Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gish & The Future Project

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions? 
Mike Holt
Gish (a.k.a Michel S)
Rita Fine

How did the band start?
Rita: I guess the band started roughly 2 years ago. Mike and I were already jamming together. We decide to look for a singer and found Gish on Craigslist. He was totally into it. For the longest time we searched for a bass player, just couldn't find anyone good enough. So we decided to contact our old friend Jeremy who had played with us years ago in Ballpit. The four of us just seem to mesh.
Mike: About a year and a half ago Rita and me where trying out singers for a new project and we met Gish. We just tentatively titled the Craigslist ad "Singer wanted for FUTURE Project." So we where trying to think up a name and Gish said, "I like Future Project." We said “Hey what about "Gish & The FUTURE Project" and there it was. So, we just ran with that name & concept.
Gish: So I’ve been a singer songwriter for eons and when I came to Orange County I continued to produce my own music. My music tilts towards sounds like Daft Punk, Imogen Heap, Coldplay, Radiohead, Thom Yorke, Beatles, MuteMath, Foo Fighters and a shitload of trance. So the moment came where I felt it was time to start putting a band together so I can play my music live.
         I went on the search. As part of that search, I was like, why not, let’s see what Craigslist has to offer, after all I did buy a road bike from their once; how bad could it be? So, I posted an ad or two looking for guitarists, bassists and drummers. The people writing back were not who I was looking for in their style of playing.
        I was looking for people who knew of bands like MuteMath and other bands that infuse electronic sound with alternative rock sound. This would be the starting point for where I wanted to innovate. I bit the bullet and said why not look for people looking for vocalists and maybe find something that way. So I did. I found an ad posted by a guy called Mike and his music was under a heading called “The Future Project”. It involved him and Rita (drummer).
        After listening to the music and especially the guitar work in one of his tracks, and, how he infused some electronic sound into it, it seemed like we may be on the same page musically; that, and the fact that he was a MuteMath fan.
         So, we got together, and started sharing some music ideas. Both of us started playing each others music to each other and then began to innovate from those ideas sculpting those songs ideas into new songs that started a base fabric for this musical collaboration.
         During this time of exploration, innovation and song building we finally roped in, our now, bass player Jeremy who weaves his bass strings into this musical fabric to contribute with Mike, Rita, and I to build onto this musical adventure called “Gish and The Future Project.”

Jerm: The band had already been together for about 6 months before I joined. I guess Mike and Rita put an ad in a paper and landed up auditioning Gish, and the FUTURE came to light. One day I got a call from Mike and he asked if I would be willing to play bass for them. Mike, Rita, and I have a past playing in other bands together, so I said, “Yes.”

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Gish: Vocals, Keys
Rita Fine: Drums
Jerm: Bass
Mike: Guitars

Any bands you were listening to a lot while starting the band?
Jerm: NIN and Mute Math

Mike: MuteMath and NIN. I would say these bands are our main influences now, but we are always trying to add new sounds and rhythms to our style. We are constantly looking for new and exciting music.
Rita: For me music is all about "How I am I feeling right now at this moment?” When I’m in a good mood, I listen to bands like MuteMath, and Nine Inch Nails. When I feel mellow, I like classic rock like the Beatles, or some old Aerosmith. When I feel like I need some inspiration, I like to listen to newer bands like White Stripes or Black Keys or Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But these are the bands that get me going.

Gish: MuteMath, all kinds of Trance from the DJs of  “Above and Beyond”, Radiohead, Thom Yorke, Daft Punk, Imogen Heap, Coldplay, Beatles, Foo Fighters.

Where can people hear the band?

Mike: We are playing Monday Aug. 27th at the DETROIT Bar in Costa Mesa and Thursday Sept. 27th at the TIKI Bar in Costa Mesa also.
Jerm: We go on at 9pm for both shows.

I’m just going to ask to get it out of the way. How are you bringing the future to the present?
Gish: By keeping everything new and fresh. New in + our hearts and minds = New out.
         The future is giving something new that innovates beyond what exists. Innovation comes once we have explored the essences of what exist until we are inspired to naturally and optimally produce something that does not truly exist, but yet can provoke and inspire our-self and others.
        There are no rules; all I know is that I am a vessel and communicator of the universe. Input from one end and output from the other. My vehicle just happened to be music. I did not choose music, music chose me. I’m a singer/songwriter, just as a fish is a fish. Sounds, songs, emotions, desires, and many things will influence me and us as a group, and as a natural reaction, the desire is to “Song” it out.
       “Gish and the Future Project” is an element in the universe made up of strong atomic pieces with strong musical and songwriting agendas. As a musical body we have no choice, but to reformulate and export out the new essences that we experience into new sounds and songs that invoke, provoke, create love, entertain and inspire.

