Ryan Adams To Release New Album On October 10th

Ryan Adams will release a new album next month! Ashes and Fire, which will be released through Adams’ own PAX-AM label and Sony’s Columbia Records, will be available for you eager fans to purchase on Monday 10th October. This will be the first solo album he puts out through his own company and in that spirit, it seems he chose his team to reflect that homey feeling. The album was recorded in LA at Sunset Sound in Hollywood and produced by Glyn Johns. While the producer is known for his work with the likes of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Clash, The Who and The Rolling Stones (not too shabby), he also happens to be the father of Ethan Johns, who produced Ryan Adams’ albums Heartbreaker, Gold and 29. Other notable people who appear on the album are Norah Jones and the organist from Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Benmont Tench. In other exciting news, a tour in preparation so stay tuned!

 

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Cut Off Your Hands Announce Release Of New Album In August

New Zealand band Cut Off Your Hands have announced that they will be releasing the follow up to their 2008 album later this summer.  The album entitled Hollow will be a mixture of new sounds and a rediscovered passion for playing music from band front man Nick Johnston.  After 2008’s release of You & I, the band embarked on a three year tour and endured many personnel changes within the band, all of which left Johnston feeling a little disillusioned about music and wondering what his future would be.

“Something clicked in the time off between records,” says Johnston. “As I stopped worrying about what we should be doing, I began listening to records out of pure fun again and they ended up really influencing my writing.”

The result is a masterful sound of melancholic guitar riffs and melodies influenced by bands such as Echo & the Bunnymen, the Byrds, Bob Dylan and fellow countrymen the Bats and Bird Nest Roys.  This time out, the band knew which direction they wanted this album to go and how they wanted this album to sound. 

“A big thing for me was getting out of that songwriting slump,” explains Johnston, “realizing that making music is still meaningful for me.”

Hollow will be released on August 16th via Frenchkiss Records.  There are plans for a US tour following the release. 

Tracklisting

You Should Do Better
Hollowed Out
Fooling No One
Nausea
By Your Side
All It Takes
Oh Hell
Down and Out
Buried

Causing a Scene with The New Collisions

Meet our newest writer, Olivia Hauck! She also writes for the amazing blog ‘Rock n Roll Boston’. Olivia recently sat down with indie pop sensations The New Collisions who discuss everything about how they met to Scott Guild’s Brian Wilson obsession.
All Photos by Michael Connors

The New Collisions will get you out of your seat and dancing like a maniac. The band’s playful, synth-y pop melds perfectly with silver-haired frontwoman Sarah Guild’s sexy and intimately intense vocals. Within the first five seconds of songs like “Parachutes on the Dance Floor” and “Ones to Wander,” it is impossible not to get hooked on their addictive music. Their fantastic sound translates into an energetic and commanding live performance, making a New Collisions show one worth attending.

Scott and Sarah of The New Collisions

Liv: How did you two meet, music related or otherwise?

Sarah: We met in college, at Marlboro in Vermont during some freshman orienation thing.

Scott: It’s a weird, weird place. The kind of college that if you get caught with pot, they give you a five-dollar fine. Originally, Sarah’s from Pennsylvania and I’m from Connecticut…two hot spots.

 Liv: Were you studying music?

Sarah: We were going to school basically for general studies…I was looking to do something with herbology, or botany or something

Liv: Are you still involved in that?

Sarah: Well, I’m a massage therapist so I get to work with herbal essential oils.

Liv: Scott, what is your day job?

Scott: I work all over Boston…Banana Republic, Middle East, T.T. the Bears, I did some real estate stuff… I worked at Cheapo Records for, like, a day…

Liv: You happen to be married… when did you two decide you liked each other?

Sarah: It was about two months into our friendship, I think?90411mac053

Scott: She had a boyfriend! And she dumped him! I was a nihilist at the time, so of course I was irresistible.

Sarah: And I was looking for a challenge!

Liv: How did you come to realize you wanted to play music together?

Scott: That was way down the line; we were already married. I sort of played, but I don’t even think I had a guitar when we met, did I?

Sarah: Oh, you did, you were playing Bob Dylan songs, playing like…”Earth Angel.”

Scott: I love that song “Earth Angel.”

