Band Interview Of The Day – Jacob And The Starry Eyed Shadows

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Band Interview Of The Day! Today is not technically a band but an artist. Today we are chatting with the art Jamie also known for his project Jacob And The Starry Eyed Shadows! Let’s dive right in!

If you could introduce yourselves for us, who are you?
Hi there. My name is Jamie and I am a singer songwriter from the west coast of Scotland. My music is kind of indie/pop/rock. I’ve been writing songs and playing in bands since I was a kid and my current project is called Jacob and the Starry Eyed Shadows. The focus of this project is all the songs I’ve written solo over the years; revisiting them, improving them and getting them released officially.

How did you all meet?
It’s just me at the minute. It would be good to have some bandmates to play with in the near future, so it’s something I’m thinking about. Even more so desirable since a year of lockdowns and not being able to spend time with people properly. I’m not the most sociable of people, but I do love collaborating with people creatively.

How long have you been playing?
I’ve been playing guitar since I was about ten. I started writing songs in my teens, which is when I also started playing in bands and performing. Playing in bands continued long after, mostly playing covers but some original material also. The solo song-writing was something that was always going on the background as a kind of personal therapy.

What three words would you use to describe the music you play?
My songs tend to have a kind of defiant theme/feeling about them, so let’s go with ‘defiant’ first. In their defiance they also tend to be hopeful, so I’d say ‘hopeful’. And finally, let’s ‘soulful’ as it’s often described by others as that. As I said before, it’s basically indie/pop/rock. But I like to think of music in terms of what drives it creatively. I never sit and think ‘I want it to sound like this’, it’s just whatever theme or emotions that drive it forward. And then what it sounds like follows naturally on.

What are your musical influences?
So many. I love mostly rock music. Always been a huge Springsteen fan, Manic Street Preachers, Green Day and things like that. But I also love a lot of soul/Motown, jazz, folk and hip hop. Other big influences are Billie Holiday, Foo Fighters, Bon Iver, Bob Dylan, I Am Kloot, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Sam Cooke, Less Than Jake. All kinds of stuff.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen during a show?
I’m not really sure. I can’t think of anything right now. My music, and the music I’ve been involved with in the past, can be rocky for sure, but it’s not the wildest!

Being away from the stages since last year, where is the one place you’d visit when the restrictions are lifted?
It will be nice to both play and hear some live music after all this. So anywhere there’s good music! But my favourite venue to visit to see bands is the Barrowlands in Glasgow.

What’s the one record you own but wouldn’t ever admit to owning?
Ooooh, tough one. I only really buy music I really like so I don’t have a lot of stuff I would deem embarrassing. Certainly no albums. There was a Beyonce song I liked and downloaded once. I can’t even remember the name of it. I’m not sure if that’s embarrassing or not? It’s certainly not the kind of thing I would normally listen to, but it was a good tune.

What have you been listening in the last few weeks?
Last few weeks I’ve been listening to a lot of Bon Iver again. ‘For Emma’ is one of my all time favourite albums and that’s been back on a few times the last couple of weeks.

Are there any releases you have planned in the near future?
Yeah, absolutely. One song has just been released. It’s called ‘We Are Everything (and that’s alright)’ and is available on all major streaming platforms. So check it out. And I have another new song coming out in June so keep a look our for that. I’ll be releasing songs periodically and working up to releasing an EP at some point in the hopefully not too distant future.

Check out ‘We Are Everything (and that’s alright)’ below.

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Band Interview Of The Day – Ask Carol

Based out of the Norwegian mountain community Auma, comes the grungy alt-pop duo Ask Carol. Ask Carol is a high energy power-duo with a big sound. Multitasking is their middle name. Two guitars, drums, a synth, a drum machine and an unique splitting system for Carol’s guitar, makes this two-piece sound like a full band. Their sound can be fierce and mean, then suddenly turn soft and comforting.

