Saint Motel is the new motel you need to look into. The band members, A.J Jackson (lead singer/pianist), Greg Erwin (drummer), Aaron Sharp (guitarist), and Dak Lerdamornpong (bassist), came together in 2007 in California. Jackson and Sharp met at Chapman University in Orange, California when they were studying film. At the time, Lerdamornpong was a sushi chef and Erwin attended another college in the area. The four of them came together and began creating their tropicalia-influenced sound.
In 2009, Saint Motel released their first EP, ForPlay, that had six tracks on it. In 2012 they released their debut album, Voyeur, and in 2014 they released another another called, My Type. I was able to talk with Jackson briefly!
Virginia native and singer-songwriter, Carl Anderson is going to be one of the next CMT artists. At a young age, Anderson had a love and passion for music due to his parents playing and singing music as he grew up. Anderson released his first album, Wolftown, in 2012 and released his album, Risk of Loss, in 2016. Anderson has been on tour and will be ending it towards the end of May. I was able to talk with Anderson about growing up and his inspiration to become a musican, his experience playing at the Stage Coach music festival in April/May, and more!
How did you music career begin? Who inspired you as a child?
My parents actually met in Richmond, Virginia, in this little coffee-house. The two of them and their friends would meet in the basement of this church in Richmond and play. They met singing and playing and around the time I came around it was just a big part of our lives. Growing up my dad was a folk singer and he never tried having a career doing it but it was sort of this incredible memory for old songs. I grew up listening to him sing and my mom played guitar and it was just a lot of music happening. I sort of fell into it. I sort of fell in love with it early on and I don’t even know consciously aware of the fact that I liked music. I kind of, I don’t know, I was always drawn into it.
I guess in middle school I got a guitar and started playing it a little bit but not really seriously until middle of the way through high school. I was writing songs and recording them and I got my own computer and small recording set-up from a friend of mine that was upgrading. I got his old computer and had this small recording set-up in my bedroom. I would write and record a lot of songs.
I’ve always been a singer and music just became a thing. I thought for a while that I’d be a stage actor but that sorta fell to the side. Music took over, however, I’d like to get back into it at some point. My parents were probably the early influence since I listened to my dad sing, I’ve just always done it, I really have.
Does your Dad still sing today?
He still sings I believe. I haven’t talked to him in a long time. Were estranged which is really weird but he actually showed up at a gig when we played a show in Nashville, three weeks ago. It was really strange to me since I hadn’t talked to him or seen him in years. It was nice but also totally drawing. I’m lucky I didn’t see him before the show cause it was shocking. I think he still sings.
You played at the Stage Coach music festival, how was that and how was your experience?
I did and it was so fun and we were so thankful to be offered. It came unexpectedly and we flew the whole band out and it was really fun. It was Coachella, the country-Coachella. It was a really well run event and we had a great time. We played at 2 o’clock on that Friday and it was awesome. It was a great crowd and just a really fun opportunity to go out and play in California. It was great.
I met Emmy Lou Harris, which was kind of amazing for me. A young song-writer who gets to interact with a person like that who’s been around for so long. My friend Mike is the bass player and was in town and plays with her band. He introduced me and it was an amazing moment for me. Mike was like, “Emmy, meet Carl. You need to check out his songs because you’d love em.” I was like, “Oh my God, is this happening right now?” It was so real. It was great and I didn’t really meet any of the big country stars. I ran into Whitey Morgan, I know those guys. I met a lot of cool people!
I saw some good sets but we weren’t there for long though. We flew in Thursday and rehearsed in Los Angeles before we played on Friday. We flew out on Saturday morning. I’d like to go back next year and stay for the weekend and really experience the festival.
If you could collaborate with any country artist who would it be?
Country artist? I don’t know. Honestly I am compelled by a lot of contemporary music and other groups. In terms of like dream come true, I don’t know. Maybe Wilco or Willie Nelson, will start in the W’s and work out way down. Bruce Springsteen too and I was having a really weird dream about him too.
The end of your tour is coming end but do you have a favorite memory from your tours?