Liv: When did you get the band together? And evolve into the genre you’re in now?

Scott: I was 23, and I had just finished my degree in Philsophy. We went over to England so I could do grad school at Oxford, and we soon realized we wanted to return to the States to do something musical. We re-located back to Connecticut, and both enrolled in grad schools there. We were immediately unhappy…without bashing Connecticut, it’s safe to say there is a very diminutive music scene. Although we were both in school, we realized more and more how much we liked doing music. Actually, we were doing folk music at the time – well, more ambient, weird, Sufjan Stevens-esque. We got really, really bored doing that after awhile.

Sarah: We played the coffee house circuit, but people would rather watch the TV than listen to us.
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Scott: I eventually bought an electric guitar; we wanted to pursue a more upbeat, rock and roll sound. We holed up in our bedroom for days with a drum machine, just writing new stuff…and suddenly we had all new songs! I’m not even sure how it happened…so we put together a band around this, and never knew how much fun we’d have playing this dance pop rock music. It’s rock, but it’s melodic, it’s dance-able…

Liv: What are some musical influences for your “dance pop rock” sound?

Sarah: Missing Persons, Debbie Harry…

Scott: Our music at first though was a lot more like Arcade Fire, The National, and Interpol, but a little more sedate, a little more mopey. They’re all our favorite bands, but it’s not music you can dance to with your girlfriends (imitate dancing girls). As we developed and played more shows, we noticed people dancing to our music, so we started playing faster and faster-

Sarah: I think there is something we missed here, we had moved to Boston at this point!

Scott: Oh yeah, we had already moved up here while this was happening!

Liv: How did you decide on Boston?

Scott: Boston is just so sweet and inviting, we love this city.

Liv: The local music scene is incredible here, for a city of our size…

Scott: Yeah, the music scene in Boston welcomed us with open arms. The first show we played was at TT’s. We just showed up here, playing our music, and everyone was incredibly good to us. I don’t think we’ve had a single bad experience with the local music scene. Fans are so supportive.

Sarah: We’re not trying to be mainstream, per se, but we’re trying to reach as many people as possible with our music. We want to be attainable.

Scott: Our lyrics are meaningful, and the content is something a lot of people can relate to.

Liv: What’s the lyric writing process? What goes through your head? Do you simply sit down and say “Ok, today I’m writing a song” or does it just spontaneously come to you?

Scott: I’ll write the lyrics, just doodling whatever comes out, but since I can’t really sing it’s more like, “Uhn uhn uhn uhn dun dun dun dun” all on one or two notes. I’ll give the lyrics to Sarah-

Sarah: And I’ll be like, “Ok, this is good, keep that, move that line over here, change the chorus…” I’ll hear him strumming on the guitar and I’ll join him in his doodling, just humming melodies and working things out for hours.

Liv: Do you transcribe any of the music?

Scott: I don’t, ever. I play chords on my guitar, I hum the lyrics, and I just remember it, figuring out what works and how the lyrics go with what chords I’m playing…

Sarah: Scott’s really good at phrasing. There will always be the right number of words for what he’s playing.
Scott: But Sarah is more classically trained, so she can write things down. When she does keyboard parts she can notate it.

Liv: When it comes to your melodies, Sarah, do you write those down?

Sarah: No, I memorize them. I rarely write down my melodies.
Scott: Sometimes she sings a song differently a few times before we nail down what we like, we were in the studio earlier and she started singing one song like we’d never heard it before.

Sarah: I’m always improvising. I never really bolt down a melody.
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Liv: What’s your favorite song to play live? What gets the adrenaline exploding through your body?

Scott: The two new songs we just did in the studio with Anthony J. Resta; he used to produce Duran Duran and Blondie. He’s unbelievable. We collaborated with him and Greg Hawkes of The Cars; Greg came in and layed down keyboard parts for these two songs.

Sarah: The two new ones are called “No Free Ride” and “Beautiful and Numb”. We love playing them live.

Scott: We have them as singles, which sound better than anything we’ve done so far, but we’re just waiting to release them. They’re going to be digitally released and on a 7 inch.

Liv: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

Sarah: I want to be touring. We have to be.