1. If could introduce yourselves for us, who are you? How did you all meet? How long have you  been playing?  

This project started when we, Ask and Carol, the two members of Ask Carol, became friends right  after high school. We where studying music in southern Norway. We were always talking about  starting a band, but it would take about 7 years before we finally went through with the idea. The  summer of 2015 we stayed at a cabin in the Norwegian mountains, with no electricity and no water,  far away from people and civilization, only a few sheep outside the windows. That’s where our first  songs were made, and where the seed to what would become Ask Carol started. One more year  went by before we started for real, and Ask Carol was officially born, in 2016. Our first concert ever  was at a small blues club in Seoul, South Korea, called Strange Fruit. At that point, Carol was  already a somewhat known guitarist-for-hire in the Oslo music scene, and had never ever sung in  front of people before, or at all for that matter. That’s why we wanted to try out our music and hold  our first concerts far away from our hometown.  

After thinking hard and long about the band name, with many pretty good suggestions, we ended up  with the simple band name Ask Carol, the first names of our two members, Ask and Carol, put  together. Ask is a real Norwegian name, coming from Norse Mythology, the Viking religion; Ask  was the first human being, created by the God Odin, out of a piece of Ash-wood. You can read all  about that story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ask_and_Embla 

2. What three words would you use to describe the music you play?  

Dynamic, guitar-based, rock. 

3. What are your musical influences?  

We are both inspired by so many different things. A few of our biggest common inspirations are Jimi  Hendrix and Pink Floyd, which I think you can really hear in our music. In addition to that, Ask is very  influenced by The Clash, and Carol draws inspiration from amongst others, Nirvana.  

A place that has inspired us a lot in the past has been Carol’s cabin, high in the Norwegian  mountains. There is no electricity and no water, so it’s a very old school way of life. And no  internet. That means less distraction, and room for inspiration. The inspiration might always be  there, but with all the constant impressions and distractions from the internet there is just no room  for it. That is where we wrote our first songs as Ask Carol, in that cabin. 

4. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen during a show?  

There’s a lot crazy stuff that has happened on the tours and travels that is not fit for mentioning here, but a  few highlights: 

Valentines day in Open Air Auditorium, Rizal Park, thought we were playing for 100 people, but there was  1500 people there. 

Strange Fruit, Seoul. Our first concert as Ask Carol ever. 

Opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Awesome band, and still some of our coolest concerts. EuroTV. TV appearance on a Filipino TV channel. Host invited us home for drinks before the show. LA Times Book Festival. Ended up speaking on one of the stages, which was so much fun. 

5. Being away from the stages since last year, where is the one place you’d visit when the  restrictions are lifted?  

Everywhere and anywhere. There’s not a single place, we wanna go on tour in the US, in South America,  Philippines and other countries in Asia again, and of course closer to where we live, Europe.

6. What’s the one record you own but wouldn’t ever admit to owning?  

None of us own anything we wouldn’t admit to. Of course, there’s lots of weird stuff from when we were kids in  our collections, but, we were kids, so nothing to be embarrassed about.  

7. What have you been listening in the last few weeks?  

Ask: I’ve been listening mostly to a playlist I’ve made with where I put all the songs I think sounds cool when I  stumble on them around the internet or other ways. It’s a lot of different music, mostly good, but some songs I  really don’t remember why I thought I would want to listen to that again, haha. 

Carol: Don’t know why, but for some reason I’ve been listening to a lot of old blues the last couple of weeks.  Artists like Big Mama Thornton, Son House, Leadbelly and more. They are awesome 😀 8. Are there any releases you have planned in the near future?  

Yes, there will be more releases coming up. First a few singles, before our debut album later this year. We are  busy recording that album at the moment, and the first single will be out in late Spring 😀

Check out ‘Run With You’ below.

Check out Ask Carol via their:

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A Conversation With… Shane Told (Silverstein)

A Conversation With…Silverstein. Newcastle Think Tank. 13/12/17

I’m back at Newcastle’s, Think Tank for a dose of the rock kings in the form of Silverstein. They released their stellar record, Dead Reflection earlier this year and by the sounds of things, fans are eating it up all over the world! I sat down with Shane to chat about the record, the tour and everything else in-between.

 

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Hey Shane, so you guys have been going for 17 years now, how does it feel to be in the band for that long?

“It feels good. It’s coming up on about half of my life which is pretty crazy to think about and I guess when you’re immersed in it and the main focus of half my life, it’s been a good experience all around and you know? We started the band for fun and it’s still our goal and we still have fun every single day.”

 

And tonight’s not going to be any different in Newcastle.