Rita:  Just trying to be original and play for the heart. Have no boundaries.

Mike: We are bringing the FUTURE to the present by introducing NEW sounds & rhythms to the people NOW.
Jerm: We really mix a lot of what people like today, with the influences of the past, and throw in electronica to infuse the FUTURE.  Music is like a living entity.  It has its own course.

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
Mike: YES! If you can write a GOOD song it is just as vital today as it was 10 or 30 years ago. But not many people are doing that or are trying to; they seem to just rewrite a song that is on the radio or copy a sound they have already heard a million times. A good song will have staying power and be just as good a year or so later when you here it, you say "Ow! Ya I love this song!" Then you turn it up and it feels great.
Jerm: Music is the key of life. Everyone one is moved by music. All cultures and all ages are moved by music. People are moving at a faster pace more than ever. Yet, music follows along at the same rate. How many kids do you see these days without ear buds in there ears?

Rita: Of course music is the future.
Gish: Yes, but I think the art form will evolve. It will remain a vital force nonetheless. Singing, and creating music, is a wonderment of the human species. Music plays on the natural frequencies of sound. Until we speak in song, the moment we are born and have a string-plucked sound come out of our nose when we sneeze, putting these natural frequencies together will still remain a beautiful art form that depends on creativity as well as talent. Just as we evolve as a species, we will evolve in how we create songs. We have no choice but to create as a species and thru song we shall continue to create in order to speak to one another in the most beautiful language of all: Emotion.

I know Mike has a recording studio called Drop Dead. Is it open to the public or only for the band? 
Mike: Well we just renamed the studio, since we got the street sign from out front.
It is now called Pepper Tree Studio and no it NOT open to the public. It is for the FUTURE to practice & record there. We do record some friend’s bands and we have done some tracking work for some other people.
Rita: The studio is not open for the public, but [Mike] does do recordings for friends and family. Occasional voiceovers and drum tracks. I have a classic rock band that I play in and he has recorded us before.

Jerm: Just for the band and very close friends. We don’t need the whole world invading the FUTURE. 

When is the debut single, EP, LP coming out? I ask this because the band has easy access to a recording studio and I saw videos of tracks being laid down for recording.
Gish: Soon. Stay tuned.
Rita: We are constantly recording.  An EP should be out soon.

Mike: Well, we have recorded about a full CD of tunes, but we are releasing a 4 song EP at the Tiki Bar show in Sept. We will have a couple new tunes to debut at the show as well.

I saw the band had played some battle of the bands shows. How did those go?
Mike: I don't remember doing that?

Jerm: Umm, I don’t think I was there for that. I always saw battle of the bands was for the High School kids that had their first band, and wanted to show it off.

Rita: I don't think we ever did the battle of the bands. Most of those make you pay to
play and we will never be a band to do that.

Gish: We did not do battle of the bands. We had several gigs though, but no battles.

What’s next?
Rita: Live it, love it, play it good!!!!
Mike: Well with the near conquest and acquisition of Mars we will probably be playing some shows their and bringing the FUTURE to Mars.

Jerm: A beer and a nap.
Gish: I’m going to get a coffee now. But after that I’ll get back to my studio, conjure up something that inspires me. Then meet up with the rest of the GFP band, and jam on some sick sounds and produce something awesome that inspires us, record it and a few more, post them, get people to love it, gig again and again, open for other even more awesome bands that we love, gain a fan base of people who love our stuff just as much as we love our stuff and love to entertain them, become a lead act, become millionaires, save the world. The End.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Chris Bradley – Lead Guitar, Suedehead

Where is the band from?
Southern California Region, we are spread over the greater LA basin region.  Korey lives in San Diego, Greg and Mike live in LA, Davey and I live in Orange County, and the horns live out in the Inland Empire area.  We meet in Orange County at the Hurley recording studios to rehearse.  We consider that our home base.  Davey runs the studio there and I used to work for Hurley for 3 years as well.