Scott: This time next year I know we’ll be touring. That’s what we want. Badly.

Sarah: Our team, our entertainment lawyer, manager, and producer, sees us breaking into England and exploring that market. We have a lot of friends in South America who think our music would do well down there also.

Scott: The overall goal right now is just to keep building and building the fan base.

Liv: It seems you’ve been through the “getting started” process, done and finished with scrounging around at coffee houses…do you have any advice for musicians just starting out? Anything you did or didn’t do well, something you’d do again?

Scott: I think the two things that worked best for us was that you have to put on an energetic and crazy live show. That’s what gets people to remember you. That’s what gets people talking about you. I’ve seen bands starting out and they stand there stock still, nervously performing, and it doesn’t work. That’ll kill you. The other thing is that a band should meet every single fan and every single person interested in the band’s music.

Sarah: Just be open and friendly. I appreciate so much the people on the top tier still being down to earth and helpful.

Scott: I remember, once when I was working at the Middle East, I was the driver for Tom Morello. We ended up hanging out with him for like, two days. We had a blast, he was fantastic.

Liv: If there is any band or musican you would ideally love to collaborate with in any capacity, who would it be?

Scott: I’d love to do something with Brian Wilson.

Sarah: Scott is a Brian Wilson superfan. It’s borderline creepy.

Scott: Brian Wilson literally has changed my life.

Sarah: The way he produced music made me think about music differently…. but I would like to meet Debbie Harry.

Liv: Who wouldn’t? She’s a goddess.

Sarah: She’s so amazing, and she just has this edginess that isn’t pretentious. It’s all coming from who she is as a person and from her life experiences. She’s one of those inherently cool people.

Liv: Got any famous last words you’d like to leave us with? Better think of something witty and clever so we know that you’re cool.

Scott: I’m very appreciative of how quickly our band has progressed, and how many people have attached themselves to us, helping promote us and helping push us forward. We don’t have trust funds or rich parents, and everything we get to do is because we make it happen with the help of our friends and fans. Thank you!
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Interview: Justin Rice of Bishop Allen

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Last week after the Bishop Allen instore for the release of their new record ‘Grrr’  I had the pleasure of meeting up with singer/guitarist Justin Rice after the show for an interview. Justin with his easter plaid shirt and navy hoodie was beyond cheerful as he greated us hello. We headed out to the cold New York sidewalks for the interview and chatted about everything from influences, the new record and their stint in that little film staring Nick and Norah. 

How did you and Christian meet?

We went to college together, and we had English 10A Early British Writers together and we were in the same section. And we really didn’t talk to each other until one night we saw each other at a Jawbreaker show and the next day when we were in our section, we struck up a conversation and started playing music together.

Jawbreaker? Didn’t see that coming! Who are your influences?

I mean, we both worked at the radio station and so we were defiantly like record collectors and so there were tons and tons of bands we listened to, lots, and the influences are pretty wide from like 60’s Garage Rock to like, I don’t know, The Seeds, The Shangri-Las, The Castaways, and too, like Buddy Holly and the 50’s. Great 50’s Rock and Punk Rock from the 70’s. Talking Heads are a big influence and also I really like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and just beautifully written songs. So I sort of like them to have a lot of energy which is why I like early rock songs and punk rock songs, and then I like songs that have really interesting points of view like Bob Dylan’s songs, and Leonard Cohen.

How did you get involved with ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’?

They called us out of the blue, um the director, Peter Sollett had this script in development for like a year or so and was going around to shows trying to find New York bands that he liked to put into the movie. And he just came to one of our shows and it was like ‘I think you guys are perfect’. So they hired us, literally.

There have been a few rotating members of the band, why so?

Well Christian and I, the main two, have worked together for a really long time, and we have like a rapport and its um, really good to write songs as a duo and then start to work out the details with a bunch of different people. But we also have a lot of friends who play music and most of them play in a lot of different projects. So, most of the time when people aren’t playing with us at a given moment, it’s because they’re off working on a different project, and a lot of them will come back in. Um, it just seems to be a good way to work, to have the main two songwriters always there and then have people rotate in at times. People seem to like it as players and we like it as musicians.

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Which do you prefer, being in the studio or being on tour?

