an interesting idea for what I should name my guitar, email me.

Is the internet a good thing for musicians?

For an artist like me, living on the fringes of a small city, the internet is amazing. I am able to get my music into the hands of people all around the world. I mean, I’ve got people buying my music in Japan and Australia because of iTunes or whatever. And the unfortunate truth is that while the band (myself included) has to work 40 hours to make the car payment, the only way to establish relationships is through digital communication. I’d love to tour one day, but for now the internet is my strongest musical life support.

Who, out of all the dead musicians, would you want to jam with?

That’s an interesting one. Not really dead but his moniker is – Cat Stevens. I’m a fan of most of his music. I won’t try to say I could keep up, but I’d like to hang out with Mississippi John Hurt, I guess. We could get a cup of coffee and talk lyrical inspiration.

Aaron Schroeder

What was your most inspired moment?

Man, I get inspired all the time. Usually when I’m having a conversation with someone; when I’m able to verbalize a thought or an idea that I’ve had swimming around in my head – that, for me is very inspiring. When I can connect something inside my head by talking to someone else about it. That’s important to me. Reading great literature is always inspiring, particularly Bernard Malamud.

What is your idea of a vacation?

Sitting on my bed and reading will usually constitute a relaxing time. Not having to open bills on a daily basis might be nice too.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Nah, but coffee can be.

What do you think is the best festival to be seen at?

I’m not too sure about that. Festivals seem like a silly idea to me – not sure I’d care too much about being seen at any of them. Growing up going to small, rat infested, thrift store couch-ed small shows in people’s living rooms – I can’t imagine having a genuinely personal experience at a festival. There’s no “heart” in those things.

Is Elvis really the king of rock and roll?

Can’t think of anyone better, except maybe Dino?

Out of the songs that you’ve written, which is your favorite?

I’m really proud of “Fake Crimes”. It’s a story about a pair of lovers who fake a kidnapping so they can get rich, but you don’t have to know that in order to enjoy the song. That’s what I like about it.

Aaron Schroeder will be performing tracks off of ‘Black & Gold’ at his CD Release Party, taking place on Saturday, September 8th, 2007 at The Red Room in Kennewick, Washington. Other bands scheduled to perform include Lions and Eagles and Gregg Belisle-Chi.

For more information about Aaron Schroeder, listen to music and to purchase ‘Black & Gold’, go to Aaron Schroeder Official Website.

Aaron Schroeder on Myspace

By: Jenny May and Dave Tommo – BandWeblogs.Com

Daisy Goes Green at Y-Not Festival

Daisy Goes Green have been slowly making their presence felt on the Manchester scene over the past 12 months. They’ve been busy, and this particularly sunny weekend in Derbyshire, England was no different.

The occasion was the Y-Not Festival, a small-but-growing independent three-day festival showcasing the best new talent around. So I packed my sunscreen and a family pack of Pot Noodles and headed out into the countryside to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed.

The band create a giant sound for a three-piece and what strikes you straight away is the presence and tightness they display in their performance. Comprised of brothers Rob and Will Robinson and lifelong friend, Rick Bevan, they seem to have an intuitive understanding and confidence in each other’s playing as they rattle through one barn-stormer after another.

Playing in the coveted ‘sunset’ slot, the hypnotic rhythms and pulsating bassline of opening number “Inside Out” create the perfect soundtrack to the crimson-turning sky as the smoke machines and impressive light show kick into action. Suddenly everyone is paying attention and there is a real feeling in the crowd that the main event has begun.

Rick prowls the stage and demands attention with powerful vocals, while Rob’s harmonies add another dimension to the sound. From the ridiculously catchy “Lady of the Night” through spontaneous foot tapper “Mine Anyway” to the snarling set closer “SCALLY”, there is no let up and their 30-minute set seems to be over in a flash. Daisy Goes Green are a band that defy you to ignore them and on the evidence of this performance, it won’t be long before some of the industry big wigs start taking notice.

Check out Daisy Goes Green: Daisy Goes Green on Myspace

Daisy Goes Green played the Y-Not Festival, Pikehall, Derbyshire – 4th August 2007
By: jimilives

Prince free Planet Earth CD review

Prince giving away his Planet Earth CD for free on July 15th in the Mail on Sunday newspaper was quite the event. Knowing that so many people received the CD (3 million according to reports), there’s probably quite a few other people doing the same thing that I am right now in the UK – and that’s listening to the new Prince CD.

Even though he may have burned some bridges along the way, I would say that Prince has pulled off this free CD giveaway. Although I do like quite a bit of his music, I probably wouldn’t have gone out to the shop to buy the CD. So Prince has managed to reach at least one listener through his controversial means of distribution. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Planet Earth has ten tracks and there’s a lot going on with genres and sound throughout the album. The musicianship is superb and the songs range from funky, catchy guitar riffs, horns, laid back jazz, overlaid female backing vocals, gospel, rock, soul and r&b.

I like the eclectic mix of music on Planet Earth. I’m always interested to hear where Prince is going musically. Since each song has quite a different feel though, the average listener might lose interest and their patience with it. I can see the Planet Earth album working well at dinner parties. Some tracks like “Guitar” and “Chelsea Rodgers” will probably go down well in the clubs. But fans of those songs may not like the others and vice versa.

Occasionally there are reminders of the early 80’s Prince like his vocals on the opening track “Planet Earth”. When “Lion of Judah” started I immediately thought of “Purple Rain” because of the guitar effects – but then after the intro it doesn’t sound anything like it. There are times when it seems like he’s straining his vocals, but then, that could just be his style right now.