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Davey Warsop – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Chris Bradley – Lead Guitar, Harmonies
Korey Horn – Drums
Greg Keuhn – Keyboards
Mike Bisch – Bass, Harmonies
Marques Crews – Trumpet
Kip Wirtzfeld - Sax

How did the band start?
Davey and I met whilst working at Hurley and had a lot in common musically.  Davey had previously been in the band Beat Union in England and had wanted for a while to do a more soul based power pop thing.  We both mutually knew Korey and Davey and started writing some really good songs.  We rehearsed a few times and just couldn’t really get any members to stick and we sort of lost drive to do it.  Then one day Social Distortion were in the Hurley studios doing some demos for their new record and Davey was at the helm.  Mike Ness was asking Davey what he was up to musically and Davey played him a few rough demos.  Mike and his management were really into it and said; hey when you get a band together we’ll have you out for some shows.  We all thought “Oh, that was nice of them to offer…” but didn’t think they were serious. So, fast forward 2 months- no rehearsals, no members yet- and Relentless Artist Management calls up and says hey Mike wants your band to play a few shows in a month can you do it?  Davey calls me up and we decide to try to put something together just for these shows, not thinking that it would be anything serious beyond a few shows.  We called up some friends and put a band together.  We rehearsed about 5 times and played these two shows with Social D in Anaheim at House of Blues and another in Tempe, AZ at this really big venue. On the way home from the AZ show we were all just sort of looking at each other in the van going, that was kind of magical and fun guys, do we want to do this as more than a temporary one thing. We were all stoked on it, so we set some goals, and within a week were in the studio recording the first EP.  It has just sort of snowballed from there.

How does it feel to a northern soul mod/pop band in such a county known for punk rock?  Even getting played on Surf & Destroy podcast, which is dedicated to OC punk.
For us man, we are kind of older dudes and we’ve all played in lot’s of different kinds of bands from Reggae and Ska, to straight up old school hardcore and punk, New wave, and everything in between.  It was not our goal in this band to be associated with any particular genre or scene.  We are just doing what feels good for us.  We see it as transcending genre and hope other people do as well.  We want this to be a very inclusive thing rather than exclusive.  It’s about good music not scenes or labels. 

Suedehead has some degree of success right out of the gate. Coachella and two mini-tours. Care to explain how?
We have been really lucky right out the gate to get the attention of some really great influential people such as Mike Ness of Social D, and gotten some really good opportunities from it.  We were lucky enough very early on to sign with great management and booking agencies, which is really hard to do these days.  We consider ourselves lucky to be where we are but also work our asses off at the same time to deserve and utilize every opportunity afforded to us.  We are a very hard working DIY band.  We have funded and recorded 3 x four song EP’s in the past year, which we released on our own imprint – International Soul Rebel Society.  We record, Produce, manufacture and distribute everything ourselves.  We have been able to build a very healthy mail order online on our website which sells internationally, which really helps support our touring efforts because whilst we have a great management and booking team we don’t have any publicity agent, label, or distribution network yet.

Is I.S.R.S. just a label for Suedehead releases or will it develop into a label that puts out non-Suedehead releases?
When Davey and I started the Imprint the idea was that it would act as a platform for all things Suedehead.  Record Label, Fan club, and anything else that might come along.  The original idea was that we might eventually release records of side project bands that we are doing or maybe even other bands that we play with and really dig.  It’s sort of wide open at this point.  We shall see what happens.  We don’t put any sort of expectations on it at the moment beyond just Suedehead stuff. We really want to build it organically, and slowly.

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
I think music will always be a force.  The way music is made, distributed, and viewed live is ever changing, but I think it’s a healthy thing.  People will always be passionate about music.  It’s in everything. It can provide you such an array of emotions. It evokes every kind of emotion there is.  Music is definitely different these days than in the past and whether you feel good or bad about that is irrelevant, if you don’t like the state it, then go start a band and change the world in your own way.  I still strongly believe that this is possible probably more so than ever with the ease and rate of information exchange on the interwebs today.  Ha, ha, ha!

Where can people hear the band?

What’s next?
We have some good dates coming up between now and the end of the year.  We have toured quite a bit out the gate in our short 1.5 year career as a band and we are concentrating on playing a bit more in our own back yard over the next 6 months to year, as so far we have done it kind of backwards and played a lot more on the road than at home. Check our website for dates.  I know we’ve got some coming up in San Diego in September, LA and SF with Tiger Army in October, and we are doing a free in store performance in Long Beach at Fingerprints Records on September 27th.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions? 
Erik and Dan.