We finally played out west last year and just being in the north-west in Portland and Washington for the first time was magical. We had some really good shows and we played this interesting gig in Portland. I sort of reached out to clubs and I was booking myself at the time. We ended up playing in the basement of this church in Portland with this really sweet guy, Bob. Basically he invited the entire congregation of the church. So we had this big crowd of people that where their and listening. I think that was my favorite memory in terms of arriving to a city that I’ve never been to and getting to play for a sizeable group of people who were interested and very attentive. It was kind of a magical and unexpected moment on tour. I think the night before we played in Oregan and we played in the backyard for three or for kids at this house show. That gig in Portland was special because everyone kind of seemed to get us.
My favorite song by you is, “Ocean.” What’s it about?
It’s one of those songs that I wrote in five or six minutes. I haven’t listened to it in awhile but it’s just yearning and I don’t know if there’s any specific meaning to me other than just the idea of wanting to be somewhere else I guess.
Keep on rockin’ Carl! Hope to see you soon 🙂
The boys are back! Drew Chadwick and brothers, Wesley and Keaton Stromberg form this one of a kind boy band. I began to tell the boys how the weather hasn’t been great in MA and Wesley and Drew told me to get on a plane and fly to California where all the rays of sun are at. Emblem3 has been resting up, catching some rays, and enjoying the weather before they go on their tour in Cali. Their tour with The Ready Set starts on May 12 in Minnesota and ends on June 30th in New Jersey.
Drew Chadwick and Wesley Stromberg met when they attended middle school in Sequim, Washington. Keaton Stomberg was nine and did not work with Wesley or Drew, instead he worked on his own music at home and watched them work together. Wesley eventually moved to Huntington Beach, California with his girlfriend and Drew spent his high school career moving up and down the West Coast. Eventually he found Wesley and joined him in Huntington Beach. The boys produced their first two album’s in their basement in CA, Bite Your Lip and Take It. I mean if I was able to live in California and work on music, I’d take that any day of the week. However, I do love to East Coast and I’m sure the boys will too!
In 2012, the boys came together on the X Factor when the producers offered them a spot on the show. Their performance wowed the judges, Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, and L.A. Reed, when they sang their original song, “Sunset Blvd.” As the show continued they sang songs by: Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, The Monkees, Bruno Mars, and more… The boys placed fourth on the show and signed with SYCO/Columbia records after the show ended in 2013. However, the boys decided to take a break and go their separate ways for a little bit. Today the boys are back together and better than ever!
How was your experience?
Wesley: It was quite the experience and it was awesome! We went out their and gave it their all and did what they had to do. We learned so much from the experience and we formed an awesome and loyal fan base that is still with us today. Overall it was amazing.
I believe that a majority of their fans today who have been with them from the start are girls. I asked Wesley and Drew if they have had any crazy stories to tell.
Wesley: We’ve everything you can imagine. I remember that one girl broke a bone at one of our shows.
Drew: I’ve seen two girls get into a fist fight once.
In 2012 the started to record their debut album, Nothing to Lose, and in 2013 they released it. Their popular singles, “Chloe You’re the One I Want” and “3,000 Miles” were featured on this album. The boys went on tour and opened for Selena Gomez that began in August, 2013. 2014 was a very chaotic and memorable year for Emblem3. Emblem3 released their first EP, Songs from the Couch , Vol. 1, independently. However in 2014, Drew decided that he wanted to start his solo career. Wesley and Keaton produced their first EP, Forever Together, on October 27, 2014.
The boys won their first Teen Choice Award in 2013 for Breakout Group. I asked the boys what is was like receiving the surf board.
Drew: It was a very cool experience and it was one of our first award shows and receiving an award. It’s really awesome and we still have that surfboard in our house right now.
Thankfully in 2015 Drew rejoined the Wesley and Keaton! Emblem3’s new album, Waking Up , was just released and it’s a great album to start the summer with! When you hear the album, you just get this pop-rock-reggae vibe from it. I asked Wesley and Drew about their new album. The boys made an announcement to their fans letting them know that they were going to release a new album and go on tour in 2016. Emblem3 is going to be coming on May 27th and will be performing at the House of Blues in Boston (I know I’ll be going!).
