On November 19th, Bloodshot Records released Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side as a two-disc package, including a detailed 40-page booklet. Released in 1993 and 1995 respectively, these two records are crucial early planks in the bridge from The Replacements through Ryan Adams‘ Whiskeytown and to the now-established alt-country scene.
Not only do the records hold up to their countless progeny, they sound even more vital than many of today’s roots rock releases. The albums’ straight-ahead, raw and roomy production (enhanced by a fine remastering job) has nothing in common with the budget indie sound that dates so many of their contemporaries and, along with the top-notch songwriting and fearless performances, makes for an exciting listen.
We had a quick Q&A with Bottle Rockets drummer Mark Ortmann to see what he thought accounted for the great sound on these records, as well as his thoughts on touring, playing with Marshall Crenshaw, and bands on other planets.
SJ: I had never heard these two early records, and being a fan of lots of independent releases from the early ’90s, I can’t believe how vibrant these sound in contrast, with a really high production value. That can’t just be the remaster, right? To what or whom do you attribute the sound of the recordings?
Mark: John Keane produced, recorded and engineered the debut album Bottle Rockets, whereas The Brooklyn Side was produced by Eric Ambel and recorded by Albert Caiati. Although the remastering did put a new polish on those albums, it’s John, Eric and Albert who are responsible for the vibrant quality of the original recordings. The common approach they took was to record a faithful representation of the band while avoiding the audio fads/trends of the times (gated drums, digital effects, etc.) There is more production on The Brooklyn Side because there was more studio time to work with by the second album, but neither album sounds dated due to the recording methods used.
We spend a lot of time covering the biggest pop acts here in the United States, but considering the fact OurStage welcomes artists and fans from all over the world we thought it would be fun to begin introducing a few world music new tidbits into the magazine as well. If you’re an international artist with a new song, video, or tour announcement, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your material. We cannot guarantee every submission will be featured on the blog, but we will reply to every message we receive.
In Portugal, if you’re looking for male pop artists you would be hard pressed to find a more notable person than Johan Rodrigues. His latest EP, Um, has been garnering praise the world over, and his latest single “Bad Girl” is so catchy it hurts. Johan recently took time from his busy schedule to discuss the gift that started his interest in music, the creation of Um, and developing as an international talent. You can read an excerpt from the piece below, then click here to read the full interview. (more…)
Say Anything frontman Max Bemis recently sat down with AbsolutePunk for an extended interview that debuted online earlier today. In the piece, which was written by Drew Beringer, Bemis discussed his comic series, numerous musical projects, being a new dad and more. You can read the full feature on AP, but we’ve highlighted an interesting section for you to enjoy below:
First things first “ how awesome is it being a new dad?
It’s really amazing. To me, obviously the main perk being around the baby and just simply “ it sounds corny “ but just looking into her eyes is literally the most experience I have ever had in my life. You realize it’s your kid and that’s how your relationship with her, and it already sort of (more…)
Hopeless Records’ act The Wonder Years are currently gearing up to release their new album, The Greatest Generation, this May. Recently, the Philadelphia based pop punk group took some time from their busy schedule while in Grand Rapids, MI to discuss their upcoming release with MindEqualsBlown. You can read a portion of the interview below and, if you feel like reading more, click here for the full feature. If you’d like to support The Wonder Years, click here to preorder The Greatest Generation.
MEB: Right now you’re currently on tour with Fireworks, Hostage Calm and Misser. How’s the tour going so far?
Soupy: Fantastic. We are at show number six. Four of six have sold out well in advance, while the other two have gotten close. I think Albany was pretty close and Minneapolis, I don’t want to say it was close to selling out because it was a huge, huge room, but it was a really great, really full crowd.
You also just got back from Soundwave in Australia. What were some of the highlights of that?
Personal highlights or professional highlights? Eh, personal highlights it is! One: I held a koala bear! Thatwas cool. We were walking around Lone Pine Animal Sanctuary in Brisbane, where you can pet kangaroos, hold koala bears and see all this shit. B-Real from Cypress Hill was hanging out, I have to assume high because, I mean, he’s in Cypress Hill. That’s their whole thing, right?
Not to unfairly judge the members of Cypress Hill, but I kind of think that’s kind of like the vibe they want to go for, regardless of just looking at like a giant fucking colorful bird, just staring at it. That alone time was kind of cool. I went to see Chris Jericho of the World Wrestling Entertaiment company, who also sings in a metal band called Fozzy. Well¦let me back it up. Soundwave is over the course of two weeks, and there’s only five shows, so you’re there a lot of the time when you’re there and you’re not playing festivals, and they do these things called Sidewaves. They basically say, Hey, every band on the Soundwave festival is in Sydney today, so instead of doing a festival, we’re going to have them all break down into three band bills and have them play small clubs around the city. One of the Sidewaves was Scott Ian from Anthraxand Chris Jericho doing spoken word, and they literally just sit there and tell stories for an hour each. And I’m a huge, huge wrestling mark, so I went to that. Everyone else went to do other cool stuff and I walked there for 25 minutes by myself through Sydney, and it was fucking killer, man. That was a huge highlight for me, Jericho’s spoken word. I met Jericho, which was also incredible; I got a picture with him, so that was really cool for me. I also got to stay on side stage and watch Blink  play. (more…)
If there is one person our entire editorial staff wishes they could be more like, it’s Nardwuar. Hailing from Canada, Nardwuar has built a name on being the most engaging (not to mention resourceful) journalist working today, and his latest interview is only further proof of his talent.
During SXSW last week, Nardwuar was in Austin recording a series of interviews that he plans to roll out in the coming weeks. The first, which he recorded with Trinidad Jame$, was made available earlier today. In the feature, fans learn about the rising artist’s roots in Trinidad and Atlanta, his favorite foods, his selfless nature and more. You can view the clip below. (more…)
Rise Records has carved a unique niche in the modern alternative world as the go-to label for all things heavy. Their entire roster reads like a who’s who of breakdown bands, and we could not be most excited to present an exclusive Q&A with one of their biggest acts, The Plot In You.
Having just released a new album in January of this year, we had plenty to talk about with the members of The Plot In You. Click below to find out the story behind their album titles, their plans for 2013, and much more. (more…)
Bad Boy’s Red Cafe has been one of hip-hop’s best kept secrets for the better part of a decade. 2013 will see the release of his label debut, but for now the emcee has offered a new American Psycho mixtape to maintain the hype generated from recent appearances on tracks from the likes of French Montana until the official release. Click here to stream and download American Psycho.
Recently, OurStage had the opportunity to speak with Red Cafe about American Psycho, the people the who helped create it, and the advice he has for young talent trying to make it in music. You can view a video interview and/or read his responses below. (more…)
[Léelo en español abajo.] There are musicians who find a market in their corner of the world, finding comfort in familiar surroundings and culture. They can climb through the underground to become national treasures, occasionally with minor tours around the world. Then there are international superstars who are more likely to be found on a trans-continental flight, taking the world by storm all at once. Of these, Daddy Yankee is decidedly the latter. Over the course of his career, Daddy Yankee has set the bar for pop artists, including both Latin musicians and artists worldwide, with a steady stream of hits that permeate cultures around the globe. Now, having just finished 2012 with yet another multi-national trek, Daddy Yankee speaks with OurStage about his journey to the top, what aspiring artists can do to reach their own career goals, and what fans can expect from him in 2013.
If you’re a Latin musician looking to take your career to the next level be sure to enter the Tr3s “El Headliner” Competition for a chance to win artist features on Tr3s’ show Top 20, as well as Tr3s.com’s Music My Güey, Descubre & Download, and Blogamole.
OS: Since OurStage.com is the leading online destination for emerging artist in the US, can you talk about your first big break in music?
DY: My first big break really came in 2004 when the release of my album Barrio Fino opened the door for me not only in the states, but worldwide. That album included the classic song that launched it all for me, “Gasolina.”
Who are some undiscovered artist that you’re excited about?
I’m always trying to support undiscovered talent in the Latin market. For instance I’ve taken under my wing an incredible production team called Los De La Nazza, who were unsigned and trying to make it, and have proven to be a key element in my success.
In the US, your music crosses many radio formats, including Latin, Urban, Rhythm, and Pop. Talk about why you think audiences of all types love your music?
Music is a universal language; sometimes you don’t have to understand the words that are being spoken to enjoy it. My style of music is unique – it makes people want to dance and have fun. I have fans from all around the world that don’t speak either English or Spanish, but they still buy my music and go to my shows. I don’t limit myself. I like to try new things and new sounds and I’ve been blessed by the success it’s brought me.
What’s next for Daddy Yankee? What can fans look forward to in 2013?
I’m looking forward to 2013. In addition to all my Latin projects, I’m also going to be putting more focus in targeting the mainstream market. This last album I released has a song called “Lose Control” that has been receiving a lot of love from English radio over the past few months. I’ve also got a great collab with French Montana due out in 2013 [and] I’ve been working with some incredible DJs and producers in the Dance genre that are helping put a new spin on the Daddy Yankee sounds that everyone already knows and loves.
What would you say to undiscovered artists who are working so hard to catch that first big break?
We live in a moment in music where the power is in the hands of the artists themselves and their fans. There are no excuses, the Internet is [the] most powerful platform to get your music out to the masses. If you stick with it and are committed, your time will come. As long as what you’re doing in the studio is right, you have just as good of a chance as anyone else in landing your big break.
[Léelo en español abajo.]
Capping off a year that found them performing daily on Van’s Warped Tour, releasing their label debut, and traveling cross-country more than anyone could image, Atlantic Avenue recently took a break from road life to discuss their progress with OurStage. If you’re looking for a great pop rock show to help cure those Winter blue, click here and find out when they’ll be coming to a town near you!