I prefer being in the studio, but its much harder. Um, its like being on tour can be a drag and it can be a little bit boring when you’re driving for a long time.  But its mostly really really fun. But being in the studio, its harder, its more challenging. But like at the end of the day when you’ve made a new song its like really, really amazing.  You know its like the feeling you get from writing a new song is far greater than anything else I’ve ever experienced.

What was the overall inspiration for the songs on the new record?

Um, I don’t know, I think that there were, alot of it was…..we wanted to make a record that was really upbeat, and that had like a really strong rhythmic element, that was almost like chattering teeth, you know? Something you can dance to but not a dance record, you know? Something that brought the energy out in the percussion. And so I think alot of it, when we start to think like that, alot of the things that started to pop into my head were like school yard chants and double dutch. Um you know and also  a lot of songs that have lots of  ‘ma’ rhythm.

That’s a good word! I heard that several labels before had offered you contracts. What did Dead Oceans offer to you that the other labels couldn’t lure you in with?

We’ve been putting music for a long time by ourselves and we were pretty happy doing it. So we weren’t really looking for a label. There were some labels that came to us, um, and I don’t know, Dead Oceans was the one that came to us and explained very clearly how they could help us out. And they had a lot of enthusiasm but they were also really practical and really smart, and I don’t know, just how transparent they were about what they hoped to do, and how much we liked them as people is really what drew us in. It wasn’t a thing as much as it was them. They were good.

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What inspires you to write a song?

Nothing! I don’t think its inspiration as much as compulsion. I mean for me, I try to find something, a thought that interests me, um whether its something I encounter in everyday life or something that I read. Or hear in another song or a thought that pops into my head. Usually those thoughts that are interesting to me, they make want to figure out why they’re interesting, and the way I tend to feel that out is by writing a song. So its a way of thinking.

What was the first musical instrument that you learned how to play?

Um, the guitar. But I think it turns out that I’m better at the piano, but I only discovered that a few years ago. I think my inclination is towards the piano.

How did the recording of ‘Grrr’  differ from recording ‘Charm School’ and ‘The Broken String’?

We did it all at once, we like did it really in a 3 or 4 month period and when we recording it, basically we recorded a lot of demos and Christian and I would split time in the practice space. He would go in the morning I would go in the afternoon. Once we had those demos, we actually went into a studio and worked to record and to mix, to record the drums and mix with like a producer which we’ve never done before. Its still about half home recorded, and the home recording is definitely more um, like was used more in a decisive manor. We used it to really figure out what we wanted it to sound like, and before I think that we just kind of would record over the period of a long time and put it all together at the end, you know whats finished. This time we were much more deliberate.

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What made you decide to release the 12 EPs instead of one record?

I don’t know! (laughs)

Sounded like fun!

It was like a dare, like a challenge, we kind of dared ourselves to do it. Then once you commit to doing it, then you can’t back down because people would know and they’d say ‘Alright, we’ve got January, February, March, April….where’s May?’ you know? And like, even though, whether that’s true or not,  it feels true, that position, that  feeling of there being some external expectations, really makes you like live up to your word and finish what you need to finish. So it was like, it kicked our ass into finishing a bunch of songs.

 

What is your favorite song to perform live?

Um, I think my favorite song right now, although we kind of woofed it today, is ‘True or False’ because I get to play the wood blocks. And uh, I like playing those.

Who doesn’t like playing the wood blocks? You’ve been in a couple of movies. Which do you like more, acting in a movie, or playing music?

Playing music and that’s what I do most of the time. The movies that I’ve been in are kind of accidental, because they’re mostly made by the people that I know, and making music is what I do everyday.

If you weren’t in Bishop Allen, what would you be doing?

(long pause) I don’t know. Living it up, uh like doing some, building some houses in Africa or something. Living it up in Iceland, I have no idea. Its so hard for me to imagine.

Where do you see the band in ten years from now?

Hopefully we will continue to make music that’s decent (laughs), you know? Like I don’t see us giving up, and I’d like to keep, I  hope that in ten years I feel still excited about songs and making music, and that’s all that I can hope for.

What board game can you kick anyone’s ass at?

Trivial Pursuit! Easily.