How long did the new album take to write?
Wesley: It took probably five or six months to write. With the whole break-up thing, we were all writing a lot and the day we got back together, September 1st or 2nd, Drew was writing the song, “Now,” and had been getting it ready to show us. I mean we were all writing that whole time which was probably about six months and at the end we were ready to go.
What are the songs about on the album, Waking Up?
Drew: All of the song’s really range on the album. Some songs are about partying with your girl or whatever and other songs are about, more sexy, you know, kind of a wider range. That’s probably one of the cooler things about our band (laughing).
Are you excited for the tour!?
Wesley: We’re so excited! I can’t wait to get back out and meet all the fans. Just playing live music make’s me really excited. During their tour, the boys will be making more music when they travel for us!
Keep on rockin’ guys and can’t wait to see you soon!
Troy is one artist that I’ve recently heard who really puts a lot of passion and love into his music. Troy has had one hell of a career and an amazing start. In high school, Troy’s father passed away, but he kept his head up high and attended Boston College on an academic scholarship. Troy would perform at local venues and used music to grieve. In 2013, he moved to New York and worked with music producer, Dante Lattanzi of Caelum Music Production. Troy started his Pledge Music Campaign that was set up to raise funding for his debut EP, When the Lights Came, which was released in 2015 and was incredibly successful. Troy was named, “Artist of the Month” by The Deli New England. His music has been featured on numerous Spotify playlists and his songs have been played over a million times. Troy has opened for Doug Wimbish and Will Cahoun of Living Colour at The School of Rock in Rockville Center.
I was able to talk to Troy about his music, his show in New York on the 19th, and his experience working with author, Jessica Park.
First off, I love your voice! I don’t know there’s just something about it that’s really deep and beautiful. Now, I always ask the artist’s I interview to tell me a little biography about them and what really drove them to create music.
Jessica Park asked you to write a song for her book, Restless Waters. What was it like writing a song for a book compared to writing a song for a movie? Was it hard to write a song for a book? Did you have to read the book to fully understand what to write about?
The Swedish band, Leanids, is one of the Swedish bands you need to get to know. The band was surprised that I knew their song, “Flying,” because it’s one of my favorite songs. The Leanids began making music in 2009 and have been playing together ever since. The Leanids haven’t played in the U.S yet but I sure hope they do 🙂 Their first album, Under the Leonids, was released in 2011 and their other album, A Wildly, was released in 2014. I was able to talk to the members of the band
Tell me a brief story about you guys and how you came to be where you are today. When did you get into music, etc…
Everyone needs to add at least one of Parade of Lights song’s to their summer 2016 playlist. I have been listening to Parade of Lights since early September and the band has been producing music that everyone can dance and rock out too. Parade of Light’s rock and electronic sound is so different from everyone’s music. Their EP, Feeling Electric, was released in 2015 and features their most popular (which are also a few of my favorite tracks at the moment): “Golden,” “We’re The Kids,” and “Feeling Electric.”
The member’s of Parade of Lights are:
- Ryan Daly — Lead Singer
- Anthony Improgo — Drummer
- Randy Schulte — Bass Player
- Michelle Ashley — Pianist/key board player
Parade of Lights is a “360 artist” because they produce their own albums. It’s extremely cool to me that they’re qualified as this type of artist because you don’t see many bands like this today. Parade of Lights designed their album cover, made their own lyric-videos, album’s, etc… Daly and Improgo wrote and self-produced Feeling Electric and worked with Nashvilee’s Left Plus Right Studio and Grand Victor Sound. I’m truly a fan of their music and advice all of you to listen to them! They know how to make great and give positive energy when they play! I was able to talk with Southern California native, Ryan Daly.
How and when did you become interested in music?