“Yeah, we’re about halfway through the tour in the UK. Bless you and your countries smallness. Each show covers the whole country pretty much. It should be great tonight and we don’t get a chance to come over to the UK compared to a lot of other countries so every time we’re here it’s really special and Newcastle’s special. We’ve always had a good time here, always had a blast.”

 

And that’s Newcastle for you hopefully, we never put you in the wrong.

“No, no for sure. It’s been good. First, we played in some little pub and then last year we played here again, and this is another new venue but fans are always coming out and they’re excited so it’s all good.”

 

“What’s it like to play a British pub?

It’s great. You know any place you put a stage or a PA works for a show and you get a great vibe. And it’s not like it’s a pub where you’re sitting around and there are old people and you’re drinking beer, eating fish and chips but any environment works for rock and roll. You just gotta own it.”

 

And the latest record was released in the summer. Now you’ve had the chance to play the some of the tracks off the record, how’s the reaction been to them?

“It’s been awesome. We still feel really strongly about the record and the fans love the record. Music journalists and critics really love the record so it’s a really great feeling to be seventeen years into our career and making some of our best music and it’s always weird you know? When you make a record in the studio and we’re trading demos back and forth in the studio you can kinda predict how a song will going to go down live but you can’t really until you do it. For example, one track off our record which is a fan favourite; The Afterglow. It’s a poppier song and we weren’t sure how it was going to go down live because it’s not really heavy or anything. It’s an upbeat poppy track so when the record came out in the summer we didn’t play it straight away, we played the heavier tracks and recently we’ve been busting it out and we couldn’t believe how well it went over. People are just going crazy for this song so it’s been incredible playing this song live and it’s one we’ve worked into playing in the set every day and we can’t not take it out because it’s too good live and we didn’t expect it, so it’s very difficult to guess what songs are going to go off live and sometimes the opposite happens as well, it doesn’t always do what you expect to do one way or the other.”

 

And was that the mindset for the new record as well?

“I mean we don’t really think we think about the songs in a live setting when we’re making a record. I think it’s an afterthought. You’re like okay we need to think how are these going to be played live and how they’re going to go over, especially with this record because we’ve used some different tunings which we haven’t used in the past and that’s an issue because it means we have to bring more guitars which are in the right tunings so there are things like that. So, with the mindset of the record, we wanted to make the best record on recording for all the people to listen to on their stereos or in their car or wherever.”

 

And do you have any secret talents?

There’s the whole singing, I guess it’s not a secret. I’d say I’m remarkably good at foosball, you know like table football. It’s bigger where we’re from. I’m remarkably good at that and our whole band’s pretty good at bowling as well. I mean if you wanna thrown down with a bowling tournament we hold our own.”

 

I’d be down for that, but I haven’t been for a while so you’d absolutely destroy me.

“I think it’s a little bit like riding a bike. You need to warm up and get back into the groove. I won’t bowl for a couple of months or even six months at a time and I could bowl a 175 pretty easily these days consistently so we’re feeling pretty good about our bowling skills.”

 

And has there been any standout moments from the recent tours? 

“I think there are standout moments every day. Even the smaller shows, the shows that don’t go perfectly. There are still stand out moments. People still ask me oh do you get bored of playing the same songs for seventeen years?, how many have you played my heroine? you know, like thousands of times but every time you play a show it’s different. I mean it’s a different show, different people, different venue, different set lists, bands opening and I think there’s always going to be really cool moments regardless so it’s hard to pick a specific one and I’ll say our last tour in Germany, we did fourteen dates which is a lot and we sold them all out and some people came to multiple shows or all of the tour and it was a very special time to play to the fans but I can’t pick a specific moment though.”

 

And are you expecting for anything to go crazy tonight?

Yeah, it’s a little small room up there at the Think Tank in Newcastle so I think it’s going to be pretty bonkers you know? I think people are at that point where they’ll get the second wind for the week, so I think it’s going to be a good show.”

 

And is there anything else you’d like to add?

“Check out Dead Reflection, the new record’s out now. There are some great tracks on it; The afterglow, Whiplash, Retrograde Lost Positive some of our favourite tracks from the record and we’ll be around you know? Whether you’re listening in the UK or elsewhere in the world so come see us live and say what up!”

 

 

You can find Silverstein’s music on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify.

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