Where is the band from?  
Erik: Here and there in LA county.

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
John Tyree on drums
Ryan Bowder on vocals
Dan Graziano on bass
Erik Fettes on guitar
50 years ago people use buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in anyway?
Dan: Ya get what you pay for maybe 50 years ago you got a better product, i mean some of those albums had 2 or 3 hits on em now ya get one if your lucky. if its good stuff people will still buy it or support the bands in some way. Or maybe people are just cheapskates and that's why Walmart is so damn popular. Ha Ha. 

How did the band start?
Dan: With me and Erik recording demos and stuff, jamming with a lot of different drummers and singers until we found Jon and Ryan and things started falling into place.

What bands did you have in mind when starting this band?
Erik: Not in particular but maybe a certain genre more or less.

When you guys are doing the songwriting, is there a deliberate intention to mix various styles from different genres?
Erik: Every song starts with a general idea when we write we get together we usually just help one another point a song in the right direction.

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
Dan: It can and will be sir.

Future plans?
Erik: Records, tour, the works if we can pull it off. 

Future releases are coming out when? 
Dan: Our debut 7 inch will be out by October.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

California Lions

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Daniel Perkins

Where is the band from?
Long Beach

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Carina Downing who sings. Roberto Escobar who sings and plays bass, Alvaro Rodriguez: drums, R Scott: keys, Brad Gordon: guitar and piano; and I sing and play guitar.

How did the band start?
California Lions started when Roberto and I were still in a 60’s mod band called The New Fidelity. We were busy playing a lot of shows with that band, but I had a lot of songs that we didn’t have time to do so I got together with Brad Gordon, who had produced The New Fidelity, and we recorded some of them. Brad produces a lot of singer songwriters on The Hotel CafĂ© scene and always has someone coming by to track bass or viola or whatever, so slowly he developed the song ideas into a set of fully produced songs with the musicians who stopped by the studio laying down tracks. At that point some of the songs were getting some licensing interest and we thought it might be fun to start a band around the recordings.

50 years ago people use buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think affects music in anyway?
Ha that’s so true. The other night I was at the liquor store in Santa Cruz and got a water and a beer, and realized the water cost more! But I digress…
Musicians have always been severely underpaid it seems. From a creative standpoint, with current recording technology, everyone can make a record, which is really a great thing, it just seems to put more and more records out there on top of the fact that you can download what you want for free anyway. You just have to be creative and have a plan to keep your expenses low. Not too long ago bands used to spring 1200 bucks to print their new CD’s, not such a good idea today. I’m more apt to burn a few hundred on my computer and hand make a sleeve. And actually maybe make more records!

Been reading that the band has some songs played on TV shows. Which ones? How did that come about?
We just had an instrumental version of our song Yesterday Too Soon on MTV’s Real World  a couple weeks ago, and a few months back we were also on a couple episodes of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. We had something on America’s Got Talent a while back and maybe Toddlers and Tiaras or something too. Most of them are instrumental versions of our songs used for background syncs. The MTV ones came from someone from the licensing agency seeing an early version of California Lions playing a show in Pasadena and requesting our CD. Brad’s production is always super broadcast quality and luckily we had instrumental mixes ready to go so they put the songs to good use. We are on a lot of cable shows too from being requested to be in various libraries, luckily they seem to be the ones that shows are using.

Was anyone in the band a fan of Clouds? I see there are two members of the band in California Lions.
I was a fan of the Clouds they were great! I’m also a fan of Carina and Alvaro’s project This Lake. I remember the first time I saw Carina singing and playing keyboards on the street in Long Beach and I was blown away. I introduced myself later and asked her to play with us. Alvaro came to one of our first shows and next thing you know he’s with us too and we’ve been having a lot of fun.

Where can people hear the band?
We do have two songs up on our bandcamp page:
and we do play around Long Beach a bit.

What’s next?
We’ve finishing recording a new batch of songs, hopefully they’ll turn into a CD soon.
We have a mini residency 3 Thursdays in August (the 9th, 16th, ad 23rd) in downtown LA, and we’ll probably have a CD release in Long Beach sometime soon after that.