I came from a pretty musical family. My parents were actually in a band together when I was a teenager, but they split up when I was four. My dad continued writing songs and is a solo writer. He got me a guitar when I was nine and he taught me how to play some of his songs. I would spend the weekend with him and my mom but when I spent it at my dad’s he would play and I would learn his songs. I kind of started getting comfortable with the guitar and my mom wasn’t as knowledgeable on how to tune the guitar and stuff because I didn’t know how to do it. My mom would come home and I would be listening to the radio and learn songs. I probably spent a good three or four years doing that and I think I started my first band when I was thirteen. I was in so many different bands and there were so many different variations and different types of types music. So here we are. I’ve just been in bands ever since.
How did all of the band member’s meet?
I met Anthony (drummer) in 2006 through mutual friends and we started the band, Polus. Randy Schulte, our bass player joined that band as well. We played in the L.A area for a year or so and one night we were playing a show and it was sold out! It was awesome! However, I dislocated my knee on stage and I couldn’t stand up. I had to lay on the floor till the paramedics came and took me off. Needless to say that put us on a break for a little bit. We needed to make money and everyone took their own respective touring gigs and we all kept in contact but we did our own thing for close to, oh my gosh, four or five years. Anthony and I linked up when we were in Australia and doing stuff and we said, “Lets get the band back together.”
We decided to pull it back together and got together with Randy and named it, Parade of Lights. We met Michelle (Pianist/key board player) about a year after that, probably 2013. That’s kind of how we all got back together.
Why is the band named, Parade of Lights? I like it because I think it’s pretty 🙂
It was a lyric in a song and when I sent the song to Anthony he also heard the lyric, and said, “That’s a good band name, it’s cool.” There’s no crazy story to it, it was just funny enough. I think as long as it sounds good, then it’s good.
When writing and playing your music, who are some of the musical influences listeners will hear in your music?
I have always been a big fan of U2 and a lot of rock. I also like singer-song writer, Bryan Adams, Springsteen of course, I mean I could go forever and name so many who influenced me. It changes every week kind of. One week I’ll listen to a record and next week it will be something completely different. I’ll spend a lot of time listening to hip-hop and stuff and then I’ll start to listen to straight up metal. I’ll start to listen to bands that we’re on tour with, but I think that stuff I mentioned before are influences.
If you could collaborate with any artist or go on tour with, who would it be? A lot of the artist’s/bands I ask love answering this.
People always ask us this and I never have a good answer. I’ve gotten this question so many times and I don’t know. I guess U2 would be rad because they play in front of 100,000 people a night and to be a part of a that would be insane. They’ve done some insane stuff and have written some great songs and it would be cool to be part of that legacy.
One of my favorite songs by you is, “Golden.” What’s it really about?
The way I interpret is that it’s a feel good song about coming together with your friends and people you’re close too. The lyric, “Everybody get golden,” is just a metaphor for don’t be afraid to be who you are. It’s a song about being proud about yourself and not stopping yourself or letting people make you feel bad for things you aren’t. I think we made on this last record a point to empower people to feel good about themselves. That’s what a lot of the songs are about. “Golden” is definitely a good song that has a message.
You guys will performing at the music festival, Bonanza, in June! Are you excited?
Yeah! It will be cool! Festival’s are always awesome and every time we play at one it tends to go pretty well because people are just there to have a good time. They’re always going to be rowdy no matter what.
Where has been you favorite place to perform so far?
We have been fourtante to play in really amazing places. I think one of our best shows was at the musical festival, Firefly. It’s sort of in your neck of the woods, it’s in Delaware. We did that and it was pretty awesome. I don’t know but there were a lot of people and they had a great time. It was a lot of fun and it was one of our better shows.
Now that you’re in the studio, are you going to be releasing an EP anytime soon?
Right now were working on the next album which is our goal. We’re getting ideas together and trying to get the sound because at this point, we did what we did on the last record and now we kind of want to evolve as a band. We’re already evolving as a band and my taste is certainly changing and I definitely want this album to reflect that. I think that we’re just spending a reasonable amount of time trying to get the sound right because we really get stuff out there. Hopefully within the next month or so will have a lot of stuff pulled together and a lot of ideas being thrown around. We’re just gonna try to get that next record out.
Keep on rockin’ for me guys! Hope to see you in Boston soon!