Video Voyager World Mental Health Day Edition: 7 Q’s with The R Train

Brooklyn-based rockers are hitting the ground running with a fresh new slew of releases. Recently they debuted with their track “Flip Out Zone” and extraordinarily energetic music video! In honor of today being World Mental Health Day we thought there was no better band to feature since Mike, the band’s drummer, is a firefighter and no doubt would have an interesting perspective on the topic. Read on to find out more!

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

The obvious dilemma we all are experiencing is the Corona Virus blues and the insanity of the times swirling around us. We thought about Flip Out Zone as being an anthem to the insanity, and something of a statement as to what we’re all experiencing in some form or another.  The fact is, we’re all living a life that is in the Flip Out Zone during these times of self-isolation and fear. We felt like it was time for us to stand up, take a deep breath and scream about the madness through our music.

What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)? 

We wanted to share the frustration of the times and at times just life in general. In a way describe the vibe of the mundane versus a satisfied life like where the construction worker is banging his head on the wall just suffering from the boredom and stress of the day.  In other scenes we show teamwork and camaraderie with people enjoying what they are doing like in the office scene, or the folks at the end running with the wheelchair still happy with life and making the most out of the moment. Its truly a yin and yang predicament that we all have a choice in life to make. Either be a drone and follow the path of the established norm or follow your passion.  

What was the process of making this video?

We put together a great team to assemble the video, Matt Greene is the Producer of the piece and he came out and shot scenes with the band to capture the musical aspect of the piece. Then he assembled some footage to tell the story about the situation of ups and down from satisfaction to disenchantment in the workplace and at home.  His goal was to illustrate what its like to be caught in the run around of anger and despair versus the life of achievement and fulfillment.

What importance does World Mental Health Day have for you?

Mental health these days is so important in our lives; the good news is you are not alone. Learning about mental health challenges is the first step towards helping each other.  Having the open door to learn and educate one another about the problems in our lives is what leads to cures and care. There is no stigma involved in mental health issues, it is a very normal part of our society and one that with open hearts and souls in the end can provide a great deal of support and healing.  We’re all dealing with the unprecedented impact of a global health emergency known as COVID-19, which has levied some form of trauma for each of us in our lives that affects us in profound ways. Everyone either knows someone that has had the Corona Virus, had it himself or herself, or worse known someone that has died because of having the sickness.  We are all suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) these days.  We are exposed to horrible things on the news, social distancing, isolation, fear, and uncertainty about our future. The importance of World Mental Health Day is, people are here to help and there are ways to cope and succeed and we can win if we work together.

What are some ways in which you tend to your Mental Health overall?

The main way is through our music. Having the ability to be playing songs with the band forces us to forget the issues of the day and focus for a little while on the music alone.  There is nothing like beating the drums with sticks to help you release some tension and anxiety I always say. Another way is through regular exercise and a healthy diet. Staying focused on what I eat and how much I exercise directly affects how I feel throughout the day.

Do you feel your career as a firefighter impacts your mental health? 

Yes, the job of a firefighter is a stressful position.  Bottom line, you are responding to people’s homes for fires or health emergencies or to a motor vehicle accident for something that has gone horribly wrong and you are there to help people in their times of need.  Sometimes you see very upsetting things that affect your mental health, and you carry those incidents with you the rest of your life. As I drive down the roadway 20 years later, I can still recall car accident scenes from the past and I can picture the twisted wreckage with people trapped inside, the smell, and recall the carnage that I witnessed at 3am that night. It’s something that you just learn to deal with overtime and something to chalk up to its part of the job.  The good news is the fire service has come a long way in terms of mental health awareness and prevention.  Through programs for education, peer counselors and open communication, we have begun to help fellow firefighters deal with these types of incidents in a more productive way.

If you could share one message with our readers about Mental Health, what would it be?

Do not be afraid to ask for help, you are a stronger person if you reach out to someone for help then you are if you keep it inside.  There are wonderful people in this world out there willing to help serve and protect us all when we are in our times of need. Be proactive and take charge of your own health and prevention and education can serve you well. 

Check out their video for “Flip Out Zone” below:

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Bill Callahan Releases New Album And Announces Tour Dates

Bill Callahan, also known as Smog, is a lo-fi underground rock artist best known for releasing Jandek-influenced experimental rock before growing more nuanced and “professional” sounding as his career has progressed.

Drag City, his longtime label, just released latest album Apocalypse on April 5th in preparation for a nationwide tour! Check out the song “Baby’s Breath” here and tour dates below!

Tour Dates

Mon. May 2 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Tue. June 14 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
Wed. June 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
Thu. June 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
Fri. June 17 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Soho
Sat. June 18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Sun. June 19 – Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Library
Wed. June 22 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
Mon. June 27 – Denver, CO @ High Dive
Fri. July 1 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
Sun. July 3 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Fri. July 8 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Andy Warhol Museum
Sun. July 10 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Mon. July 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tue. July 12 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri. Aug. 5 – Sat. Aug. 6 – Portland, OR @ Pickathon

Prussia Announce Tour Dates And Release EP

Detroit indie-pop outfit Prussia are known for their energetic arrangements and catchy harmonies, having honed their skills touring with such bands as Beach House and Dr. Dog. Their upcoming release, Poor English, looks to expand on this style while incorporating a darker tone to their lyricism. To promote this album, the group will embark on a North American tour including a show in their home state of Michigan with tUnE-YaRdS!

Check out their Myspace and tour dates below!

Tour Dates

3.30 Cafe Bourbon St.- Columbus, OH*
3.31 Bugjar- Rochester, NY*
4.01 BATV- Boston, MA*
4.02 Machines with Magnets- Providence, RI*
4.03 Cake Shop- Brooklyn, NY*
4.04 Death By Audio- Brooklyn, NY*
4.05 Danger Danger- Philadelphia, PA*
4.06 Golden West- Baltimore, MD*
4.07 Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar- Charlottesville, VA*
4.08 Tipsy- Greenville, NC*
4.09 Highland Inn Ballroom- Atlanta, GA*
4.10 JJ’s – Chattanooga, TN*
4.11 The End – Nashville, TN*
4.12 Cosmic Charlie’s – Lexington, KY*
4.13 Ottawa Tavern- Toldeo, OH*
4.14 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
4.15 Mexican Sans Frontiere- Grand Rapids, MI
5.10 Lincoln Hall- Chicago, IL#
5.11 Crofoot- Pontiac, MI#

* with Child Bite

CMJ 2010 Photos: Modern Mystery & The Musebox CMJ Party featuring The Twees

We threw a huge party to end CMJ with our friends at The Musebox on Sunday night to close out the fest. In the depths of Brooklyn at the McKibben Lofts we had performances by The Twees, The Lines, Wyldlife, SHAPES, Etta Place, The Static Jacks, and Reckless Sons. The place was packed, smokey, and ready to rock out. A VERY special thanks to Jason Abrishami (also in the amazing band, The Twees) for putting his blood, sweat and tears into this event. Take a look at all the photos RIGHT HERE!