With the Mail on Sunday distributing Prince’s new album, free for a day, will there be another artist or band who dares to do the same? Will other newspapers get in on the act? Could this be the start of a new trend or was it just a one off? How will this effect Prince’s CD sales? Will his record company get over it? So many questions, only time will tell.

Ticket holders for Prince’s upcoming 21-day O2 Arena tour in London August and September 2007 are also set to receive a free Planet Earth Cd.

Buy: Prince – Planet Earth on amazon.com.

Planet Earth track listing:

1. Planet Earth
2. Guitar
3. Somewhere Here On Earth
4. The One U Wanna C
5. Future Baby Mama
6. Mr. Goodnight
7. All The Midnights In The World
8. Chelsea Rodgers
9. Lion Of Judah
10. Resolution

Prince Official Website
Prince on Myspace

By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs

Foo Fighters Live Earth review – Best of You video

With mixed feelings about the event, I spent most of Saturday July 7th watching Live Earth on the BBC. I was looking forward to seeing some of the acts that were playing locations around the world in Hamburg, Germany, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tokyo, Japan, Shanghai, China, Antarctica, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sydney, Australia, Washington D.C., New Jersey, USA and Wembley Stadium in London, UK – where the Foo Fighters played.

The Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl is looking good and his passion and stage presence during their set at Live Earth was infectious. Passion wouldn’t be a word that I would use for some of the other acts that took to the stage before the Foo Fighters.

Technical difficulties were an issue. Bands were having problems with their sound on stage all day. Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell couldn’t hear anything through the monitors and when the Red Hot Chili Peppers played I thought we might get through a set without the sound drama. They sounded great and Flea was on fire, but after playing a couple songs, the Chili Peppers stopped to have what appeared to be a ‘band meeting’ on stage – at Live Earth in front of millions of people. At one point I could hear Anthony Kiedis say something about not being able to hear. I think after that they only had one more song to go.

Now I, as a singer, can understand sound problems on stage. I love to have a good mix in the monitors with some reverb coming back at me. But you know what? If I was playing only three songs with my band at Wembley Stadium – in front of millions (some say 2 billion) of people I think even I could handle not being able to hear and just play on like everything is okay. Especially since most acts only played two or three songs. As a viewer, I don’t want the distraction of stage problems and complaining while trying to enjoy a band and their music, well then again…these things do tend to make good ‘car crash TV’.

I’m sure the bands didn’t want to upstage their set by complaining about the sound and even though bands should know better, the first thing the stage manager or event director should have told them before they went out on stage, was “don’t mention the sound”.

The reason I’m even bringing this up is because knowing that there were sound problems all day at the new Wembley Stadium, it was brilliant to see Dave Grohl just get on with things, with the passion and the attitude that all rock fans love to see – and he played like his life depended on it. The band sounded great, they were having fun and if Dave Grohl had any problems hearing there were no signs or nasty expressions coming from him. Drummer Taylor Hawkins also put on an incredible performance. Excellent set by the Foo Fighters.

Watch Foo Fighters – “Best Of You” video from Live Earth:

Foo Fighters 2007 UK summer tour dates:

Tour dates could be added or changed! Go to the Foo Fighters Official Website for the latest tour dates and information.

August 18 V Festival, Hylands Park Chelmsford, UK
August 19 V Festival Weston Park Staffordshire, UK
August 21 T On The Fringe: Meadowbank Sports Centre (Meadowbank Stadium) Edinburgh, Scotland
August 22 Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland

Foo Fighters Official Website
Foo Fighters on Myspace

By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs

Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Glastonbury crowd invited on stage + video!

Glastonbury 2007 Saturday night headliner Iggy Pop and The Stooges along with bass player Mike Watt from the Minutemen put on a memorable performance that completely took me by surprise.

Who would have thought that a 60 year old performer could upstage Glastonbury acts young enough to be his great-grandchildren? Iggy Pop can move on stage. No doubt about it. He entertained the crowd while singing his classics that included “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “Down on the Street”.

Driving the set from behind was Mike Watt on bass, probably one of the coolest, craziest looking bass players out there. Wearing a jumpsuit and with his legs spread wide, Mike Watt looked as though we would all be safer if he was playing in a cage. The Stooges, brothers Ron Asheton (guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums) rounded up the lineup which also included Steve Mackay on saxophone later in the set.

I couldn’t believe it when during “Real Cool Time” Iggy Pop, the Godfather of punk rock, invited the crowd up on stage with him. One by one the Glastonbury festival goers began to jump the security barrier. I’m not sure if this has ever happened at Glastonbury before.

The fun lasted for about a song while the fans danced along to “No Fun”. The song that was, incidentally, covered by the Sex Pistols. Of course, then Iggy Pop tried to take his stage back from his new invited guests and asked the crowd to leave. I could only shake my head and think, “Well, this is what you asked for. Now what are you going to do?”

At first the crowd wasn’t having any of it, and continued to stand where they were or they were trying to get as close to Iggy Pop as they could. Meanwhile, Iggy was trying to coax everyone off in a deep calm voice on the microphone, reminiscent of a Vegas show host. “We’re coolin’ it out. Alright… Thin it all out, baby… Alright. Have mercy… How ’bout some standards… Popcorn, get your popcorn. Ice cream…”

Eventually everyone left the stage and the band played on.

This was one of those cringe-worthy, peer from under the covers, train wreck moments that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. But it was one of the best festival moments that I’ve ever seen on TV.

Watch video of Iggy and The Stooges + fans at Glastonbury 2007:

Glastonbury Festival Official Website

Iggy Pop and The Stooges Official Website
Iggy Pop and The Stooges on Myspace

Check out the Official Mike Watt website. “Mike Watt’s Hoot Page”. He’s got tons of information, pictures, blog (news page, tour diary), links and more.

By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs