Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: We Are Serenades

In my professional career, I don’t have the type of job that requires much travel. However, when I do have the chance to visit a city other than Columbus while on a trip, I try to find the cool club in town and catch a show. I’ve been lucky … in the past I’ve seen Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer in Orlando, Florida, Youth Group in Los Angeles, Kill Hannah in New York City, 500 Miles to Memphis and Warbringer in two separate trips to Des Moines, Iowa.

This week I’m heading to Philadelphia for a conference so I checked out to see who was playing. I came across a name that sounded familiar but that I didn’t (at the time), know anything about – We Are Serenades, a project featuring Shout Out Louds singer Adam Olenius and Laasko singer Markus Krunegård. The duo’s debut album, Criminal Heaven, came out just a few weeks ago.

Before checking them out at Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday night, I sent Adam send questions via email. (If you’re a Donewaiting reader from Philly and are going to the show, let me know in the comments section).

I looked at the club listings in Philadelphia to see who was performing when I’ll be there. At first, I thought maybe it was a misprint and that We Are Scientists were performing. And then, there is also a new group called We Are Augustines. Have you encountered any confusion based on the name and were you aware of these two other bands with similar names?

We were first called just Serenades but we had to change it and added the “We Are” because it works well on stage. I was familiar with We Are Scientists but never thought about it in that way. It is strange with such an uncommon name like that.

It sounds like this collaboration was a long time in the making. Was there a certain point in time where the two of you said, “We really need to set some deadlines and get this done because if we don’t, it’ll be something that we talk about doing the rest of our lives but never complete”?

Exactly. We found some time in between touring and just set a deadline. SOL was having some time off so we just booked a small studio in Stockholm and started working. We found a swedish label that we liked but we never thought we would release it outside of Sweden. It’s like a big bonus.
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Interview: Royal Thunder

Royal Thunder opens for Baroness at Ace of Cups on Wednesday night. The Facebook event page says doors open at 8, with Royal Thunder going on at 8:30. Tickets are $15 at the door.

On heavy rotation in my ears the past few weeks has been an advance copy of Royal Thunder’s CVI which Relapse Records will be releasing in all sorts of different formats (sorry, no cassettes) on May 22. In simple terms, the Atlanta band sounds like Ann Wilson of Heart fronting Led Sabbath – Royal Thunder obviously influenced by the early stoner rock bands of the ’70s.

Already making a wave in Atlanta and the south – where heavy music is thriving – Royal Thunder’s been invited to join Baroness on a few dates in the next week including a Columbus show at Ace of Cups on Wednesday night, giving the four-piece an opportunity to try new material out in front of metal-loving crowds.

Singer/bassist Mlny Parsonz was kind enough to answer questions via email and she responded within an hour of receiving them which makes for the quickest response I’ve ever received when conducting interviews this way.

I have 3 kids and I won’t answer the question, “Which is your favorite?” because each one brings joy to my life in a different way. BUT … I’m asking you to pick – If Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin both announced reunion tours running the entire summer of 2012 and somebody owed your booking agent a huge favor and gave you the option of opening one of these tours, which one would you pick and why?

When I was in high school, some friends and I piled into a van and drove to PA to see the Black Sabbath reunion tour with Pantera in the late ‘90s. So we pull into PA and turn on the local rock station only to hear the DJ say “The Sabbath show is canceled due to Ozzy having voice issues”. Being a HUGE Sabbath fan, I was surprised at how much I hated them at that moment. We went to a hockey game instead; I walked away a Pittsburgh Penguins fan(!) and finished off the night drinking booze, and sulking while we watched “What Dreams May Come”. Our tickets were good for the reschedule in ATL, so we eventually did get to see ‘em and needless to say it ruled.

Saw Page and Plant in the late ‘90s as well! They were doing some homoerotic tour together and I enjoyed every bit of that sexy display while smoking PCP.

All this to say, what was the better show? Sabbath. Who would I wanna tour with? Zeppelin. Sabbath. Zeppelin. Sabbath. Well fuck, what came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s how I feel about this question. Ha. Legends man, LEGENDS!!
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Interview: Hundred Visions

Can’t really knock it when you’ve scored the opening slot on a buzzed-about tour even if the only consumable music you have out there for people to preview before seeing you is a 3-song EP. Hundred Visions have found themselves in the honored position as the guests of fellow Austin-ites White Denim for a round of touring that drops them into The Basement on Wednesday night (4/18).

While hanging out in Toronto early this week, Hundred Visions singer Ben Maddox answered some questions about his band, Austin, White Denim and his love (or at least appreciation) of Pantera.

Word on the street is that White Denim is hot shit live. Do you concur?

That rumor is fucking founded. I used to watch them at clubs in Austin before we started Hundred Visions and be equally inspired and discouraged by their show- inspired to start my own band, and discouraged that I might never be that good.

Those who have Googled “Hundred Visions” have hopefully stumbled across the Bandcamp page and have digested the 3-song EP you’ve got up there. What’s the best you can expect for out of a crowd whose only exposure to Hundred Visions thus far has just been a trio of songs?

Hopefully to dance, to bob, to move. Something like that.

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Interview: Triangle Piece (Glenn Davis of Way Yes)

MP3: Triangle Piece – Johnny (Single Version)

So a few weeks ago, Glenn Davis (1/4 of Way Yes and 100% of Triangle Piece) sent me his new album, The Man I Love. Being a fan of the music he makes, I was intrigued before the first listen and it has since become a breath of fresh air peeking through the infinite amount of indie bullshit right now.

I sat down and interviewed Glenn via the interweb (thank goodness for technology) and he told me how Triangle Piece came about. The Man I Love can be downloaded starting today here (name your price).

So you ARE Triangle Piece, correct?

Yes is the answer to your first question.

Is this your first full release?

Yes. Well… it’s not the first I started, but it’s the first I’ve finished. I have another one that I have been working on very slowly and this was an attempt to make an album in a more immediate way because the other way was taking so long. I made The Man I Love in two weeks.

What are we calling this collection of jams? Other than The Man I Love

I call it an album. It’s sort of a mixtape, or a beat tape but I don’t really understand the difference because I feel like I know what to expect if a rapper puts out a mix tape… a release of tracks that aren’t album material. This is not that, but it’s sort of a beat tape. I don’t know, I’m not trying to get people to hire me to make beats for them or to get people to rap over these, so it’s not really that either. So I just call it an album.
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MP3: Fly Union “The Hard Way”

Hand typography and photo by Slave For Yourself

MP3: The Hard Way (THW)

Fly Union comes with a Jay Swifa produced beauty The Hard Way. Also peep  Fly Union’s interview with Karmaloop,  where the Columbus rap group discuss TGTC,  the pro and cons of going the indie, cologne in the studio and also accidently meeting the GZA in NYC.

World premiere: Abandon Jalopy – “All the Way” video + podcast interview

We’re very excited and honored to be premiering “All the Way”, the first video from Abandon Jalopy’s Death & Joy, which will officially be released on February 14.

Abandon Jalopy’s Brad Smith spent a few hours on the phone with me a few weeks ago, talking about his new record and answering some questions about Blind Melon, the band that gave Brad his start. I edited it down (the call lasted 2.5 hours!) to about 40 minutes for a new podcast that, at least for this episode, is called “Behind the Cover”.

Click here to listen or download podcast

Abandon Jalopy’s Death & Joy is available at

Interview: Mike Viola (opening for Rachael Yamagata @ The Basement, Sunday night)

It seemed like a strange billing – one of the most criminally underrated power-pop songwriters of our lifetime opening for a young, up-and-coming female singer-songwriter – a tour that makes a stop in Columbus, at The Basement, on Sunday night.

But, as Mike Viola explained when I talked to him on the phone from Alabama last week, it all makes sense. Viola is currently on tour promoting his latest release, Electro De Perfecto, which came out in October. If I’m doing my math correctly, this is Viola’s 11th release under either his own name, under the name The Candy Butchers, or a combination of the two, Mike Viola and The Candy Butchers. It’s hard to keep straight though one thing is for certain, if you’re a fan of power-pop music, you’ll want to get your hands on EVERYTHING Viola has done.

Unfortunately, though we talked for nearly 45 minutes, I completely forgot to ask him about his contributions to two recently released compilation albums. But, the cover songs deserve to be heard so check out his version the Smiths “How Soon is Now?” from the album Please Please Please: A Tribute to The Smiths and his version of Ratt’s “Round and Round” from Engine Room Recording’s Guilt By Association Vol. 3.

“How Soon is Now?”

“Round and Round”

How did your tour with Rachael Yamagata come about?

A couple of years ago we met and I started writing songs with her for her soon-to-be record. She was going through the ringer with Warner Bros. and eventually got dropped. She called on me to help her make her record – which I did. We put a bunch of the songs we wrote together on there. When her tour came up, she decided to hit the road and plunked down the money herself. She called me and said, “Look, I know you have a record out. Would you want to open and join me on my stage for my set?” I said, “Of course.”

I’ve toured a bunch with friends like Fountains of Wayne, They Might Be Giants, Robyn Hitchcock; it sucks having to play a set for 30-to-45 minutes and then sit around while your friends play music. It’s much more fun to join them on stage. Everyone’s like, “I don’t know how you have the energy to play all night” and I’m like, “This is what I do. I love it.”
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Interview: Waka Flocka Flame discusses “Triple F Life ” Album & Sarah Palin’s probable crush on him

Waka Flocka Flame had quite a year last year. Last time Donewaiting talked to him in October 2010,  he just dropped a classic with Flockavelli. We tipped Waka off that punk rock and metal kids mess with him.

In the coming year Waka campaigned for P.E.T.A. and the Atlanta rapper also embraced his role as the punk rock kid’s favourite rapper.

And that’s all side hustle really. This isn’t counting all the really huge things, like the smash hits, Hard in the Paint, and No Hands.  Or Ferrari Boyz and all of the mixtapes.

Waka is gearing up for a huge 2012. He’s prepping the Triple F Life album, which is slated for an early 2012 release with guests Drake, Tyler, the Creator, BSM and possibly both DMX, Nas and plenty more. I talked him on the phone yesterday, and he discussed the meaning of each of the F’s. I also asked him if would do it to Sarah Palin. Unfortunately, he did not know who Palin was. Well, please read this interview.

Shout out to Prince Kennedy for hooking it up.

ME: My name is Wes Flexner. I am with How are you doing today?

Waka Flocka Flame: I am good.  I am on the tourbus.

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Interview: The Postelles (playing Friday @ Outland on Liberty)

In an interview with Baeble, The Postelles lead singer Daniel Balk describes his band’s sound as “influenced by late ’50s rock n’ roll, ’60s retro and ’70s punk”. I can’t think of a better way to describe it myself and tossing out comparisons to the likes of The Strokes and The Black Lips seem appropriate.

With a gig on Friday night at Outland on Liberty (opening for The Wombats) to promote, bassist John Speyer checked in on an off-night from New Orleans last week, the night after the Cardinals won game 6 of the World Series in dramatic, extra-innings fashion.

You can’t escape comparisons to The Strokes. Do you think people check The Postelles out because of your connection to The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. who produced “123 Stop” on your debut?
A lot of people know us because of the Albert thing. It’s a huge compliment for us, we were obviously huge Strokes fans growing up. It’s humbling to be compared to them.

Was it cool to work with him? Was it like, ‘We’re working with Albert from The Strokes!!!!’?
It was a pretty big deal, I’m not going to lie. We were fanboys. I was pretty psyched.

You’ve done a lot of touring. What’s the longest drive you’ve had? What do you consider to be a tolerable drive and, if you had your way, what would be the ideal driving distance between shows?
We did Vegas to New York in 45 hours. To be honest, they are all tolerable, we have to do them all. I spend so much time in the van, I dread anything more than 20 minutes. My ideal would be a 3-hour drive every day but that never happens. We try not to do the overnight thing but sometimes we’re forced to. You play 25 shows in 30 days, if you’re going crazy and staying out until 3am and then driving, you just lose your mind right away.

You’re playing in Columbus on a Friday night. If you’re not out on the road, where would you typically spend a Friday night?
At some dive bar with a bunch of close friends, drinking beers and talking shit.

If I ran into you at the dive bar and wanted to start a conversation with you, what are some of the topics that I could bring up that would keep you talking for a while?
I’ve got a couple areas that I can talk endlessly about – baseball, music and you’d probably rope me in with books too. The World Series game last night (game 6) was crazy. We were in some bar with some Queen cover band. It was an unbelievable game. The Cardinals are just such an exciting team to watch. And I like Ron Washington as a manager – he’s crazy, he’s so excitable. See? You roped me in, it worked.

As a book fan, how do you consume books?
I have a Kindle but I like sharing books with my friends. In the van we have 20 books that we rotate, so the Kindle doesn’t work.

Ten years ago, what did your typical Friday night look like?
I was in 8th grade! I probably wouldn’t be doing anything but my homework. I didn’t start going to shows until I was in high school. New York City is great because you can get around by yourself when you’re pretty young. But I don’t think I was cool enough to be hip to bands, but that was when the first Strokes record came out so it was a pretty exciting time for New York music. Every kid who lived during that period was like, “Holy shit, something is happening. This is happening in our backyard.”

If I gave you the chance to live one day of your life over again but you couldn’t change anything at all about it, what day would that be?
September 4, 1993. It was my birthday and Jim Abbott pitched a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium and I was at that game. The one-handed Jim Abbott pitched a no-hitter and I was there. I would love to go back, being older, and have that experience again. It was really cool. I was really little and I didn’t know exactly what was going on but the stadium was going nuts. If I could go back now and do that again, it would be pretty sweet and I wouldn’t change a thing.

What song do you hear that takes you back to very specific time and place in your life?
Every record is like that for me. Music is all a time and a place for me. The first time I ever heard The Stone Roses was in Dan’s bedroom. We were in high school and just hanging out and Dan was like, “Hey, come check this out. “ It was a live video of The Stones Roses doing “Waterfall” and I was like, “What is this? I need this!” I borrowed the CD and burned it right away and then listened to it like for a year straight. I can’t ever listen to it without thinking about the first time.

Another one. I got Let it Be – Naked, the remastered Beatles CD. I obviously knew the album. We were on a rooftop, just hanging out on the roof, being dumb kids and probably sneaking 2 beers and I brought the CD up. I had a Discman back then and I had a great pair of headphones and I just blasted it full volume, looking at the New York City skyline hearing remastered Beatles for the first time and I was blown away. I was like, “Everyone, stop talking. Come over here and I’ll pass you this most amazing thing ever.”

What one band would you love to see reunite so you could see them live?
I had a good answer to that question – The Stone Roses, but they just announced they were reuniting. I’m going to still say The Stone Roses because, until I see them on the world tour they supposedly are going to do, it hasn’t really happened!

The Postelles are performing in the middle slot on a bill with The Wombats and The Static Jacks. CD101 is sponsoring the show at it’ll only cost you $5 to get into Outland on Liberty for this show. Doors are at 7pm and the show starts at 7:30 so arrive early.

Interview With Icebird (rjd2 & Aaron Livingston )

I interviewed RJD2, and Aaron Livingston a few weeks ago about their new project Icebird, and asked them about a few songs on Icebird’s album the Abandoned Lullaby. The conversation got pretty intricate. I was convinced RJ should review records, and Aaron should teach history after this interview was over.

In what way do film scores influence making instrumental records?

RJ: In general what kind of influence do they have? Even before the The Insane Warrior record I had kind of internalized a not quite… I hesitate to say more poppy there are aspects of things like obvious stuff like Star Wars or something like that that you can apply the theme to more traditional song writing. So it’s definitely something I’ve internalized in the same way I would a Gangstarr record or a James Brown record. It was until the Insane warrior record that i really got into the aspect of film scores to really push out from song writing. In a way it’s kind of anti song writing. Super monotonous and most people would probably consider it really boring. Think of the sorcerer or even some of the Goblin stuff it’s super repetitive and super fucking boring to most people but as music I actually find it really interesting inspiring and a welcome break from verses and chords and bridges and intros and everything being in tune and all that kind of shit.

What was the process of the Icebird record?

RJ: It’s tough to say because Aaron by in large would have dominion over the vocals, he was the guy writing all the melodies and lyrics but there wasn’t this really clean division. Cause on a lot of rap records theres this really clean division in terms of opinions on things. When you’re working with a rapper they’re like, I either like the beat or I don’t. But they’ll never say change something, I like the beat but that snare is weird change it. That never happens to me, it’s either take it or leave it. We both considered each others opinions on things. I would add things to a track and he’d say I’m not diggin that I like it better without it. We would work it out. And the same thing applied to the vocals. In terms of how the record was made, for the most part it was a back and forth, I would turn Aaron in an instrumental. I’d write something, cut it and then send it to him and he’d demo up vocals and from there we’d just start adding or taking away stuff both on the instrumental and the vocals until with got something that was working.

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